Episode 323 – Musui’s Story

This week, we’re discussing the autobiography of a troublemaking, low-ranking samurai whose life didn’t reshape Japan, but whose tale can tell us a lot about how our image of the samurai class matched up with reality.


This episode was rare in that I only relied on one source, Teruko Craig’s excellent translation of the Musui Dokugen known as Musui’s Story  — plus all my notes from college.


Teruko Craig’s translation is highly readable, though there are points where outside research is definitely helpful.
The Yushima Seido, the school Kokichi failed out of.
The saucy ladies of the Yoshiwara, who so bewitched Katsu Kokichi that he stole from his own brother to have more money to purchase their time with.

2 thoughts on “Episode 323 – Musui’s Story”

  1. This guy sounds like a riot. I mean, besides being an alcoholic deadbeat dad and all. How has this not been adapted into an anime or a movie?
    That twist at the end that Rintaro is Katsu Kaishuu. You’re right, I can’t look at him the same. You’d think that those fundoshi would protect the balls better.

    1. I mean if anyone wants to approach me to consult on an adaptation I’m all in! I do love him so much for being such a totally self-absorbed scamp!
      Give his memoir a read in full if you get a chance. It can get a bit dense but I promise there’s plenty of good stuff I left out.

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