Read Samurai Revolution: The Dawn of Modern Japan Seen Through the Eyes of the Shogun's Last Samurai by Romulus Hillsborough Free Online
Book Title: Samurai Revolution: The Dawn of Modern Japan Seen Through the Eyes of the Shogun's Last Samurai|
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The author of the book: Romulus Hillsborough
Edition: Tuttle Publishing
Date of issue: March 25th 2014
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 952 KB
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Japan's dramatic rise from a political backwater to a great power; an inside look at the men and their times that shaped a nation.
Samurai Revolution tells the fascinating story of Japan's transformation from a backward country of feudal lords and samurai under the control of the shogun into a modern industrialized nation under the unifying rule of the Emperor. Japan's modern revolution spanned the third-quarter of the nineteenth century; knowledge of this history is essential to understand how and why Japan evolved into the nation it is today.
Samurai Revolution is divided into two books in one complete volume. Book I chronicles the series of tumultuous and bloody events between 1853 and 1868, collectively called the Meiji Restoration, the "dawn of modern Japan," when the shogun's government was overthrown and the Emperor was restored to his ancient seat of power. Book 2 covers the first turbulent decade of the restored monarchy in which the new Imperial government worked desperately to consolidate its power and introduce innovations that would put Japan on equal footing with Western powers that threatened to dominate it. The government clashed with disgruntled samurai who felt left behind amid the whirlwind of changes toward modernization. Highlighted is the Satsuma Rebellion of 1877, a failed samurai-led uprising that brought the end of the samurai way of life.
As the first comprehensive history and analysis in English examining all the key players in this epoch drama, Samurai Revolution is the result of over twenty-five years of research. Throughout the book the author quotes extensively from the journals, memoirs, histories, and letters of Katsu Kaishu, a prolific writer, founder of Japan's modern navy, and later supreme commander of the shogun's military, who earned the epithet "the shogun's last samurai." These original translations give an insider's view, which along with the grand historical narrative provide readers with an unparalleled insight into this most momentous period in Japanese history.
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Read information about the authorMy books tell the story of the samurai revolution that spanned the third quarter of the 19th century (aka Meiji Restoration). The samurai revolution transformed Japan from a country of hundreds of feudal domains under the control of the Tokugawa Shogun, into a modern industrialized world power under the unifying rule of the Emperor. It is the historical era that Japanese writers generally refer to as the "Bakumatsu."
I grew up in Los Angeles but came of age in Tokyo where I lived for sixteen years after graduating from a California State University with a degree in English. Soon after arriving in Japan I immersed myself in the study of the Japanese language, and later, Japanese history and culture. Most of my reading focused on the Bakumatsu.
To get a closer feel for the Bakumatsu, I traveled to historical cities and towns around Japan where my samurai subjects lived and died and where the revolution unfolded. While writing my first book, "Ryoma: Life of a Renaissance Samurai," I worked as a writer for a popular weekly magazine in Tokyo and later as a contributing journalist to a number of other Japanese publications.
I published "Ryoma" in 1999, after moving back to California. It is the only biographical novel in English about Sakamoto Ryoma, the most charismatic leader of the samurai revolution. Since then I've written a series of books on the subject. "Samurai Revolution: The Dawn of Modern Japan Seen Through the Eyes of the Shogun's Last Samurai" (Tuttle, 2014) is a comprehensive history of the Meiji Restoration from the perspective of one of its most important men, Katsu Kaishu. It is based largely on Kaishu's journals, memoirs, histories, and letters. My most recent book, "Samurai Assassins: 'Dark Murder' and the Meiji Restoration, 1853-1868" (McFarland, 2017), focuses on the importance of assassination in the samurai revolution to provide an in-depth overview of the era while focusing on significant men and events, and ideology, not expatiated in "Samurai Revolution." The result of thirty years of research and writing, these two books combine to present a comprehensive history of the Meiji Restoration.
So why do I write about a culture and history completely foreign to my own? Because it is spellbinding. And though it's a lot of hard work, hearing from my readers that they have become engrossed in my writing makes my work worthwhile.