Register :: Log in :: Profile   


Samurai Revolution: Romulus Hillsborough's New Book

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Samurai Archives Citadel Forum Index // The Bakumatsu to Meiji
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Tatsunoshi
Miko no Kami
Miko no Kami
Forum Kanrei
Forum Kanrei
Multi-Year Benefactor
Multi-Year Benefactor



Joined: 07 May 2006
Posts: 4923
Location: 京都日本 Cincinnati, OH

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:56 pm    Post subject: Samurai Revolution: Romulus Hillsborough's New Book Reply with quote
"Samurai Revolution: The Dawn of Modern Japan Seen Through The Eyes of the Shogun's Last Samurai", Romulus Hillsborough's new book on the Bakumatsu/early Meiji (to Saigo's Rebellion) with a focus on Katsu Kaishu is now available. We've read it and it's quite good-loaded with details, footnotes, and excellent Japanese primary sources. It's huge (600 pages) and unlike many of the books we review, it's not ridiculously expensive (can be picked up on Amazon for less than $20). It really excels in explaining the era in a clear manner, particularly the factional switches and philosophical shifts that took place. It might be the best single volume overview of the Bakumatsu in English we've run across, so if you've ever wanted to learn more about this fascinating period of Japanese history, it would make for a great starting point.

We'll be running an interview with the author on the Shogun-ki in two parts, with part one going up Friday. You can find it HERE.


Last edited by Tatsunoshi on Fri Mar 28, 2014 6:45 am; edited 2 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
heron
萩守
Veteran Member
2009 Benefactor
2009 Benefactor



Joined: 27 Jan 2007
Posts: 1136
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Quote:
It might be the best single volume overview of the Bakumatsu in English we've run across, so if you've ever wanted to learn more about this fascinating period of Japanese history, it would make for a great starting point.


That's high praise. I'm going to order a copy. I'm looking forward to the interview.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Obenjo Kusanosuke
Kii no Kami
Kii no Kami
Forum Kanrei
Forum Kanrei
2009 Benefactor
2009 Benefactor



Joined: 16 Dec 2006
Posts: 4554
Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I've ordered a copy as well, but Beasley is still "da man" until proven otherwise. Beasley's book on the Meiji Restoration has been by far the best volume in English available. <Slams fist on the nearest table.>
_________________

Heee heee! Shita iro! Shita iro! Here comes his lordship, Baka Tono!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/rekishinotabi
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Tatsunoshi
Miko no Kami
Miko no Kami
Forum Kanrei
Forum Kanrei
Multi-Year Benefactor
Multi-Year Benefactor



Joined: 07 May 2006
Posts: 4923
Location: 京都日本 Cincinnati, OH

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Obenjo Kusanosuke wrote:
<Slams fist on the nearest table.>


<chuckles> Wink

Beasley is excellent, and is exactly the work I had in mind when I said 'might be'. "Samurai Rev" obviously benefits from the findings of 40 years of scholarship since then and is a livlier read, but Beasley's still a cornerstone.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Obenjo Kusanosuke
Kii no Kami
Kii no Kami
Forum Kanrei
Forum Kanrei
2009 Benefactor
2009 Benefactor



Joined: 16 Dec 2006
Posts: 4554
Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I'm feeling driven by a propensity to kill and a will to power as well as a desire to clean up Japan and slam my fist on tables!
_________________

Heee heee! Shita iro! Shita iro! Here comes his lordship, Baka Tono!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/rekishinotabi
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Tatsunoshi
Miko no Kami
Miko no Kami
Forum Kanrei
Forum Kanrei
Multi-Year Benefactor
Multi-Year Benefactor



Joined: 07 May 2006
Posts: 4923
Location: 京都日本 Cincinnati, OH

PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 6:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
And it's up...

