Isaac Meyer

Historian, teacher, podcaster

Episode 50 – The Q&A Show

For the one year anniversary of the show, join us for an extra-long Q&A show; I’ll be taking questions submitted by the audience. Thank you all for a great year, and here’s to many more!

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Sansom, George. A History of Japan, Vols. II and III. 

Craig, Albert. Sakamoto Ryoma and the Meiji Restoration.

Jansen, Marius. The Making of Modern Japan.

Totman, Conrad. “Review of Giving Up The Gun.” Journal of Asian Studies Vol. 39, No. 3.

Images 

Sakamoto Ryoma in the year of his death in 1867.

Sakamoto Ryoma in the year of his death in 1867.

The Tokugawa shogunate inaugurated the use of the hinomaru as the national flag by using it as Japan's naval ensign. You can see this shogunal battleship -- the Asahi-maru -- displaying it.

The Tokugawa shogunate inaugurated the use of the hinomaru as the national flag by using it as Japan’s naval ensign. You can see this shogunal battleship — the Asahi-maru — displaying it.

The hinomaru being raised in front of the United Nations Building in New York during Japan's admission to the UN in 1957.

The hinomaru being raised in front of the United Nations Building in New York during Japan’s admission to the UN in 1957.

Franz Eckert's notes presented to the Meiji Emperor regarding Japan's national anthem.

Franz Eckert’s notes presented to the Meiji Emperor regarding Japan’s national anthem.

Replica Edo-era firearms being demonstrated. Courtesy of Japan Today.

Replica Edo-era firearms being demonstrated. Courtesy of Japan Today.

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3 Comments

  1. Henry Flam

    I’ve been listening to your podcast for the last month and I’m really enjoying it. At the same time, I’ve been also listening to a podcast called, A Short History of Japan. It’s interesting how the different understandings of the same legendary and historical facts in your podcasts, provides me a deeper understanding of Japanese history. Thank you.

    I have a suggestion for a future episode — in all the retellings of Japanese history the samurai just disappear as a class and remain only in popular culture. It might be interesting to devote an episode to the history of their decline and fall. I would also like to hear how this has been reflected in Japanese literature and arts.

  2. thrashmad

    To add a bit on the critique on “Giving up the gun”, there’s also a good deal of factual error based on the author misremembering or misreading or simply not having read enough on the subject. For example, in the book it says that during the battle of Nagashino the Oda forces used 10 000 matchlock guns, while it actually was 3000 (according to some sources, the real number is now a bit disputed). 10 000 was the total number of guns among all the Oda armies, i.e. not just among the ones at Nagshino. For a as of yet unfinished chapter-by-chapter breakdown of the book:
    http://www.sengokufieldmanual.com/2013/02/giving-up-myths-part-i.html

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