A report on Empire of Japan and Satsuma Domain

The Empire of Japan at its peak in 1942:
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Maximum extent of Satsuma Domain during the Sengoku period, 1586
The Naval Battle of Hakodate, May 1869; in the foreground, and of the Imperial Japanese Navy
Maximum extent of Satsuma Domain during the Sengoku period, 1586
The Empire of Japan at its peak in 1942:
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Map of Japan, 1789—the Han system affected cartography
Prominent members of the Iwakura mission. Left to right: Kido Takayoshi, Yamaguchi Masuka, Iwakura Tomomi, Itō Hirobumi, Ōkubo Toshimichi
Maximum extent of Satsuma Domain during the Sengoku period, 1586
Emperor Meiji, the 122nd emperor of Japan
Maximum extent of Satsuma Domain during the Sengoku period, 1586
Ōura Church, Nagasaki
A 150-pound Satsuma cannon, cast in 1849. It was mounted on Fort Tenpozan at Kagoshima. Caliber: 290 mm, length: 4220 mm
Interior of the Japanese Parliament, showing the Prime Minister speaking addressing the House of Peers, 1915
Map showing southern Kyushu and the Ryukyu Islands, 1781
Prince Aritomo Yamagata, who was twice Prime Minister of Japan. He was one of the main architects of the military and political foundations of early modern Japan.
A daguerreotype of Shimazu Nariakira
Baron Masuda Tarokaja, a member of the House of Peers (Kazoku). His father, Baron Masuda Takashi, was responsible for transforming Mitsui into a zaibatsu.
Saigō Takamori
The Tokyo Industrial Exhibition, 1907 (Mitsubishi pavilion and Exhibition halls)
Pavilion of the "Government of Satsuma" at the Exposition Universelle in 1867 in Paris
Marunouchi District in 1920, looking towards the Imperial Palace
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A 1-yen banknote, 1881
Thomas Blake Glover was a Scottish merchant in Bakumatsu and received Japan's second highest order from Emperor Meiji in recognition of his contributions to Japan's industrialization.
Prince Katsura Tarō, thrice Prime Minister and the Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal of Japan. Katsura commanded the IJA 3rd Division under his mentor, Field Marshal Yamagata Aritomo, during the First Sino-Japanese War.
Map of the Japanese Empire in 1895. This map was issued shortly after the Japanese invasion of Taiwan and is consequently one of the first Japanese maps to include Taiwan as a possession of Imperial Japan.
Marquess Komura Jutaro, 1911. Komura became Minister for Foreign Affairs under the first Katsura administration, and signed the Boxer Protocol on behalf of Japan.
French illustration of a Japanese assault on entrenched Russian troops during the Russo-Japanese War
Japanese riflemen during the Russo-Japanese War
Count Tadasu Hayashi was the resident minister to the United Kingdom. While serving in London from 1900, he worked to successfully conclude the Anglo-Japanese Alliance and signed on behalf of the government of Japan on January 30, 1902.
Port Arthur viewed from the Top of Gold Hill, after its capitulation in 1905. From left are the wrecks of Russian pre-dreadnought battleships Peresvet, Poltava, Retvizan, Pobeda and the protected cruisers Pallada
Emperor Taishō, the 123rd emperor of Japan
Topographic map of the Empire of Japan in November, 1918
Native Micronesian constables of Truk Island, circa 1930. Truk became a possession of the Empire of Japan under a mandate from the League of Nations following Germany's defeat in World War I.
Commanding Officers and Chiefs of Staff of the Allied Military Mission to Siberia, Vladivostok during the Allied Intervention
Groundbreaking ceremony of Ginza Line, the oldest subway line in Asia, 1925. Front row, right to left: Rudolf Briske, Noritsugu Hayakawa, Furuichi Kōi, Ryutaro Nomura.
Count Itagaki Taisuke is credited as being the first Japanese party leader and an important force for liberalism in Meiji Japan.
Count Katō Komei, the 14th Prime Minister of Japan from June 11, 1924, until his death on January 28, 1926
Emperor Shōwa during an Army inspection on January 8, 1938
Tokyo Kaikan was requisitioned as the meeting place for members of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association (Taisei Yokusankai) in the early days.
Japanese Pan-Asian writer Shūmei Ōkawa
Rebel troops assembling at police headquarters during the February 26 Incident
A bank run during the Shōwa financial crisis, March 1927
National Diet Building, 1930
Political map of the Asia-Pacific region, 1939
Japanese troops entering Shenyang, Northeast China during the Mukden Incident, 1931
The Japanese occupation of Peiping (Beijing) in China, on August 13, 1937. Japanese troops are shown passing from Peiping into the Tartar City through Zhengyangmen, the main gate leading onward to the palaces in the Forbidden City.
IJN Special Naval Landing Forces armed with the Type 11 Light Machine Gun during the Battle of Shanghai, 1937
Signing ceremony for the Axis Powers Tripartite Pact
Founding ceremony of the Hakkō ichiu (All the world under one roof) monument in 1940
A map of the Japanese advance from 1937 to 1942
Victorious Japanese troops march through the city center of Singapore following the city's capture in February 1942 (Photo from the Imperial War Museum)
Imperial Japanese Army paratroopers are landing during the Battle of Palembang, February 13, 1942.
A model representing the attack by dive bombers from USS Yorktown (CV-5) and USS Enterprise (CV-6) on the Japanese aircraft carriers, and in the morning of June 4, 1942, during the Battle of Midway
Group of Type 2 Ka-Mi tanks on board of 2nd class transporter of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1944–1945
The rebuilt battlecruiser sank at her moorings in the naval base of Kure on July 24 during a series of bombings.
The Japanese archipelago and the Korean Peninsula in 1945 (National Geographic)
A drawing depicting a speech in the Imperial Japanese Diet on November 1, 1945, the end of the Second World War. In the foreground there are several Allied soldiers watching the proceedings from the back of the balcony.
From left to right: Marshal Admiral Heihachirō Tōgō (1848–1934), Field Marshal Oku Yasukata (1847–1930), Marshal Admiral Yoshika Inoue (1845–1929), Field Marshal Kageaki Kawamura (1850–1926), at the unveiling ceremony of bronze statue of Field Marshal Iwao Ōyama
Population density map of the Empire of Japan (1920).
Population density map of the Empire of Japan (1940).
War flag of the Imperial Japanese Army
Naval ensign of the Empire of Japan
Flag of the Japanese Emperor

