September 24 - 1877 - The Battle of Shiroyama
The Meiji Restoration not only overthrew the Tokugawa Shogunate and restored the power of the Japanese Emperor, but it also sought to rapidly modernize Japan. Naturally, this angered many people, notably the samurai whose entire lifestyle was being taken away. In the far south of Japan, in the Satsuma region, a leader named Saigo Takamori began gathering disaffected samurai and soliders in Kagoshima and its environs. A full scale rebellion broke out once the Imperial Government sent military officials to work with Saigo. After some initial success, Saigo Takamori is surrounded on a hill named Shiroyama, while being outnumbered 60 to 1. The Japanese Imperial Army, led by Yamagata Aritomo, waited patiently, then launched an artillery bombardment and a final attack. The Battle of Shiroyama ended with Saigo's death and a total defeat of his men.