Jan 13, 2011

Bandits in China and Lower Warriors in Japan

I read Toshio Takashima's book "Big Bandits in China, the Complete Version" again. Inamoto recommended this book (http://d.hatena.ne.jp/yinamoto/20100302/p1), and it is really an interesting book. You should not miss it when you want to understand China.

Most interesting part of this book must be his assertion that the founding the People's Republic of China by Mao Tse-tung was the same as the founding dynasties by bandit leaders like Han and Ming. I am prevailed on his augument.

In the introduction of this book Takashima summarizes the social conditions of appearing bandits based on Eric Hobsbawm's book "Bandits". I will cite it, although it is a little too long.

Bandits appear in an agricultural society on the stage between a clan society and a modern capitalist society. An agricultural society is based on agriculture (including pasturage). In an agricultural society some of feudal lords, cities, attorneys, bankers and so on are ruling a rural area, and farmers who have farm hire agricultural labors. In such a society, and in such an age, bandits usually appear, especially in Peru, Sicilia, Ukraine, Indonesia and China.

In such an agricultural society rural surplus-population appears in the place where agriculture don't need many works, or lusty men can't have enough jobs. This is a source of bandits.

An ideal circumstance for bandits is that dominance is established independently in each region. If they commit a crime in area A, they could escape to area B. A could not arrest them, and B would not be interested in what they did in area B.

In the modern society where economy, transportation and communication are developed and a government is functional, bandits would disappear. The society has such a good road connection that the number of bandits is decreasing. (pp26-27)

In the book "Lower Warriors in Battlefields" lower warriors in the period of Civil War in Japan who Hisashi Fujiki described are consistent with bandits who Hobsbawm described. The fact that Hideyoshi Toyotomi who had been a lower peasant unified Japan at the end of he period of Civil War might correspond to the fact that some of bandit leaders made their own dynasties in China.

After Hideyoshi Toyotomi and Ieyasu Tokugawa unified Japan, the condition that bandits infested disappeared. In China there was this condition up to the mid-twentieth century. (Of course Japanese armies in the war between Japan and China were bandits.)

In the modern China this condition has disappeared, has it? Or if the dominance of the China Communist Party breaks down, bandits would infest again, would they?

I will be keeping on watching China.

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