Aizu is the westernmost of the three regions of Fukushima Prefecture, the other two regions being Nakadōri in the central area of the prefecture and Hamadōri in the east. As of October 1, 2010, it had a population of 291,838; the principal city of the area is Aizuwakamatsu. During the Edo period, Aizu was a feudal domain known as Aizu Domain, it was part of Mutsu Province. Although never an official province in its own right, Aizu was considered as such de facto, today local Japan Rail stations prefix "Aizu-" to names instead of "Iwashiro-", as it was for stations around the center of Fukushima Prefecture; the daimyō over much of the Edo period was from the Hoshina family. They had been senior retainers of the Takeda family, in the early 17th century the head of the family, Hoshina Masamitsu, adopted the illegitimate son of the second Tokugawa shōgun Hidetada; as a result, the Hoshina family's fortunes rose, with larger and larger fiefs being given to them, until they were moved to Aizu rated at 240,000 koku, in the mid-17th century.
Hoshina Masayuki, the adopted head of the family, rose in prominence while his half-brother Tokugawa Iemitsu was shogun, acted as a regent for his successor, the underage fourth shogun Tokugawa Ietsuna. By the end of the 17th century, the Hoshina family was allowed the use of the Tokugawa hollyhock crest and the Matsudaira surname, from on was known as the Aizu-Matsudaira clan, with the name Hoshina being used for internal documents. In 1822, the Hoshina-Matsudaira line became extinct with the death of the seventh lord Katahiro, at the age of only 15, he was succeeded by the eighth lord Katataka, a sixth cousin and a member of the Takasu cadet branch of the Mito collateral line. He died without heirs in 1852 and was succeeded by his grandnephew, the famous Katamori, whose descendants have since headed the family; the present head of the Tokugawa clan, Tsunenari, is from the Aizu lineage. In the house code set down by Masayuki, there was a specific injunction to serve the shogun with single-minded devotion, it was this injunction which the family took great pains to show its adherence to if its true objectives were those of improving status and prestige.
Aizu was known for its martial skill, maintained a standing army of over 5000. It was deployed to security operations on the northern fringes of the country, as far north as southern Sakhalin. Around the time of Commodore Perry's arrival, Aizu had a presence in security operations around Edo Bay; the domain's two sets of formal rules for its army, the Rules for Commanders and Rules for Soldiers, written in the 1790s, laid down a professional, modern standard for military conduct and operations, including the following two items in the Rules for Soldiers which codified the human rights and protection of enemy noncombatants, over 70 years before the first Geneva Convention of 1864: 敵地といえども猥りに田畑を踏荒らすべからざる事。"Regardless of whether it belongs to the enemy and ruining rice fields is forbidden." 敵地に入って、婦女を犯し、老幼を害し、墳墓を荒らし、民家を焼き、猥りに畜類を殺し、米金を掠取り、故なく林木を伐り、作毛を刈取べからざる事。"In enemy territory, it is forbidden to rape women, harm the elderly and children, desecrate graves, torch the homes of commoners, slaughter livestock needlessly, pillage money and rice, cut trees without reason, steal crops in the field."
During the tenure of the ninth generation lord Matsudaira Katamori, the domain deployed massive amounts of their troops to Kyoto, where Katamori served as Kyoto Shugoshoku. Operating under the orders of the Shogunate, they acted as the first official supervisor and patron of the Shinsengumi. Earning the enmity of the Chōshū Domain, alienating his ally, the Satsuma Domain, Katamori retreated with the shogun Tokugawa Yoshinobu in 1868. Though the Satsuma-Chōshū controlled Imperial Court, following Yoshinobu's resignation, called for the punishment of Katamori and Aizu as "enemies of the Court," he took great pains to beg for mercy acquiescing to calls for war in 1868, during the Boshin War. Though the Aizu forces fought as part of the greater efforts of the Ōuetsu Reppan Dōmei, they were besieged at Tsuruga Castle, the seat of the Aizu domain, in October 1868; the Byakkotai, a group of young, predominantly teenage, committed seppuku on a hillside overlooking the castle after seeing its defences breached.
