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Kyushu In The Meiji Restoration

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Chapter Summary

The Anglo-Satsuma War was a pivotal encounter in the final years of Tokugawa rule, reflecting the emergence of Satsuma as a central force in creating the new Meiji state. If Kagoshima took centre stage at some critical moments in the formation and survival of the Meiji state, for much of the nineteenth century it was Nagasaki that consistently drew attention as a source of valuable information. When the Meiji government experienced a severe political crisis in 1873, it turned out to be a pivotal moment in alienating some shizoku groups in Kyushu from the central regime. The assassination of Okubo Toshimichi in Tokyo by a shizoku group from Kanazawa the following year contributed to establishing the Saigō legend that has become such a fixture in modern Japan. A right-wing group that spearheaded calls for colonial expansion was the Genyōsha.

Keywords: Anglo-Satsuma War; colonial expansion; Genyōsha; Kagoshima; Kyushu; Meiji restoration; Nagasaki; Saigō legend; Tokugawa rule



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