Academia & Science

Book Launch: The Ghost of Namamugi

17 April 2019

6.00pm - 8.00pm

Daiwa Foundation, 13 - 14 Cornwall Terrace, London NW1 4QP. Nearest tube: Baker Street

020 7486 4348

In 1862 a British merchant was killed by samurai, in uncertain circumstances, at Namamugi – a quiet village near Yokohama. One year later, a British fleet bombarded the port of Kagoshima in response, reducing much of the city to ash.

In this book launch, Robert Fletcher will re-examine this turbulent moment in the history of relations between Britain and Japan. He explores how the death of a young merchant led to the bombardment of a Japanese city, and how different accounts of precisely what happened at Namamugi have circulated ever since, from newspapers and novels to television and film.

By locating this story within the history of British expansion in East Asia and the end of the Tokugawa shogunate, The Ghost of Namamugi provides a window onto the hopes and fears of the merchant communities of Japan’s new treaty ports. It presents, for the first time, the private correspondence of the merchant who lost his life at Namamugi, Charles Lenox Richardson – and gives audiences a chance to form their own judgement of the man at the centre of a nineteenth-century ‘outrage’.

The Ghost of Namamugi: Charles Lenox Richardson and the Anglo-Satsuma War will be on sale for the special discounted price of £35.00 (list price £55.00). We are able to accept cash payments only.

About the contributors
Dr Robert Fletcher
Dr Robert Fletcher is Associate Professor of Britain and Empire at the University of Warwick. He lived in Tokushima Prefecture before gaining his doctorate at the University of Oxford. His research, which explores the interplay of imperial and global history, has appeared in Past and Present and The English Historical Review