This aims to be an informative post regarding the characters in Bakumatsu Rock. I actually hold a history degree and this is what I choose to do with it. I apologize profusely to the history department of Gettysburg College.
Clicking on everyone’s names links you to their Wikipedia articles.
Sakamoto Ryoma | 坂本 龍馬 (1/3/1836 - 12/10/1867): Worked to overthrow the Tokugawa Shogunate during the Bakumatsu period (roughly 1853-1867). Successfully negotiated peace between the long-hostile provinces of Choushuu and Satsuma, uniting them against the Bakufu (the government officials supporting the Shogun). Choushuu defeated the Tokugawa army in 1866 and Sakamoto proceeded to study democratic governance (namely from the US and UK) as he felt the Imperial Court did not have enough recent experience in this area (the Tokugawa Shogunate having been in power from 1603 onward). Unfortunately, before the Meiji Restoration actually occurred, Sakamoto was assassinated in Kyoto.
(Side note: Sakamoto briefly considered assassinating Tokugawa official Katsu Kaishuu, but Katsu persuaded him to work together instead. In the game - and probably in the show once he appears - he claims to be loyal to the Shogunate but apparently acts otherwise.)
Takasugi Shinsaku | 高杉 晋作 (9/27/1839 - 5/17/1867): Takasugi was, as the anime suggests, a student of Yoshida Shoin. Unlike in the anime, Takasugi was extremely opposed to Westerners being in the country and favored a policy of seclusion. He visited Shanghai in 1862 to scout out the Western powers already there and determined that Japan needed to increase its military strength in order to avoid being colonized. He was an advocate of Sonno Joi (a political philosophy that involved expelling foreigners and revering the Emperor over the Shogunate), but eventually realized that Japan would need to learn Western military tactics and adapt their technology in order to better defend itself. The Sonno Joi movement morphed into an anti-Bakufu movement, and eventually Takasugi, who was from Choushuu, led the province’s forces in a successful military strike against them. (He got support from Kido Takayoshi, better known in the anime as Katsura Kogorou.) Takasugi died of TB at the age of 28, just missing the successful overthrow of the Tokugawa Shogunate that he had worked so hard towards.
Katsura Kogorou aka Kido Takayoshi | 木戸 孝允 (8/11/1833 - 5/26/1877): Kido was born in Choushuu Province and was known as Katsura Kogorou until 1865. He, too, was a student of Yoshida Shoin, and he worked as a liason in Edo between the province’s bureaucrats and the Sonno Joi activists. When his ties to loyalists in Mito Domain were discovered, he was transferred to Kyoto, and after some government kerfluffles involving the Aizu and Satsuma Domains overthrowing the government (which forced him into hiding at one point with a geisha named Ikumatsu whom he later married - hmmm, I wonder…), he helped to establish the alliance between Satsuma and Choushuu. After the Meiji Restoration, he did a large amount of work as an Imperial Advisor and even accompanied the Iwakura Mission on its tour of the US and Europe, after which he became an advocate of instituting a constitutional government.
And as a bonus, here he is in Western clothes. No glasses or drums, though.
Yoshida Shoin | 吉田松陰 (9/20/1830 - 11/21/1859): Indeed an educator, Yoshida spent a large portion of his early adult life traveling and studying, although at one point he skipped out to do so with only verbal permission and actually got in trouble for not waiting for written permission. When Commodore Matthew Perry arrived in 1853, Yoshida and a friend, Sakuma Shozen, petitioned the Bakufu for permission to go and study in the West and were refused, so they decided to actually try to sneak onto the black ships and smuggle themselves to the United States. (They were caught.) Yoshida was jailed for this offense, but ran a school from his jail cell, and continued to teach once he was released, sending his students around to study since he was more or less banned from doing so. He eventually rebelled against Ii Naosuke and was again jailed, but continued to plot the rebellion nonetheless. He was eventually executed at the age of 29.
Okita Souji | 沖田 総司 (1842/44 - 7/19/1868): Captain of the first unit of the Shinsengumi, a police unit that needs no introduction. He died of TB during the Boshin War. He’s best known for his signature technique which supposedly (read: this is hyperbole) could strike one’s neck, left shoulder, and right shoulder all at the same time; the technique was known as Mumyo-ken or Sandanzuki. Okita’s relationship with Hijikata in real life is unknown, but historical fiction likes pairing them up (
take that as you will). In reality, he was very close with Yamanami Keisuke and was devastated by his seppuku in 1865.
Hijikata Toshizou | 土方 歳三 (5/31/1835 - 6/20/1869): Hijikata actually founded the Shinsengumi with Kondou Isami in 1863. He served as a deputy commander and later vice-commander and fought against the Reformists, dying during the Battle of Hakodate during the Boshin War.
An interesting tidbit from his Wikipedia article, by the way:
He was apparently tall compared to the average Japanese men of the period, and it is said that he was very handsome. He was said to be spoiled at an early age and was alleged to be mean to all but his friends and family. This changed when a 21-year-old swordsman from the Aizu clan known for opposing the Reformists was forced to commit seppuku (ritual suicide). When Hijikata attended the man’s funeral, he apparently cried in public.
