Talk:Boshin War

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Miscellaneous topics[edit]

Could someone with solid knowledge of this period have a closer look at this? As far as I can see, there's several points which bear better examination: - By the time of the Meiji Restoration, the sonnō-jōi movement had largely fallen by the wayside; as proof of this, both sides in the war had help from foreign powers (Britain on the Satchō side, France on the Shogunate side). The trend was toward restoring power to the Emperor for practical reasons (as the Shogunate had demonstrated it no longer had the power to hold the western daimyō in check during the second attack on Chōshū, which ended in a truce). - Tokugawa Yoshinobu spontaneously restored power to the Emperor (this is known as Taisei Hōkan), so he did in fact resign his power. After the Taisei Hōkan, he had no more official power than any other daimyō. - Chōshū and Satsuma forces did not "seize" the palace, and the Shogunate forces did not attack Kyoto; rather, the Satchō army tried to force its way into Kyōto via Toba-Fushimi, leading to the battle there. - While the Shogunate forces had a numerical advantage, the Satchō army had far superior armament on average. - Yoshinobu was not "forced" to flee to Edo; he actually left Ōsaka by sea before the battle was decisively lost (actually leading to the retreat of the Shogunate forces). 08:42, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

I agree with the above that these points must be better explained. I would also like answers to these questions:
1. Why would the British support the emperor if he was initially xenophobic?
2. Where did the emperor come from? If before 1853 he was powerless, what enabled the two to enforce dominance over the shougun?
3. Why would Yoshinobu reject the emperor's demands if he had already resigned his title? Did he want to protect his lands or prestige? Brutannica (talk) 03:57, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

Also is "Boshin" correctly translated as "Year of the Dragon"? Tatsudoshi is "Year of the Dragon" - I have never seen "Boshin" associated with anything related to the zodiac, only the Boshin Sensou (Boshin War).

The answer for Boshin, requires an understanding of the 60 year Chinese/Japanese zodiac cycle Sexagenary cycle. The first Kanji Bo (or Wu in Chinese), is one of the ten stems. Shin, the second Kanji, can also be read Ryuu, Tatsu (or Lung in Chinese). So, Boshin, Wulung, Boryuu, and Botatsu, would all also be correct readings. "Boshin" or "tsuchi-no-e tatsu" are the accepted ones.

Shouldn't "Although the Shogunate had no intention of enforcing the order.." actually read "Although the Emperor had no intention of enforcing the order,"? It makes more sense that way and fits in with the final years of the conflict. —Preceding unsigned comment added by AltGrendel (talkcontribs) 18:42, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Wakamatsu Castle[edit]

Pointed the link of Wakamatsu Castle to Aizu-Wakamatsu, Fukushima-ken and not Wakamatsu-ku in Kitakyushu.

What is this all about?[edit]

Would it be possible for someone to summarize the Boshin War?

I mean did it lead to anything, this article seems obscure?

Well, sentence #2 says "The defeat of the shogunate led directly to the Meiji Restoration." What part of that are you having problems with? Jpatokal 03:41, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
I think the problem lies in that the article is very detailed. While there is nothing wrong with that, it is in the way it is detailed. It needs a bit of summarization. In order to fully understand this article, you have to read Sonno Joi and perhaps Meiji Restoration. It really doesn't help that the text between the first section of this article and most of the text in both Sonno Joi and Order to Expel Barbarians is copied and pasted from the same source... There needs to be a summary in this particular article of what Sonno Joi was really about and what it has to do with the Boshin War. Also, I think it needs to be put into perhaps more understandable terms. It seems to me that it is rather hard to understand unless you already know the material. Now I'm not saying it needs dumbing down, it just needs some summarization of everything else not mentioned in detail here.
Also, I don't completely understand some of the information. The picture caption says the Shogunate actively pursued modernization (as though it wanted it), yet the message I get from Sonno Joi is that the Shogunate was forced to modernize, thus it was viewed as incapable of curbing foreign actions against Japan. Did the Shogunate want modernization? -- TheSlyFox 11:03, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Featured article candidates[edit]

This is now a Wikipedia:Featured article candidates. You are invited to vote. PHG 17:27, 21 October 2006 (UTC)

