Nakahara Naoo (中原尚雄)

Naoo NAKAHARA (1845 - January 15, 1914) was a country samurai in Ijuin-cho, Satsuma Domain, and later became a policeman. He is most famous for triggering the Seinan War (Satsuma Rebellion).

Brief Personal History

In October, 1871, after the Meiji Restoration, Naoo applied to become a police officer covering Tokyo prefecture. Naoo entered the Metropolitan Police Department as a police officer and later became a "shokeibu" (similar to police inspector).

On January 11, 1876, with the permission of Toshiyoshi KAWAJI, who was from the same prefecture as Naoo and was a "daikeishi" (corresponding to current Superintendent-General of the Metropolitan Police) in the Metropolitan Police Department, Naoo and 24 colleagues, who were also from the prefecture and serving for the Metropolitan Police Department returned home after a long absence to Kagoshima Prefecture. However homecoming wasn't the real reason for their journey. Instead it is believed that they came to spy on the students and executives of Shigakko (a kind of military academy) including Takamori SAIGO, whom the Meiji government had long been watching, and to maneuver to alienate ex-country samurai from Shigakko.

After returning to his hometown, it is said that Naoo told his old friend Tota TANIGUCHI, 'I will stop SAIGO (Takamori) even if it means we both get stabbed.'
This remark was taken as evidence of a 'conspiracy by the Meiji government to assassinate SAIGO' and on February 3 in the same year Naoo and his colleagues, still in their hometown, were caught by the students of Shigakko. After a harsh interrogation Naoo confessed that there had indeed been a conspiracy by the Meiji government to assassinate SAIGO. Because of this, the anger of the Shigakko people got out of control, and this led to the Seinan War.

Naoo was severely tortured but on March 10 he was saved by an Imperial delegation, led by Sakimitsu YANAGIHARA, who arrived at Kagoshima by sea. Naoo boarded a government ship, the Kanagawamaru, and was transferred to Tokyo. Later, Naoo served as Chief Inspector of Kochi Prefectural Police, Yamanashi Prefectural Police and Fukuoka Prefectural Police. Naoo resigned as the Chief Inspector of Fukuoka Prefectural Police and returned to his hometown when he was 47 years old. He died on January 15, 1914 at 4 a.m. Died at the age of 70 (inscribed on the tombstone).