What do you get when you cross radical Confucianism with armed samurai? Japan’s first samurai rebellion since the 1630s, and a recipe for one fascinating episode. Cannons, torture, and philosophy: this episode has it all!
Listen to the episode
De Bary, William Theodore et al. “Oshio Heihachiro” in
The Sources of the Japanese Tradition, Volume 2, 1600-2000.
The Making of Modern Japan.
Japan and China: Mutual Representations in the Modern Era.
Wang Yangming, a Ming Dynasty scholar whose ideas would form the backbone of Oshio’s own.
Oshio Heihachiro during his time as a yoriki.
Oshio Heihachiro as depicted by Yoshitoshi.
The Tenpo famine was devastating, killing thousands at a time the shogunate was ill-prepared to respond. The crisis would eventually precipitate Oshio’s rebellion.
A map of Osaka from the Edo period. Courtesy of the historical archives of the city of Osaka.
A colorized photo of the grounds surrounding Osaka castle from the 1870s. Though this photo dates from near 40 years later than the rebellion, I think it’s interesting for giving us an idea of what the construction in Osaka would have looked like.