The escapades of a samurai in musuis story an autobiography by katsu kokichi

While we see what is a relatively privileged caste, Kokichi only deigning to show us conversation between him and those of the same rank, it shows that the Tokugawa shogunate was still on firm footing. Very revealing about what life was like for lower ranking samurai in the Tokugawa era.

He also masquerades as a mystic, and gets rich only to quickly lose it on prostitution by peasants paying him to guess lottery numbers.

Musui's Story: The Autobiography of a Tokugawa Samurai

Both the framework of his story and the structure of his society bend under such an assault, but they do not break.

He glorifies his lack of worth ethic and also his lack of family honor all the while making himself sound like a saint at times. From childhood, Katsu was given to mischief.

Musui’s Story or Mafia’s Story:

As a result of the realities of the Edo period, Katsu became the antithesis of the neo-Confucian samurai. Most samurai living in Edo, and most other castle towns of the period although probably not as dishonest as Katsu Kokichi on the wholehad very little to do but march to the capital, spend money and fight off debt, and this book does a good job of presenting a rare firsthand account of one such "urban samurai.

With the end of the wars of unification, the samurai class struggled to find relevancy within the shogunate and would compete with the new merchant class for power and influence. Kaplan and Alec Dubro, a modern gangster named Goro Fujita is described and is hauntingly similar to Katsu.

By the time of Kokichi, it seems that the spheres of men and women have been tightly segregated among the Samurai, and Kokichi seems to take little interest in women beyond prostitutes.

What the effects of this were upon his writing of the story, we can only ponder, but beyond the normal effort in an autobiography to reflect well on oneself, it also explains why the author is very eager to demonstrate that he is truly remorseful for the mistakes of his youth, and why he carefully emphasizes his remorse and understanding for penalties applied against him.

By his mid-thirties, he had essentially become the boss of all those toughs making a living as enforcers in the Yoshiwara. Such animosity is not entirely absent of course, as demonstrated by a village guard attacking the extremely ill Kokichi, but beggars are seen more as religious wanderers than as vagabonds to be sneered at.

The situation from which he writes, under effective house arrest, would bear mentioning extensive parallels to this cage punishment, and his preface, conclusion, and cage scenes are the only times within the book where he ever truly expresses remorse for his erring ways.

Katsu justified his criminal activities by becoming a Robin Hood figure. The villages still have enough money to respond to demands, even rather unusual ones like the request for ryos, and although they can be rowdy and uncooperative, they are brought into heel in time.

Our protagonist is a complete bastard, if a charming one. He becomes a merchant of swords, earning profits only to spend every bit of it in short order.

Katsu had finally transitioned from petty thief and thug into a crime boss providing protection services in the Yoshiwara district. Government positions were few in number and Katsu complained about this circumstance when he said: His bad reputation forces him into an early retirement at age thirty-seven.

As such, he typifies in many ways the lower ronin, or masterless samurai, many of whom famously led roaming, directionless lives and wreaked havoc among the urban poor and merchant classes.

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Musui's Story: The Autobiography of a Tokugawa Samurai Summary & Study Guide

Unfortunately, for Katsu Kokichi and for thousands of other unemployed samurai, this ideal proved to be elusive. The State in Early Modern France. Upon his retirement he wrote an autobiography that offers modern readers a richly detailed account of daily life in Edo during the early nineteenth century.

He would like to pursue a graduate degree in the humanities in the future. He ran away from home, once at thirteen, making his way as a beggar on the great trunk road between Edo and Kyoto, and again at twenty, posing as the emissary of a feudal lord.

However, crime does exist in Japan, but is well organized and controlled by organized crime networks. Katsu move from gang leader to crime boss can easily be compared to a modern Yakuza gangster patrolling nightclubs in the Ginza. Kokichi explicitly avoids taking formal overt pride in his life, warning that one should not follow in his footsteps.

Katsu was a braggart, a bully, a brawler, a wife beater, a hustler, and more importantly a racketeer. Request reprint licenses, information on subsidiary rights and translations, accessibility files, review copies, and desk and exam copies.

Musui is born to a concubine, given up to a wet nurse, and only at seven is he adopted into the Katsu family. Like the modern day mafia don, he wore expensive woolen clothing and spent large amounts on his own pleasure while his family were left wanting.

As an adult, Katsu makes the leap from street thug and gang leader to racketeer and joins the ranks of organized criminals. The samurai were at best soldiers of fortune, skirmishing, raiding, robbing, and sometimes murdering the unsuspecting for personal gain.

Katsu Kokichi

A Modern History of Japan: Media has made the life of a samurai as something grand and elegant when it really was the complete opposite. New York, Oxford University Press, Musuis Story The Autobiography of a Tokugawa Samurai by Kokichi Katsu available in Trade Paperback on, also read synopsis and reviews.

Katsu Kokichi was a low ranking samurai who lived during the last decades of the Tokugawa period of. Musui's Story is the autobiographical account of samurai Katsu Kokichi, who lived in the early s during the height of the Tokugawa period in Japan.

He took on the name Musui after he officially retired. Musui lived an adventurous life, full of swordfights, family squabbles, thievery. Musui’s Story: The Autobiography of a Tokugawa Samurai serves as a window into the growth and development of organized crime and of a crime boss in Edo Japan.

It is the story of a Katsu Kokichi, a ronin, or unemployed samurai. Compare book prices from overbooksellers. Find Musui's Story: The Autobiography of a Tokugawa Samur () by Katsu Kokichi. Katsu Kokichi died in Edo inthree years before Commodore Matthew C.

Perry reached Japan. The autobiography has been translated into English by Teruko Craig, under the title Musui's Story: The Autobiography of a Tokugawa killarney10mile.comen: Katsu Kaishū. Musui’s Story is an exceptional account of one man’s hell-raising, rule-breaking, and living beyond his means.

The autobiography documents the life of Katsu Kokichi, a samurai in Japan’s late Tokugawa period who adopted the name Musui in his retirement. Katsu is something of a black sheep.

The escapades of a samurai in musuis story an autobiography by katsu kokichi
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