Dewa Shigetō, an admiral of the Imperial Japanese Navy, elevated to the peerage with the title of danshaku. Hideyo Noguchi, a doctor who made considerable contributions to the fight against syphilis and yellow fever. Shiba Gorō, prominent at the Siege of the Peking legations, 1900. Niijima Yae, female warrior, co-founder of Doshisha University, instructor in the women's division of Doshisha and wife of Niijima Jo, tea master Yamamoto Kakuma, former samurai, co-founder of Doshisha University. Takamine Hideo, former samurai, graduate of Oswego Normal School in New York State, Meiji-era educator and head of the Tokyo Normal School, Tokyo Art School, Tokyo Women's Normal School and Tokyo Music School, he is best known for introducing Pestallozian teaching methods to educational reform. Ibuka Kajinosuke, former samurai turned Christian pastor, responsible for bringing the YMCA to Japan. Matsudaira Tsuneo, son of Matsudaira Katamori, ambassador to the U. S. and UK. Matsudaira Setsuko, daughter of Matsudaira Tsuneo.
A rōnin was a samurai without a lord or master during the feudal period of Japan. A samurai became masterless upon the death of his master, or after the loss of his master's favor or privilege. In modern Japanese usage, sometimes the term is used to describe a salaryman, unemployed or a secondary school graduate who has not yet been admitted to university; the word rōnin means "wave man". It is an idiomatic expression for "vagrant" or "wandering man", someone, without a home; the term originated in the Nara and Heian periods, when it referred to a serf who had fled or deserted his master's land. It came to be used for a samurai who had no master.. According to the Bushido Shoshinshu, a samurai was supposed to commit seppuku upon the loss of his master. One who chose not to honor the code was "on his own" and was meant to suffer great shame; the undesirability of rōnin status was a discrimination imposed by other samurai and by daimyō, the feudal lords. Like other samurai, rōnin wore two swords. Rōnin used a variety of other weapons as well.
Some rōnin -- those who lacked money -- would carry a yumi. Most weapons would reflect the ryū from. During the Edo period, with the shogunate's rigid class system and laws, the number of rōnin increased. Confiscation of fiefs during the rule of the third Tokugawa shōgun Iemitsu resulted in an large increase of rōnin. During previous ages, samurai were able to move between masters and between occupations, they could marry between classes. However, during the Edo period, samurai were restricted, were—above all—forbidden to become employed by another master without their previous master's permission; because the former samurai could not take up a new trade, or because of pride were loath to do so, many rōnin looked for other ways to make a living with their swords. Those rōnin who desired steady, legal employment became mercenaries that guarded trade caravans, or bodyguards for wealthy merchants. Many other rōnin became criminals, operating as bandits and highwaymen, or joining organized crime in towns and cities.
Rōnin were known to operate or serve as hired muscle for gangs that ran gambling rings, protection rackets, similar activities. Many were petty muggers; the criminal segment gave the rōnin of the Edo period a persistent reputation of disgrace, with an image of being thugs, bullies and wandering vagrants. In the Kamakura and Muromachi periods, when warriors held lands that they occupied, a rōnin was a warrior who had lost his lands. During these periods, as small-scale wars occurred throughout Japan, the daimyō needed to augment their armies, so rōnin had opportunities to serve new masters; some rōnin joined in bands, engaging in robbery and uprisings. In the Sengoku period, daimyō needed additional fighting men, if a master had perished, his rōnin were able to serve new lords. In contrast to the Edo period, the bond between the lord and the samurai was loose, some samurai who were dissatisfied with their treatment left their masters and sought new lords. Many warriors served a succession of masters, some became daimyō.
As an example, Tōdō Takatora served ten lords. Additionally, the division of the population into classes had not yet taken place, so it was possible to change one's occupation from warrior to merchant or farmer, or the reverse. Saitō Dōsan was one merchant who rose through the warrior ranks to become a daimyō; as Toyotomi Hideyoshi unified progressively larger parts of the country, daimyō found it unnecessary to recruit new soldiers. Next, the Battle of Sekigahara resulted in the confiscation or reduction of the fiefs of large numbers of daimyō on the losing side; as many as a hundred thousand rōnin joined forces with Toyotomi Hideyori and fought at the Siege of Osaka. In the ensuing years of peace, there was less need to maintain expensive standing armies, many surviving rōnin turned to farming or became townspeople. A few, such as Yamada Nagamasa, sought adventure overseas as mercenaries. Still, the majority lived in poverty as rōnin. Under the third Tokugawa shōgun Iemitsu, their number approached half a million.
