Saigō Jūdō

(Redirected from Saigō Tsugumichi)

Marshal-Admiral Marquis Saigō Jūdō (西郷 従道, also read Saigō Tsugumichi) (1 June 1843 – 18 July 1902) was a Japanese politician and admiral in the Meiji period.[2]

Saigō Jūdō
西郷 従道
Tsugumichi Saigo 2.jpg
General and Marshal Admiral The Marquis Saigō Jūdō
Minister of the Imperial Navy
Empire of Japan
In office
22 December 1885 – 17 May 1890
Prime Minister
Preceded byKabayama Sukenori
Succeeded byKabayama Sukenori
In office
11 March 1893 – 8 November 1898
Prime Minister
Preceded byNire Kagenori
Succeeded byYamamoto Gonnohyōe
Personal details
Saigō Ryūsuke (西郷 隆興)

(1843-06-01)1 June 1843
Kagoshima, Satsuma, Japan
Died18 July 1902(1902-07-18) (aged 59) [1]
Tokyo, Empire of Japan
Resting placeTama Cemetery, Fuchū, Tokyo.
SpouseSaigō Kiyoko
  • Saigō Kichibei (father)
  • Shiihara Masa (mother)
  • Saigō Takamori (brother)
  • Saigō Kichijirō (brother)
  • Saigō Kobei (brother)
  • Ichiki Koto (sister)
  • Saigō Taka (sister)
  • Saigō Yasu (sister)
Children7 sons, 4 daughters
Military service
Allegiance Empire of Japan
Years of service1869–1902
Rank帝國陸軍の階級―襟章―中将.svg 帝國陸軍の階級―肩章―中将.svg Lieutenant General (1869-1894)

Imperial Japan-Navy-OF-9-collar.svg Imperial Japan-Navy-OF-9-shoulder.svg Imperial Japan-Navy-OF-9-sleeve.svg Admiral (1894-1898)

元帥徽章.svg Marshal Admiral (1898-1902)


Early lifeEdit

Saigō was born in Shimokajiyachō, Kagoshima, the son of the samurai Saigō Kichibe of the Satsuma Domain. His siblings included his famous older brother Saigō Takamori. Saigō changed his name many times throughout his life. Besides the two listed above, he sometimes went by the nickname "Shingō". His real name was either "Ryūkō", or "Ryūdō" (隆興). It is possible that he went by the name "Ryūsuke".

Following the Meiji Restoration, Saigō went to a government office to register his name. He intended to register orally under his given name (Ryūkō or Ryūdō). However, the civil servant misheard his name and he therefore became Jūdō (従道) under the law. He did not particularly mind, so he never bothered to change it back. The name "Tsugumichi" arose as an alternate pronunciation for the characters of his name.

At the recommendation of Arimura Shunsai, he became a tea-serving Buddhist monk for the daimyō of Satsuma, Shimazu Nariakira. After he returned to secular life, he became one of a group of devoted followers of Arimura. As a Satsuma samurai, he participated in the Anglo-Satsuma War. He later joined the movement to overthrow the Tokugawa shogunate.[2]

He was a commander of the Satsuma army fighting in the Battle of Toba–Fushimi as well as other battles on the imperial side of the Boshin War.

Imperial Japanese ArmyEdit

Saigo in 1876

In 1869, two years after the establishment of the Meiji government, Saigō went to Europe with General Yamagata Aritomo to study European military organizations, tactics and technologies. After his return to Japan, he was appointed a lieutenant-general in the new Imperial Japanese Army. He commanded Japanese expeditionary forces in the Taiwan Expedition of 1874.[2]

In 1873, his brother Saigō Takamori resigned from the government, over the rejection of his proposal to invade Korea during the Seikanron debate. Many other officials from the Satsuma region followed suit, however, Saigō Jūdō continued to remain loyal to the Meiji government. Upon the death of his brother in the Satsuma Rebellion, Saigō Jūdō became the primary political leader from Satsuma. In accord with the kazoku peerage system enacted in 1884, he received the title of count (hakushaku).[1]

Government officialEdit

House of Saigō Jūdō, in Kamimeguro, Tokyo. Photograph by Hugues Krafft in 1882.

Saigō held a string of important positions in the Itō Hirobumi cabinet, including Navy Minister (1885, 1892–1902).[2]

As Minister of Internal Affairs, Saigō pushed strongly for the death penalty for Tsuda Sanzō, the accused in the Ōtsu incident of 1891, and threatened Kojima Korekata should the sentence be more lenient.

In 1892, he was appointed to the Privy Council as one of the genrō. In the same year, he founded a political party known as Kokumin Kyōkai (国民協会, The People's Co-operative Party).[2]

In 1894, Saigō was given the rank of admiral, in recognition of his role as Navy minister, and his peerage title was elevated to that of marquis.[1]

In 1898, the Imperial Japanese Navy bestowed upon him the honorary title of Marshal-Admiral. The rank is equivalent to Admiral of the Fleet or Grand Admiral.

Personal lifeEdit

Saigō’s former residence (once in Meguro, Tokyo) is registered as an Important Cultural Property by the Japanese government and is now at the Meiji-mura historical park outside of Inuyama, Aichi Prefecture. Saigō also owned a cottage in Yanagihara (present-day Numazu), Shizuoka Prefecture. Saigō Jūdō was the first person in Japan to own a race horse. Gensui the Marquis Saigō died in 1902 and was buried in the Tama Cemetery in Fuchū in Tokyo.


National honoursEdit




  1. ^ a b c Nishida, Hiroshi. "Deck officers, in the cradle era". Archived from the original on 2012-12-04. Retrieved 2011-07-14.
  2. ^ a b c d e Louis Frédéric (2005). "Saigō Tsugumichi". Japan Encyclopedia. Translated by Roth, K. Cambridge, MA: Belknap. p. 806. ISBN 9780674017535.
  3. ^ "西郷氏(隆盛系)" Saigō-shi (Takamori-kei) [Saigo clan (Takamori's family)]. Reichsarchiv (in Japanese). Retrieved 2019-01-05.


Much of the content of this article comes from the equivalent Japanese-language Wikipedia article ja:西郷従道, retrieved April 6, 2006

External linksEdit

  • National Diet Library. "Saigo, Judo". Portraits of Modern Historical Figures.
Political offices
Preceded by
Kabayama Sukenori as Lord of the Navy
Minister of the Navy
22 December 1885 – 17 May 1890
Succeeded by
Preceded by Home Minister
May 1890 – June 1891
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of the Navy
11 March 1893 – 8 November 1898
Succeeded by
Preceded by Home Minister
November 1898 – October 1900
Succeeded by