Episode 451 – Those Swept Away

This week, the biography of one of the most unusual figures of Bakumatsu Japan: the peasant Matsuo Taseko, whose career as a member of the imperial loyalist movement defied conventions of gender and defies neat categorization today.


Walthall, Anne. The Weak Body of a Useless Woman: Matsuo Taseko and the Meiji Restoration. 

Nenzi, Laura. “Portents and Politics: Two Women Activists on the Verge of the Meiji Restoration.” The Journal of Japanese Studies 38, No 1 (Winter, 2012).


Matsuo Taseko late in her life.
A map of Shinano province in central Japan from the National Archives of Japan. I highlighted Iida (in southern Shinano) with a red underline; Taseko lived about six miles from the city.
Shinano province relative to the rest of Japan.
Matsuo Taseko’s grave in Tomono, which was constructed in the early 20th century after she received her posthumous court rank (which is recorded on the tombstone: senior fifth rank).


1 thought on “Episode 451 – Those Swept Away”

  1. Did the kokugakusha never find it hypocritical that the yojijukugo sonno joi derives from the legalist Guan Zhong?

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