The genroku watershed (1688-1704: the significance, 1) marks end of bureaucratization of the samurai. Until the genroku period, most people thought that war was the regular way of events: 2) merchant-economic power becomes a key in society, 3) end of economic good times for many. Start of serious fiscal and social problems for the state writ large. Example 1: population trends- comparing to the start of the. Tokugawa period, population doubled by 1721 (in around 100 years: leveled off in the next 140 years. Many, if not all, fell into debt to the merchants: 2) rice-based economy"s self-sufficiency began to break down. That was the only source of wealth- all wealth was calculated on the basis of rice. Great cities were developing- edo was the largest city in the world during the 17th century- had about a million people in it. A village was never too far away from a town or city: rice gave way to currency.