Saigo Takamori (西郷隆盛)

Takamori SAIGO (December 27, 1828 according to the old calendar (Gregorian calendar: January 23, 1828; Julian calendar: January 1, 1828) - September 24, 1877 of the Gregorian calendar) was a Japanese samurai who served as a feudal retainer, soldier, and statesman of the Satsuma clan. Takamori SAIGO was one of the 'Ishin no Sanketsu' (literally, three heroes of the Meiji Restoration), as were his sworn allies Toshimichi OKUBO of the Satsuma Domain and Takayoshi KIDO (also known as Kogoro KATSURA) of the Choshu Domain.

Personal Profile

He was named Takanaga at the coming of age ceremony, and renamed Takeo then Takamori. The head of the Saigo family was named Kichibei, and Saigo's real name is Takanaga Kichibei SAIGO the eighth, the first generation having relocated from Kumamoto to Kagoshima; and their childhood names were Kokichi who known as Kichinosuke, and he was renamed Zenbei SAIGO and then Kichinosuke SAIGO. Go (pen name) was Nanshu. Takamori's name was the same as his father's name, but Tomozane YOSHII, who was his best friend, called him Kichibei, which was his father's name, by mistake when he received his orders from the Shoten Bill of Restoration of Monarchy, and after that he called himself by his father's name. At various times, he have himself the assumed names Sansuke SAIGO, Gengo KIKUCHI, and Sanemon OSHIMA.

His second brother was Kichijito SAIGO who died in the Boshin War (Hokuetsu War), his third brother was Tugumichi SAIGO, who was a central figure in the Meji government, (known as Shingo, go is Ryuan) and his fourth brother was Kohei (Takakatsu, Takatake) SAIGO who died in the Seinan War. Iwao (Yasuke) OYAMA was his cousin and Sumiyoshi (Yojuro) KAWAMURA was also also a relative of his.

He was a samurai in the lower grade, but Nariakira SHIMAZU, who was the lord of the domain, found and selected him, and he stayed close to Nariakira SHIMAZU, who was the greatest Daimyo of the Kaimei Group still living, and he was strongly influenced by Nariakira. He lost his position due to the death of Nariakira, and travelled to Amami-oshima island. Although he returned home he did not get along with his biological father, who was the new lord of the domain, and again he travelled, this time to Oki-no-erabujima island. But again he returned, supported by Kiyokado KOMATSU, who was the chief retainer (to belt on a sward) and after Kimmon no Hen (Conspiracy of Kimmon) in 1864, he was very active, and succeeded forming the Satsuma-Choshu Alliance and the Restoration of the Monarchy (Japan), and took initiative in the Boshin War. England backed the new government and was against the all-out assault of Edo because she was afraid of disrupting trade in Edo Bay, and because of this Takamori SAIGO and the new government accepted England's demands and stopped the all-out surrender of Edo (bloodless surrender of Edo).

After that, he returned to Satsuma, and resumed office as a councilor of the new government in 1871. And after that, he held the posts of full general and Konoe-totoku (regulator of Konoefu), and he took charge of the Rusu-seifu (a temporary government while the permanent officials are away) when Okubo and Kido went to the official travel of Iwakura Mission. He proposed to going to Korea himself as a Kenkan Shisetsu (Japanese official diplomatic delegate sent to Korea) himself to attempt to restore relations with the Yi Dynasty Korea due to problems there, and he was appointed as an ambassador at once, which resulted in the antagonism of Okubo who came back to Japan. In 1873, he once more returned to Kagoshima with Shimpei ETO and Taisuke ITAGAKI for the Meiji roku-nen no Seihen (Coups of 1873), and concentrated on the education at Shigakko (a school mainly for warriors). While the Shizoku-no-Hanran (rebellion of warrior class), Saga-no-ran War (turmoil of Saga), Shimpuren-no-ran War (turmoil of Shimpuren, a dissatisfied warrior group), Akizuki-no-ran War (turmoil of Akizuki), and Hagi-no-ran War (turmoil of dissatisfied warriors at Hagi) were going on, he became a leader in the Seinan War, which started due to students of Shigakko in 1877, but he lost at Shiroyama and committed suicide.

His court rank was Shosanmi (Senior Third Rank). The heir of Tarataro SAIGO was granted the rank of marquis for his success.

Birth - Nariakira's aide

Below, the Tempo calendar, which is the old calendar, (lunar-solar calendar) will be used for dates up to December 2, 1872 in year/ month/ day format; after January 1, 1873, the New calendar (solar calendar), which is the Gregorian calendar, will be used, and date according to the Japanese calendar will be written in front, and with the date according to the Gregorian calendar following, inside parentheses.

Childhood/ youth

On December 7, 1827, he was born in Yamanoguchi Baba, Shitakajiya-cho (Hogiri, Shitakajiya-cho), Kagoshima-jo, Satsuma Province, as the first child of Takamori Kuro SAIGO who was the Go-kanjokata-kogashira (chief of the finance department) (who was renamed Kichibei SAIGO later, and whose salary was about 27 seki). The Saigo family's Kakaku (family rank) was Okoshogumi, (lower ranked feudal retainer) which was the second lowest rank. Their main name was the Fujiwara clan. Their ancestor was the vassal of the Kikuchi family in Higo, and became the vassal of the Shimazu Family in Satuma in the Genroku era of the Edo period.

In 1839, on a monthly visit to a shrine with friends he had in Goju (Satsuma's educational organization), he tried to intervene in a fight between some of his friends and other Goju, and the Kamigumi Goju took a knife and cut the nerve inside Saigo's right arm. Saigo survived even though he had a high fever for three days, but he gave up Bujutsu (martial arts) because he couldn't hold a sword, and decided to pursue scholarship. In 1841, he was renamed Takanaga YOSHINOSUKE when he came-of-age. At this time, he was promoted to Niseko of Shitakajiyamachi-goju. Using this as an opportunity, Hanjiro NAKAMURA (later, Toshiaki KIRINO) came to guard Saigo.

The Korikata-kakiyaku (government cleric of rice customs) era

In 1844, he became a magistrate of a county under Toshinari SAKOTA and worked as Korikata-kakiyakusuke (government cleric of rice customs), then was elevated to the family rank of Okoshogumi (Ichiban-gumi, Koyo Hachiban). In 1847, he became the Nito-Gashira. In 1850, Yukie AKAYAMA committed Seppuku (hara-kiri, or ritual suicide) for Takasaki-Kuzure (the family feud of Satsuma domain); his father who was a Goyonin (officer handling domestic economy) of Akayama told him about this act of Seppuku (hara-kiri), and showed him bloodstained clothes. After that he wished to live in the territories of the heir of Nariakira SHIMIZU.

He learned Yomeigaku neo-Confucianism from Moemon ITO and Zen from Musan-osho Priest of Fukusho-ji Temple (Kagoshima City) (a family temple of the Satsuma Family's was located at the place where the Kagoshima Municipal Gyokuryu High School is located now). This year, he formed a reading club around "Kinshiroku, a book of Chinese thought" which is a book Sueyasu CHICHIBU of Chichibu-Kuzure (a family feud of Satsuma Domain) used to enjoy reading, with Toshimichi OKUBO (Toshiimichi), Tomomi YOSHII (Tomomi), Masaharu IJICHI (Masaharu) and Shunsai ARIMURA (Nobuyoshi KAIEDA) to advance in the will of AKASAKA and others.

The Nariakira era

On February 2, 1851, Narioki Shimazu retired, and Nariakira SHIMAZU became lord of the Satsuma Domain. In 1852, he married Suga IJUIN (who was called Toshi (Toshiko) as well) who was Kanehiro IJUIN's sister on his parents recommendation, but his grandfather Yuzan died in July, his father Yoshibee died in September and his mother Masa died in November one after another, so he had to support a family by himself. In February 1853, he got an order of permission of succession to a family, but the position was not different from Korikata-kakiyakusuke (government cleric of rice customs), and his salary decreased to about forty one seki. Around this time, he changed his name from Kichinosuke to Zenbei. In December, Matthew Perry came to Japan, and the issue of Joi (the principle of excluding foreigners) arose.

In 1854, the memorial to the throne was approved, and on the occasion of Edo-sankin (daimyo's alternate-year residence in Edo), he was appointed to the positions of Chuo-kosho to fulfill general duties, Jo-otomo (permanent attendant), and retainer in Edo, and went to Edo. In April, he became Niwakata-yaku gardener, and he studied under Saiakira, who was the greatest Daimyo of Kaimei Group living, and also he met the great scholar Toko, who was the person that he most wished to meet, and took a lecture about national affairs from him. In November in Kagoshima, his wife's parents family took Suga from Saigo's family because it was hard to see her in the hardships of poverty, and after that, Kichijiro, the second eldest brother; took care of the family.

In 1855, he succeeded to the position of head of the Saigo family, and changed his name from Yoshibei to Kichibei (The eighth Kichibei)
In December, the feudal retainer of Echizen, Sanai HASHIMOTO, came to visit him and to talk about national affairs, and he was surprised at Hashimoto's extensive knowledge. Around this time, he received a political donation from Saiakira. In May 1856, he met Kousai TAKEDA. In July, he brought a secret letter of Saiakira to Nariaki TOKUNAGA in Mito. In December, the thirteenth Shogun Iesada TOKUNAGA married Tenhoin (Keiko, Shogun's legal wife) who was an adopted daughter of Saiakira. At that time, Saiakira thought to make Yoshinobu TOKUGAWA the fourteenth Shogun through the legal wife of the Shogun, and to make the system in which power was centralized with the active Daimyo Feudal Lord, and to make the country prosperous and build a strong army, so that the country could be opened up and deal with foreign countries like Russia, Great Britain and France, and it was a magnificent plan that included a contingency for alliance with Japan, China and Korea. He worked extremely hard on this plan.

In April 1857, he met Sanzaburo TSUDA who had the position of Nagaoka Kanbutsu in the domain of Kumamoto on the way home from Sankin-kotai (the daimyo's alternate-year residence in Edo), and they talked about national affairs. He returned to the domain in May. His second eldest brother Kichijiro was appointed Go-kanjosho-shoyaku (cleric of finance ministry), and the third eldest brother Shingo was appointed Omote Chabozu (tea-server and caregiver to the Daimyo). He was appointed to the post of Kachi-metsuke (a position entailing night duty and inspection) and Tori-azukari in October his best friend Toshimichi (Shosuke) OKUBO also became Kachi-metsuke. In November, he mediated the purchase of an indigo (dye) ball by Shoichiro SHIRAISHI of Satsuma, who was perplexed about high price of an indigo ball, after that, Shiraishi residence became one of the bases for Satsuma-jin (Satsuma citizens). In December, he arrived in Edo, and was took a secret letter of Saiakira's relating to Shogun Yoshitsugu to Yoshinaga MATSUDAIRA the lord of the Echizen Domain, and in this month, he discussed enthroning Yoshinobu HITOTSUBASHI with Sanai HASHIMOTO. In January and February of 1858, he was exchanging letters with Sanai HASHIMOTO and Unpin UMEDA, and he exchanged information about the visiting of Yukie NAKANE, and, in March, he went to Kyoto with a letter from the Shogun's legal wife to Tadahiro KONOE, and tried to obtain issuance of an secret Imperial command of Yoshinobu's heir using the support of the priest Gessho, but he failed to receive it.

In May, Naosuke II of the lord of the Hikone Domain became Tairo (chief minister). In June, Ii signed a treaty of amity and commerce with America, and then decided to make Yoshitomi TOKUNAGA, the lord of the Kii Domain, the Shogun Yoshitsugu. In July, Nariaki TOKUGAWA was ordered to be on his best behavior for the reason that he went to the Castle in an untimely manner, Yoshinaga MATSUDAIRA was ordered to be on his best behavior and made to retire, and Yoshinobu TOKUGAWA was ordered to be banned and to go to the castle; at first, they started to exercise their authority to oppress the Hitotsubashi group (this was the beginning of the Ansei no Taigoku (suppression of Sonjo group by Naosuke) in extensive interpretation). During this time, Saigo returned to Kagoshima with a letter about the situation of Kyoto to Yoshinaga MATSUDAIRA, and went to Kyoto to exchange information with Seigan YANAGAWA and Senan KASUGA. On July 8, Saiakira operated a large-scale military training grounds for Satsu-gun (Satsuma Army) at Mt. Tempo near Kagoshima Castle (it is also said that he was going to the east capital, Tokyo, with an army), but he died on July 16th. On July 19, the brother of Saiakira, and child of Hisamitu SIMAZU succeeded to a family, and Hisamitu became his guardian, but Noriaki, who was the father of Saiakira, held the real power in the domain.

