This July, a new Twitter account appeared, and began tweeting out incredible small-scale, everyday, “truth is stranger than fiction” sort of stories about life in Edo period Japan.
Just precisely which graduate student or professor is behind the account is a mystery. But I believe they’ve said that all the stories come from actual Edo period sources – if they’re not direct “fact” from individuals’ diaries or the like, they’re at least widespread rumors of the time.
These are hilarious and wonderful, but they’re also a great insight into the great variety and reality of experience. It can be all too easy sometimes to imagine the past in a simplified fashion, without all of these little hiccups.
Samurai bureaucrats woke up late. They had (literal) cold feet. They struggled with petty little things in life like we all do.
I hope they can get enough stories to keep it up. I’m certainly going to keep an eye out in my documents for anything along these lines to submit as suggestions.