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Saigo Takamori. The R eal L ast Samurai. Saigo Takamori , 1860’s. The real last samurai (in the movie he’s K otsumoto ) a greed with Yoshido – overthrow the bakufu ! t o save Edo Japan b ecause the shogun is weak

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saigo takamori 1860 s
SaigoTakamori, 1860’s
  • The real last samurai
  • (in the movie he’s Kotsumoto)
  • agreed with Yoshido– overthrow the bakufu ! to save Edo Japan
  • because the shogun is weak
  • Takamori’s allies worked on convincing the weak shogun to step down as ruler
saigo takamori 1867
SaigoTakamori, 1867
  • marched to Kyoto with samurai (mostly from Kyushu)
  • to the emperor’s palace
  • to persuade the divine emperor to be Japan’s ruler
  • Takamori surrounded the small imperial army
  • and convinced the young Meiji to be emperor
  • Yoshido’s supporters ( the samurai) convinced the Tokugawa shogun to resign

Word got out almost immediately that Japan’s leadership was changing!Reaction on both sides was strong!

In fact, there was an Edo Uprising, 1867

tokugawa a llies and the edo uprising 1867
Tokugawa Allies and the Edo Uprising, 1867
  • Tokugawa allies – daimyo and samurai

rose upand took control of Edo

SaigoTakamori to the south, suggested using the emperor’s army to squash the uprising in Edo

A great idea! ..because the imperial army had just received new weapons from America

the uprising was put down
The Uprising was Put Down
  • The new weapons were used to gun down two thousand Tokugawa samurai in Edo
  • Takamori, who only used the sword,

knew that another Edo uprising could happen again,

and suggested that the emperor rule from Edo, as well as Kyoto

the shogun to give up his castle
The Shogun to Give Up His Castle
  • Takamori’s friend Okubo,suggested that the emperor
  • live in the finest castle, the Tokugawa castle
  • Takamori and other powerful samurai prepared for the power move from Kyoto to Edo.

* Takamori and his allies gathered a force of 30 000 and marched to Edo on the Tokkaido Highway

battle of 1867
Battle of 1867
  • SaigoTakamori,Yoshido’s supporters, and 30 000 samurai
  • VS
  • Tokugawa allies, and their 80 000


japan s early meiji period 1870 s
Japan’s early Meiji Period, 1870’s

You’d think that Japan’s new emperor would:

1.Protect Japan from more trade treaties

2.Unify Japan with Edo traditions and culture

3.Deal with all the foreigners in Edo and Osaka

japan s early meiji period 1870 s1
Japan’s early Meiji Period, 1870’s
  • A time of FAST!! modernization
  • A time of FAST!! westernization
  • A time of trade andnew technology
  • Countries were lining up with their papers to come into Japan
what happened i n the 1870 s
What happened???? in the 1870’s
  • Why didn’t Emperor Meiji

protect Japan from more trade treaties ?

slow down modernization and westernization?


Meiji was young and was controlled by a few strong men; he couldn’t lead…..yet

who ruled japan
Who ruled Japan?
  • In the movie The Last Samurai,
  • you will see Japan’s Meiji government
  • The Government Leader
  • SaigoTakamori’s friend, UkuboToshimichi
  • …..actually they became enemies
ukubo toshimichi
  • Takamori’s friend back in the 1860’s
  • Both had marched to the emperor’s palace in 1867
  • Both marched to Edo to stop the uprising
  • Both fought in the great battle of 1867
  • Both were on hand to see Emperor Meiji
  • proclaimed Japan’s ruler.
meiji government 1868
Meiji Government, 1868
  • Now, Ukubo had seen the effectiveness of guns to get power and convinced the young emperor to import more guns from America
  • Guns could give Japan power.
  • And Ukubo saw the effectiveness of lots of western things, and just like that, Ukubo got caught up in modernization and westernization
what s going on
What’s going on?
  • Some people asked, “What’s going on?”
  • Others complained,” We are changing too fast!”
  • And some said,”We don’t like our new government.”
  • And Ukubo feared rebellion.
  • So he made a 1. law: no domain armies.
  • Only one national army.
who will be in the national army
Who will be in the national army?

SaigoTakamori asked this question.

Ukubo said that Japan will hire and train peasants and others.

