Yosha Bunko
Kinsei Jinbutsu Shi
Yamato Shinbun Furoku No. 17
Saigo Takamori

Yoshitoshi catches Saigo at a moment of peace on a stroll with his dog. Even prints of Saigo on the battlefield typically show him with his dog. The statue of Saigo at Ueno Park, erected in 1898, also shows him walking his dog. Apparently the dog was a bitch and her name was Tsun.

Saigo helped overthrow the Tokugawa shogunate and "restore" sovereignty to the Emperor. He joined the new government in Tokyo but resigned his posts when his petition to subjugate Korea was turned down in 1873. Four years later, he led Satsuma and other forces in a rebellion called the Seinan War. Wounded, he retreated to a cave and committed seppuku.

Saigo was the model for Katsumoto in The Last Samurai. Despite all the hoopla about local collaboration and pretensions of authenticity, the movie had less to do with Japan than Hollywood -- but that's another story.

Print information

Size oban
Drawn by Yoshitoshi
Written by [unsigned]
Carved by Enkatsu
Published 1888-2-24 (Yamato Shinbun No. 414)
Published by Yamato Shinbun Sha

Principal sources

Ono Collection, Ono 1972:180 (Plate 119).