Risshisha-no-Goku (Imprisonment of the Risshisha [Self-help Society]) (立志社の獄)

The imprisonment of the Risshisha is an incident in which the Yuzo HAYASHI and Taku OE, who were members of the Risshisha (the political society) were thought to form a plot in Kochi Prefecture with Munemitsu MUTSU, a councilor of the senate, to raise an army against the central government during the Satsuma Rebellion (Satswuma War) in 1877. The plot came to light and the ringleaders led by Yuzo HAYASHI and other prominent individuals, who lived in Kochi Prefecture, including Kenichi KATAOKA, were arrested in August of that year and found guilty by the Predecessor of the Supreme Court of Japan in August of the following year.

Ever since the "History of the Liberal Party" was compiled, the consensus has been that Taisuke ITAGAKI and Shojiro GOTO, leaders of the Rishisha, had nothing to do with the plot and that KATAOKA and HAYASHI were just associated with the radical ringleaders. Others, however, have criticized ITAGAKI's account on the basis that he himself edited the book and so is an unreliable source. The fact that both HAYASHI and OE described discussing the matter with ITAGAKI in their memoires supports the criticism.
Another counterargument is as follows:
During the civil wars, Shojiro GOTO and Munemitsu MUTSU approached Taisuke ITAGAKI and Takayoshi KIDO with a proposal to organize and command a voluntary army consisting of ex-Tosa domain retainers to suppress Takamori SAIGO and for a while it was the policy of the Meiji Government but was revoked on April 15. This can be regarded as proof of involvement of Itagaki and Goto in the plan to raise an army with a good reason for it.

The Meiji Government, in any case, which had some misgivings about the possibility of 'another Satsuma Rebellion' started by the Freedom and the People's Rights Movement, avoided examining the responsibility of ITAGAKI and GOTO and settled the situation dismissing the case as the act of some extremists who went too far.

[Original Japanese]