For anyone who’s been looking up Saitou Hajime, we all know that he’s had quite a few names. His real/birth name was Yamaguchi Hajime then changed to Saitou Hajime, which was used in his Shinsengumi (Kyoto) years until he once again changed it to Jirou Yamaguchi, some say it was used to gain entrance back into the Shinsengumi (a technicality use I guess, but still kind of dis. There’s a name he used while in confinement (sort of like a penitence prison) Ichinouhe Denpachi and of course the one supposedly given to him by Matsudaira Katamori, Fujita Goro.
Well my favorite name will always be Yamaguchi Hajime (for personal reasons. LOL), but let’s discuss the last two names, Ichinouhe Denpachi and Fujita Goro.
It was said before that Jirou Yamaguchi stayed in Aizu to fight to the bitter end. Not surprising really. He was with the “Phoenix” troop, I think the Japanese is Suzaku (spelling?) and fought mainly outside the castle. Actually it’s said that the fighting outside continued for a while as they didn’t know that Aizu surrendered already. Feel free to strike that out as I’ve not confirmed it by a better source, I think I got it somewhere along the web, messageboards and what not. It’s probably true though since in one of the books I read (painstakingly LOL), it did say he submitted himself and was not able to triumphantly enter the castle. The POWs were then led to the Takada clan (at least those who weren’t badly injured) in several migrations from January 3 to January 15. During this time in order not to be noticed by the new government army he used the name Ichinose Depanchi -not- Ichinohe Denpachi. I’m not sure how the name Ichinohe came down, I do know that Akama had used the name in her novel and others followed, just look around and you’ll see a lot of references to Ichinohe Denpachi, even I’ve used it before and in this site too. But definitely the name is not Ichinohe as proven by the transcript “Takada Kinshin Chou Zakki” (see pic below, name is with red marking) where Ichinose is recorded along with another Shinsengumi, Shimizu Ukichi. It’s said that he took a lot of precaution not to be exposed conceiling from relative and even Shinsengumi comrade, makes sense of course. But why did he pick the name? Apparently the surname Ichinose was used by a lot of distinguished families from the Aizu clan. I’ll not describe the conditions in the penitence camp we’re just talking names here after all and I’m sleepy. LOL…. But many POWs though died there because of sickness and lack of sustenance (well aside from some of them escaping and being caught and decapitated).
Now Ichinose-san uses the name Fujita Goro when he migrates to Tonami, we know he used it for sure during 1871 because his family register when he married Shinoda Yaso in August 25 1871 is already Fujita. I’ll not go into Yaso either (for now) as that’s going to take me forever. LOL. It is theorized that he used the surname Fujita as many there were a lot of “Fujita” surnames in the southern part of the clan territory, which does coincide with what Akama mentioned before in Nazo. As for why he’d change his name again, we can all just guess or maybe it’s for the same reason. It seems that our wolfie really is a very cautious man. It goes on to say that Matsudaira did not appoint the name which is surprising (maybe my transcription is wrong but I doubt it since the paragraph structure is made to support that it was not an “officially” bestowed name by Matsudaira). Depending on when specifically he used the name, it cites that shortly at the time of migration he will use the name Fujita Goro. If this is before September 1870, the time when Matsudaira came to Tonami then they are probably right. We do know that on May 2 an advance party was sent to Tonami, Kurasawa was a councilor who helped the POW migrate and that the migration for many people was completed in June… I think it’s been said time and time again that Matsudaira bestowed the name to Saitou because of his service to the Aizu han and even goes on to say that Saitou treasured it and so forth. I would venture to say that the origin of the name is in question as it’s only recently that we have a better footprint of what happened to POW Saitou (which again isn’t discussed in detail here. Gomen…), but Matsudaira’s appreciation of Saitou is seen also in other ways like that haori and it’s said that he met with Saitou many times while he was in Tonami. Saitou even goes out to accompany him (be his guard) when Matsudaira had to go to Tokyo to facilitate the abolition of the Aizu clan, but take note it wasn’t just Saitou who went with him, it was also many other clan retainers who also received “gifts” from Matsudaira.
Ah well just letting you guys know what I stumble upon. As usual Kizu make no claims. Heh. I mean if they can’t decide… I can’t either. LOL… This is just to stir your mind. Oh most of this comes from Saitou no Nazo and Subete.