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Samurai to SoldierRemaking Military Service in Nineteenth-Century Japan$
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D. Colin Jaundrill

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781501703096

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501703096.001.0001

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The Rise of “Western” Musketry, 1841–1860

The Rise of “Western” Musketry, 1841–1860

(p.13) 1 The Rise of “Western” Musketry, 1841–1860
Samurai to Soldier

D. Colin Jaundrill

Cornell University Press

This chapter describes the final three decades of the Tokugawa period, during which the world of Japan's warriors began to change rapidly and irreparably. For over two hundred years, hereditary warriors (bushi)—known popularly, if imprecisely, as samurai—had served as the military arm of the shogunate and the nearly three hundred domains over which it maintained administrative and military hegemony. But beginning in the early nineteenth century, Tokugawa military institutions faced new pressure in the form of encroachment by Western powers. In their efforts to cope with this new set of challenges, both national and regional authorities turned to those who claimed to possess authoritative knowledge of how the West fought.

Keywords:   Tokugawa period, hereditary warriors, bushi, samurai, shogunate, military hegemony, Western powers, Tokugawa military

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