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The final years of the samurai were an age of unprecedented turmoil and bloodletting in Japan. They heralded the end of nearly three centuries of rule under the Tokugawa Shogun. The rule of law was deteriorating, assassination and murder were rampant, and inner-fighting among the warrior class embroiled the nation. After the United States forced an end of over two hundred years of Japanese isolation, two contrasting philosophies were embraced by the samurai. On one side were those who would overthrow the shogun and restore the Emperor to power. Opposing the revolutionaries were the allies of the Tokugawa Bakufu, headed by the shogun. While the shogun's men clashed violently with the revolutionaries, as samurai they shared with each other an allegiance to an unwritten code of honor which governed the ways they lived and died. Theirs was a stoic system of morals which condoned suicide, vengeance and, in some cases, cold-blooded murder. Samurai Tales is, to quote author Romulus Hillsborough, "accurate portrayals of the heart and soul of the samurai, the social and political systems of whom have, like the Japanese sword, become relics of a distant age, but the likes of whose nobility shall never again be seen in this world." In recounting what he terms "the great epic which was the dawn of modern Japan," Hillsborough delves deeply into the psyche of the men of the samurai class.
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I wrote Samurai Tales (originally titled Samurai Sketches) in 2000, the year after I published Ryoma: Life of a Renaissance Samurai. I thought that readers would benefit from a collection of short biographical and historical pieces from the same era, including many of the samurai who appear in Ryoma. My objective in writing these tales was to present accurate portrayals of the heart and soul of the samurai, the social and political systems of whom have, along with their swords, become relics of a distant age, but the likes of whose nobility shall never again be seen in this world.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 "Shinsengumi: The Shogun's Last Samurai Corps," "Ryoma: Life of a Renaissance Samurai," 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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Book Description 2010. Hardcover. Condition: New. Hardcover. end of the Shogunate. Stories of courage, honor, fidelity, and destiny from the final years of the Shogun.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 222 pages. 0.471. Seller Inventory # 9784805311233
Book Description Tuttle Publishing, 2010. Hardcover. Condition: New. Hardcover with Jacket. Seller Inventory # DADAX4805311231
Book Description Tuttle Publishing, 2010. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P114805311231
Book Description 2010. Hardcover. Condition: New. Hardcover. end of the Shogunate. Stories of courage, honor, fidelity, and destiny from the final years of the Shogun.Shipping may be from our Sydney, NSW warehouse or from our UK or US warehouse, depending on stock availability. 222 pages. 0.471. Seller Inventory # 9784805311233
Book Description Tuttle Publishing, 2010. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M4805311231