This week we have the second and final part of our series on Saigo Takamori, covering his rebellion against the government, his death, and his legacy. Tune in for one of the most famous stories in Japanese history!
Listen to the episode
The Last Samurai.
Images (Courtesy of the Wikimedia Foundation)
Saigo Takamori and his officers as depicted by the French Le Monde Illustre. Note that while some are wearing traditional garb, Saigo himself is wearing a Western officers uniform.
Saigo and his companions on the advance. Note the Western style military uniforms.
One of the bank notes issued by Saigo’s government in Kagoshima during his rebellion.
Saigo’s troops in an unidentified battle. Note both the banner (with the slogan of the rebellion, Shinsei Kotoku [A New Government of Great Virtue], emblazoned on it) and the Western-style weaponry being fired in the background.
A contemporary Japanese illustrated newspaper depicting Imperial Japanese Army soldiers.
Soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army in the Kumamoto Garrison in 1877. The Kumamoto Garrison resisted Saigo’s advance, buying time for the rest of the IJA to assemble and counterattack.
The Battle of Tabaruzaka; Saigo’s troops are on the right and those of the government are on the left.
A contemporary photograph of the fortifications surrounding Shiroyama erected by the Imperial Japanese Army. The fortifications were designed to prevent Saigo from escaping, but he was able to do so anyway and flee south to Kagoshima for a final battle.
A decade after his death, the Meiji government rehabilitated Saigo and erected this statue in his honor at Ueno Park in Tokyo (site of one of his victories during the Boshin War).