A lot of the interest in the Shinsengumi, particularly for fictional purposes is that there are a lot stories in their lives which stirs the imagination because there’s enough unknown that one can actually create your own version so to speak. Through the passage of time, some events become more obscure, while the others are proven via new information like a diary or a historical war record. But something so personal such as a love life is harder to uncover. Below is a draft of Okita Souji’s mysterious love life that I got from Shinsengumi related books. I know a lot of people are fans of Okita Souji especially his fictional counterparts. Here’s more to stir the imagination… Please take with a grain of salt as I do not speak Japanese.
There is an account that Okita Souji womanized according to the diary of Inoue Genzaburou’s elder brother on April 22, 1863. Something about a forward woman who had liked him back in the Shieikan who was Kondou’s adopted daughter… However aside from this, there is no other record of Okita womanizing and Kondou and Hijikata throws “considerable” opposition (confusion?)
According to Kondou Yuugorou, *Okita was in love with a certain doctor’s daughter in Kyoto. Isamu however opposed this heartily, telling Okita to sever his connections with the daughter because of their circumstances. Yuugorou goes on to surmise that it was probably because of the idea that they could meet their end anytime soon.*
During the Ikedaya raid Okita expectorated blood and had to be carried outside. According to Matsumoto Ryojun who examined the members of the Shinsengumi in Nishihonga-ji Temple, there was one person with tuberculosis. This was probably Okita.
Okita might have met this doctor’s daughter while he was going for treatment. Yuugorou said that Okita did speak to him about this doctor’s daughter too.
There is a theory that there was a child born out of this relationship. It comes from a “Capital Newspaper” dated July 22, 1937 owned by the Kojima Resource center in Machida City. Apparently during a house cleaning (it mentions Tachikawa (remember that Tachikawa is also a Shinsengumi who decided to settle in Tama in his old days), I’m not sure if it’s his house that they were cleaning or Okita’s) they found a lot of documents and letters. It talked about a popular young fencer who fell in love with a doctor and had a child. However most consider this article written out of “curiosity” and is highly inaccurate that it was hard to believe.
Another story about Okita’s love life is that he is related to a woman whose death register was found and contained “Okita’s relation”. When they examined the Kaimyo (Buddhist name given at death), it is concluded as an “elder sister” and that she was a “samurai’s woman”. Okita was cited to be the chief mourner and it was guessed that it was either the doctor’s daughter or Akesato (Yamanami’s lover).
However recently it turned out that the person was the wife of a Shinjo clan Gokajishi head, Zaemon of Sakai (unsure if the name is Zaemon or Sakai) according to Kawanishi Masataka in Shinsengumi Clarification”. This person was born a year before Okita and had lived in Mibu and most probably Okita’s “woman”, it is cited (and noted as boldly reasoning) that this woman divorced most probably of because of Okita, the woman is described as having a child or children (from what I gather, these are children/child in the previous marriage). The death register’s additional letter mentions a son-in-law taken into the family afterwards.
Not to be taken seriously..
Kizu playing devil’s advocate…
There is an account by Kondou Yuujurou about Okita mentioning a doctor’s daughter… What if Okita Souji actually disguised the older woman, who has his name on her death register, as a doctor’s daughter to be safe and not garner disapproval from other members especially the officers of the Shinsengumi? Remember that the older woman, had a husband and it seems with children… What if Kondou and Hijikata found out about this, I believe both would make Okita break off the relationship, but to safeguard Okita’s reputation they will go along with the doctor’s daughter story for the same reasons Okita disguised the wife of Zaemon (Sakai?) to Yuujurou. Ah… But either way… What a mysterious and highly interesting story ne?
I’ve seen Okita’s love life described from him being “clean” or a virgin, an innocent love with a doctor’s daughter… And now a mysterious (and sounds like passionate) love with a married woman. Wow… And I thought only Saitou loved older women (reference to Yaso). *snicker*