After taking refuge at Oshima

On July 27, 1858, he heard about Saiakira's death, and tried to follow Saiakira to the grave, but Gessho persuaded him against it, and he decided to follow Saiakira's advice. In August, he went to Edo to bring a secret Imperial command of Emperor Komei to the domain of Mito and the domain of Owari, which was entrusted to the Konoe Family, but he was unable to do so and returned to Kyoto. After that until middle of September, he ignored Naosuke II of chief minister with volunteers of many domains, Shinshichi ARIMA and Masaharu IJICH, and tried to reform Bakufu feudal government. But on September 9, Unpin UMEDA was arrested, and the crisis was coming to a head for the group advocating reverence for the Emperor and the expulsion of foreigners, and he escaped with Gessho who had been entrusted with protection by Konei family; after Fushimi, he entrusted Gessho to Shunsai ARIMURA and sent them from Osaka to Kagoshima.

On September 16, he came to Kyoto again and tried to raise an army with other men of noble ideals, but the investigations of the Hori (officers who capture criminals) was very strict, so they left Osaka in September 24, and returned to Kagoshima on October 6, via Simonoseki. He had to change his name to Sansuke SAIGO to deceive the officer of prisoners for command of the domain. In November, Gessho came to Kagoshima with Kuniomi HIRANO, but the domain authorities that were afraid of investigation by the government decided to banish Gessho and others to Higashime (Hyuga Province) (this means they were deserted in the middle). He got on the boat with Gesshu and Hirano but, he was pessimistic about his future, and late at night on the 16th, he drowned himself in ocean with Gesshu at an offing in Ryugamizu-oki. Hirano rescued them quickly, but Gesshu had already died; luckily Saigo survived but it took him a month to recover. The authorities of the domain treated them as dead, and showed them the graves of Saigo and Gesshu to the officer of prisoners, and the officer of prisoners took the footman and Jusuke of Gesshu, and left.

In December, the authorities of domain ordered to Saigo to stay in Amamioshima to avoid the government's notice, and at the end of December, he named himself Gengo KIKUCHI, which means 'my origin is the Kikuchi,' because he had a forefather of the Kikuchi clan in Kumamoto. He was officially renamed Sansuke SAIGO, and left Kagoshima to go to Yamagawa port. January 4, 1859, he entrusted Masaharu IJICHI, Toshimichi OKUBO and Sadaka IJICHI with future affairs, and left Yamagawa port, then rode out to the Shichito-nada ocean area through Naze and arrived at the place of refuge called Atansaki, Tatsugo-mura, Amamioshima on January, 12.

He rented an empty house at Shingyo MITAYA, and cooked his own food. And soon, Yasutsugu SHIGENO visited him, after that, Toshimichi OKUBO, Atsushi (Kizaemon) SAISHO, Tomomi YOSHII, Shunsai ARIMURA and Chuzaemon HORI sent him letters and comforts many times, also Saigo sent letters replying to them to try to get information. At that time, in November, Toma (later changed Aikana) of the the Ryu family clan, who was a daughter of Saeishi, became his wife on the island. At that time his Fuchimai (salary paid in rice) was six seki, but in 1860, it increased to twelve seki. Also he received imperial monies paid to those lacking a family from the chief of the domain as a support to the family budget. When he arrived at island, people treated him as an exile, he was suffered due to his loneliness. However, he was asked to educate three kids on the island, also Fujinaga, Magiri-yokome's (officer of the province) was kind to him, and having a wife, he became accustomed to life on the island, and on November 2, 1860, Kikujiro SAIGO was born. In September, 1861, the third brother Ryuan returned to secular life from his post as Omote Chabozu (a tea-server who takes care of a Daimyo) and was named Shingo. In November, he met Dennai KOBA whose duty it was to stay informed (later, Koba helped Saigo as Osaka Rusui-yaku officer/ Kyoto Rusui-yaku officer.

Around the time of the Teradaya-sodo (oppression of Sonjo group)

In October, 1861, Hisamatsu decided to attempt to procure a position as a court noble or Samurai and reorganized the retainers in important ways, but he lacked a connection in Kyoto, so Okubo and Horijiro who were the Konando-yaku (the position charged with the shogun's personal care) advised sending a letter of recall to Saigo. After Saigo received this letter of recall, he went to the greet the people who took care of him, and after getting ready for the life of Aikana, he sailed from Adanzaki went through Kuichi-no-Erabu-jima/ Makurazaki and arrived to Kagoshima on February 12. On February 15, he changed his name from Sansuke SAIGO to Sanemon OSHIMA to avoid discovery by the government. That same day, he had been called on by Hisamitsu, but Hisamatsu did not have good position or popularity like Saiakira, and for these reasons, he did not go to Kyoto, so Hisamatsu became indignant to him. At first he declined the invitation, but Okubo persuaded him and he agreed to go to Kyoto, and he resumed his former position. On March 13, he received an order to go to Shimonoseki with Shinpachi MURATA, and made his first departure.

Saigo heard about the tense situation in Kyo-Osaka from Kuniomi HIRANO at the residence of Ichiro SHIRAISHI in Shimonoseki, and on March 22, he left via port to Osaka with Shinpachi MURATA and Shinzo MORIYAMA, and arrived at Fushimi on 29th, and they tried to stop the plans of extremist patriots who were to burn Kyoto and were raising an army. But on April 6, Hisamitsu who arrived at Himeji, was enraged that Saigo disobeyed the standing order given to him, and also heard Saigo stirred up the patriots from Horijiro and Nobuyoshi KAIEDA, and ordered the capture of Saigo, Murata and Morimura. Saigo and others who were captured were transported to Kagoshima on the 10th.

Otherwise, Hisamitsu who received the Imperial Palace's command to suppress masterless samurai sent Shigeru NARAHARA and Kakunosuke OYAMA (Tsunayoshi OYAMA) to Teradaya on April 23, to quell the extremist patriots, such as Yasuomi MAKI, and Sinshichi ARIMA and others who gathered in Teradaya in Fushimi.
Narahara and others attempted to persuade the extremist patriots, but they did not yield, so they reluctantly killed eight of the offenders including Shinshichi ARIMA. (Terakoya riot)
At this time, they planned to raise an army, and his third eldest brother Shingo and cousin Iwao OYAMA (Yasuke) along with Kunimoto SHINOHARA and Yaichiro NAGAYAMA were members of the extremist patriot group who stayed at Terakoya and other places. On June 6, when he was staying at Yamakawa port after the transport, Saigo had to be renamed Kichinosuke OSHIMA and also was exiled to Tokuno-shima island, and Shinpachi MURATA was exiled to Kikai-jima island (it is not Kikai-ga-shima island, namely Satsuma Io-jima island). Shinpachi MURATA (refer to 'Uruma no Nikki Diary') was exiled to a distant island. Shinzo MORIYAMA was not punished, but committed suicide (with his sword).

Onru (to be exiled to the farthest distant island) of Tokunoshima and Oki-no-erabujima island

On June 11, 1862, Saigo sailed from Yamakawa, and Murata also sailed thereafter, but they met at Isso, Yakushima because they had to wait 7 to 8 days for the cessation of a headwind, and then sailed from Isso together toward Amami. They sailed at Shichitonan via Amami (details are found in the 'Urumano diary'), and finally arrived at Jinya, Tokunoshima bay on July 2. Incidentally, Akana delivered Kikuso (Kikuko) while sailing on July 2.

When he was relaxing at the residence of Shoden of Okazen (on Tokunoshima) on August 26, Akana, who heard of their visit to Tokuno-shima Island, visited Saigo with two children. He was glad to be able to meet his children after a long time apart and after several days together, the order that he be sent to the distant island of Oki-no-erabujima island was delivered was even more devastating to him. Before the end of the next July, his second eldest brother Jiro, his third eldest brother Shingo and his fourth eldest brother Koheibei received the punishment of Enryo (the punishment of being put on one's best behavior), and the Chigyo fief and property of the Saigo family was confiscated, and this forced them into a very serious situation.

He was arrested by command of the domain, and at the beginning of August, he left Okazen, Tokunoshima, and arrived at Inobe (formerly "Yunubi"), Oki-no-erabujima island on 14th. At first, his health was ruined by exposure to the wind and rain under the poor conditions of the prison. But in October, Masateru TSUCHIMOCHI of Magiri-yokome (officer for province) got approval from the local governor, and made a zashikiro (room for confining criminals) with his money, then moved him there, and he finally recovered his health. In April, the younger students of the same Goju (Satsuma's educational organization) that he had attended arrived on the island as Tsume-yaku, so Saigo's treatment further improved. At that time, Saigo was teaching education to people in Oki-no-erabu. Also the folksong Minyo of Saisai-bushi describes him drinking with Masateru TSUCHIMOCHI.

In July, 1863, when he got information about the Satsu-Ei Senso (War of Satsuma and Great Britain) which happened by incident of Namamugi last year, he returned to Kagoshima prepared for punishment, and tried to enter the war. In October, when he was getting on the ship that Tsuchimochi made him to leave to Kagoshima, he got information about repulsion of the British ships, so he was glad and had a banquet. There were about twenty students in a class that he started after arriving on the island in January, 1864. Then, the rumor about the discharge and recall were started to spreading out, he wrote 'Yohitoyaku-taisha acquaintanceship of officer' and 'Magiri-yokome Daitai (Essential points of officer for province)' to aid the understanding of island officers, and made the document of building storage and gives it to Tuchimochi for preparing a famine. He did not miss a chance to exchange information with other officers on the island, and exchanged letters with Hisatake KATSURA, an officer of Oshima-zaiban, Sukeemon MERA, an officer of Ryukyu-zaiban, and Izumi MAKI.

At this time, in July 1862, Yoshinaga MATSUDAIRA became the president of political affairs, and Yoshinobu TOKUGAWA became the Shogun-kokenshoku officer (reformation of shogunate administration in Bunkyu) that took in Satsuma's opinion; also, on the main island, in an intercalary year on August, Katamori MATSUDAIRA of the lord of the Aizu domain attained the title of Kyoto Shugoshoku, and Sadaaki MATSUDAIRA of the lord of the Kuwana domain became Kyoto Shoshidai (the local governor of Kyoto), and the power of the Bakufu (feudal government) was showing an inclination to reconstruction, however in May 1863, the Choshu domain caused an incident in that gunfire at a North American ship was discharged and the Tenchugumi-no-ran War at Nara Gojo, and the seven nobles outrunning to Choshu (Coups of August eighteenth) occurred in August, and Ikuno-no-Hen (Conspiracy of Ikuno) occurred in October, and also the radical Joi (those who held to the principle of excluding foreigners) group, which was against opening the port, provided resistance several times to thward the plans of the domain. All of this information shows that the balance of power was tilted in favor of the government/Satsuma, and the radical Joi (principle of excluding foreigners) group central to the Choshu domain was gradually decreasing in influence.

It was even called the supporter of the coalition of court nobles and Samurai originally, but it was different from the thought of Satsuma which centralized power by gathering sages to the Emperor, and Hidemitsu, who tried to reorganize the procurement of court nobles and Samurai in the style of Satsuma used as background the increasingly influential voice of the former Seichu-gumi organization, which worked well at the Satsuei War and during the downfall of the old-guard cronies, but the biggest problems were the bad reputation of Satsuma domain, and being short of people who could work to procure court nobles and Samurai. They ordered and pardoned Saigo to resolve the impasse, which was advised by Toshimichi (Ichizo) OKUBO and Kiyokado KOMATSU. In February 21, 1864, the steamboat Kochomaru came to Wadomari, Oki-no-erabujima with Tomomi YOSHII and Tsugumichi (Shingo) SAIGO to pick him up. On the way he stopped by at Tatsugo, Oshima and left his wife and child with Shinpachi MURATA, who was on duty on a distant island (There was a letter for brother of Murata. It said both that he brought him back with no approval, and that it was not like that) and then he went back the way he had come.

Before and after the Kinmon no Hen (Conspiracy of Kinmon)

In February 28, 1864, Saigo returned to Kagoshima, and but he could not stand. Thus, on the 29th, he crawled to visit Saiakira's grave. On March 4, he sailed from Kagoshima with Shinpachi MURATA, arrived to Kyoto on 14th, and he was appointed Gunbu-yaku commander on 19th. Saigo arrived in Kyoto and was condemned by both the Sabaku and the Joi group (group of adherence to the shogunate and expulsion of the foreigners), and he was surprised that his reputation was very bad with both groups, not only with the patriot of Joi (principle of excluding foreigners) group. And, he made it a rule to stay active due to the intention of Imperial court, and he made a plan to moderate his bad reputation and persuade the patriots of Joi (principle of excluding foreigners) group to try to get over their difficulties.

