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企業戦略 2021.04.09

CS 22-上杉鷹山の改革 Reform of Yozan Uesugi

歳入の3倍にも膨れ上がった赤字を抱え、ひん死の状態にあった藩を保守派の重臣たちの厳しい反発にさらされながらも、下級武士や領民と共に次々と改革を行い見事に藩を蘇らせた米沢藩主・上杉鷹山(ようざん)

江戸時代中期の名君として名高い、出羽米沢藩第9代藩主上杉治憲(出家号は鷹山、以下鷹山)は、非常食の普及や藩士・農民へ倹約の奨励など対策に努め、自らも質素倹約を率先垂範して、破綻寸前の藩財政を立て直した。

鷹山の言葉、「なせば成る なさねば成らぬ 何事も 成らぬは人の なさぬなりけり」とともに、ジョン・F・ケネディが第35代アメリカ合衆国大統領に就任した際に(1961年)に、「日本でいちばん尊敬する人物」として鷹山の名前を挙げたとされることでも有名である。

1.米沢

米沢は、山形県の東南部に位置する置賜郡に所在する人口8万人余の中核都市で、上杉米沢藩の城下町として知られる。日本海側気候の盆地特有の気候を示しており、夏は日中は暑くても朝晩は涼しく、冬は一日中氷点下の真冬日となる日も多く寒さが厳しい豪雪地帯である。

名産品として、鷹山による桑の植立、藩営縮織工場の設立を端とする米沢織があり、特産品には、寒暖差が大きい気候を利用したリンゴ栽培や三大和牛に数えられる「米沢牛」、さらには鷹山が栽培を奨励したとされる雪国の冬でも育つ伝統野菜の「雪菜」、タンパク源として鷹山が飼育を始めたとされる「米沢鯉」などがある。

イギリスの女流探検家イザベラ・バードは、明治初年に日本を訪れて東北・北海道を旅した際の紀行文「日本奥地紀行」で、立ち寄った当時の米沢を次のように描写している。

「南に繁栄する米沢の町があり、北には湯治客の多い温泉場の赤湯があり、まったくエデンの園である。鋤で耕したというより、筆で描いたように美しい。・・・実り豊かに微笑する大地であり、アジアのアルカディア(桃源郷)である。自力で栄えるこの豊沃な大地は、すべて、それを耕作している人びとの所有するところのものである。・・・・・・美しさ、勤勉、安楽さに満ちた魅惑的な地域である。山に囲まれ、明るく輝く松川に灌漑されている。どこを見渡しても豊かで美しい農村である。」

しかし、イザベラ・バードが訪れる100年余り前の鷹山の前藩主重定の時代(宝暦年間、1751~1764年)には、最上川の氾濫、宝暦の大飢饉などもあり農村の荒廃が進んで、藩内人口が13万5千人から10万人を割り込み耕作放棄地も多かったのである。イザベラ・バードが讃えたこの「桃源郷」は、鷹山(明和4年<1767年>襲封)の希有のリーダーシップの下での藩士・領民の自助・互助・扶助により造り出されたものであった。

2.名門「上杉家」の誇りと藩財政破綻への道

上杉家は京都・藤原家の流れを汲む家柄であったとされ、室町時代には関東管領の職を世襲し、一門で上野、越後、武蔵、相模の4か国の守護を占める有力守護大名として栄えた。米沢上杉藩の家祖は謙信、初代藩主は景勝で、豊臣政権では五大老を務めて会津藩120万石を領した。しかし、関ヶ原合戦で西軍に味方したため、その後会津から米沢に転封させられて石高は1/4の30万石に減知されたが、米沢に転封した折に会津120万石時代の家臣団5千人を召し放つことをしなかったために人口に占める家臣の割合が高かったとされる(1,800人が適正)。一方で、徳川幕府は、名門である上杉家に対して、御三家に次ぐ格式を持つ「国持大名」の呼称を許した。

