The Surrender of Edo-jp Castle (江戸開城)
The Surrender of Edo-jo Castle was executed during the ending of the Edo period (the final phase of the Tokugawa shogunate), occurring over the months of March to April in 1868; Takamori SAIGO, a representative of the new Meiji government, and Kaishu KATSU, a representative of the former Tokugawa shogunate troops; together strategically negotiated a peaceful resolution to the surrender of Edo-jo Castle; this peacefully negotiated transfer was to become historically known as, The Bloodless Surrender of Edo-jo Castle. Over this time, then through to the next year (1868-1869), the Surrender of Edo-jo Castle turned out to be the essential ground-breaking point in a series of following actions taken during the Boshin Civil War; therefore providing greater advantage to the new government's forces, and effectively establishing the castles fall as a highly significant event in Japanese history. Furthermore, due to the historical significance of these dramatically developing events, before and after the negotiations in the Surrender of Edo-jo Castle, this effectively attracted novelist, playwrights, and producers of movies and TV dramas, to this historically critical content.
*From now on, the dates will be written according to Japan's last lunar calendar (Tenporeki; in use from 1844 to 1872).
The outbreak of the Boshin Civil War and the decree to search and kill Yoshinobu
In October 1867, Yoshinobu TOKUGAWA, the fifteenth Seii Taishogun (literally, "great general who subdues the barbarians"), gave up political power to the Imperial Court by the Taiseihokan (restoration of imperial rule) and he expected to have great influence over the potential newly established Lords Conference through his potential role as the president of the conference. However, despite Yoshinobu's wish, Tomomi IWAKURA, who belonged to an anti-shogunate group, Toshimichi OKUBO and Takamori SAIGO, who were from the Satsuma Domain, formed the "Restoration of Imperial Rule" then the "Kogosho Conference" (an Imperial Council held in the Kyoto Imperial Palace) met in early December. In conclusion, the decision of these meetings resulted in; Yoshinobu TOKUGAWA being subjected to the Jikan Nochi (an order to surrender the shogunate post, including other official court rankings, governmental postings, and all of his domains, including territories ruled, to the Imperial Court). Although Yoshinobu once retreated to Osaka-jo Castle, the members of the parliamentary regime, Yodo YAMAUCHI (the former lord of the Tosa Domain), Shungaku MATSUDAIRA (the former lord of the Echizen Domain), and Yoshikatsu TOKUGAWA (the former lord of the Owari Domain) and those who were members of the parliamentary regime maneuvered and water downed the decision of the "Kogosho Conference." Additionally, Yoshinobu himself declared his continuation of diplomatic rights to the ministers of foreign countries, so gradually and then noticeably, the party of council by feudal lords recovered from this set back. Then, Saigo took extreme measures (tactics) to provoke the Edo bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) side. Thus, Saigo ordered Kyunosuke MASUMITSU and Shohei IMUTA who resided in the residence of the Satsuma clan in Edo to gather the roshi (master less or unemployed samurai) samurai including Sozo SAGARA, asking them (roshi samurai) to begin disturbance maneuvers such as, arson, looting, and committing outrageous or violence activities in the city of Edo. The retainers of the Shonai Domain reaction to these disturbances by Saigo, since it was their assignment to guard the city of Edo, was one of anger, resulting in their setting fire to the residency of the Satsuma Domain and the residency of the Sadowara Domain (branch domain of the Satsuma Domain) on December 25th.
When the news of the event arrived at Osaka-jo Castle on December 28th, hard-liners on the Tokugawa shogunate side became indignant. The Tokugawa shogunate side had heated debates on advocacating war and attacking Satsuma; then the army of the Tokugawa shogunate acting on "the statement to the Emperor to avenge Satsuma" tried to go to the capital, Kyoto. On January 3, 1868, the army of the Tokugawa shogunate confronted the army of the Satsuma Domain at Toba ("Rakugai;" on the outskirts of Kyoto in Kyoto City); this incident would lead to a battle (Please refer to The Battle of Toba-Fushimi). However, the war situation worsened on the Tokugawa shogunate side, furthermore, the Yodo and the Tsu Domains betrayed the bakufu. The army of the Satsuma and Choshu Domains displayed the Kinki (a gold-brocade flag which was used as a symbol of the governments army in support of conquering the Emperor's enemy) flag. Consequentially, the army on the Tokugawa shogunate's side became the Emperor's enemy. On January 6th 1868, Yoshinobu abandoned his army of the Tokugawa shogunate and escaped from Osaka-jo Castle. Then he boarded the Kaiyo Maru Warship and fled to Edo-jo Castle by the sea route. At this time, The Battle of Toba-Fushimi had ended, the Tokugawa shogunate side was utterly defeated.
On January, 7, the new government issued this statement, "a decree to search and kill Yoshinobu TOKUGAWA." On January, 10 the new government ordered as punishment to the offending supporters, "enemy of the Emperor"; taking of governmental posts, commandeering the hantei (residence maintained by a daimyo in Kyoto) residences in Kyoto of their twenty-seven highest cabinet members and those of other top ranking officials in the Tokugawa shogunate administration, including Yoshinobu, Katamori MATSUDAIRA (the lord of the Aizu Domain and the former Kyoto shugoshoku [Military governor of Kyoto]) and Sadaaki MATSUDAIRA (the lord of the Kuwana Domain and the former Kyoto shoshidai [The Kyoto deputy]). On the next day, the new government ordered the lords of other domains to mobilize their armies, and then come to the Kyoto Capital. On the 21st, Michitomi HIGASHIKUZE, the ministerial governor of foreign affairs, and a representative of the new government, requested the representatives of foreign countries, to refrain from any show of support of the Tokugawa shogunate side; this included providing weapons, warships, the transferring of supporting troops and the sending of military advisers. On the 25th, all of foreign countries contacted declared their position of neutrality. This was an official recognition by the foreign governments of the new governmental army as an equal party, to then engage in battle against the Tokugawa family, which up to this time, was the official governmental entity for concluding treaties.
