Organized Panel Session
This panel investigates the aftermaths of critical, seemingly decisive battles in Japanese history. Rather than focus on the military aspects of these events, this panel explores how victory alone never dictates the consequences of warfare. The conduct of winners and losers, the agendas of leaders, the responses of constituents, the imagination and interests of diverse publics — all inflect often surprising outcomes that evolve, often slowly, over time. By focusing on the aftermaths, and not on the battle themselves, each paper explores the nature of historical change at famous turning points across medieval, early modern, and modern Japanese history.
Bovbjerg’s paper examines the efforts by the Kamakura shogunate to institutionalize and curtail the disorder that followed the Jōkyū Disturbance through its first written laws. Berry’s paper explores why the losers of Sekigahara opted in to the victors’ vision for a new political order. Ravina’s paper considers the legacies of the Boshin War through the work of Yamakawa Kenjirō, a veteran of the Northern Alliance and author of a popular account of the conflict.