寛文4年(1664年)には、第3代藩主綱勝(つなかつ)が跡取りを決めないうちに急逝したため、さらに15万石まで減封されたが、47万石の大藩並みの家臣団を抱えたままで人件費負担が一層過大になった。そして、吉良家から養子として藩主に迎えた第4代藩主綱憲が名家の誇りを重んじて豪奢な生活を改められず、吉良家の新築費用や巨額借金の肩代わりをするなど浪費を続けたため、謙信・景勝の時代に蓄えた15万両(150億円)も使い果たした。鷹山の養父(第8代藩主重定(しげさだ))は、鷹山が藩主を継ぐ4年前には「領地を公儀に返上」する決意をしたほどであった(親戚筋の尾張藩の説得で思い留まった)。

17世紀の徳川幕藩体制になると、全国各地で開発が進み耕地が拡大したが、18世紀の半ばには、開発可能な土地は耕地化され尽くす一方で、拡大した耕地から供給される米の増加が深刻な米余りと米価の下落をもたらし、幕府・諸藩の財政や武士・農民に深刻な影響を及ぼした。米沢藩でも、労働力人口の減少、多くの耕作放棄地や村を捨てる農民が発生し、藩財政は益々逼迫して、上杉家先祖伝来の道具類を質入れして借金を重ね、「半知借上」(家臣の知行・俸禄の借り上げ)や厳しい年貢の取り立てを行ったが、藩財政は破綻の淵に追いやられ、藩士・領民は疲弊していった。「年貢や諸役の過度な増徴で農作業に支障を来して、多くの農民が田地・家財を売り払い潰れていった・・」と悪政を指弾する告発状が領民から米沢藩に隣接する幕府代官所に提出されている(寛文6年<1666年>)。

3.鷹山の改革

米沢藩は、農村の疲弊が藩財政の逼迫をもたらしていることや農村が疲弊する原因を理解できていなかった。そして、藩士からの半知借上、町・村への増税、御用金・人別銭の徴収、献金の見返りとして武士身分・格式を付与するといった施策によって藩士・領民からの信頼を損ねるともに、藩の運営資金の融通元である豪商との信頼関係が崩壊したこともあり、前述のとおり、鷹山の養父が「領地の公儀返上」を一時決意するほどの惨状であった。

明和4年(1767年)、鷹山は「民に父母」たる決意をもって第9代米沢藩主に就き、「大倹」(大倹約令)の意志と方針を表明し、自らも「綿衣着用、食事は一汁一菜、藩主仕切料(藩主の報酬)を1,500両から世子時代の209両に据え置く、奥女中を50人から9人に減員」と厳しく律する姿勢を示した。明和6年(1769年)に鷹山が米沢に初入部すると、農村の現状を把握して農民の過重な負担を軽減して地域の実情と農民の意向を汲んだ農村振興策を立案・実施するために「郷村出役」(ごうそんでやく:任命された有能な下級藩士が農村部の拠点に居住して支配行政・民衆教化にあたる)を新設して12名を派遣するとともに、世襲代官の一部を罷免して、農村の末端に至るまでの支配機構・体制を整えた。町人・百姓の凶作・飢饉への備えとして城下や農村部に義倉を設置し、検知帳と現況の照合、武士による年貢取立に対する統制等を矢継ぎ早に行っている。

「郷村出役」の役職新設や藩士が百姓同様の蓑笠姿で土木作業等に従事するといった政策は、重臣層中心に誇り高い家臣からの反発を招いた。まだ改革成果は顕れず、藩財政の好転や家中の窮乏問題の見通しが立たない中で、安永2年(1773年)に門閥譜代の7重臣が、「鷹山側近による今までの格式を壊す強権的な進め方」に反発して、40箇条にのぼる弾劾書を携えて改革の撤回と側近の罷免を直接鷹山に迫る事件(七家騒動)が起こった。鷹山は、事実関係の真偽を確認した上で7家を処罰した。このことは、衆人環視下にある藩主の行いにおいては藩主の誠実な言動と「見える化」が重要であることを再認識させ、予算書・財政収支明細帳を情報公開し、年中行事や法令集等の公文書を作成・公開して、問題の見える化を進めた。

