Goso (direct petition) (強訴)

"Goso" refers to an act of petition in a firm attitude.

Temples and Shrines
Priests, armed priests and shrine associates at temples and shrines tried to make their demands by resorting to arms or wielding the power of Buddha's or divine punishment against the bakufu and the Imperial Court.

Well-known examples of this include Enryaku-ji Temple and Kofuku-ji Temple. Enryaku-ji Temple and Kofuku-ji Temple exercised the authority of kami such as mikoshi (portable shrine) of Hiyoshi-taisha Shrine and shinboku (sacred tree) of Kasuga-taisha Shrine, respectively, when they went to the Imperial Palace in Rakuchu (inside the capital Kyoto) to make their demands; if it did not work, they would take actions like leaving mikoshi and shinboku at its gate, practically halting the political function.

Cloistered Emperor Shirakawa's words, "The water of Kamo-gawa River, dice in sugoroku (a Japanese backgammon), and yamahoshi (armed priest); these are not in my power," describes his lament over the goso of Enryaku-ji Temple.

The reasons of goso were that kokushi (provincial governors) interfered with the shoen (manor) of temples, that some temples began to receive better treatment than others, and so on. The Imperial Court made use of the forces of samurai to suppress goso. This helped samurai gradually gain a voice in the central political arena.

Goso at temples and shrines was popular from the Heian period through the Muromachi period, but died out as their authority lost influence over the governing structure.

In the Edo period, goso referred to the collective petition of peasants to those in power. This is generally known as "hyakusho ikki" (peasant's revolt). They petitioned for reduction or exemption of nengu (annual tribute, land tax), and change of village officers, and yonaoshi ikki (reform riots) frequently broke out in various regions especially in the end of the Edo period.

In Gobo no Keiji (Five Edict Boards), posted at almost the same time as Charter Oath of Five Articles in March, 1868, goso was prohibited along with toto (conspiracy) and chosan (fleeting the fields and fleeting to the other districts to evade onerous taxes).

Goso in Poland

The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth magnate, which existed from the 14th century to the 18th century and was one of the greatest nations in the history of Europe, often experienced large-scale goso when conflicts of interests intensified between the King (the central government) and the major nobles (magnate), the King and the nobles (szlachta), and the parliament (Sejm) and some of the minor nobles. In Poland, goso is referred to as 'rokosz,' a word of foreign origin that has its roots in the word 'rákos' meaning 'gathering' in the Hungarian language.

With a significant decline in crop prices in the 17th century Europe, conflicts of interests disseminated between the social classes in Poland, where crop was a major article of export, followed by rokosz on a larger scale. In 1606, a group comprising both Catholics and Protestants, which had Mikołaj Zebrzydowski as its leader, formed a grand-scale rokosz against King Sigismund III, who intended to establish a monarchy in place of democracy, and the Society of Jesus, which supported him, appealing for Golden Liberty and religious tolerance (protection of Protestant rights); this is known as the Zebrzydowski's Rebellion. But the biggest rokosz in the Polish history is the Khmelnytsky Uprising in Ukraine, the territory of the Kingdom of Poland at the time, which continued from 1648 until 1657 and in which Cossacks (whose registration in the central government in Warsaw, the capital, officially made them local nobles in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth) in the parliament (Sejm) who objected to the discriminatory policies on them raised a rebellion with the banner of the King raised, appealing for furthering of their rights including autonomy.

In Poland at the time, goso was a right legally defined by the Henrician Articles and pacta conventa (contractual agreements on governance, which allowed all the nobles to form goso, and even if it was suppressed, its leaders were not to be accused of the act of goso itself. In fact, the Zebrzydowski's Rebellion described above, was not viewed as an act of treason. In the Khmelnytsky Uprising, Khmelnytsky insisted that it was goso and not treason against the nation, based on the fact that he was considered as a Cossack officially registered in the central government in Warsaw and as a szlachta (noble), and that he raised the banner of the King.

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