The shogunate viewed them as dangerous, banished them from the cities or restricted the quarters where they could live. They prohibited serving new masters; as rōnin found themselves with fewer and fewer options, they joined in the Keian Uprising. This forced the shogunate to rethink its policy, it relaxed restrictions on daimyō inheritance, resulting in fewer confiscations of fiefs, it permitted rōnin to join new masters. Not having the status or power of employed samurai, rōnin were disreputable and festive, the group was a target of humiliation or satire, it was undesirable to be a rōnin, as it meant being without a land. As an indication of the humiliation felt by samurai who became rōnin, Lord Redesdale recorded that a rōnin killed himself at the graves of the forty-seven rōnin, he left a note saying that he had tried to enter the service of the daimyō of Chōshū Domain, but was refused. Wanting to serve no other master, hating being a rōnin, he killed himself. On the other hand, the famous 18th-century writer Kyokutei Bakin renounced his allegiance to Matsudaira Nobunari, in whose service Bakin's samurai father had spent his life.
Bakin voluntarily became a rōnin
Bombardment of Kagoshima
The Bombardment of Kagoshima known as the Anglo-Satsuma War, took place on 15–17 August 1863 during the Late Tokugawa shogunate. The Royal Navy was fired on from coastal batteries near the town of Kagoshima and in retaliation bombarded the town; the British were trying to extract a payment from the daimyō of Satsuma following the Namamugi Incident of 1862, in which British people were attacked by Satsuma samurai for not showing the proper respect for the daimyō's regent, Shimazu Hisamitsu. Following the Namamugi Incident on September 14, 1862, Lieutenant-Colonel Neale, the British Chargé d'Affaires, demanded from the bakufu an apology and a huge indemnity for the Namamugi outrage of £100,000, representing 1/3 of the total revenues of the Bakufu for one year. Neale kept threatening a naval bombardment of Edo. Britain demanded of Satsuma Domain the arrest and trial of the perpetrators of the outrage, £25,000 compensation for the surviving victims and the relatives of Charles Lennox Richardson.
The bakufu, led by Ogasawara Nagamichi in the absence of the Shōgun, in Kyoto, eager to avoid trouble with European powers, negotiated with France and Great Britain on July 2, 1863, on board the French warship Sémiramis and paid the indemnity to the British authorities. Participating in the settlement were the main French and British political and navy representatives of the time: Gustave Duchesne de Bellecourt the French Minister in Japan, Lieutenant-Colonel Neale the Chargé d'affaires of Great Britain, Admiral Jaurès and Admiral Kuper. Satsuma Province, their claim was invalid, as foreigners in Japan benefited from extraterritoriality due to Japan's reluctant acceptance of what the Japanese called the Unequal treaties with Europe. Japanese customary law did not apply to foreigners. However, Satsuma felt it could not be seen as submitting to European demands in the anti-foreign context at that time in Japan. Great Britain. Other anti-foreign troubles were occurring throughout the country at the same time, reinforced by Emperor Kōmei's 1863 "Order to expel barbarians".
The European powers chose to react militarily to such exactions: the straits of Shimonoseki had seen attacks on American and French ships passing through, each of which had brought retaliation from those countries, with the U. S. frigate USS Wyoming under Captain McDougal, the Dutch warship Medusa under Captain François de Casembroot, the two French warships Tancrède and the Dupleix under Captain Benjamin Jaurès attacking the mainland. On 14 August 1863, a multinational fleet under Admiral Kuper and the Royal Navy commenced the Bombardment of Shimonoseki to prevent further attacks on western shipping there, they succeeded. Following protracted and fruitless negotiations with Satsuma that had taken over a year, the British Chargé d'affaires had had enough. Under British Government instructions, he required the Royal Naval Commander-in-Chief of the Far East and China Station to coerce Satsuma into complying with the British Government's demands. Informed of the plans, the Bakufu asked for a delay in its implementation: "On receipt of your despatch of the 3rd of August, we understood that you intend to go within three days to the territory of the Prince of Satsuma with the men-of-war now lying in the Bay of Yokohama, to demand satisfaction for the murder of a British merchant on the Tokaido last year.
