chapter  8
Politics and the Samurai Class Structure in Satsuma, 1858–68
Pages 10

In Choshii, the strength of the anti-Bakufu party stemmed largely from the existence of irregular nlilitary units (shotaz), which were raised originally to defend the domain against anticipated Western attacks in 1863-64. Recruited in many cases from families on the fringes of the samurai class, or even outside it altogether, these units introduced a markedly radical, as well as turbulent, element into the domain's politics. 2 Tosa, too, was subject to pressures of this kind. Its rural samurai (goshz) and village headmen (shoya) played an active part in the loyalist movement, and provided the bulk of the Tosa ronin, who fled to join terrorist groups in Kyoto or the shotai in Choshii.3 In Tosa, however, the forces of moderation proved strong enough to resist the challenge. As a result, Goto Shojiro, with the backing of the former daimyo, Yamauchi Yodo, was able to offer himself as mediator between Edo and SatsumaChoshii.