It all started with a samurai

The now renowned samurai, Sakamoto Ryoma, is the reason I am where I am today.

I became engrossed with the fact that he is, and continues to be, so popular in Japan, and I wanted to know why, so I began a dissertation.  That dissertation got me into graduate school here in Japan where I discovered another samurai who is not so well-known. This samurai goes by many names and aliases, but I like to use the name by which his descendants call him: Nakai Hiromu.

I have started this blog in order to tell the world about Nakai Hiromu, and anything else I find interesting to share with you.

So here are some Nakai facts:

He was born on 29/11/1838 (Tenpo 9), which means January 14th 1839 in the Gregorian calendar (he’s a capricorn!), to a Satsuma samurai family in the castle town of Kagoshima. He was the first son of Yokoyama Eisuke and at birth was given the name Yokoyama Kyunoshin. He ran away from Satsuma at the age of sixteen in 1854, the same year that Commodore Perry came to “open” Japan.

He travelled to Britain in 1866 and on his return in 1867 he entered service in the Foreign Department. It was in this capacity that he left his mark on history in an incident called the “Nawate Incident” or “Parkes Incident” – I’m going to save that story for another day though….

As this is my first attempt at such an endeavour, and I’m still like a baby taking its first tentative steps, I will keep it brief by wrapping up here for now.


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