天明5年(1785年)、鷹山は改革半ばで養父重定の子治広(はるひろ)に藩主の座を引継ぎ、鷹山の実子顕孝(あきたか)を世子としたが、鷹山の名声が耳に入っていた将軍徳川家斉(いえなり)から、新藩主治広の後見として米沢藩政の指導にあたるようにとの幕命が下り、藩主後見役として改革を進めることになった。天明年間(1781~1789年)に至っても藩財政の逼迫は続いており、寛政2年(1790年)に鷹山は1年間の藩財政の収支を記した「会計一円帳」を家臣団に開示して「領内の四民全体のための改革意見」を募集し、提出された上書は340通にのぼった。さらに米沢城大手門前に上書箱を設置して百姓・町人に至るまでの上書を募った上で、政治機構改革、領民救済、農村復興、殖産興業などにわたる寛政改革が展開された。

領内の武士と農工商の四民全体を「御国民」と呼び、改革政策は御国民全体の利益を目指すもので、特に基幹産業を担う農民の利益を優先すべきとされた。農村の立て直しは、全世襲代官を廃止して、新たな代官や郷村出役には誠実で実力ある者を配し、村役人を通じた改革方針を徹底して行われた。年貢の取立法の改正、勧農金貸付制度の開設、馬代・農馬の貸付、備荒貯蓄計画の継続などの貧窮農民救済と農業振興に向けた農村政策や治水事業をはじめ、手余り地の多い村への入り百姓政策、下級藩士の次男・三男への農地譲渡による土着奨励、年貢収納の連帯責任や相互扶助機能を持つ村落の自主的共同集団(伍什組合:ごじゅうくみあい)の編成など、現場主義に基づく緻密な対策が講じられた。

殖産に関しても、漆(実が蝋燭の原料)、桑(蚕の餌)、楮(和紙の原料)各100万本を植立て特産品の増産に努め、鷹山は自らの仕切料から50両を下賜して殖産を奨励した。特に、桑栽培・養蚕は領内全体で奨励され、先染め・縮布の高い技術に基づく「米沢織」は家臣の妻や娘に織らせて、年4万両の収入をもたらした。

鷹山は文政5年(1822年)に死去したが(享年72才)、その翌年に米沢藩は借入金16万両を完済し、5千両の蓄えを遺したという。

今回のまとめ

鷹山は、寛延4年(1751年)日向国高鍋藩3万石の大名秋月種美(あきづきたねみつ)の二男として江戸で生まれた。上杉家の出であった鷹山の祖母が前上杉藩主重定の娘にめあわせて世子とすることを希望して重定が受入れたもので、9才で上杉家に入った鷹山は君主としての徳を磨いて米沢藩を再興させるべく、儒学を基に徹底した君主教育を受けた。しかし、上杉家と家格・家風が全く異なる小藩の末子が名門上杉家の跡取りになることについて、家臣の多くは好ましくないと受け止めており、藩主に就く前から厳しい視線を浴びていた。

そのような中で17才で藩主に就いた鷹山は、国造りの同志になる名側近に支えられながら藩主として「富国安民」を目指して「地の利を尽くす」姿勢を自らが先頭に立って推進し、試行錯誤を繰り返しながら、寿命を終える頃には領民は豊かになり膨大な藩の借金も完済したのである。

鷹山が厳しい環境の中で名君と讃えられる偉業を成し遂げられた要因には、藩内の四民のための君主であろうとする一貫した強固な姿勢、有為な人材の登用、現場主義、情報を公開して問題を見える化、四民の当事者意識の変革、自立再生に向けた政策推進への四民の協力があった。

これらの鷹山の施策の考え方は、今日の企業経営論にも通じるものがある。リスクマネジメントという言葉がない時代に、藩という組織が倒産するリスクに対して、備荒貯蓄計画や村落の自主的共同集団の編成等によって危機に備えたのは、まさに「リスクマネジメント体制」の整備に他ならない。

