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ベイカー寮221B/Baker House 221B TOP  >  Taiga Drama  >  Sego-don >  YAMAGATA Aritomo


He was born in Chōshū in 1838. His father was a lowest-class samurai and he learned spearmanship to establish himself in life. In 1858, he went to Kyoto with ITŌ Shunsuke to serve the domain as intelligence officers. Then he was influenced by some royalists includes KUSAKA Genzui and learned at Shōkason-juku after returning to Chōshū. His father died when he was 23 years old.

In 1863, he was allowed to rise to higher status and became on of the leaders of Kihei-tai. Later he seized real power of the army and in 1866 he fought against the force of the shogunate and took Kokura Castle in Buzen, eastern part of currrent Fukuka and northeastern part of current Ōita. In the Boshin War, he participated in the Battle of Hokuetsu and commanded the attack on Aizu Castle. He was an expert of military affairs.

Yamagata Aritomo (Shingo Murakami) is cornered and falls off a chair when Yamashiroya Jiken comes to the light

In 1869, he inspected the armies and their facilities of European countries and after returning to Japan, he succeeded ŌMURA Masujiro who was killed in the same year and became a deputy minister of the army with the help of SAIGO Takamori. Then Conscription Ordinance was decreed but at the same time he was advised to resign his position because of Yamashiroya Jiken (Yamashiroya Affair) but came back to his former position due to a shortfall in human resources. 

He commanded the Government Army in the Satsuma Rebellion and wrote to Takamori to commit suicide. Later he visited Europe again and on the following year, he became the prime minister. He tried to increase armaments and when he resigned his position in 1891, he became genrō that means elderly statesman and led the politics. In 1896, he attended the coronation ceremony of Nicolai II. When the Russo-Japanese broke out, he conducted the operation in the battlefield. He was said to be the first and only former prime minister who went to the battlefront.

Aritomo also established Chōshū clique in the government

He held many important positions and changed the electoral system. He also established the Peace Police Act to restrict political activities or labour movement. On the other hand he promoted modern local autonomy and valued the cooperation with other countries.

However, his ideas became old-fashioned with the passage of time and it was his failure that he urged Princess Nagako of Kuni  (later Empress Kōjun) and her family to break her engagement to Crown Prince Hirohito (later Emperor Shōwa). He insisted that the princess had the gene of colour blind but they married without a hitch. He died on the following year at the age of 83.

In 1890, he issued the Imperial Rescript on Education and received the title of duke in 1907. And he felt uneasy about so-called Yellow Peril. Indeed he made efforts to raise the status of Japan in the world, but some of his policies were offended by the people. It was proved that most of those who attended his funeral were govenment officials and common people were very few.

General Yamagata Memorial Museum is a museum that houses Aritomo's articles left behind includes those granted by the members of the Imperial family. It stands in Yaita, Tochigi Prefecture.

Murakami visits General Yamagata Memorial Museum

The images are from the official website and instagram of "Segodon".


[ 2018/11/23 00:15 ] Taiga Drama Sego-don | TB(-) | CM(0)