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Samurai to SoldierRemaking Military Service in Nineteenth-Century Japan$
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D. Colin Jaundrill

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781501703096

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501703096.001.0001

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Dress Rehearsal: The Satsuma Rebellion, 1877

Dress Rehearsal: The Satsuma Rebellion, 1877

(p.131) 5 Dress Rehearsal: The Satsuma Rebellion, 1877
Samurai to Soldier

D. Colin Jaundrill

Cornell University Press

This chapter shows how the Meiji government had secured a tentative success with the 1873 establishment of universal military service. Conscripts began replacing sōhei in the ranks, speeding the army's transition from the combined leftovers of domain armies to a single national force. The army had only begun to address these issues when it was faced with its first major war: the Satsuma Rebellion of 1877. The fighting began in February 1877, when thousands of shizoku led by Saigō Takamori—a leading Satsuma warrior and one of the founding figures of the Meiji state—attacked the government garrison at Kumamoto. The conflict ended seven months later with the death of Saigō and his chief lieutenants.

Keywords:   Meiji government, military service, sōhei, Satsuma Rebellion, Meiji state, Saigō Takamori

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