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Apr 29, 2022

There's no regular History of Japan episode this week. Instead, here's a wonderful episode of my other podcast, Criminal Records, about three things of deep concern to any self-respecting podcast audience: organized crime, the drug trade, and rocket launchers!

See you all next week.

Apr 22, 2022

This week, we're wrapping up our look at Sakamoto Ryoma's life and legacy to see how he was transformed from loyalist ronin to posthumous legend. Plus, some quick thoughts on his legacy and enduring popularity. Programming note: no new episode next week! Show notes here.

Apr 15, 2022

This week: Sakamoto Ryoma commits fully to the loyalist cause, but ends up on a turbulent journey that will take him from Kyoto to Edo--and transform him into a very different man.

Show notes here.


Apr 8, 2022

This week, we return to the turbulent age of the Bakumatsu--the collapse of the Tokugawa state--with a biography of one of the era's most intriguing figures, Sakamoto Ryoma. Who was Ryoma, where did he come from, and how did he get swept into the complex politics of the time?

Show notes

Apr 1, 2022

This week: just what sort of scandal sent Nakanoin Nakako to the far end of Japan, and how did fate intervene to set her on a new course once again? And what can we learn from trying to trace a life like this through a tangle of sources which touch on it largely indirectly?


Show notes