Peasants Uprising of the Shocho Era (正長の土一揆)

The peasants' uprising of the Shocho era was an uprising that occurred between August and September, 1428 in the Muromachi period. It is also known as the Tokusei uprising of the Shocho era.

It was the first peasant uprising.

With growing social unrest, such as poor harvest (unseasonable weather from the previous year), epidemic (mikka-yami (three-day disease)), and replacement of the shogun (from Yoshimochi ASHIKAGA to Yoshinori ASHIKAGA), bashaku (shipping agents who used horses) in Sakamoto of Omi Province and Otsu demanded debt cancellation.

The uprising was spread all over the Kinai region (provinces surrounding Kyoto and Nara). Farmers who were troubled with debt attacked liquor stores, pawnbrokers and temples (lenders using donations to a temple) to cancel the debts by force.

Debt cancellations were claimed to be executed 'on the part of authorities.'

The pinched bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) ordered Mitsuike HATAKEYAMA, kanrei (shogunal deputy) to repress them. Samurai-dokoro shoshi (Governor of the Board of Retainers) Mitsusuke AKAMATSU also dispatched troops.

However, the uprising kept spreading even into Kyoto City in September. An uprising also occurred in Nara.

Jinson's 'Daijoin Nikki Mokuroku' (Records of major social events from 1065 to 1504) says as following:

In October, 1428, people of the world rose in revolt.'
They attacked liquor stores, pawnbrokers and temples, and so on, took out pawned goods, and torn due bills, calling for debt cancellation.'
Kanrei had calmed this down.'
This may ruin the country more than anything else.'
It was the first uprising by ordinary people since Japan was founded.'

After all, the Muromachi bakufu did not issue Tokuseirei (order for return of land sold and dissolution of debts). However, debts were substantially cancelled since they broke off the bond of the debt, which pawnbrokers kept. In Yamato Province, nearly the entire region was manorialized by their own. Moreover, since Kofuku-ji Temple, which was assigned as Shugo (provincial constable) of the same province by the government, allowed Tokuseirei, it was enforced as an official order.
(Yagyu no Tokusei Hibun (inscription of Tokuseirei) describes Tokuseirei by Kofuku-ji Temple.)

[Original Japanese]