ケネディ大統領が、就任演説で破綻の危機にあった米国財政の再建のために国民に自覚を促すにあたり、鷹山を引き合いに出して「自らの範」としたことは、鷹山がさすがの名君であったことを物語っている。現下のコロナ禍が企業にもたらす危機に対しても、鷹山が実践した「現場を重視したトップの粘り強いリーダーシップによる全社員の自立能動的なリスクマネジメント活動」の重要性を再認識させられる。

                                            執筆者:菅原   伸 雄
                                          翻訳者:羽谷 信一郎

 

English Translation

Corporate strategy 22- Reform of Yozan Uesugi

With a deficit that was three times the size of its revenue, the Yonezawa clan was in a state of dire straits. Despite the severe opposition of his conservative vassals, Yozan Uesugi, the lord of the Yonezawa clan, successfully revived the clan through a series of reforms together with the lower-ranking samurai and the local people.

The 9th lord of the Dewa-Yonezawa clan, Harunori Uesugi (known as Yozan), a famous lord in the middle of the Edo period, took measures such as spreading emergency rations and encouraging the clan members and farmers to be thrifty.

It is said that John F. Kennedy named Yozan as “the most respected person in Japan” when he was inaugurated as the 35th President of the United States of America in 1961, along with Yozan’s word, “If you do it, it will be done; if you don’t do it, it will not be done”.

1. Yonezawa

Yonezawa is a core city with a population of over 80,000 located in Okitama County in the southeast of Yamagata Prefecture, and is known as the castle town of the Uesugi Yonezawa clan. The climate is typical of a basin on the Sea of Japan side, with hot days in summer but cool mornings and evenings, and cold snowy winters with many days of freezing temperatures.

Yonezawa is famous for its mulberry trees planted by Yozan, and for the Yonezawa textile, which dates back to the establishment of the Yonezawa silk factory by Yonezawa clan. Yonezawa beef, one of the three major Japanese beef breeds, and traditional vegetables that grow even in winter in a snowy country, “Yukina”, which can grow even in winter in a snowy country and is said to have been encouraged by Yozan, and “Yonezawa carp”, which Yozan began to raise as a source of protein.

Isabella Bird, a British female explorer, visited Japan in the first year of the Meiji era (1868-1912) and travelled through the Tohoku and Hokkaido regions. In her travelogue, “Travels in the Interior of Japan”, she describes Yonezawa as follows.

“To the south lies the prosperous town of Yonezawa, and to the north the hot spring resort of Akayu, with its many cures, a veritable Garden of Eden. It is as beautiful as if it had been painted with a brush rather than ploughed with a spade. It is a land that smiles with fruitfulness, the Arcadia of Asia. This fertile land, which flourishes on its own, belongs entirely to the people who cultivate it. ・・・・・・ is an enchanting region, full of beauty, hard work and ease. It is surrounded by mountains and irrigated by the bright and shining Song River. Everywhere you look there are rich, beautiful villages.”

However, more than 100 years before Isabella Bird’s visit, during the reign of Shigesada, the former lord of the Yonezawa clan (1751-1764), the flooding of the Mogami River and the Horeki famine had devastated the countryside, and the population of the clan had fallen from 135,000 to 100,000, with much of the land abandoned. This “Xanadu”, praised by Isabella Bird, was created by the self-help, mutual-help and support of the clansmen and the people under the exceptional leadership of Yozan (who took the clan in 1767).

2. The pride of the Uesugi as a prestigious family and the road to financial ruin

The Uesugi family is said to have been descended from the Fujiwara family of Kyoto. In the Muromachi period (1336-1573), the Uesugi family succeeded to the position of Kanto region governor, and prospered as a powerful guardian daimyo (feudal lord) whose family occupied the four provinces of Kozuke, Echigo, Musashi and Sagami.

