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Satsuma(sätso͞o`mä), peninsula, Kagoshima prefecture, SW Kyushu, Japan. It gives its name to a famous porcelain, Satsuma ware, which was first manufactured there by Korean artisans in the 16th cent. As a feudal province, Satsuma was controlled by the powerful Shimazu clan, which exacted tribute from the Ryukyu Islands from the 17th to the 19th cent. and developed Satsuma into one of the most advanced areas in 19th-century Japan. Kagoshima, the capital of Satsuma, was a center of Western influence in Japan. In 1877, Takamori Saigo led the Satsuma clansmen in a rebellion against the imperial government. This rebellion, suppressed by the imperial army, was the last serious internal threat to the Meiji restoration.
a principality of feudal Japan, in the southern part of the island of Kyushu; after the administrative reform of 1871, part of the prefecture of Kagoshima. Because of its advantageous geographical position at an intersection of sea routes to China and Korea, Satsuma since ancient times had the most highly developed economy, ranking first among other parts of Japan. By the mid-19th century, it had pioneered plants and factories that produced consumer goods.
In the 1860’s an alliance between the mercantile and manufacturing bourgeoisie of Satsuma and the samurai played an active role in the struggle against the shogunate. After the incomplete bourgeois revolution of 1867–68 (Meiji Restoration), men from Satsuma occupied leading posts in the state administration, monopolizing, in particular, command of the navy. Many samurai, unable to adapt to the new conditions, expressed discontent with the bourgeois reforms of the late 1860’s and early 1870’s and in 1877 a reactionary revolt rose in Satsuma under Saigo Takamori. The revolt was crushed by government troops.