Oshio Heihachiro

Oshio Heihachiro

(1793 - 1837)

While working as a civil official, a teenage Oshio Heihachiro learned he was descended from a heroic sixteenth-century warrior; he felt “deeply grieved” and “ashamed at being a petty document writer.” In 1830 he abandoned his career as a samurai policeman to teach neo-Confucianist mind cleansing. A few years later, he led his students into rebellion against the Tokugawa government for its mishandling of a famine. The rebellion failed; Oshio committed suicide by setting fire to his house.

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