Saigō Takamori (Takanaga) (西鄕 (隆永), January 23, 1828 - September 24, 1877) was a Japanese samurai and nobleman. He was one of the most influential samurai in Japanese history and one of the three great nobles who led the Meiji Restoration. Living during the late Edo and early Meiji periods, he later led the Satsuma Rebellion against the Meiji government. Historian Ivan Morris described him as "the quintessential hero of modern Japanese history". Saigō Kokichi (西郷 ) was born in Kajiya, Kagoshima, Satsuma Domain, the eldest son of samurai squire (koshōkumi) Saigō Kichibē and his wife Masa. He had six siblings and his younger brother was Marshal-Admiral Marquis Saigō Jūdō. His childhood name was Kokichi and he received the given name Takamori in adulthood. He wrote poetry under the name Saigō Nanshū (西郷 ). Shogun Tokugawa Yoshinobu resigned, returning power to the Emperor in what came to be known as the Meiji Restoration. However, Saigō was one of the most vocal and vehicle opponents to the negotiated solution, demanding that the Tokugawa be stripped of their lands and special status. His intransigence was one of the major causes of the subsequent Boshin War. During the Boshin War, Saigō led the imperial forces at the Battle of Toba-Fushimi, and after led the imperial army toward Edo, where he accepted the surrender of Edo Castle from Katsu Kaishū.
Although kubo Toshimichi and others were more active and influential in establishing the new Meiji government, Saigō retained a key role, and his cooperation was essential in the abolition of the han system and the establishment of a conscript army. Saigō initially disagreed with the modernization of Japan and the opening of commerce with the West. He famously opposed the construction of a railway network, insisting that money should rather be spent on military modernization. Saigō did insist, however, that Japan should go to war with Korea in the Seikanron debate of 1873 due to Korea's refusal to recognize the legitimacy of the Emperor Meiji as head of state of the Empire of Japan, and insulting treatment met out to Japanese envoys trying to establish trade and diplomatic relations. At one point, he was offered to visit Korea in person and to provoke a casus belli by behaving in such an insulting manner that the Koreans would be forced to kill him. However, the other Japanese leaders strongly opposed these plans, partly from budgetary considerations, and partly from realization of the weakness of Japan compared with the western countries from what they had witnessed during the Iwakura Mission. Saigō resigned from all of his government positions in protest and returned to his hometown of Kagoshima. Shortly thereafter, a private military academy known as the Shi-gakkō was established in Kagoshima for the faithful samurai who had also resigned their posts to follow him from Tokyo. These disaffected samurai came to dominate the Kagoshima government, and fearing a rebellion, the government sent warships to Kagoshima to remove weapons from the Kagoshima arsenal.
However, the exact manner of his death is unknown.
This provoked open conflict, although with the elimination of samurai rice stipends in 1877, tensions were already extremely high. Although greatly affected by the revolt, Saigō was reluctantly persuaded to lead the rebels against the central government. The rebels fought two significant battles against the central government: the Siege of Kumamoto Castle and the Battle of Tabaruzaka. Saigō was initially confident of his ability to take Kumamoto Castle, but he had underestimated the effectiveness of the imperial conscripts defending the castle. After a failed assault, Saigō settled for a siege. Imperial reinforcements eventually forced their way through the rebel lines at the Battle of Tabaruzaka, lifting the siege. The remnants of Saigō's army retreated before the advancing imperials, who whittled it down relentlessly. Eventually Saigō and his final remaining samurai were encircled and annihilated at the Battle of Shiroyama. Saigō's death brought the Satsuma Rebellion to an end. During the battle of Shiroyama, Saigō was badly injured in the hip. However, the exact manner of his death is unknown. There are no published reports by eyewitnesses.
The accounts of his subordinates claim that he stood up and committed seppuku after his injury or that he requested that the friend Beppu Shinsuke assist his suicide. Three firsthand accounts of the condition of his deceased body exist. It is said that he was shot in the femur, then he thrust a sword into his stomach region, then had his head decapitated deliberately by a fellow citizen. All three accounts report that the body was decapitated. Two describe a bullet wound to the hip or thigh. As none of the eyewitness accounts mention a wound to the abdomen, or any fresh sword wound at all, it is unknown if Saigo pierced his stomach with his sword. In debate, some scholars have suggested that neither is the case and that Saigō may have gone into shock following his wound, losing his ability to speak. Several samurai, upon seeing him in this state, would have severed his head, assisting him in the warrior's suicide that they knew he would have wished. Later, they would have said that he committed seppuku to preserve his status as a true samurai. It is not clear what was done with Saigō's head immediately after his death. Some legends say Saigō's manservant hid the head, and it was later found by a government soldier.
