Shinsengumi: The Shogun's Last Samurai Corps

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9780804836272: Shinsengumi: The Shogun's Last Samurai Corps
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The Tokugawa Shogunate, a group of military governors who ruled Japan until the late 1800s, stayed in power for more than two centuries. Their fall was one of the most important events in Asian history.

Also known as the Meiji Restoration, the shogun's ouster began as a reaction against the elite's willingness to "collaborate" with the West. The samurai took the shogun's position as a sign of weakness.

The samurai plotted to overthrow the shogun. Murder, assassination, and intimidation soon followed. By the end of 1862, hordes of renegade samurai had transformed the streets of Japan's capital streets into a sea of blood.

This vivid historical narrative captures one of the most enthralling and bloodied eras in Japanese history.

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From the Author:

Shinsengumi: The Shogun's Last Samurai Corps is the only English-language history of the shogun's notorious hit-squad in Kyoto during the final years the shogun's government. It is my most controversial book. I think that much of the controversy is due to the language. I experimented in this book, repeating certain phrases to stress certain characteristics of the Shinsengumi leaders, including their "propensity to kill." Readers either love it or slam it. But I stand behind my original language and would not change a single word.

About the Author:

Romulus Hillsborough, originally from Los Angeles, lived in Tokyo for sixteen years, immersing himself in the study of Japanese language, history and culture. Most of his reading focused on major literary and historical works of Japan. He was particularly drawn in by the tumultuous history of the final years of the shogun's government and the return of political power to the Emperor.

To compliment his reading, the author traveled to historical cities and towns around Japan where his samurai subjects lived and died and where the revolution to overthrow the shogun unfolded. During that time he worked as a writer for a popular weekly magazine in Tokyo and later as a contributing journalist to a number of other Japanese publications.

Upon returning to the United States, Hillsborough settled in San Francisco. Since then, he has returned to Japan many times to resume his travels to historical cities and deepen his understanding of his samurai subjects.

Romulus Hillsborough is an acclaimed expert in the field of Japanese history and culture. His books have been published in seven languages. The author has appeared numerous times on television and radio including The History Channel special "The Samurai," first aired in 2003, and an NHK television special about the Shinsengumi in 2004. He has spoken at such internationally recognized venues as the Asian Art Museum (San Francisco, CA), the Pacific Asia Museum (Pasadena, CA), the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan (Tokyo) and the Japan Information Center, Consulate General of Japan (San Francisco, CA).

Hillsborough's other books include "Ryoma: Life of a Renaissance Samurai," "Samurai Tales," and the forthcoming "Samurai Revolution: The Dawn of Modern Japan Through the Eyes of the Shogun's Last Samurai." Hillsborough currently lives in San Francisco.

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