TAKAMORI SAIGO (1832-1877), Japanese patriot, was born in Satsuma in 1832.
From early youth he took a prominent part in the politics of his clan, and owing to his extreme opinions with regard to the expediency of abolishing the Tokugawa administration, he was banished (1858) to the island of Oshima (Satsuma), where he attempted unsuccessfully to commit suicide.
Satsuma Islands >>
Japan, known as the Satsuma-Fuji.
To many Japanese observers i seemed that the restoration of 1867 had merely transferred the ad ministrative authority from the Tokugawa Shogun to the clans c Satsuma and ChOshC. The KOko Shimbun severely attacked th two clans as specious usurpers.
The principal kinds of ware are Hizen, KiOto, Satsuma, Kutani, Owari, Bizen, Takatori, Banko, Izumo and Yatsushiro.
No phrase is commoner in the mouths of Western collectors than Old Satsuma; no ware is rarer in Western collections.
Setting aside, however, the strong improbability that a style of decoration so widely practised and so highly esteemed could have remained unknown during a century and a half to experts working for one of the most puissant chieftains in Japan, we have the evidence of trustworthy traditions and written records that enamelled faience was made by the potters at Tatsumonjithe principal factory of Satsuma-ware in early daysas far back as the year 1676.
Mitsuhisa, then feudal lord of Satsuma, was a munificent patron of art.
The ware produced under these circumstances is still known by the name of Satsuma Tangen.
To this increase in production and to the more elaborate application of vitrifiable enamels may be attributed the erroneous idea that Satsuma faience decorated with gold and colored enamels had its origin at the close of the 18th century.
The ceramic art in Satsuma owed much to the aid of a number of Korean experts who settled there after the return of the Japanese forces from Korea.
This was the subsequently celebrated Satsuma-yaki.
No faience produced either in China or any other Oriental country can dispute the palm with really representative specimens of Satsuma ware.
The faience of the Kioto artists never reached quite to the level of the Satsuma in quality of pdte and glowing mellowness of decoration; their materials were slightly inferior.
One of the imitators of old Satsuma was among the first to perceive that a new line must be struck out.
If we except the ware of Satsuma, it may be said that nearly all the fine faience Self Ii of of Japan was manufactured formerly in KiOto.
Rare specimens were produced in Satsuma and KiOto, the color employed being chiefly blue, though brown and black were used in very exceptional instantes.
It must be acknowledged, however, that the Tokyo artists often devote their skill to purposes of forgery, and that their imitations, especially of old Satsuma-yaki, are sometimes franked by dealers whose standing should forbid such frauds: In this context it may be mentioned that, of late years,decoration of a remarkably microscopic character has been successfully practised in KiOto, Osaka and Kobe, its originator being Meisan of Osaka.
Itagaki made the mistake of memorializing the government at the moment when its very existence was imperilled by the Satsuma rebellion (1877), and this evidentdisposition to take advantage of a great public peril went far to alienate the sympathies of the cabinet.
He was a nephew of Saigo, with whom his elder brother sided in the Satsuma insurrection of 1877, but he nevertheless remained loyal to the imperial cause and commanded a brigade against the insurgents.
They took refuge with the Daimyo of Choshu, and, while there, established relations which contributed greatly to the ultimate union of the two great fiefs, Satsuma and Choshu, for the work of the Restoration.
OKUBO TOSHIMITSU (1830-1878), Japanese statesman, a samurai of Satsuma, was one of the five great nobles who led the revolution in 1868 against the shogunate.
He became one of the mikado's principal ministers, and in the Satsuma troubles which followed he was the chief opponent of Saigo Takamori.
But the suppression of the Satsuma rebellion brought upon him the personal revenge of Saigo's sympathizers, and in the spring of 1878 he was assassinated by six clansmen.