The ancestor of the Yonezawa Uesugi clan was Kenshin, and the first lord of the clan was Kagekatsu, who served as the fifth daimyo under Toyotomi and held 1.2 million koku in the Aizu domain. However, as the clan sided with the western army at the Battle of Sekigahara, they were forced to move from Aizu to Yonezawa, and the clan was reduced to 300,000 koku, a quarter of its original size. When the clan moved to Yonezawa, they did not release the 5,000 vassals from the 1.2 million koku Aizu clan, so that the ratio of vassals to the population was high (1,800 was appropriate). On the other hand, the Tokugawa Shogunate allowed the Uesugi family, a prestigious family, to be called “Kunimochi daimyo”, the second most prestigious of the three families of Tokugawa.

In 1664, when Tsunakatsu, the third lord of the domain, died suddenly before an heir could be chosen, the feudal domain was further reduced to 150,000 koku, but with a vassalage of 470,000 koku, the burden of labour costs became even more excessive.The fourth feudal lord, Tsunanori, who had been adopted from the Kira family, was so proud of his family that he was unable to change his opulent lifestyle and continued to waste money on the Kira family’s new buildings and huge debts. He also spent the 150,000 ryo (15 billion yen) that had accumulated during the reigns of Kenshin and Kagekatsu. Yozan’s adoptive father (the 8th lord Shigesada) even decided to “give back his domain to the Tokugawa shogunate”, four years before Yozan took over the clan (he was persuaded to do so by his relative in the Owari clan).

During the Tokugawa shogunate’s rule in the 17th century, the development of arable land increased throughout the country. By the middle of the 18th century, all the land that could be developed had been converted into arable land, and the increase in the supply of rice from the expanded arable land led to a serious surplus of rice and a fall in the price of rice, which had a serious impact on the finances of the shogunate and the various clans, as well as on the samurai and farmers. The Yonezawa clan also experienced a decrease in the working population, many abandoned fields and farmers abandoned their villages, and the clan’s finances became increasingly tight. The clan’s finances were pushed to the brink of bankruptcy and the people were exhausted. In 1666, a letter of complaint was submitted to the shogunate’s office adjacent to the Yonezawa clan from the people of the clan, pointing out the misrule of the clan: “The excessive increase in annual tribute and other duties hindered farming, and many farmers sold their land and family property and went bankrupt”.

3. Yozan’s reform

The Yonezawa clan did not understand that the exhaustion of rural areas brought about the tightening of the clan finances and the cause of the exhaustion of rural areas. In addition, Yozan’s foster father temporarily gave back the fief to the government, as mentioned above. As mentioned above, Yozan’s adoptive father decided to “return the territory to the government”.

In 1767, Yozan became the 9th lord of Yonezawa with a determination to be a “father and mother to the people” and expressed his will and policy of “Great frugality order “. When Yozan entered Yonezawa for the first time in 1769, in order to understand the present situation of rural areas, to reduce the excessive burden on farmers, and to formulate and implement rural development measures based on the actual situation of the area and the farmers’ intentions, he established the “Goson-deyaku” (a competent low-ranking clan member appointed to live in the base of rural areas and take charge of administration and popular education) and dispatched 12 people. In addition, some of the hereditary magistrates were dismissed, and a system of control was established down to the end of the rural areas. In order to prepare the townspeople and peasants for bad harvests and famine, “Giso” were set up under the castle and in rural areas.

The establishment of the new position of “Goson-deyaku” and the policy that clansmen were required to work on civil engineering projects wearing the same type of coats as peasants caused opposition from the chief retainers and other proud members of the family. In 1773, the seven vassals of the clan, who were the principal members of the clan, objected to the “coercive measures of Yozan’s aides” and demanded that Yozan withdraw the reform and dismiss his aides with a letter of impeachment containing 40 articles. After confirming the authenticity of the facts, Yozan punished the seven families. This reaffirmed the importance of the lord’s sincere words and deeds and “visualization” in the conduct of the lord in the eyes of the public, and promoted the visualization of the issue by making the budget book and the financial statement book open to the public, and preparing and opening official documents such as annual events and law books.