Things as I find them[edit]

  • Whom is Satow describing in the quotation from Diplomat in Japan?
The person described is Saigo Takamori. PHG 18:27, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
I should have asked earlier: what page is that quotation from?--Monocrat 20:42, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
  • You should probably provide the original French quotation from Brunet to Napoleon III. Also, should that "she" be "you," if it refers to Napoleon?--Monocrat 17:09, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
Here's the French original: "Je dois signaler à l'Empereur la présence de nombreux officers américains et anglais, hors cadre et en congé, dans ce parti hostile aux intérêts français. La présence de ces chefs occidentaux chez nos adversaires peut m'empêcher peut-être de réussir au point de vue politique, mais nul ne pourra m'empêcher de rapporter de cette campagne des renseignements que Votre Majesté trouvera sans doute intéressants." PHG 18:27, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
Thanks! That helped a lot.--Monocrat 20:42, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
  • I'm starting to think that, per summary style, a lot of the "Political background" should be moved to Late Tokugawa shogunate, with a concise paragraph detailing things up to the arsons in Edo.--Monocrat 17:53, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
I would favor keeping the background as it is quite immediately relevant to the Boshin War itself, and most people will need this sort of introduction to understand the subject. Regards PHG 18:27, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
I understand, but my motivation for this is two-fold: first is the suggestions on summary style; second is the fact that "Political background" is already more detailed and better cited than Late Tokugawa shogunate. (Although that might be my fault!) The background section is more than half as long as the parts pertaining to the war. I won't press the issue, though.--Monocrat 20:42, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
  • If you have them handy, could you provide authors and publication information for the cited works?--Monocrat 18:17, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
Done, I think. PHG 18:37, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
Should have asked this earlier, too: for the citations to Polak, Polak et al., Togo Association, and Evans and Peattie, would it be possible to find page numbers or chapter titles?--Monocrat 18:04, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
  • I see you undid some of my changes with the images of the Hokkaido campaign. My main concern is that the image of Brunet etc. spills over into the gallery of the politicians. Perhaps it would be better to move the gallery of the Ezo leaders to Republic of Ezo and create a new gallery with the image from that page's infobox and the Brunet image. I just don't think there's enough text to give us proper space for all these images.--Monocrat 20:42, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
I added some more text on the diplomatic negociations of the Republic of Ezo. Is the image jam issue on your browser solved? Regards PHG 04:40, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, I like the added material. I've made the pixel sizes uniform throughout the article, which helps, I think, but there still seems to be too many images in the Hokkaido section. I understand a the desire to have all the principal people shown, especially Brunet, but I just think it's too much as it is. I think my suggestion would improve the article, but this won't be something to make me oppose it.--Monocrat 18:04, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
  • I cleaned up the Ezo Republic section. I also gave back some breadth to narrow image as they were not really visible anymore. There is even a map now! Regards PHG 05:34, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
(breaking indent) There needs to be a uniform size for the images, and I think keeping it below 300px would be best. I understand your concern about the longer images, but it's possible to open them in their own windows; and it just looked bad the prior way, especially the "Resistance of the Northern Coalition." I think the image size is a sticking point for me.--Monocrat 14:26, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Please give a page number for the speculation that the Shogunal army should have won at Toba-Fushimi. What would be better is if you can find an English-language source for that.--Monocrat 14:26, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
Done. I translated the Japanese historical source. PHG 18:30, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
  • The kanji for Tsu and Fushimi aren't needed here: they're in the respective articles. Also regarding kanji: could you provide English meanings for 公議政体派 and 奥羽越列藩同盟 (and romaji for the latter)?--Monocrat 14:26, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
  • I think 公議政体派 translate as Parlamentary Faction, although there may be a more exact term. 奥羽越列藩同盟 is Ouetsu Reppan Domei, and means Alliance of the Fiefs of the Northern Provinces (each province being designated by its abbreviation: 奥 is for 陸奥国 MutsuNoKuni, 羽 is for 出羽国 DewaNoKuni, 越 is for 越後国 EchigoNoKuni).PHG 16:50, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Who is commander-in-chief of the imperial forces at what times? Keene first says Prince Ninnajinomiya Yoshiaki was in charge nominally at least up to Fushimi-Toba, then Taruhito Arisugawa from March 1 in the Edo campaign, but this article vaciliates between Komatsumiya Akihito and Saigo. At the very least, the imperial pennants were given to the Ninnajinomiya and Arisugawa; perhaps Komatsumiya and Saigo were the operational commanders below these princes? It needs clarifying.--Monocrat 04:48, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
  • It's also worthwhile mentioning Prince Rinnojinomiya in "Resistance of the Northern Coalition." I'm just not sure what's the best way to include him at the moment. If you can put something in, I can add some stuff from Keene.--Monocrat 04:53, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

