Historical Nonfiction

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Were the samurai brought down by makeup? During the Edo Period, actors and geisha made lead-based make up popular among upper-class women. Not only did this harm the samurai class women — it seriously hurt their children. Tamiji Nakashima of Japan’s University of Occupational and Environmental Health studied the bones of Samurai children and adults to discover their cause of death. Based on chemical and X-ray analysis, the bones of the children in the study contained levels of lead dozens of times higher than both the male and female adults. Obviously, this is a problem for the ruling class. If the majority of your next generation is deformed, mentally delayed, or even disabled due to toxic early exposure to lead, your country is heading for trouble. It is suggested that the lack of mentally capable people running the Shogunate contributed to its inability to deal with the series of political crises between 1853 - 1867. This ended with the downfall of the samurai-supported Shogunate and the Meiji Restoration of the emperor.

Were the samurai brought down by makeup? During the Edo Period, actors and geisha made lead-based make up popular among upper-class women. Not only did this harm the samurai class women — it seriously hurt their children. Tamiji Nakashima of Japan’s University of Occupational and Environmental Health studied the bones of Samurai children and adults to discover their cause of death. Based on chemical and X-ray analysis, the bones of the children in the study contained levels of lead dozens of times higher than both the male and female adults. Obviously, this is a problem for the ruling class. If the majority of your next generation is deformed, mentally delayed, or even disabled due to toxic early exposure to lead, your country is heading for trouble. It is suggested that the lack of mentally capable people running the Shogunate contributed to its inability to deal with the series of political crises between 1853 - 1867. This ended with the downfall of the samurai-supported Shogunate and the Meiji Restoration of the emperor.

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