Behind the Story of “Blood & Tears” – Sonno Joi! 尊皇攘夷
In Episode 1, O-Hatsu’s teahouse is raided by pro-imperial samurai searching for Tokugawa supporters.
The slogan “Sonno joi!” (Expel foreigners, revere the Emperor!) was a popular cry for the pro-imperial factions rebelling against the established shogunate government.
The conflict between the shogunate bakufu and imperial court began after the Shogun approved trade talks with Commodore Matthew Perry upon his arrival in Japan in 1853. This simmering dissatisfaction quickly boiled over into public outrage in 1863, when Emperor Komei declared relations with the U.S. and other nations should cease and foreigners be expelled from the country.
Ironically, following overthrow of the bakufu government the imperial court vigorously pursued international trade and diplomatic relations, with the emphasis on maintaining Japan’s independence.
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