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Saigō Takamori

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. 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; the rebels fought two significant battles against the central government: the Siege of Kumamoto Castle and the Battle of Tabaruzaka. Saigō was confident of his ability to take Kumamoto Castle, but he had underestimated the effectiveness of the imperial conscripts defending the castle. After a failed assault, Saigō settled for a siege.

Imperial reinforcements forced their way through the rebel lines at the Battle of Tabaruzaka lifting the siege. The remnants of Saigō's army retreated before the advancing imperials, who whittled it down relentlessly. Saigō and his final remaining samurai were encircled and annihilated at the Battle of Shiroyama. Saigo's death brought the Satsuma Rebellion to an end. During the battle of Shiroyama, Saigō was badly injured in the hip. However, the exact manner of his death is unknown. There are no published reports by eyewitnesses; 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. Three firsthand accounts of the condition of his deceased body exist, it is said that he was shot in the femur he thrust a sword into his stomach region had his head decapitated deliberately by a fellow citizen. All three accounts report. Two describe a bullet wound to the thigh; as none of the eyewitness accounts mention a wound to the abdomen, or any fresh sword wound at all, it is unknown if Takamori pierced his stomach with his sword.

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. Multiple legends sprang up concerning Saigō, it was recorded that his image appeared in a comet near the close of the 19th century, an ill omen to his enemies. Unable to overcome the affection that the people had for this paragon of traditional samurai virtues, the Meiji Era government pardoned him posthumously on February 22, 1889.

A famous bronze statue of Saigō in hunting attire with his dog stands in Tokyo. Made by Takamura Kōun, it was unve

Samuel R. Shaw

Samuel Robert Shaw was a decorated officer of the United States Marine Corps with the rank of brigadier general. He is most noted for his service as commanding officer, 6th Pioneer Battalion during Battle of Okinawa. Shaw served as advisor to President John F. Kennedy in the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Shaw was a member of so-called "Chowder Society", special Marine Corps Board, tasked to conduct research and prepare material relative to postwar legislation concerning the role of the Marine Corps in national defense. Samuel R. Shaw was born on June 6, 1911, in Cleveland, Ohio, as the son of William Henry and Ella Kenner Shaw, he attended the high school in Dayton and entered the Marine Corps service in September 1928 and following boot camp, he served two years as enlisted man until he was appointed to the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, in July 1930. During his time at the academy, Shaw was active in football and track. Many of his classmates became general officers later: Henry W. Buse Jr. Victor H. Krulak, Ralph K. Rottet, Frank C.

Tharin, Robert J. Stroh, Gordon Chung-Hoon, John P. Condon, John F. Flynn, Ronald W. Gladney Jr. James H. Howard, Frank B. Miller, George R. Over, Henry G. Sanchez, George C. Seay, Raymond N. Sharp, Arthur F. Spring, Harold O. Deakin, Robert E. Hommel, John W. Sapp Jr. John E. Weber and Samuel F. Zeiler, he graduated on May 31, 1934, was commissioned second lieutenant on the same date. As any other newly commissioned marine officer, he was ordered to the Basic School at Philadelphia Navy Yard for additional officer training, which he completed in June of the following year. Shaw was attached to the Marine detachment aboard the cruiser USS Tuscaloosa and participated in Fleet Problem XVII, taking place off the west coast of the United States, Central America, the Panama Canal Zone. Shaw joined 5th Marine Regiment, he was promoted to the rank of first lieutenant in July 1937 and temporarily detached from the regiment to complete the Army Ordnance Field Service School at Raritan Arsenal, New Jersey.

Upon the completion of the school, Shaw rejoined 5th Marines and served with the Marine Corps Rifle and Pistol Teams, which he commanded at the Rifle Range, Cape May, New Jersey, from March to August 1939. He subsequently attended the Junior Course at the Marine Corps Schools, which he completed in June 1940. Following his graduation, he was promoted to the rank of captain and commanded Rifle and Pistol Team. Shaw sailed for Pearl Harbor in October 1940 and assumed duty as Commander of Company A at Marine Barracks, Pearl Harbor Navy Yard under Colonel Gilder D. Jackson, he was present during the Japanese attack on the Harbor on December 7, 1941, participated in the anti-aircraft defense. Shaw was promoted to major in May 1942 and to lieutenant colonel in April 1943. Captain Shaw described the events of Japanese attack as following: The boat guards were in place, the music was out there, the old and new officer of the day, and we had a music, a hell of a fine sergeant bugler, in Shanghai. He would stand beside the officers of the day, there came the airplanes, he looked up and he said, "Captain, those are Japanese war planes."

And one of the two of them said, "My God, they are, sound the call to arms." So the bugler started sounding the call to arms before the first bomb hit. Of course they had started taking out the machine guns, they didn't wait for the key in the Officer of the Day's office, they just broke the door down and hauled out the machine guns, put them in position. Everybody that wasn't involved in that drill grabbed their rifles and ran out in the parade ground, started firing at the airplanes, they must have had several hundred men out there with rifles. And every plane, recovered there, or pieces of it, had lots of 30-caliber holes – somebody was hitting them, machine guns or rifles. I remembered – here we had all these guys on the post who had not been relieved, they had been posted at 4 o'clock, come 9 o'clock, 9:30 they not only had not been relieved but had no chow and no water. So I told him to organize, to go around to the posts, they had a depot. At the beginning it was a supply depot. I told him to send a party over there and draw a lot of canteens and make sandwiches, we'd send water and sandwiches around to he guys on posts until we found out some way to relieve all these guys, get people back.

He told me that it was fine except that he didn't have nearly enough messmen, they were all out in the parade ground shooting. I think we had a hell of an uproar, he was transferred to the staff of Fleet Marine Force, San Diego area and served as assistant chief of staff for operations and training under major generals Holland Smith and Clayton B. Vogel successively. Shaw was ordered to the Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, which he completed in October 1944, he departed for the Pacific area the following month and joined Commanding officer, 6th Marine Division under Major General Lemuel C. Shepherd Jr. at Guadalcanal. Shaw assumed command of 6th Pioneer Battalion and after few months of training, he sailed for Okinawa in March 1945 and after few weeks in staging area at Ulithi, a little atoll in the Caroline Islands, he led his unit ashore on April 1, 1945; the 6th Pioneer battalion was responsible for the securing of the logistical support on time, because arrival of supplies and equipment on landing beaches pilled high and could led to congestion and confusion.

Shaw distinguished himself in this capacity and received the Legion of Merit

53 Persei

53 Persei is a single variable star in the northern constellation of Perseus. It has the Bayer designation d Persei; the star is visible to the naked eye as a faint, blue-white hued point of light with an apparent visual magnitude of 4.80. It is located 480 light years away from the Sun, as determined from parallax, is drifting further away with a radial velocity of +7.3 km/s. This star has a stellar classification of B4IV, was the prototype of a class of variable stars known as pulsating B stars, it was one of the first mid-B type variable stars in the northern hemisphere to be studied. The star undergoes non-radial pulsations with a primary period of 2.36 days. Observation of the star with the BRITE satellite revealed eight separate frequencies in the star's light curve.53 Persei is around 50 million years old with a projected rotational velocity of 15 km/s. It has six times the mass of four times the Sun's radius; the star is radiating 780 times the luminosity of the Sun from its photosphere at an effective temperature of 16,720 K