“But they are not samurai. You dishonor the samurai”, Takamori disagreed.

This was the first of many disagreements and they were now on a path to become enemies.

fear of d omain s amurai
Fear of Domain Samurai
  • Samurai would rebel against this law
  • Which created a new threat to Ukubo.
  • So, Ukuboconvinced the emperor to sign another law: 2. No more swords
  • And that’s when SaigoTakamori, the real last samurai, and Ukubo became enemies and parted ways.
saigo takamori fights to save japan
SaigoTakamori Fights to Save Japan
  • “The sword is the soul of the samurai and the spirit of Japan.” SaigoTakamori
  • SaigoTakamoriresigned as advisor in the Meiji government in 1876.
  • Takamoridisgreed with the Meiji government.
  • He did not like the way Ukubo controlled Meiji .
samurai rebellions 1877
Samurai Rebellions, 1877
  • Samurai rebel by burning train stations.
  • SaigoTakamori amasses 25 000 samurai and marches towards Tokyo.
  • Ukubo has Meiji sign a decree to crush the mighty rebellion and sends out the new national army.
the story of the real last samurai
The story of the Real Last Samurai
  • And this was it!
  • This was the battle of the last samurai.
  • The battle of 1877. September 24.
  • And I can’t give you too much because that would ruin the movie.
important characters in drama
Important Characters in Drama
  • Samurai Yoshido - to overthrow bakufu 1867
  • SaigoTakamari(kotsumoto) prop: sword
  • UkuboToshimichi (Omura)
  • Emperor Meiji
  • Narrator 1 and 2
Preview Clips to see from movie:

11:15  16:45 opening

22:50  26:29 burning

31:22 – 32:57 village

1:26:35 – 1:28:47 government

chapter 6 meiji period
Chapter 6:Meiji Period
  • Beginnings
  • Problems
  • Government
  • Goals
  • Special Mission Across the World
  • Political Changes
  • Social Changes
  • Education
meiji period beginnings
Meiji Period Beginnings
  • 1868 , established by a coup (governemnt takeover)
  • Emperor Meiji
  • Tokyo: eastern capital
  • Rough start: 1868 - 1870’s
  • Problems: 1. Tokugawa
  • 2. samurai rebellions
meiji government
Meiji Government
  • Tokyo, established by a coup
  • Oligarchy: unelected group of leaders
  • Imperial oligarchy: monarchy and oligarchy
  • Indirect rule by emperor Meiji
  • Included daimyo/ samurai (educated)
  • 1. get loyalty of all Japanese
  • 2. charter oath that includes:
  • - no more samurai rule

- anyone can participate

- unity of classes through participation

in helping Japan

- more freedoms for all people

- learn best foreign ideas

new general goals
New General Goals
  • 1. more open to world
  • 2. consider benefits of western products
  • 3. well equipped national military
  • 4. economic growth through trade
  • 5. and industrialization
  • 6. remake Japanese society
  • westernize and modernize
iwakura mission 1871 1873
Iwakura Mission, 1871-1873
  • Purpose: to be open to and educated about the best western ideas in government, law,
  • Customs, and society
  • Conclusions: Japan needs:
  • 1. democracy
  • 2. constitution
  • 3. education: schools governed by a national
  • educational system
conclusion continued
Conclusion - continued
  • 4. foreigners to educate and train
  • 5. investment in new businesses
  • 6. proceed carefully
  • Next Page: political changes and reaction
political changes
Political Changes
  • - aspects of democracy
  • elected representatives
  • Create a constitution: National Set of Laws

- became a national issue because people wanted a say:

national issue questions
National Issue Questions
  • What is important to Japan?
  • What is Japan at this point in time and in the future?
  • What needs to be included in the constitution?
  • What western modern ideas can we include?
  • What Edo ideas and ways should we lose?
  • What freedoms can people have?
more questions
More questions
  • How much democracy?
  • What role does the emperor play?
  • And even these questions:
  • To what extent should we westernize and modernize?
  • What should Japan try to save and hold onto?
  • What will our government look like?
  • Included:
  • emperor’s role” divine / sacred; above law
  • government is responsible to emperor
  • government: Imperial Parliament:
  • Upper House (Senate)
  • Lower House (elected reps)
  • freedoms and responsibilities