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Saigo Takamori and The Satsuma Rebellion Saigo Takamori was a samurai of Satsuma and a famous figure in Japan He became the Satsuma general and its undisputed military leader in 1871 after a conspirator assassinated the former military leader In December 1871 important Meji government officials led a mission sent overseas to revise the unequal treaties placed on Japan Saigo is quoted to have said It would be a good thing if the boat carrying the mission members sank to the bottom of the ocean This shows Saigos resentment of the new government leaders Saigo represented feudalism and the old military classes His interest were based on His home province of Satsuma The Samurai class The Governments interests were in Unifying Japan by buying out the local Daimyos This was an attack on Satsumas local independence and would bring them under the control of the Meji government National unity This involved the destruction of the Samurais privileges Saigo focused on the affairs of his home providence He set up private schools which were aimed at training samurai in military skills and encouraging the Samurai lifestyle The Samurai was becoming far less important in Japan and the number of samurais had reduced dramatically In 1877 there was a total of 20000 pupils attending his schools Satsuma was outside the jurisdiction of the central government in all but name It had become an area in which no official meetings could be made without Saigos approval and no official policy could be introduced if he opposed it The Meji government was in the early stages of its leadership and it could not accept the situation because it was damaging to the governments attempts to modernized Japan In 1876 three actions by the government increased the tension in Satsuma IThe government finished a treaty with Korea which opened its ports to trade Korea had broken off relations during
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