At that time, the point of greatest contention for the Joi group and also people in general was smuggling between the Satsuma Domain and foreigners. In the middle of 1863, cotton and tea from Europe was insufficient due to the American Civil War (1861 - 1865), and the result was that sales of Japanese cotton and tea was soared, and exportation of both items increased drastically. Although this was the true reason for the high price of Japanese cotton and tea, the rumor was that it was caused by trading between Satsuma Domain and foreigners. Most people were simply angry that the prices were higher, but the Joi group was angry about the trading with foreigners itself, they even suggested excluding foreigners as a rule. For that reason, the incident of torpedoing the Nagasakimaru, a chartered ship of the Satsuma Domain was perpetrated by the Choshu Domain, and also the the incident of the Katokumaru ship occurred.

The bad reputation that the Satsuma Domain had rested on things like this, and caused them no small interruption of their activities in Kyoto and Osaka, Saigo was ordered by Dennai KOBA of Osaka Rusui to regulate the activeity of the merchant of Satsuma who is in Osaka on June 11, and he gave the order to merchants who did not have Orai-tegata (travel permit) to go return to their points of origin, and also made strict regulations in the domain, and took measures against merchants coming to Osaka by command of domain.

In April, Saigo was appointed to be O-konando-todori (chief of konandoshu, aside of Shogun)/ personal-to-a-person Koban, post (not inherited). On June 27, few days after the Ikedaya incident the Imperial Court approved the Choshu soldiers coming to the capital, and that was the pretext for the petition of the discharge of the seven nobles. Against that, Saigo concentrated on guarding the Imperial Palace as a neutral position, and declined the offer of a military post on July 8, from Yoshinobu TOKUGAWA by advice from Kiyokado KOMATSU. But, the Choshu force (Nagato, Inaba and Bizen Province and Ronin-shishi) surged to Kyoto from three different places, namely Fushimi, Saga and Yamazaki on the 18th, and met the domain army at the Imperial Palace gate, whereupon Saigo, Masaharu IJICHI and others repulsed the Choshu force and also sent Satsuma army for rescue operations and further repulsed Choshu force at many places. (Kimmon no Hen (Conspiracy of Kimmon)). At that time, Saigo was injured hit by a bullet. The neutral stance that Saigo and others took during this incident was only to defend the Imperial Court from exclusive possession by the Choshu, and gave guidance to Imperial Court to the neutral position, but it caused many casualties in the Choshu force, and among them were Matabe KIJIMA, Genzui KUSAKA and Izumi MAKI, and this aggravated the Choshu dislike of the Satsuma, and caused the events known as the 'Satsukan-kaizoku (retaliation against the Satsuma and Aizu Domains)'.

Around the time of the First conquest of Choshu

On July 23, 1864, the order of the Imperial Court (First conquest of Choshu) to attack Choshu was issued, and on 24th, Yoshinobu TOKUNAGA commanded twenty-one domains of Saikoku to send troops, and Satsuma planned to respond to this order and extend its power. In August, the Incident of gunfire at Shimonoseki of the four countries' combined fleet occurred. After that, Choshu and the four countries' combined fleet concluded a peace treaty, and the government and a representative of Shikoku signed an indemnity contract. During the middle of September, Saigo met Kaishu KATSU in Osaka, he stopped strong measures from being taken against Choshu, and tried to implement moderate measures according to Katsu's advice. In the beginning of October, he became the O-sobayaku aside snd the Daidai-koban (successive title of koban army), and was renamed Kichinosuke SAIGO according to the "Explication of Takamori SAIGO's chronicle" by Kichinosuke OSHIMA (it seems he kept this name from his time on Oki-no-erabujima island forward).

On October 12, he was appointed the Sanbo (staff officer) of Seicho-gun (conquering army of Choshu). On the 24th, he met Yoshikatsu TOKUNAGA of Sotoku of Seicho (governor conquering of Choshu), and he was entrusted with the punishment of Choshu because he had expressed his opinion. Then he met Kenmotsu KIKKAWA, who was a representative of Choshu in Iwakuni, with Tomomi YOSHII and Atsushi SAISHO, and proposed the punishment of three chief retainers of the Choshu Domain. He returned and reported the progress to Yoshikatsu TOKUGAWA immediately thereafter, and went to Kokura to discuss the plan of punishment of Choshu, report the progress made to lieutenant governor Mochiaki MATSUDAIRA, and report the progress to the governor of Satsuma Domain Hisaaki SHIMAZU. After all, the situation was controlled by Saigo's compromise plan, on December 27, the governor conquering of Choshu was commanded soldiers withdrew to sending troops, then finished conquest. The action of five nobles, which was included in the control plan to follow Saigo's compromise plan stemmed from effort of Shintaro NAKAOKA, and in the beginning of 1865 it was tentatively concluded to keep the five nobles in Fukuoka until they were sent separately to five domains of Kyushu from by way of mediation of the domain of Fukuoka."

Second conquest of Choshu and the Satsuma-Choshu Alliance

In the middle of January 1865, he returned to Kagoshima and finished his report to the father and child of the lord of the domain, and he married Ito (Itoko) who was the second daughter of Naoatsu (Yataro) IWAYAMA, the cleric of the chief retainer's office, on January 28th on the suggestion of various people. After that he mediated the removal of the five nobles, which had been an arduous problem since the previous year, and worked on problems relating to their treatment, and on February 23 he improved their treatment and settled the matter at Enjuoin in Temmangu, Dazaifu and finally it was concluded. Equally with this, he campaigned for the alliance of Kyushu domains with Okubo and Yoshii, to the domain of Kurume and the domain of Fukuoka, but went to Kyoto in middle of March. At that time, the shogunate ordered an Imperial command by force, to go to the capital of the father and son of the domain of Choshu and to send five nobles to Edo, and sent two councilors to Kyoto with four battalions with guns to realize that revival of three things of Sankin-kotai (daimyo's alternate-year residence in Edo), and they were forced to exchange the security of the Imperial Palace's gates of domain to shogunate army, but Shoshidai (local governor) ordered the bull and Denso (job title referring to one who relays messages of court's people to Emperor) to reject that, instead of that an urgent order sent to the general was urgent. These were the maneuvering of nobles like Saigo, Okubo and others that did not desire the restoration of power of the Bakufu (feudal government).

In May 1, Saigo returned to Kagoshima with Ryoma SAKAMOTO, and reported Kyoto's situation to the executives of the domain. After that, he reported the domain's argument that explained why the order of the Seicho troops of shogunate was refused. On the 9th, he was appointed to the position of head clerk and personal-to-a-person Karo, chief retainer (not inherited). At that time, Shogun Iemochi TOKUGAWA had started going west with the governor conquering the lord of the Kishu Domain and sixteen other domains with sixty thousand soldiers, in disregard of the Imperial command, and after soldiers were stationed in Osaka, and intercalary May 22, arrived Kyoto. The next day, on the 23rd, Iemochi visited the Imperial Palace with military power as background to report the attacks Choshu again, but it was not approved. In June, Shintaro NAKAOKA went to Kagoshima and talked about Saccho's cooperation and peace to Saigo, and promised to meet Kogoro KATSURA (Takayoshi KIDO) in Shimonoseki. But Saigo received an important letter from Okuno, so he cancelled his plans to go to Shimonoseki port and hurried to Kyoto.

Among this time, the executives of the shogunate who stayed in Kyo-Osaka became more aggressive based on the power of the sixty thousands soldiers there, and they pressed the Imperial Court regarding the punitive re-expedition to Choshu. Saigo did not yield to these threats from the shogunate, and on June 11, he told Okubo not to help shogunate with the punitive re-expedition to Choshu, and proceeded to maneuver within the Imperial Court to that end. Additionally, on the 24th, he met Ryoma SAKAMOTO in Kyoto and approved the purchase of weapons and ships that Choshu wanted, which represented an actual achievement of Saccho piece with Satsuma. Also, he felt the necessity to stand up against the military power of shogunate, and he returned to Kagoshima in the middle of October, and came to Kyoto with Komatsu and soldiers on the 15th. Around this time, he requested the purchase of rice for the military to Ryoma from Choshu, but an important motive in this was to solidify the achievement of Saccho peace. At this time, he sent Kiyotaka (Ryosuke) KURODA to Choshu and brought him back, and worked for a Satsuma-Choshu alliance.

In September 16, The nine warships of Four countries, England, France, America and Holland, arrived and stayed at Hyogo-oki offing to try to open Hyogo port. On the other hand, the intimidation resulting from the presence of the military power resulted in the Imperial Court approving the Imperial sanction of the punitive re-expedition to Choshu to the shogunate in Kyoto on September 21. Also on October 1, they refused granting Imperial approval to sanction the treaty from the former lord of the domain of Owari, Yoshikatsu TOKUGAWA, nor did they approve an Imperial sanction of the opening of Hyogo port, but they yielded to the shogunate and Yoshinobu TOKUGAWA when he insinuated that he would resign of general and to resort to force, finally, they did they issue Imperial approval to open Hyogo port. Although it was the result of compulsion, the decision was the realization of the desire that the Shogunate had had since Ansei, and historically it was a very important decision inasmuch as it represented a shift in national policy.

On January 8, 1866, Saigo went to welcome to Kogoro KATSURA (Kido) to Fushimi with Shinpachi MURATA and Narumi OYAMA (nickname, Hikohachi, older brother of Iwao OYAMA), and on the following day, the 9th, he went back to Kyoto and stayed in Nihommatsu-Hantei (Nihommatsu domain's residence, which was maintained by a daimyo in Edo). On the 21st (although rumored to have in fact been on 22nd), Saigo made a secret agreement with the Saccho Teikei Rokkajo (six articles of partnership between Satsuma and Choshu) with Kogoro KATSURA at Tatewaki KOMATSU's residence, and Ryoma SAKAMOTO endorsed a corporate document (Satsuma-Choshu Alliance). Immediately thereafter, Ryoma was attacked by a man of the shogunate at Teradaya, Satsuma-Hantei (the Satsuma Domain's residence maintained by a daimyo in Edo) and at Saigo's indication Ryoma was protected. After that, Kiyokado KOMATSU, Hisatake KATSURA, Tomomi YOSHII and Mr. and Mrs. Ryoma SAKAMOTO (Saigo was the matchmaker) sailed from Osaka and arrived in Kagoshima on 11th. In April, he was counseled about increasing the reformation of the domain duties and the military and navy, and after these suggestions were approved, he worked for reformation of domain duties with Komatsu and Katsura.

The second conquest of Choshu started with the bombardment of Kaminoseki by a battleship of the shogunate on June 7. The battle was was waged at four different locations, that is, ay Oshima-guchi, Geishu-guchi, Sanin-guchi and Kokura-guchi, and Geishu-guchi remained deadlocked, but the forces at Sanin-guchi, which commanded by Masujiro OMURA won through the hard work of many of the forces there, of which the Kiheitai Army was the foresmost; Oshima-guchi and Kokura-guchi were also won by means of sudden attacks oby Shinsakau TAKASUGI, and the force of shogunate suffered a crushing defeat. Saigo, who was in Kagoshima, drafted a petition against the punitive re-expedition to Choshu, and made them submit to the document on July 9, which stipulated that the lord of the domain can refuse to send soldiers. However, because Shogun Iemochi Tokugawa had died due to illness in Osaka castle on July 30, and due to the defeat at Kokura-guchi on August 1, the Shogunate was delayed while mourning him, he issued an imperial order of cease-fire to the Imperial Court to buy time necessary to deal with the problems of being defeated and Shogun Iemitsu's demise. The Shogunate carried Shogun Iemitsu's ashes by the Edo sea route, and promulgated an Imperial order by which the military was dissolved, and ended batte with the demise of Emperor Takaaki on December 25th. At this time, Saigo's heir, Torataro was born on July 12, and Saigo was granted the title of Ometsuke, Rikugun-Kakari (Department of the Army) and Attendant at the Chief Retainer's Office. He returned the title of Ometsuke.

Command to return political power to the emperor and restore monarchy.

