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Hard Times in the HometownA History of Community Survival in Modern Japan$
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Martin Dusinberre

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780824835248

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824835248.001.0001

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Murotsu and the Meiji Revolution, 1868

Murotsu and the Meiji Revolution, 1868

(p.39) 3 Murotsu and the Meiji Revolution, 1868
Hard Times in the Hometown

Martin Dusinberre

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter analyzes the significance of the Katoku-maru incident in the history of the “restoration” of the young Meiji emperor in 1868. The incident identifies a network of Chōshū men—operating at the level below that of better-known leaders such as Kido Takayoshi and Takasugi Shinsaku—who supported and contributed to the Meiji Restoration. This is important because it is possible to consider the Meiji Restoration as an event that simply “came” to the Japanese people from on high, driven by court cliques and a small number of samurai. The Katoku-maru incident suggests that the revolution did not just come to the villages; rather, it was campaigned by certain elite households, through their encouragement of radical ideology, their offer of covert lodging and money, and their service as soldiers of the revolution.

Keywords:   Katoku-maru incident, Meiji Restoration, Chōshū men, Kido Takoyashi, Takasugi Shinsaku, samurai, radical ideology

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