Episode 118 – The Fall of the Samurai, Part 2

In this eclectic episode, we’ll finish up our quick review of the Tokugawa period with a look at three things: the various issues which plagued the samurai class by the 19th century, three of the regions that will play a key role in the fall of the shogunate, and finally the foreign crisis.

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Jansen, Marius. The Making of Modern Japan.

Craig, Albert. Choshu in the Meiji Restoration.

Jansen, Marius. Sakamoto Ryoma and the Meiji Restoration.

Beasley, W.G. The Meiji Restoration.

Images

Not strictly relevant, but this diagram does help clarify the feudal structure of the Tokugawa period if you're confused by all these terms that I keep throwing around.
Not strictly relevant, but this diagram does help clarify the feudal structure of the Tokugawa period if you’re confused by all these terms that I keep throwing around.
A map showing the locations of Satsuma, Choshu, and Tosa. Tosa is red, Choshu green, Satsuma purple.
A map showing the locations of Satsuma, Choshu, and Tosa. Tosa is red, Choshu green, Satsuma purple.
Matsumae Castle in Hokkaido. The Matsumae family was given responsibility for "managing" the Ainu, and thus were among the first to encounter the Russians.
Matsumae Castle in Hokkaido. The Matsumae family was given responsibility for “managing” the Ainu, and thus were among the first to encounter the Russians.
The HMS Phaeton, which entered Nagasaki in 1808 under a false flag in order to attack the Dutch outpost there (Holland being an ally of the French at that point).
The HMS Phaeton, which entered Nagasaki in 1808 under a false flag in order to attack the Dutch outpost there (Holland being an ally of the French at that point).
This image depicts the USS Columbus, sent in 1847 to make another attempt at opening Japan. The Columbus was rebuffed, and without an order to use force to barge into Japan its commander was forced to retreat.
This image depicts the USS Columbus, sent in 1847 to make another attempt at opening Japan. The Columbus was rebuffed, and without an order to use force to barge into Japan its commander was forced to retreat.
The USS Morrison was sent on a mission to try and open friendly relations with Japan. Instead, it was fired on under the terms of the 1825 fire on sight order and retreated away from Japan.
The USS Morrison was sent on a mission to try and open friendly relations with Japan. Instead, it was fired on under the terms of the 1825 fire on sight order and retreated away from Japan.
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