In the beginning of March, 1867, starting with Shinpachi MURATA and Shintaro NAKAMURA he campaigned at domain of Omura and domain of Hirado. On March 25, obeying orders from Hisamitsu, Saigo went to Kyoto with seven hundred the picked soldiers (from the first to 6th Joka command groups). In May, he prepared the Shiko-kaigi (the four major lords' meeting), which was held at the residence of the domain of Satuma, and the residence of the domain of Tosa in Kyoto. He visited Aritomo YAMAGATA on June 15th, and told him of the resolution to overthrow the Tokugawa shogunate first time. On the 16th, Saigo, Tatewaki KOMATSU, Toshimichi OKUBO, Masaharu ICHIJI, Aritomo YAMAGATA and Yajiro SHINAGAWA pledged to form the Satsuma-Choshu Alliance once more. After that, he sent Shohei IMUTA, Kyunosuke MASUMITSU, Sozo SAGARA and others to the city of Edo to commit subversive acts (the intention was to upset the people using acts of arson and robbery in Edo and the neighborhood), and provoked the shogunate. On the 22nd, Saigo gathered together with Ryoma SAKAMOTO, Shojiro GOTO and Takachika FUKUOKA and formed the Satsudo Meiyaku (the alliance with Satsuma and Tosa).

On September 7th, Uzuhiko Shimazu, who was the third son of Hisamitsu, arrived in Osaka with about one thousand soldiers. On September 9th, Saigo asked permission to postpone raising an army, because Goto came to visit and submitted a Petition to transfer the power back to the Emperor, which was based on Ryoma SAKAMOTO's idea, and though he was denied permission, he later received. Shogun Yoshinobu TOKUNAGA, who read the petition from the domain of Tosa (former lord of domain Yodo YAMAUCHI) submitted Joso (memorial to the throne) of returning political power to the emperor to Imperial court. The 14th witnessed many events, namely the secret Imperial command against the Shogunate army, the issuance of the order to assassinate Aizu and Kuwana, and the submission of the acknowledgement of this order to Saigo, Okubo, Shinagawa and others (the acknowledgement of the order was signed by Takeo (Kichinosuke) SAIGO. On 15th, the imperially sanctioned report to return political power to the emperor was submitted by Imperial Court.

Saigo, who brought a secret Imperial command, put together the report of the domain which worked with Hisatake KATSURA and others, on November 13, he obeyed the lord of the domain Tadayoshi SHIMAZU and left Kagoshima with three thousand soldiers. On the way, he changed departure date of the soldiers with Choshu, then he left Mitajiri, and arrived Osaka on 20th, and to Kyoto on 23rd. About seven hundred Choshu soldiers landed at Settsu Uchidehama on 29th, then moved to Nishinomiya. Also at that time, the domain of Geishu decided to send the soldiers. Saigo was made to start maneuvering with regard to the issue of the Oseifukko no Daigorei (Imperial Court's declaration of Restoration of monarchy) while negotiating to send soldiers to other domains. On December 9th, marching orders were issued to the guard of the Imperial Court of Satuma, and as a result the four armies of the domain Aki, Owari, Echizen, and Aizu, Kuwanahama changed to guard the Imperial Court, then the seifukko no Daigorei (Imperial court's declaration of Restoration of monarchy) was promulgated.

Boshin War

January 3, 1868, the former shogunate army of Osaka set out to Kyoto, the spearhead convoy of the shogunate and garrison of Saccho had an encounter each other, and the Battles of Toba and Fushimi started. Saigo confirmed that circumstances surrounding the were becoming advantageous after inspecting the Fushimi battle line on 3rd, and the Yawata battle line on 5th. On the 6th, Yosninobu TOKUGAWA escaped from Osaka castle with councilor Katamori MATSUDAIRA, and Gaikoku-bugyo Sadaaki MATSUDAIRA, and a few others, and got on the Kaiyo warship and left for Edo. The new government issued the decree to find and kill Yoshinobu on the 7th, and on the 9th, Imperial Prince Taruhito, Arisugawa-no-miya was appointed to Tosei-daitokufu, and was allowed to take command of Tokai, Higashiyama and the Three Roads of Hokuriku to work for Togoku-keiryaku (the government of the eastern countries).

Saigo was appointed the Satsuma group's Sashihiki commander of the Tokaido spearhead army on February 12th, and he was appointed the Shimo-sanbo staff of Tosei-daitokufu (Kuge was the appointed staff officer, the office of shimo-sanbo was the actual staff officer), then left first with the spearhead army (Hanjiro NAKAMURA, who was the Ichiban-shotai Taicho (commander of the first platoon), Shinpachi MURATA, who was the Niban-shotai Taicho (commander of the second platoon), and Kunimoto SHINOHARA, who was the Sanban-shotai Taicho (commander of the third platoon), and they occupied an important part of the Hakone Town of Tokaido. After occupation, he moved the headquarters to Mishima, then returned to Shizuoka City. On March 9, he had an interview with Tesshu YAMAOKA, who was an envoy of Yoshinobu TOKUGAWA, and showed an action draft of Tokugawa, seven articles. After that, he received a command to carry out an all-out assault of Edo on March 15, then left Shizuoka, and arrived at Edo on 11th, and joined the rest of the army at the army headquarters of Ikegami Honmon-ji Temple.

On March 13, 14, he had an interview with Kaishu KATSU, and had negotiated the bloodless surrender of Edo Castle. At that time, England was "against the all-out assault of Edo" because they were "a supporter of the domain of Satsuma" and was afraid of trading trouble with Japan, thus, the 'bloodless surrender of Edo Castle' became the fixed plan of the new government. He received an action draft of Tokugawa from Katsu upon his second meeting at Hashimoto-ya, he ordered Tokaido army and Higashiyama-do army to discontinue the all-out assault, then he left Edo and went to Shizuoka; on the 12th, he showed the winning plan with Daitokufu-Imperial Prince Arisugawanomiya Taruhito as his audience, and also got the approval of the Imperial Court after deliberation. Saigo returned to Edo, and on April 4, he marched into Edo castle with Imperial envoy Saneyana HASHIMOTO, and announced the document from the Emperor to Yoshiyori TOKUGAWA, and on April 11, Edo Castle was surrendered.

Saigo destroyed the Edo shogunate, and he tried have 'Tohoku War' with North Government, which was established with domain of Sendai (Date clan) as a leader. The new government of the "West regime" and the North Government of the "North regime" were in effect, "the Nanboku War." It would have been possible to revert to "the period of the Northern and Southern Courts" again in Japan if 'Tohoku War' were extended. In the beginning of May, he was concerned about what the army should do first, the abolition of Shogitai in Ueno or the fierce battle of Ou-Shirakawa Castle, and he was depended upon to secure Edo for the other domain, and try to support Shirakawa with direct soldier of Satsuma, but he took attack Ueno first because of Masujiro OMORI's opposition. In May 15, Ueno War broke out, and he commanded the assult of the front gate, Kuromonguchi, and stormed it. At the end of May, he sailed from Edo. He reported the state of the war in Kyoto, and on June 9, he left Kyoto followed by load of domain Tadayoshi, and returned to Kagoshima on 14th. Around this time, he was deteriorated and he treated himself in Hinatayama Onsen Hot Spring.

Saigo was asked to take command because the war was not progressin well, and on July 23 he was appointed the Sosasihiki commander of the Satsuma Domain army going to Hokuriku, and on August 2, he sailed from Kagoshima and arrived at Kashiwazaki, Echigo Province on 10th. On the 14th, right after his arrival, he heard of his brother Yoshijiro's death, which resulted from wounds received at the battle at Ikarashi, Niigata City. He did not go to headquarters of Hokurikudo (Shibata City) because of his position, which was to command the domain, but Shimo-sanbo staff, Kioytaka KURODA and Aritomo YAMAGATA came to visit Saigo sometimes. After the domain of Shonai, the domain of Sendai and the domain of Aizu capitulated, and the domain of Shonai that won the all battles against the new government's army also capitulated on September 27, and the 'Tohoku War' ended with the victory of the new government. At that time, Saigo gave instructions to Kuroda and gave a lenient entrustment to the domain of Shonai. After that, he left Shonai, and returned to Kagoshima through Edo at the beginning of November, Kyoto and Osaka, and treated himself to the Hinatayama Onsen Hot Spring.

The period of the Satsuma Domain's participation in the government

On February 25, 1869, because load of domain Tadayoshi himself came to Hinatayama Onsen (a Hot Spring) and requested it, on 26th he returned to Kagoshima and became a Sansei (a job entailing participation in national administration) and Ichidai-yoriai (personal-to-a person family rank). After that, he worked energetically for redivision of the domain duties (to divide the domain duties and the domestic economy, to change the government building of the domain to Chiseisho prefecture government, to move the domestic economy services to the Interior Ministry, to stop the prerogative for sept and main retainers, and a Jiao (officer) who is appointed by the domain as an administrator), and reorganized the division of soldiers (i.e. the creation of the Jobutai (regular army)), finally, he tried to of complaint of samurai in the lower grade who contributed at Boshin War. Because the fields had been Mutaka, or barren, since 1862, he was exiled to Oki-no-erabujima island island and made to forfeit the Chigyo fief (thus, he received only the salary of a lowest ranking retainer) but, he was reinstated and became Takamochi (farmer resisted in Kenchi book) on March.

On May 1st, he sailed from Kagoshima with some soldiers of the domain to assist in the Hakodate War as the Sosasihiki commander. On the way, he received permission to travel to Tokyo, and arrived in Hakodate on May 25th, but, Hakodate and Goryokaku castle had already reopened on the 18th, the war was already finished (this was the end of Boshin War). On the way back, when he stopped in Tokyo and received 2000 goku (a crop yield measurement) as Shotenroku and Eiseiroku (premiums) for his contribution to the restoration of monarchy in June 2. At that time, he was ordered to stay there, but he refused and returned to Kagoshima. In June, he purchased land for a house in Take-mura, Kagoshima-gun. He received the rank of Shosanmi (Senior Third Rank) on September 26. He wrote a draft of an order to return which named by load of domain in December, and he used the name Takamori for the first time at this time. On January 18, 1870, he resigned from his position in the government and became an advisor, and in July 3, he resigned his position as advisor and became a Shitsumu-yuaku, but he was appointed the Daisanji (second to a governor) of the domain of Kagoshima by the Dajokan (The Grand Council of state) (the date of announcement was in August).

The reformation of the nation's government and the abolition of clans and establishment of prefectures.

On February 13th, 1870, Saigo went to the domain of Choshu with Shinpachi MURATA, Iwao OYAMA and Shiro IKEGAMI (a feudal retainer of Satsuma), and inspected the chaotic situation of the Kiheitai troops, and declining the request of support from the Kiheitai Army, he visited governor of the domain Hiroatsu MORI, then returned to Kagoshima. On July 27 of that same year, the feudal retainer of Kagoshima and member of the Shugi-in, Yasutake YOKOYAMA, (the truel older brother of Arinori MORI) threw the Kangensho (a document containing advice to the highly ranked people) that criticized the times to the gate of the Dajokan-Seiin (chief of Grand Council of state) and committed suicide with his sword. Saigo was shocked about that, and he was concerned about distancing the people due to the extravagance of the officers of the new government, and that the Satsuma citizens might develop bad habits as a result, and therefore he sent Ikegami to Tokyo to bring back only the thoughtful soldiers and officers from Satsuma back to Kagoshima. In December, the Imperial envoy Tomomi IWAKURA and vice envoy Toshimichi OKUBO were sent to Kagoshima by the government, which sensed a crisis and urged Saigo to serve them, and they negotiated with Saigo to that end, but ran into difficulties, and finally persuaded Judo SAIGO, who had come home after inspection of Western countries, to come to Kyoto due to the political turmoil.

