Desaku (出作)

Desaku, also referred to as Detsukuri (literally, going out to plow) means that inhabitants in a region cultivate fields in other regions. It is called Irisaku (coming in to plow) by those who accept the farmers from other regions.

From ancient times to the Middle Ages, it meant inhabitants who belonged to a certain shoryo (territory) (Koryo or Shoen) but cultivated fields in other shoryo. This phenomenon often occurred during ancient times and the Middle Ages, when the rights of a legal land owner and an actual lord of the land were intricate and unstable. As for koso (annual tax), Kuji and Zaikeyaku (public duties) were supposed to be paid to the lord of the land where an inhabitant lived but Nengu (land tax) and Kanmotsu (tribute goods paid as taxes or tithes) were to be paid to the lord of the land in which the individual cultivated the fields. However, as conflicts over the territory intensified, koso became a cause of conflicts between the lords of the lands where farmers lived and where the farmers worked, because the former intended to expand their territory by ruling unitarily over the inhabitants and the lands but the latter aimed to invite more farmers into their territory to work.

In modern times, when more lands were reclaimed, more farmers living in villages went out to newly developed fields to plow, leaving their villages quite alone. In this case, the farmers paid Nengu to both lords of their home village and their working fields.

[Original Japanese]