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Family Hajime was born into the house of a Shogunal retainer.
Father: Yuusuke a low ranking ashigaru (foot soldier) of the Akashi han in Harima. There is talk that he was a low level member of the shogunate's information gathering network.
Mother: Masu a farmer from Kawagoe
Brother: Hiroaki(his name can be read Kimiaki) born in 1836 who later became a math teacher at the Honma estate and held numerous jobs in the Ministry of Finance, tax office, counselor of Higashishirakawa-gun in Fukushima, counselor and registrar at Fukushima Local Court. He retired in 1898. He was married to a woman named Sei.
Niece: Yamaguchi Yuki (Yukiko) was the daughter of Hiroaki and Sei. She later attended and graduated from Tokyo Women's Normal School (present day Ochanomizu). Yuki taught music and embroidery. This was the same school where Takagi Tokio, and later Goro was employed. Yuki's early death ended the Yamaguchi family line. Visit the Takagi Tokio Page to learn more.
Sister: O-Katsu (Hisa) married Soma Yoshiaki, chief physician of the Mito Tokugawa clan.
Hajime’s father, entrusting family affairs to his younger sister, went to serve in Edo, earning a small sum and buying stocks for the family with it as well as the rank of samurai. The purchasing of the samurai rank was a common practice in that era.
Yamaguchi Family Grave: During the Meiji Era, Fujita Goro visited his family's
grave which is located somewhere in Fukushima Prefecture. This detail is from Takagi Morinosuke's daughter who said Uncle Fujita would stay at their home. Morinosuke was Takagi Tokio's younger brother.
Education: Generally education during this time, used the temple school system which emphasized Confucian studies. However, it was not uncommon for some scholars at small dojos to also provide rudimentary education. The dojo was the second family to most youths.
Life as Yamaguchi Hajime
In Ansei 5 (1858), Yamaguchi Hajime had his genpuku (coming of age ceremony). After this, he studied Itto-ryu swordsmanship in the dojo at the Aizu clan’s
Edo mansion (despite the many branches of Itto-ryu, Aizu retainers studied Mizoguchi -ha Itto ryu). This kindness of the Aizu clan was brought about by Hajime’s father’s service in Edo (comment from Hirotada Tokugawa: kindness of teaching Itto-ryu to an incredibly low-ranking samurai’s son, I suppose).
At 19, he mistakenly killed a man at Koishikawa at Sekiguchi. There is a large region of Koishikawa in Edo. If this "Koishikawa" is the same location then during the Meiji Era, Fujita Goro lived near the location of the killing. Due to this crime he was forced to flee from Edo to Kyoto.
In Kyoto, he became an assistant instructor (Shihan dai) in Yoshida’s Taishi Ryu dojo (probably Yoshida Katsumi of the Shotoku Taishi Ryu). Hajime was able to get this job after submitting the letter written by his father to Yoshida. "Hajime was good at swordplay and sometimes taught it to students instead of the teacher, Yoshida." (translated from http://hajime3.hp.infoseek.co.jp/index.html). Yuusuke, Hajime's father "took care of" Yoshida in the past or provided some sort of assistance.
Mystery – Was Saitoo Hajime at Shieekan?
When Shinsengumi was formed, the people who were called “Kondoo family” were such as Kondoo Isamu, Hijikata Toshizoo, Okita Sooshi, Inoue Genzaburoo, Yamanami Keesuke, Toodoo Heesuke, Nagakura Shinpachi, and Harada Sanosuke, and they were all concerned with Shieekan.
They played an important role from the beginning of the Shinsengumi’s formation.
However, the connection of one officer to the Shieekan is questionable. This is Saitoo Hajime.
Prof. Akama Wako wrote the followings in “Shinsengumi sub-captain Saitoo Hajime.” According to “The history of Fujita family,” since Saitoo Hajime killed Hatamoto with some reasons, depending on acquaintances, he escaped for Kyoto. He worked there as a teacher of swordplay. He knew that Kondoo was forming Shinsengumi there, and he had contact with his to join it.
As long as referring this description, there seems to have no connection between Saitoo Hajime and Shieekan.
However, some resources indicate that Saitoo Hajime had some connections with Shieekan.
First, Kojima Tamemasa, who was a supporter of Shinsengumi and whom Kondoo Isamu respected for, wrote a book, (1) “Ryooyuushiden” in 1873 (Meiji 6). It says:
“Kondoo Isamu, (omission) promising with his friend, Tsuchikata Yoshitoyo, went to Kyoto with his followers, Okita Husayoshi, (omission) Yamanami Tomonobu, (omission) Inoue Kazushige, (omission) Nagakura Shinpachi, and Saitoo Hajime.”
According to this, Kondoo Isamu applied for the recruitment of Rooshigumi in Edo in 1863 (Bunkyuu 3), and he went to Kyoto with Hijikata Toshizoo, Okita Sooshi, Yamanami Keesuke, Inoue Genzaburoo, Nagakura Shinpachi, and Saitoo Hajime.
The author of this book, Kojima Tamemasa was a senior student for Kondoo Isamu at Shieekan. When Kondoo Isamu inherited teacher’s position from his foster father, Syuusuke, and while he taught swordplay to his follower at Shieekan, Kojima Tamemasa taught Kanji there. It means that he knew well about the people in Shieekan.
Kojima Tamemasa put Saitoo’s name in his book though he did not put other famous people, such as Harada Tamemasa or Toodoo Heesuke. This suggests that although the list of Rooshigumi did not put Saitoo Hajime’s name, Kojima believed that Saitoo Hajime was one of the important people in Shieekan.
Moreover, this “Ryooyuushiden” was written in 1873 (Meiji 6), which is close to the actual event. This record must be reliable, and it is possible that
Saitoo Hajime had a strong connection with Shieekan.
Next, I will examine “Rooshi Bunkyuu Hookoku Kiji,” which was written by Nagakura Shinpachi around 1876 (Meiji 9) who was one of main members of Shinsengumi, the captain of the second group, and lived till 1915 (Taisyoo 4).
It says, “At that time, Kondoo Isamu opened his ashram at Yanagimachi, Kagayashiki at Ichigaya, and taught his students swordplay. After the practice, he always discussed politics with his followers. His followers are: including Kondoo Isamu, Yamanami Keesuke, Hijikata Toshizoo, Okita Sooshi, Nagakura Shinpachi, Satoo Hikogoroo, Otsuki Ginzoo, Saitoo Hajime, Toodoo Heesuke, Inoue Genzaburoo, Satoo Fusajiroo, Nakamura Takichi, Okita Rintaroo, and so on.”
According to this, Kondoo Isamu who lived at Yanagimachi Kagayashiki Ichigaya opened his ashram and practiced swordplay everyday. After this practice, he discussed national affairs and worried about the future with his followers. The followers who participated in this discussion were Yamanami Keesuke, Hijikata Toshizoo, Okita Sooshi, Nagakura Shinpachi, Satoo Hikogoroo, Otsuki Ginzoo, Saitoo Hajime, Toodoo Heesuke, Inoue Genzaburoo, Satoo Fusajiroo, Nakamura Takichi (Taroo), and Okita Rintaroo.
Nagakura Shinpachi who was the main member of Shieekan admitted Saitoo Hajime as one of the main members of Shieekan.
Next, I will examine (2) “Kikigaki Shinsengumi” by Satoo (3) Akira, which was based on “Ri-in Shiwa” by Satoo Hitoshi who was father of Satoo Akira. Satoo Hitoshi was a grandchild of Satoo Hikogoroo who was a supporter of Shinsengumi, studied Tennen Rishinryuu with Kondoo Isamu under Kondoo Syuusuke, and was a landowner of Hinosyuku.
According to this, Saitoo Hajime changed his name to Yamaguchi Goroo in his late years, and worked at the Teacher’s College in Ochanomizu as a teacher of Kendoo. Saitoo Hajime talked about Kotetsu when he met uncle, Honda Taian in Taniyasu village and Kobayashi Sensyuu in Asakawa town, and when Satoo Toshinobu visited him. (4) Saitoo Hajime said, “when I learned
swordplay at Kondoo’s ashram at Yanagimachi, Kohinata, Koishikawa, I presented to my teacher with a sword that I bought at a secondhand store in Yotsuya because he seemed to love the sword very much. Even though the sword is nameless, he thought it was similar to Kotetsu, and he treasured it.”
If Saitoo Hajime truly talked this, he must have had a strong connection with Shieekan.
Furthermore, Abe Takaaki talked in (5) “Shidankai Sokkiroku.”
“Okita Sooshi was the first follower of Kondoo Isamu, and he served for him well. The next one was Saitoo Hajime, and the third one, who belonged to a different group, was Nagakura Shinpachi.”
It means that Saitoo Hajime’s style of swordplay was Tennen Rishin Ryuu as same as Okita Sooshi’s was.
It also suggests that he had a strong connection with Shieekan, and he was one of the followers who studied Tennen Rishin Ryuu.
Considering all these descriptions, the time he joined Mibu Rooshi gumi, and the background information, overall we can conclude that Saitoo Hajime had a strong connection with Shieekan.
(1) The literal translation of this title is “the record of two heroes.”
(2) The record of dictation about Shinsengumi.
(3) I am not sure how to read his name in Kanji. It might be Akira…
(4) This is the exactly same as Fujita Goroo (Telling 2) I translated before.
(4) The literal translation of this title is “the record of historical talk.”
Mystery – Was It Saitoo Hajime Who Killed Takeda Kanryuusai?
It is said that Takeda Kanryuusai was killed because he was detected to be a spy of Satsuma clan. It is also said that Saitoo Hajime killed him. Is it true?
Generally accepted opinion is that Takeda Kanryuusai was assassinated on June 22, 1867 (Keioo 3). Before this assassination, Shinsengumi held farewell party for him, and they invited Saitoo Hajime and Shinohara Yasunoshin to the party, who left Shinsengumi to be a guard of Emperor’s house. Since Kondoo Isamu ordered these two persons secretly to assassinate Takeda Kanryuusai at the party, they killed him.
Here, there is a question.
Why did Kondoo captain and Hijikata sub-captain order Saitoo Hajime who had left Shinsengumi to assassinate him? This selection of assassin is certainly true if we consider Saitoo Hajime’s trustful character and his skill of swordplay. However, considering the politics in Shinsengumi, it is difficult to think of this selection. There must have been other people who were trustful and had a good skill of swordplay. I wonder why Shinsengumi dared to give this order to the persons who had left Shinsengumi. The other question is that Shinohara Yasunoshin was chosen to support Saitoo Hajime. Shinohara Yasunoshin was the person who Itoo Kinoenetaroo (Kooshitaroo) strongly trusted, and they were close friends. If Shinohara Yasunoshin received this order of assassination, did Itoo Kinoenetaroo (Kooshitaroo) let him go? Since Itoo Kinoenetaroo (Kooshitaroo) always opposed that the member of Shinsengumi assassinated the other member, it is difficult to believe the fact that he let his friend join this assassination.
With these questions, I personally think that Saitoo Hajime did not kill him.
Then, who assassinated Takeda Kanryuusai? It might be other Shinsengumi members who received the order from Kondoo captain and Hijikata subcaptain, but there is no enough evidence, so I cannot affirm this.
Although it is not clear if this fact is true or not, I continue the survey and want to wait for the new resources for this fact.
Mystery – Did Saitoo Hajme Participate in the War of (1) Aburakooji
The trigger of the War of Aburakooji was that Shinsengumi assassinated Itoo Kinoenetaroo (Kooshitaroo), and using his dead body as decoy, they attempted to sweep away all members of Itoo group. Did Saitoo Hajime participate in the War of Aburakooji?
It is said that Nagakura Shinpachi told in his late years that Saitoo Hajime had killed Hattori Takeo at the War of Aburakooji. There is no wonder if Saitoo Hajime killed Hattori Takeo because he had such a great skill of swordplay, and if Kondoo ordered him to participate in the war as a precious military strength. Moreover, Kondoo sent a letter to Miura Yasutaroo in (2) Kisyuu. It said, “Dear Mr. Miura Yasutaroo, while it is getting colder, how have you been? I would like to thank you for taking care of Yamaguchi Jiroo (Saitoo Hajime), when he hid at your place. Now I have some business with him and I borrowed him without your permission. I am sorry for not asking you at all, but I will visit you soon to apologize and thank you. I will tell you details then, but not I am planning in order to sweep away the riot in (3) Kantoo area. You will hear about this by the beginning of the next month. Although you may hear of misleading news, but please not bend your ear to those. Sorry for disturbing you with my bad writing because I hurried writing to you. Sincerely, November 18th, Kondoo Isamu.” This letter includes Kondoo’s gratitude to Miura that he helped Yamaguchi hide at his place as well as his apology that Kondoo borrowed Yamaguchi without Miura’s permission. The date, November 18th was exactly the same day of the War of Aburakooji started. If the content of the letter was true, it is possible that Kondoo let Saitoo return to Shinsengumi in order to have him join the war.
However, Nagakura Shinpachi wrote in his book that Harada Sanosuke killed Hattori Takeo. Moreover, there is no information or evidence in various resources that Saitoo Hajime participated in the War of Aburakooji.
With all the information, we still have no idea whether it is true or not.
However, I personally believe that Saitoo Hajime might participate in the war because of his skill of swordplay (though I am completely not sure whether Saitoo Hajime killed Hattori Takeo or not.)
Although there is no enough information, I will continue my survey, and I hope that new resources can be found soon.
(1) The name of street that the war occurred.
(2) Today’s Wakayama prefecture.
(3) Today’s Kantoo (Tokyo area).
Mystery – What Was The Information of Saitoo Hajime after (1) Kooyoo Chinbu Tai Lost at Katsunuma?
Since Edo Bakuhu ordered Shinsengumi to suppress (2) Kooshuu on February 28th, 1868 (Keioo 4), Shinsengumi changed its name as Kooyoo Chinbu Tai and sent troops.
Saitoo Hajime participated in the war, and commanded one troop. He held the field at Kannonzaka between Tsuruse and Katsunuma. Although his troop fought bravely, support arms did not arrive, and he had to withdraw his troop.
Kondoo Isamu returned to Edo on March 11th to resurge Shinsengumi. He first sent injured soldiers and one troop to take care of them to Aizu on March 12th. He collected the rest of soldiers at Goheeshinden and started to recruit new members on March 13th. Kondoo Isamu arrived at Goheeshinden on March 14th, and Hijikata Toshizoo also arrived there on March 15th. By recruiting more soldiers, the number of the troop became 227 people, and Shinsengumi was finally resurged. Shinsengumi changed the main field from Goheeshinden to Nagareyama in (3) Shimoosa, and started western training for the preparation for the fight in Aizu on April 1st. However, the new Meiji Government found their movement, and attacked them. Due to the sudden attack of the main field, Kondoo Isamu surrendered to the new Meiji Government.
Because of this defeat, the rest of Shinsengui departed to Aizu with disarming on April 4th.
The main troop arrived in Aizu on April 28th.
Instead of Hijikata Toshizoo who was injured and left the troop, Saitoo Hajime was commanded to be the captain of Shinsengumi on (4) April 5th, leap day.
There is no information of Saitoo Hajime between the defeat of Kooyoo Chinbu Tai at Kannonzaka and the assumption of the captain.
When did Saitoo Hajime leave for Aizu?
There are two possibilities.
One is that he leaded about 30 people who consisted of injured soldiers and one troop, and left for Aizu on March 12th.
The other possibility is that he leaded the troop who disarmed and left Nagareyama for Aizu on April 4th.
According to “(5) Rooshi Bunkyuu Hookoku Kiji,” it says “Saitoo Hajime went to Aizu with taking care of injured and sick soldiers.”
If the article is true, Saitoo Hajime leaded about 30 people who consisted of injured soldiers and one troop to take care of them, and who left for Aizu on March 12th.