The war advocacy policy and allegiance policy toward the new government (Imperial government) within the former Tokugawa shogunate side
On January 11th, Yoshinobu reached Shinagawa. On the next day Yoshinobu entered Nishi no Maru (a castle compound to the west of the main compound) inside the Edo-jo Castle and contemplated his future plans. First, on January 13th Yoshinobu ordered the head of his infantry to guard Sunpu (current, Shizuoka City); on January 14th, Yoshinobu ordered Toshitomo DOI (the lord of the Koga Domain) to guard Kanagawa (currently, Yokohama City). On January 17th, Yoshinobu positioned the Metsuke (the inspectors of foot soldiers) officials at the checking stations of Hakone and Usui-toge Passes. On January 20th, Yoshinobu ordered the Matsumoto Domain and the Takasaki Domain to guard the checking station for the Usui-toge Pass. Furthermore, Yoshinobu sent correspondence to Shungaku MATSUDAIRA and Yodo YAMAUCHI, who were the sympathizers of the bakufu side, and requested mediation; this was the sequence of emergency directions executed by Yoshinobu. After the bakufu side lost at the battle of Toba-Fushimi, the bakufu side expected the army conquest of Tokugawa, formed by the new government, was prepared to attack the bakufu side immediately. At this moment, the Tokugawa family had two plans to choose from, on one hand was allegiance to the new government and on the other hand the continuation of their current bakufu defense and at the same time the bakufu group could form an alliance with the Sabaku-ha (supporters of the Shogun) domains and eventually gain the power to reverse the present situation.
Tadamasa OGURI, a Kanjo Bugyo (commissioner of finance) also was assigned as a Rikugun Bugyo (commissioner of the bakufu army) ranking position, and Takeaki ENOMOTO, the chief ranking official of the bakufu navy, insisted upon a war advocacy policy. The strategic plan of Oguri was the bakufu would entice the enemy army out to the east of Hakone and the bakufu navy would approach from Suruga Bay shutting down the enemy's retreat. Now, the bakufu army having been trained in French tactical military strategy would enter the battle, to attack and destroy the enemy. The bakufu navy would send additional warships, and advance to Hyogo and Osaka prefectures to successfully reclaim the Kinki region. However, Yoshinobu did not accept Oguri's plan and abruptly discharged Oguri on January 15th. On January 19th, Yoshinobu summoned the lords residing in the other domains of Edo, declaring his intent that it was his decision to form an allegiance to the new government and requested their corporation. The next day Yoshinobu submitted the same proposal to Seikanin no miya (This matter will be described later). Continuously on January 23rd Yoshinobu ordered the personnel for the governmental administration of the Tokugawa family to be replaced, he then formed the cabinet body and positioned personnel, primarily chosen from the party favoring allegiance, into the new government.
Listed here are some examples of personnel assigned in the bakufu; Wakadoshiyori (junior councilor), Yoshitada HIRAYAMA, and Hirokazu KAWAKATSU
Rikugun Sosai (president of the bakufu army), Kaishu KATSU, and the Fuku Sosai (vice president of the bakufu army), Tsuguyoshi FUJISAWA
Kaigun Sosai (president of the bakufu navy), Kou YATABORI and the Fuku Sosai (vice president of the bakufu navy), Takeaki ENOMOTO
Kaikei Sosai (president of the Treasury department in the bakufu): Ichio OKUBO and the Fuku Sosai (vice president of the Treasury department in the bakufu) Ryuhoku NARUSHIMA
Gaikoku Jimu Sosai (president of the ministry of foreign affairs), Naoki YAMAGUCHI and the fuku Sosai (vice president of the ministry of foreign affairs), Sukekuni KAWAZU
Among the newly assigned officials, Ichio OKUBO, the Kaikei Sosai who would manage all phases of government affairs, Kaishu KATSU, the Rikugun Sosai who would control military affairs, these two officials, bacame the actual highest commanders in what remained of the collapsing Tokugawa family. These two officials implemented the execution of the policy for allegiance in the new government. At the same time, Léon ROCHES the Minister of the French Second Empire, in one of his frequent visits to Edo-jo Castle, suggested to Yoshinobu his support in defense of battle, but Yoshinobu refused his suggestion. On January 27th, Yoshinobu declared to Mochitsugu TOKUGAWA (the lord of the Kishu Domain) and others that he would report to the Emperor on his retirement, and then he would acknowledge his allegiance to the new government and Imperial Court. It was at this point in time the Tokugawa family defined their official policy, a universal declaration of their allegiance to the new government. However, there were vassals under the control of the Tokugawa shogunate who were dissatisfied with this decision, they in turn, would seize the initiative to act on their own. Furthermore, on February 9th, Yoshinobu punished all of the officials and personnel responsible for The Battle of Toba-Fushimi. On February 12th, Yoshinobu entrusted Yoshiyori TOKUGAWA (the head of the Tayasu-Tokugawa family and former Shogun-kokenshoku [one of three important governmental administrative officials, the guardian for the Shogun]) and Naritami MATSUDAIRA (the former lord of the Tsuyama Domain) with the Edo-jo Castle, then subsequently retired. At this time Yoshinobu relocated to the Ueno Kanei-ji Temple Daiji-in and he was to spend his life confined inside this temple.
Hard-line and lenient treatment policies administered by the new government
Within the new government there were two opposing policies regarding treatment of the Tokugawa shogunate; one was the Hard-liner policy, which insisted upon the administration of severely harsh punishment to the Tokugawa family (particularly the former Shogun, Yoshinobu); the more liberal group persisted in the application of a more lenient treatment policy, which considered a more appropriate (reasonable) and tempered punishment toward the Tokugawa family; this stance was an effort to address the potential for prolonged turmoil resulting from a harsher punishment, and the resulting effects upon the national interests. Takamori SAIGO, from the Satsuma Domain was the one example of those who favored the Hard-liner policy. According to a letter he sent to Toshimichi OKUBO, Takamori SAIGO definitely lobbied for his belief in the need for Yoshinobu's Seppuku (suicide by disembowelment). Similarly to Saigo, some evidence supports the idea of Okubo lobbying for consideration of a more severe punishment than confinement of Yoshinobu to his own residence (or house arrest) and that it was not sufficient. Taken from these examples of opinions of Saigo and Okubo, the object of 'the expeditionary force to the east' was not only to seize Edo-jo Castle, but also in punishing Yoshinobu TOKUGAWA (and his supporters, Katamori MATSUDAIRA, and Sadaaki MATSUDAIRA). Then, there was the additional issue up for consideration, how to proceed with the elimination of the Tokugawa family.
On the other hand, Takayoshi KIDO and Saneomi HIROSAWA from the Choshu Domain individually supported a more lenient treatment policy for Yoshinobu TOKUGAWA. Additionally, Yodo YAMAUCHI, Shungaku MATSUDAIRA, and Munenari DATE (the former lord of the Uwajima Domain), lords who continued to favor a parliamentary regime, each still felt a strong affinity in their hearts for Yoshinobu. Therefore, they stood against the severe penalties of Capital crime lobbied upon Yoshinobu, and the changing in the ranking of the Tokugawa family.
