Cutting Edge Issue 2 - Page 58

…be sure to visit the Palace in Tokyo, and make your way to Sakuradamon. It was here on 24th March, 1860 that the Chief Minister (Tairo) and leading figure of the Bakumatsu, Ii Naosuke was assassinated by ronin samurai from Mito. Sakuradamon Incident Sakuradamon no Hen N aosuke was a proponent for the reopening of Japan after more than 250 years of seclusion, widely criticised for signing the 1858 Treaty of Amity and Commerce with the United States Consul Townsend Harris. Not only was he critised for signing the treaty, but also for reinforcing the authority of the Shogunate against regional Daimyo through the Ansei Purge. Naosuke made strong enemies, forcing retirement on his opponents, specifically the retainers of the Mito, Hizen, Owari, Tosa, Satsuma and Uwajima domains. Sakuradamon as it is today The actual assassination took place outside the Shogun’s Castle (Tokyo’s Royal Palace), just as Naosuke was approaching the gate. Naosuke had been warned, and advised that he should take precautions, many suggested that he should retire, but he refused, replying that “My own safety is nothing when I see the danger threatening the future of the country”. On the fateful day, 17 Mito ronin, together with Arimura Jisaemon, a samurai from Satsuma, ambushed his palanquin. It was Arimura who delivered the cut to Naosuke’s neck killing him, promting Arimura to commit seppuku. The consequences of the assassination forced the Bakufu to adopt a compromise policy of Kobu Gattai (Union of the Emperor and the Shogun). Both parties jostled for political power in the years to follow, which ultimately led to the violent Sonno Joi (Revere the Emperor, Expel the Barbarians) movement. Arimura Jisaemon, about to commit the assassination. Until the fall of Bakufu in 1868, the streets of Japan would remain hazardous for Bakufu officials and foreigners alike, as the Sonno Joi movement gained influence. Sir Ernest Sat ?r7V????VBWF?RgFW&?F??bF?P?7676??F????( ?&???G?&WfV?vRv2F?V???F?P???F?f?GV??????7V?R??'WBF?R??7F??G?F?F?R7?7FV???????7&V6VBv?F?F??R??B??F?RV?B'&?Vv?B&?WB?G0?6???WFR'V??( ???F?R6??f?7B&V6?VB6??6?W6??????c??v?F?F?P???F'?FVfVB?bF?R6??wV?FR??F?R&?6???v"??BF?P???7F??F????bF?R?V???V?W&?"??6?W&6S???GG???V??v???VF???&r?v????6?W&F??????6?FV?E???c???S`?????5UED??rTDtP??fW'?V&???vP??b??7V?R??GW&???&Vf?&RF?R7676??F?????7V?^( ?2?GF6?W'2vP?&RvV????&v??6VB???B6'&?VBF??V?"?v?????fW7F??2F?F?V?"&P?6??f? ?F?RGF6???@?&VB2f?????w3??v???RgV??p?&R?bF?R?V0?W76?G??f?"6??R6???vR????7?6???6P?F?R6???r?`?F?P?W&v??B?2V??W&?6?2@?F?&V?v??7@?F?P???FW&W7B?bF??R6?V?G'???B7F?????F?R?F?????????W"F???V?W?6???W&6??&P??F???2v?F??f?&V?v?W'2??F?F?Bf?&P??v?W'2??F?F??R67F?R??F?6??6?VFRG ?VF?W2v?F?F??V??F??&??6?F?RW0?F&?6?VB&?7F?6R?`?G&???r???F?P?F????rf?&V?r?7GW&R?b6?&?7B???W ?v?'6??f?"F?2F?'V??B?6W2?`?RWf??&V?v??????????rF?RF?&P?Rf?&V?v???BF???7FW'2F??&W6?FR??F?P???B?????F?W ?Vf?&R?vP??fR6??6V7 ?FVB?W'6V?fW0?F?&RF?P???7G'V?V?G0??b?VfV?F??V??6?F??0?v?6?VB?????BvR?fP?F?V?????W'6V?fW2F?P?GWG??bV?F???v?Wf???'???????rF??2G&?6??R6W&??W0?2WF?7&B??( 2F?R6?W&?F???6??0??&F?'2??