The Last True Samurai, Saigo Takamori (1828-1877)

  • Saigo Takamori from the Satsuma clan was once serving the shogunate but he quit his job and joined the imperial forces.
  • He led the imperial army against the shogunate and was the most important commander during the Boshin war that resulted with the fall of the shogunate in 1867.
  • However, later he disagreed with the emperor and launched the samurai rebellion in Southern Japan.
  • The samurai rebellion was crushed by the imperial army (300,000 men vs 40,000 men) and Saigo Takamori reportedly committed seppuku dying as a true samurai.
  • ***The last samurai movie was not based on a  true story since there was no American commander during the Boshin war. However, there was a French commander who fought against the emperor in Northern Japan, temporarily founded the government of Ezo, but eventually lost and left Japan.

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