The Satsuma Rebellion - Known in Japanese as the Seinan Senso or Southwestern War, the Satsuma Rebellion took place in 1877 between disaffected former samurai and Meiji Imperial forces. With the fall of the Tokugawa Shogunate and the Meiji restoration of the Emperor in 1867, the samurai class was abolished, leaving this once ruling class unemployed and impoverished. Led by former Imperial Army General Saigo Takamori, samurai from the Satsuma domain in Kagoshima rebelled against the government, leading to a series of battles that ultimately ended in the defeat of the rebels at the Battle of Shiroyama, with Saigo committing seppuku or ritual suicide. Woodblock prints of the conflict were popular, providing accounts of the latest battles to a public eager for news.
Battle during the Satsuma Rebellion, 1877 - Dramatic scene of rebel samurai battling Japanese Imperial Army troops during the Satsuma Rebellion in Kagoshima. At right, a warrior on a brown horse gallops down a hill towards the soldiers, holding his naginata high. He is accompanied by samurai on foot bearing swords. At left, a general raises his weapon high as he urges his men forward, a large Japanese flag waving behind him. At inset above shows the rebels in camp, with their leader Saigo Takamori at right wearing a purple military uniform. The white banner to the right of Saigo features a slogan that was fabricated for the rebels by woodblock print artists, "A New Government, Rich in Virtue." The slogan was never actually used by Saigo, whose red and white flags featured the crest of the Shimazu Clan of Satsuma, as shown here. A lively design filled with energy and action, nicely detailed with extensive burnishing in the black uniforms.
Artist - Yoshitora (active circa 1840 - 1880)
Image Size - 14 1/4" x 28 5/8" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent detail as shown. Three separate panels. Small tear and slight thinning at edge, a few holes, repaired. Slight creasing and soiling. Please see photos for details.
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