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Editorial Reviews. From Booklist. Within the complicated chronology of the Tokugawa basesorlojum.cf: The Last Samurai: The Life and Battles of Saigo Takamori eBook: Mark Ravina: Kindle Store.
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His insurrection became the bloodiest war Japan had seen in centuries, killing over 12, men on both sides and nearly bankrupting the new imperial government. The imperial government denounced Saigo as a rebel and a traitor, but their propaganda could not overcome his fame and in , twelve years after his death, the government relented, pardoned Saigo of all crimes, and posthumously restored him to imperial court rank.


  • Saigo Takamori: The Last Samurai.
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Lee was to Americans-a great and noble warrior who followed the dictates of honor and loyalty, even though it meant civil war in a country to which he'd devoted his life. Saigo's life is a fascinating look into Japanese feudal society and a history of a country as it struggled between its long traditions and the dictates of a modern future. Why would Japan's greatest warrior, whose sole purpose was to serve his country, set in motion a civil war and lead a group of rebel soldiers to overthrow the government that he had personally helped to restore?

Their mission was to seize control of the imperial palace and restore the imperial house to its former glory. Old Japan and New Japan met in battle-blades against artillery-and old Japan lost.

Saigō Takamori

A brilliant warrior, reluctant rebel, and tragic figure caught between tradition and a changing world 0n September 24, , Saigo-Takamori, one of Japan's most loyal and honored samurai, died in the bloodiest conflict Japan had seen in over two hundred years—a battle led by Saigo- and his band of loyal students. Now, more than years after his death, Saigo- still remains a legendary yet enigmatic figure in Japan.


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Against the colorful and turbulent backdrop of Japanese feudal society, The Last Samurai chronicles Saigo—'s life, from the childhood events that shaped his courage and passionate sense of justice to Saigo—'s demise by his own hand on the battlefield of the Satsuma Rebellion. The Last Samurai offers a riveting account of the making of Japan's most honored samurai, details the tragic clash between his samurai ideals and Japan's transformation into a modern nation, and illustrates why this consummate soldier and reluctant rebel is still as revered today as he was in his time.

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Add to Basket. Book Description Wiley, Condition: New. More information about this seller Contact this seller. The Last Samurai traces Saigo's life from his early days as a tax clerk in far southwestern Japan, through his rise to national prominence as a fierce imperial loyalist. Saigo was twice exiled for his political activities -- sent to Japan's remote southwestern islands where he fully expected to die. But exile only increased his reputation for loyalty, and in he was brought back to the capital to help his lord fight for the restoration of the emperor.

In , Saigo commanded his lord's forces in the battles which toppled the shogunate and he became and leader in the emperor Meiji's new government.

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But Saigo found only anguish in national leadership. He understood the need for a modern conscript army but longed for the days of the traditional warrior.

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Saigo hoped to die in service to the emperor. In , he sought appointment as envoy to Korea, where he planned to demand that the Korean king show deference to the Japanese emperor, drawing his sword, if necessary, top defend imperial honor.

Denied this chance to show his courage and loyalty, he retreated to his homeland and spent his last years as a schoolteacher, training samurai boys in frugality, honesty, and courage. In , when the government stripped samurai of their swords, Saigo's followers rose in rebellion and Saigo became their reluctant leader.

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It actually sounds pretty interesting for those who learn visually. From among the scholarly books, most of which seem to be broader histories of Japan with big sections on the samurai period, I would recommend The Making of Modern Japan by Marius B. It is a very readable overview of Japanese history from to the present. For that, you might want to try Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai , which, though it has acquired a cultish following in recent years, is perhaps the only surviving work by an actual samurai.

The Last Samurai: The Life and Battles of Saigo Takamori