Shinsengumi Research (1)

There are a lot of books about the Shinsengumi. I have referred to many of them in my research and writing thus far, including in Shinsengumi: The Shogun’s Last Samurai Corps. I am relying on them as I research and write my next book. Some of the best ones from a purely historical viewpoint are listed below:

Hirao Michio. 定本 新選組史録 (Teihon Shinsengumi Shiroku)

Kojima Masataka. 新選組余談 (Shinsengumi Yodan)

Kojima Masataka. 武術天然理心流 (Bujutsu Tennenrishinryu)

Matsuura Rei 新選組 (Shinsengumi)


Yagi House, Mibu, Kyoto

Yagi-tei, Mibu, Kyoto, October 11, 2016. First Kyoto lodging of Shinsengumi leaders including Serizawa Kamo, Kondo Isami and Hijikata Toshizo.

I entered the house again and took the tour to refresh my memory of awe-inspiring scene of Serizawa’s assassination. (No photos allowed inside the house.)


Hijikata’s Statue

Kondō Isami and Hijikata Toshizō were glorified as heroes upon their return to Tama in early 1868. In death they were apotheosized. On the expansive grounds of Takahata Fudō temple in Hino, the stone Monument of the Two Heroes was completed in 1888. Over a century later a bronze statue of Hijikata was erected near the monument. The left hand grips a sword. The right fist is clenched. The eyes… the eyes battle-ready, are ever prepared for death, “to meet Kondō underground.”

[closing paragraph of Shinsengumi: The Shogun’s Last Samurai Corps]


New Shinsengumi Book (1)

新選組 (1)

I’ve finished (more or less) about one-quarter of a new book on Shinsengumi that I started about a month ago.


That was faster than I had expected. If things go smoothly – without stumbles, confusion, unexpected (i.e., new) discoveries, misunderstandings of archaic Japanese, etc., etc. – I might finish in a year or so.

Wish me luck. And I thank you all for your continuous support, encouragement, instruction, teaching – and most of all for the incentive to push forward in this lonely occupation.

Think big! Create!