However, there is a following paragraph in (6) “Kikigaki Shinsengumi Hiwa” by Saitoo Saburoo. When Shinsengumi stayed at Goheeshinden, they were divided into small groups and hid in various places. The Kaneko family was one of the families who offered houses for Shinsengumi. A daughter, Kaneko Sugine said:
“The samurai was a very tall guy, and his height might be (7) 165 or 168 centimeter. He had beard all over his face, and he looked very strong. However, contrary to his appearance, he had a sweet and beautiful voice. Moreover, he looked very nice. His age might be 35 or 36, and his name is Yamaguchi something…”
Kaneko Sugine talked about three members who stayed her house, and she testified that one of their names might be Yamaguchi.
It is possible that this samurai was Yamaguchi Jiroo (Saitoo Hajime) because this man was tall, looked strong, and called himself Yamaguchi.
However, the age of 35 or 36 is different from his actual age in about 10 years.
If this man was Saitoo Hajime, it means that he was at Goheeshinden, and after moving to Nagareyama, he led the disarmed soldiers to Aizu.
Comparing these two resources, “Rooshi Bunkyuu Hookoku Kiji” more clearly indicated Saitoo Hajime. Therefore, the possibility that he led the injured soldiers to Aizu seems to be higher.
However, there is a problematic sentence in “History of Fujita Family.” It says:
“After the Sinsengumi’s defeat at Koohu (Koosyuu), Saitoo Hajime led the new soldiers and arrived in Aizu. There, they cooperated with the troop in Aizu.”
The whole story after his defeat at Katunuma was unclear, but this sentence suggests that he led the new soldiers and went to Aizu.
However, what does the new soldiers indicate?
When Shinsengumi lost at Katsunuma and returned to Edo, the number of the members was only 60 or 70 people.
Later, due to the recruitment of new soldiers, the number of soldiers finally became 227 at Goheeshinden.
In short, Shinsengumi collected new soldiers at that time for their resurgence.
I guess that “the new soldiers” in the sentence mean the new soldiers who joined Shinsengumi at that time.
They could not leave for Aizu with the injured soldiers because they needed training.
Then, the new soldiers stayed at Goheeshinden, and moved to Nagareyama. After the defeat, they disarmed and moved to Aizu. If Saitoo Hajime led these soldiers, he also stayed at Goheeshinden and Nagareyama.
Considering the situation of Shinsengumi at that time, it is difficult to conclude that Saitoo led about 30 people who consisted of the injured soldiers and one group to take care of them. He was an executive next to Kondoo Isamu and Hijikata Toshizoo. The only sub-class captains left at that time were only Saitoo Hajime and Ogata Syuntaroo.
These theories are my personal guesses form the passage of “the new soldiers.”
But, I believe that it is possible that after the defeat at Katsunuma, Saitoo Hajime went to Goheeshinden and moved to Nagareyama. Due to Kondoo’s surrender to the Meiji New Government army, instead of Hijikata Toshizoo who was busy to rescue Kondoo, Saitoo Hajime might lead disarmed Shinsengumi and go to Aizu.
(1) Another name of Shinsengumi
(2) Today’s Yamanashi prefecture
(3) Today’s Chiba prefecture
(4) This year was leap year. Because of the Japanese old calendar which has 13 months in leap year, it seems that there were two April in 1868.
(5) Rooshi (samural) Bunkyuu (the name of an era) Report Article
(6) A dictation about Shinsengumi secret stories
(7) It said 5 syaku and 5 or 6 sun. I think this is about 165 or 168 centimeter. This is not tall at all, but maybe, this time, the average might be about 160, so it might be true.
Mystery – Did Saitoo Hajime Kill Tani Sanjuuroo
The captain of Shinsengumi 7th group, Tani Sanjuuroo suddenly died at (1) Gion Ishidanshita on April 1st, 1868. According to one theory, Saitoo Hajime,
who secretly received an order from Kondoo Isamu, killed him. Is it true that Saitoo Hajime killed Tani Sanjuuroo?
According to Shibozawa Hiroshi’s “The Story of Shinsengumi,” Tani Sanjuuroo helped Tanaichi do (2) hara-kiri, who was a member of Shinsengumi and he was blamed for “non-preparation as a Samurai.” However, Tani behaved shamefully this time. He failed to cut his head because he could not cut the vital part. He was embarrassed and repeated his failure many times. Finally, Saitoo Hajime, who was there to watch them, could not wait and helped him. After this event, Tani lost his reputation in Shinsengumi, and he was killed one month later. It was a story of Tani’s downfall in “The Story of Shindengumi.” The story from Shinohara Yasunoshin was added to this episode. He told that the fatal injury of Tani’s death seemed to be caused by a left-handed swordsman and it might be Saito Hajime who was secretly ordered to kill him by Kondoo.
However, there is a question.
Tanaichi did hara-kiri on January 10th, 1867, and it was after 9 months later of Tani Sanjuuroo’s death. Therefore, it is impossible for him to help the hara-kiri.
Furthermore, Tani had a great skill of swordplay. Even if it was not Tanaichi who did hara-kiri, it is difficult to imagine that Tani failed his first swing and behaved shamefully when he helped hara-kiri. Tani’s father was a teacher of swordplay of (3) Tyokushinryuu at (4) Biccyuu Matsuyama. Tani was also an instructor of Tyokushinryuu, and experienced many fights such as in the Ikedaya affair or Zenzaiya affair. These facts suggest that he was a wellskilled swordsman.
Therefore, this episode that includes his help of hara-kiri and his downfall might be Shibozawa Hiroshi’s creation. He got this inspiration from the passage in Nishimura Kanehumi’s “Shinsengumi Shimatsuki.” This passage was about Tani Sanjuuroo’s death, and said, “His death might have the reason.”
Then, what caused Tani Sanjiiroo’s death? Although the truth is ambiguous still now, one of strong possibilities is that he was died by a stroke. However, Shinohara Yasunoshin’s testimony in “The Story of Shinsengumi” was based on his actual observation of Tani’s fatal injury. According to this testimony, someone killed him. In this story, Shinohara said, “a trivial samurai could kill him if he was drunk.” In short, Shinohara was confident that someone killed Tani. Hence, we cannot deny the possibility that someone killed Tani. However, this whole story in “The Story of Shinsengumi” might be someone’s creation. Everything is not trustful.
Moreover, if Kondoo Isamu ordered someone to kill him, it is strange that his younger brothers, Syuuhee and Mantaroo could stay in Shinsengumi more than 1 year after that. If their older brother was killed, they would not stay in such a dangerous group.
With all information, I personally believe that the reason of Tani’s death was disease. Even if he was killed, Saitoo Hajime must not be involved.
Although there is no enough information, I will continue this survey to find the truth.
(1) Place’s name in Kyoto
(2) At hara-kiri, there is always one person who has a role to cut the person’s head to prevent from his suffering until his death.
(3) The style of swordplay
(4) It was located in today’s Okayama prefecture.
Mystery – How Was The Community of People Who Were Shinsengumi?
After the Meiji era started, the former Shinsengumi members seem to have communicated each other in various ways.
Although Saitoo Hajime did not talk a lot about events while he was in Shinsengumi, did he communicate with other former members?
There were some certain people he communicated with.
First, it was Nagakura Shinpachi who had been a captain of the second group.
At the beginning of the Meiji era, Nagakura Shinpachi made every effort to erect the memorial monument for Kongoo Isamu and Hijikata Toshizoo at (1) Itabashi with Matsumoto (2) Ryoojun. The name of Saitoo Hajime is written on the back of the memorial monument.
It says: A promoter: Matsumoto Ryoojun, Nakakura (Nagakura), and Saitoo.
It means that Saitoo was also concerned with erecting this monument.
In short, Saitoo, at least, kept company with Nagakura Shinpachi in the Meiji era.
The next one is the communication with Kondoo Hoosuke.
It is not clear if Saitoo Hajime actually met Kondoo Hosuke in the Meiji era.
However, according to the letter which Kondoo Hoosuke wrote to Takahashi Masatsugu in 1906 (Meiji 39), it seems that he exchanged letters with Saitoo.
Furthermore, according to the story of Hieda Toshiya written by Shibozawa Hiroshi, Saitoo Hajime communicated with Ikeda Shichisaburoo, and he talked to him about the actual fight at the Tenmaya Affair. This story is very famous.
Last, Torii Kason interviewed Shimada Kai about Saitoo Hajime in 1890 (Meiji 23). Torii answered with Saitoo’s address: “Saitoo lives at Yanagihara-machi 3 in Tokyo.”
All these stories seem to be more trustful than other historical records or books.
Personally I believe that Saitoo Hajime often communicated with other members.
Through the communication with Shimada Kai, Saitoo might be meet Nakajima Nobori. He might meet other members through Nagakura Shinpachi and Kondoo Hoosuke.
I am still not sure about this fact, but I think he kept company with other former Shinsengumi members who survived in the Meiji era.
(1) Place’s name in Tokyo
(2) I am not sure how to read his name in Kanji characters.
Mystery – Was Saitoo Hajime Left-handed?
In most stories that talked about Shinsengumi, Saitoo Hajime always holds his sword with his left hand.
These scenes are very common for everybody who is interested in Shinsengumi.
Namely, many people believe that Saitoo Hajime was left-handed.
However, is it true that Saitoo Hajime was left-handed?
From the beginning, where did this story come from?
The description that Saitoo Hajime was left-handed, and he was good at a trust from left side first appeared in “The Story of Shinsengumi” by Shibosawa Hiroshi. This episode was about when someone killed Tani Sanjuuroo. It says:
“It was one month after his failure of helping hara-kiri, early night, in April 1st, 1866 that someone killed Tani Sanjuuroo at Gion-ishidanshita. Having received an urgent report from patrol soldiers, Shinohara and Saitoo went out for investigation. Tani was thrust into from his chest to his back with one cut, and died clinging to the wall of the small restaurant. He took a half-sitting posture with a straight back showing his teeth. His hand hardly reached to his sword at all. With laughing, Saitoo said, ‘Mr. Shinohara, (1) this great teacher of spear received such a great thrust.’ Shinohara also laughed and said, ‘this thrust was from the left side. The suspect must be a left-handed as you are, ha, ha, ha.’ Saitoo said, ‘please do not say as if it was me.’ With laughing, both put the dead body into a basket palanquin and left there.”
This description shows that Saitoo Hajime was left-handed and good at a thrust from left side.
However, there is no description that Saitoo Hajime was left-handed except for this.
Also, this episode itself deferred from many truths; hence, it must include creation, and it is not trustful.
If this episode was true, is it possible to know which handed the suspect was only by watching the injury?
As far as I know, a swordsman who is either right-handed or left-handed, he has to put his right hand on the guard of a sword.
If a left-handed man tries to put his left hand on the guard of a sword, he must carry his scabbard on his right waist.
Otherwise, he cannot leap his sword from its scabbard.
However, as a samurai’s rule, it is never allowed.
It is determined that he must carry his scabbard on his left waist.
When we were child, we were taught to use our right hands even if we were left-handed in writing or eating.
We keep his custom still now. Needless to say, it is clear that these customs were much more strongly observed even in confusion at the end of the Edo shogunate than now. Also, we can imagine that samurai must have been more observant of samurai’s rules or customs.
Thus, I think the whole story that Saitoo Hajime was left-handed was created from the episode of Tani Sanjuuroo’s mysterious death in “The Story of Shinsengumi.”
Therefore, without other trustful resources, we should not conclude that Saitoo Hajime was left-handed.
(1) This comment is very ironic. He made fun of him because he died with a thrust although a teacher of spear should be good at a thrust.
Mystery – Did Saitoo Hajime Kill (1) Hatamoto?
“The history of Fujita family” says:
“When Yamaguchi Hajime was 19 years old, he killed a samurai of Hatamoto at Koishikawa Sekiguchi. Therefore, he escaped to Kyoto with a recommendation letter of his father and stayed at Yoshida’s house. Yoshida had been taken care by Hajime’s father, Yuusuke, and he had an ashram in Kyoto.”
I like to examine this description.
First, we have to consider whether this event actually happened or not.
Only resource that talked about this event is “The history of Fujita family.”
It is difficult to judge its reliability because this is the only one resource, but murder is not small event even for Shinsengumi, Saitoo Hajime.
Much more, he was in his teens and even before being a member of Shinsengumi.
If it was true, such a big event must strongly leave in his memory.
“The history of Fujita family” supports its reliability.
Although the whole story was ambiguous, only two parts, the Aizu War and the murder of Hatamoto, were clearly described.
This dictation was written by Midori, wife of Hajime’s son, Tsutomu. Saitoo Hajime told this story to Tsutomu in his last year, and Tsutomu told to Midori in his late years.
In short, although Midori wrote down what Tsutomu told her, Saitoo Hajime originally told this story to Tsutomu.
Therefore, “The history of Fujita Family” is based on Saitoo Hajime’s memory.
If Saitoo Hajime clearly remembered this even in his last year that he killed Hatamoto and he was 19 years old at that time, it is possible that he really killed Hatamoto.
Now, if Saitoo killed Hatamoto, was he pursued as a criminal?
According to “The history of Fujita family,” after having killed Hatamoto, Saitoo hid at an ashram of Yoshida who was a friend of his father in Kyoto.
After this, there was no information about Saitoo till he entered Shinsengumi (Mibu Rooshigumi) in Kyoto. He seemed to stay at the ashram and work there as a teacher of swordplay.
However, according to “Rooshi Bunkyuu Hookoku Kiji,” Saitoo Hajime applied for recruitment of Rooshigumi in February in 1863 (Bunkyuu 3) with other Samurai in (2) Shieekan.
In short, he should be in Edo around January in 1863 (Bunkyuu 3) and practicing at Shieekan in Edo.
With these two resources, there are three possibilities.
One is that after murdering Hatamoto, Saitoo Hajime escaped for Kyoto because he was pursued as a criminal, and he hid at Yoshida’s ashram.
The second is that after murdering Hatamoto, once he went to Kyoto to hide himself, but since he found that he was not pursued as a criminal, he went back to Edo.
The third possibility is that he murdered Hatamoto in December in 1862 (Bunkyuu 2). He had intended to apply for the recruitment of Rooshigumi, but he was afraid to be caught as a criminal and left for Kyoto. Then, Saitoo joined Kondoo and other members who came to Kyoto 5 or 6 months after this.
One question here is whether Saitoo Hajime was pursued as a criminal or not.
If we account the “Rooshi Bunkyuu Hokoku Koji” trustful, he returned to Edo around January in 1863 (Bunkyoo 3) after the murder of Hatamoto.
The fact that he returned to Edo in less than one year indicates that after the murder, he was not pursued as a criminal.
Without other resources such as the record of the court or a note, it is unnatural that he was pursued as a criminal. Moreover, he returned to Edo in less than one year and he returned to Edo again to recruit new members in 1865 (Keioo 1). Thus, he returned to Edo twice soon after the murder of Hatamoto.
Therefore, we can deny the first possibility because he might not be pursued as a criminal.
The difference between the second possibility and the third possibility is whether he returned to Edo or he stayed in Kyoto till he entered Shinsengumi (Mibu Rooshigumi).
Personally I feel that the second possibility is unnatural and too busy. If it is true, it means that he escaped for Kyoto after the murder of Hatamoto and retuned to Edo because he found he was not pursued as a criminal. Then, he applied for Shinsengumi in Edo, and once separating from Shinsengumi, he went to Kyoto earlier than other members.
More than this possibility, it seems to be natural that he could not apply for Shinsengumi because he murdered Hatamoto, and he left for Kyoto promising with Kondoo that he would join him in Kyoto later.
With these ideas, my personally opinion is that Saitoo Hajime intended to apply for Rooshigumi with other members in Shieekan, but because he
murdered Hatamoto with some reasons, he escaped for Kyoto changing his identity.
However, the criminal of the murder was not found; therefore, he was not pursued as a criminal.
