Akizuki Rebellion

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The 1876 Akizuki Rebellion was one of a number of samurai uprisings which took place in the 1870s in Kyûshû against the new government which took over Japan in the 1868 Meiji Restoration.

The revolt began on October 27, 1876, in the city of Akizuki, now called Asakura in Fukuoka prefecture, in response to a call to action by the leaders of the Shinpûren Incident, an attack on Kumamoto castle three days earlier. The Akizuki revolt was led by a number of former samurai (now called shizoku) retainers of the Akizuki clan, primarily Iso Jun, Toki Kiyoshi, Masuda Shizukata, Imamura Hyakuhachirô and Miyazaki Kurumanosuke. Their main points of contention with the new government were the bans on carrying swords (which went along with the abolition of the samurai class), and the institution of military conscription. In addition, they opposed the outcome of the 1873 Seikanron, or "debate over invasion of Korea"; the government had ultimately opted to not attack Korea as retribution to a series of diplomatic insults.

Iso, Miyazaki and the other leaders of the rebellion sought to enlist support from other shizoku in the area, and eventually gathered a band of roughly 400. The revolt began with the killing of police officers at their post at the Myôgan-ji; this was the first time in Japanese history that a member of the modern police force was killed on duty. They were meant to rendezvous with a band of shizoku from the former Toyotsu han under Sugiu Jûrô, and arrived at the rendezvous point on October 29 to learn that their compatriots had been arrested and imprisoned.

They were then attacked by the Kokura garrison of the Imperial Japanese Army, under the command of Nogi Maresuke. Seventeen rebels were killed, and two government soldiers. The rebels were chased into the hills, where, on October 31, Iso, Miyazaki, Toki, and four others committed suicide. Meanwhile, Imamura led twenty-six warriors back to Akizuki, where they raided the elementary school and killed two government officials. They then burned down a liquor shop's storehouse where rebels had been previously detained, but by November 24, all the rebels were apprehended. Masuda Shizukata had left for the former Saga han in an attempt to raise support among the warriors there, but was apprehended on his way back to Akizuki on October 26, even before his compatriots began their uprising.

The rebels were brought before a temporary court in Fukuoka on December 3. Imamura and Masuda were beheaded the same day, and 150 of their compatriots were sentenced to hard labor, the remaining rebels being convicted and sentenced as well. Akizuki castle was torn down shortly afterwards.


This article was written by User:LordAmeth and contributed to both S-A and Wikipedia; the author gives permission for his work to be used in this way.

  • Frederic, Louis (2002). "Akizuki no Ran." Japan Encyclopedia. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.