Episode 530 – Bakumatsu, Part 3

This week: the age of feudalism comes crashing down, as in the span of just two years the Tokugawa shogunate goes from victory to crushing defeat. How did the final years of Tokugawa rule play out?


Jansen, Marius. The Making of Modern Japan

Jansen, Marius. Sakamoto Ryoma and the Meiji Restoration

Beasley, Craig. The Meiji Restoration

Craig, Albert M. Choshu in the Meiji Restoration.

Keene, Donald. Emperor of Japan: Meiji and His World


Sakamoto Ryoma in 1866. Though this picture is from later in his career, I think it does a good job conveying his attitude, which really comes through quite clearly.
The shogunate’s army in retreat after the Battle of Toba-Fushimi. Choshu troops are depicted pursuing fleeing shogunate units. This picture is from 1870.
The Battle of Toba-Fushimi in 1868, which convinced the Shogun Tokugawa Yoshinobu to give up without further conflict. Shogunate troops are on the left, Choshu on the upper right, Satsuma on the lower right.
Emperor Meiji wearing the sokutai, traditional robes of office, in late 1872.

1 thought on “Episode 530 – Bakumatsu, Part 3”

  1. There’s a fantastic anime called Neko Neko Nihonshi which is about re-enacting Japanese history but with cats (it’s amazing, just trust me) and Sakamoto Ryouma is basically the main character. I learned about Inou Tadataka from it and have asked you to do an episode on him!
    I’ve never heard of arsenic poisoning being a differential diagnosis for smallpox. I’m trying to find more about it but Google sucks now. Smallpox has some pretty notorious symptoms of being covered with pustules. There’s many famous pictures of it. I’m no doctor, but I’ve never heard of arsenic causing smallpox-like pustules. Google’s messed up their algorithm, though, so what do I know?

Comments are closed.