But owing to the present unsettled state of affairs in our empire, which you witness and hear of, we are in great trouble, intend to carry out several plans. Supposing, something untoward were to happen all the trouble both you and we have taken would have been in vain and fruitless. On the 5th, a vice-minister from Edo visited Colonel Neale, but far from further opposing the expedition of the European empire transmitted that the Shogunate intended to send one of its steamers with the squadron; the steamer in question. The British squadron left Yokohama on August 6, it was composed of the flagship HMS Euryalus, HMS Pearl, HMS Perseus, HMS Argus, HMS Coquette, HMS Racehorse and the gunboat HMS Havock. They sailed for Kagoshima and anchored in the deep waters of Kinko Bay on August 11, 1863. Satsuma envoys came aboard Euryalus and letters were exchanged, with the British commander pressing for a resolution satisfactory to his demands within 24 hours; the Satsuma clan prevaricated. The deadline expired, diplomacy gave way to coercion.
Deciding to put pressure on Satsuma, the Royal Navy commander seized three foreign-built steam merchant ships belonging to Satsuma which were at anchor in Kagoshima harbour, to use them as a bargaining tool. Picking their moment, just as a typhoon started, the Satsuma forces on shore vented their anger by firing their round shot cannons at the British ships. Surprised by the hostility, the British fleet responded by first pillaging and setting on fire the three captured steamships (to the chagrin of the British sailors, who were thereby depriv
The Shimonoseki Campaign refers to a series of military engagements in 1863 and 1864, fought to control Shimonoseki Straits of Japan by joint naval forces from Great Britain, the Netherlands and the United States, against the Japanese feudal domain of Chōshū, which took place off and on the coast of Shimonoseki, Japan. Despite efforts of appeasement by the Tokugawa shogunate to establish an atmosphere of peaceful solidarity, many feudal daimyōs remained bitterly resentful of the shogunate's open-door policy to foreign trade. Belligerent opposition to European and American influence erupted into open conflict when the Emperor Kōmei, breaking with centuries of imperial tradition, began to take an active role in matters of state and issued on March 11 and April 11, 1863 his "Order to expel barbarians"; the Chōshū clan, under the daimyō Mōri Takachika, began to take action to expel all foreigners after the deadline of the 10th day of the 5th month, by the traditional Japanese calendar. Defying the shogunate, Takachika ordered his forces to fire without warning on all foreign ships traversing Shimonoseki Strait.
This strategic but treacherous 600-meter waterway separates the islands of Honshū and Kyūshū and provides a passage connecting the Inland Sea with the Sea of Japan. Before tensions escalated in Shimonoseki Strait, foreign diplomats and military experts, notably U. S. Foreign Minister to Japan Robert Pruyn and U. S. Navy Captain David McDougal had been aware of the precarious state of affairs in Japan. McDougal wrote a letter to the Secretary of the Navy, Gideon Welles, dated June 12, 1863, stating, "General opinion is that the government of Japan is on the eve of revolution, the principal object of, the expulsion of foreigners." The Chōshū clan was equipped with antiquated cannons firing cannonballs, but some modern armament, such as five 8-inch Dahlgren guns, presented to Japan by the United States, three steam warships of American construction: the bark Daniel Webster of six guns, the brig Lanrick, or Kosei, with ten guns, the steamer Lancefield, or Koshin, of four guns. The first attack occurred on June 25, 1863, soon after the Imperial "Order to expel barbarians" came into effect.
