Fun Link Friday: Samurai Problems on Twitter

This July, a new Twitter account appeared, and began tweeting out incredible small-scale, everyday, “truth is stranger than fiction” sort of stories about life in Edo period Japan.

Just precisely which graduate student or professor is behind the account is a mystery. But I believe they’ve said that all the stories come from actual Edo period sources – if they’re not direct “fact” from individuals’ diaries or the like, they’re at least widespread rumors of the time.

These are hilarious and wonderful, but they’re also a great insight into the great variety and reality of experience. It can be all too easy sometimes to imagine the past in a simplified fashion, without all of these little hiccups.

Samurai bureaucrats woke up late. They had (literal) cold feet. They struggled with petty little things in life like we all do.

I hope they can get enough stories to keep it up. I’m certainly going to keep an eye out in my documents for anything along these lines to submit as suggestions.

About Travis

I am a scholar of Japanese & Okinawan history with a particular interest in the history of arts and culture, and inter-Asia interactions, in the early modern period. I have been fortunate to enjoy the opportunity to live in Okinawa for six months in 2016-17, and in mainland Japan on multiple occasions, including from Sept 2019 to now.
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