The new government's side had already prepared for the attack upon Edo region from the three main roads, Tokaido Road, Tosando Road and the Hokurikudo Road. On January 5th, the new government assigned Saneyana HASHIMOTO as the pacification governor-general of the Tokaido Road. Then, on January 9th, the new government assigned Tomosada IWAKURA as the pacification governor-general of the Tosando Road, then came the assignment of Nagasachi TAKAKURA, as the pacification governor-general of the Hokurikudo Road giving the order for them to sortie. However, on February 6th, the Emperor implemented a change in policy, he decider to lead the army and to conquer Tokugawa family; these former pacification governor-generals of Tokaido, Tosando, and Hokurikudo had their positions adjusted to Spearhead governor and Chinbushi (temporary government post). On February 9th (March 2nd, 1868), Imperial Prince Arisugawanomiya Taruhito was assigned as the Tosei Dai Sotoku (the commander of the temporary army to suppress any remaining power of the Tokugawa Edo bakufu army). All of those Chinbushi mentioned earlier were positioned under the grand government general. Moreover, the Tosei Dai Sotoku had been given the controlling power over Edo-jo Castle and the Tokugawa family; furthermore, the Tosei Dai Sotoku had full power in the management in the affairs for the Eastern region of Japan. The new government assigned Kintada OGIMACHI, Kiminari NISHIYOTSUTSUJI (a Court noble), and Saneomi HIROSAWA (Choshu) as staff officers to the Tosei Dai Sotoku Fu (the Headquarter for the temporary army; this military force was established by the new government to suppress the power of the Tokugawa Edo bakufu army). Hirosawa, who had favored a more lenient treatment policy, resigned his position on February 12th; the replacements for Hirosawa were Takamori SAIGO (Satsuma), and Michiaki HAYASHI (Uwajima), and they were appointed to this office on February 15th. On February 15th, Tosei Dai Sotoku began to relocate the army from Kyoto; his purpose was to reposition the army to the west, and he would reach Sunpu on March 5th. The following day, the new government decided upon the date for the general attack on Edo-jo Castle, this was "March 15th."
Movements on the Tokugawa family side
The desertion of troops and battle defense
On February 5th, four hundred infantry soldiers from the Denshutai (army of the Tokugawa shogunate) strategically deserted to the Hachioji region (Later, these troops were to join up with the army of Keisuke OTORI.). Additionally, on the night of February 7th, parts of the former bakufu army (infantry soldiers from the eleventh and twelfth regiments) deserted. Sakusaemon FURUYA as commander of the infantry gathered together the deserting troops, up to a total of eighteen hundred soldiers to Habu jinya (a regional government office; this place is currently located in Hanyu City, Saitama Prefecture) by the end of the month. On March 8th, these deserting troops fighting with 'the expeditionary force to the east' at the Yanada in Shimotsuke Province (The current location is in Yanada-cho, Ashikaga City, Tochigi Prefecture) were defeated (Later, Furuya formed the "Shohotai" unit with Nobuo IMAI, serving in the Tohoku and Hakodate Wars.).
Additionally, Isami KONDO and Toshizo HIJIKATA of the Shinsengumi (a group who guarded Kyoto during the end of the Tokugawa shogunate) formed an army unit under the name of "Koyo Chinbutai" and advanced this army on to Koshu-kaido Road. The 'Koyo Chinbutai' army unit planned to take over (occupy) Kofu-jo Castle then would able to lie in wait to attack the 'expeditionary force to the east' from the Castles' advantage. However, the 'Koyo Chinbutai' engaged the 'expeditionary force to the east' earlier at Katsunuma, losing the battle on March 6th; then, 'Koyo Chinbutai' continued to skirmish in one place after another onward toward the Nagareyama District, Shimosa Province (Currently this location is Nagareyama City, Chiba Prefecture).
Kaishu KATSU, the Rikugun Sosai was cognizant of the spontaneous battles fought by the individually formed army units, and from this tacit understanding he came to support the battles of the individual units. Due in greater part to the smaller numbers of their troops and inferior quality of their equipment, each individual unit fully comprehended these apparent disadvantages, but rallied their forces, nevertheless. Historians and experts assume that the Tokugawa family side may have allowed for these individual battles to purposely expose the parties dissatisfied with 'the coming allegiance of the new government' subsequently excluding them from the Edo region.
The plea from Tenshoin, Seikanin, and Rinojinomiya
As the seishitsu (legal wife) of the thirteenth Shogun, Iesada TOKUGAWA, Tenshoin (Sumiko KONOE) was the person chiefly responsible for management of affairs inside Edo-jo Castle Ooku (the inner palace of Edo-jo Castle); in addition, she was from Satsuma Province and was the adopted daughter of Nariakira SHIMAZU, so she had connections with Satsuma (the new government side). Additionally, Imperial Princess Kazunomiya Chikako (Seikanin) was the seishitsu (legal wife) of the fourteenth Shogun, Iemochi TOKUGAWA, and was the aunt of the Emperor Meiji; because she was also once the fiancée of Prince Arisugawanomiya, the Tosei Dai Sotoku, she had connections to the Imperial Court (the new government side).
Therefore, each of these women was connected to the 'expeditionary force to the east.'
Moreover, the Cloistered Imperial Prince Rinojinomiya Kogen (later, he became Imperial Prince Kitashirakawanomiya Yoshihisa) had entered Ueno Kanei-ji Temple, as a monk priest from Kyoto, the previous year. Yoshinobu was becoming more desperate, took to clutching at straws, so he requested petitions for the sparing of his life, and the possible continuance of the Tokugawa family's existence; this was sent to the 'expeditionary force to the east' continuously through these significant figures and nobles connections.
On January 21st, Seikanin no miya added Yoshinobu's petition to her own written petition addressed to Saneakira HASHIMOTO and Saneyana HASHIMOTO, father and son.
Then, she sent Fujiko TSUCHIMIKADO, a lady in waiting, as her envoy to the 'expeditionary force to the east.'
On February 1st, Saneyana HASHIMOTO, the Spearhead governor of the Tokaido Road, received these petitions while he was at the front in Kuwana (currently, the location is in Kuwana City, Mie Prefecture). However, staff officer Takamori SAIGO dismissed the petition instantly without any hesitation, although the petition was from Princess Kazunomiya, Saigo thought after all the petition came from the rebel Yoshinobu. Later, Okubo's opinion from Kyoto was the same as Saigo, once he received the news. Fujiko TSUCHIMIKADO was compelled to go to Kyoto, entering the Capital on February 6th. After her appeal for the petition of Seikanin to the Gijo (official post) Nobuatsu NAGATANI and the Sanyo (councilor) Michitomi NAKANOIN, notification of the petition came to Tomomi IWAKURA via Hirofusa MADENOKOJI. On February 16th, although this would be an oral agreement, Fujiko TSUCHIMIKADO gained informal consent for the continuance of the Tokugawa family from Saneakira HASHIMOTO. She left Kyoto on February 8th, retuned to Edo by February 30th, and reported on her mission to Seikanin.
