Musui's Story

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Musui's Story, or Musui dokugen (lit. "Musui talking to himself"), is the autobiography of Katsu Kokichi (1802-1850), written in 1843 following his retirement as head of the Katsu clan.

It was first published in 1899-1900 in a journal called Kyû Bakufu (lit. "former shogunate"), which was dedicated to publishing Bakumatsu period materials. The story was then reprinted in Katsu Kaishû zenshû ("The Collected Works of Katsu Kaishû") in 1927-1929, Kaishû being Kokichi's eldest son.

A revised version of the story was published by Heibonsha in 1969, incorporating punctuation, chapter divisions, and other changes made by Prof. Mitake Katsube of Ochanomizu University, along with Mitake's corrections of prior transcription errors from the original manuscript; this publication also included Heishiryû sensei iji, a collection of stories written by Katsu Kokichi about a famous swordsman of his time. The original manuscript of Musui dokugen subsequently was lost.

A translation of the autobiography into English, prepared by Dr. Teruko Craig, was published by University of Arizona Press in 1988.


  • Craig, Teruko (trans.). Musui's Story: The Autobiography of a Tokugawa Samurai. University of Arizona Press, 1988. p.xix.