Honour and expulsion: Terrorism in nineteenth‐century Japan

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Case studies of terrorist groups from before 1900 are rare and only a handful have been fully detailed in the terrorism literature. This article describes one such group, the shishi, a radical samurai movement which waged a terrorist campaign in Japan just prior to the Meiji Restoration. Placed in context, the origin, structure and methods of this group are described. Also examined is the profound impact the movement had on Japanese society. It is argued that the study of older terrorist groups warrants greater interest and that a scientific understanding of terrorism depends on the incorporation of such early examples.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-81
Number of pages24
JournalTerrorism and Political Violence
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1997


  • terrorism
  • Japan
  • history of terrorism
  • Meiji restoration
  • shishi terrorism

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