Statue of Hayashi Shihei in Kōtōdai Park, Sendai
|Born||August 6, 1738|
|Died||July 28, 1793|
|Pen name||Kumusai shujin|
|Subjects||Military strategy, geography|
Hayashi Shihei (林 子平, August 6, 1738 - July 28, 1793) was a Japanese military scholar and a retainer of the Sendai Domain. His name is sometimes misread (according to the Sino-Japanese reading) as Rin Shihei.
Shihei was born as a second son of Hayashi Gonhyoue Yoshimichi, a hatamoto who served the Tokugawa shogunate. However Yoshimichi was expelled for some reason; some argue it was the result of a conflict with his colleagues (perhaps a duel.) After that, Shihei was brought up by his uncle Hayashi Jyugo, a physician. He spent most of his life in his bedroom. He wrote a poem called "Six Nos", which reads: "I have no parents, no wife, no son, no block for printing, no money, and I wish for 'no death'."
His elder brother, Hayashi Kazen became one of the Sendai domain's official doctors. Years before Commodore Perry sailed into Japan in 1853, Shihei was pushing for Japan to adopt Western military science and the reeducation of the samurai. He complained of the lack of organized drill exercises, and stressed the importance of chōren, or teamwork drill, rather than mere individual martial training. He gave a lot of technical descriptions about shipbuilding, cannons and other military designs. He published these thoughts in his work titled Kaikoku Heidan (i.e. Discussion concerning military matters of a maritime nation), printed without permission of the bakufu in the year 1791. The printing blocks were confiscated soon afterwards. Another famous work is Sangoku Tsūran Zusetsu (Illustrated Description of Three Countries), printed 1786.
- (Japanese) Japanese Wiki article on Hayashi (20 Sept. 2007)
- (Japanese) Japanese Wiki article on the "Kansei no san-kijin" (20 Sept. 2007)
- Dore, Ronald P. (1965). Education in Tokugawa Japan. (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul), p. 171.
Further reading 
- Boxer, C.R. (1932). Rin Shihei and his picture of a Dutch East-India ship, 1782. Tokyo: Asiatic Society of Japan.
- Lederer, Friedrich (Transl./Ed.) Diskurs über die Wehrhaftigkeit einer Seenation München, Iudicium, 2002 (Diss. LMU Munich) First Translation of Kaikoku Heidan in a foreign language, i.e. German.
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