In January 3, 1871, Saigo and Okubo sailed from Tokyo with Ikegami with a 'draft of reinventing government.'
Saigo and Okubo visited Kido and had a meeting there on the 8th. Saigo, Okubo, Kido and Ikegami sailed from Mitajiri to Tosa on the 16th. Saigo group arrived in Tosa and held a conference with the governor of the domain Toyonori YAMAUCHI and Taisuke ITAGAKI on the 17th. Saigo, Okubo, Kido, Itagaki and Ikegami arrived in Kobe and had a conference with Aritomo YAMAGATA, then sailed from Osaka to Tokyo together on the 22nd. The group arrived in Tokyo and had a conference on February 8, then decided to establish the Goshimpei (army to convoy the Emperor).
After that, he met Heihachiro TOGO on the way to Kagoshima with Ikegami, and encouraged him to take up scholarship

On February 13, soldiers were called from the domain of Kagoshima, the domain of Yamaguchi and the domain of Kochi because an order was issed to organize the Goshimpei, so Saigo went to Kyoto with four Jobitai, or about five thousand soldiers, by Tadayoshi's order, and stayed at former Owari domain's residence, Ichigaya, Tokyo on April 21. In addition to the Goshimpei, the Tosando Chindai Army (Ishinomaki) and Saikaido Chindai Army (Kokura) were created, and with this backdrop of military power, the cabinet started to be reshuffled on June 25. Saigo was appointed to the rank of Shosanmi once more. He became the chairman of investigation of systems on July 5, and received an Imperial sanction to entrust of decision-making authority for members. For these reasons, he deliberated on the system of the new bureaucracy, personnel changes in the cabinet, and on the abolition of clans and establishment of prefectures, and he also held discussions with Okubo and Kido both officially and privately, and issued an Imperial prescript of the abolition of clans and the establishment of prefectures that was approved by the Imperial Court on the 14th. During this time, he established the system of the new bureaucracy and made personnel changes in the cabinet one by one, and around July 29, the members were as below (but the posts of Udaijin (Minister of the Right) of the Gaimukyo (chief of Foreign Ministry) Iwakura were not filled until the middle of October).

The grand minister of state (Sanetomi SANJO)

Udaijin and Gaimukyo (chief of Foreign Ministry), (Tomomi IWAKURA)

Councilor (Takamori SAIGO, Takayoshi KIDO, Taisuke ITAGAKI, Shigenobu OKUMA)

Okurakyo (chief of the Ministry of Finance) (Toshimichi OKUBO)

Monbukyo (chief of the Ministry of Education) (Takato OKI)

Hobu-taifu (a post in the Ministry of Military) (Aritomo YAMAGATA)

Okura-taifu (a post in the Ministry of Finance) (Kaoru INOUE)

Monbu-taifu (a post in the Ministry of Education) (Shinpei ETO)

Kobu-taifu (a post in the Ministry of Works) (Shojiro GOTO)

Shiho-taifu (a post in the Ministry of Justice) (Takayuki SASAKI)

Kudai-taifu (a post in the Imperial Household Ministry) (Hirofusa MADENOKOJI)

Gaimu-taifu (a post in the Foreign Ministry) (Munenori TERASHIMA)

The reorganization was carried out as follows: soldiers were supplied as Goshimpei to each load of domain, and then suddenly clans were abolished and prefectures were established; thus, it was similar to sneak attack.

Rusu-naikaku (acting cabinet while heads of government are away)

On November 12, 1871, Sanjo and Saigo were entrusted with the duty of Rusu-naikaku (the acting cabinet while the heads of government are away), because a group of ambassadors, namely the ambassador who is the ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary Tomomi IWAKURA, vice ambassadors Takayoshi KIDO, Toshimichi OKUBO, Hirobumi ITO and Naoyoshi YAMAGUCHI went to Europe and the North America for revision of a treaty (Kunai-taijo (a post in the Imperial Household Ministry), and Shinpachi MURATA was one of the attendant). Saigo and others kept maintaining the reform of the system of bureaucracy from 1871, the system of military, and also system of police, in February 1872, they abolished the Ministry of Hyobu and installed the Ministry of War and Ministry of the Navy, and in March the Goshimpei was abolished and installed guardee. From May to July, he attended processions in Kansai, Chugoku, Saigoku for the Emperor. On the way home from Kagoshima, where he had been visiting the Emperor, he heard of the complicated discussion of guardee, and hurried to Kyoto to settle the problem, and he was appointed to be the Marshal of the Army, and concurrently Sangi councilor in July 29. At that time, Konoe-totoku (the regulator of Konoefu) Aritomo YAMAGATA resigned due to high expenses relating to military affairs, and his brother Judo SAIGO was discharged from Fuku Konoe-totoku (vice regulator of Konoefu) to take control of Saccho. In May 1873, the position of marshal was abolished along with the conscription ordinance being effected, Saigo became a General in the Army, and was concurrently Sangi councilor.

However, after departure for the Iwakura Mission in November 1871, to Iwakura returned to Japan in September 1873, and Saigo organized the Rusu-naikaku and the policies below were enacted.

Integration and abolishment of prefectures

Established the Ministry of War and the Ministry of the Navy

Establishment of an educational system

Promulgation of regulation of the national bank

Use of the solar calendar

Decree of Conscription Ordinance

Abolition of the bulletin board banning Christianity

Decree of regulation of the land-tax reform

Political change in 1873

In Korea trouble arose (at the time Korea was ruled by the Yi Dynasty) in that Korea under the Yi Dynasty refused the sovereign's message for restoration of the government in 1868; however, neither the acceptance of the sovereign's message nor the conclusion of the problem of the treaty of amity with Korea progressed when the Rusu-naikaku was in power.
Thus, it was necessary to know why they were not progressing and how to counteract that, so Saigo, Taisuke ITAGAKI and Taneomi SOEJIMA sent Shiro IKEGAMI, Seikan TAKEICHI, and Chuhei SAKAKI to Manchuria to spy on Qing, Russia and Korea so they could better understand this (volume 7 of Tadayoshi's historical data (the historical data of Kagoshima Prefecture)) on August 15, 1872,

Discord in the government and amongst the executives regarding the problem in Korea in 1873 began after Shigeru MORIYAMA, who held the rank of Gaimu-shoki, returned from Busan, and the Yi Dynasty Korea insulted the ambassador after refusing the Japanese sovereign's message, so he reported that it would be necessary to either decide to evacuate from Korea, or to conclude the conclusion problem of treaty of amity by force, and Kagenori UENO with Gaimu-sho title submitted these reports to the ministry as a bill. This bill was discussed by seven councilors starting on June 12.

At first Itagaki asserted in the bill that the conclusion of the problem of the treaty of amity (a machination to subdue Korea) should be done by force, but contrary to this Saigo asserted that he would become an ambassador plenipotentiary with antecedent costume, and not use force (Kenkan Taishi-ron (theory in which an ambassador is sent to Korea)). Itagaki and Fukushima of Gaimukyo were initially opposed to the method and to the selection of Saigo, but they to Saigo's plan after talking together many times in beginning of August. It was agreed to dispatch Saigo with Sanjo on the 16th, and approved by Cabinet meeting on the 17th. But when Sanjo reported to the Emperor, he received an Imperial prescript saying 'wait until Tomomi IWAKURA returns from Korea, and meet with him, and then report to me' so the announcement had to wait until Iwakura's return.

Up to that point, Saigo, Itagaki and Fukushima had thought to advance the situation by sending an ambassador. But, after Iwakura returned in September, Takayoshi KIDO and Toshimichi OKUBO, who returned from time abroad, began to espouse the theory of priority of domestic security. The problem of whether to dispatch an ambassador could not be decided at the Cabinet meeting that Okubo and others went to on September 14, and they decided to send Saigo at the second Cabinet meeting on the 15th. But, the councilors Kido, Okubo, Okuma and Oki who were against the decision submitted resignation, and the situation was result in the Udaijin Iwakura also announced the resignation. Sanjo who was apprehensive about it, suddenly became ill on the night of the 18th, so Iwakura became the acting grand minister of state. Then Saigo, Itagaki, Fukushima and Eto visited the residence of Iwakura to ask for the approbation of Joso (memorial to the throne), which was the decision of cabinet meeting, but Iwakura did not approve of it.

Saigo resigned as General of the Army, and as concurrent Sangi councilor, and as Konoe-totoku on September 23, and announced that he would return these ranks, but Iwakura, who finished maneuvering in the Imperial Court, submitted an opinion document for the indefinite postponement of dispatching Saigo separetely from a decision of the Imperial Court. The next day, on the 24th, Saigo resigned because the Emperor accepted the opinion document from Iwakura, and approved the indefinite postponement of sending Saigo. At the time, Saigo's resignation of the position of councilor and Konoe-totoku was approved, but his resignation of the title of full general was not approved, nor was he allowed to return that rank (based on this failure to receive approval, Iwakura, Kido and Okubo had plans to restore Saigo and the supporters of those in favor of sending an ambassador to Korea return to government).

The next day, on the 25th, Otagaki, Fukushima, Goto and Eto resigned as councilors. Many other sided with those who resigned, and Yuzo HAYASHI of Seikanron and Kenkan Taishi-ha (supporters for sending both an army and ambassadors to Korea), Toshiaki KIRINO, Kunimoto SHINOHARA, Gumpei FUCHIBE, Shuichiro KONO and Jurota HEMMI, and about 600 other politicians, soldiers and governors resigned one after another.
During these extensive resignations, Shinpachi MURATA and Shiro IKEGAMI, who returned late, also resigned (the political change of 1873)

At the time, Issei MAEHARA (who was appointed the successor of Masujiro OMURA, the Hobu-taifu, who had resigned earlier because he was doubtful of the sufficiency of his ability) sent a letter to the grand minister of state, Sanetomi SANJO saying 'Saigo should be reassigned to his work of attempting the harmonization of Satsuma and Choshu. If not, there will be some debates about wise lost', because he was concerned about the future of the Meiji Government.

Private school

Saigo, who resigned, returned to Kagoshima on November 10, 1873, had spent most of time since then at home in Takemura. When he went hunting and rested at Unagi Onsen Hot Spring in Yamakawa, but on March 1, 1874, Shimpei ETO, who was defeated in the Saga-no-ran War, came to visit him, and the next day he saw Eto to Ibusuki (Eto had been arrested in Tosa). Before that, the conquest of Taiwan has been decided in a Cabinet meeting in February. Kido resigned councilor due to this conquest, and Saigo was also against it. But in April, he received a request from Judo SAIGO, who was Totoku governor general and the younger brother of Saigo, who had been in the Taiwan conquest force, and reluctantly agreed to recruiment from Kagoshima, and sent about eight hundred soldiers to Nagasaki.

Since soldiers and the Keri police officers who resigned along with Saigo returned to the prefecture one after another in 1873, Kagoshima became filled with many unemployed hot-blooded men and young men who were inspired by them (a situation that continued after a private school was established, the details of which are in "the diary of before and after Seinan-eki (Seinan War)"). And because the young men and other men who were in their prime might go astray, Saigo was asked to volunteer to lead them, then got help from Tsunayoshi OYAMA with Kenrei in Japan, Kenrei 2, and the private school was established at the former remains of a stable around in June 1784 ("Oyama, Kenrei (government general) and Shigakko"). According to this essay, the school started around December, which seems probable. The private school established branch schools in each town under the prefectures, which were the gun army school that Kunimoto SHINOHATA supervised, the bombardment army that Shinpachi MURATA supervised, and the Army Cadet school (Shoten school) that Murata supervised. And the other is the Yoshino-Kaikonsha school (Kyu-Rikugun Kyododan Seito (students of former Imperial Army's school)), which Toshiaki KIRINO lead and Kyuji NAGAYAMA and Shosuke HIRANO supervised, and it was established in the wasteland that was secured by negotiation between Saigo and Kenrei OYAMA on April 1875.

Saigo was relaxing at home or went hunting and rest at hot spring most of the time from 1875 to 1876. The private school was maintained under Saigo's influence, and the sophisticated men of Shigakko started to have great influence in the prefecture, and then Kenrei Tsunayoshi OYAMA could not maintain prefectural politics smoothly without their cooperation, so Oyama employed the these erudite men of Shigakko as the officers of prefecture or police officers, and asked Saigo to recommend a ward mayor and a deputy mayor of the ward on Novenber 1875 and April 1876. In this way, Beppu, Henmi, Kono and Sokuro OGURA (the older brother of Heihachiro TOGO) became ward mayors and the Shigakko party controlled politics in the prefecture, thus the government considered the prefecture of Kagoshima to be controlled by the Shigakko party, and it became mostly independent.

The night before the Seinan War

The decree banning the wearing of swords was issued in March 1876, and after the Kinroku-kosai Shosho Jorei (regulation for the security of the Kinroku government) was established in August, many of the Shigakko party, which came from the warrior class, and their relatives (who were made to be warriors for generations by the Conscription Ordinance) were indignant that the prerogatives of the warrior class, that is, being able to wear a sword and the Chigyochi fief were taken from them. The Kamikaze ren-no-ran War of the warrior class of Kumamoto Prefecture, the Akitsuki-no-ran War from the warrior class of Fukushima Prefecture, and Ogi-no-ran War were also divested of their prerogatives on October 24. Saigo heard about the movement to rise up and go into action at Nitto hot spring in November.

He faced the action from Seiichi MAEHARA and others as if they were pleasant things.

He said things like, "If I returned, the young men might become impatient, so I will stay in this hot spring."

