The battle of Shiroyama, the battle that motivated the final scenes in the movie The critical Samurai, took place on Sept. 24, 1877, and also was fought between the imperial Japanese Army and the Samurai of Satsuma, in Kagoshima, Kyushu. 30,000 imperial troops confronted off versus some 500 samurai, led by Saigo Takamori.

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The fight of Shiroyama


Saigo Takamori

Six weeks earlier, Saigo Takamori had some 20,000 samurai followers, but following loss at the siege the Kumamoto Castle, deaths and defections had diminished that number to approximately 500.

The continuing to be samurai, equipped with an easy single pack muskets and also their timeless swords and bladed weapons retreated to the strengthened Shiroyama, a hill overlooking Kagoshima. 5 Imperial marine warships in the harbor, and also Imperial army artillery rained over 7,000 shells on the men of Satsuma. In the meantime, 30,000 Imperial pressures surrounded the hill, creating ditches, walls and also obstacles to protect against the rebels indigenous escaping. They too maintained heavy fire on the small band that samurai inside.

Early on the morning of September 24, the Imperial pressures stormed the rebel outpost. The samurai counterattacked, and also soon sent the Imperial forces into disarray with their swordsmanship outshining the the opposite untrained because that close 4 minutes 1 combat situations. If the samurai make an early stage impact, the sheer weight of imperial numbers soon lugged them down.


By 6am that morning, only 40 that Saigo’s males remained alive. Saigo himself had actually been badly wounded by gunfire, and so seek a perfect place to dice honorably, the means a samurai should. Aided to a spot in ~ the bottom that the hill, the is said to have committed seppuku, through his faithful follower, Beppu Shinsuke acting together Kaishakunin, or assisting executioner, although current findings display that Saigo probably passed away as a an outcome of his injuries, and also was beheaded to make it appear that he had actually committed seppuku in the path of the samurai.

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With your leader dead, the staying samurai now led by Beppu attracted their swords and also charged the imperial lines, wherein they to be mown under by gunfire. Their deaths in the battle of Shiroyama ended the Satsuma Rebellion.