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Curse on This CountryThe Rebellious Army of Imperial Japan$
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Danny Orbach

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781501705281

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501705281.001.0001

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Warriors of High Aspirations

Warriors of High Aspirations

The Origins of Military Insubordination, 1858–1868

Chapter:
(p.8) 1 Warriors of High Aspirations
Source:
Curse on This Country
Author(s):

Danny Orbach

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9781501705281.003.0002

This chapter traces the origins of military insubordination in Japan during the period 1858–1868. It first provides a background on the samurai during the Tokugawa period before discussing the ideology of the shishi, a term associated with fugitive samurai who used violence against foreigners, Shogunate officials, and pro-Bakufu elements in the various domains. It then considers the organizational structures of the shishi, with particular emphasis on the mixed gangs and their rise and fall. It also examines the heyday of the militarized gangs, focusing on Takasugi Shinsaku, a middle-ranking samurai, and the Chōshū Wars. Finally, it describes the birth of the final pattern of shishi organization, the interdomainal alliance and how the shishi became cultural heroes and role models for intellectuals, patriotic organizations, nationalistic societies, and military groups in Japan over the years.

Keywords:   military insubordination, Japan, samurai, Tokugawa period, shishi, mixed gangs, militarized gangs, Takasugi Shinsaku, Chōshū Wars, interdomainal alliance

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