The U. S. merchant steamer SS Pembroke, under Captain Simon Cooper, was riding at anchor outside Shimonoseki Strait when intercepted and fired upon by two European-built warships belonging to the rebel forces. The crew of one enemy vessel taunted the frantic American seamen with a loud and unnerving cry: "Revere the Emperor and expel the barbarians!". Under incessant cannon fire, Pembroke managed to get underway and escape through the adjacent Bungo Strait with only slight damage and no casualties. Upon arrival in Shanghai, Cooper filed a report of the attack and dispatched it to the U. S. Consulate in Yokohama, Japan; the next day, the French naval dispatch steamer Kien Chan was riding at anchor outside the strait, when rebel Japanese artillery atop the bluffs surrounding Shimonoseki opened fire on her. Kien Chan sustained damage to its engine and suffered four casualties before escaping to the open ocean. On July 11, despite warnings from the crew of the Kien Chan, the 16-gun Dutch warship Medusa cruised into Shimonoseki Strait.
Her skipper, Captain François de Casembroot, was convinced that Lord Mori would not dare fire on his vessel due to the strength of his ship and longstanding relations between the Netherlands and Japan. But Takachika did just that, pounding Medusa with more than thirty shells and killing or wounding nine seamen. De Casembroot returned fire and ran the rebel gauntlet at full speed, fearful of endangering the life of the Dutch Consul General, on board. Within a short time, the Japanese warlord had managed to fire on the flags of most of the nations with consulates in Japan. In the morning of July 16, 1863, under sanction by Minister Pruyn, in an apparent swift response to the attack on the Pembroke, the U. S. frigate USS Wyoming, under Captain McDougal, sailed into the strait and single-handedly engaged the U. S.-built but poorly manned local fleet for two hours before withdrawing. McDougal sank two enemy vessels and damaged another one, along with inflicting some forty Japanese casualties; the Wyoming suffered extensive damage, four crew dead and seven wounded, one dying of his injuries.
The two Japanese steamers sunk by the Wyoming were raised again by Chōshū in 1864 and attached to the harbor of Hagi. On the heels of McDougal's engagement, on July 20, the French Navy retaliated for the attack on their merchant ship; the French force consisted of marines and two warships, the aviso Tancrède and the Admiral's flagship, Semiramis. With 250 men, under Captain Benjamin Jaurès, they swept into Shimonoseki and destroyed a small town, together with at least one artillery emplacement; the intervention was supported by the French plenipotentiary in Japan, Duchesne de Bellecourt, but the French government, once informed criticized their representatives in Japan for taking such bellicose steps, for the reason that France had much more important military commitments to honour in other parts of the world, could not afford a conflict in Japan. Duchesne de Bellecourt would be relieved from his position in 1864. Jaurès was congratulated by the Shogunal government for taking such decisive steps against anti-foreign forces, was awarded a special banner.
Meanwhile, the Americans, French and Dutch feverishly opened diplomatic channels in an effort to negotiate the reopening of the passage to the Inland Sea. Months dragged by with no end in sight to the growing dilemma. By May 1864, various bellicose Japanese factions had destroyed thousan
Saigō Takamori 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, received the given name Takamori in adulthood. He wrote poetry under the name Saigō Nanshū, his younger brother was Gensui The Marquis Saigō Jūdō. He was born Saigō Kokichi in the Satsuma Domain on January 23, 1828, or Shiwasu 7 in the tenth year of the Bunsei era of the Japanese calendar. Saigō Takamori served as a low-ranking samurai official in his early career; the Saigō family's official status was Jōkashi but lived as Gōshi, part-warrior. Though they should have been able to live on a stipend from the fief and the daimyō, in practice, the Saigōs lived more like Gōshi and were quite poor, had debts Saigō Takamori needed 25 years to repay. Saigō Takamori was recruited to travel to Edo in 1854 to assist the daimyō of Satsuma, Shimazu Nariakira, in the Kōbu gattai movement.