(1) The name of samurai rank. It usually indicates samurai who serve directly for the Edo shogunage. They were different from samurai who served for a clan such as Satsuma or Choosyuu.
(2) The name of Kondoo Isamu’s ashram.
At 19, he mistakenly killed a man at Koishikawa at Sekiguchi. There is a large region of Koishikawa in Edo. If this "Koishikawa" is the same location then during the Meiji Era, Fujita Goro lived near the location of the killing. Due to this crime he was forced to flee from Edo to Kyoto.
In Kyoto, he became an assistant instructor (Shihan dai) in Yoshida’s Taishi Ryu dojo (probably Yoshida Katsumi of the Shotoku Taishi Ryu). Hajime was able to get this job after submitting the letter written by his father to Yoshida. "Hajime was good at swordplay and sometimes taught it to students instead of the teacher, Yoshida." (translated from http://hajime3.hp.infoseek.co.jp/index.html). Yuusuke, Hajime's father "took care of" Yoshida in the past or provided some sort of assistance.
He may have started to use the lastname "Saitou" soon afterwards.
It is not known to whom or when Saitou uttered these words, but they are connected to education and its importance to samurai (this seems to be Saitou remembering his youth). From the context of the quote, Saitou was referring to the time when he was part of the Roshigumi (Roushitai):
“Saitou, you are good at swordplay, but you cannot be in the same way in learning. Even samurai sword, the soul of samurai, has a set of a long sword and a short sword, isn’t it? Furthermore, we have to learn not only Chinese letters but also European languages in future. At least, we should be able to write down our own names,” (the speaker is unknown) http://hajime3.hp.infoseek.co.jp/deta/katari.html
After this, in Bunkyu 3 (1863), he met up with his old friend Kondou (Isami), who had just arrived in Kyoto with the Roushitai. Before long, Saitou had entered the Mibu Roushigumi which became the Shinsengumi.
"...the group [Roushigumi] divided, the great majority, whose tribulations we note later, returning to Edo with [Kiyokawa Hachiro], where they were entitled the Shinchogumi. Those few who stayed in Kyoto, including Kondo, were assigned to patrol duty under Katamori and became known, in fame or notoriety as the Shinsengumi." (Totman 49)
There is evidence based on the words of Yagi Tamesaburo (son of the Yagi Family) to suggest that Saitou was more familiar with the Shieikan group because he was physically close to them.
"The people who stayed my house were 13 people: Serizawa Kamo, Kondou Isamu (Isami), Yamanami Keisuke, Hijikata Toshizo, Nagakura, Shinpachi, Okita Soshi (Souji), Noguchi Kenji, Harada Sanosuke, Inoue Gensaburo (Genzaburo), Todou Heisuke, Hirama Shigesuke, Hirayama Goroo, and Saeki Matasaburoo. I heard that Niimi Nishiki, Kasuya Shingoroo, and Saitoo Hajime, who stayed Nanbu Kamejiroo’s house, always stayed and slept at my house. I remember these 13 people and Saitou Hajime..." http://hajime3.hp.infoseek.co.jp/deta/katari.html
He also participated in a martial arts demonstration "Gozen Shiai" ("Lord's Matches") in 1863 before Matsudaira Katamori daimyo of Aizu alongside Hijikata, Toudou, and Okita. Saitou fought against Nagakura. It’s said that in swordsmanship, he was one of the strongest of the Shinsengumi, on par with Okita himself.
Yagi Tamesaburo: have never seen that (Yamazaki Susumu) use a stick (bokken), but he was good at Nagamaki (naginata with short handle). I have seen that he rampaged with this Nagamaki. Saitou Hajime, who was a masterless samurai from Bansyuu Akashi, often confronted Yamazaki. Kondou also liked Saitoo Hajime. I don’t know his style of swordplay, but he was very good at it. He was one of the five greatest swordsmen in Shinsengumi." http://hajime3.hp.infoseek.co.jp/deta/katari.html
Spy? A very mysterious fellow and there is a strong theory that he was a spy for Aizu within the Shinsengumi. Conducted internal spying on possible enemy operatives (i.e. the Itou Affair discussed below), as well as monitoring other intelligence and possible enemy activity.
Aizu spy or metsuke? The name Saitou Hajime DOES appear on a document written by Aizu officials on March 25, 1863. To learn more please go to the chronology. What is a "metsuke"? The title encompasses many duties which may or may not include spying. The status of Saitou as an Aizu metsuke was a theory/belief of Akama Shizuko (noted Shinsengumi and Saitou researcher). It would not be unreasonable for the domain to employ spies during this era of shifting political alliances.
His Duties He was not only a captain, but also Hijikata's assistant and instructor of kenjutsu. Saitou accompanied Hijikata on various recruitment missions to Osaka and Edo (present day Tokyo).
Ikedaya (1864) During the raid on Ikedaya, he arrived with the second group alongside Hijikata and Inoue Genzaburo. The first group was led by Kondo u, Okita and Nagakura. Saitou received 17 ryo for his role in the raid.
Dispute With the Chief (1864) Nagakura, Harada, Saitou,Shimada, and two others send a letter to the Lord of Aizu expressing their discontent with Kondou. The Lord of Aizu [Matsudaira Katamori] calls a meeting with Kondou and the group to settle the dispute. (Hillsborough Shinsengumi96)
The Itou Affair (1866-1867) Itou and Shinohara Yasunoshin inform Kondou of their decision "to secede" from the Shinsengumi in 1866. They told Kondou they had formed relations with Satsuma and Choshu to get information from them.
According to Hillsborough, during the New Year's Day celebration of 1867, Itou invited Nagakura and Saitou. The men celebrated for four days straight, breaking a Shinsengumi rule that members should return before the nightly curfew. Once the three officers returned to headquarters they met an angry Kondo."Nagakura was apparently still unaware that Saito had been spying on Ito" (Hillsborough 119). Saitou was punished with kinshin, detention, after breaking curfew by attending a party with Nagakura at Itou's invitation. In March of 1867 Itou would secede with twelve key men including Saitou who accompanied them to Kodaiji.
"Ito had openly espoused Imperial Loyalism. He was in cahoots with Choshu and Satsuma…Ito and his men became so fervent in their Imperial Loyalism that they could no longer rationalize their membership in the Shinsengumi… To gain the complete trust of the enemy, they said, they must officially leave the Shinsengumi" (Hillsborough Shinsengumi 117-118).
"Ito's group received imperial orders to join the special Guard of the Imperial Tomb for Emperor Komei. In June they set up headquarters of Gesshin'in, a subtemple of Kodaiji, in the Higashiyama district on the eastern side of the city…they now became the Kodaji Faction." (Hillsborough Shinsengumi 119)
The end of Itou was hastened by the death of some of his ten loyal followers who still remained in the Shinsengumi. "When the men of the Shinsengumi were awarded hatamoto status in June , these ten decided to quit the corps on the grounds that they had
joined for express purposes of expelling the barbarians and practicing Imperial Loyalism, and not to serve as retainers of the Tokugawa." (Hillsborough Shinsengumi 119-120)
Itou, Kondou and Hijikata before hand had decided that neither side would accept defectors and the leader of the Kodaiji Faction directed the men to the Aizu headquarters where four were killed and the surviving six were expelled from the Shinsengumi. Nagakura had noted that Itou did not believe that his men committed seppuku at Aizu headquarters. Ito planned to assassinate Kondou and assume control of the Shinsengumi and use them to fight alongside the Imperialists, set fire the Shinsengumi headquarters and kill the escapees. "Fortunately for Kondo and his officers, Saito Hajime was a good actor. Ito embraced Saito as one of his chief confidants, never once suspecting him a spy. When Saito informed Kondo and Hijikata of Ito's plot, the two leaders immediate and drastic action." (Hillsborough Shinsengumi 124)
A survivor of the Itou Affair, Abe Juroo, mentioned that Saitou, who had accompanied the splinter group:
"...On that occasion, Itou Kashitarou left 50 yen in a drawer of his desk, and we all went out. While we were absent there, Saitou Hajime carried out this money, and he did not return. He was such an untidy man, so he spent all this money for the woman in Gion, and he could not come back. Hence, Saitoo Ichiroo visited Kondoo Isamu, and told him everything about our secret..." http://hajime3.hp.infoseek.co.jp/deta/katari.html
Internal Assassin? Saitou Hajime may have been responsible for the execution of some members of the group, however these details are debatable. After Takeda had informed Kondou that he would leave to join Satsuma, Saitou was asked to escort the captain of the number five squad captain.
"Takeda did not get along with Saito, who had been drinking that evening and who had a reputation as a bad drunk…They traveled in single file along a
narrow road in the darkness. Takeda walked in front, with the other two close behind. They came to a bridge near a particularly desolate stretch in the road. Just as they crossed the bridge, Saito drew his long sword and with one swift motion sliced open Takeda's back from left hip to right shoulder. Death was instantaneous. Saitou knelt over the bloody corpse and removed both of Takeda's swords 'For all his boasting to the contrary,' he reportedly said, 'Takeda was an easy kill." (Hillsborough Shinsengumi 123)
The webmaster of http://hajime3.hp.infoseek.co.jp/index.html and other researchers have raised some key questions regarding this murder. The captain of the fifth squad was killed by Saitou while he was still in the Kodaiji Faction with Itou. The Shinsengumi was fame for its many skilled swordsmen. Why didn't Kondou choose another member? Why choose Saitou who was now officially no longer an officer? Another point to consider it that Takeda was also accompanied by Shinohara Yasunoshin yet another ally of Itou. Was Shinohara sent to "support" Saitou or witness that the murder was carried out successfully? Would Itou agree to the murder of Takeda, a friend of his, by two men currently under his command? Thus, the death of Takeda remains a mystery.
On September 28, 1928, Setsuko "Setsu" Matsudaira the granddaughter of Matsudaira Katamori married Prince Chichibu thereby restoring the honor of Aizu. The domain was labelled as enemy of the "new" state or Meiji government because it was loyal to the bakufu (Shogunate). Amongst the hundreds of important wedding gifts was a NAGAMICHI wakizashi (short sword) formerly owned by Fujita Goro. In return, Matsudaira Tsuneo, son of Katamori, gave Fujita Tsutomu a Nanki Shigekuni [learn more] formerly owned by Kayano Gonbei, karou (high ranking retainer) of Aizu. Before the wedding, Setsuko Matsudaira visited Aizu and was greeted with parades and festivities. Thus, the importance of this wedding cannot be stressed enough. September 28th is also the anniversary of Fujita Goro's passing.
note from Armen Bakalian Kayano Gonbei -- the senior retainer made to take responsibility for Aizu's role in the Boshin War and executed. Teruhime(Matsudaira Teruko) sent him a special poem prior to his execution: "Ah, dishonor, which persists even in dreams! But one's true honor will
remain in the world."
To learn more please read The Silver Drum: A Japanese Imperial Memoir By Setsuko Princess Chichibu ISBN 1860340040
After the Itou Affair he may have started to use the name"Jiro" as Kondou requested a man by this name.
Boshin War At Toba and Fushimi on January 6, 1868, he and Nagakura guarded the rear of the retreating shogunate army. After the defeat the bakufu troops scattered and the Shinsengumi headed to Edo via ships. He was injured and hospitalized on January 19th.
Partial Translation by Hirotada Tokugawa (Shimazu Masayoshi)"Shinsengumi Yamaguchi Jiro The man mentioned above came rather (insistently?) to the Medical Center on yesterday the 19th. He's (not sure of this part) been wounded in several places, so (something). Therefore we grant this certification.First month Matsumoto Ryojun, Sato Masanosuke Inoue Chuhachiro"Shinsengumi Saito Hajime no Subete 100)
Due to his injury, Hijikata Toshizo designated Saitou Hajime (Yamaguchi Jiro) to lead the Shinsengumi in Aizu.
"At Aizu, Hijikata and his six men were reunited with more than one hundred Shinsengumi men who had fled the enemy at Nagarayema. With their leader incapacitated, the new Shinsengumi, about 130 of them, were under the temporary command of Saito Hajime, who now went by the alias Yamaguchi Jiro." (Hillsborough Shinsengumi 167)
By this time, Kondou Isami had already been executed as a criminal and Okita Souji lost his battle with tuberculosis. Hijikata, Saitou, Nakajima Nobori and Shimada Kai and followers fought at the Bonari Pass, the entrance to Aizu.There are many versions of what happened to the Shinsengumi in Aizu but Hijikata and his men had to leave the domain, perhaps to get reinforcements.
The Battle of Bonari Pass was the beginning of the action that culminated in the Sat-cho army reaching the walls of Aizu-Wakamatsu. Northern forces put up stiff resistance there but were eventually routed. One of the unit commanders was Oshima Torao, who was shot in the rear end (buttocks) as he retreated. Just as Oshima resigned himself to death, Saitou and the Shinsengumi appeared, and covered the retreat of Oshima's unit with small-arms fire. [from Hirotada Tokugawa Shinsengumi Saito Hajime no Subete "Saitou Hajime Kanren Jinbutsu Jiten", by Todo Toshihisa, page 194 ISBN: 4404031351 ]
"Hijikata Toshizo and some other members insisted that they should leave for Sendai and cooperate with the army of Enomoto Takeaki in Hakodate because they thought it was impossible to reorganize the situation of Aizu. However, Saitou Hajime could not desert Aizu and stayed there with other members insisting that Shinsengumi could not exist without Aizu." The quote is from the Fujita Family History which is based on oral history and may not match other texts. It was housed on http://hajime3.hp.infoseek.co.jp/index.html
The diary of Taniguchi Shiroobee 'After Shinsengumi arrived in Aizu, we continued to fight. Many friends were already dead, and only 14 were left. Now, we should endure and conquest this difficulty. Even if we see the castle falls to the enemy, we won't give up our will.'This is the word of Saitou Hajime
during the fight at Shiokawa (Shirakawa?). After he arrived in Aizu, he became the captain of Shinsengumi, and continued fighting.' (Webmaster commentary) Thus, he insisted on fighting in Aizu and rejected escaping to Sendai. This utterance shows his special feeling for Aizu and convinces the reason why he lived half his life as one of Aizu citizen." http://hajime3.hp.infoseek.co.jp/index.html
Saitou and a small group of Shinsengumi fought at Buddha Hall(Nyoraido pictures   ). Saitou continued to fight in the Phoenix troop (Aizu categorized fighters by age into Byakkotai/White Tigers, Phoenix, Dragon and Turtle troops based on the guardian deities of the compass) using guerrilla warfare under the command of Sagawa Kanbei (1831-1877) [Pic].
"...[among] those who escaped from the Battle of Nyorai-do were Yamaguchi Jiro (Saitou Hajime), Ikeda Shichizaburou, Kumebe Masachika, Yoshida Toratarou, Kawai Tetsugorou, Shimura Takezou, and are thought to have joined Sagawa Kanbei's forces. They attacked the West Army at Shuucho-ji and inflicted great damage with little force. It was to be the only victory of the East Army..." translated by Hirotada Tokugawa (Shimazu Masayoshi) from http://aiaiaizu.com/i/kankou/shinsengumi/i4.html The website noted that the date of the battle was 1868.9.5 (however it is uncertain whether this is the lunar or gregorian calendar date)
At the Battle of Aizu , Yamamoto Yaeko (sister of Yamamoto Kakuma, and later, the wife of Niishima Jo (famous Japanese Christian and founder of Doshisha University )left with Saitou for the front. Yaeko used a rifle, and outdid everyone in “masculine braveness” (?), fighting side by side with the men. She tried cutting off her hair with her wakizashi (short sword), but it is said that “ Takagi Morinosuke’s elder sister, Tokio, cut her (Yaeko’s )hair”.
After the collapse of the Shinsengumi, he stayed for awhile in Aizu as a prisoner of war, and it’s thought that he was with childhood friends there (from his days at the Itto-ryu dojo).