On the other hand, the Cloistered Imperial Prince Rinojinomiya Kogen left Edo on February 21st westward along the Tokaido Road. Then, on March 7th, the prince had a meeting with the Dai Sotoku (the commander of the temporary army) Imperial Prince Arisugawanomiya Taruhito, at Sunpu, there he presented two letters to Imperial Prince Arisugawanomiya Taruhito; One, was an apology letter from Yoshinobu, the other one was his own petition for Yoshinobu and the Tokugawa family. However, staff officers Takamori SAIGO and Michiaki HAYASHI severely rebuked the petition, because of the battle with the "Koyo Chinbutai" army unit. Thus, on February 12th, the Daisotoku no Miya (the commander of the temporary army) announced the rejection of the petition.
Although Tenshoin personally held little empathy for Yoshinobu, due to her lack of a favorable impression of him, she was enthusiastic for the continuance of the Tokugawa family and she wrote a petition addressed to "the commanding officers of Sasshu (Satsuma Domain)."
Furthermore, on March 11th, Tenshoin sent her senior lady-in-waiting as her envoy to the 'expeditionary force in the east.'
This envoy returned to Edo-jo Castle on March 13th, apparently the petition letter had no effect on the situation.
The end result, although many of the petitions were rejected, was the possibility of directing some psychological impact upon the Dai Sotoku, Prince Arisugawanomiya, and the staff officer, Takamori SAIGO. Therefore, many writers, novelist and dramatist inserted the contextual elements of the petitions into their dramatic works.
The negotiation prepared by Tetsutaro YAMAOKA
In order to deal with an imminent threat from the 'expeditionary force to the east' as it approached Edo, Yoshinobu selected Tesshu YAMAOKA, the chief of Seieitai (an elite army force on the bakufu side) and a brother in law to Deishu TAKAHASHI; he was guarding Yoshinobu TOKUGAWA as his envoy, while Yoshinobu confined himself in Kanei-ji Temple. Then, on March 9th, Tesshu YAMAOKA was on his way to the Tosei Dai Sotoku Fu which was currently encamped in the Sunpu region. Since Yamaoka would not have a chance to meet with Saigo, Yamaoka first visited the residence of Kaishu KATSU, Rikugun Sosai.
Although it was the first time that Katsu met Yamaoka, he was greatly impressed with the personality of Yamaoka during their brief encounter, so he was eager to write the letter for Yamaoka addressed to Saigo. Moreover, Katsu sent Yamaoka out from his residence with an escort guard, Kyunosuke MASUMITSU; he was the feudal retainer of Satsuma but was in protective custody under Katsu's supervision, this was the result of his capture in the incident of the fire attack on the residence of the Satsuma Domain.
(Yamaoka and Masumitsu knew each other for long time, they also used to be members of the "Kobi no Kai" which was formed by Hachiro KIYOKAWA, a roshi samurai and also members in the "Sonnojoi Ha" [a political party that was a supporter of the doctrine of restoring the emperor and expelling the barbarians].)
Yamaoka and Masumitsu rushed to visit the Tosei Dai Sotoku Fu at Sunpu, and they entered the Japanese hotel where Takamori SAIGO, the staff officer, was staying and requested that he meet with them. Although the 'expeditionary force to the east' already decided to set the date of the general attack on Edo-jo Castle to "March 15th," Saigo was now aware of Yamaoka's status as the envoy from Katsu, so Saigo agreed to meet with Yamaoka. Saigo was deeply impressed by the earnest attitude of Yamaoka and was agreeable to negotiations with him. This was the first time the 'expeditionary force to the east' presented the conditions to avoide an open war against the Tokugawa family.
At this time Saigo presented the seven conditions, should they be met, to suspend and avoid the general attack about to commence on Edo-jo Castle, Yamaoka was to consider the following:
Condition Article Number One: Yoshinobu TOKUGAWA would be in custody of the Bizen Domain.
Condition Article Number Two: The Tokugawa family would evacuate Edo-jo Castle.
Condition Article Number Three: The Tokugawa shogunate army would hand over all warships to the new government.
Condition Article Number Four: The Tokugawa shogunate army would hand over all weapons to the new government.
Condition Article Number Five: The retainers of the Edo-jo Castle would move into Mukojima (Sumida Ward, Tokyo Prefecture) and would confine themselves in the respective locations.
Condition Article Number Six: Any personnel who supported the reckless actions of Yoshinobu TOKUGAWA would be subject to severe investigation and then would be subject to severe punishment.
Condition Article Number Seven: The Imperial army would suppress any accidental violence initiated by the retainers or soldiers of the Tokugawa shogunate army, should the Tokugawa family not control the violence through use of its own power.
Yamaoka accepted the six articles out of the seven condition articles, excluding article number one. Yamaoka insisted that he would never accept article number one, rejected the condition of the article number one and continued an exchange of dialogue with Saigo.
Finally, Yamaoka questioned Saigo, "As if we could switch our points of view, then please consider that you would be ordered to place Tadayoshi SHIMAZU (the lord of the Satsuma Domain) into the custody of another domain. Would you accept that?"
Saigo then understood Yamaoka's point of view and compromised on the conditions, keeping article number one in his hand; so, a compromise was made and article number one was withheld.
Saigo changed and softened his attitude abruptly because of the continuous petitions by Princess Kazunomiya and others. Saigo also may have changed his mind because he ascertained that the personnel representing the Tokugawa side were trustworthy persons, such as Ichio OKUBO and Kaishu KATSU. At this time, it appeared that between Saigo and Toshimichi OKUBO were already in agreement; they would not pursue a more severe punishment for Yoshinobu, if they could confirm Yoshinobu's allegiance to the new government, and his action would be complete and definite. In fact, the Seven Conditions which Saigo presented to the Yamaoka on that day were comparable to the opinion documents, which Toshimichi OKUBO submitted to the new government the previous month.
Yamaoka took forth the results and retuned to Edo, there he reported to Katsu on March 10th. Saigo left Sunp on March 11th as if he were pursuing Yamaoka and entered the residence of the Satsuma clan in Edo on March 13th. The day Saigo entered Edo was just two days before the set date of March 15th, the day of the planned general attack upon Edo-jo Castle.
The preparation for the scorched-earth strategy
Before the negotiations with the 'expeditionary force to the east,' Katsu prepared for a scorched-earth strategy; this was preparation in case of an emergency and for a worst case scenario. The scorched-earth strategy was in preparation for a worst case scenario such as; the 'expeditionary force to the east' declining to accept a petition by the Tokugawa family, then proceeding with an attack; or, in the event of the 'expeditionary force to the east' only accepting those conditions which would have extended humiliation and other intolerable actions upon the retainers to the Tokugawa family.
