Why did the Shogun issue a decree in 1635 Japanese people from leaving Japan

History
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Why did the Shogun issue a decree in 1635 that prohibited Japanese people from leaving Japan and foreigners, except for a handful of European traders, from entering Japan?

Jun 11th, 2015

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  • The Japanese were to be kept within Japan’s own boundaries. Strict rules were set to prevent them from leaving the country, and if any such attempt was made, they would face penalty of death. Europeans that entered Japan illegally would face the death penalty as well.
  • Catholicism was strictly forbidden. Those found practicing the Christian faith were subject to investigation, and anyone associated with Catholicism would be punished. To encourage the search for those who still followed Christianity, rewards were given to those who were willing to turn them in. Prevention of missionary activity was also stressed by the edict; no missionary was allowed to enter, and if apprehended by the government, he would face harsh sentences.
  • Trade restrictions and strict limitations on goods were set to limit the ports open to trade, and the merchants who would be allowed to engage in trade. Relations with the Portuguese were cut off entirely; Chinese merchants and those of the Dutch were restricted to enclaves in Nagasaki. Trade was also conducted with China through the semi-independent vassal kingdom of ryuk with korea via the Tushima domain, and with the and also Ainu peoplethrough the matsumae domain.

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Jun 11th, 2015

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