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Ansei Purge

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  • Date: 1858/9/5-1859
  • Japanese: 安政の大獄 (ansei no taigoku)

The Ansei Purge was a process in which Tairô Ii Naosuke and his allies purged from their positions more than 100 shogunal officials, Imperial courtiers, and daimyô opposed to his faction.

This came in the wake of the signing of the Harris Treaty, a deeply unpopular move among many prominent figures in the realm. While the Purge helped Naosuke consolidate power in the hands of his supporters, it also contributed significantly to the anger of his opponents, leading eventually to his assassination in 1860 in the Sakuradamongai Incident.

Figures who fell victim to the purge included Hotta Masayoshi and Matsudaira Tadataka, who were forced to step down as rôjû; Yamauchi Toyoshige (Yôdô), who was forced to abdicate his position as lord of Tosa han; and Tokugawa Yoshinobu, Tokugawa Yoshikatsu, Tokugawa Nariaki, and Matsudaira Shungaku, who were confined to their homes, among many others.

References

  • Marco Tinello, "The termination of the Ryukyuan embassies to Edo : an investigation of the bakumatsu period through the lens of a tripartite power relationship and its world," PhD thesis, Università Ca' Foscari Venezia (2014), 271n430, 273-274.
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