A.B. Mitford and the Birth of Japan as a Modern State
A.B. Mitford and the Birth of Japan as a Modern State
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Table of Contents
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Plate section faces page 114
Foreword by Sir Hugh Cortazzi, GCMG
List of Plates
1 Yokohama
October – December 1866
2 Edo
October 1866 – May 1867
3 The Shogun
January – April 1867
4 An Adventurous Journey
July – August 1867
5 The Birth of the New Japan
October 1867 – March 1868
6 Kyoto
February – March 1868
7 Osaka
March – July 1868
8 Tokyo
August 1868 – January 1870
9 After Japa
1870 – 1906
10 The Return
February – March 1906
11 The Legacy 1906 –

Robert Morton

A.B. Mitford and the Birth of Japan as a Modern State

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Mitford (later to become the first Lord Redesdale) was an urbane aristocrat, had charm, looks and excellent manners. He was always in the right place at the right time, almost drowned, could have burned to death, was shot at, and was nearly cut down by samurai swords. But 'Bertie', as he was known, was never fazed by events. He stood face-to-face with the new, teenage Emperor when almost everybody else, including the Shogun, could only talk to him behind a screen. He became friendly with the last Shogun and witnessed a hara-kiri, his atmospheric account of which is now a classic. An accomplished linguist and writer, Mitford was the outstanding chronicler of the Meiji Restoration, complementing the writings of his contemporary Ernest Satow. This book will be of particular interest to students and readers of Japanese history, as well as readers of nineteenth-century biography in general. It will also have special appeal to those who are familiar with the Mitford family history.
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Robert Morton

Dr Robert Morton is a professor at Chuo University, Tokyo, Japan. He is the author of the prize-winning A.B. Mitford and the Birth of Japan as a Modern State and A Life of Sir Harry Parkes.