Katsu Kaishu, Navigator Of Chaos: An Interview With Romulus Hillsborough, Author Of “Samurai Revolution”, Pt. 1
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
wicked iemon
The Lemon King
The Lemon King
Iga no Kami
Iga no Kami
Veteran Member



Joined: 24 Jan 2007
Posts: 1091
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:54 am    Post subject: Samurai Revolution . Reply with quote
We were very harsh on his Shinsengumi book ,mainly because we expected more ,as well as the over usage of "Propensity To Kill ". The book was very harsh on Kondo but flattering on Hijikata which is fine with me as i always thought the Hij was the heart and soul of the group anyway .

He is however an enjoyable read ,i would not hesitate to recommend his books to people just getting into this era ,with the caveat that they research further .

This does look like a great book and may well be his masterpiece ,anyway i am going to pick it up .I do hope he writes a book on Takasuji Shinsaku ,he has mentioned in the past that the poetic pistol wielding brothel hopper may be the subject of his own bio ,and that would be a great read .
_________________
"One mans washing machine is another mans music "
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
heron
萩守
Veteran Member
2009 Benefactor
2009 Benefactor



Joined: 27 Jan 2007
Posts: 1136
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 1:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Quote:
poetic pistol wielding brothel hopper


Don't forget to add manic depressive to this description too Very Happy

An English bio of Shinsaku is long overdue, I think.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Hosokawa Gracia
Ronin
Ronin
Veteran Member



Joined: 30 Nov 2007
Posts: 244
Location: West Coast

PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I've been reading about Katsu Rintaro from a completely different kind of source: Clara's Diary: An American Girl in Meiji Japan by Clara Whitney. She knew Katsu Awa as the kindest person of all for he provided a house for the Whitney Family when her father lost his job as a teacher.

In the diary, Tsuda Sen "launched forth in the praises of Mr. Katsu and described him as a gentleman, a philosopher, a philanthropist and a patriot....He looks upon everybody no matter how poor or helpless or weak or oppressed. He is always ready to aid them, even at the expense of his own comforts."

Eventually, Clara married one of Katsu's sons, Kaji Umetaro.
_________________
http://japanesehistoryenthusiast.wordpress.com/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
wicked iemon
The Lemon King
The Lemon King
Iga no Kami
Iga no Kami
Veteran Member



Joined: 24 Jan 2007
Posts: 1091
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
heron wrote:
Quote:
poetic pistol wielding brothel hopper


Don't forget to add manic depressive to this description too Very Happy

An English bio of Shinsaku is long overdue, I think.


Angst Ridden Brothel Hoping Poetic Pistolero !.

There was a 1988 NTV mini series on him ,but he seemed a lively over enthusiastic sort ,Ken Matsudaira played him.
_________________
"One mans washing machine is another mans music "
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Tatsunoshi
Miko no Kami
Miko no Kami
Forum Kanrei
Forum Kanrei
Multi-Year Benefactor
Multi-Year Benefactor



Joined: 07 May 2006
Posts: 4923
Location: 京都日本 Cincinnati, OH

PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
wicked iemon wrote:
There was a 1988 NTV mini series on him ,but he seemed a lively over enthusiastic sort ,Ken Matsudaira played him.


Big Ken played a spindly TB victim?!? Oh my!

One of the funniest scenes in Ryomaden was when a half dead Takasugi (in a robe and armed only with a sword) was walking down the beach at Shimonoseki by himself, playing the samisen and then butchering scores of heavily armored and well armed Bakufu troops camped out on the beach.

Just finished watching Ryomaden a couple of weeks ago. It literally took over 18 months for me to work through it. For me it has replaced Musashi as the worst Taiga ever. Did have a good opening, though.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
wicked iemon
The Lemon King
The Lemon King
Iga no Kami
Iga no Kami
Veteran Member



Joined: 24 Jan 2007
Posts: 1091
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 6:52 pm    Post subject: Samurai Revolution Reply with quote
I know what you mean Tat's ,i got as far as ep 32 on Ryomaden and have not been able to progress further .

