Sept 12 – Bakumatsu

Battle of Ueno Hill, Boshin War (1868)

Battle of Ueno Hill, Boshin War (1868)

We will start with what historians call the bakumatsu-ishin (幕末維新). This translates as the “end of the Tokugawa (bakumatsu) and the Meiji Restoration (ishin).” In much the same way as we are looking at an event like 1890 to see what went into and came out of it, this linking of bakumatsu to ishin treats 1868 the same way. As such, read these texts carefully, as we modeled last week in class, to see what terms and categories are being used to think about the problem. See what ideas, concepts, and practices went into 1868 and what happened after. Be aware that the same problem may still exist but now be talked about differently. Pay attention to the language pre and post Charter Oath (1868). What is in there and what is left out? How might that have happened and think about implications for going forward.


  1. Take a look at the images and essay on Commodore Perry’s “black ships.” Also check the map of 1850s Japan.


  1. Sources vol 2 part one 1600-1868
  2. Sources vol 2 part 2 (your purchased copy), 1-29.