If these scenarios were present, then the scorched-earth strategy would have been enacted as follows: the Tokugawa family side would set fire to Edo-jo Castle and all of Edo town; this strategy was to be implemented to impede the enemy's military advance, the method; setting a devastating firestorm upon the Edo community prior to an attack from the 'expeditionary force to the east.'
The Tokugawa family side seemed to have adapted this scorched-earth strategy from one taken by the Russian Empire to city of Moscow, during the military campaign by Napoleon BONAPARTE in '1812' (Please refer to "the Russian military campaign of 1812."). However, the scorched-earth strategy differed from that of the Russian military campaign of '1812,' the Tokugawa family planned to evacuate, on contracted ships moored in Edo Bay with most of Edo's residents once the firestorm was set. When Katsu prepared the scorched-earth strategy, he relied on the connections of his friends with in the towns' people of Edo, such as Tatsugoro SHINMON. Katsu made personal visits, calling upon those with influence among the commoners in Edo town; this was to acquire the cooperation of the following groups: The township fire fighter organization, the head Tobishoku (a scaffolding man), the Oyakata (stable master) masters of Bakuto (the race of gamblers), and the heads of the Hinin (one group comprising the lowest rank of Japan's Edo-period caste system [often ex-convicts or vagrants]) residences. However, although Katsu retold these stories in his later years, Katsu was known to be of the habit of using the unique story telling style of embellishment, so the validity of the story contained an element of uncertainty. Nevertheless, Katsu spoke of his recollection, "When he was going to negotiate with Saigo, he would gain the courage to overpower the enemy, partly because he was very well prepared."
The meeting between Katsu and Saigo
After preparing for negotiations with Yamaoka, the representatives were gathered at the residence of the Satsuma clan in Edo, located at Tamachi (Minato Ward, Tokyo) to conduct the negotiation for the Surrender of Edo-jo Castle: The highest personnel responsible representing the Tokugawa family side, Ichio OKUBO who was the Kaikei Sosai, Kaishu KATSU who was the Rikugun Sosai, and Takamori SAIGO who was staff officer of the 'expeditionary force to the east.'
There were two meetings for the negotiation on the Surrender of Edo-jo Castle; March 13th and 14th. In the creative works by novelist and dramatist, the authors and producers often described the scene in this edited manner; placing only Katsu and Saigo in attendance at the meeting, for dramatic necessity. In reality, additional personnel definitely attended the meetings, this would have included: Okubo and Yamaoka from the Tokugawa family side, and Shinpachi MURATA and Toshiaki KIRINO from the 'expeditionary force to the east' side.
Katsu and Saigo knew each other since they met in Osaka in September 1864. Thus, to Saigo, Katsu was also his benefactor through the instruction of Saigo on the planning and establishment of a new government, this done without considering the premise for the continued existence of the bakufu. After Saigo became familiar with the general representative personnel for the Tokugawa family lead by Katsu and Okubo, Saigo believed the negotiations could result in a compromise on the agreement; so, he was optimistic about the situation.
Meanwhile, on March 11th, Taisuke ITAGAKI (Tosa Domain), who was staff officer for the Spearhead governor of the Tosando, reached Hachioji Station. Then, on March 12th, Masaharu IJICHI (Satsuma Domain), the staff officer for the Spearhead governor of the Tosando, entered Itabashi. Then, on March 13th, Tomosada IWAKURA, the Spearhead governor of the Tosando, entered Itabashi Station. Thus, the 'expeditionary force to the east' had nearly completed the encircling net around Edo-jo Castle; the negotiation meetings were conducted within this tense situation. However, Saigo restrained those officers driven by youthful ardor, such as Itagaki. Then, Saigo strictly ordered no attack was to begin until he could finish the negotiations with Katsu and the other representatives.
The first negotiation meeting (March 13)
On March 13th, Saigo, who had just arrived to Edo, and Katsu, who had arrived much earlier than Saigo, they were two of the representatives from each party present at the initial negotiation meeting. During the first negotiation meeting, the content for discussion focused on two main points; the issue regarding the treatment of Princess Kazunomiya, and the conditions for the surrender of Yoshinobu; these concerns of Saigo were presented to Yamaoka prior to the meeting. Additionally, during the meeting they did not pursue in depth discussion, but instead, concluded this meeting with several sessions of questions and answers.
The second negotiation meeting (March 14)
At the second negotiation meeting on March 14, Katsu presented his response for the conditions of surrender, which Katsu and Saigo had considered in their meeting the previous day:
Condition Number One: Yoshinobu TOKUGAWA should confine himself within his hometown of Mito City.
Condition Number Two: Those lords aligned in support to Yoshinobu should be punished, but with lenient treatment, therefore, the lords should not have the charge of capital punishment administered.
Condition Number Three: The Tokugawa shogunate army should gather all weapons and warships. Then, the Tokugawa family should hand over those weapons to the new government; this was to take place following the new government's administration of lenient treatment toward the Tokugawa family and all other involved parties.
Condition Number Four: Those personnel residing in Edo-jo Castle should move out and subsequently to confine themselves in the agreed designated locations.
Condition Number Five: Once the process in the surrender of Edo Castle is complete, the Tokugawa family should immediately implement procedures for returning Edo-jo Castle to the Tayasu family.
Condition Number Six: The Tokugawa family should exert maximum effort in the suppression of any potential accidental discharge of samurais and retainers by the Tokugawa family or the former Tokugawa shogunate army.
Katsu had given Saigo these responses to effectively water down the original conditions Saigo previously presented to Yamaoka. In fact, Katsu answered as if he were rejecting these conditions; Saigo trusted Katsu and Okubo, so Saigo terminated the following day's general attack upon Edo-jo Castle. Then, Saigo promised Katsu and Okubo that he would assume responsibility for delivery of their response to Kyoto for its due consideration. Subsequent to this, Saigo made the decision for a bloodless surrender of Edo-jo Castle.
On the same day in the Imperial Court of Kyoto, the Emperor accompanied by his retainers proclaimed in this 'sworn by God' declaration ceremony there before the 'gods of heaven and earth,' presenting 'the Imperial Covenant Consisting of Five Articles.'
It was in this declaration; the Meiji state (the new government) outlined the new governance policy.
"The pressure of Parkes"
Saigo agreed to the disadvantage of those counter conditions, presented in the watered-down response by the Tokugawa side, there for terminating the general attack. A background story, posed the theory that the official British minister, Harry PARKES, applied pressure for the continuance of the Tokugawa family line upon Saigo. Therefore, Saigo was convinced to accept the watered-down conditions.