In the nineteenth century, the illness of gastric ulcers was expressed graphically in an etching of a gentleman wearing a suit and swallowing a sword, such is the sharp pain these people carried their whole lives.
The following is a discussion of gastric ulcers and its possible effects on historical Saitou Hajime (Fujita Goro). Ofcourse, a physical condition does not fully "define" a human being, so please do not view this exploration as an oversimplification of him as just an ulcer patient. It should be noted that each human being reacts differently to an illness and many studies and generalizations are merely a crutch used to understand this affliction. Did Fujita Goro experience all the scenarious which will be listed below? Probably not.
I am not a medical professional so the information below should not be used to diagnose or treat an illness. During my superficial research I also noticed that online information on ulcers, for the most part, do not match the data which can be found in texts written by medical researchers so if you are interested in this topic please visit a library or better yet a medical school library. Speak to an ulcer patient and note how many of their characteristics match or do not match what you have read.
A note on the sources. The bibliography is not complete. Unfortunately, the bibliography is a list of the books I checked out and brought home because they were so fascinating and they all happen to be very old. The "hardcore" medical stuff I skimmed to get a general understanding and left for the medical students to study (^_^). Thus, the books in the biblio may seem out of date however the information is still remarkably solid and the book by Harold G. Wolf, Stress and Disease is outstanding and quoted in the more recent publications. Due to my sloppiness in typing very quickly and recording info in my blog I did not consistently note page numbers thus quotes are followed by the name of the author---I was truly sloppy and unprofessional ::secretarytocapt3 hangs her head in shame::.
Gastric ulcer disease is a multifactorial process whose etiology is poorly understood. Basically, gastric ulcers are simply a pluricausal illness. I will omit the discussion on genetics and brain chemistry because they are too complex. Recently a major discovery which won a nobel prize, also adds a new dimension to ulcer research as an infectious disease caused by the Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori).
Today, people rarely die of gastric ulcers in well-developed countries. Various medications, diet plans, psychological counseling, surgical (laser even) procedures usually provide a "cure". The cures used to patch up the hole in the stomach is at times temporary because the root of the problem is usually not physical. So I would like to focus on the emotional causes of gastric ulcers and how it was treated in the the nineteenth century.
So what causes ulcers? In a nutshell...
The excessive production of acid burns a hole in the stomach. Excessive acid production may be due to stress. So what you have is the connection of the gut and mind which was determined long ago by Pavlov. Stress and its connection with abnormal levels of acid secretion was proven with experiments involving the dunking of lab rats head first into ice cold water or exposing them to various stressors such as bright lights, sudden sounds, restraints, electrocution and exposure to low temperatures. After these rats were decapitated, their brain chemistry was analyzed and it was concluded that these extreme physical trials caused the brain to send the "wrong" messages or signals to the body and produce acid when no food is present in the stomach thus causing damage.
Please note that there are also many kinds of ulcers depending on the digestive region in which the damage occurs. For example there are "duodenal ulcers". Gastric ulcer is more of a general term. In the nineteenth century the terms are less specific and even indigestion or dyspepsia are labels used in any illness related to the stomach. Thus, X-rays, which were available at Tokyo University during Fujita Goro's lifetime would be the only way to determine exactly what kind of ulcer he had. Lastly, tumors and cancers were often misdiagnosed as ulcers and vice versa during that era.
Ulcers are “…associated regularly with reactions of internal conflict, with an unfulfilled desire for aggression and fighting back. Profound and prolonged emotional disturbances…” (Illingworth)
Adrenaline as also been linked to ulcers. From the example of the rats mentioned earlier, stress ofcourse turns the green light on for adrenaline production and the "fight or flight" instinct kicks in. However, in the case of many patients who constantly make "tough" decisions, such as in business where alot of money is involved, or anything major is at stake, their bodies also produce excessive amounts of adrenaline compared to the average person.
Family is the most interesting angle in this inquiry. There is a recurring pattern of fathers with ulcers causing their sons to get ulcers due to excessive pressure. The father son relationship will be mentioned further into the essay.
Ulcers in Japan and Asia
Japan as well as many other countries where polished white rice is consumed as a staple will have a very high number of ulcer patients. Interestingly, it was observed during WWII that prisoners of war who experienced high levels of stress and had to perform excessive manual labor were less likely to get ulcers if they consumed brown rice which had a protein covering, otherwise removed by polishing, protected the stomach from excessive acid production due to stress. Prisoners who ate white rice were more likely to get ulcers. There was also a spike in ulcer cases soon after WWII in Japan, again due to stress.
The low level of proteins in the diet also increases the chances of getting ulcers. During the nineteenth century, Japanese ate mostly vegetables and rice thereby setting up a scenario which would encourage ulcer development.
Most patients in Japan or other countries in Asia are males in stressful
occupations or jobs which cause them to react negatively to stress. The connection between occupation, stress and Fujita Goro's biography will be discussed later.
Tokyo University during the Meiji Era was at the forefront of ulcer research. American scientist Edward Sylvester Morse met a famous researcher who specialized in this field at this institute and studied the enlargement of the stomach due to the excessive consumption of rice. The physician Morse met was a close friend of Takamine Hideo (cousin of Takagi/Fujita Tokio and friend of Fujita Goro). In modern times, Kyoto University contributed greatly to the understanding of this illness. Incidentally, during the Meiji Era, the Fujita family lived very close to Tokyo University.
The most famous ulcer patient in the Meiji Era who used his illness as a source of humor, usually, in his fiction and documented his physical trials in his diary was the novelist Natsume Soseki. It was Soseki who mentioned "soba" as a recommended food for people with ulcers. Soseki and highly likely Fujita Goro had to regularly take their regular dose of Taka-diastase which was developed by Dr. Takamine Jokichi. Another high profile ulcer patient, who incidentally was Fujita Goro's friend was the physicist and university administrator Yamakawa Kenjiro.
Ulcers and Alcohol Many websites will explain that ulcers are caused by the excessive consumption of alcohol (alcoholism). There is no doubt that Saitou Hajime drank alot of sake. We even have testimony that he drank with Yamakawa Kenjiro , Yamakawa Hiroahi and at the Takamine residence. However, the vicious cycle of alcohol and ulcers needs a close examination. Usually, ulcer patients will experience severe pain after consuming a large meal such as dinner. The meal taken in the early evening and the subsequent pain, prevents sleep. In a futile attempt to solve their "problem" the patient will consume alcohol, a depressant, to induce sleep. Ofcourse, alcohol greatly exacerbates existing ulcers. This step by step cycle was determined by Japanese scientists who attempted to link sake with ulcers. Yamakawa Kenjiro incidentally was not an alcoholic, however he was, as mentioned earlier, an ulcer patient. Professor Yamakawa was known to measure out his sake in small increments using a beaker because he believed rice should not be used to produce the frivolous luxury of alcohol. So atleast in the case of Professor Yamakawa alcoholism was not the cause for ulcers.
Treatment During the Meiji Era, ulcer treatment was already surprisingly sophisticated. Doctors may determine the ulcer location by feeling the patient's abdomenal region and gather information from interviewing family members to determine dietary habits. The reason why doctors would seek family and friends for interviews is because many patients have a "personality type" which prevents them from seeking assistance which they view as "submission". Family and friends were encouraged to assist in the patient's adoption of a strict dietary regimen. Aside from the prescription of regularly taking Taka-diastase , there were prohibitions against alcohol consumption, acidic foods, hard to digest foods such as tough vegetables and meats. Doctors would recommend eating throughout the day regularly such as wheat based products or crackers. Milk and even heavy cream were encouraged to protect the stomach lining. Unfortunately, many Japanese are lactose intolerant. The detail of Fujita Midori, his daughter in law, assisting in the removal of phlegm from Fujita Goro's throat using chopsticks is not surprising. Medicine which encouraged the body's over production of phlegm, again to protect the stomach and throat lining were prescribed.
The Psychological Approach to Treatment From Natsume Soseki's life, we know that doctors already recognized the importance of addressing the mental factors which contribute to the damage of the stomach. Soseki kept a "dream diary" because for many of these patients, discussing their feelings or confessing their stress factors would be difficult. Thus, doctors would recommend that they write down their troubles and start an internal dialogue. Soseki was fascinated with disembowelment as a fantasy solution to ending his source of pain. Many of these people, including females often dream of removing their stomach.
Interestingly, there was a rumor which originated from Shinsengumi researcher Shimosawa Kan in his book Shinsengumi Ibun that "Yamaguchi Jiro" recorded information in a book called the "Muroku". There is no way to verify the existence of this book or if "Yamaguchi Jiro" even wrote such a text. Perhaps in a fictional scenario you may have the Muroku be Saitou's attempt to silence his internal dialogue.
The term "dream diary" is used because as noted earlier, when these
patients cannot sleep they experience waking dreams and take short naps during the day. Abnormal sleep patterns also result in bizaar imagery such as the consumption of repulsive things such as live rats, snakes, worms, nails, knives and swords. The psychic result of this illness is often connected to the abhorrance of food or they are imaginary manifestation of the obvious physical pain.
The two general types of patients
Juvenile does not mean "child" however the stress conditions, usually due to family conditions, begin in childhood and many juvenile patients develop ulcers in their late teens or early 20s.
Classic or Adult is a label which applies to men in their late 40s or 50s who have high stress jobs. Due to societal changes, many women in this age range with traditionally "masculine" jobs in law, CEOs of major companies and so forth are also now grouped in this category.
In both types please remember that ulcers do not develop overnight. Factors for ulcer development are based on the stress levels and consistent unhealthy behavior of the patient. The juvenile patient is more rare than the classic or adult type.
So what kind of patient was Saitou?
Ofcourse we will never know, the following statements are mere speculation. Interestingly, Saitou at one point in Shinsengumi "lore" experienced severe stomach pain in his early 20s. IF this incident was due to ulcers then PERHAPS he was a juvenile patient. What does it mean if he was a juvenile patient? From the extensive case studies documented many juvenile patients are analyzed with a Freudian frame work, usually an Oedipal competition with the father for the mother, which has many flaws. The old methods of analyzing patients from a psychological method have not been abandoned entirely and texts published as late as the 1990s still reveal an over-reliance on Freud.
Generally, young men who are juvenile patients due to various reasons are abandoned or separated from their mothers too early and identify with their fathers too soon causing a great deal of stress. Separation does not have to be physical. The son may wish to gain attention of his mother or mother figure whom he feels is "distant" by using food as a manipulative device. For example he may develop excessive pickiness in eating, thereby gaining the attention of the mother or mother figure. The young patient may also use starvation to maintain the female's nurturing attitude towards him. Such unhealthy behavior over a long period of time, coupled with complex psychological issues causes ulcers.
Even a dominant father who suppresses the mother may also cause the son to further seek out the female role model. Did the ambition of Yamaguchi Hajime's father in any way contribute to the overshadowing of Hajime's mother? Again we don't know.
The Attempt to Determine a "Personality Type" The following notes are based on observing recurring patterns which emerge from case studies. Some doctors observe patients throughout their life time and compare them with more extensive case studies which involve hundreds of patients. Again, this does not mean that Fujita Goro has to fit any or all of these stereotypes. Again, although I feel that the information is scientifically out of date, it is remarkable how often researchers today continue to make similar observations.
“…I could trace with great clarity the relation to gastric symptoms of
certain emotional conflicts and situations…”(The Influence...)
“Patients have a striking uniformity of temperament, respond to nervous and mental disturbances similarly and conduct their affairs with like dispatch. They are unusually alert, attentive and keen, ...They are ambitious, intensive, and high strung. They are rapidly responsive and vigorous in their reactions. They are persistent in their activities, relentless in the pursuit of their objectives and forgetful of their physical requirements in the intentness of
their work.” (Smith)
“..ulcer patients are individuals whose goals are activity independence and success. They belong to what Walter Alvarez has called the ‘go-getter’ type of personality. Such people are generally efficient, endowed with a strong sense of duty and would never desert their posts in time of stress or danger such as war” (Garma 12)
“…even as an adult the ulcer sufferer remains fixated on his mother. Hence his fear of not gaining the approval of his mother substitutes. He behaves like a rejected child trying to win back his mother…” (Garma 12)
From childhood onwards, male patients wish to out compete their fathers and in adulthood tend to be over achievers due to a neurotic approach to their choice in career not necessarily due to native intelligence. For example they may experience work "mania", devoting themselves to projects to the extent of not sleeping nor leaving the office. Due to a profound fear of failure they tend to assume all responsibilities and do not delegate any degree of authority to others. They are remarkably meticulous and good long-term planners and this contributes to their overall success. Workplace achievement or praise from superiors further encourages them in these unhealthy habits and therapists will recommend that they try to assign responsibilities to others and lessen their own "emotional burden". The division of work, is perceived to be a weakness just as the seeking of medical help.
"Unsuccessful" ulcer patients fall into the category of the son who was able to find a mother figure who rejected the father figure. Once the father or father figure is out of the picture there is not "competition" thereby eliminating their drive to compete.
Not all patients seek or rise to managerial or leadership jobs. Some are incredibly unsuccessful in school where they were unable to "compete" (competition as a driving force will be discussed below). Many juvenile ulcer patients are delinquents and are sent to foster homes or military academies. Once they learn how to "compete" in a new setting which may not involve book learning they become successful. In a remarkable case a young man
with a high IQ was unable to finish high school, entered an autobody shop as an apprentice and began to obsess over the intricacies of mechanics he eventually became a noted expert. Thus, the key to their success is to OBSESS.
Some of the most successful athletes are also ulcer patients. There is a STRONG connection between gastric ulcers and hyperthyroidism which explains consistent pattern of an overt show of virility to mask unconscious awareness of hidden femininity.
The most fascinating detail in the texts which I have read is the connection between left-handedness and juvenile ulcer patients who are also delinquents. This, to me was a weak correlation but I just wanted to make note of it. Generally, during certain eras in history, children who are left handed are perceived to be less intelligent, and added to their inability to adapt in school they become frustrated and act out inappropriately to the point of becoming unruly. There is an unverfiable rumor that Saitou was lefthanded. It is possible that he may have been naturally left handed and socially ambidextrous (to conform to the society's preference for righthanded people). To be a juvenile ulcer patient and left-handed is statistically rare---however I actually know one such person.
This tendency to not submit or be "dominated" can also be seen in many patient's refusal to lie down in an interview or physical examination. Thus, it is necessary to interview family or relatives to determined the frequency of pain or dietary habits because the patient would not admit details. In one case a self-made successful businessman refused to abandon his work to attend numerous missed medical appointments. He was finally removed from his office in a stretcher after a loss of consciousness. Loss of consciousness is part of a spectrum of symptoms connected to gastric ulcers. In another case, the patient only consented to meet a doctor after he realized with horror his severe blood loss. Often patients will refuse to seek medical aid until their symptoms become too severe or undeniable. They have to walk to the hospital themselves--any cajoling on the part of their family or friends is not successful. Rarely, have doctors met patients who sought their help due to family intervention. Some patients will also refuse to notify their family of their illness, again perceiving it to be weakness. Doctors must also call the patient as the patient will never call in to give a report or notify the physician of any symptoms.
Obsessive compulsive behavior has been observed in many patients. Doctors are able to "draw out" more information from the patient by pretending that their behavior is completely normal. If a patient confesses that he becomes angry if his secretary paperclips documents in the wrong way the doctor MUST agree with his assertion to get more information. Other examples of obsessive compulsive behavior include arranging the work table a certain way, maintaining an exact number of sharpened pencils or excessive fastidiousness in dress or living environment. Often, a slight deviation from their regular usually stringent routine makes them angry or unable to function.
“Frequently the patient’s present conflict is cased by the two following factors: love dependence on some woman accompanied by a lack of sexual satisfaction with her and overexacting professional activities.” (Garma 13)
The lack of sexual satisfaction grows from a desire to be dominated. However to be dominated one has to surrender so to speak. Ulcer patients are unable to allow themselves to submit in any setting. This is the internal conflict which causes stress and ulcers.
