American Samurai: A Teenager’s Journey from New England to the Satsuma Rebellion”
William Fleming, assistant professor of East Asian languages and literatures and theater studies, Yale University, will speak in conjunction with the exhibition “Samurai: The Way of the Warrior.” The Satsuma Rebellion (1877) and the rebels who died in it have been romanticized in the Japanese imagination almost from the moment they first took up arms. On this side of the Pacific, the conflict was recently freely reimagined on the big screen in “The Last Samurai,” with Tom Cruise portraying a fictional American veteran who throws in his lot with the cause. But fighting alongside rebel leader Saigō Takamori was a real-life commander, fresh from America whose forgotten story is every bit as remarkable as the one dreamed up by Hollywood. Relying on previously unexplored archival materials from collections in the United States and Japan, this talk brings to life the untold tale of a teenage warrior whose bravery and determination in battle earned him the nickname “Little Saigō.” Co-sponsored by UGA Army ROTC.