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Dash101
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 6:51 am    Post subject: Okubo Ichizo Reply with quote
I was curious if some of you could post additional reference material (or suggest books or web sites with detailed information) on this very influential and somewhat tragic figure.

My curiosity was peaked when I was looking for references to other assassination similar to that of Sakamoto Ryoma and the parallels are rather interesting.
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heron
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Donald Keene gives a good account of the assassination, the reasons behind it, and the outcome in Emperor of Japan: Meiji and his world.

There is heaps of stuff on Okubo Toshimichi (the name he is more commonly known by, I think) on the web, especially since you read Japanese.

I'm not sure I would compare Okubo to Sakamoto Ryoma, apart from the fact that they were both assassinated. I think Okubo is much more like Kido Takayoshi in that he had the confidence and trust of his daimyo, and followed a similar career path. But after the Restoration he was perceived as high-handed and selfish, and he offended both the "right" and the "left". Kido was also targeted by the same assassins, led by Shimada Ichiro, but died of illness (May 26 1877), which shows among other things how long the plot had been in progress since Okubo died in May 1878.

I've got another book 薩摩のキセキ/ The Soul of Satsuma, which is about Saigo, Okubo and Shimazu Nariakira but I haven't got around to reading it yet Sad
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kitsuno
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Okubo Toshimichi wrote a book (either in English or it was translated into English) in the very early 20th century. I can't remember the name, but I know the University of Hawaii library has at least 3 copies of it.

Here's another one:

Iwata, Masukazu. Okubo Toshimichi: The Bismarck of Japan. University of California Press (1964). ASIN: B000FFQUIG
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Dash101
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Quote:
I'm not sure I would compare Okubo to Sakamoto Ryoma, apart from the fact that they were both assassinated.


Agreed that they were certainly two very separate mind sets on a common cause. Rather I found it interesting that both assassinations have an undercurrent, as you correctly pointed out, that seemed to start with a genesis moment, and slowly grow until finally the incidents took place. Or rather that was at least the initial interest that beaconed me to look deeper into Okubo's life story.

But such a key individual, once and for a short time, the most powerful man in the Meiji Government, is certainly something I would like to know more about.

薩摩のキセキ sounds interesting. I will look into this.

Quote:
Okubo Toshimichi wrote a book (either in English or it was translated into English) in the very early 20th century. I can't remember the name, but I know the University of Hawaii library has at least 3 copies of it.


I had no idea he had in fact penned a book on his own. Very interesting how these key figures all had time to write. (Katsu Kaishi, Nakaoka Shintaro with his Diary, Saigo-san with his... Great for us types anyways).

I appriciate the insight on this. I will follow up on this.

Quote:
Iwata, Masukazu. Okubo Toshimichi: The Bismarck of Japan. University of California Press (1964). ASIN: B000FFQUIG


Found it (where else) on Amazon and placed an order. Only one on there so lets hope it works out! From what I know of Okubo, Bismarck was a kind of idol of his and was an inspiration to him and Ito Hirobumi during the early days... Interesting title. Very apropos..

Thank you again!!
Quote:
http://www.amazon.com/OKUBO-TOSHIMICHI-Bismarck-Masakazu-Iwata/dp/B000WW4EJ4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1203480269&sr=8-1
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Scrap that - if he wrote it, it was in the late 19th century, as he was quite dead by the 20th. But it might be the "Bismarck" book I'm thinking of. UH has a bunch of copies of it, it looked pretty interesting. There are a lot of books on Meiji-era figures at the UH library that were never republished.
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Dash101
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 2:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Does UH have an online listing of publications of inventory in its library?
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