Shimadzu Nariakira designed the Hinomaru, Japan's national flag

The Shuseikan was a facility combining physics and chemistry research laboratories and factories. The foremost purpose of the institution was to produce warships that could compete with those of western navies; the craftsmen of Kagoshima were encouraged to develop their skills while casting cannons with the reverberating furnaces and smelting furnaces which they made.
These cannons were installed on Japan's first western style warship, the "Shohei Maru". The Edo Shogunate had forbidden the daimyo to make cannons(warships), but Nariakira's efforts restarted cannon production. The "Shohei Maru" was presented to the shogunate, and on her the Hinomaru, the Japanese maritime flag, was flown for the first time.

Shohei Maru
This was a period of isolation for the country. Each clan had its own symbol, but there was no recognized national symbol. Nariakira realized the need for a symbol to allow differentiation between Japanese ships and foreign ones, and suggested to the shogunate that the Hinomaru be adopted for that purpose.
Nariakira was concerned more for the well-being of Japan as a whole than just for his own Satsuma clan.

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