Saigo Takamori

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Saigo Takamori


Born Dec. 7, 1827, in Kagoshima; died Sept. 14, 1877. Japanese political figure.

A samurai from Satsuma principality, Saigo commanded the forces of the antishogun coalition during the incomplete bourgeois revolution of 1867–68. In the 1870’s he defended the interests of many of the samurai dissatisfied with their diminished role after the revolution. Saigo demanded restoration of the feudal privileges of the samurai. In order to enhance the importance of the military clique, he pressed for a campaign against Korea; however, his proposal of a military expedition into Korea was rejected by the government, which considered such a step premature. In 1873, as a gesture of protest, Saigo resigned from his post as minister of war.

In 1877, Saigo led a rebellion of reactionary samurai in Satsuma, in which more than 40,000 took part. The government suppressed the rebellion; Saigo, who was wounded in the fighting, committed suicide.

References in periodicals archive ?
The background of this print is inspired by a retro postcard image of Tokyo featuring the famous statue of Saigo Takamori.
Musashimaru said he has been blessed to have a surprising resemblance to the 19th-century Japanese warrior hero Saigo Takamori, one of the most influential samurai in history and dubbed "the last true samurai.
Among them are Saigo Takamori (1827-1877), Katsu Kaishu (1823-1899), Ito Hirobumi (1841-1909), and Okubo Toshimichi (1830-1878), they said.