And also "I never revealed what I would do in the past, so if I were to reveal my future actions now, it would surprise everyone."

The letter in which wrote those things was given to Hisatake KATSURA, and announced that he was waiting for the time to 'make a decision.'
It is unclear whether the phrase 'make a decision' was meant to refer to raising an army in the country, or to the Russia problem with which Saigo was concerned most at that time.

On the other hand, the government was worried that a rebellion of the warrior class of the prefecture of Kagoshima might occur between the end of that year and January.

The gun powder and explosives in Kagoshima Prefecture were carried away from the powder magazine (also known as an explosives magazine) by ship one after another.

Toshiyoshi KAWAJI of Daikeishi (head of the police department) twenty-four patrol officers, and others, on the pretext of returning for the purpose of searching for information in the prefecture, were sent to Kagoshima to bring about a collapse of Shigakko, as well as the estrangement of Saigo and the Shigakko.

The following measures were taken.

Ragarding this, the Shigakko strongly believed that the jurisdiction of the gun powder and explosives had already moved to the military by the time the Ministry of War and the Ministry of the Navy were established, and in spite of the fact that the military had the authority to remove the munitions, it had originally been purchased and made by contributions from former feudal retainers, and these were members of the warrior class of the prefecture of Kagoshima for use in emergencies. Many patrol officers were suspicious as well and very much wished to know why this was being done. But, at the time, people did not know that Toshiyoshi KAWAJI ordered Naoo KAWAHARA to 'inspect' Saigo when the collapse and estrangement did not occur (also Aritomo YAMAGATA said that he misinterpreted 'shisatsu' to mean 'stab' instead of 'inspect' because they have exactly the same reading in Japanese. At this time, 'inspection' also meant 'reconnaissance' in the words of official documents of the bureaucracy, so 'inspection in Manju' really amounted to reconnaissance of Manju by Ikegami in 1872.

Raising an army

Around January 20, 1877, Saigo was hunting in Konejime on Osumi peninsula, and he never dreamed that the students of Shigakko would attack the powder magazine. On the other hand, the government thought the rebellion of the warrior class of prefecture of Kagoshima was near at hand, and Aritomo YAMAGATA issued an order of caution by telegram for Kumamoto Chindai Army on January 28th. On the 29th, because it is dangerous, they announced and pledged that it would be carried out in the daytime, but the gun powder and explosives were carried out from Kusamuta Magazine of the army to the Sekiryu-maru without notice or a sign at night. The students of Shigakko were provoked by this, and attacked the gunpowder magazine.

On February 1, his younger brother Kohei visited Saigo, who was in Konejime as an envoy from the executive of Shigakko, and he heard that Tota TANIGUCHI and Naoo NAKAHARA returned to stab Saigo, and talked about the attack on the gunpowder magazine made by the students of Shigakko. On hearing this, Saigo went back to Kagoshima, and the number of people who hurry to guard him continued to increase. Nakagawa was arrested on the 3rd, and he confessed under torture on the 4th (and his thumbprint was affixed to a deposition). The deposition was reported in "Satsunan Ketsurui (bitter tears) shi (the history of Satsunan, the south part of Satsuma)" and a large conference was held in the main school of Shigakko on the 6th, and he decided to go to Kyoto with big army to inquire about the crimes to the government the next day (on the 7th), then he announced his decision to go to Kyoto to the Kenrei, Tsunayoshi OYAMA. On the 9th, during all the uproar, Sumiyoshi KAWAMURA came to visit Saigo by Takaomaru Ship, but was unable to meet him. On the same day, Tsuna NOMURA, who was sent by Okubo, surrendered himself at a prefectural office, separately from the patrol officers, and the deposition of Noguchi is reported in "(Satsunan Ketsurui (bitter tears) shi (the history of Satsunan, the south part of Satsuma)". Saigo started to think that Okubo also agreed to stab him from the deposition.

On the 13th, the Daitai was reorganized after the new soldiers were recruited and trained, and Kunimoto SHINOHARA was elected the Ichiban-daitai Shikicho (chief commander of the first battalion), Sinpachi MURATA was elected the Niban-daitai Shikicho (chief commander of the second battalion), Yaichiro NAGAYAMA was elected the Sanban-daitai Shikicho (chief commander of the third battalion), Toshiaki KIRINO was elected the Yonban-daitai Shikicho (chief commander of the fourth battalion), Shiro IKEGAMI was elected Goban-daitai Shikicho (chief commander of the fifth battalion), and Kirino held an additional post as the supreme commander. Gumpei FUCHINO became the Honei-fu-goeitaicho (commander of convoy attached with Headquarters) and guarded Saigo with a sniper force.
Beppu organized two extra battalions in Kajiki, and became the leader thereof (later, the two battalions became the sixth battalion and the seventh battalion, but both had only half the number of members of a regal battalion and also their equipments was inferior.)
The next day, on the 14th, the drill court that was located next to the main school of Shigakko (a former farm that was located next to the former stable of Shigakko). It is often described as Ishiki Drill Court, which is like "Tobu-ga-gotoku (like flying)," but this is incorrect. The military parade for Seiki-Daitai military battalion was held by Saigo in "Regarding the a 'drill court' for the Satsuma army's departure for the front in the Seinan War." The first battalion left from Kagoshima first (the start of the Seinan War) on the 15th, and Saigo left from Kagoshima via Kajiki and Hitoyoshi to Kumamoto on the 17th.

The Battle of Kumamoto

The battalion of Shinsuke Beppu arrived at Kawajiri on February 20. They encountered the reconnaissance troops of Kumamoto Chindai Army, then left Kumamoto to pursue them. The battalions of the Satsuma army arrived one after another, and laid seige to the Kumamoto Chindai and fought on the 21st. They waged a full assault on Kumamoto Castle starting on the morning of the 22nd. Saigo arrived at Yotsugi-no-miya Shrine in the afternoon. He heard that part of the Governmental army had gone to Ueki, then the platoon of Sansuke MURATA and Naoji ITO was sent to Ueki, and they captured the army flag of the fourteenth regiment, which was lead by Shokuro IWAKIRI and Maresuke NOGI of the army of Ito. On the other hand, it was thought to be difficult to capture Kumamoto Castle with an assault such as the one that was being carried out, because Kumamoto Castle was a solid castle. At night they moved the heaquarters to Honjo, and while they were bickering about the military meeting, the Seiki-ryodan official brigade of the Government army started to move to south. The plan of Shinohara that all army attack the castle was chosen at the military meeting at first, but they had been laying seige to Kumamoto Castle for a time by the next military meeting, and decided that the part of them should attack Okura suddenly, so Shiro IKEGAMI left with several platoons on the 23rd, but they encountered the Governmental army, which was moving south at Tahara, Takase and Ueki, and the blitz tactics failed.

After that, he had to deal with the situation that the Southern Government army and Government army were suspected to have landed, and the Kumamoto Chindai, thus, he left the seige of Kumamoto castle to Ikegami and had Yaichiro NAGAYAMA control the shoreline, and sent the shotai platoon separately with Kunitomo SHINOHARA (Rokka-shotai platoon) to Tahara, meanwhile Murata and Beppu (Goka-shotai platoon) were at Kitome, and Kirino (Sanka-shotai platoon) was at Yamaga, thus they tried to attack the Government army from both sides and capture Takase. Whether in victory or defeat, all adhered to the front.

The battle over Tahara, which started from March 1, (Taburazaka and Kichiji, etc) was a fierce battle that divided this war, and dauntless soldiers like Kunitomo SHINOHARA died in the war one after another. They even protected Taharazaka with sacrifices like that, but, during a soldier exchange, the Government army saw an opening and occupied Taharazaka. There were many reasons for their defeat in this battle, but the main problem was that their guns and rifles were outdated, and the amount of gunpowder, bullets and cannonballs they had was insufficient, and also the military supplies like food was extremely lacking. These were the weaknesses of Satsu-gun in the Sainen War. They withdrew from the direction of Tahara, and while protecting their flank, NAGAYAMA, who had failed his objectives with the back army of the government that had landed, was censured himself and committed suicide with his sword, and also Ikegami failed at the Battle of Anseibashi-guchi on April 8, and upon being allowed to communicate with the back army and Chindai, the Satsu-gun was like an attacked both in front and rear. They were forced to break the seige of Kumamoto Castle and withdraw to Kiyama to escape these difficulties on the 14th. Meanwhile, the headquarters was moved from Honio to Nihongi on March 16, and moved again to Kiyama on April 21, and Hongo also moved therewith, but he was not a leader in the battle directly, so he decided to stay at the three countries of Satsuma, Osumi and Hyuga Province on April 15, and except for that one day, there was no record of his work being outstanding.

Satsu-gun was reorganized from a battalion to a company, and once the name of the company was renewed, they went over Shiba and moved to Hitoyoshi, which they established as the new base. Toshiaki KIRINO arrived in Eshiro on April 27, the day after them, then the next day, on the 28th, an army meeting was held to set the department for each company, and arranged them at each place, day by day. After that, they established the base at Hitoyoshi, and they faced the Government army from their base, but they were hopelessly outnumbered, and were pushed back by the Government army little by little, and then Hitoyoshi also fell into danger.
Saigo was guarded by Shiro IKEGAMI and arrived at the army office (the Government branch office of Miyazaki) where Toshiaki KIRINO was based on May 31. This office was the new headquarters. A lot of military currency (Saigo-satsu bill) was made on the order of Kirino to rebuild the finances of Satsu-gun.

The Battle of Miyazaki

On June 17, Shinpachi MURATA who stayed at Hitoyoshi supported Kobayashi, and he directed Shinbutai Army, Hachiku-tai troop, and the march convoy, which was about one thousand of soldiers, and they repeatedly skirmished with the Government army across Sendai-gawa River about for a month. On July 10, the Government army attempted an all-out assault on Kakuto and Iino, then they tried to hold that position but they could not, so they withdrew in the direction of Kogen-roku and Nojiri. The Government army took Kobayashi on the 11th. Hachiro HORIYO, who was in the direction of Nobeoka, had fierce battle with the Government army with one thousand Satsu soldiers to retake Kogen-roku on the 17th and 21st, but they lost again and withdrew to Shonai and Tanigashira. On the 24th, Murata had a fierce battle with Rokka-ryodan brigade of the Government army, but the difference in soldiers therebetween was difficult to overcome, then they also suffered a crushing defeat in the battle and withdrew to Miyazaki (the Battle of Miyakonojo).

On the 31st, Kirino and Murata directed the army and fought in Miyazaki, but they lost again, and Satsu-gun withdrew to Hirose and Sadowara (the Battle of Miyazaki). In August 1, the Government army occupied Miyazaki because Satsu-gun lost at Sadowara. Saigo, who withdrew from Miyazaki, arrived in Onuki-mura, Nobeoka on the 2nd, and stayed there until the 9th. Takanabe failed on the 2nd, then the Battle of Mimitsu started on the 3rd. At the time, Kirino directed Hiraiwa, Shinpachi MURATA directed Tomitaka-shinmachi, and Shiro IKEGAMI stayed in Nobeoka and directed the army, but they failed on both the 4th and the 5th. Saigo left a message to rally the Satsu-gun on the 6th. On the 7th, the gunpowder factory and the hospital were moved to Kumada, the new base, as was directed by Ikegami. Saigo moved to Honkoji, Mushika to Sasakubi, Nagai-mura starting on the 10th, and arrived at Nagai-mura on the 14th, after that he stayed there ("Daisaigo Totsui Senki (war chronicles of the Great Saigo breaking through the besieging armies))". In those days, on the 12th, Sangun Aritomo YAMAGATA made a plan of battle against Nobeoka of the Government army. The same day Toshiaki KIRINO, Shinpachi MURATA and Shiro IKEGAMI came from Nagai-mura and made a plan of attack against Nobeoka, and they directed it at the main roads, but they failed against the Betsudo-Daini-ryodan (the second stand-alone brigade), the Daisan-ryodan (the third brigade), the Daiyon-ryodan (the fourth brigade), the Shinsen Ryodan brigade and the Daiichi-ryodan (the first brigade), and they all retreated from Nobeoka and stayed in Wada-toge.