Saigō's activity in Edo came to an abrupt end with the Ansei Purge by Tairō Ii Naosuke against anti-Shogunal activities, the sudden death of Shimazu Nariakira. Saigō fled back to Kagoshima, where he was banished to Amami Ōshima island, he was recalled in 1861, only to be banished again, to the more remote island of Okinoerabu, south of Amami Ōshima, by the new Satsuma daimyō Shimazu Hisamitsu. Hisamitsu pardoned Saigō in 1864 and sent him to Kyoto to handle the domain's interests towards the imperial court; when the Tokugawa bakufu sent a second punitive expedition against the Chōshū in June 1866, Satsuma remained neutral. In November 1867, 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, led the imperial army toward Edo, where he accepted the surrender of Edo Castle from Katsu Kaishū. Although Ōkubo Toshimichi and others were more active and influential in establishing the new Meiji government, Saigō retained a key role, his cooperation was essential in the abolition of the han system and the establishment of a conscript army. In 1871 he was left in charge of the caretaker government during the absence of the Iwakura Mission. Saigō disagreed with the modernization of Japan and the opening of commerce with the West, he famously opposed the construction of a railway network, insisting that money should rather be spent on military modernization. Saigō did insist, that Japan should go to war with Korea in the Seikanron debate of 1873 due to Korea's refusal to recognize the legitimacy of the Emperor Meiji as head of state of the Empire of Japan, insulting treatment meted out to Japanese envoys attempting to establish trade and diplomatic relations.
At one point, he offered to visit Korea in person and to provoke a casus belli by behaving in such an insulting manner that the Koreans would be forced to kill him. However, the other Japanese leaders opposed these plans from budgetary considerations, from realization of the weakness of Japan compared with the western countries from what they had witnessed during the Iwakura Mission. Saigō resigned from all of his government positions in protest and returned to his hometown of Kagoshima. Shortly thereafter, a private military academy was established in Kagoshima for the faithful samurai who had resigned their posts to follow him from Tokyo; these disaffected samurai came to dominate the Kagoshima government, fearing a rebellion, the government sent warships to Kagoshima to remove weapons from the Kagoshima arsenal. This provoked open conflict, although with the elimination of samurai rice stipends in 1877, tensions were extremely high. Although dismayed by the revolt, Saigō was reluctantly persuaded to lead the rebels against the central government.
During the battle, Saigō was badly injured in the hip. However, the exact manner of his death is unknown; the accounts of his subordinates claim that he stood up and committed seppuku after his injury or that he requested that the comrade Beppu Shinsuke assist his suicide. In debate, some scholars have suggested that neither is the case and that Saigō may have gone into shock following his wound, losing his ability to speak. Several comrades, upon seeing him in this state, would have severed his head, assisting him in the warrior's suicide that they knew he would have wished, they would have said that he committed seppuku to preserve his status as a true samurai. It is not clear what was done with Saigo's head after his death; some legends say Saigo's manservant hid the head, it was found by a government soldier. The head was somehow retrieved by the government forces and was reunited with Saigo's body, laid next to that of his deputies Kirino and Murata; that was witnessed by the American sea captain John Capen Hubbard.
A myth persists. Saigo's death brought the Satsuma Rebellion to an end. Details regarding Takamori's death are unknown to this day. There are no published reports by eyewitnesses. Three firsthand accounts of the condition of his body exist, it is said that he was shot in the femur he lured a sword into h
Sonnō jōi was a Japanese and Chinese political philosophy and a social movement derived from Neo-Confucianism. It is a yojijukugo phrase. During the Warring States period of China, Chancellor Guan Zhong of Qi initiated a policy known as Zunwang Rangyi, in reference to the Zhou kings. Adopting and adhering to it, Duke Huan of Qi assembled the Chinese feudal lords to strike down the threat of barbarians from China. For it, Confucius himself praised Guan Zhong for the preservation of Chinese civilization through the example of the contrast in the hairstyles and clothing styles between them and barbaric peoples. Through the Analects of Confucius, the Chinese expression came to be transmitted to Japan as sonnō jōi; the origin of the philosophy as used in Japan can be traced to works by 17th century Confucian scholars Yamazaki Ansai and Yamaga Sokō, who wrote on the sanctity of the Imperial House of Japan and its superiority to the ruling houses of other nations. These ideas were expanded by Kokugaku scholar Motoori Norinaga, seen in Takenouchi Shikibu's theory of absolute loyalty to the Emperor of Japan, that implied that less loyalty should be given to the ruling Tokugawa shogunate.
