Saigo Takamori, the most powerful driving force behind the Meiji Restoration, was one of the great leaders in Japanese history. Saigo’s biographer Kaionji Chogoro wrote that he “was physiologically unable to bear” even being suspected of any sort of underhandedness. And as I wrote in Samurai Revolution, he had a deep-seated repugnance of “self-love,” which he described as “the primary immorality. It precludes one’s ability to train oneself, perform one’s tasks, correct one’s mistakes [and] . . . engenders arrogance and pride.” Would that a moralist of Saigo’s caliber emerge amid the abject corruption of America’s 2016 presidential election.
Part I of this series is here.
Read more about Saigo Takamori in Samurai Revolution.