Episode 121 – The Fall of the Samurai, Part 5

his week, we’re going to stop the forward progress of the narrative and focus on two men who are going to have a large impact on the massive political realignment that’s coming down the tubes, though they themselves will not live to see it: Sakuma Shozan and Yoshida Shoin. We’ll use them to try to answer the question of just how radical the most radical elements in 1850s Japan really were.

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Van Straelen, Heinrichus. Yoshida Shoin and the Meiji Restoration.

Jansen, Marius. Toward Restoration.

Beasley, W.G. The Meiji Restoration.

The Sources of the Japanese Tradition, Vol 2: “Reflections on my Errors” by Sakuma Shozan, and “On Heroism” by Yoshida Shoin.

Images

A statue of Yoshida Shoin (kneeling) and Sakuma Shozan at Uraga, a village on the outskirts of Edo from which Yoshida struck out on his fateful attempt to stow away aboard the American fleet in 1854.
A statue of Yoshida Shoin (kneeling) and Sakuma Shozan at Uraga, a village on the outskirts of Edo from which Yoshida struck out on his fateful attempt to stow away aboard the American fleet in 1854.
Sakuma Shozan in the early 1860s.
Sakuma Shozan in the early 1860s.
Yoshida Shoin.
Yoshida Shoin.
Yoshida's school in Choshu Domain in Southwestern Honshu, called the Shoka Sonjuku.
Yoshida’s school in Choshu Domain in Southwestern Honshu, called the Shoka Sonjuku.
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