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Samurai Revolution

 

Samurai Revolution: The Dawn of Modern Japan Seen Through the Eyes of the Shogun's Last SamuraiSamurai Revolution: The Dawn of Modern Japan Seen Through the Eyes of the Shogun's Last Samurai
(2014/03/25)
Romulus Hillsborough

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洋書売り場に最近訪れたことがある方なら、上記の本が平積みになっていることに気付いたのではないでしょうか。運良く地元の図書館で借りることができたので、今日から読み始めました。

Samurai Revolution: The Dawn of Modern Japan Seen Through the Eyes of the Shogun's Last Samuraiというタイトルは、外国人だとエキゾチックジャパンな印象を受けるのかもしれませんが、小説なのか、ノンフィクションなのか分かりづらいし、日本人だと胡散臭く感じますよねえ。

正直全然乗り気ではなく読み進めたのですが、勝海舟を軸に幕末から明治政府に変わる日本の激動の時代を語ろうとする真っ当な本でした。幕末好きの方には、目新しい内容はないかもしれませんが、外国人を読者に想定しているので、背景を丁寧に説明してくれています。ですから分かりやすく読み進めることができています。

日本を東アジアで最初の近代国家へと変貌させた明治維新。大政奉還から、明治政府による天皇親政体制への転換を勝海舟の手記や文献など豊富な資料、実際にゆかりのある街や土地を何度も訪れて武士への理解を深めながら、書き上げられた一冊。 勝海舟の長崎海軍学校、サンフランシスコ体験" 日本の夜明け" から、西郷隆盛の江戸開城、西南戦争に至る武士の時代の終焉までを収録。

"When people wonder who they should have as an ally, they're on the wrong track. What you want is an enemy. You can't get anything done without an enemy." _Katsu Kaishu, "The Shogun's Last Samurai" Japan's dramatic rise from a political backwater to a great power; an inside look at the men and their times that shaped a nation. Samurai Revolution tells the fascinating story of Japan's transformation from a backward country of feudal lords and samurai under the control of the shogun into a modern industrialized nation under the unifying rule of the Emperor. Japan's modern revolution spanned the third-quarter of the nineteenth century; knowledge of this history is essential to understand how and why Japan evolved into the nation it is today. Samurai Revolution is divided into two books in one complete volume. Book I chronicles the series of tumultuous and bloody events between 1853 and 1868, collectively called the Meiji Restoration, the "dawn of modern Japan," when the shogun's government was overthrown and the Emperor was restored to his ancient seat of power. Book 2 covers the first turbulent decade of the restored monarchy in which the new Imperial government worked desperately to consolidate its power and introduce innovations that would put Japan on equal footing with Western powers that threatened to dominate it. The government clashed with disgruntled samurai who felt left behind amid the whirlwind of changes toward modernization. Highlighted is the Satsuma Rebellion of 1877, a failed samurai-led uprising that brought the end of the samurai way of life. As the first comprehensive history and analysis in English examining all the key players in this epoch drama, Samurai Revolution is the result of over twenty-five years of research. Throughout the book the author quotes extensively from the journals, memoirs, histories, and letters of Katsu Kaishu, a prolific writer, founder of Japan's modern navy, and later supreme commander of the shogun's military, who earned the epithet "the shogun's last samurai." These original translations give an insider's view, which along with the grand historical narrative provide readers with an unparalleled insight into this most momentous period in Japanese history.


普通に洋書を読めるようになることが大事だと思います。いつまで続くかわかりませんが、日頃読んでいる本を紹介していく機会を積極的に作っていこうと思います。
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Yuta

Author:Yuta
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