Sakamoto Ryōma (1836–1867) is one of Japan’s most beloved historical figures. As a loyalist to the Emperor, he played an essential role in the overthrow of Japan’s feudal Edo period shogunate, paving the way towards the establishment of the modern Meiji government. Born in Tosa province (today’s Kochi prefecture), Ryōma, as he is popularly known, was assassinated 150 years ago in Kyoto, leaving behind numerous letters, documents, artworks, and historical objects, including recent discoveries. Ryōma’s letters reveal a free-spirited, unconventional approach to life and an affectionate relationship with his family. This exhibition examines the personality and vision of Japan’s most revered hero amidst the tumultuous history of the late Edo period (1615–1868).
Sign up to Apollo newsletters and special offers
In the news
The new Renzo Piano-designed Istanbul Modern is set to open in 2021, but will it signal a return to health for the country’s art scene?
The devastating fire at the Glasgow School of Art means that incredibly difficult decisions lie ahead