In 1785, Yozan handed over the feudal lordship to his adopted father Shigesada’s son, Haruhiro, who was in the middle of his reformation, and made Yozan’s own son, Akitaka, his successor. However, the shogun Ienari Tokugawa, who had heard of Yozan’s fame, ordered him to be the guardian of the new feudal lord, Haruhiro, and to take charge of the Yonezawa domain administration. During the Tenmei era (1781-1789), the clan’s finances were still tight, and in 1790, Yozan disclosed to his vassals the “Minute Account Book”, which recorded the clan’s financial income and expenditure for the year, and asked for “opinions on reform for the benefit of all the people in the domain”. In addition, a letter box was set up in front of the main gate of Yonezawa Castle to collect letters from peasants and townspeople.

The reforms were aimed at the interests of the entire population, with particular priority given to the interests of the peasantry, who were responsible for key industries. The reform of the rural areas was carried out by abolishing all hereditary magistrates, appointing new magistrates and village officials who were honest and capable, and thoroughly implementing the reform policy through the village officials. In addition to the rural policies and flood control projects for the relief of poor farmers and the promotion of agriculture, such as the revision of the law on the collection of annual tribute, the establishment of the system of loans for farmers’ money, loans for horses and horses, and the continuation of the Bikou Savings Plan (to store rice, grain and money in case of a bad harvest or famine), the policy of encouraging farmers to settle in villages where there was a large surplus of land, the transfer of farmland to the second and third sons of lower-ranking clansmen, the joint and several responsibility for the collection of annual tribute, and the voluntary community of villages with the function of mutual support were introduced. These measures were based on a field-based approach and included the formation of voluntary community groups (gojyu kumiai).

Yozan planted 1,000,000 trees of lacquer (the fruit of which is used for candles), mulberry (food for silkworms) and kozo (paper mulberry) to increase the production of these special products. In particular, mulberry cultivation and sericulture were promoted in the whole territory, and “Yonezawa-ori”, based on the high technology of yarn dyeing and shrunken cloth, was woven by the wives and daughters of his retainers, and brought in 40,000 ryo a year.

Yozan died in 1822 at the age of 72. The following year, the Yonezawa clan paid off 160,000 ryo of loans and left behind 5,000 ryo of savings.

Summary of this issue

Yozan was born in 1751 in Edo as the second son of Tanemitsu Akizuki, a feudal lord of 30,000 koku in Takanabe clan in Hyuga province (current Miyazaki prefecture). Yozan’s grandmother, who was from the Uesugi family, wished to marry the daughter of Shigesada, the former lord of the Uesugi domain, and Shigesada accepted him as his son. However, many of his vassals did not like the idea of the youngest son of a small clan, whose family was completely different from the Uesugi family, becoming the heir of the prestigious Uesugi family.

Yozan, who became the feudal lord at the age of 17, with the support of his aides who became his comrades in “nation building”, took the lead in promoting the attitude of “serving the interests of the land” as the feudal lord, aiming for “wealthy country and peaceful people”.

Yozan’s success was due to his consistent and strong attitude to be a sovereign for the all people of the clan, his recruitment of talented people, his hands-on approach, his openness to information and visualization of problems, the change in the consciousness of the all people in the clan, and the cooperation of the all people in promoting policies for self-reliance and revival.

These ideas of Yozan’s policies can be understood in today’s corporate management theory. At a time when the term “risk management” did not exist, the clan prepared for the risk of bankruptcy by organising a reserve savings plan and voluntary communal groups in the villages, which was nothing less than the development of a “risk management system”. In his inaugural address, President Kennedy urged the people of the United States to be aware of the need to restore the country’s finances, which were in danger of collapse. This reminds us again of the importance of “independent and active risk management activities by all employees under the persistent leadership of the top management with emphasis on the field”, which Yozan practiced in response to the current crisis brought about by the coivid-19 disaster.

                                                                                                                                  Author: Nobuo Sugawara
                                                                                                                                  Translator: Shinichiro Hatani