Ōno's case gives insight into the political motivations of domain rulers for obtaining the smallpox vaccine to strengthen territorial control. By shedding light on vaccinations of marginal kinds of subjects such as mountain villagers and outcastes, Ōno's sources also show how smallpox vaccinations reproduced the imaginative geography and power relations of domain rule. Ōno's lord Toshitada seems to have viewed vaccinations as part of a mercantilist agenda. This meant that he prioritized the fiscal needs of his domain, developed and protected its resources, and tried to minimize imports and maximize export revenue. For this reason, he sought to spread the vaccine primarily within his territory, even as he took advantage of the border-crossing networks of his physicians in obtaining the vaccine. This general mindset was probably shared by many domain rulers, including Fukui's, but Toshitada was particularly involved in promoting vaccinations in his domain.
Toshitada regarded all resources within his territory as a potential source of wealth, and this included the laboring bodies of subjects. In 1842 Toshitada launched a major domain reform with the goal of improving the domain’s budgetary situation. During the Tenpō famine in the 1830s, the domain had lost at least 4,900 lives (out of a population of approximately 29,000), and Toshitada apparently saw vaccinations as a way to boost the economy by increasing the number of working bodies [Fukui kenshi, Tsūshi-hen 4, 496]. One of the earliest domain edicts advertising the benefits of the vaccine began with the statement that in “Holland,” not a single life had been lost to smallpox since the commencement of the vaccinations, and the population was increasing every year. In 1858, the government claimed that in the past seven or eight years the domain population had increased by 2,000 thanks to vaccinations [“Shutō shōrei ni tsuki furegaki,” 1851, in Fukui kenshi, Shiryō-hen 7, 458-459].
For Ōno's lord and his advisers, vaccinations were thus linked to territorial rule. On one hand, domain rule, at least in its mercantilist form, seems to have accelerated the spread of smallpox vaccination among the subjects of Ōno domain, given the strong interest in population growth it inspired among administrators. On the other hand, domain rule also hindered transmission because of the domain territory's lack of coherence. Explore the subject of territorial fragmentation. Or stay on this pathway to explore vaccinations in the main part of Ōno's domain territory, including towards mountain villagers, common townspeople, and outcastes.