Kondou Isami | 近藤 勇 (11/9/1834 - 5/17/1868): Commander of the Shinsengumi. Like many other Tokugawa supporters, Kondou died during the Boshin War, but the circumstances of his death are particularly relevant to this series because he was reportedly executed by the new Imperial Government for the assassination of Sakamoto Ryoma. Whether or not he actually masterminded the assassination, he ended up dead as a result of it, so keep this in the back of your mind as you watch the anime.
Toudou Heisuke | 藤堂 平助 (1844 - 12/13/1867): …no relation to this dork, I swear. (I really do love Toudou Jinpachi, though. Anyway.) The only one I was unable to find an actual photo of - which is very frustrating, believe me - this Toudou was, as mentioned by the girls Sakamoto is talking to in episode one, the 8th unit captain of the Shinsengumi. He received this post in 1865. His death appears to have been accidental; although Kondou wished to spare his life when he left the Shinsengumi to join the Goryoueji breakoff group, a newbie to the force, Miura Tsunesaburou, killed him during the Aburakoji Affair in 1867 due to not knowing the circumstances involved.
Ii Naosuke | 井伊 直弼 (11/29/1815 - 3/24/1860): Ii Naosuke was a politician, and a good one at that. The daimyo of Hikone and tairou of the Tokugawa Shogunate, Ii was an immensely powerful politician who aimed to keep the Tokugawa in power, but he’s best known in the US for signing the Harris Treaty. As tairou, Ii served as chief minister and managed to handle a large number of issues, including an heirless Tokugawa Iesada (with the backing of the Bakufu, 12-year-old Tokugawa Yoshitomi - aka Iemochi - was installed as Shogun after Iesada’s death). He conducted the Ansei Purge, a move in which the Shogunate got rid of anyone not supporting its foreign trade policies, and was quite famously assassinated right in front of the Shogun’s Edo castle in 1860 in what is known as the Sakuradamon Incident by Mito Domain ronin. Ii’s death was then covered up for several months in order to keep the general populace under the Shogunate’s control, but in the end they really only had less then a decade left anyway.
Tokugawa Yoshinobu | 徳川 慶喜 (10/28/1837 - 11/22/1913): Yoshinobu was the final Tokugawa Shogun. He became Shogun in 1866 and did take some measures to strengthen the Tokugawa government, but with the onset of the Boshin War this was not to last. Early in the Boshin War (11/9/1867), he tendered his resignation as Shogun to Emperor Meiji and stepped down, eventually retiring to Shizuoka, where, according to his Wikipedia page, he enjoyed such hobbies as oil-painting, archery, hunting, photography, and cycling. Go ahead, work on your Yowapeda crossovers now.
hey lgbtq+ kids wanna play a game where u play as (past the character creation screen) an entirely gender-neutral protagonist fukkin around in space w/ your bisexual buddies killing aliens ?
heres ur chance to own Saints Row IV and play a game that is exactly that! its…
Pokemon Master Mayuri
so sorry for my shitty humour OTL
12/03/13 edit: Tonight on Twitter, Deadpool writer Gerry Duggan confirmed that Deadpool is queer, describing him as being omnisexual which is often used interchangeably with pansexual (a more inclusive form of bisexuality) so the following should now be read in the context…
Things Harry Potter Actors say
This is why I love these people
We’re like sisters
I NEVER KNEW HOW BADLY I NEEDED HAIKYUU!! RULE 63 UNTIL I DREW ONE.
and I should be working, working on important stuff
but there was no escape, my hand was drawing uncontrollably
also a little bonus with managers which I was too tired to finish:
MANILA, Philippines – Two commercial aircraft parked at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) were damaged due to strong winds brought by typhoon “Glenda.”
Meanwhile, a Boeing 738 plane of Malaysia Airlines also sustained damage when it hit a mobile service stairs after it was dragged and spun by strong winds.
The eye of Typhoon Rammasun, known locally as Glenda, has passed to the south of Manila after cutting a path through eastern islands, toppling trees and power lines and causing electrocutions and blackouts.
We had no electricity from 4am until 7pm. Some areas still don’t have power due to hugeass trees and debris flying everywhere.
Train stations, schools, government buildings, and a whole lotta other establishments are down for the count.
BECAUSE IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO PARTY BAYBEH.
i made an embarrassing aph!fifa with germany 4 years ago.
Anonymous asked: Imagine the Karasuno team calling Dai-chan "papa" and Suga-chan "mama" as jokes ha ha ha but then they get so used to calling them by those names, it becomes natural and even during intense tournament matches, they would unconsciously yell "PAPA! BALL COMING!" OR "MAMA TOSS ME THE BALL" OKAY BYE.
All the other teams think it’s some kind of code and they get really put off by it and whisper during timeouts, “we’ve gotta figure out what the mama move is”