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Saigō Takamori
Saigo Takamori.jpg
A conté of Takamori, by Edoardo Chiossone.
Native name
西郷 隆盛
Birth name Saigō Kokichi
Other name(s) Saigō Nanshū
Born (1828-01-23)January 23, 1828
Kagoshima, Satsuma Domain
(now Kagoshima, Japan)
Died September 24, 1877(1877-09-24) (aged 49)
Kagoshima, Empire of Japan
(now Kagoshima, Japan)
Buried
Nanshu Cemetery, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan
Allegiance Satsuma Domain
Battles/wars Boshin War
  • Battle of Toba–Fushimi
Satsuma Rebellion
Spouse(s)
Suga Ijuin
(m. 1852; div. 1854)

Otoma Kane "Aigana" (m. 1859–1862)

Iwayama Itoko (m. 1865–1877)
Children 3 sons, 1 daughter
Relations
  • Saigō Kichibei (father)
  • Shiihara Masa (mother)
  • Saigō Jūdō (brother)
  • Saigō Kichijirō (brother)
  • Saigō Kobei (brother)
  • Ichiki Koto (sister)
  • Saigō Taka (sister)
  • Saigō Yasu (sister)
Saigō Takamori
Japanese name
Hiragana さいごう たかもり
Kyūjitai 西鄕 隆盛
Shinjitai 西郷 隆盛

Saigō Takamori (Takanaga) (西郷 隆盛 (隆永), January 23, 1828 – September 24, 1877) was one of the most influential samurai in Japanese history and one of the three great nobles who led the Meiji Restoration. Living during the late Edo and early Meiji periods, he has been dubbed the last true samurai. He was born Saigō Kokichi (西郷 小吉), and received the given name Takamori in adulthood. He wrote poetry under the name Saigō Nanshū (西郷 南洲). His younger brother was Gensui The Marquis Saigō Jūdō.

Shōgun Tokugawa Yoshinobu resigned, returning power to the Emperor in what came to be known as the Meiji Restoration. However, Saigō was one of the most vocal and vehement opponents to the negotiated solution, demanding that the Tokugawa be stripped of their lands and special status. His intransigence was one of the major causes of the subsequent Boshin War.

During the Boshin War, Saigō led the imperial forces at the Battle of Toba–Fushimi, and then led the imperial army toward Edo, where he accepted the surrender of Edo Castle from Katsu Kaishū.

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