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  • 2016.01.29 Friday
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  • by スポンサードリンク

THE REAL LAST SAMOURAI, SAIGO TAKAMORI

Saigo Takamori?
Who?

Well, even if you don't know him, you should have heard of the movie starring Tom Cruise and Ken Watanabe 'The Last Samourai'    

日本人なら誰でも西郷隆盛のことを知っていると思います。トムクルースの映画‘THE LAST SAMOURAI'もこの方の人生をベースにして作られたんですよね。。 

        
'Katsumoto', the rebel samourai in the movie was a charactor inspired by  Saigo Takamori, the real LAST SAMOURAI..
            
                     映画では‘勝本’というのです。






The last samourai, Katsumoto was played by Ken Watanabe, based on this person: Saigo Takamori.
     
Maybe Ken Watanabe looks more handsome..but this is indeed a real great man..

The Japanese rebel and statesman Takamori Saigo (1827-1877) was the military leader of the Meiji restoration. His eventual revolt against the Meiji government in 1877 represented the resistance of the old warrior class to the swift and often ruthless policy of Westernization of Japan.

Takamori Saigo was born the eldest son of a lower-ranking samurai family on Feb. 7, 1827, in Kagoshima, the castle town of the Satsuma domain.  A huge man, physically powerful with a dark penetrating gaze and a commanding presence, he attracted the attention of the lord of the domain, Lord Nariakira Shimazu, who agreed with his views that major domestic reforms were necessary to meet the challenge of the West. He acted as courier and confidant to Nariakira until the latter's death in 1858.

After an abortive attempt at suicide in 1858, Saigo remained in retirement until 1864, when he reemerged as a military leader in the domain. He led Satsuma troops in skirmishes with Choshu forces at Kyoto in 1864 and later in the shogunate's expedition against Choshu. Gradually, however, he became convinced that it was in the interest of both his domain and the country that Satsuma act in concert with Choshu to bring an end to continued domination of the country by the Shogun. In 1868 Saigo served as field commander of the imperial forces in campaigns against the military resistance of the shogunate. As a result of this experience, he won a reputation as a great military hero and the universal respect of the samurai who served under him.

Discontent with Meiji

Once the Meiji restoration was accomplished, Saigo found himself in growing disagreement with the leaders of the new imperial government. Although he was appointed minister of war in 1871 and became a field marshal and court councilor in 1872, he opposed the growing centralization of the government, the trimming of the legal and social privileges of the samurai class, and the rapid pace of Westernization. In 1873 he finally broke with the government when some of its members, who had returned from an extended trip to Europe, rejected his plan for an invasion of Korea to provide military glory for former samurai and to enhance Japan's international position.

Saigo returned to his native province, where there was much samurai discontentment with the abolition of their privileges and the shift of power from the feudal domains to the central government. Saigo seems to have remained politically inactive and even resisted pressure by discontented elements in other domains to revolt. But in 1877, when an army of former Satsuma samurai rebelled against the central government's attempts to end Satsuma's semi-autonomous administrative status, he agreed to lead them. On Sept. 24, 1877, he took his life in traditional samurai fashion during the final battle with government troops, which ended the rebellion.

(source: biography of Saigo Takamori)
     saigotakamori
               I visited Saigo Takamori's hideout in Kagoshima city..

鹿児島を訪ねると、西郷隆盛の名前を何回も何回も耳にしますよね。。今回の九州旅行のおかげで日本の歴史をたくさん勉強することができました。すごく感動しました。。

タイでは‘いい人はすぐ死ぬ’というけど、まさにそうだと思います。。

mny hour


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  • 2016.01.29 Friday
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  • 06:50
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  • by スポンサードリンク

コメント
The Last Samurai is not a bad movie I suppose, but I don't think that Watanabe Ken was a good choice of actor for the part of Saigo.

On the plus side, even though Watanabe is not particularly big, he does have physical presence, but when I think of him on this movie, all I remember is him glowering. By all accounts, Saigo Takamori had a warm and engaging personality. I guess though it's pretty hard to find an actor who could convincingly portray a larger-than-life person like Saigo Takamori.
  • Eric
  • 2010/03/03 7:31 PM
Hello, Eric!
Wow, I am impressed with your comment! Thank you!
I am just an amateur..I love to write about interesting things I come across in my daily life.
Your comments are much appreciated. Thanks again!
  • mny
  • 2010/03/03 8:30 PM
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