Their fear of failure in work also extends into the sexual realm such as perceived or actual sexual inadequacy such as premature ejaculation. Male ulcer patients will unconsciously seek mates which are dominant or motherly to continue to satisfy their unfulfilled earlier infantile desires from childhood. Most patients whose gastric lesions have healed are due to the efforts of the mate in assuming a dominant role, allowing the patient to relax. However, if the mate is unable to fulfill this role, the patient will attempt to exert excessive control in the workplace and household thereby catalyzing more extreme symptoms. Thus, the greatest source of stress for these people is their inability to be PASSIVE in any situation.
Prescriptions to adopt a relaxing hobby have also failed or have negative results. In one case a doctor encouraged a patient to play chess with him during their conversations. Soon the patient developed an obsession with winning and made a point of studying published strategies with the hopes of mastering the game. Thus, doctors will encourage the family and friends of the patient to discourage him from pursuing any matter to the point of
obsession or "mania". Or atleast to seek a hobby where there are no winners or losers. A seemingly harmless suggestion that a businessman cultivate roses (as gardening has no timeline or due date) resulted in the patient's participation in rose exhibitions and only heightened his competitiveness.
I would like to mention a real life example. An ulcer patient I know was recommended to take up a "relaxing" hobby of aquarium maintenance. He chose a difficult hobby which required technical expertise and extensive research: saltwater fish. He now has an encyclopedic knowledge of many aspects of this hobby. Thus, he stressed over a "hobby".
Fujita Goro's Hobbies
We do know that Fujita Goro was very good at appraising swords. Sword appraisal and collecting is a very technical art which requires a great deal of experience. Takamine Hideo often requested Goro to examine swords in the storage room, godown, at his estate. Takamine himself was a great collector of paintings, calligraphy and pottery therefore the fact that he would ask Goro for assistance points to yet another possible obsession and expertise in the realm of sword appraisal. Atleast Takamine recognized his friend's "knack" for swords.
An Analysis Using His Career What does all this information mean? I'm not sure. It would be stretching it if we said that the daily fundoshi washing HAS to be obsessive compulsive behavior. A friend did point out that the fundoshi washing may be a necessity due to health reasons. We also have details about his fastidiousness: he never wore his sandals loosely or dragged them, and he always sat properly in seiza. Basically he was very "neat" but does it mean he was obsessively neat like the personality types listed above? Who knows.
Something to note would be his career in the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Dept. as mostly an assistant inspector. It was indeed a high stress job. Interestingly he retired slightly below the average retirement age. Did the stress get to him and cause him to seek a more "slow" job in the Education Museum and later the Tokyo Womens Normal School? Were there health reasons to get
him to seek a more calm environment? Ofcourse none of these questions may be answered with any degree of accuracy.
Could his job have contributed to his stomach problems? YES! "The best detective in the world is a human being neither half-devil nor half-god but just a man with the attributes that make him successful in his occupation." (Dilnot). Those very characteristics, obsesson with work and overall tenacity and extreme FOCUS was valued in the Meiji Era police system which was both competitive and sharply divided by past domainal affiliations (usually Satsuma). There are also personality types for successful policemen.
The following are drawn from the British system
"There is really little mystery about detective work. In its simplest form it is nothing more than spying..."
"the best detective in the world is a human being neither half-devil nor halfgod but just a man with the attributes that make him successful in his occupation." (Dilnot)
[The Executive Organizer] A man who can meet the unexpected, can handle events as they arise. He has the tactics, the full technique of criminal investigation at his fingertips, a supreme knowledge of men, an elasticity of resource. He knows where to get information and how to apply it.
[The Thief-Taker] A shrewd and experienced man whose chief asset is his knowledge of thieves and their methods.
[The expert] Not necessarily a highly educated man but studied in some direction--fingerprints, photography, footprints, and record keeping.
We don't know which category Fujita Goro may fall under however, what is
common in all three would be the characteristic of detail oriented, careful planner and a master of multi-tasking. Simply, there were occupational conditions which would allow the gastric ulcer personality type to be successful on one hand and also cause him to further damage his mental and physical health on the other. For a more detailed look at the Meiji Era police system please see this site.
Ulcers as Cause of Death From what we know, Fujita Goro seemed very aware of his death and asked that he be placed near the alcove where he was propped up with pillows and died sitting upright. His death is very interesting because ulcer patients who die (again in modern times people rarely die of ulcers) tend to starve to death allowing them to in fact to "prepare" for death. An example is a Thai teacher who was also an ulcer patient began to refuse food, eventually he drank a bit of milk (again often prescribed) sat up and after a while passed away.
The Influence of Psychological Factors Upon Gastro-Intestinal Disturbances: A Symposium
Barborka, Clifford Joseph, 1894- Peptic ulcer; diagnosis and treatment Boston, Little, Brown 
Critchley, T. A. (Thomas Alan). A history of police in England and Wales, 9001966 London, Constable, 1967.
Dilnot, George. Great Detectives and Their Methods. Boston: Houghton Miffline Company, 1928.
Garma, Angel. Peptic ulcer and psychoanalysis. Baltimore, Williams & Wilkins, 1958.
Goldberg, E.M. Family Influences and Psychosomatic Illness An inquiry into the social and psychological background of duodenal ulcer London: Tavistock Publications, 1958.
Illingworth, Charles Frederick William, Sir, 1899- Peptic ulcer. Edinburgh, E. & S. Livingstone ; [Baltimore, Williams & Wilkins] 1953.
Pramuan Prawat Khru Krungthep Khuru Sapha 
Smith, Lucian Anderson, Andrew B. Rivers. Peptic ulcer: pain patterns, diagnosis, and medical treatment. New York, Appleton-Century-Crofts 
Tonkin, Richard D. The story of peptic ulcer. Characterised by Raymond Keith Hellier. Philadelphia, Saunders [c1957] An interesting children's book or an attempt to prevent ulcers and increase an awareness of this illness---basically the most BASIC guide to ulcers
Wolf, Stewart. Human gastric function; an experimental study of a man and his stomach. London, New York [etc.] Oxford University Press, [c1943]
Wolff, Harold G. Stress and Disease. Springfield, Ill., Thomas 
A Document of Fujita Family
Fujita Goroo (Saitoo Hajime) talked about the history of Fujita family to his first son, Tsutomu. Tsutomu had his wife, Midori dictate this story right before his death in order to report the history of his family and the life of Fujita Goroo. That is “A Document of Fujita Family.” The following is an extract from “A Note of Shinsengumi” by the Group of 31 people (Group’s name).
The History of Fujita Family
(A property of Fujita family)
Fujita family was from Yamaguchi family at (1) Akashi in Harima. Yamagushi family was from Sasaki family in (2) Koosyuu. They served for the lord, Akashi as low class samurai. However, Yamaguchi Yuusuke (Goroo’s father) had the strong will to succeed and left Akashi for Edo when he was 21 years old. Therefore, his younger sister inherited Yamagushi’s patrimony.
Yamaguchi Yuusuke served for Suzuki who lived around Kanda as a low class samurai. Later, he became a high-class samurai and bought stocks. He got married with Masu who was a farmer at Kawagoshi. They had the first son, (3) Kimiaki, the first daughter, Katsu, and Hajime (Saitoo Hajime, Yamaguchi Jiroo, or Fujita Goroo).
Kimiaki worked for the Ministry of Finance as an officer. He worked at tax office. Later, he became a counselor of a court, and lived at Fukushima prefecture as a tax officer.
Katsu got married with Sooma family and had a son, Toshikazu and a daughter, Teru. However, she died of disease early in life.
Toshikazu graduated from the Chiba Teacher’s College, and worked as a teacher in Chiba prefecture. When he retired, he moved to Tega village in Inaba County and lived till his death. His second daughter graduated from the same college and worked as a teacher. His son, Kazuo also graduated from the same college, and worked as a teacher in Tokyo.
Kimiaki had a daughter, Yukiko, but she died when she was 25 years old in August, 1894 (Meiji 27). Due to her death, Yamaguchi family was over.
When Yamaguchi Hajime was 19 years old, he killed a samurai of Hatamoto at Koishikawa Sekiguchi. His father’s friend, Yoshida opened an ashram in Kyoto. Yoshida was the person who Yuusuke took care of long time ago. Hajime visited him in Kyoto with his father’s letter, and hid there. Hajime was good at swordplay and sometimes taught it to students instead of the teacher, Yoshida.
When he was 21 or 22, he heard that Kondoo Isamu formed Shinsengumi, and Hajime joined it.
Saitoo Hajime was one of 12 sub captains of Shinsengumi. He retained the confidence of Kondoo Isamu.
He killed Serizawa Kamo and Itoo Kinoenetaroo under the command of Kondoo.
He sprinted as a member of Shinsengumi at the Toba Fushimi War, and he worked as a chief of guard to protect Kyoto.
His position was something like that of today’s inspector.
When he lost the Toba Fushimi War, he led a group which consisted of some Shinsengumi members and injured soldiers from Osaka to Tokyo.
After Shinsengumi lost at Koofuguchi, he left for Aizu leading new soldiers of Shinsengumi and cooperated with Aizu.
Hijikata Toshizoo and some other members insisted that they should leave for (4) Sendai and cooperate with the army of Enomoto Takeaki in (5) Hakodate because they thought it was impossible to reorganize the situation of Aizu. However, Saitoo Hajime could not desert Aizu and stayed there with other members insisting that Shinsengumi could not exist without Aizu.
In April, since (6) the west army moved to north along the (7) Osyuu Street, the Aizu army decided to fight at (8) Shirakawaguchi. They arrived at Futsugyoo checkpoint. At this time, they were 74 people from Shinsengumi and about 100 people of fugitive soldiers from Bakufu army.
One farmer reported that the west army was coming from Shirasakaguchi, they set two cannons on the both left side and right side of the road. When their enemies appeared, these cannons started to fire. The enemy retreated to Shirasaka. However, when they fought at Tenjinyama on May 5th, the Aizu army lost and had to retreat.
They fought around Mt. Kanekatsu in May, and the Aizu army lost again.
On August 21st, the Aizu army moved from the Hahanari pass to ( ), they
were attacked from both right and left sides by the west army. Then, they retreated to the Hahanari pass. There were only 7 people left at the fort at the Hahanari pass at that time.
When Saitoo Hajime fought at the Wakamatsu Castle, he led a few soldiers and continued guerrilla activities.
After the Wakamatsu castle fell to the enemy, Saitoo Hajime lived under close guard of the west army with the lord of Aizu.
He moved to south in Aizu around 1870 or 1871, and lived with a little supply of rice from the Meiji Government.
He returned to his father’s house in Tokyo in 1871 and spent a vagrant life with other people who were dissatisfied with the new government.
(1) Today’s Akashi in Hyoogo prefecture.
(2) I am not sure where it is.
(3) I read his name Hiroaki before. The Chinese character is a little different from the previous statement, and it seemed his name is Kimiaki here. I am not sure which way of reading is correct or not.
(1) In Miyagi prefecture.
(2) In Hokkaido.
(3) The army of the Meiji Government
(4) The main road from Tokyo to the northern Japan.
(5) This place is called the gate to the northern Japan.
A Transition of Position
What is a transition of Saitoo Hajime’s position in Shinsengumi? From this transition, this examines his role in Shinsengumi.
When He Was The Member of Shinsengumi
The name of position
June in 1863 (Bunkyuu 3) – formation of the organization
An assistant of sub-captain. A main member of Shinsengumi
June 5th in 1864 (Genji 1) – Ikedaya affair
Hijikata tai zoku (belonging to Hijikata troop)
3. Under the command of Inoue Genzaburoo, he cut into (1) Ikedaya. He received reward, (2) 17 ryoo for his activity.
November in 1864 (Genji 1) – from (3) “Koogunroku”
Kumi-cyoo (group leader) of the forth troop
3. Because of the possibility of the war against (4) Choosyuu, Shinsengumi reformed their army for the preparation for the war. Saitoo Hajime was appointed to be the group leader of the forth troop.
March in 1865 (Keioo 1) – reformation of the organization
Captain of the third troop
3. There were 10 troops, and he led the third troop among them. Two assistant captains assisted the captain, and each assistant captain led five soldiers. In short, he was the captain to lead 12 soldiers.
March in 1865 (Keioo 1)
Teacher of (5) heavy swordplay
3. When Shinsengumi reformed their organization, they appointed teachers for each field. Saitoo Hajime was appointed to be a teacher of heavy swordplay.
September in 1865 (Keioo 1)
Captain of the spear troop
3. In order to deal with the war against Choosyuu, Shinsengumi organized the army again. The number of soldiers for the war was 193 people. Since it was the golden years for Shinsengumi, the army for the war was much larger and stronger than the previous army. They showed their overwhelming power in many fights. Saitoo Hajime was appointed to be the leader of spear troop with Inoue Genzaburoo.
Leap day, April 5th in 1868 (Keioo 4)
Captain of Shinsengumi
3. During the Aizu War, Saitoo Hajime was appointed to be a captain of Shinsengumi. He replaced Hijikata Toshizoo who had to concentrate on the cure of his injury.
(1) The name of inn where the affair occurred.
(1) Ryoo was the currency of that time.
(2) The literal translation is the record of army.
(3) Today’s Yamaguchi prefecture
(4) It seems swordplay that needs power.
At The Seenan War
1. In 1877 (Meiji 10) – at the Seenan War
2. Half captain of the second small police troop conscripted from (1) Bungo
3. At the SeenanWar in 1877, Fujita Goroo (Saitoo Hajime) led the second small
police troop as an inspector. This troop was under the third large group whose captain was chief inspector, Hagiwara Sadayori.
(1) Today’s Oita prefecture
Thus, after being the member of Shinsengumi, Saitoo Hajime always played an important role as a main member of the organization. While Shinsengumi was appointed to be the main samurai group of Bakufu around June 1867 (Keioo 3), his name was not on the Shinsengumi record. He withdrew himself from Shinsengumi at that time to be a guard of the emperor’s house with Itoo Kinoenetaroo. However, if he was still the member of Shinsengumi at that time, he must have left his name on the record. Overall, Saitoo Hajime always played a very important role in Shinsengumi.
People of Fujita Family
This introduces family members of Fujita.
In the Meiji era, Saitoo Hajime changed his name to Fujita Goroo. This was the start of the history of Fujita family.
Fujita Goroo’s wife. She was born as the first daughter of Takagi Kojuuroo
and Katsuko on April 15th, 1846 (Kooka 3). Takagi Kojuuroo served for Aizu as a (1) Metsuke.
Her real name was Sada, and served for a princess, Teru, as a teacher of writing. Tokio was her nickname when she served for Teru, but she used it as her real name later.
During the Aizu War in 1868 (Keioo 4), she shut herself in the castle with other Aizu samurai. At that time, Yamamoto Kakuma’s younger sister, Yaeko (later, wife of (2) Niijima Joo), also stayed with her. She talked about her in her reminiscence talking of this time.
“After entering the castle, wives were taking care of injured people in the afternoon. However, I heard in the evening that we could sortie at night so that I started to cut my hair to join the fight. When I had a trouble in cutting my hair, the sister of Takagi Morinosuke, Tokio, helped me cut my hair.” (“The Aizu and Boshin War” by Hiraishi Benzoo)
After the furious battles, the castle fell in the enemy, and Aizu surrendered to the enemy. She moved to Tonami with other samurai of Aizu and spent poor life there.
Later, Tokio got married with Fujita Goroo around 1874 (Meiji 7), and had three sons, Tsutomu, Tsuyoshi, and Tatsuo.
In October, 1907 (Meiji 40), she planted cherry blossoms with ten women from Aizu at Amida temple at Nanokamachi in Aizu in order to remember people who were killed during the Aizu War.
