Scottish Samurai: Thomas Blake Glover, 1838-1911

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9780862417468: Scottish Samurai: Thomas Blake Glover, 1838-1911

In early l868, the last Tokugawa Shogun was toppled from power by anti-Shogun rebels with the help of Scotsman Thomas Blake Glover. This man, virtually unknown in his own country, is famed in Japan both for his contribution to the birth of modern Japan and for his connection with the Madame Butterfly legend. Having left Aberdeen as a young man, Glover travelled to Shanghai where he worked as a trader from 1857 to 1859. He then travelled to Japan, which opened to foreign trade in that year. He soon became a gunrunner, importing British weapons from the UK, and personally transporting American arms from Hong Kong and Shanghai. In 1865, Glover became involved with anti-Shogun rebels who wanted a new and modern Japan. When the rebels finally toppled the Tokugawa Shogun in early 1868, Glover, recognizing the potential which was to be realized in modern Japan, began several entrepreneurial undertakings, including importing the first steam locomotive to Japan. Yataro Iwasaki, a friend of Glover from his rebel days, founded the Mitsubishi corporation in the mid-1870s and invited Glover to work for him. Glover was also friends with Hirobumi Ito, the first Prime Minister of Japan and later received the medal of the Order of the Rising Sun from the Emperor in 1908.

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