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Matsura-tõ: Pirate-warriors in northwestern Kyushu, Japan, 1150–1350Hyungsub Moon
This dissertation deals with the origins and early development of the Matsura-tô, a group of pirate-warriors who controlled the northwestern Kyushu areas in medieval Japan. It focuses on the forms of organization of the Matsura-tô from the late Heian to the late Kamakura periods in order to present the basic nature of ikki (league or confederation) and tô (league of bands) in their earlier stage. Using as its primary sources not only Matsura-to family documents but also reliable contemporary or later-compiled supplementary works such as Bakufu chronicles, diaries of courtiers, Korean chronicles, and genealogical records, it stresses the dual nature in the formations of the Matsura-tô, that is, horizontal fragmentation as well as vertical consolidation: the Matsura-tô as kinship affiliation represents the loose, divisive relations among coequal kindreds whereas the Matsura-tô as regional affiliation represents the solid, tightened top-to-bottom relations among unequal kindreds and nonkindreds. The study argues that political upheavals such as Mongol invasions sometimes provided the momentum for Matsura-tô coequals to unite: those Matsura-tô kindreds grouped together to form wider horizontal confederations while utilizing the individual, vertical bonds with their nonkindred inferiors. However, those interfamily assemblies were far from permanent ones: while coping with their outside enemies, Matsura-tô families continued to be at odds with one another in internal matters such as headship and inheritance disputes.
Social sciences; Japan; Kamakura; Kyushu; Matsura-to; Pirate-warriors; Warriors; Middle Ages; History; 0332:History; 0581:Middle Ages
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