Historical Events Today: 1869 -Surrender and dissolution of the Ezo Republic to Japan.
The Republic of Ezo was a short-lived state established by former Tokugawa retainers in what is now known as Hokkaidō, the large but sparsely populated northernmost island in modern Japan.
After the defeat of the forces of the Tokugawa Shogunate in the Boshin War (1869) of the Meiji Restoration, a part of the former Shogun’s navy led by Admiral Enomoto Takeaki fled to the northern island of Ezo (now known as Hokkaidō), together with several thousand soldiers and a handful of French military advisors and their leader, Jules Brunet. Enomoto made a last effort to petition the Imperial Court to be allowed to develop Hokkaidō and maintain the traditions of the samurai unmolested, but his request was denied.
On January 27, 1869, the independent “Republic of Ezo” was proclaimed, with a government organization based on that of the United States, with Enomoto elected as its first president (sosai). This was the first election ever held in Japan, where a feudal structure under an emperor with military warlords was the norm. Through Hakodate Magistrate Nagai Naoyuki, they tried to reach out to foreign legations present in Hakodate. The French and British extended conditional diplomatic recognition, but the Meiji government did not.
The Ezo Republic had its own flag, a chrysanthemum (symbol of Imperial rule) and a red star with seven points (symbol of the new Republic) on a blue background. The treasury included 180,000 gold ryō coins Enomoto retrieved from Osaka Castle following Shogun Tokugawa Yoshinobu’s precipitous departure after the Battle of Toba-Fushimi in early 1868.
Source: Wikipedia, read more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_of_Ezo