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May 13, 2022

This week: where does our stock image of the sohei come from, and why does it tell us more about Japan after the age of warrior-monks than anything else?

Show notes here.

May 6, 2022

This week: what does the historical record have to say about the veracity of the image of the warrior-monk, or sohei, that is so pervasive in pop cultural understandings of medieval Japan?

Show notes here.

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