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Chofu City, Mitaka City Course (Let's take a stroll around The places associated with Shinsengumi !)

Memories of Shinsengumi in Chofu City and Mitaka City


Seated statue of KONDO Isami (Saiko-ji Temple)

KONDO Isami, the chief of Shinsengumi, was born as the third son of a wealthy farmer called MIYAGAWA Kyujiro. When he was 15 years old, he became a disciple of Tennenrishin-ryu School, directed by KONDO Shusuke, with his elder brother. And next year, he was adopted by Shusuke having been recognized for his talent. When he was 28 years old in 1861, he succeeded to the 4th head of Tennenrishin-ryu and held on the demonstration play at the Rokushogu Shrine.

In 1863, KONDO Isami joined Roshigumi which was organized for the guard of the 14th Shogun TOKUGAWA Iemochi's visit to Kyoto, with HIJIKATA Toshizo and YAMANAMI Keisuke and other disciples. Although many Roshi (masterless samurai) returned to Edo, KONDO Isami was left to be in charge of maintaining security of Kyoto City. It is well known that they were gained fames in Ikedaya Incident and others, and in 1867 he became Bakushin (shogun's retainer).

On January in 1868, after defeat at the Battle of Toba-Fushimi, he returned to Edo and organized the Koyo Chinbutai. On March they prayed to Kamiishiwara Wakamiya Hachimanjinja Shrine (3 Shimoishiwara, Chofu City) from the distant for the war's victory. The seated statue of KONDO Isami which was produced by local research organization of Shinsengumi, called "KONDO Isami-to Shinsengumi-no-Kai (Organization of KONDO Isami and Shinsengumi lovers)", is placed beside of Sanmon Gate (temple gate) of Saiko-ji Temple. After that the Koyo Chinbutai fought against the Army of the New Government, KONDO Isami surrendered to them and was executed at Itabashi, Edo City, at 35 years old. His nephew KONDO Yugoro buried him at Ryugen-ji Temple (6 Osawa, Mitaka City) located near his birthplace. At the graveyard of KONDO Family in Ryugen-ji Temple, there are graves of his step-brother KONDO Yugoro and his son, Kyugoro.

Chofu City, Mitaka City Map

1 Site of KONDO Isami's Birthplace

Historic Site of Chofu City
Designated on April 25, 1977

Reconstructed model of KONDO Isami's Birthplace


Site of KONDO Isami's Birthplace (Saiko-ji Temple)

KONDO Isami was born into MIYAGAWA Family, and their house stood at the crossroads of Hitomi-kaido Street and the street leading to Koganei, about 2.4 km north of Kamiishiwarajuku on Koshu-kaido Avenue. It has the main house, warehouse, private library, and barn in a total 7,000m². In the garden there were artificial hill and planted Zelkova and Oak around the house, Bamboo in back of a house. KONDO Isami's father MIYAGAWA Kyujiro, wealthy farmer, invited KONDO Shusuke, head of the Tennenrishin-ryu School, and provided the barn as Kenjutsu training hall. After Isami was adopted by Shusuke, this Kenjutsu training hall was so crowded with disciples.

In 1943, this house was destroyed because it disturbed fighter plane flying away from the Chofu Military Airport. Only a well, has been remained, which has been said that water of it was used for Isami's first bath when he was born. The Chofu Folk Museum exhibits the model of birthplace (scale 1:300,000) which was reproduced in collaboration with MIYAGAWA Family.

There is Kondo-jinja Shrine adjacent to the well, which was built by soldiers in Tokyo area in 1926. Also in front of this shrine, Kenjutsu training hall of the Tennenrishin-ryu School "Hatsuunkan" is located. "Hatsuunkan" opened in 1876 by Yugoro, Isami's son-in-law, has been said that it was named and calligraphed the signboard by YAMAOKA Tesshu.

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