Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Bakumatsu (Part 12): End of Boshin War

Yoshinobu Looking at the Burning of the Osaka Castle
With the Battle of Toba-Fushimi and the fall of Osaka, the Boshin War was on its climax. Explore the following battles and events in this short but momentous segment in Japanese modern history.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Bakumatsu (Part 11): Early Boshin War

Battle of Toba Fushimi - Shogunate forces (Left) against Choshu and Tosa (Right)
The Boshin War was a short dramatic chapter in Japanese history where the ancient old Tokugawa Shogunate, or at least, its clan and allies, fought for its dignity against imperial restoration and abolition of their privileges and wealth. Explore this conflict that decided Japan’s destiny.

The Bakumatsu (Part 10): Shogunate of Yoshinobu

Tokugawa YoshinobuHitotsubashi Keiki or Yoshinobu ascended as the 15th Tokugawa Shogun in 1867 in the midst of declining power and prestige of the Bakufu after centuries of domination. Explore Yoshinobu’s Shogunate before it ended with a civil war that changed Japan’s history.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

The Bakumatsu (Part 9): Satsuma-Choshu Alliance

Satsuma and Choshu Samurais during the Boshin War
Tokugawa Shogunate’s second expedition failed due to lack of support from other Domains in addition to a secret alliance unknown to Edo. Explore the creation of this secret alliance between Choshu and Satsuma that led the collapse of the Tokugawa Shogunate.

Friday, June 24, 2016

The Bakumatsu (Part 8): Diplomatic Developments

British soldiers in a Shimonoseki Battery, 1864
While the Bakufu prepared for its war against Choshu, they suddenly faced a diplomatic crisis, which freed them from the payment of a huge indemnity but in return of another batch of painful concessions. Explore these developments that virtually ended the Jo-i.

The Bakumatsu (Part 7): Choshu Expeditions

Modern Units of the Shogunal Army, 1866
After their failed coup in Kyoto, Choshu leaders faced a punitive expedition from the Shogunate, mandated by Emperor Komei. Explore the Choshu Expeditions meant to weaken the rebellious Daimiate instead further weakened the Bakufu.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Bakumatsu (Part 6): Choshu Domain

French warships Tancrede and Dupleix attacked Shimonoseki, 1863
Choshu Domain violently closed the vital Shimonoseki Strait as a result of the Order to Expel the Barbarians. The Bakufu in Edo, meanwhile, took the order more cautiously by choosing diplomacy to close the treaty ports. The order resulted to friction between the Sakoku and the Kaikoku parties in the country. Explore these shock waves that hit Japan.

The Bakumatsu (Part 5): Order to Expel the Barbarians

1861 Image expressing Jo-iAs Japan closed near the brink of war over the Namamugi Incident, the Court and the Shogunate held meetings on chasing out foreigners, which brought further complication to an already messy situation. Explore what came out of the imperial order to expel the barbarians.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Bakumatsu (Part 4): On the Brink

Namamugi Incident on a Japanese Woodcut Print
Attacks on foreigners and Bakufu officials illustrated the propensity of the unpopularity of opening Japan to the world. Edo attempted to alleviate the situation. But as it progressed, conditions continued to sour. Explore developments in foreign relations that placed Japan on the brink.

The Bakumatsu (Part 3): Unity of Court and Shogunate

Hitotsubashi Keiki (Yoshinobu), 1867Ii Naosuke and Tokugawa Nariaki’s demise signaled the start of a rocky relationship between the Bakufu, the Imperial Court, and the Daimyos. Explore the attempt to unite the Shogunate and the Emperor.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Bakumatsu (Part 2): Divided Japan

State Council Meeting with Lord Elgin
Divide and tensions followed the signing of the Treaty of Kanagawa. Historical antipathies further widened the polarization as a result of different opinions on the country’s faith. Explore the developments within Japan after 1854, when the Bakufu signed the Treaty of Kanagawa.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Bakumatsu (Part 1): Opening of Japan

Japanese Mission to the US by Mathew Brady
After Perry and the Bakufu signed the Treaty of Kanagawa in March 1854, floodgates opened to Japan for foreign countries to demand treaties giving Japanese a semi-colonial status. Explore the following events after the Treaty of Kanagawa and rise in interaction with the so-called foreign “barbarians.”

The Bakumatsu (Introduction): The Fall and Decline of the Tokugawa Shogunate

Shoguante Troops (1864 Illustration from London News)
The Bakumatsu ended about a millennium history of shoguns that fascinated and led Japan. Explore Japan’s dissent during the period of the fall of the Tokugawa Shoguante.