Isaac Meyer

Historian, teacher, podcaster

Episode 127 – The Fall of the Samurai, Part 10

1864 is probably the most important year in the Meiji Restoration that nobody really has heard of; the Tokugawa will come as close to winning their fight for control of Japan as they ever will, and the shishi movement will end up on the ropes. So, how did the Tokugawa stage such an effective comeback, and why did Tokugawa victories end up laying the groundwork for Tokugawa defeats down the line? All that and more, this week!

Listen to the episode here.


Totman, Conrad. The Collapse of the Tokugawa Bakufu, 1862-1868.

Beasley, W.G. The Meiji Restoration.

Craig, Albert. Choshu in the Meiji Restoration.



This print depicts the early stages of the Mito Rebellion. On the right side are the rebels, with their leader holding a banner reading “Sonno Joi” (Honor the Emperor, Expel the Barbarian). The retreating forces of the Tokugawa are on the left.


British troops pose with captured Choshu artillery during the attack on Shimonoseki. The allied British-French-American-Dutch force smashed the defenses of Choshu and easily destroyed its coastal forts.

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The site of the original Ikeda Inn was for a long time a pachinko parlor. A few years back, a new owner converted it into a Shinsengumi themed restaurant named after the original Ikeda Inn.


A view of the Choshu attack on Hamaguri gate. The palace is on the upper side of the picture; Choshu forces are distinguished by their banner (the line with three dots under it).


A second view of the Hamaguri attack showing the defeated Choshu attackers.


Episode 126 – The Fall of the Samurai, Part 9


Episode 128 – The Fall of the Samurai, Part 11

1 Comment

  1. Skip Klauber

    I really enjoy your podcast. I earned an MA in history at Vanderbilt and have been a long time $$ giver. My ability to contribute real money over a long period of time is because I decided to boot academia and attend Law School. I hope you will not hold this against me.

    You can be sure I will make inquiry to the History Dept at Vandy regarding your request.

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