Ken was really a really bad casting choice for Takasugi ,and he really did not get it .Sanada Hiroyuki would have been a better choice .
_________________
"One mans washing machine is another mans music "
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Tatsunoshi
Miko no Kami
Miko no Kami
Forum Kanrei
Forum Kanrei
Multi-Year Benefactor
Multi-Year Benefactor



Joined: 07 May 2006
Posts: 4923
Location: 京都日本 Cincinnati, OH

PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Part two of the Romulus Hillsborough interview will be posted next Friday, 4/25.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Tatsunoshi
Miko no Kami
Miko no Kami
Forum Kanrei
Forum Kanrei
Multi-Year Benefactor
Multi-Year Benefactor



Joined: 07 May 2006
Posts: 4923
Location: 京都日本 Cincinnati, OH

PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 4:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
And here it is-part two of the Romulus Hillsborough interview.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
owari no utsuke
Shima no Kami
Shima no Kami
Veteran Member
Multi-Year Benefactor
Multi-Year Benefactor



Joined: 28 Jun 2008
Posts: 1176
Location: El Cajon, CA

PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
The 2014 November issue of Military Heritage has a review on Romulus's book

p. 68

"Japan transformed itself from a feudal state to an emerging industrial power with stunning speed. Within five decades it built a nation and military able to take on the likes of China and Russia and achieve victory. The work is divided into two books. In the first, the author maintains the significant part of this change occurred between 1853 and 1878, when extreme changes occurred in Japanese society. These alterations included the Meiji Restoration, when the shogunate was brought down and the emperor was restored to the throne. The cultural and economic influence of this event resonated in the following decades.

The second book discusses the decade after the restoration of the emperor, when power had to be consolidated and steps begun to make Japan a world power. During this period the samurai, unhappy with the changing nation, put up resistance. This culminated in the Satsuma Rebellion of 1877; government victory in this war effectively ended samurai tradition. The author heavily uses the various writings of 'the shogun's last samurai,' Katsu Kaishu. This combined statesman and sailor played various roles in the period, giving him vast insight into Japan's emergence into the modern world."
_________________
You'll Never Walk Alone!

http://www.otsuke.blogspot.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Tatsunoshi
Miko no Kami
Miko no Kami
Forum Kanrei
Forum Kanrei
Multi-Year Benefactor
Multi-Year Benefactor



Joined: 07 May 2006
Posts: 4923
Location: 京都日本 Cincinnati, OH

PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Military Heritage non-specialist wrote:
...the emperor was restored to the throne.... (no, he wasn't. He was already there.)

...During this period the samurai, unhappy with the changing nation, put up resistance...(only a small number-most of the others were doing just fine with many getting rich)

...government victory in this war effectively ended samurai tradition...(well, no. It ended the resistance of former samurai, but not samurai tradition).


Yeah, I'm nitpicking. Wink
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Obenjo Kusanosuke
Kii no Kami
Kii no Kami
Forum Kanrei
Forum Kanrei
2009 Benefactor
2009 Benefactor



Joined: 16 Dec 2006
Posts: 4554
Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Hilly's biases shine through despite his best efforts to suppress them early on. If Ryôma was Hilly's love letter to his hero, then so his new book is a public display of affection for his lover, Katsu but with a happy ending massage for another lover, Saigô. It's a frothy literary three-way.
_________________

Heee heee! Shita iro! Shita iro! Here comes his lordship, Baka Tono!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/rekishinotabi
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
lordameth
Awa no Kami
Awa no Kami
Veteran Member
2009 Benefactor
2009 Benefactor



Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1821
Location: 南加州

PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Quote:
Yeah, I'm nitpicking. Wink


I haven't gotten around to reading the whole article, but just from the quotes you've picked out, those sound like pretty serious misleading flaws - not nitpicking. This is how myths about the samurai are perpetuated and spread.
_________________
My blog on Japanese art & history: http://chaari.wordpress.com

紫水晶殿 - The Amethyst Lord
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Samurai Archives Citadel Forum Index // The Bakumatsu to Meiji All times are GMT - 10 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

Help the Samurai Archives




alexisRed v1.2 // Theme Created By: Andrew Charron // Samuraized By: Aaron Rister

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group