In the next year, she called for women from Aizu to donate money to build graves for war dead. She also became a promoter, opened an account at Yasuda Bank, and donated 2 yen 50 sen.
There was an article about Tokio in “Dai Nihon Fujinroku” made in March in 1908 (Meiji 41).
“Fujita Tokio, birth year 1846 (Kooka 1), a wife of Fujita Goroo who is a clerk of Tokyo Women’s Teacher College, a house master of women’s dormitory, and the affress is 30 Masago-cho, Hongoo-ku.”
A house master of women’s dormitory means that she let women students stay at her house under the permission from the school. 30 Masago-cho, Hongoo-ku was the address of that place. She lived until she died in 75 years old.
(1) The role of samurai in Edo period to regulate the behavior of Hatamoto or other samurai.
(2) A famous politician, thinker in Japan.
He was born as the first son of Fujita Goroo and Tokio on February 15th in 1876 (Meiji 9).
After the graduation of Furitsu 4th junior high school, he went high school and military school. Then, he became a soldier.
He belonged to the Wakamatsu troop, and participated in the war of Japan Sea on the warship, Mikawa.
Later, he got married with Nishino Midori, and had 7 children, Motoko, Minoru, Ritsu, Kyooko, Susumu, Kazuko, and Tooru.
He lived at Masago-cho, Hongoo in Tokyo, and started to build a new house at Yayoi-cho, Nakano-ku in 1923 (Taisyoo 12). However, when he started this, (1) Kantoo earthquake occurred. When he started again, he built a basement, and he dug a well there. He always stored additional water, Miso, sugar, preserve food, and so on there. His neighbors talked about him that he was just like a soldier.
However, this house was burned down during the World War 2, and after the war, he moved to Hagikubo.
Later, he nursed himself at his third daughter, Kazuko’s house. Her husband was a doctor of internal medicine.
In his last year, immediately before his death, Tsutomu let Midori dictate what he heard from his father, Goroo 1956 (Syoowa 31). This is the important record, “The History of Fujita Family.”
He left this precious record, and died with Midori and her husband at his side in 1956 (Syoowa 31).
(1) A big earthquake that hit Tokyo area in 1923.
He was born as the second son of Fujita Goroo and Tokio on October 4th in 1879 (Meiji 12). He spent most of his years in foreign countries.
He married with Asaba Yuki (Yukiko) who was a granddaughter of Aizu’s (1) Karoo, Tanaka Tosa in 1879 (Meiji 12), and had two sons and two daughters.
His first son, Hideki was an ensign of navy managing engineering during the war, and he worked at the department of architecture in Yokohama City Hall after the war.
The second son, (2) ( ), and the second daughter, Takako, were adopted to Asaba family because Asaba family was in danger of extinction.
He died in a new year in 1946 (Syoowa 21).
(1) The highest position of samurai under the lord.
(2) I am not sure how to read his name. The possible ways to read is Tooe, Suberu, Mamoru, and so on.
Although he was born as the third son of Fujita Goroo and Tokio, there was no description in the family record.
The reason for this is that he was adopted from Numazawa Kohachiroo and Kuni immediately after his birth. Numazawa Kohachiroo was the thirteenth head of the Numazawa family which inherited Karoo position in Aizu.
Numazawa Kohachiroo’s mother is Numazawa Michiko who was an older sister of Tokio’s mother, Takagi (maiden name was Kimoto) Katsuko. Michiko killed herself with her mother-in-law and daughter during the Aizu War. Therefore, Numazawa Kohachiroo and Tokio are cousins.
Since there was no child between Kohachiroo and Kuni, Numazawa family was in danger of extinction. They had asked Fujita Goroo and Tokio to adopt their child if it was a boy. They had asked them even when Tatsuo was not born yet.
Fujita family accepted this, and soon after the birth of boy, Numazawa family adopted him out.
Both Fujita family and Numazawa family firmly kept this secret, and Tatsuo grew up without knowing this truth at all.
When he was a college student, he asked about his birth to his aunt, Ibuka Saku because he had questioned his birth for a long time. When he knew the secret of his birth, he listened this story with crying.
Later, he got married with Tazu, and had children.
This story is the one that Prof. Akama Wako heard from Numazawa Eiko who was the second daughter of Tatsuo and Tazu.
She was born as the second daughter of Nishino family on March 29th in 1876 (Meiji 9). Nishino was a good family in Sakata, and Nishino family was one of 36 families which contributed to build Sakata town. Nishino was a wealthy merchant family and ran rice companies and ship companies.
When her father asked her which fortune or education she wanted, she wanted to receive education. She went to the Women’s Teacher College and became a teacher of science.
When she was a college student, she boarded at Fujita family where Tokio was a housemaster. Tokio liked Midori very much, and she wanted her to get married with her son, Tsutomu. Tokio asked people to mediate between her and Nishino family. She sent people to ask his son’s marriage with Midori many times. Finally, she had Nishino family agree with their marriage.
Midori was the fifth alumnus at the Women’s Teacher’s College. After the graduation, she got married with Fujita Tsutomu and had seven children.
When Fujita Goroo suffered from stomach ulcer in his last year, Modori took
care of him with Tokio.
Also, Midori dictated Tsutomu’s story in his last year in 1956 (Syoowa 31) that he heard from his father, and formed “The Fujita Family.”
According to the story of her descendants, she was a quiet and sophisticated person.
Fujita Yuki (Yukiko)
She was born as the first daughter of Asaba family which had run a delivery company in Yokosuka.
Her mother was a daughter of mistress of Tanaka Tosa who was a Karoo in Aizu. She got married with Ishikawa Sakae around 1881 or 1882 (Meiji 12, 13). However, Ishikawa Sakae went missing. It is said that he went to the United States.
Later, she got married with a person from Asaba family, and had two daughters and one son. The first daughter is Yuki (Yukiko).
Yuki got married with Fujita Tsuyosi in 1914 (Taisyoo 3), and had two sons and two daughters. Among them, the second son and the second daughter were adopted to Asaba family because they were in danger of extinction.
This is the summary of Saitoo Hajime’s life. What kind of events or affairs was he related to?
Year and date
Age of Saitoo Hajime
January 1st in 1844 (Kooka 1)
1 years old
Saitoo Hajime was born as the first son of Yamaguchi Yuusuke and
April 15th in 1846 (Kooka 3)
3 years old
Takagi Tokio was born.
1862 (Bunkyuu 2)
19 years old
3. Murder of Hatamoto. Leave for Kyoto (from “The History of Fujita Family”)
Around March 5th in 1863 (Bunkyuu 3)
20 years old
Joined Nibu Rooshi Gumi
Around March 10th
Seventeen people such as Kondoo Isamu or Serizawa Kamo submitted petition for the Aizu clan.
24 samurai who left in Kyoto formally became samurai under the Aizu clan
Saitoo Hajime watched Kyogen play with Honda Shiroo and other people.
Saitoo Hajime participated in the funeral of Yagi family.
Saitoo Hajime met Matsudaira Katayasu and showed him his swordplay.
Saitoo Hajime and Hijikata Toshizoo had a meeting with Inoue Matsugoroo.
Saitoo Hajime went to Osaka to guard Syoogun, Ieshige.
All 35 people in Mibu Rooshitai submitted a petition in order to ask to block harbors from foreign countries.
Saitoo Hajime went to Osaka to arrest one samurai from Shinsengumi.
Osaka sumo affray affair
Saitoo Hajime visited Inoue Matugoroo, and had a farewell party.
Coup d’ etat of August 18th
The end of August
Saitoo Hajime arrested a burglar
Saitoo Hajime killed a spy of Choosyuu, Mikura Isetake
January 2nd in 1864 (Genji 1)
21 years old
Saitoo Haime went to Osaka to guard Shoogun, Ieshige
Saitoo Hajime guarded Shoogun, Ieshige when he entered Osaka castle.
Saitoo Hajime had gone to Fushimi in Kyoto to fortify the guard of Kyoto before Syoogun, Ieshige arriving there. Saitoo guarded the back of the Fushimi Castle.
Saitoo Hajime guarded Shoogun when he entered the Nijoo Castle. Saitoo Hajime worked at the police station there.
Saitoo Hajime participated in a party for viewing cherry blossoms at (1) Senkoobanshiroo at Shimabara
(1) A name of place or restaurant which this party was held.
Saitoo Hajime guarded Shoogun when he went back to Osaka to return to Edo.
Saitoo Hajime saw Shoogun off at the Anzi River.
Due to the request from Aizu, Saitoo Hajime departed to the front to guard Takeda Street. He set his position at (1) Kamogawa Kujoo Kawara.
(1) Name of place in Kyoto
(1) Kinmon Affair
(1) A war between Choosyuu and Bakuhu in Kyoto
Saitoo Hajime stayed at Fushimi on a way to (1) Ten-noozan to track down the army of Choosyuu.
(1) Name of place in Osaka
Saitoo Hajime attacked Ten-noozan with Kondoo Isamu and Nagakura Shinpachi
After searching around Osaka, Saitoo Hajime returned to Kyoto by ship. He returned to the station at Mibu.
Saitoo Hajime received reward for his activity at the Ikedaya Affair.
The end of August
Saitoo Hajime submitted a document to Aizu with Nagakura Shinpachi.
(1)“Koogun roku” and (2)“Guncyuu Hatto syo” were formed. Saitoo Hajime became a group leader of the forth troop.
(1) Literal translation is the record of army.
(2) Literal translation is the document of rules in the army.
March 21st in 1865 (Keioo 1)
22 years old
3. Saitoo Hajime went to Tokyo with Hijikata Toshizoo and Itoo Kinoenetaroo to recruit new members.
Saitoo Hajime arrived in Edo.
Saitoo Hajime stayed at the main field in Kusatsu.
Saitoo Hajime returned to the station of (1) Nishihonganji.
(1) Place’s name in Kyoto
The end of May
Due to the reorganization of Shinsengumi, Saitoo Hajime became a captain of the third group and a teacher of heavy swordplay.
Leap May 22nd
Saitoo Hajime met Shogun, Ieshige when he came to Kyoto. Hajime guarded Shogun along the way to the Nijoo Castle.
Leap May 23rd
Saitoo Hajime returned to the station.
Leap May 24th
Saitoo Hajime guarded Syoogun who was heading to Osaka till Fujinomori.
The new “Koogun roku” was formed. Saitoo Hajime was appointed as a captain of the spear troop.
Saitoo Hajime guarded Syoogun, Ieshige who went to Kyoto.
January 1st in 1867 (Keioo 3)
24 years old
3. Saitoo Hajime held a party with Itoo Kinoenetaroo at (1) Kadoya in (2) Shimabara.
(1) The name of restaurant
(2) Famous place for bars and prostitutes
Saitoo Hajime returned to the troop from Kadoya under the command of Kondoo Isamu. Kondoo Isamu put Saitoo Hajime on his good behavior.
Fight at the Shijoo Bridge
As a spy, Saitoo Hajime entered the Takadaiji political group. He left the station of Shinsengumi and moved to the Jooan Temple at Sanjoo.
Saitoo Hajime moved to the Zenritsu Temple at Gojoo with Itoo Kinoenetaroo.
Saitoo Hajime submitted a document with Itoo Kinoenetaroo, Toodoo Heesuke, and Miki Saburoo.
Saitoo Hajime deserted from the guard of the emperor’s house, and returned to Shinsengumi.
After Saitoo Hajime hid at Miura Yasutaroo’s house for a while, he returned to Shinsengumi.
The Aburakooji Affair
The Tenmaya Affair
Saitoo Hajime guarded the Nijoo Castle after Syoogun, Yoshinobu left there to go to Osaka.
Saitoo Hajime went to Osaka with Nagai Naoshi. He stayed at Tenmatenjin.
Saitoo Hajime set his field at Fushimi.
January 3rd in 1868 (Keioo 4)
25 years old
The Boshin War occurred.
Saitoo Hajime took up the rear with Nagakura Shinpachi at the fight at Toba Fushimi.
Saitoo Hajime cured his injury at a hospital at Izumibashi.
Saitoo Hajime was appointed to be a guard of the former Syoogun, Yoshinobu.
Saitoo Hajime finished his position as a guard of Yoshinobu.
Bakufu ordered him to suppress Koosyuu, and he received an allowance for it.
Saitoo Hajime left Edo for Koosyuu as (1) Koosyuu Chingu Tai.
(1) The name of troop which was ordered to suppress Koosyuu area.
Saitoo Hajime set the field at Yose.
Saitoo Hajime set the field at Komagai.
Saitoo Hajime set the field at Hishiyama in the north of the Koosyuu Street.
A fight at Katunuma and Kashiwao (or Kashiwabi)
Retreat to Hachiooji
The troop of Saitoo Hajime passed Hino during the night and headed for Edo.
The troop of Saitoo Hajime arrived in Edo.
Leap April 5th
Saitoo Hajime was appointed to be a captain of Shinsengumi in Aizu.
Leap April 6th
The troop of Saitoo Hajime left Aizu Wakamatsu and set the field at Akatsu.
Leap April 7th
Saitoo Hajime changed the main field to Mishiro (or Sandai).
Leap April 21st
The troop of Saitoo Hajime left Mishiro for the Shirakawa Castle.
Leap April 22nd
The troop of Saitoo Hajime arrived at Shirakawa Castle, and set the main field there.
Leap April 23rd
Saitoo Hajime set the field at the pass of Shirasakaguchi in the south of the Shirakawa Castle.
Leap April 25th
The troop of Saitoo Hajime fought against the New Government Army at the pass of Shirasakaguchi.
Leap April 29th
The troop of Saitoo Hajime was replaced the defense of the pass of Shirasakaguchi with the army from Sendai, and they took a rest at Yanagiya in Wakimoto.
The troop of Saitoo Hajime lost at a fight at Kurokawa and retreated to Seishidoo. They stayed there.
The troop of Saitoo Hajime lost the war to recover the Shirakawa Castle, and retreated to the village, Kamigoya.
Although the troop of Saitoo Hajime headed for the Shirakawa Castle from Oyaji, they lost again and retreated to Makinouchi.
The troop of Saitoo Hajime moved from Mishiro to Fukura and set the field there.
Saitoo Hajime met the lord of Aizu, Matsudaira Yoshitoku.
The troop of Saitoo Hajime departed to the front at Ohiraguchi.
Although the troop of Saitoo Hajime joined the attack upon Shirakawa from the village, Hata, they lost and retreated to the village Hata again.
The troop of Saitoo Hajime returned to Fukura from the village, Hata, and they stayed at the Temple, Senjuin.
Leaving the village, Hata, the troop of Saitoo Hajime joined the attack upon Shirakawa again, but they lost and retreated from Hatori to Fukura.
The troop of Saitoo Hajime left Fukura for Machimoriya and set the field there.
The troop of Saitoo Hajime moved from Machimoriya to Naganuma, and took a rest there.
Passing Machimoriya, the troop of Saitoo Hajime retreated to Mishiro.
Saitoo Hajime was ordered to visit Inawashiro, and he stayed one day there.
The troop of Saitoo Haijme stayed the village, Kijigoya
A fight at the pass of Hahanari
Saitoo Hajime met Hijikata Toshizoo at the Inawashiro Castle. He stayed the Inn, Saitooya in Wakamastu castle town.
A fight at Nyoraidoo
September 23rd in 1868 (Meiji 1)
25 years old
The Tsuruga Castle in Aizu surrendered to the enemy.
January 4th in 1869 (Meiji2)
26 years old
3. Saitoo Hajime was put on his good behavior at Takada. He prayed for his safety at the Amida Temple.
From January 4th to 9th
Saitoo Hajime moved from Aizu Wakamatsu to Takada. He put himself on his good behavior at the temple of Higashihonganji.
In 1870 (Meiji 3)
27 years old
Saitoo Hajime changed his name to Fujita Goroo.
