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Best book(s) on the Shinsengumi

 
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kitsuno
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2006 2:42 am    Post subject: Best book(s) on the Shinsengumi Reply with quote
Since there seems to be such a huge general fascination with the bakumatsu and the shinsengumi - and since I have yet to read a single book about any of it - can anyone recommend 1-3 of the best books (in English for now) that cover the shinsengumi in particular and the bakumatsu in general?
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kitsuno
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2006 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Looks like the reply was lost, and I didn't make a note - what was it again?
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Wave Tossed
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2006 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I don't really understand all the fascination with the Shinsengumi. To me, they seemed more like a group of pro-Shogunate thugs i.e. "ronin hunters." Oh well....

The person who fascinates me the most is Sakamoto Ryoma. And I'll have to go to the thread I see about Sakamoto Ryoma's assassination. Smile
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Mencius
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2006 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Wave Tossed wrote:
I don't really understand all the fascination with the Shinsengumi. To me, they seemed more like a group of pro-Shogunate thugs i.e. "ronin hunters." Oh well....


But they were cool. And they have all those references in various anime series. Very Happy

I have to admit, I wondered the same thing when I was watching "When the Last Sword is Drawn"....
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caocao74
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2006 8:31 am    Post subject: Re: Best book(s) on the Shinsengumi Reply with quote
kitsuno wrote:
Since there seems to be such a huge general fascination with the bakumatsu and the shinsengumi - and since I have yet to read a single book about any of it - can anyone recommend 1-3 of the best books (in English for now) that cover the shinsengumi in particular and the bakumatsu in general?


Have you read the book by Romulus Hillsborough (cool name even if the book turns out to be poor Smile ). I just got a copy last week but have yet to start it.
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rizzob
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
There is one book I saw at Barnes and Noble called "Shinsengumi" It isn't very long, I only read the Ikeyeda chapter but it was alright.
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nagaeyari
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 3:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I heard Romulus' Shinsengumi book was crap.

Shinsengumi Chronicles or something like that is great. By Romulus through Ridgeback Press.

His Ryoma is good, too.

I would also recommend Conrad Totman's Collapse of the Tokugawa Bakufu. Wonderful. Never started it, but I love the book anyway.
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Ronin Izumi
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2006 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Wave Tossed wrote:
I don't really understand all the fascination with the Shinsengumi. To me, they seemed more like a group of pro-Shogunate thugs i.e. "ronin hunters." Oh well....

The person who fascinates me the most is Sakamoto Ryoma. And I'll have to go to the thread I see about Sakamoto Ryoma's assassination. Smile


The Shinsengumi were a bunch of pro-shogunate thugs, and although I too fell in love with the romantic image of brave men fighting under the Banner of Truth, the fact is most of them were guys looking for a free lunch status and the right to carry and kill with a sword.
Nevertheless, I still love that uniform.
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Wave Tossed
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2006 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Ronin Izumi wrote:
Wave Tossed wrote:
I don't really understand all the fascination with the Shinsengumi. To me, they seemed more like a group of pro-Shogunate thugs i.e. "ronin hunters." Oh well....

The person who fascinates me the most is Sakamoto Ryoma. And I'll have to go to the thread I see about Sakamoto Ryoma's assassination. Smile


The Shinsengumi were a bunch of pro-shogunate thugs, and although I too fell in love with the romantic image of brave men fighting under the Banner of Truth, the fact is most of them were guys looking for a free lunch status and the right to carry and kill with a sword.
Nevertheless, I still love that uniform.
They have a cool uniform -- and that's about it. In fact, they stole their uniform design from the 47 Ronin's uniforms that they wore the night of their attack on Kira.

I'm much more fascinated with Sakamoto Ryoma. In Hillsborough's book about him, Hillsborough outlines an interesting encounter that Ryoma had with some of the Shinsengumi "ronin-hunters." Apparently Ryoma was able to stare them down.
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nagaeyari
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2006 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I would also like to recommend "Early Modern Japan" and Conrad Totman's "A History of Japan". While the former is specific, the latter will silence your Edo-jidai wiggles while giving you a chance to brush up on any past areas. Neither of these books is going to give an exciting rundown of battles between pro and anti shogunate thugs, but the political and economic backgrounds of the times are heavily discussed.

BTW, I am presently reading "Tokugawa Religion" by...I'll get to that in another post. Anyone read it? Opinions?

Besides that, I got "A History of Japanese Theology," at my nearby University's used bookstore. It's no "Deus Destroyed," but if you'll excuse me asking once more: opinions?
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Hideyoshi120
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2006 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I found Hillsborough's book intresting, but it is the only one I have read on the Shinsengumi or the Bakumatsu for that matter.
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Baian
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2006 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Hillsborough's book Shinsengumi, the Shogun's last samurai corps wasn't that bad. The content was good enough, but was somehow jumping too much. I prefer work in chronological order.
As for work in japanese there's many, but cannot advise you on any particular text.
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