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Sakamoto Ryōma / Person / Cool Japan

Sakamoto Ryōma (坂本 龍馬, Sakamoto Ryōma, January 3, 1836 – December 10, 1867) was a leader of the movement to overthrow the Tokugawa shogunate during the Bakumatsu period in Japan.
Ryōma used the alias Saidani Umetarō (才谷梅太郎, Saidani Umetarō) as a cover name during his work to keep Japan united in the creation of a modern government which would allow his country to join the rest of the world which was in a colonizing mode, while keeping its own sovereignty intact.
http://swordforum.com/articles/japanesehistory/sakamoto-ryoma.jpg
(Sakamoto Ryōma / Image)

Ryōma's early life is as follows. 
Ryōma was born in Kōchi, of Tosa han (present day Kōchi Prefecture, Shikoku).
By the Japanese calendar, this was the 6th year of Tenpō. His family in previous generations had acquired enough wealth as sake brewers to purchase the rank of merchant samurai, which was the lowest rank in the samurai social hierarchy.

Sakamoto Ryoma's Video by YouTube 

After he was bullied at school, his older sister enrolled him in fencing school. By the time he reached adulthood he was a master swordsman. In 1853, he was in Edo as a disciple of Chiba Sadakichi, a master swordsman of the Hokushin Ittō-ryū style of fencing when Commodore Perry of the United States arrived with a fleet of ships to force Japan out of its centuries-old national isolation policy.

http://www.pfarrell.net/images/30-Shikoku--Kochi/16-Ryoma%20Sakamoto.jpg
(The Bronze Statue of Sakamoto Ryoma in Kochi Prefect.)

Ryōma was drawn to patriotic elements within the samurai-class who supported the Sonnō jōi (‘revere the Emperor and expel the barbarians’) political philosophy. He was recruited into an anti-Tokugawa, pro-Emperor party within the Tosa domain by Takechi Hanpeita, but was forced to flee into exile as a ronin when their plot to seize control of the domain was revealed.

By T.S. on Apr 21, 2010
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