Tokyo Jidai Matsuri 3nov09 15 4

During the Edo Period (1603-1867), the Sankin Kotai was a system established by the Tokugawa Shogunate (started by Tokugawa Iemitsu in 1635), to prevent its subordinate feudal lords from rising in rebellion. By obliging the daimyo lords to travel back and forth between their domains and Edo, the Shogunate aimed at weakening their financial power. — Japan National Tourism Organisation

The feudal lord’s procession included the lord in his palanquin, his family, servants, samurai warriors, a band of musicians, and baggage carriers — a costly trip indeed.

The Tokugawa Shogunate (also known as the Edo period), lasted from 1603 (Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first Tokugawa Shogun) until 1867, when the last Shogun (Tokugawa Yoshinobu) was defeated in a military uprising by feudal lords. Political power shifted to the Emperor in 1868. Edo was renamed Tokyo.