After the declaration of their neutrality position on January 25th, Parkes retuned to Yokohama. Then, Parkes established a unified security force, assembled from the foreign nations military detachments residing in Yokohama; this would be to maintain security within the foreign compound. Later, Parkes dispatched the interpreter for the British delegation, Ernest SATOW, to Edo to ascertain the current situation, since Parkes did not have sufficient knowledge on the status of the 'expeditionary force to the east' and of the Tokugawa family. On the other hand, on March 13th (April 5, 1868 in new calendar), Parkes demanded of the new government the assignment of a governmental representative to Yokohama, then Parkes dispatched the ship HMS Rattler to Osaka.
Following the arrival of the 'expeditionary force to the east' into Kanto, Seiichirou KINASHI (a feudal retainer of the Choshu clan), a Spearhead staff officer of the 'expeditionary force to the east,' and Kiyoshi WATANABE (a feudal retainer of the Omura clan) proceeded to the British delegation quarters in Yokohama. Once there, the request was made of Parkes for assistance in the treatment of any potential wounded, injured or ill members of the population, and hospitalization arrangements, in the event of a future war. However, Parkes brought up the example of Napoléon; in fact, Napoléon was not executed, but exiled to the island of Saint Helena. Then, Parkes became indignant, declaring it a violation of International law to proceed with an attack against someone such as Yoshinobu TOKUGAWA, who had chosen not to resist, but had instead demonstrated an allegiance to the new government, and an agreement to be confined in his residence. Thus, Parkes ended the meeting. Additionally, Parkes informed the officers of International Law allowing for Yoshinobu's asylum in a foreign nation. After Saigo was told of Parkes angry reaction, he was greatly shocked, terminating his attack on Edo-jo Castle; therefore the external pressure of Parkes had an obvious effect upon him.
However, irrefutable support is lacking on the subject of the influence of Parkes's statements upon Saigo during the negotiations with Katsu. There is not any clearly written documentation placing the time for the meeting, of Parkes and Kinashi. A majority of historians and authors of historical materials have adopted this theory, placing the day of the meeting on March 13th, others adopting the theory of the meeting on March 14th, and some without a date certain. Nevertheless, one thing was common to each case; all of the historical material writers described Parkes meeting Kinashi after Parkes had dispatched a warship to Kamigata (Kyoto and vicinity) region. Because Parkes dispatched the warship on April 5, 1868, according to the western calendar, it would certainly be March 13 on the old Japanese lunar calendar. Therefore, we must conclude that the meeting itself, was held after March 14th. If this is true, Parkes's meeting date was on the same day as the second negotiation of Katsu and Saigo, which continued into the evening. So, it is hard to believe Saigo had heard Parkes's statement prior to the negotiations.
Therefore, Nobutoshi HAGIWARA thought as below:
"The pressure of Parkes" would not have affected Saigo before his meeting with Katsu and Saigo; rather the statements of Parkes were presented to Saigo after the meeting. Then, Nobutoshi HAGIWARA described Saigo using "The pressure of Parkes" as the justification to substantiate the strategic policy change after Saigo's conversion to belief in a more lenient treatment policy, than that of the hardliners; a one-hundred and eighty degree change. In fact, Itagaki furiously opposed the termination of the general attack upon Edo-jo Castle, but he simply accepted this result, after he was made aware of the incidence of the exchange with Parkes. Later, Kiyoshi WATANABE, was told of the story of Parkes statement to Saigo; he was of a similar opinion to that of Nobutoshi HAGIWARA.
The surrender of Edo-jo Castle
The retuning to the Kyoto Capital and the confirmation of the policy of Saigo
After completing the meeting with Katsu, Saigo left Edo and rushed to Kyoto. Then, on March 20th, the Court Council met took an immediate meeting. The lenient treatment policy advocates, Takayoshi KIDO, Yodo YAMAUCHI, and Shungaku MATSUDAIRA, were surprised to hear to the modified policy of Saigo, conversion from hardliner, and advocating sparing the life of Yoshinobu.
Saigo proposed to discuss the new conditions for the Tokugawa side which were presented by Katsu. The conditions of Article Number One; the Vice President in charge of the new government (Seifu Fuku Sosai), Tomomi IWAKURA, was opposed to the confinement of Yoshinobu in Mito. Iwakura demanded the following items: that Yoshinobu should present himself before the grand government's general to offer his personal apology; that the Tokugawa family line would be allowed to continue, once Iesato TOKUGAWA (the child of Yoshinori TOKUGAWA) became successor; but the Tokugawa family should be relocated to either the northern or southern provinces; within a territory having a area of between 700,000 koku (with approximately 126 million liters of crop yield) to 500,000 koku (with approximately 90,000,000 liters of crop yield). Ultimately, Iwakura compromised, accepting the suggestions of Katsu for the confinement of Yoshinobu in Mito. The condition of Article Number Two; Katsu's suggestion of the immediate return of Edo-jo Castle to the Tayasu family was rejected; this decision was left to the Dai Sotoku (the commander of the temporary army). The conditions of Articles Three and Four; Iwakura had gained the necessary support for his opinion on the transfer of weapons and warships. The new government was to receive everything from the Tokugawa family, then should it become necessary, reissue the weapons and ships to the Tokugawa family. The conditions of Articles Number Five and Seven were not changed. The conditions of Article number Six: Vice President, Sanetomi SANJO, was opposed to Katsu's suggestion for the supporters of Yoshinobu. Sanjo adamantly persisted in his demand for specific punishment; this was the execution of Katamori MATSUDAIRA and Sadaaki MATSUDAIRA. After all, the new government had revised its punishment for the Tokugawa supporters in the Aizu and Kuwana domains; the new government would dispatch a military force for 'the accusation,' once there, a battle would be avoided if the two domains would surrender; then the new government would engage and conquer the domains, should the domains engage in a counter attack upon the new government. This decision eventually led to the Battle of Aizu. Saigo again left Kyoto for Edo, carrying on him the revisions and confirmation to the conditions of Seven Articles.
In the interim, on March 23rd, Shigezane OHARA, who was the Spearhead of the Navy's 'expeditionary force to the east' arrived in Yokohama by ship. Ohara dispatched, the Navy associated staff officer, Yoshitake SHIMA (a feudal retainer of the Saga clan), to demand the handing over of all warships. However, Katsu refused this demand, reasoning that the Tokugawa family had not yet been officially charged. Katsu narrowed down the negotiation window and only dealt with Saigo. Therefore, he had no intention in compromising with any of his opponent's staff on conditions in the treatment or custody of Yoshinobu and the armed forces of the Tokugawa family, until the arrival of Saigo from Kyoto to the Kanto.
On March 28th, Saigo visited Parkes in Yokohama and explained the details of events and the policy of the new government (additionally, on the day before, Katsu visited Parkes). Parkes was satisfied with Saigo's explanation, so "The pressure from Parkes" ceased at this time.
