Samurai Assassins:

Samurai Assassins: "Dark Murder" and the Meiji Restoration, 1853-1868

by Romulus Hillsborough


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Wednesday, August 21


Assassination--in Japanese, ansatsu or "dark murder"--was instrumental in the samurai-led revolution known as the Meiji Restoration, by which the shogun's military government was overthrown and the Imperial monarchy restored in 1868. The ideology and moral philosophy of the men behind the revolution--including bushidō or "the way of the warrior"--informed their actions and would become the foundation of the emperor-worship of World War II. This first-ever account in English of the assassins who drove the revolution details one of the most volatile periods in Japanese history--also known as "the dawn of modern Japan."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781476668802
Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date: 05/29/2017
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 403,699
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.44(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Having spent sixteen years studying and working in Japan as a writer and journalist, Romulus Hillsborough now lives in Northern California.

Table of Contents

Note on Dates, Names, Romanization and Pronunciation ix

Map of Japan xi

Map of Kyōto xii

Preface 1

Introduction 3

Part I: The Assassination of Ii Naosuké and the Beginning of the End of the Tokugawa Bakufu

1. The Background of the Assassination of Ii Naosuké 16

2. The Conspiracy to Assassinate Ii Naosuké 20

3. The Assassination of Ii Naosuké 31

Part II: The Rise and Fall of Takéchi Hanpeita and the Tosa Loyalist Party

4. The Gap 36

5. Takéchi Hanpeita and His Tosa Loyalist Party 42

6. The Assassination of Yoshida Tōyō 48

7. “Divine Punishment” 60

8. Lord Yōdō’s Comeback 78

9. The Assassination of Anégakōji Kintomo 87

10. Lord Yōdō’s Crackdown 91

11. In Prison (1) 97

12. The Failed Rebellions of Chōshū and Mito 105

13. In Prison (2) 111

14. The Stoicism of a Samurai: Takéchi Hanpeita’s Death 122

Part III: The Assassination of Sakamoto Ryōma

15. Ryōma’s Greatest Achievements 128

16. The Motives 135

17. Unsolved Mystery—To a Certain Extent 141

18. The Assassins 146

19. The Attack 154

20. The Aftermath 160

21. Civil War 163

22. “The Man Who Killed Sakamoto Ryōma” 169

Epilogue: The Second Existential Crisis of the Samurai Class 173

Glossary 177

Era Names and Dates 183

Chapter Notes 185

Bibliography 205

Index 207

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews