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shikisoku
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Yamashiro no Kami
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Joined: 10 May 2006
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Location: 天領 Tama

PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 9:20 pm    Post subject: Useful Links and Book Recommendations Reply with quote
***Useful Links***
Bakumatsu
http://wiki.samurai-archives.com/index.php?title=Bakumatsu_Period

Sakamoto Ryoma
http://wiki.samurai-archives.com/index.php?title=Sakamoto_Ryoma

The Sakamoto Ryoma Memorial Museum
http://www.kochi-bunkazaidan.or.jp/~ryoma/english1.htm

Shinsengumi
http://wiki.samurai-archives.com/index.php?title=Shinsengumi

Boshin War
http://wiki.samurai-archives.com/index.php?title=Boshin_War

Japanese Old Photographs in Bakumatsu-Meiji period
http://oldphoto.lb.nagasaki-u.ac.jp/en/index.html



Book Recommendations (in English)

Connaughton, Richard. Rising Sun and Tumbling Bear. London: Cassell, 2003.
A detailed telling of the 1904-05 Russo-Japanese War (Meiji Period).

Feifer, George. Breaking Open Japan. New York, NY: Smithsonian Books, 2006.
Tells the story of Perry, Abe and the opening of Japan in 1853.

Hillsborough, Romulus. Ryoma – Life of a Renaissance Samurai. San Francisco, CA: Ridgeback Press, 1999.
A good biography of Sakamoto Ryoma but with a heavy dose of dramatics and some fiction thrown in.

Hillsborough, Romulus. Samurai Sketches. San Francisco, CA: Ridgeback Press, 1999.
A fun collection of short stories from the Bakumatsu period. Makes one hunger for a second edition!

Hillsborough, Romulus. Shinsengumi: The Shōgun’s Last Samurai Corps. North Clarendon, VT: Tuttle Publishing, 2005.
The only English-language book on the Shinsengumi with a propensity to...inform. May require a couple of readings and it is not recommended for readers with little to no previous understanding of the Bakumatsu period.

Jansen, Marius B. Sakamoto Ryoma and the Meiji Restoration. New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 2004.
A very good academic account of Sakamoto Ryoma and his role in the overthrow of the Tokugawa Bakufu.

Jansen, Marius B. The Making of Modern Japan. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2000.
An exhaustive account of the history of Japan from Sekigahara in 1600 to the bursting of the economic Bubble in 1993. Don’t be fooled by the wide span covered in this massive book. Jansen does not disappoint with his telling of the downfall of the Tokugawa regime and the rise of the Meiji state. Don’t drop this book on your toes!

Keene, Donald. Emperor of Japan: Meiji and His World, 1852-1912. New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 2002.
A massive and comprehensive book that covers just about every millimeter of history from the tumultuous final years of Tokugawa rule through Meiji’s accession and the modern Japan that was forged in his name. Don’t drop this book on your toes!

LaFeber, Walter. The Clash: U.S.-Japanese Relations throughout History. New York, NY: W.W. Norton and Co., Inc., 1997.
A masterful telling of the ups and downs of Nichibei relations starting in 1853 through the 1990s. A must for diplomatic history buffs.

Miyoshi, Masao. As We Saw Them . Philadelphia, PA: Paul Dry Books, 2005.
All about the first Japanese embassy to the United States in 1860.


Ravina, Mark. The Last Samurai: The Life and Battles of Saigo Takamori. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2004.
Covers the real life of Saigo Takamori, not Tom Cruise. A useful book about one of the more colorful and powerful characters of the Bakumatsu and early Meiji periods.

Satow, Ernest. A Diplomat in Japan. New York, NY: ICG Muse, Inc. 2001.
First published in 1921, this is Sir Ernst Satow’s first hand account of how he saw the unraveling of the Tokugawa Bakufu and the rise of the Meiji state. He was in a good position to see these things as he actually played a role!

Shiba, Ryotaro. The Last Shogun. New York, NY: Kodansha International, 1998.
A very good and fairly accurate account of the life and times of Tokugawa Yoshinobu. This book is more history than fiction and highly recommended.

Shiba, Ryotaro. Drunk as a Lord. New York, NY: Kodansha International, 2001.
Shiba Ryotaro is revered in Japan for his historical fiction covering the Bakumatsu period. This book proves why he is so highly respected as he masterfully tells 4 short stories involving some of the Bakumatsu period’s more famous characters.
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Obenjo Kusanosuke
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
More book recommendations have been added to the above post.
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