Saturday, July 11, 2020

Battle of Shiroyama in 1877

The Battle of Shiroyama took place on 24 September 1877, in Kagoshima, Japan. The Battle of Shiroyama was fought between the Imperial Japanese Army and the Samurai of Satsuma, in Kagoshima, Kyushu.

During 1876, the powerful Satsuma Domain, around Kagoshima in south-west Kyushu, became a focus for discontent. Its leader Saigo Takamori effectively ignored the central government, and in January 1877, increasing unrest broke out into open rebellion.

This battle marked the end of the Samurai and ushered in a new age for Japan. The Battle of Shiroyama cost the rebels their entire force including the renowned Saigo Takamori. Takamori Saigo, the leader of a group of 500 Samurai which had been defeated earlier, took position on a hill named Shiroyama near the city of Kagoshima.

Early on the morning of September 24, the Imperial forces stormed the rebel outpost. The samurai counterattacked, and soon sent the Imperial forces into disarray with their swordsmanship outshining the opposition untrained for close quarter combat situations. While the samurai made an initial impact, the sheer weight of Imperial numbers soon brought them down.

The Imperial forces were much stronger, and the Navy could land troops and bombard Kagoshima. The Samurai made a last stand at Shiroyama on 24 September. This marked the final defeat and displacement of the Samurai class.
Battle of Shiroyama in 1877

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