The Satsuma Domain formed the Satchō Alliance with the rival Chōshū Domain during the Meiji Restoration and became instrumental in the establishment of the Empire of Japan.

- Satsuma Domain

The nomenclature Empire of Japan had existed since the anti-Tokugawa domains, Satsuma and Chōshū, which founded their new government during the Meiji Restoration, with the intention of forming a modern state to resist Western domination.

- Empire of Japan

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Overall

On the far left is Ito Hirobumi of Choshu Domain, and on the far right is Okubo Toshimichi of Satsuma Domain. The two young men in the middle are the sons of the Satsuma clan daimyo. These young samurai contributed to the resignation of the Tokugawa shogunate to restore imperial rule.

Meiji Restoration

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Political event that restored practical imperial rule to Japan in 1868 under Emperor Meiji.

Political event that restored practical imperial rule to Japan in 1868 under Emperor Meiji.

On the far left is Ito Hirobumi of Choshu Domain, and on the far right is Okubo Toshimichi of Satsuma Domain. The two young men in the middle are the sons of the Satsuma clan daimyo. These young samurai contributed to the resignation of the Tokugawa shogunate to restore imperial rule.
A teenage Emperor Meiji with foreign representatives at the end of the Boshin War, 1868–1870.
The Tokyo Koishikawa Arsenal was established in 1871.
Allegory of the New fighting the Old, in early Japan Meiji, around 1870

The foundation of the Meiji Restoration was the 1866 Satsuma-Chōshū Alliance between Saigō Takamori and Kido Takayoshi, leaders of the reformist elements in the Satsuma and Chōshū Domains at the southwestern end of the Japanese archipelago.

The ideal of samurai military spirit lived on in romanticized form and was often used as propaganda during the early 20th-century wars of the Empire of Japan.

Government of Meiji Japan

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The Government of Meiji Japan (明治政府) was the government that was formed by politicians of the Satsuma Domain and Chōshū Domain in the 1860s.

The Meiji government was the early government of the Empire of Japan.

A conté of Takamori, by Edoardo Chiossone.

Saigō Takamori

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Japanese samurai and nobleman.

Japanese samurai and nobleman.