first sentence[edit]

we can't say that Boshin Sensō "literally means 'War of the Year of the Dragon'", I suppose...--K.C. Tang 08:29, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

Could you explain? A fuller definition is given in the footnote.--Monocrat 15:45, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
O, I didn't notice there's a note, sorry... the note says that "Boshin" exactly translates as "Year of the Yang Earth Dragon"... but "Boshin" doesn't mean dragon, nor yang, nor earth... as a Chinese, I find the statement a bit odd... but then perhaps it's the "standard way" of explaining 干支 in the West? I don't know...--K.C. Tang 00:32, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
Hi. Have you read the Sexagenary cycle article? 干支 designates the calendar as a whole, but the specific year in question is 戊辰, which does mean "Yang Earth Dragon" (specifically also read "tsuchinoe-tatsu" in Japanese as well, tsuchi being "earth", and tatsu being dragon). For the ideograms themselves, in calendars corresponds to the meaning "dragon" PHG 05:49, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
When we talk about 辰, we can say that it means "the fifth of the twelve Terrestrial Branches". We can't say it means dragon, we can only say that it is associated with dragon, it is symbolised by dragon (as a kind of memory aid). I was a bit confused to see that 戊辰 means literally the year of dragon (it'd be true if the Japanese were 竜年), but I think the note is now clear enough, and I was just being fussy... Cheers.--K.C. Tang 07:32, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
just come to think of it: why don't we then write "War of the Year of Yang Earth Dragon"? now it says "War of the Year of the Dragon", but Year of the Dragon can also be the 庚辰 year or others...--K.C. Tang 11:16, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

Boshin festivals[edit]

Aizu-Wakamatsu has a festival and parade every September in honor of the Byakko-tai warriors and Aizu's stand against the Meiji forces. It culminates in the Aizu Clan Parade, where people dressed in period costumes to represent various players in the conflict march through the city. Are there other such parades/festivals in Japan? It seems this might be something worth mention, perhaps in the "Later depictions" section. I've got photos of the parade and of Iimori Hill, the site of the Byakko-tai's ritual suicide and now a major shrine/memorial in Aizu-Wakamatsu, if such a section is added and a free image is desirable. — BrianSmithson 07:45, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

These would be great additions! I know there is also a festival in Hakodate here. PHG 08:01, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
I've uploaded my photos to Commons; the appropriate categories are Aizu Clan Parade, Byakkotai, and Iimori Hill. The Clan Parade supposedly covers all of Aizu's history, not just the Boshin War, so it may not be appropriate after all. Iimori Hill should be, though. — BrianSmithson 11:01, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the great images. I have created the Henry Schnell and Byakkotai stub using them. Regards. PHG 05:18, 9 November 2006 (UTC)
Cool. I hope to one day write a long piece on the Byakkotai but that will no doubt have to wait until my Japanese improves. I should be able to find some nice PD photographs of them, though; Byakkotai books and merchandise are everywhere here in Aizu. My friend the Schnell impersonator will be thrilled that he's now illustrating a Wikipedia article, by the way. At least until I can find a PD photo of the guy to replace him with. ;) -- BrianSmithson 05:32, 9 November 2006 (UTC)


PHG, a few points:

  1. I strongly think that images should not exceed 250px. There are a ton of images on this page (I've always been concerned about the number and the layout), and when viewed from modest machines at higher pixelations, they make the page hard to read.
  2. I don't see the movie Goryokaku discussed in the "Later depictions." For copyright reasons, it needs to be mentioned if you're going to use the image. Is it perhaps the same film as When the last sword is drawn? Please fix this either by standardizing the naming, adding text, or replacing the image. How about a gallery of relevant movie posters or photos from festivals?--Monocrat 14:40, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
Hi Monocrat. Please, I don't think there are rules on Wikipedia against having images beyond 250px. The best size depends on the proportions of the image itself: a vertical image can be enormous in 250px, and a horizontal image ridiculously small in 250px. I have never really seen this kind of "250px limit" in other articles as well.
Thank you for the comment on Goryokaku, I will add a line. regards. PHG 04:29, 9 November 2006 (UTC)
PHG, you're right, of course. There's no limit, really. Another discussion had gotten me rilled up, and I'm sorry I vented a bit here. Nevertheless, I'm concerned about how things appear on a modest but decent machine or for people with poor eyesight. (I have to count myself in both categories to some extent.) There has to be a compromise between the number of images and their dimensions and layout. And at 19 images outside the infobox, I felt 250px or suited most of the images best given seemingly reasonable constraints. Perhaps I've been too demanding. Anyway, any thoughts on how to clarify the issue of army leadership and Prince Rinnnojinomiya?--Monocrat 22:12, 9 November 2006 (UTC)
Hi Monocrat. I don't have much information on the exact army leadership and Prince Rinnnojinomiya. I thought (and had read) that Saigo Takamori was in effect Commander-in-Chief, but to your point others may actually have held the title. Please feel free to add a few lines, should you have more information. Regards PHG 20:42, 10 November 2006 (UTC)
(Break Indent) I can add a bit about Rinnojinomiya, as Keene labels him a "serious contender" for Meiji's throne. (I don't know about that!) I'll try to sort out the leadership issue.--Monocrat 19:29, 11 November 2006 (UTC)


Could you provide citations for the following?

  1. Saigo's having troops outside of the council (Keene only notes that Saigo "was outside of the room, ...[but that] his words reached Iwakura's ears and inspired new resolve.")
  2. The red and white pennant being a forgery (Keene is unclear on the matter but I read a suggestion that Meiji himself gave the pennant and sword to Yoshiaki, in which case the pennant would be legitimate, right?)
  3. The escape of 300 Satsuma provocateurs

I removed the part about Arisugawa being made chief minister because I couldn't find a citation for it, and it didn't seem to fit well with the material under discussion.

Anyway, I'm preparing to work on Meiji Restoration, and it seems like a lot of the material in Boshin War#Political background would fit better there. Do you think a summary of the current text would do this article justice?--Monocrat 15:29, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

Hi Monocrat,
1) is from a Japanese book "Saigo Takamori and Okubo Toshimichi"
2) idem
3) is from the Wikipedia Japanese page for Kaiyo Maru: [1].
I kind of like the longish intro because the Boshin War is so little known and the material so scarce that quite a lot of background seems necessary. Looking forward to your book! Best regards. PHG 21:04, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
Hmm. If you could provide page numbers for nos. 1 and 2, I'd be obliged. The specificity of the claims makes me a little nervous, and it might be nice to make a note about conflicting sources. Especially since Keene is so specific and detailed in general, I'd rather we downplay those claims. In the absence of an independent source (Wikipedia can't rely on itself as a source), I've removed the sentence about the provocateurs. I have to think more about what would go best where: since the Restoration and the War essentially mirror each other (one is political, one military), it's a tough balancing act.--Monocrat 01:25, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

Work in progress[edit]

Hosoya Yasutaro Captain Jules Brunet Commander in chief Matsudaira Taro Tajima Kintaro Captain Cazeneuve Sargeant Jean Marlin Fukushima Tokinosuke Sergeant Arthur Fortant Use button to enlarge or cursor to investigate
The French military advisers and their Japanese allies in Hokkaido - use a cursor to investigate

Use a cursor to investigate this modified image .... interested ? Victuallers (talk) 22:38, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

Whoa! This is great stuff! Let's incorporate it in the article asap. PHG (talk) 18:37, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Pleased you like it. Tomorrow's featured article uses the same idea but with image pop-ups instead. If the missing people who are not linked had (non-trivial) stubs then it would work even better. But its not important. Sadly there is a known bug which prevents hotspots in the caption text too. Victuallers (talk) 18:52, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

