Newly revealed document seems to confirm that Ryoma and Kogoro faced off in kenjutsu match in Edo

A newly revealed document shows that Sakamoto Ryoma lost a kenjutsu match to Katsura Kogoro of Choshu by a score 2 points to 3 points, at the Tosa Han residence in Kajibashi, Edo, on Ansei 4/3/1 (1857). The tournament has been discussed in history books, novels and other media over the years. Until now it was suspected that perhaps it never really took place. This document changes that perspective.

The Japanese media seems to be making a big deal out of the fact that Ryoma lost the match to Kogoro, which I think is a bit ridiculous. Both were highly skilled swordsmen. Losing (or winning) one match doesn’t amount to very much, in my view.

非常に興味深い!ですが二人とも優れた剣士だったので, 龍馬が小五郎に負けた、とは別に驚くことはありません。

[from Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Oct. 30, 2107]