Saitoo Hajime moved to Tonami and stayed the house of Kurawasa Heijiemon at Goko.
August 25th in 1871 (Meiji 4)
28 years old
Saitoo Hajime got married with Shinoda Yaso.
February 10th in 1873 (Meiji 6)
30 years old
3. Saitoo Hajime moved from Kurasawa’s house to Ueda’s house. He stayed with a Ueda couple together.
June 10th in 1874 (Meiji 7)
31 years old
Saitoo Hajime moved to Tokyo, and got married with Takagi Tokio.
June 1st in 1875 (Meiji 8)
32 years old
Saitoo Hajime’s sister, Sooma Katsu died.
He exerted himself to build a monument of Hijikata Toshizoo and Kondoo Isamu with Matsumoto Ryoojun and Nagakura Shinpachi.
December 15th in 1876 (Meiji 9)
33 years old
Saitoo Hajime’s first son, Tsutomu was born.
February 20th in 1877 (Meiji 10)
34 years old
Saitoo Hajime was appointed to be an inspector.
Saitoo Hajime departed to join the Seenan War.
Saitoo Hajime came back to Tokyo.
March 30th in 1878 (Meiji 11)
35 years old
Saitoo Hajime was appointed to be a sub-inspector.
August 4th in 1879 (Meiji 12)
36 years old
Saitoo Hajime was appointed to be an inspector again.
Saitoo Hajime’s second son, Tsuyoshi was born.
Saitoo Hajime was awarded (1) Aoiro Kiriha Syoo and 100 yen. Also, he was decorated for his past activity.
(1) The name of prize
January 19th in 1881 (Meiji 14)
38 years old
3. The department of army appointed Saitoo Hajime to be (1) Goyoogakari.
(1) The name of position in the army
Saitoo Hajime was dismissed from Goyoogakari.
Saitoo Hajime was appointed to be a sergeant.
November 26th in 1882 (Meiji 15)
39 years old
3. Saitoo Hajime fought against sergeant, Tomiyama Madoka in heavy swordplay match in the police department, and the game ended in a draw.
July 3rd in 1885 (Meiji 18)
42 years old
Saitoo Hajime was promoted to be an inspector.
July 1st in 1886 (Meiji 19)
43 years old
Saitoo Hajime’s third son, Tatsuo was born.
In 1887 (Meiji 20)
44 years old
Saitoo Haijme’s third son, Tatsuo was adopted from Numazawa family.
November 1st in 1888 (Meiji 21)
45 years old
Saitoo Hajime was appointed to be a chief inspector.
January 23rd in 1890 (Meiji 23)
47 years old
3. Saitoo Hajime fought against Watanabe Yutaka in heavy swordplay match in the police department, and he won the game.
April 2nd in 1891 (Meiji 24)
48 years old
3. Saitoo Hajime retired from the police department. He received a job at the Tokyo Education Museum in affiliation with the Tokyo Teacher College.
February 27th in 1899 (Meiji 32)
56 years old
3. Saitoo Hajime retired from the Tokyo Education Museum in affiliation with the Tokyo Teacher College.
Saitoo Hajime received a job at the Tokyo Women’s Teacher College.
September 28th in 1909 (Meiji 42)
66 years old
Tsutomu’s first daughter, Motoko was born.
Saitoo Hajime retired from the Tokyo Women’s Teacher College.
February 9th in 1912 (Taisyoo 1)
69 years old
Tsutomu’s first son, Minoru was born.
Motoko died young.
March 18th in 1913 (Taisyoo 2)
70 years old
Tsutomu’s second daughter, Ritsu was born.
January 29th in 1915 (Taisyoo 4)
72 years old
3. Saitoo Hajime contributed 10000 yen to the temple, Amida to for his grave.
Tsutomu’s third daughter, Kyooko was born.
Saitoo Hajime died.
As you have known by now, there are three major systems of belief in Japan since the year 600: Shintoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism.
Click here for how it all began, or here for the list of sects.
And you already have known that the trinity has really been a trinity; only social scientists and mad fanatix know where one system ends and another starts in the perfect mixture resulting from ancient Japan's supersynchretism. Any normal Japanese doesn't know it and every healthy Japanese mind doesn't care about it.
But this mixture has been the secret potion that enabled Japan to be whatever it chose to be in the past; it warranted unity no matter what, and it
facilitated radical changes without hurting the nation too much -- from feudalism to chauvinist constitutional monarchy, from warrior-class domination to the everpresence of the 'economic animals'. The mixture was the sap in any territorial unit since the year 600, regardless of the weather.
Click here for the feudal territorial units of governance.
Shinto, Buddhism and Confucianism are based on the same thing: nonindividualist worldview. The only thing that matters is collectivity. The measurement is of your particular relation to your collectivity -- nuclear family, neighborhood & clan, region, the empire, in ascending order.
The element of the highest degree there is sincere faithfulness or loyalty -- as in the Shinsengumi's 'makoto'.
'Makoto' also means 'honesty' and 'truth'. It's just one of Bushido's seven virtues. Like you'd see (or so I hope), all of the meanings existed independently as far as the so-called 'universal' values were concerned.
You can't take them to mean what they mean in your system of thought.
They meant what they meant in the synchretic Tokugawanist frame of mind, nothing more, nothing less. (See the 'Bushido' page at this site.)
Now, the most important collectivity in feudal era, since 1185 until 1868, was a warlord's domain.
Your faithfulness, your duties, your responsibility, are ultimately to the warlord. He is more important than and must be prioritized before your father, the chief of your clan, your neighbors, and of course yourself.
And what's most important is that the faithfulness toward a warlord weighs more than universal abstractions such as 'truth' and 'justice'. So, here you can trek the Japanese way as deviating from the so-called universal ways to the core. This is the most essential reason why Japan had never really accepted Christianity.
The warlord is a rep of his domain, just like your dad is the rep of your family. He is more of a personification of the territory than an executive power or manager of the realm. That is why you must exalt him above all else; Shintoism, Buddhism and Confucianism all teach you about the peak of human duty: acting out filial piety.
How come, if everything is secondary compared with filial piety, you have to leave your daddy if he's wicked according to your warlord?
Because you were Japanese.
In China, Emperors wailed and withered under the same weight of filial piety (just the years under Empress Tzu Hsi alone can give you loads of examples). In Japan, father and son fought under the opposite banners in wars.
Like Konishi Yukinaga and his son So Yoshitomo at the battle of Seki plains in 1600, you could perhaps dodge the necessity of patricide, but even if you have no such a sentiment against shedding the blood of your dad or son or uncle or cousin, nobody would blame you for the gaping lack of sentimental family ties -- as long as it was done not for your own sake.
That's how come Saito Yoshitatsu of Mino killed his step-daddy Saito Dosan (Oda Nobunaga's father in-law) and thereby committed a crime. Because he did it for no higher cause than his own personal gain -- to snatch away control of the province. He didn't even have any good pretext for the action.
But if you do it for your warlord, for your overlord, for your Emperor, it would
be very much okay. And in this, your own family is the staunchest supporter of your decision to wage war against your dad or brother or uncle or cousin.
The closest collectivity to you is your family, right? Well, face this: a Japanese family is a political unit, not an interpersonal club of people dearest to your heart.
You can't seek sanctuary at home like any average caucasian businessperson in weekends.
Your home is the warlord's domain, and even the Emperor's little geographical dot.
It isn't counted as a group of individuals.
But every individual is counted as a member of the group.
Catch my drift? There is a yawning difference between the last two lines.
If you'd only listen to 'the authorities', here's a direct quote from an essay by Yoshida Shoin (1830-1859) -- one heck of a guy, the philosophical backbone of the Meiji Restoration of 1868 even as it happened when he was no more.
Everyone who was born within the pale of our Empire must know the reason why it is called the Great Empire of Japan.
Isn't our Imperial Dynasty something that has been going on forever from time immemorial, in one single unbroken line?
Vassals of His Majesty received their domains from one generation to another. Rulers have been feeding the people, and so we must be grateful for it, and we are greatly indebted to them.
Rulers and the people are of one body. Loyalty to the ruler and filial piety to the parents are one and the same thing. In this world, our country is the only one that possesses this character.
As the Imperial line has been so from the beginning of time, our loyalty must also be maintained forever. Amano-oshihino-Mikoto spake, "He who dies for his lord doesn't die in vain."
This is Loyalty. This is the way of the samurai.
And Takeda Shingen of Kai (1521-1573) wrote something similar. Though certainly he would have said so because he was an overlord, it is nonetheless nothing unique and nothing so thickly garbled in self-interests, since it was the major belief anyway:
Everyone knows that if a man doesn't hold filial piety toward his own parents he would also neglect his duties toward his lord. Such a neglect means a disloyalty toward humanity. Therefore such a man doesn't deserve to be called 'samurai'.
The exact same thing was the basis of the darn famous 'Book of the Samurai Codes' (Hagakure Bushido), that the Tokugawa shogunate was so rabidy fond of citing:
A samurai who holds filial piety toward his father would stick by his lord in good and bad times, and never leave the lord even in the worst of adversities and even when the end is certain and near. He would never care about his own life, but try to keep that of his lord's no matter how much it costs.
We call one 'father' and we call another 'Lord', and 'filial piety' is due toward one while toward the other 'Loyalty', but those are the same thing.
There is an old saying, "Seek your retainers from among men who take the best care of their old parents".
It is sensible to assume that a man who doesn't obey his own father would never obey his lord, either.
And here's something from a holy man of Buddhism, none other than the founder of the largest Buddhist sect, Nichiren:
If a father is against your lord, as a son who understands his duties you will leave him and follow your lord. This is the ultimate filial piety.
That's why Akechi Mitsuhide is such a low-life criminal for his betrayal of Oda Nobunaga on June 21, 1582.
That's also why the mother of legendary captain of the 47 ronins of Edo, Oishi Kuranosuke, committed suicide before his son led his comrades to avenge the death of their lord. If she stayed around, she was afraid that her son would hesitate to do his duty. Mrs. Oishi has been remembered until this very minute as a paragon of greatest motherhood because she knew what filial piety was, and acted accordingly.
Now, how come the rest of the Japanese accepted the hegemony of the warrior class?
It wasn't a matter of arsenal and warlike qualities of the class. It was, above all else, a matter of obeying what every religion they believed in said, and a matter of being faithful -- to every step of collectivism as outlined above, in which the warrior class was just taken-for-grantedly the top of the pyramid.
Where's the reason?
Here's another quote, this time from Lord Tokugawa Mitsukuni of Mito (16281700), one of the greatest 'progressive' thinkers of Japan until even after Emperor Meiji's victory.
It also serves as a slice of specimen of the Japanese kind of filial piety: many historians agreed that if Mitsukuni lived in 1867, he would have led the proMeiji forces against his own clan's shogunate, because his ultimate loyalty was to the Imperial House.
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Site & rap © 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000,
2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 Nina Wilhelmina.
Sources I tapped for this page: Nihon Shakai no Kazoku teki Kosei (Tokyo: 1948); Kono Shozo, Kokumin Dotoku Yoron (Tokyo: 1935); Anesaki Masaharu, Nichiren, the Buddhist Prophet (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1916); Robert Cornell Armstrong, Light from the East, Studies of Japanese Confucianism (University of Toronto, Canada, 1914); Sasama Yoshihiko, Nihon kassen zuten (Yuzankaku, 1997); William Aston, Shinto: The Way of the Gods (London: Longmans, Green, 1905); Ruth Benedict, The Chrysanthemum and the Sword (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1946); Charles Eliot, Japanese Buddhism (London, 1935); Futaki Kenichi, Chuusei buke no saho (Yoshikawa Kobunkan, 1999); Kiyooka Eichii, The Autobiography of Fukuzawa Yukichi (Tokyo, Hokuseido Press, 1934); Konno Nobuo, Kamakura bushi monogatari (Kawade shobo shinsha, 1997); Nukariya Kaiten, The Religion of the Samurai (London: Luzac, 1913); A.L. Sadler, The Beginner's Book of Bushido by Daidoji Yuzan (Tokyo: Kokusai Bunka Shinkokai, 1941); Satomi Kishio, Nichirenism and the Japanese National Principles (NY: Dutton, 1924); Suzuki D.T., Zen Buddhism and Its Influence on Japanese Culture (Kyoto: The Eastern Buddhist Society, 1938); Henri Van Straelen, Yoshida Shoin (Leiden: Brill, 1952); Robert Bellah, Tokugawa Religion; Masaaki Takahashi, Bushi no seiritsu: Bushizo no soshutsu (Tokyo: Tokyo daigaku, 1999); Paul Akamatsu, Meiji 1868, Revolution and Counter-Revolution (Allen & Unwin, 1972); Nitobe Inazo, Bushido, The Soul of Japan (Tokyo: Tuttle, 1970); Paul Varley and Ivan Morris, The Samurai (Weidenfeld, 1970); Inoguchi and Nakajima, The Divine Wind: Japanese Kamikaze Force in World War II (Hutchinson, 1959), Seki Yukihiko, Bushi no tanjo (Tokyo: NHK, 2000); Amino Yoshihiko, ed. Edojidai no mikataga kawaruho (Tokyo: Yosensha, 1998).
Is Yakuza Samurai?
Jibakutai & Kamikaze
So, what's the use of the samurai class? The only purpose for its existence is to maintain the Truth. Other people from other classes deal with real matters and handle real things, but the samurai does not. His business is with the unseen, the one that has no physical manifestation in this world but in his own class. If there is no samurai, Truth will vanish, society will fall into chaos, shamelessness will pervade, crimes and injustice will prevail.
'Truth' is a loose anglicized version of the Japanese word 'giri' that Tokugawa Mitsukuni used in his essay above. It can also get translated into 'obligations' or 'duties'.
Admittedly it all sounds too nonsensical and illogical to the hard-core 'Northern' minds (which means not just the caucasians but the rest of the globe, too, in this matter). But it was all too real to the Japanese, and as you have seen, it did work.
The entire Japanese Way, the most complete cosmology on earth, the unerring compass for all the Emperor's subjects, had been so deeply rooted within everybody's souls that when the merchant class started to have a say about their own place in this universe -- in 18th century -- they did it Japanesely.
Even as late as 19th century, even in the voices of the loudest advocates of the townsfolks, such as Ishida Baigan (1685-1744), Miura Baien (1723-1789), Motoori Norinaga, Kaiho Seryu (1755-1817), the Japanese struggle of the classes beneath the samurai had no ingredient that would have enabled it to belong to the same category with the French Revolution or the rise of the 'bourgeoisie' everywhere else.
The merchants and all their self-appointed messiahs only went on, like, "Please see us as something useful to the Empire, too" -- nothing more than that (why would they say so, see the 'Bushido' page).
It was never even a demand based on the fact that the merchants had been lending money to every samurai in the country and most of the debts were never paid back. It was a plea referring to the unchallenged system of values where the samurai perched on the top, as the inscrutable ideal of being human.
In the words of Ishida Baigan, founder of the 'Japanese middle-class movement' Shingaku, whose DNA was one hundred percent non-samurai:
The gods of our homeland received it from the gods Isanagi and Izanami. The sun, the moon, the stars and thousands of other things, are all within their power. Since there is nothing they don't conquer and rule, we call this homeland the land of the gods. This should be contemplated upon. It is so different from the way things are in China. In our country, the lineage of the Goddess of the Sun has always been preserved the way it was, and every time her offspring is on the throne. Thus people worship the at the Great Shrine (of the Goddess of the Sun, in Ise). Because she begot our rulers, who are descendants of the beings of Heaven, average people become pilgrims to her shrine. It is not this way in China.
It is the Way of Heaven (tendo) that the exalted nobles make use of the humble servants like us.....
The heart of the servant is bound towards his lord. The rice and the soup he eats are the rewards he receives from the lord. Without such rewards, how could he survive at all? Therefore the servant gives his body as the substitute for that of his lord's, and he sees his existence and identity as nothing more than a drop of dew or a speck of dust. This is the way of the servant.....
