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Shinsengumi

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Shinsengumi

Postby Shibakoen » Mon 02.06.2006 11:55 am

I just got a book on the Shinsengumi. "Shinsengumi: The Shogun's Last Samurai Corps". I brought it to my classes today so I'd have something to read when stuff got boring, and a friend of mine asked me if this is the people that The Last Samurai was based on. I told him I'm fairly certain that it's not since I thought The Last Samurai was pretty much pure fiction, but I wasn't real sure.

Well, I just started and I only know some VERY basic things about them, so I thought I'd give other people the opportunity to comment on the Shinsengumi. Have any of you read this book by Hillsborough?

Did any of you go to the museum exhibition of Shinsengumi stuff in Tokyo a couple years ago? I didn't because I had to work, unfortunately.
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RE: Shinsengumi

Postby nikonikoniko » Mon 02.06.2006 2:45 pm

I imagine Tony might have some interesting input on the subject.
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RE: Shinsengumi

Postby AJBryant » Mon 02.06.2006 3:57 pm

As God is my witness, I don't understand the appeal of the shinsengumi. They were a bunch of THUGS, for crying out loud. I'm also mildly amused at the publisher's somewhat cynical choice of shoehorning "Last Samurai" into that title to make the most of the interest.

No, the shinsengumi had bugger-all to do with Saigo Takamori and the Satsuma Rebellion (the historical events that the film "Last Samurai" so pathetically attempts to illustrate).

Tony
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RE: Shinsengumi

Postby Kyuriko » Mon 02.06.2006 4:42 pm

No, The Last Samurai was partially based on historical events as well, but it wasn't the Shinsengumi; it was an uprising of samurai sometime after the Meiji Era began, but I don't know as much about it as I do the Shinsengumi.

The Shinsengumi are very popular in modern Japan and appear in countless media formats. The Last Samurai Corps is one of the first English books about the Shinsengumi and is very in depth. I've read a lot of Shinsengumi websites but still have not seen as much information as this book does. I'm happy to see other people gaining interest in the Shinsengumi.

I think that the appeal is not what the did, but rather who they were and what they were fighting for. Needless to say, the methods of the Ishin Shishi during the revolution can't be considered much better (I mean, think of the hitokiri)
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RE: Shinsengumi

Postby Shibakoen » Mon 02.06.2006 11:42 pm

AJBryant wrote:
As God is my witness, I don't understand the appeal of the shinsengumi. They were a bunch of THUGS, for crying out loud.
Tony


One interesting thought I had, with the whole Iraq fiasco, is how much they need their own version of the unruly and ruthless "lawmen." A band of guys who somehow gain the respect of the ordinary citizen while at the same time actually restoring order through a brutal regime. Aside from the American West and now the Shinsengumi in Japan, I don't know enough about how other societies were able to bring about this law and order...
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RE: Shinsengumi

Postby Infidel » Tue 02.07.2006 12:25 am

Well, that is what the Taliban were in Afganistan.
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RE: Shinsengumi

Postby Shibakoen » Thu 02.09.2006 2:59 pm

Yeah, now Afghanistan's biggest export is opium. I've come to think that sometimes a government really needs to rule with an iron fist. Then I rememeber what guys like Pinochet did.
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