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The Story of the Satsuma Students



In 1865, nineteen Japanese students set off by ship from the Satsuma Domain (present day Kagoshima Prefecture) to the UK, with the brief to learn about western society and technologies. This development was an important factor in the lead up to the Meiji Restoration, and as a result Japan was the first country in Asia to modernise on a western model.

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The brightest students at this institution were sent to the UK to study abroad. These students arrived in London, where they attended lectures on subjects including western civilisation, economics, history and politics at University College London.


2015 marks the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the Satsuma students in London. When they returned to Japan, many of them became important actors in the Meiji Restoration.

Shoji Yoshimitsu, a historian based in Kagoshima, gave  a talk on this fascinating episode of Japan’s history gave a talk The Story of the Satsuma Students at Daiwa Foundation, London, 5 October 2015.

Over 70 people attended the event

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In association with: Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, Japan Sake and Shochu  Makers Association, Sake Samurai and Satsuma 150


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