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Katsu Kaishu

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  • Born: 1823
  • Died: 1899
  • Titles: Awa no kami, gunkan bugyô
  • Other Names: 勝麟太郎 (Katsu Rintarou)
  • Japanese: 海舟 (Katsu Kaishuu)
Katsu Kaishu in Edo period
Photograph of Katsu Kaishu.

Born into a Tokugawa hatamoto family, young Kaishû attended classes in Western studies and then studied naval science from the Dutch naval detachment in Nagasaki. Kaishû rose in rank to become commissioner of the Tokugawa navy and captained Japan's first cross-Pacific journey to San Francisco. Kaishû believed that Japan’s future was best served to open itself to the world and this put his life in jeopardy at the hands of Japan’s pro-Imperial, anti-foreign radicals. Originally intent on cutting down Kaishû, Sakamoto Ryôma became hooked on Kaishû's vision for Japan and became his leading disciple. Kaishû protected the outlaw Ryôma and other ronin in a naval academy that Kaishû established in Kobe and installed Ryôma as its head. Kaishû also surrendered Edo to pro-Imperial forces without resistance in order to avoid catastrophic losses of life and property. Kaishû went on to serve as naval commissioner in the Meiji period until his retirement from public life.

Contents

Katsu Kaishu in Fiction

Television

  • Katsu Kaishu (勝海舟) 12th NHK Taiga Drama 1974

Books

  • Oyakodaka (父子鷹) Shimozawa Kan
  • Katsu Kaishu (勝海舟) Shimozawa Kan
  • Katsu Kaishu (勝海舟) Katsube Masanaga
  • Shin Bakumatsu Fuun Roku Kanketsuhen (新幕末風雲録完結編) Mine Ryuichiro
  • Katsu Kaishu (勝海舟) Murakami Genzo


Research Books

  • Katsu Kaishu and Meiji Restoration (勝海舟と明治維新) Itakura Kiyonori
  • Katsu Kaishu & Sakamoto Ryoma (勝海舟と坂本龍馬) Kaku Kozo
  • Katsu Kaishu no Jinseikun (勝海舟の人生訓) Domon Fuyuji
  • Katsu Kaishu no Subete (勝海舟のすべて) Shin Jinbutsu Oraisha

References

  • Hillsborough, Romulus. RYOMA- Life of a Renaissance Samurai. Ridgeback Press, 1999
  • Jansen, Marius B. Sakamoto Ryoma and the Meiji Restoration. Columbia University Press, 1994.
  • Rekishi Dokuhon 2007/1 issue
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