Toshizo Hijikata

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Toshizo Hijikata lived in Japan during the late Edo period. He was a member of Shinsengumi.[1] They guarded the Shogun. And he was a Vice President of Shinsengumi. He supported the president, Isami Kondo. He was a very strict person. So he was feared as a Vice President of the ogre. He died in Hokkaido at the age of 35.[2]

Early life[change | change source]

In 1835, he was born in Musashino Kuni (Hino city, Tokyo). He the tenth child and he was the youngest in his family. His father was a wealthy farmer. But he wanted to do martial arts and be a samurai. So he made an effort to practice sword fighting.

Childhood[change | change source]

As a child, he was a very naughty boy. Also he was a smart boy.

When he was 11 years old, he started to work in the dry goods dealer (Ito Gofukuten). But he quarreled with the leader for a trivial matter and walked back about 40 kilometers to his house. He was so stubborn that he wouldn’t return to the shop even if his family persuaded him.

Next, he started to sell medicines (Ishida Sanyaku).

Shinsengumi[change | change source]

The Shinsengumi, or "newly selected troops," protected the Shogun in the last years before the Meiji Restoration.[2]

Hijikata met Isami Kondo when he was 25 years old. He joined Shieikan which Isami Kondo ran. After that, he applied for the Roshigumi to protect Tokugawa Iemochi, the 14th Shogun of the Edo Shogunate. And he went to Kyoto with members of Shieikan. Shinsengumi started in 1863 because they succeeded there. They guarded the Shogun.

He was a Vice President of Shinsengumi. He was a very strict person. So he was feared by all as a Vice President of the ogre. But just before he died in Hakodate, he was kind to everyone.

Ikedaya case[change | change source]

In 1864 July 8th, Ikedaya case happened. Shinsengumi beat Sonno Joi ha (supporters of the doctrine of restoring the emperor and expelling the barbarians). When he heard that Isami Kondo’s army had found Sonno Joi ha, he immediately joined forces. But he didn’t storm Ikedaya immediately and ambushed around there. The achievements of the Shinsengumi in the Ikedaya case were very great.

Boshin War[change | change source]

Immediately after the Boshin War began, Isami Kondo was arrested. Toshizo tried to save Isami Kondo, but he was executed. When the war of Utsunomiya castle happened, he won temporarily. But it was inferior to a modern weapon of the new government troop with swords and spears. He escaped to Goryokaku, but his stomach was shot and he died. He was 35 years old.

Legacy[change | change source]

Hijikata's sword was returned to Tokyo. People come to look at it every year.[2]

The Hijikata Toshizo Museum opened in Hino City in 1994. It is in the same building where Hijikata grew up.[2]

A fictional Hijikata appears in the game Hakuouki.[2]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Hijikata, Toshizo (1835 - 1869)". Portraits of Modern Japanese Historical Figures. Retrieved January 18, 2021.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 "Truth about Japan's last samurai awaits fans in hometown of Hino". Kyodo News Digital. June 25, 2019. Retrieved January 18, 2021.