A bloodless revolution[edit]

Some parts in the article say that the Meiji Restoration is viewed as a "bloodless revolution", but is it true? I have lived in Japan for decades and never heard of it. It's often said the surrender of Edo was "bloodless", so possibly aren't these two confused? -- (talk) 03:59, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Bit of formatting needed?[edit]

Under the latest version of Firefox with a 1600x1200 resolution, there's a section of the page that looks like this:


That's an awful lot of whitespace (about 800px}. I'd normally go ahead and do something about it, but in this case, I figured I'd check to see if I'm the only one experiencing the problem - My screen resolution isn't the most common, so it may just be a bit of random weirdness. If I'm the only one seeing something like this, then so be it, nothing needs changing. Otherwise, a bit of image switching may be required. So, before any changes are suggested, anyone else experiencing the same issue on different monitors? GeeJo (t)(c) • 09:23, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

At 1024x768 on Firefox 3.0.13, I do not see anything like the whitespace you describe and illustrate. Perhaps there have been other changes, but I am not changing anything in that area. I have changed an image size. See below for an explanation. --DThomsen8 (talk) 02:54, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:GoryokakuVideo.jpg[edit]

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Image:GoryokakuVideo.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to ensure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation can be deleted one week after being tagged, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot (talk) 22:52, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Minor formatting, big improvement[edit]

Haguma and Shaguma headress.

Making this image 180px allows the Notes section to flow across the entire page. --DThomsen8 (talk) 02:47, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Which is better to rename?[edit]

This page's name is 'Boshin War'. But the counterpart name of Commons category is 'Boshin war'. Which is better to rename, this page or Commons category?--Slim walker (talk) 04:30, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

The Last Samurai?[edit]

Which historical situations from the Boshin War are incorporated into The Last Samurai? I believe that The Last Samurai is loosely based on the Satsuma Rebellion and similar rebellions against the Meiji government. I cannot think of anything in The Last Samurai that is based on the events of the Boshin War. --Westwind273 (talk) 06:02, 31 July 2011 (UTC)


I wonder about the use of German words meant to denote outdated rifle models, namely "Büchse" and "Gewehr". I am not aware of any special meaning of these words if used in English. The German meaning is in both cases just "rifle"; Büchse being rather a hunting or sports rifle, Gewehr meaning rifle in the broadest sense. Did he mean to indicate that these were German weapons? But then the "Büchse" model is said to be from the Netherlands and they do not use the word unless by its Dutch form "buks". Does this make any sense? Kipala (talk) 12:36, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

Being german, I would like to add the following: "Gewehr" means any handheld firearm, fired from the shoulder an handled with both hands. It can be smoothbore (then it is called "Flinte" as in "Schrotflinte", shotgun) oder rifled (then it is called "Büchse").
So basically I agree with Kipala: "Büchse smoothbore gun" is an contradiction in terms. Perhaps somebody who is acquainted with the topic should check. Regards -- (talk) 19:11, 22 August 2014 (UTC) (ie. de:Benutzer:Marinebanker).

Lead Image[edit]

The lead image in this article of the Samurais sitting around looking at some document is labeled as being one clan in the article. But if you go to the description page of the image it's labeled as being a different clan. So which clan is it? --Sabre ball t c 15:32, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

Conflicting accounts in Boshin War and Tokugawa Yoshinobu articles[edit]

There is a need to clear up conflicting accounts of the start of the war in the Boshin War and Tokugawa Yoshinobu articles. The Boshin War article states three times that Yoshinobu planned to attack or seize the emperor's court at Kyoto, and that his forces attacked the forces of Chōshū and Satsuma. The Tokugawa Yoshinobu article states that his troops were only sent to ensure that Chōshū and Satsuma forces did not prevent his message of protest being delivered to the emperor, and that his forces were refused entry and then attacked by Satsuma and Chōshū troops. Unless one of these versions is purely an eccentric fringe theory, then both versions need to appear in both articles, due to WP:NPOV. If one of them is fringe (something which I'm in no position to decide), then the non-fringe version needs to appear in both articles. Tlhslobus (talk) 11:29, 4 February 2013 (UTC)