On August 15, they formed a position based in Wada-toge, and they prepared to have the last big battle of Sainan war against Government army. Early in the morning, Saigo took the lead for the first time, and directed the commanders (Kirino, Murata, Ikegami and Beppe) at the top of Wada-togem, but they couldn't restore Nobeoka because they suffered a crushing defeat, and left to Nagai village. The Government army pursued and surrounded them at Nagai. Saigo issued a command of dissolution of the army on the 16th, and burned the documents and his full general military uniform. After that, injured persons and soldiers surrendered one by one. He decided to make a decision after they escape to Mitai with the rest of the soldiers, then they left Nagai village around 10 p.m. on the 17th, and climbed Enotake and tried to leave from the their surrounded position. The army attempting to break through was about three to five hundred soldiers, and the first army was lead by Shuichioro KONO and Jurota HENMI, the middle army was lead by Kirino and Murata, and the last army was lead by Takehiko NAKAJIMA and Kiyoshi KIJIMA, and Ikegami and Beppu led sixty soldiers to guard Takamori SAIGO ("Daisaigo Totsui Senki (war chronicles of the Great Saigo breaking through the besieging armies)". Murata and Ikegami took command of the middle army, and Saigo and Kirino took charge of the middle army at 'the battles in Kyushu in country dialect'). They succeeded in escaping from the forces surrounding them, and traversed the mountains in Miyazaki and Kagoshima, which took about ten days, and returned to Kagoshima.

The battle of Shiroyama

Satsuma-gun, which broke through the forces surrounding them, went into Kagoshima, and occupied Shiroyama (Kagoshima city) on September 1. At one time, Satsu-gun occupied most of the land under Shiroyama castle, but the Government army, which landed and deployed thereafter, occupied the area under the castle by the 3rd, and they completed preparations for a siege of Shiroyama on the 6th. Kazusuke YAMANODA and Syuichiro Kono kept a secret which saved Saigo's life, and called themselves parsons who explained the meaning of raising the army, and visited Sumiyoshi KAWAMURA of Sangun (commander of the Sangun department of the army) and they were captured on 19th. Saigo issued an exhortation to desperate battle at Shiroyama on the 22nd. Saigo heard the response from Kawamura that Yamanoda brought back, and read a letter from Sangun Yamagata recommending suicide, but he did not reply to the letter on the 23rd.

On September 21 at 4 p.m., the Government army carried out an all-out attack, about 40 commanders include Saigo, Kirino, Hisatake KATSURA, Ikeda, Ikegami, Beppu and Jurouta HENMI lined up in front of the cove and attacked Iwasaki-guchi. Jusuke KOKUBUN was the first (in the "Seinan Kiden book" it was Sokuro OGURA) to pull out his sword and commit suicide. After Hisatake KATURA died of a gunshot wound and others continued to commit suicide with guns, and Saigo also shot his crotch and belly in front of the gate of Kuno Okichi SHIMAZU. Saigo thought of Shinsuke BEPPU and said 'Shin-don, Shin-don, enough, here is good' and while the commanders dropped to their knees and watched him, and with propriety he dropped on his knees facing the far east and prayed. He finished the bowing the knee from away, and prepared for ritual suicide, Beppu shouted 'Please forgive me' and assisted him.
He died in his 51 year (died in 49 years old)

Saigo's head was probably buried in front of the gate of Shosuke ORITA's due to the fears that someone would take it (the most reliable theory is it was in front of the gate of Orita residence.
However, there are many other theories, for example the "Seinan Kiden book" describes nine theories.)
After witnessing Saigo's death, the remaining officers and soldiers continued their advance on Iwasaki-guchi and held up in a fort attached to the Shigakko until they committed suicide, killed one another or were killed in battle.

At 9 a.m., after the battle of Shiroyama had finished, it rained heavily. After the rain, the inspection of corpse was started in the presence of Yamagata of Sangun and the leader of the trip at the remains of Jokomyo-ji Temple. Saigo's corpse was covered with a blanket and put into a wooden container, then buried at remains of Jokomyo-ji Temple (the Nanshu-jinja Shrine, around the present day front guard frame). At that time, a wooden burial marker was used instead of a gravestone, because it was a temporary burial.
The name on the wooden burial marker was written by Michitoshi IWAMURA ("Seinan War and Michitoshi IWAMURA, Kenrei (government general)")
In 1879, the grave was moved again from the temporary burial grave to the Nanshu-bochi cemetery, where it now lies in almost the same place. Saigo's head was discovered after the end of the war, and after the inspection by Aritomo YAMAGATA, who took charge of the matter, it was buried with all the proper honors.

Posthumous awards

On February 25th, 1887, he was deprived of his official rank, as in 'Anzaisho Tatsu, dai 4 go (message of provisional palace for Gyoko, Emperor's outing, No. 4)' and after his death, he was treated as the commander of the rebel army, and he was conferred the Shosanmi rank by the issuance of the Constitution of the Empire of Japan, which pardoned him with amnesty due to the efforts of Kiyotaka KURODA and others, and the support of the Emperor Meiji himself. The Emperor of Meiji might have liked Saigo, because he said 'I did not issue an order to kill Saigo' even after his death.

The place of the grave and the Saishi (religious service)

The place of his grave is Nansyu cemetery in Kagoshima City, Kagoshima Prefecture. The Nanshu-jinja Shrine, which Takamori Saigo was laid in, began in Kagoshima City, Kagoshima Prefecture, and is located Sakata City, Yamagata Prefecture, Miyakonojo City, Miyazaki Prefecture and Oki-no-erabujima island, Wadomari-cho, Kagoshima Prefecture.

People who influenced him and his ideology

Saiakira SHIMAZU

Saigo's world view was not only that of the Mitogaku School and the Kokoku Shikan (historical perspective) of Kokugaku (study of ancient Japanese literature and culture), rather his views incorporated contraposition of East Asia and European and the North American ideals; he opened the nation and then made a prosperous country and strong army, and forged the tripartite alliance of Japan, Qing and Korea which was inspired by the ideals of Saiakira SHIMAZU. Amongst powerful countries, he was especially aware of Russia and England.

At the time, Qing was being invaded by such powerful countries, and he had a vision of the future of East Asia that included, first, the three countries complete independence, then, in consideration of the current situation of Korea with regard to the Sakuho-koku (countries to confer peerage with a Saku paper), and then aimed for the tripartite alliance of Japan, Qing and Korea. After this, there would be the success of restoration and the experience of a Japan that defended itself against invasion of powerful countries harnessed for the future.

But this world view and historical view did not espouse strong leadership in Japan compared to the Great East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere views held by Kanji ISHIWARA, which came about later. It is not extraneous that Saigo's ideology incorporated a pillar of Confucianism.

Kaishu KATSU



Ryoma mused about Saigo that 'I don't know how great the man Saigo was. He is like a hanging bell, when you hit softly it rings little, and when you hit stronger it sound big. His response gradually adjusts to us.
A great man of whom I do not know what to expect.'


When I talked with my Sensei, it felt like taking clear water into my mind, which lost all cloudiness, then forgetting the way I go home.'
Saigo himself said. He was one of the people who inspired him the most, his name appeared in Saigo's book.



Chu His

Saigo read the "Kinshiroku, a book of Chinese thought" by Chu His after Oyura-sodo (Takasaki-Kuzure), and was strongly inspired by it. In Neo-Confucianism there is a principle regarding oneself and the world that if you cultivate the mind you can achieve understanding and can rule the world. Saigo's ideology was structured on two pillars, moralsity and Chu His, and he believed in the founding principles of Neo-Confucianism throughout his life.

Especially the theory of legitimate reasons was a model of Saigo's activity, and he thought that the ancient culture of Japan, tradition (including the Emperor) and morality were these legitimate reasons, and in protecting them from invasion by imperialistic countries, and that he was brought up for that.

This is the world view and the view of history that the Mitogaku School and Kokugaku comprehend as a contraposition of Japanse ideals and others (Kokoku Shikan). That is based on the world view and a view of history that contrasts China and other countries of Chu His that changed to the Japanese way.

"Genshi-shiroku (Genshiroku), an essay of Issai SATO," by Issai SATO

There is a hand-written copy of 'Genshi-shiroku' by Saigo, which must have been the most influential book on him, because he brought it everywhere during the Seinan War.

Yomeigaku (neo-Confuciasnism based on teaching of Wang Yangming)

Saigo learned Yomeigaku Neo-Confucianism from Moemon ITO, although it was just for a short time. He might have been inspired by this study to use the knowledge for the public, because Yomeigaku is based on a philosophy of Chiko-Goitsu (awareness comes only through practice). But, viewing it from the perspective that Saigo's activity was mostly based on the theory of legitimate reasons, his aggressive activity might have been inspired by Chu His, but it's not clear how much he was influenced by it.


Sean had relationship with Senan at the end of the shogunate, in 1871 he sent Shinpachi MURATA to Senan's place and received the twelve regulations of action, then he went to Kyoto for reformation of the nation's politics with it at his side. He also sent his younger brother Kohei to Senan to study after the Meiji era began. It is understood that Saigo evaluated Senan of Yomeigakusha highly (a scholar of Yomeigaku Neo-Confucianism) from those, but it's not clear which parts he had learned as an ideology.


He was a chirographer who was in Saigo's favor when he was exiled to Oki-no-erabujima island, and he supported the bereaved after his death. In the reminiscences of Mitsuru, when he visited Saigo's residence after the Seinan war in 1879, he saw a hand-written note about his favorite book, or "Senshin Dosatsuki" by Heihachiro OSHIO of the Yomeigakusha at end of shogunate, and this let him know how much Saigo adored Oshio.

His own ideology

Revere heaven, love people

'Every way is in heaven, earth or nature. Humans, who act in these ways, should aim to revere heaven.
As heaven loves me as well as others equally, it is essential to love others with the heart of loving myself.'


Takamori knew that the Kikuchi clan was the place of his origin, but, since he did not know which Kikuchi clan he was descended from, so he made his genealogy starting after Kurobei, which is in the Kirokusho (government agency of lawsuits) domain. According to a theory of Kenichi KOSHUN, the place of origin of the Saigo family before Kurobei was supposed to be the Masumizu-Saigo clan. The crest is a chrysanthemum in chrysanthemum leaves.


Saigo married three times.

His first marriage was recommended by his parents, and married he Suga (Suga IJUIN) who was an older sister of Kanehiro IJUIN. But because he was out most of the time since he went to Edo as a deputy of the load of domain, she went back her parent's home and divorced him.

His second marriage was when he was living alone at the Fusoku house of six seki in Tatsugo-mura, he married Aikana (Aigana, means Aiko) who was a daughter of Saeshi of Ryu, who was from important family on the island. When he was thirty-five he had two children, Kikujiro on January 2, 1860 (of the old calendar), (later mayor of Kyoto city), and Okiku (later Kikuko married a brother of Iwao OYAMA) in 1862. These children were treated as children born out of wedlock. At the end of 1861, when he returned to Kagoshima, there was a regulation that he was unable to take a wife on the island, so they divorced. Aikana died in 1902. The ceramic artist Takafumi was the fourth son of Kikujiro, son of Takayasu.

His third wife was a daughter of Hachiro IWAYAMA, her name was Itoko and she was twenty-three years old, and when they married he was 39 years old. He had three children, Torataro (marquis), Umajiro, and Torizo, they took charge of the two children from his ex-wife Aikana, Kikujiro and Okiku. Yoshinosuke Saigo, a Minister of Justice of the second reshuffled cabinet in the second Sato's cabinet, was a son of Torajiro. Incidentally, Torajiro married Nobu, a daughter of Sanenori SONODA who was the brother of Yutaka TAKE and Koshiro TAKE's great-grandfather, so they were distantly related.

Chronic illness


According to Tomonosuke TAKASHIMA, Saigo was overweight because he lost a lot of weight when he took refuge at Oshima, and almost died en route to Oki-no-erabujima island, so the truth might be that he started to gain weight when he was in zashikiro because of lack of exercise at the latter end of his stay on Oki-no-erabujima island.

Also, Kagoshima is a place where traditional pig farming from Eastern Asia was prosperous, and Saigo's favorite was fatty pork that is said to accelerate obesity. He also liked sweets. In 1873, when he was Seikanron, he was treated by a German doctor Theodor Hoffmann for his obesity.

Two types of treatments were used. The first treatment is drinking ricinus as a laxative, and the other was exercising. In the latter case, the book of "IKENOUE Shiro Kazo Zakki (notes owned by Shiro IKENOUE)" (Shiro ICHIKI "Ishimuro Hiko (data Shiro ICHIKI collected)" included in the National Diet Library) wrote that Saigo Sensei was out hunting, which was a treatment for obesity, as was written in the letter for Shiro IKEGAMI from Chuhei SAKAKI.


Takamori SAIGO contracted the parasitic nematode Wuchereria bancrofti on Oki-no-erabujima island where he was exiled, and he developed elephantiasis as one of the after-effects of his illness. The scrotum was swollen to the size of a person's head by this affliction. Because of that, he couldn't ride a horse, so he used only a palanquin in his later years.