Mitogaku scholar Aizawa Seishisai introduced the term sonnō jōi into modern Japanese in his work Shinron in 1825, where sonnō was regarded as the reverence expressed by the Tokugawa Shogunate to the emperor and jōi was the proscription of Christianity. With the increasing number of incursions of foreign ships into Japanese waters in the late 18th and early 19th century, the sakoku policy came into question; the jōi "expel the barbarians" portion of sonnō jōi, changed into a reaction against the Convention of Kanagawa of 1854, which opened Japan to foreign trade. Under military threat from Commodore Matthew C. Perry's so-called "black ships", the treaty was signed under duress and was vehemently opposed in samurai quarters; the fact that the Tokugawa Shogunate was powerless against the foreigners despite the will expressed by the Imperial court was taken as evidence by Yoshida Shōin and other anti-Tokugawa leaders that the sonnō portion of the philosophy was not working, that the Shogunate must be replaced by a government more able to show its loyalty to the Emperor by enforcing the Emperor’s will.
The philosophy was thus adopted as a battle cry of the rebellious regions of Chōshū Domain and Satsuma Province. The Imperial court in Kyoto sympathized with the movement. Emperor Kōmei agreed with such sentiments, – breaking with centuries of imperial tradition – began to take an active role in matters of state: as opportunities arose, he fulminated against the treaties and attempted to interfere in the shogunal succession, his efforts culminated in March 1863 with his "Order to Expel Barbarians". Although the Shogunate had no intention of enforcing the order, it inspired attacks against the Shogunate itself and against foreigners in Japan, the most famous incident being the killing of the English trader Charles Lennox Richardson. Other attacks included the shelling of foreign shipping in Shimonoseki. Rōnins rallied to the cause, assassinating Shogunate officials and Westerners; this turned out to be the zenith of the sonnō jōi movement, since the European powers responded by demanding heavy war reparations, followed by the British bombardment of Kagoshima when these were not forthcoming.
While this incident showed that Japan was no match for Western military powers, it served to further weaken the Shogunate, permitting the rebel provinces to ally and overthrow it, bringing about the Meiji Restoration. The slogan itself was never a government or rebel policy. After the symbolic restoration of Emperor Meiji, the sonnō jōi slogan was replaced with fukoku kyōhei, or "enrich the nation, strengthen the armies", the rallying call of the Meiji period and the seed of its actions during World War II; this phrase is featured and examined in James Clavell's Gai-Jin: A Novel of Japan Akamatsu, Paul.. Meiji 1868: Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Japan. New York: Harper & Row. Beasley, William G.. The Meiji Restoration. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Craig, Albert M.. Chōshū in the Meiji Restoration. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Jansen, Marius B. and Gilbert Rozman, eds.. Japan in Transition: from Tokugawa to Meiji. Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 9780691054599; the Making of Modern Japan.
Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674003347; the Last Shogun: The Life of Tokugawa Yoshinobu. Tokyo: Kodansha. ISBN 1-56836-246-3
The Kinmon incident known as the Hamaguri Gate Rebellion, was a rebellion against the Tokugawa shogunate that took place on August 20, 1864, near the Imperial Palace in Kyoto. The rebellion reflected the widespread discontent felt among both pro-imperial and anti-foreigner groups, who rebelled under the sonnō jōi slogan. Sonnō jōi had been promulgated by the Emperor Kōmei as an "Order to expel barbarians". Thus, in March 1863, the rebels sought to take control of the Emperor to restore the Imperial household to its position of political supremacy. During what was a bloody crushing of the rebellion, the leading Chōshū clan was held responsible for its instigation. To counter the rebels' kidnapping attempt, the Aizu and Satsuma domains led the defense of the Imperial palace. However, during the attempt, the rebels put Kyoto on fire, starting with the residence of the Takatsukasa family, that of a Chōshū official, it is unknown if the rebels set fire to Kyoto as soon as they began to lose, or if their doing so was part of their original strategy, done as a diversionary tactic.
Various courtiers, including Nakayama Tadayasu, the Emperor's Special Consultant for National Affairs, were banished from Court as a result of their involvement in this incident. The shogunate followed the incident with a retaliatory armed expedition, the First Chōshū expedition, in September 1864