Even though samurai, farmers, artisans and merchants are different in their calling, all of them share one Way. If we are talking about the way of the samurai, the same way also applies to farmers, artisans and merchants; when we talk of the way of the farmers, artisans and merchants, it applies to samurai as well.
And that came from a man who has been seen as the most combative of all advocates of the despised class of merchants and townsfolks. You can imagine how it must have been, the same subject, in average Japanese minds.
So, whatever the class was, all these same values were held on to.
I just said, half a cup before, that Akechi Mitsuhide's crime against Oda Nobunaga -- his lord -- was such a heinous deed. So how come Oda Nobunaga's own action of banishing the last of the Ashikaga Shoguns, Yoshiaki (in 1573) was not a crime in this frame of mind?
Oda's was not a crime because what he did was something everybody else had been waiting for. You can guess that easily. Not a single one among the hundreds of warlords in 1573 (there were more or less 260 warlords at the time) declared war against Oda to defend Ashikaga Yoshiaki. A shogunate exacted the same kind of loyalty that Akechi should have given to Oda Nobunaga, but there is a limit to it. If the lord wasn't any good, they were free to depose him. That was the rule of the game. Once again, this is not just a matter of how many regiments your army consisted of.
Oda Nobunaga, at the time Akechi Mitsuhide attacked him, was not a bad ruler and not an insufferable lord that you could depose or kill based on your own judgment.
So, the principles that sound so absurd actually were the greatest of all such
principles on this planet. It enabled the destroying of archaic social habits and conventions (like, Oda Nobunaga crushed the warrior-monks of Mount Hiei in 1571). It enabled radical changes (Emperor Kuammu discarded the capital city Nara and moved to Kyoto in 749; Emperor Meiji left Kyoto for Tokyo in 1890's). And while all those were commencing, the nation was kept intact, unbroken into Yugoslavian fragments.
Japanese valued learning and studying very much, but not as an end in itself. 'Enlightenment' is never individualistic -- it occurs to individuals, but it is always about a collective matter. One who was seen as 'intellectual' would instantly lose this title the minute he did something against his lord -- Akechi Mitsuhide was the arch-example of this, too.
So here is another streak that also sounds nonsensical today: the more educated you are, the more of an 'intelectual' you be, the more loyal you would be to your warlord.
This is why Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Niwa Nagahide, everybody under the Oda overlordship in 1582 had never foreseen Akechi Mitsuhide's betrayal on June 21 that year. Akechi was, in everyone's eyes, an intellectual; no way he would have even thought of attacking Oda Nobunaga.
Not at all sensible, you say? Well, that was, at any rate, how things went on in 16th century Japan. That explains why nobody -- not even the ninja corps of Tokugawa Ieyasu's, which were the best of all times -- was prepared for Akechi's attack.
What about the domestic realm of your own house?
It's all the same.
If your dad is an irrepairable alcoholic or unreformable sadist, leave him -- or depose him and take the title of the chief of the family yourself, or snatch it and give it to your uncle. If your dad raised arms against your lord, fight him.
That's the utmost filial piety.
So loyalty is not passively harbored. Loyalty in Japan, especially in circumstances like the Shinsengumi's world, something active.
But can loyalty be lavished on the wrong subject?
How to determine whether it is the case?
Quite easy: headcount.
That's why Oda Nobunaga wasn't a bad lord; all of his Generals, Captains, and tributary warlords showed up at the 'battle of revenge' against Akechi Mitsuhide at Yamazaki in 1582. If he was as bad as Akechi thought he was, at Oda's death all these people would have joined Akechi; Akechi had sent tons of letters of invitation. But no one even replied.
And that's why Shinsengumi's famous slogan 'Loyalty' was wrong: the Tokugawas were the wrong subjects because they were against the Imperial House, which is the rep of Japan, thus they were against nothing less than Japan itself.
Moreover, the Emperor was the god on earth, so the Tokugawas were against nothing less than Nirvana.
That's really scary, spiritually and philosophically speaking. So the Shinsengumi picked up the wrongest of all wrong subjects to hand its loyalty to.
The Tokugawa shogunate sought (and a lot pf people say it attained) harmony during its reign between 1603 until 1868. That's why they thought up every nonsensical laws and rules to harness potentials of conflicts, regulating everything from social structure to women's hairdo and drama actors' makeup.
But harmony in the Japanese sense is self-maintaining.
Harmony is secondary when you face the collective goal that runs against it; harmony is also #2 when it concerns your lord.
That's how Japan facilitated itself in revolutions -- it never broke the essentials, it preserved the basic values no matter what.
That's where Japan differs from other nations that crave integration above all else -- such as Indonesia, which has always been prone to get itself chopped down to pieces whenever conflicts arise. The fact that Japan has been kind of homogenous (Indonesia is maddeningly heterogenous) surely helps a lot in maintaining unity.
The value put on collective goals is infinite. Whatever the goals are, and whoever the leader is, everybody's duty is to follow it and do everything he could to help attaining the goals. Goals might change radically -- like, from Tokugawa's to Meiji's -- but the values stay the same.
So, the Tokugawa shogunate and Emperor Meiji actually had the one and the same backbone, the same values, the same principles.
And all this has been fixed in the year 604 by Lord Regent/Prince Shotoku, via his famous Constitution of the Japanese Empire.
Social harmony, wrote the Prince, would be attained when everyone acknowledges the Emperor/Empress as the ultimate power in political,
ethical, spiritual, even magical realms. This was the first time the word 'Emperor' was used. Before that, there were many terms that more or less only meant 'Chief'.
And like so many other basix of Japaneseness, the principle was imported by Prince Shotoku straight from China.
Now you can also stop wondering why Japan, of all nations, was actually the last on this planet to be wished for converting itself into Christianity. Christian doctrines are too far away from their frame of mind. Logic and rhetoric, the chief weapons in propagating Christendom, are two things the Japanese never value at all; Christianisty is much too verbose.
And it can't get along with other existing beliefs -- Shintoism, Buddhism, Confucianism -- it can't get synthesized with them. Its insistent monotheist creed runs frontally against the core of being Japanese: the faith in the Imperial line.
So Tokugawa Iemitsu was understandably much disturbed by the rise of this 'barbarian faith' within his realm in 1637.
What about the so-called essential streak of the Japanese warrior codes that have been known all over this little planet as some bulky preoccupation with death?
It did, actually, make sense. When you might lose your life any time this week not just because of your job description (a samurai's job description was just that, 'to die'), but it was also your duty to die, then the only way for you to get prepared for it is to get prepared. Right here and right now.
Luckily the Buddhist-Shintoist-Confucian Japanese knew exactly what lies beyond the last breath of mere mortals, so there was no reason for them to get freaked-up around the theme (that's something Christians do). The concept of life as a circle prevented the nonsensical view of death as if it is
not a surety. There was no taboo around it; talking about death was normal because talking about life was.
As all books about the way of the samurai (in Tokugawanese term: 'bushido') have been ceaselessly elaborating, in a mercilessly philosophized view, the only thing a samurai can give to his lord, to his Emperor, to his country, was his life. So he lived a day to be able to give the life tomorrow. And as one of the quotations above showed, to lose life for your lord was, so to speak, a reward.
Something different was adhered to by ninjas.
Ninjas are samurai, but they had their own codes when it came to details of what must and what must not be done to serve their lord best. And one of these was not to die.
Not before a mission was accomplished anyway.
And not to die at all even after that, if possible.
That's why even among Japanese samurai there used to be some sort of unspoken and unshown disrespect toward the profession (maybe that made one of the reasons why Oda Nobunaga never liked ninjas, too).
The ninjas had a valid justification for it: how could they be of any use to their lord, if they kept dying before missions were done? M.I.A was the most horrible fate that could befall ninjas. So their code said that, whatever happened, just do anything to be able to get back alive. Otherwise the painstakingly-acquired info would have been a labor for nothing.
There's a famous illustrative event for the distinct ninjaistic way that wasn't the same as the rest of the warrior class'.
In 1570, Toyotomi Hideyoshi sent his ninja Watanabe to the province of Kai, Takeda Shingen's territory. Watanabe stayed undercover (pretending to be a Buddhist monk) for several months until he got enough facts to report about Takeda's plans to march to Kyoto. He decided to get back to Gifu.
But when he was on his way, another ninja came -- this one was the Takeda clan's ninja, Amakasu Sanpei.
Most best-known ninjas knew each other; so did Watanabe and Amakasu.
It was Amakasu's job to make sure no single sentence about the Takedas' plan was to get out of the mountains of Kai, and to do that meant killing Watanabe. It was Watanabe's job to make sure the info got into Toyotomi's ears, and this meant killing Amakasu.
But ninjas didn't share the samurai code that would have made them slashed each other at once.
So did Watanabe and Amakasu.
Amakasu agreed to take Watanabe's robe, smeared with a little blood, to his HQ with a report that the man had been done away with. In exchange, Watanabe promised to leave out the info about Amakasu's manoevers in Mikawa (Tokugawa Ieyasu's province) when reporting to his boss. They could then part in peace.
Unfortunately this episode ended with the death of Amakasu, but such agreements like what he and Watanabe reached earlier were normal as long as ninjas were concerned. No 'daylight samurai' would even dream of
bargaining for his life, and he would have killed himself if he did out of unbearable shame. But it was ninjas' prerogative.
I always hear this same male voice.... Ichinsoooooooooooooooooose.... Ichinoseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee ICHINOSE !!!!!!! IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIchinose
and the ideo of playfulness... seems rather out of charactor....of that time period in general
After Aizu's surrender, prisoners were held at Inawashiro. Saitou, using the name Ichinohe Denpachi was held at Sooji-ji Temple in (Takada) Niigata before he was sent to Aomori in 1869-70. Ichinohe Denpachi was found on a list of prisoners held in the Takada region. The source of information is Takada Omote On-azukari Hitobito Betsu and Takada Kinshinchuu Zakki which researched by Akama Shizuko. Note: Ichinohe may also be read Ichinose depending on how the name is written.
Ichinohe was mixed in with prisoners from Aizu's Shujakutai (Phoenix Unit of Aizu) . Suzaku or "Shujakutai (South) [as in the direction on the compass]: Men from eighteen to thirty-five, who would engage in actual combat." (Shiba 44)
The following is a translation from an excerpt found in the book Saitou Hajime no Subete page 218:
"After Boshin-war, samurais of the old Aizu Clan who fought against Meiji government outside of Aizu-wakamatsu castle were on their best behaviors [kinshin] at Tera-machi of Takada. According to (1)Takada Omote On-azukari Hitobito Betsu in (2) Takada Kinshinchuu Zakki that lists people who were put them on their best behaviors, Saitou Hajime is recorded as Ichinose Denpachi (depending on how the name was written it can also be Ichinohe) among Suzaku members who were accommodated in Temple Sooji-ji. According to (3) Aihan Hokuetsu Takada Kinshinnin Mei, (4) Echigo Takada Tsume Myoosai Yuujin Choo, and (5) Aizu-han Takada Yuushuu Meibo, while he was on his best behaviors, he is recorded as his false name, Ichinose Denpachi again. It is confirmed by the list that puts the names of people who immigrated to Tonan in 1869, that Saitou Hajime used the name, Fujita Goro when he moved to Tonan. He moved to Goko after he changed his name from Denpachi Ichinose to Fujita Goro, and became a Tonan citizen."
(1) Takada Omote On-azukari Hitobito Betsu People who were kept at Takada (2) Takada Kinshinchuu Zakki A note book of record while being on his best behaviors at Takada (3) Aihan Hokuetsu Takada Kinshinnin Mei Names of whom were on their best behaviors at Takada in North Niigata of the Aizu Clan (4) Echigo Takada Tsume Myoosai Yuujin Choo A detailed record of people who were kept at Takada in Echigo (5) Aizu-han Takada Yuushuu Meibo A list of people who were on their best behaviors at Takada of the Aizu Clan.
Aomori It was during his exile in Aomori were he met his first wife Shinoda Yaso.
Countless Aizu families immigrated to this northern region. To see images of the location where he and his first wife, Yaso, and Tokio lived please visit this [page] and insert the address into http://www.nifty.com/globalgate. The
webpage is an outstanding example of how a fan was able to research a minor historical detail and share his work with others.
"It is amazing .. what a weak mind can do to a person." dunno... dont ask...
skulking through dirt, most of times
Saitou (Fujita Goro) and Nagakura built a memorial for Hijikata Toshizo and Kondou Isami with Matsumoto Ryojun in 1875. There are details which suggest that he stayed in touch with other members of the Shinsengumi and a member of the Kondou family.
After the “Restoration”, he worked in the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department(TMPD) Headquarters during the Meiji Era), and lived the rest of his life under the name Fujita Goro from 1870 onwards which was given by Matsudaira Katamori, daimyo of Aizu. The exact date of when he entered the force is not certain however he retired in 1891. He may have received this job tip through Sagawa Kanbei and Toshiyoshi Kawaji who was conducting recruitment among samurai not connected to the Satsuma domain. In the TMPD he was a "mittei" or spy, sergeant, assistant inspector, inspector and lastly chief inspector an important position which made him a liaison between his district, local chief and the police commissioner. He was also, occasionally, a bodyguard for members of the royal family such as the emperor's mother, thus he occasionally worked as a member of the Imperial Guard (which used men from directly out of TMPD). He was also a bodyguard to Inoue Kaoru [link1][link2] .Was Goro at this party hosted by Inoue?
To learn more about what Fujita Goro experienced in the TMPD please go to No sleep, No rest : A Survey of the Pre-Modern and Meiji Era Police System
Seinan War (Satsuma Rebellion or Southwest War) Many former samurai, especially Aizu samurai volunteered to fight their former enemy of the Boshin War, Satsuma, as members of the Imperial Army. The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department was dissolved and dispatched in phases to Kyushu. Fujita Goro was sent on May 8, 1877. Fujita Goro was in a newspaper article covering the Seinan War printed in Tokyo Nichinichi (also known as Tokyo Nichinichi Shimbun edited by Fukuchi Gen'ichirou) newspaper on August 23, 1877. The Tokyo Nichinichi was easily the most widely circulated and popular newspaper The actual events occurred on July 12th of the that year when Goro commanded 107 men and robbed 2 cannons. The Seinan War took place in the mountainous regions of Kyushu where Saigo Takamori's men would frequently mount cannons on top of hills and conduct guerilla warfare. He was shot in this battle. He returned to Tokyo on October 28, 1877. [American Edward S. Morse's description of troops returning from the Seinan War] Newspaper Frontpage :: Page with information on Fujita Goro :: Rough Translation of the article
Awarded the medal "Order of the Blue Paulownia" and 100 yen (a huge sum for the era) in 1879 for his work in the Seinan War of 1877. Due to the government's financial hardship, there was a delay in compensation. He worked in the army briefly in 1881. Goro participated in two kendo tournaments sponsored by the police department. One on November 26, 1882 and the last on January 23, 1890.
Tokyo Education Museum( chronology) in the security department from 18911899 through his connection withTakamine Hideo (Takagi Tokio's cousin). [American Edward S. Morse's description of the early days of the Education Museum]
Tokyo Women's Normal School 1899-1909 through his connection with Takagi Tokio and Takamine Hideo. Fujita (Saitou) and Tokio served together at Tokyo ’s Joushi Takashi (Women’s High School, no Ochanomizu University (the school went through numerous name changes and it sometimes known as Tokyo joshi shihan gakko). When the school day would be out, he would be in charge of traffic control for rickshaws. He was also in charge of finances and general affairs.
Death Fujita Goro's stormy life ended on September 28th in 1915 (Taisho 15). Perhaps, in emulation of 2 swordsmen of the Mugai Ryu lineage, he too died sitting upon cushions in the seiza position.
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