The surrender of the Castle and Yoshinobu's expulsion to Mito
Saigo re-visited Edo and continued to discuss the final conditions with Katsu and Okubo. On April 4th, the grand government general and the Tokugawa family reached a final agreement. Then, the pacification governor-general of Tokaido, Saneyana HASHIMOTO, and the lieutenant governor Sakimitsu YANAGIWARA, and the staff officer, Saigo, entered the Edo-jo Castle, leading their troops. At the same time, the Imperial court ordered that the first degree execution punishment of Yoshinobu be stricken from sentence; he was allowed confinement in Mito. Yoshinobu received the Imperial order and on April 11th, departed from the Kanei-ji Temple, where he had been confined, to Mito. It was on this day, the Tokugawa family bloodlessly surrendered Edo-jo Castle, and the 'expeditionary force to the east' seized the Castle.
Prior to this date, on April 8th, 'Tosei Dai Sotoku,' Imperial Prince Arisugawanomiya, departed from Sunpu. He entered into Edo-jo Castle on April 21st. That was the exact moment of Edo-jo Castle's official jurisdiction transfer to the grand government general, and the grand government general's completion in the surrender of Edo-jo Castle. Additionally, in Kyoto, on April 9th, the Emperor Meiji worshiped the god of war at the Shishin-den Hall (hall for state ceremonies) inside the Imperial Court. The Emperor Meiji reported that Yoshinobu TOKUGAWA had apologized and that the 'expeditionary force to the east' conquered Edo.
The desertion of the fleet by ENOMOTO
The vice president of the Navy, Takeaki ENOMOTO firmly rejected the promise of handing over the warships based on his dissatisfaction in the treatment of the Tokugawa family. On April 11th, while Yoshinobu was departing from the Kanei-ji Temple to Mito, Enomoto with other former retainers of the Tokugawa shogunate, who were advocates of the resistance force party, left the port from the coast of Shinagawa; he was deserting to a point off the coast of Tateyama City, leading seven ships of the former bakufu. After all, Katsu successfully persuaded Enomoto and all other former retainers of the bakufu so, the seven ships returned to Shinagawa. Then, Enomoto and all the other former retainers compromised on the hand over of these four ships (Fuji, Choyo, Shokaku, and Kanko) to the new government. Because of this internal defiance, the Tokugawa family could not completely fulfill the surrender conditions. After this incident, although Katsu repeatedly requested Enomoto to be prudent, Enomoto did not listen to Katsu since he was still dissatisfied with the punishment of the Tokugawa family. Finally, on August 19th, Enomoto sailed away to support the Tohoku (Northern-east region) domains that were resisting the 'expeditionary force to the east' leading eight ships (Kaiyo Maru, Kaiten Maru, Banryu Maru, Chiyodagata Maru, Shinsoku Maru, Cyogei, Mikaho Maru, and Kanrin Maru). Later, Enomoto and other defiant former retainers occupied the Goryokaku (five-sided fortification) in Hakodate City and resisted the new government's army until the end (please refer to the Battle of Hakodate.).
The resistance force party and the Battle of Ueno
The resistance force party maintaining its dissatisfaction with the punishment of the Tokugawa family raised an army against the new government's army, from an area around the Edo region. However, the new government's army destroyed them individually, one by one. Michinao FUKUDA was leading the Sappeitai (the western style foot solders who were trained by a French military stratigist; this was established during the late Tokugawa Edo bakufu period) troops that numbered nearly 1,500 and the troops went out from Kisarazu to Funahashi. There the Tokaido-gun Army destroyed them (The Battle of Ichikawa and Funabashi). Keisuke OTORI and an Army of infantry soldiers gathered at Konodai in Shimosa Province (Currently this place is located in Ichikawa City, Chiba Prefecture.). Then, Otori and the infantry soldiers added Toshizo HIJIKATA and other soldiers of the Shinsengumi successfully seized Utsunomiya-jo Castle and it fell to them. However, the Tosando-gun Army recovered the Utsunomiya-jo Castle (The Battle of Utsunomiya-jo Castle). Afterward, Otori and Hijikata fled with the infantry north along the Nikko-kaido Road, fighting throughout the Tohoku into the Hakodate regions, one place after another.
On the other hand, the vassals of the Hitotsubashi Tokugawa family, Seiichiro SHIBUSAWA and Hachiro AMANO, gathered shogunate retainers in progress of their purpose; they were intent on clearing the false charge of Yoshinobu, who had been confining himself in the Ueno Kanei-ji Temple; they intended to defeat the Satsuzoku (the Satsuma clan). Then, Shibusawa, Amano, and the shogunate retainers formed the Shogitai (a group of former Tokugawa retainers opposed to the Meiji government who fought in the Battle of Ueno). The members of the Shogitai gathered on Ueno Mountain. Naritami MATSUDAIRA, was the Rusui (a caretaker or keeper; an official post in the Edo period) of Edo-jo Castle; he attempted to use the Shogitai troops in the enforcement of maintenance of security at Edo. However, the Shogitai troop force increased in power, inviting remarks of skepticism from the new government. Although Yoshinobu left Ueno on April 11th, the Shogitai troops changed their master to the Cloistered Imperial Prince Rinojinomiya Kogen who was residing in the Kanei-ji Temple, then continued to stay in Ueno. It was on April 29th of the leap year, that the inspector of the Kanto region Sanetomi SANJO, in his role as President of the new government, went to Edo and established the Chinsho Fu (the new government organization). Then, Sanetomi SANJO removed the all authority over civil administration and public security from the Tokugawa family; in addition, he reportedly removed the Shogitai form the post of control in the City of Edo. Later, the new government declared by statement to order the disarmaming of the Shogitai troops. On May 15th, Masujiro OMURA leading the new government's army, suppressed the Shogitai troops in one day (Please refer to the Battle of Ueno.). After these battles, the resistance force policy party was nearly eliminated in Edo, and area surrounding the region.
The establishment of the Shizuoka Domain
On April 29th of the leap year, the inspector of the Kanto region, Sanetomi SANJO, notified by imperial order, that the Imperial Court would allow Kamenosuke TAYASU (He was 6 year old then. Later he was known as Iesato TOKUGAWA) to become the successor to Tokugawa family line. Then, on May 24th, the Imperial Court announced movement of the Tokugawa family for relocation to the Sunpu region with its 700,000 koku (approximately 126 million liters of crop yield). The Imperial Court established the new Tokugawa family of the Sunpu Domain in this announcement. However, the new Tokugawa family in the Sunpu Domain could not support a large body of former vassals since their territory had been dramatically reduced; this was from 8,000,000 koku (approximately 1,440,000,000 liters of crop yield) to 700,000 koku (approximately 126,000,000 liters of crop yield). Therefore, the number of the people serving in the Sunpu Domain was approximately 15,000.
