Satsuma Brilliance


APRIL 2004














 In 1866 Ryoma Sakamoto took his wife Oryo to kirishima for honeymoon,It has become a tradition since 1997,local people organized walks up the mountain in February to remember Ryoma,who has made a great contribution to Japan's modernization and mark the end of 700 year of Feudal government.

 The modernized nation he wanted has Laws,A parliamentary system and a diplomatic office.That time Japan's central government,the bakufu was losing its power in ruling all the clans instead,some clans were getting stronger than others and trying to overthrow the shogunate.

 Ryoma was born in 1835 in Tosa,about same age as Yukichi Fukuzawa who is a scholar to America and Europe,later open English school in Japan and become keio university.Ryoma left Tosa at 28 years old and worked energetically all over Japan to reform the nation political and economic system and a real national unity.In 1854 he learnt from Shoryo Kawada some information of the west.In 1862 he met Kaishu Katsu from choshu,was the bakufu naval commissioner.In 1864 he was introduce by Kaishu Katsu to Takamori Saigo,a satsuma loyalist.In 1865 with the help of Takamori Saigo,he met Kogoro Katsura,a choshu loyalist leader,to ascertain the possibility of an alliance with the satsuma clan,because they are the two stronger anti-bakufu clans,needed their cooperation to overthrow the shogunate,he succeeded in alliance the two.In 1865 he established kameyama shachu in Nagasaki,Japan first Trading Company.In 1867 he wrote the Eight-Points programme,a guideline for the new government,and a written memorandum of returning power to the throne and was pass on to the bakufu by Shojiro Goto and Tadachika Fukuoka,and the shogun Tokugawa Yoshinobu accept the return of political power to the throne.

 Ryoma was assassinated a month later,and December 5 the Meiji Restoration announced.Saigo was killed in Satsuma Rebellion,at the same time Kogoro Katsura died of illness.Both satsuma and choshu clan take turns to be Prime Minister. 

 So many names and so many connections just like the satsuma-imo plants,from one potato grow to another potato,not one person,it take a few people cooperation,and learn from many sources even learn from foreign countries,like satsuma-imo an imported food plant.