Be Careful Where You Die
[DROP-TITLE]: IATSUKAI YORAN [How to Handle Unusual Situations].
One sheet of paper (318 x 465 mm.), woodblock printed on both sides. [Japan]: ca. 1764-85.
In Edo-period Japan, bansho (small buildings or huts for security and surveillance guards) were placed in central locations. There were several types of bansho, and the present document was printed as an instructional legal guide for security men in tsuji-bansho (neighborhood guard stations), located in the streets of samurai residences, especially in Edo.
The guards needed to know what to do and how to proceed in the unusual situations they might confront: deserted children (a child under three is “deserted” but an older child is “lost”), drunks and vagrants, corpses (murders or suicides), violent behavior, illegal disposals and dumpings, altercations and fights in front of the samurai mansions, fugitives, violence and injuries within the samurai residences, violent attacks using swords, jurisdictional questions (if a body is found on the border between two tsuji-bansho, the location of a foot of the body — for men it was the left foot and for women, the right — determined which jurisdiction had responsibility), lost objects, unruly or dead horses, how to rescue people who had fallen into moats, suspicious characters, accidents on the streets, etc. Many case studies are provided.
At the end of the reverse side, there is a sort of afterword stating that these rules were selected by Togen inshi (a pen name), with his seal, and that 500 sheets were printed. The person responsible for this document, Seisai (another pen name), has placed his seal at the beginning of the text.
In fine condition and a remarkable survival.
Item ID: 8651