Converting the Edo-jo Castle to the Imperial Palace
Toshimichi OKUBO, by the end of January, had submitted the doctrine for transferring the capital from Kyoto to Osaka; this was because there were too many conservative minded people in Kyoto. Kido was in strong agreement with this doctrine. Mainly of the court's nobles opposed this doctrine, so the new government only performed Imperial visitation in Osaka. However, Okubo and Kido continued to bring up the doctrine for transferring the capital. During the middle of debate on the transference of the capital, the new government acquired Edo-jo Castle bloodlessly. Therefore, the new government abruptly nominated Edo as a potential place for relocation of the Capital.
On September 8th, the Imperial Court proclaimed the new era name, "Meiji." Then, on September 20th, Emperor Meiji departed from Kyoto to perform the Imperial visit to Tokyo (In July there the Imperial court issued the imperial edict for Edo to be renamed as Tokyo.); and then, the Emperor arrived at Edo-jo Castle on October 13th. At the time of the Emperor's arrival, the Imperial Court renamed Edo-jo Castle as "Tokyo-jo Castle" elevating it to the level of an Imperial Palace when the Emperor would perform his "going to the east" trip. The Emperor entered the Edo-jo Castle which was the symbol of the bakufu, and this was a symbolic event for the Emperor was demonstrating that the entire imperial country was to be unified; the east and west to be identified as one, then the Emperor declared that he would control all administration by his decision. After this historical turn of events, the Emperor repeatedly performed his 'going to the east' trip; through these trips, the new government was relocating the administration of the capital functions, one after another, from Kyoto to Tokyo. Eventually, the citizens of Japan recognized the fact, that Tokyo was the de facto capital; then gradually "Tokyo-jo Castle" became to be referred to as the "Kyujo" (place where the Emperor lives), and finally as the "Kokyo" (Imperial Palace).
The meaning of the surrender of the Edo-jo Castle
At this time, the population of Edo was more than one million, so Edo City was the largest city in the world. Therefore, two significant elements were accomplished in the surrender of the Edo-jo Castle; the avoidance war and fire upon Edo City and its massive population. Katsu would later praise Saigo as "the great benefactor of the Edo." Additionally, the surrender of Edo-jo Castle was a historically symbolic incident during the continuous lines of the Boshin Civil War; the Tokugawa family completely surrendered to the New Meiji government which would assert the political control into the new age. This event is illustrative to the meaning for transferring legitimate rights to govern Japan; it was transferred from the Tokugawa shogunate to the Imperial Court of which the Emperors were the central figure. After this incident, all foreign countries maintained their neutrality positions; then they would gradually realign into positions in support of the new government. After the surrender of Edo-jo Castle, historians and other experts often considered the wars which followed to be directly connected with suppression by the new government army and the reaction of the resisting forces of the Ouetsu-reppan alliance. The new government seized property, taking Edo, the main Japanese capital for functions during the Edo period, this was done with almost no destruction so, Edo came under the organizational control of the new government. Thus, the new government seemed to enjoy great merit from seizing Edo because the new government was striving to establish the new country.
On the other hand, "the bloodless surrender of the Castle" led to unintended consequences. The domestic and foreign perspective opinions reached the general misconception of the Boshin Civil War being a less bloody conflict. However, in reality, the surrender of the Edo-jo Castle was the opening chapter phase into the entire history of the Boshin Civil War. After this incident, the Boshin Civil War continued; the civil war became rather violent as in: the Hokuetsu War, Aizu War, and Hakodate War; so the Civil War was never a war of minimal bloodshed. This, the Civil War was never a war of minimal bloodshed. Among the shogunate vassals who lost their psychological "backbone," at Edo-jo Castle, many joined the fleet of Enomoto and went north; this allowed them to participate in the future battles of the Boshin Civil War.
Although, many of the shizoku families or persons with samurai ancestors, being main members of the new government, had some sense of Edo-jo Castle being surrendered undamaged, they nevertheless, felt deflated as well. There were other factors behind this feeling of deflation within the new governments side; one factor, Shungaku MATSUDAIRA and some other members in the council of the feudal lords' party, made previous efforts for avoiding militaristic conflicts between the two opponents; however, they always attempted to recover from any setbacks, proceeding to regain their initiative. Moreover, another factor was the newly established 'new government army' inability as a unified Japanese Army in a practical sense; in reality, this was the only an alliance which loosely combined all of the domains. Therefore, the new government required the direct purpose of defeating a powerful enemy in order to achieve a firm consensus to unify the domains. Thus, the new government created scapegoats in order to strengthen its position for unification of the domains. One of the scapegoats the new government directed its focus on was the lord of the Aize Domain Katamori MATSUDAIRA (and the younger brother, Sadaaki MATSUDAIRA); he was an accusation target of the new government, because of his connection to the original Edo edict. Moreover, some of the other scapegoats the new government focused upon were in the domains of the Tohoku region, which had yet to clear their behavior. In fact, Takayoshi KIDO, who had not demonstrated a strong opinion regarding the severe punishment of Yoshinobu TOKUGAWA, told Toshimichi OKUBO that the new government could not be established without defeating the Aizu Domain. Then, Okubo agreed with Kido.
Also, along with the Edo-jo Castle, the new Meiji government took over almost all of the feudal system, which was the characteristic of the bakufu and was the governing structure of the former Tokugawa shogunate. The new government attempted to implement the fukoku kyohei (fortifying the country and strengthening the military) policy under the strong governmental power and then to build strong state; this would have the effect of centralization in administrative powers in order to stand up against any of the worlds major powers of the west. Therefore, it would have been the assumption of a double-edged sword to the new government, as the new government inherited the feudal system from the former bakufu, since the new government would also incorporate all of the conservative people. After all, the new government could not avoid dismantling the domains (a daimyo [Japanese feudal lord]) which ruled the local areas in order to build the modern state. Once the new government would implement the process; the lords would return their territorial domains and residences to the Imperial Court ("Hanseki hokan;" the return of the lands and people from the feudal lords to the Emperor). Finally, the new government needed this evolution the Haihan-chiken (abolition of feudal domains and establishment of prefectures), which was required the complete dismantling of the current feudal system of the bakufu (The new government achieved this evolution bloodlessly).
The summary of the Timeline
Listed below is the summary for the timeline which are events noted by their dates, relating to "the surrender of the Edo-jo Castle." In the right column are dates added which reference the Gregorian calendar (all in year the '1868').
The influence of fictional works
The surrender of Edo-jo Castle was a significant development to the commencement of the Boshin Civil War; there was also an abundance of dramatic contributions from several individuals involved in these incidents, such as, Katsu and Saigo. Thus, writers and other dramatist valued these historical incidents, choosing this subject material for the production of many creative works going forward from the Meiji period.