Tetsudai Fushin (Large-scale engineering work by federal lords under shoguns order) (手伝普請)

Tetsudai Fushin was a large-scale civil engineering work done by territorial lords under the orders from the Toyotomi government and the Edo Shogunate. It is based on the establishment of a unified authority in the early-modern times.

The Toyotomi Government

Buildings such as Osaka-jo Castle, Jurakudai Residence, Hoko-ji Temple Daibutsu-den Hall, Nagoya-jo Castle in Hizen Province, and Fushimi-jo Castle were constructed. Territorial lords mainly provided laborors and sometimes supplied building materials. They had to provide salary rice to the laborers who actually worked at the construction sites. Also, the standard of imposition was Kokudaka (a system for determining land value for tribute purposes in the Edo period).

It strained the financial status of the territorial lords along with the military responsibilities in the Bunroku-Keicho War.

Edo Shogunate

It started with the requisition of Sengokufu (one laborer per yakudaka (salary paid in accordance with the rank of one's post) of 1000 koku (approximately 278 cubic meters of crop yields)) for the construction of the castle town of Edo-jo Castle. After that, Edo-jo Castle, Hikone-jo Castle, Kameyama-jo Castle (Tanba Province), Sunpu-jo Castle, Nagoya-jo Castle, and Takada-jo Castle were constructed, and the territorial lords were mobilized for Fushin.

The territorial lords in the early Edo period needed to adjust the ruling system in their own territory in order to respond to the order from the Shogunate to mobilize for Fushin. Just as the Shogun had enourmous authority over the territorial lords, the lords of the domains were required to establish the system with themselves ruling at the top (called "the establishment of the Domain System"). The strife over authority between the Karo (chief retainer) or the lord's own family and the lord of the domain led to conflicts and caused many family troubles. Also, Tozama Daimyo (nonhereditary feudal lords) were integrated into the military system of the Shogunate by the mobilization for Tetsudai Fushin.

In the middle Edo period, many Fushin of rivers were conducted. Among the most famous Fushin of rivers were the repair work of Yamato-gawa River in the Hoei era, the repair works of rivers and embankments in the flood-damaged areas in the Kanto region in the Kanpo era, and the embankment works of Kiso-gawa River, Nagara-gawa River, and Ibi-gawa River by Satsuma Domain in the Houreki era (Horeki Chisui Incident).

Apart from constructions of castles and embankment works, the constructions and repair works of the following buildings were done by Tetsudai Fushin: shrines and temples in Nikko, Tokugawa Family's temples, namely Kanei-ji Temple and Zojo-ji Temple, the mausoleums of the Shogun and his family, the Imperial Palace and Residence.

In the early Edo period, each domain paid the expenses and the domain was actually in charge of Fushin. However, as time went by, Fushin was increasingly conducted by contracts made by merchants, and payment in cash became more and more common. And after 1775, payment in cash became the regular form of payment. Basically, each domain was responsible only for the expenses, and the Shogunate sent officials to supervise Fushin.

Tetsudai Fushin in the Edo period strained the financial status of each domain and became one of the causes for the financial difficulties of the domains. However, Tetsudai Fushinthe was reduced or exempted from the domains which were assigned other tasks. For example, following domains were exempted from Tetsudai Fushin in the middle and later period: Owari, Kishu, Mito, and Kaga; the domains with their lords filling such important posts as Roju; the domains with their lords filling the posts of shikoseki (anteroom seats for feudal lords and direct retainer of the shogun at the Edo-jo castle); and the domains in charge of the guard of Nagasaki, namely Saga and Fukuoka.