11 January 2005

The Japanese Republic of Ezo, 1868-69

The Republic of Ezo (蝦夷共和国 Ezo Kyowakoku) was a short-lived breakaway state of Japan on the island now known as Hokkaido.

After the defeat of the forces of the Tokugawa Shogunate in the Boshin War (1868–1869), a part of the Shogun's navy led by Admiral Enomoto Takeaki fled to the northern island of Ezo, together with several thousand soldiers and a handful of French military advisors and their leader, Jules Brunet.

On December 25, 1868, they set up an independent Ezo Republic on the American model, and elected Enomoto as its president. These were the first elections ever held in Japan. They tried, in vain, to obtain international recognition for the new republic.
SOURCE: Wikipedia, 25 December 2004 (via my librarian brother Ken).

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