After the Sennan War, his enlarged scrotum was used to ensure that the headless body in fact belonged to Saigo. However, filaria caused by the Wuchereria bancrofti nematode was found throughout Japan and mainly in the south of Kyushu until relatively recently, so it cannot be confirmed that he contracted the infection in Oki-no-erabujima Island. In infection tests of army recruits conducted as of 1911, the infection rate was found to be greater than 4% among individuals from Kagoshima Prefecture on Kyushu Island, with the infection found in as gar north as Aomori Prefecture.

Evaluation of his character


'Saigo-don' was an expression in Kagoshima dialect meaning 'Mr. Saigo' (the local pronunciation is close to 'Sego-don'), it not only shows respect for elders, but also includes a friendly connotation. Also the expression 'Udosah' means 'great person' in the dialect of Kagoshima. The most respectful way to refer to Saigo is Nanshu-okina.


Sensei did not have hypertrophy from the beginning. This is because he was incarcerated in Oshima. Even when he went to war, he couldn't ride a horse, because he woud crush them. Moreover, when he went on long trips, his inner thighs chafed. Indeed, one can imagine the look he must have had on his face when he came home from a long trip, crawled to get on the En (governor general of Kakibe) and said "ahhh".
He was very fat, and had the ungainly look that people loudly laugh at because no clothes fit well onto his person.'

This was the origin of the nickname of 'U-ton', 'Udome' etc.

Udome' means 'big eyes'. Saigo had large dark eyes, as is seen in a portraits. When he gazed at people with his big, dark glaring eyes, even a brave and strong man like Kirino held his tongue and did not say anything. He also had a menacing look, and people would put their hands down on the tatami mat and avoid his eyes, at least, that is the story was passed down from generation to generation by Kikujiro SAIGO, who was a child born out of wedlock. Describing the most characteristic big eyes in Satsuma dialect was 'Udome', and changed to 'Udomedon', then finally it turned in corrupt form 'U-ton'.

The future of 'Shaso Storage' on Oki-no-erabujima island.

Oki-no-erabujima island was a solitary island in the distant ocean, so when the island suffered a natural disaster such as a typhoon or drought they had to recover without assistance. Saigo who had known it, wrote a 'prospectus of Shaso storage' to his brother-in-law Masateru TUSHIMOCHI, who was a Magiri-yokome (similar to officer for province). The prospectus of Shaso storage was started through recommendations of Chu His, it recommended storing grain or gold for famine and so on for mutually relief, and in the Edo period, Ansai YAMAZAKI tried to propagate this system, and it was introduced widely in farming villages. Saigo had learnt Neo-Confucianism since he was young, and also he was a Korikata (tax officer), so he was familiar with the system from holding that job. Saigo's 'prospectus of shaso storage' was put into practice after Tsuchimochi became a high ranked officer on Oki-no-erabu-jima island in 1870, and Oki-no-erabu shaso Storage was built. Sasho Storage remained in use until it was finally dissolved in 1899, but a surplus of twenty thousand yen was stored there in the Middle Meiji Period. It helped many people in the island during those days, for example by giving poor people money to save them when they suffer a famine, and also by supporting poor people, establishing a the hospital, and supporting education. When it was dissolved, the surplus was divided to into halves for Wadomari-mura and China-mura, and the funds became theirs except for expenses of constructing a monument for Saigo, the monument of well-known morality of Tsuchimochi, and part went towards expenses for 'Nanshu-bunko storage'.

A love of hunting and his hunting dog.

Saigo liked hunting and fishing (sunadori), and when he had time he enjoyed those activities. Fishing with a throwing net was one of the ways to support samurai in the lower grade's life in Satsuma, so had done that since he was young boy. Running around the mountain hunting was a treatment for his obesity, so it was his most preferred hobby in his later years. He carried this on even in the midst of the Seinan War, so it can be inferred that he was enthralled by it. Therefore he treated hunting dog well. When he was living in Tokyo, he bred several dogs in his house, so his house went to ruin.

Evaluation as a Machiavellist

Although he is often evaluated as a person who praticed love of people and revering heaven, he is also evaluate as a Machiavellist. He had done many things against morality, like, made the repined masterless samurai use violence in Edo City against the shogunate, and punished the Sekihotai Army, who contributed to government forces, as a Nise Kangun (fake government force). But he did not take action to promote his own defense or promotion, and later this became a source of Saigo's high personal evaluation. On the other hand, he also never acted on a political stratagem or deception after the restoration. But, as a result this thing was an ironical indirect cause that forced Saigo into retired from politics.


There are many portraits of leaders in the restoration, such as Okubo and others, but Saigo told Emperor Meiji not to have portraits made of him. In fact, no portraits of Saigo's face were made.

After his death, many portraits were drawn of Saigo's face, a picture that became foundational (by Edoardo Chiossone) was a composition of around eyes from his brother, Judo, and also borrowed features from his cousin, Iwao OYAMA, and it is possible that Chiossone never met Saigo so the thin face pictured is in fact different from his face. There were many people who remember Saigo's face alive at that time, and no objections were made that the face was especially unlike his, so it is thought that Chiossone's portfolio was basically accurate. However, as recent research shows, in fact Saigo's ear wasn't the ears with big earlobes which earlobe is hanging down, his ears were the hiramimi (normal) ear. Some portraits that were drawn after in fact meeting Saigo were drawn with Hiramimi ears.

It is said to be a picture of Saigo and Emperor Meiji in a picture with Ryoma SAKAMOTO and Kogoro KATSURA (taken by Guido Herman Fridolin Verbeek a student of Chienkan school, in the domain of Saga) existed, but it is very doubtful. Even today there are people who would try to sell it at a high price, so it is necessary to be careful. The picture was supposedly taken by Guido Herman Fridolin Verbeek in 1866 or 1867, but the notion that Saigo and others who had made achievements serving the country in the Meiji Restoration got together around that time is historically impossible, and Saigo himself was already obese by this point, but in the picture his cheek bones show and he had a normal sized body, so there are many problems with it; moreover, the picture was distorted by Taneomi SOEJIMA and Guido Herman Fridolin Verbeek, so it is likely to be nothing more than unnamed men of the warrior class in Saga, instead those who had achievements serving their country.


The statue, which based on a portfolio made by Koun TAKAMURA (the dog next to him was sculpted by Teiko GOTO), was built in Ueno Onshi Koen park which is located in Ueno which is in the Taito Ward of the Tokyo Metropolitan area. Aisuke KABAYAMA who is son of Sukenori KABAYMA was helping and made effort for his father who was the chairman of construction of statue, he wrote about Koun that he had difficulty expressing Saigo's characteristic lips (lips was very attractive and week of love were staying together) until the ending although the face of statue was made very good. A wife of Saigo's, Itoko, who was invited to the opening, was surprised and said 'my husband didn't look like that' (a theory that claiming that the statues did not in fact look alike stems from this statement), and also she said 'he didn't walk around in a yukata' in a strong dialect of Satsu-gu (the dialect of Satsuma and Osumi Province) and she was censured by the people around her.
Aisuke KABAYAMA had an different than that of Itoko 'his appearance was similar to this, but the minute attractiveness and his characteristic lips, which were a one of a kind attractive feature of his, as well as his eyes, face, and shoulder line, were barely expressed...'

The statue of Saigo in Ueno is different from the figure that Itoko criticized (the one in which he was walking around with a dress), rather, it is an image of him hunting rabbit. This figure, by Iwao OYAMA, might be guessed to be a statue inspired by only the shirt of Giuseppe Garibaldi, and he suggested that took away Saigo's serious side, showed his true nature without decoration as he went to hunt rabbit in the mountains. The dog with him was a male Satsuma-ken dog called 'Tsun', but when the statue was built she had died, so it was erected modelling after a male dog of Kagenori NIRE, chusho of the navy, Empire of Japan.

On the other hand, the statue, which was erected at Shiroyama koen Park in Kagoshima City by native sculptor Terusaku ANDO, depicted him in his military uniform (full general).

The book "SAIGO Takamori," which was simply an organized biography of Takamori SAIGO that was distributed to elementary students in Kagoshima Prefecture free in 1970's, explained that he was not lacking manners, that is, he was not a person who would have gone out to meet people without dressing properly, according to his wife's word. It's difficult to imagine it at present, but in a time when statues of the deceased were built to honor them (which is a Western custom) and many of statues were dressed up and majestic, the statue of Saigo was very ordinary, as his achievement was to serve country in the Meiji Restoration. At the dedication of a bronze statue of his, which was at the place of restoration of Saigo's honor (who was treated as an enemy of the state), there was surprise and disappointment which reflected people's feelings about the dress of the bronze statues, which was very different from people's expectation. Originally it was planned to build Saigo's statue inside the Imperial Palace, but they could not ignore all the opposing opinions arising from his having been a Choteki (for having turned on the Imperial Court) in the Seinan War. In the opinion of Iwao OYAMA above, at a time when there were many politicians who opposed Saigo's opinions, it can be imagined that, based on his rank in the Meiji Government it was not necessary to make put him in full dress according to the circumstances surrounding the situation. The times changed, and the statue that was erected at Shiroyama Park in Kagoshima Prefecture portrays him standing at attention in the full dress of a full general, which is the statue that his wife was originally expected to see from the point of view of the restoration of Saigo's Honor.

Rumors and Legends

The appearance of the Saigo-boshi Star

Saigo remained alive even after the Seinan War

Rumor had it that Saigo escaped to China and the continent and still alive after Seinan War was spread. There was also a rumor that Nicholai II, in the Period of the Crown Prince of Russia, came to Japan in 1891 and stopped by Kagoshima, and returned to his country with Saigo. Sanzo TSUDA, who went to the front with the army as a noncommissioned officer, and caused the Incident of Otsu, believed that he had in fact committed an atrocious crime.

There is another that he has a descendant in Taiwan.

Takamori SAIGO, who was younger, received a secret order to conduct reconnaissance in Taiwan from Saiakira SHIMAZU, the lord of domain of Satsuma, so he landed in a small fishing village, Nampo-o, So-chin, Giran-ken (Nan Fang Ao, Suao Township, Yilan County) from North of Taiwan, Keelung, and he lived there pretending to be Ryukyuan. Saigo returned to Kagoshima a half year later, but a girl who was taking care of him and who had been on intimate terms with him in Nampo-o delivered a boy before long. Saigo had no more descendants after his grandchildren's generation.

Other information

There was one time, when he was little, that he was walking with a water bottle (another theory has it that it was a soybean curd) and a mischevious boy surprised him from a hiding place, and Saigo, terrified and dropped the water bottle on the ground, but then thereafter he picked up the water bottle as if nothing had happened.

He was 182 cm tall, and weighed 114 kg. His blood type was B. He smoked, but he was not a heavy drinker and would become drunk easily.

He showed a hedonistic side in his earlier days, and when he was middle aged, he had lovers other than his wife, but he was continent in his latter years.

Takamori SAIGO was a supporter of a military system having a warrior class or conscription, and even government officials were divided on this issue, some adopted the former opinion, like Tateki TANI and Koyata TORIO, and others like Tosuke HIRATA had the latter opinion. As a supporter of the military system of a warrior class, it is proper that, due to the situation involving the introduction of the Goshimpei (army to form a convoy to the Emperor) Saigo continued Yamagata's plan of the conscription system after Aritomo YAMAGATA lost his position, so it is of concern that Saigo himself trusted Yamagata, who formed the Goshimpei (army to convoy the Emperor) and Konoe, then accepted the effects of the Conscription Ordinance. Incidentally, when introducing the abolition of clans and establishment of prefectures, the person who finally agreed with Saigo was Yamagata.

The year and date of his death was September 24, 1877 on the Gregorian calendar, some researchers who study Saigo's life hold the opinion that the date of his death should be changed from the Tempo calendar to the Gregorian calendar, and thus to January 23, 1828.

His favorite foods were the local specialties, especially Kurobuta pork, and he preferred it in a dish like modern day stir-fried vegetables with pork, and and also Tonkotsu pork (Pork bone) dishes such as those published in "The Local Dishes of Kagoshima" by descendant of Aikana.

Even now Saigo is very popular among people in Kagoshima Prefecture, and according to a public survey conducted by the Japan Broadcasting Corporation, elders deify him.
In the book of character of people in prefecture 'if you speak ill of Saigo or Kurobuta swine, you will suffer something like the British in Incident of Namamugi'

[Original Japanese]