Book Review – ‘Defensive Positions: The politics of maritime security in Tokugawa Japan’ by Derek Massarella

By Derek Massarella, published November 2020


This book explores the relationship between the feudal domains and the Tokugawa shogunate during the Edo period (1603–1867), focusing on the defences of Nagasaki, one of the three major gateways for Japan’s foreign trade. The port’s administration was in the hands of the shogunate, but responsibility for defending the port was delegated to the Kyushu domains of Saga and Fukuoka. The author examines the history of this tripartite division and argues that it is crucial to an understanding Japan’s response to the Western intrusion in the nineteenth century …

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Filed under: Other (Nineteenth C) | Other (Eighteenth C) | Pacific
Subjects include: Navies | Strategy & Diplomacy

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