A conté of Takamori, by Edoardo Chiossone.
A portrait of Takamori by Ishikawa Shizumasa
The Seikanron debate. Saigō Takamori is sitting in the center. 1877 woodblock print.
Saigō preparing for war
Saigō Takamori (upper right) directing his troops at the Battle of Shiroyama
Saigō Takamori Gunmusho (軍務所) banknote, issued in 1877 to finance his war effort. Japan Currency Museum.
Monument of Satsu Do Toubaku no Mitsuyaku (Gion, Kyoto, Japan)
Saigō Takamori's statue near the southern entrance of Ueno Park.
The deathplace monument at Shiroyama-chō, Kagoshima
Aikana (1837-1902)
Saigō Itoko (1843-1922)
Saigō Kikujirō (1861-1928)
Saigō Toratarō (1866-1919)
Saigō Jūdō (1843-1902)
Portrait of Saigo Takamori, faithful depiction by the acquaintance Tokonami Masayoshi in 1887.
Woodblock print of Saigo Takamori by Hasegawa Sadanobu II which describes his career, November 1877

Saigō Kokichi (西郷 小吉) was born in Kajiya, Kagoshima, Satsuma Domain, the eldest son of samurai squire (koshōkumi) Saigō Kichibē and his wife Masa.

Saigō did insist, however, that Japan should go to war with Korea in the Seikanron debate of 1873 due to Korea's refusal to recognize the legitimacy of the Emperor Meiji as head of state of the Empire of Japan, and insulting treatment meted out to Japanese envoys attempting to establish trade and diplomatic relations.

Map of the campaign

Satsuma Rebellion

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Revolt of disaffected samurai against the new imperial government, nine years into the Meiji Era.

Revolt of disaffected samurai against the new imperial government, nine years into the Meiji Era.

Map of the campaign
Saigō Takamori (seated, in French uniform), surrounded by his officers, in traditional attire. News article in Le Monde illustré, 1877
Imperial Japanese Army officers of the Kumamoto garrison, who resisted Saigō Takamori's siege, 1877
The clash at Kagoshima
Imperial troops embarking at Yokohama to fight the Satsuma rebellion in 1877.
Shinohara Kunimoto
Battle of Shiroyama.
Imperial Japanese Army fortifications encircling Shiroyama. 1877 photograph.
Samurai fighting the Imperial army during the Subjugation of Kagoshima in Sasshu (Satsuma), by Yoshitoshi, 1877
Soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army during the Satsuma Rebellion.
Kagoshima boto shutsujinzu by Yoshitoshi
Kumamoto Castle
Saigō Takamori Gunmusho (軍務所) banknote, issued in 1877 to finance his war effort. Japan Currency Museum.
Battle of Tabaruzaka: Imperial troops on the left, rebel samurai troops on the right
Battle of Tabaruzaka
Saigo's army clashes with the government's forces

Its name comes from the Satsuma Domain, which had been influential in the Restoration and became home to unemployed samurai after military reforms rendered their status obsolete.

Saigō's rebellion was the last and most serious of a series of armed uprisings against the new government of the Empire of Japan, the predecessor state to modern Japan.

Chōshū Domain

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Domain (han) of the Tokugawa Shogunate of Japan during the Edo period from 1600 to 1871.

Domain (han) of the Tokugawa Shogunate of Japan during the Edo period from 1600 to 1871.

Map of Japanese provinces (1868) with Nagato Province highlighted
The Chōshū Kiheitai fought against the shogunate in the Second Chōshū expedition and the Boshin War.
Mōri Takachika
Hagi Castle, the seat of the Mōri Lords of Chōshū

The Chōshū Domain was the most prominent anti-Tokugawa domain and formed the Satchō Alliance with the rival Satsuma Domain during the Meiji Restoration, becoming instrumental in the establishment of the Empire of Japan and the Meiji oligarchy.

Tokugawa shogunate

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The military government of Japan during the Edo period from 1603 to 1868.

The military government of Japan during the Edo period from 1603 to 1868.

The mon of the Tokugawa clan. The Tokugawa shogunate (1600-1868) preserved 250 years of peace.
Edo Castle, 17th century
Dutch trading post in Dejima, c. 1805
Sakuradamon Gate of Edo Castle where Ii Naosuke was assassinated in 1860
Samurai of the Shimazu clan

The Empire of Japan was established under the Meiji government, and Tokugawa loyalists continued to fight in the Boshin War until the defeat of the Republic of Ezo at the Battle of Hakodate in June 1869.

Foreign trade was also permitted to the Satsuma and the Tsushima domains.