Multiple legends sprang up concerning Saigō, many of which denied his death.
The head was somehow retrieved by government forces and was reunited with Saigō's body, which was laid next to that of his deputies Kirino and Murata. This was witnessed by the American sea captain John Capen Hubbard. A myth persists that the head was never found. Multiple legends sprang up concerning Saigō, many of which denied his death. It was believed by some that he had fled to Russia, or ascended to Mars. It was even recorded that his image appeared in a comet near the close of the 19th century, an ill omen to his enemies. A famous bronze statue of Saigō in hunting attire with his dog stands in Ueno Park, Tokyo. Made by Takamura Kōun, it was unveiled on December 18, 1898. Saigō met the noted British diplomat Ernest Satow in the 1860s, as recorded in the latter's A Diplomat in Japan, and Satow was present at the unveiling as recorded in his diary.
Jansen, Marius B. and Gilbert Rozman, eds.
A reproduction of the same statue stands on Okinoerabujima, where Saigō had been exiled. A Japanese hand fan commemorating the event, which survives in the collection of the Staten Island Historical Society in New York, features a depiction of Saigō Takamori in a scene labeled (in English) "The Battle Near the Citadel of Kumamoto". Hoffman, Michael (December 10, 2016). "Meiji Restoration leader's lessons of sincerity". Asashi Nihon rekishi jinbutsu jiten. Asahi Shinbunsha,. Asahi Shinbunsha. 1994.. Ravina, Mark. The Last Samurai: The Life and Battles of Saigō Takamori. Ravina, Mark (2003). The last Samurai - The life and Battles of Saigō Takamori. Wiley Online library. p. Andrew M. Beierle (ed.). Emory Magazine. Emory University. RAVINA, MARK J. (2010). "The Apocryphal Suicide of Saigō Takamori: Samurai, "Seppuku", and the Politics of Legend". The Journal of Asian Studies. Man, John. "In the Footsteps of the Real Last Samurai." SOAS World. 37 (Spring 2011). p30. Online Collections Database. Staten Island Historical Society. Jansen, Marius B. and Gilbert Rozman, eds. 1986). Japan in Transition: from Tokugawa to Meiji. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Jansen, Marius (2000). The Making of Modern Japan. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Ravina, Mark. (2004). The Last Samurai: The Life and Battles of Saigo Takamori. Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley.
The Pain of Manga
The Quintessential Quintuplets (Japanese:, Hepburn: Go-Tōbun no Hanayome, lit. Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Negi Haruba. It was serialized in Kodansha's Weekly Shōnen Magazine from August 2017 to February 2020, with its chapters collected into fourteen tankōbon volumes. The series follows the daily life of a high school student Futaro Uesugi, who is hired as a private tutor for a group of identical quintuplets: Ichika, Nino, Miku, Yotsuba, and Itsuki Nakano. At the very beginning of the story, it is shown that the events are being told in a flashback, while an adult Futaro prepares to marry one of the Nakano Quintuplets whose identity is only revealed near the end of the series. The series is published in English by Kodansha USA under the Kodansha Comics imprint. The anime series is licensed in North America under a Crunchyroll-Funimation partnership. An anime television series adaptation produced by Tezuka Productions aired from January to March 2019 on TBS and other channels. The series is a commercial success, being the 5th best-selling manga in 2019, and the 3rd best-selling manga in the first half of 2020 in Japan. In 2019, the manga won the award for the shnen category at the 43rd annual Kodansha Manga Awards. High school student Futaro Uesugi is an academically gifted student that leads a difficult life-his mother has died, he has no friends, and on top of all that, his father has incurred a large amount of debt. An opportunity presents itself when the rich Nakano family transfers to his school.
Futaro is promptly hired as a highly paid tutor. However, much to Futaro's dismay, he discovers that his five charges-identical quintuplet sisters of varied personalities-have no interest in studying at all and have abysmal grades. Some of the quintuplets are against having Futaro, whom they view as a stranger, in their apartment, but Futaro's diligent tenacity gradually convinces those girls to accept him and to improve their grades. Throughout the series, Futaro develops special relationships with each of the quintuplets. Through a flashforward, it is revealed that he eventually marries one of them, but her true identity is only revealed near the end of the series. The idea of "a group of quintuplets falling in love with the same person" existed even before the serialization of Haruba's previous work, Karma of Purgatory (2014-2015), but was very simple at that time. The idea was denied by his editor-in-charge. A year after, after the end of Karma of Purgatory, he discussed with his editor-in-charge what to serialize next.