The Great Kyoto Fire Project was a campaign plotted by Shishio Makoto and his underworld militia. This act of sabotage was his ultimate plan to usurp control of the nation of Japan from the newly formed Meiji Government.
Around 12:00am, in the city of Kyoto, soldiers of his ranks would start 500 simultaneous fires throughout the city. As Kyoto burned, the Juppongatana would take advantage of the chaos and assassinate higher ranking officials of the government. Based on the both the Ikedaya Affair, where a plan for the entire city of Kyoto was to be burnt down was halted, and aftermath of the Kinmon Incident where a large part of Kyoto was set on fire by Isshin Shishi forces, this plan would be both ironic repeats of history and a sly move for the bitter taste of defeat for the mutinous Meiji Government which turned on him.
Much to anyone's surprise though, the Kyoto Grand Fire had a much more diabolical and ironic twist. Not only centered on the events of the Isshin Shishi, another was the Bakumatsu battle of Osaka Castle, where Tokugawa Yoshinobu left the battle and returned with reinforcements from Edo, and it was from here Shishio's true goals shined; making way to the port city of Kobe, the burning of Kyoto would signal their unsheathing and maiden voyage of the iron plated battleship, the Purgatory, all to the true capitol city of Japan: Tokyo.
With only with one battleship and a legion of warriors at his command, Shishio's plan all had its true damage in psychological and demoralizing warfare. With Kyoto valued as Japan's greatest cultural center, with history and heritage stemming for over a millennium from which it had gained its namesake as the Imperial Millenium Castle, its burning and destruction would come to signal the newly formed government's incompetency to save its nation's most treasured city.
Although the city of Tokyo would not fall to a single battleship, the nation of Japan and all of its people feared the threat of foreign invasion and domination, a fear instilled into the hearts of many brought about from the actions of Commodore Matthew Perry and the dreaded black ships which rocked and devastated the town of Uraga, the night which ultimately ignited the fires and violence of the Bakumatsu, and the era which the world saw the horrors and evil of imperialism committed by many western nations. Attacking the capitol city of Japan with the battleship Purgatory, and with its people unaware, would strike discord and send a wave of societal collapse throughout the nation.
At the end of this plan, demoralized as its most treasured city burned to the ground, and the complete collapse of the incompetent government with its enemies and dissatisfied opposition to take advantage of this chaos, all while its people morally weakened and spiritually crippled, Shishio and his militia would have taken over the nation by ease.