Meiji History

Bushido and the Two Souls of Inazo Nitobe (II)

Bushido and the Two Souls of Inazo Nitobe (II)

  • 29th December 2022

The timing of the publication of Bushido could hardly have been better. Years later, Nitobe claimed that he invented the term, and even the eminent scholar of Japan, Basil Hall Chamberlain, for once overshooting the mark, stated in his essay, The Invention of a New Religion (1911) that it had…

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Bushido and the Two Souls of Inazo Nitobe (I)

Bushido and the Two Souls of Inazo Nitobe (I)

  • 29th December 2022

Zwei Seelen wohnen, ach! in meiner Brust (Goethe, Faust 1, verse 1112) Two souls, alas! reside within my breast (transl. Bayard Taylor, 1887) ‘Scratch a Japanese of the most advanced ideas, and he will show a samurai.’ (Bushido, p.89). Such is the essence of Inazo Nitobe’s (1862-1933) message in his…

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‘Ukrainian Night’ in Sendai – in 1903?

  • 10th June 2022

My last blog took at its starting point a performance at a concert in Sendai in 1916: It’s a Long Way to Tipperary (billed as ‘Tipperary Song’). The piece I’m writing about today is a bit of a mystery: with regard to the title, the connection with Ukraine seems to…

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