Shinohara Tainoshin – Itou Kashitarou’s right hand man who secedes from the Shinsengumi

In the Shinsengumi who had gave themselves to serving the Shogunate everyday, there was Itou Kashitarou who had tried to look for an opportunity to secretly separate from the Shinsengumi. Itou has known after going to Hiroshima two times that the situation of the country had already turned it’s back from the Shogunate. A meeting with Okubo Toshimichi was done via Tomiyama Yahee who was also a Satsuma native and thus connections were born. Kondou and Hijikata had sensed this but since Itou held an important position in the Shinsengumi they could not “touch” Itou carelessly.

It was in Keio 2 in fall that things came out into the open. The Shinsengumi were finally given merit for their service in the Shogunate and an unofficial announcement of their efforts materialized, however to Itou who was of the Sonno-joi sect, this was nothing more than “talk” and misplaced kindness. When the Shinsengumi became vassals to the Shogun he had decided to put an end to his connections to the group. So on September 26 Itou went with his right hand Shinohara Tainoshin to Kondo Isami’s resting place (mistress house) and offered to withdraw from the Shinsengumi. However this was denied saying an officer cannot be permitted to leave (escape) and that this was grounds for seppuku. He countered with, “I want to secede because we want to be guards of Emperor Komei’s Imperial tomb. I want to start a friendly relationship with the Satsuma and Choshu and probe their tendencies. I am doing this also for the sake of the Shinsengumi.” However Kondou and Hijikata knew that Ito was hiding behind “secession” but really Itou’s intent was “separation”, leaving the Shinsengumi. Therefore Kondou and the others did not agree and the discussions ended in heated argument.

There was a second discussion the next day of the 27th. Shinohara writes it in his diary as, “This evening, they punish those with different clothes and body. If two minds argue and damage the spirit, separation is obstructed even more and we will not obey. However these two men (I think Shinohara is talking about Hijikata and Kondou) cannot understand our opinion, not knowing of Imperialism and that Tokugawa’s punishment is that Bushido is used uniquely only to control people. Therefore we fall into the art of trickery because at last I will obey the opinion of seceding.”

Drastic measures were imminent and the heated discussions grow even more excited until Kondou and Hijikata were refuted at last and the two accepted the “secession”. However Kondou and Hijikata accepted with something up their sleeves. Itou’s faction will learn of it with the tragedy of Aburanokouji. The following year March 10 Keio 3 the Itou faction receives the official appointment to be the Imperial tomb guard through the kind office of Sennyuuji temple elder. They moved Chouenji Utsuri of Gojou Oohashi and again to Higashiyama Kodaiji Temple as their base on June 8, the door plate read “Kinri Goryou Eiji Tonsho”. This is the group that came to be called “Kodai ji Temple Group”. There were at this time 15 who seceded from the Shinsengumi into Kodai-ji temple.

Shinohara Tainoshin was born in the province of Chikugo in Takami village on October 10, 1828, 11th year of the Bunsei era. In 1858, 5th year of Ansei era at 31 years old he went to Edo to the Kanagawa magistrate and worked as a guard in a Yokohama settlement. It was at this time that he became friends with Itou Kashitarou and followed Itou to Kyoto. Itou who had separated from the Shinsengumi formed the Kodaiji party with Shinohara but the incident at Aburanokouji annihilated the Kodaiji party. Shinohara narrowly escapes death and received protection from the Satsuma domain. This assassination of Kondou failed and after the Boshin war he changed his name to Hata Shigechika. He died in 1911 at 84 years old. It is said that he became a pious Christian.

The heated argument of the disassociation at the time of the Kodaiji party is a well quoted testimony from Shinohara’s diary called “Hata Hayashi Shinnichi Ki”. As for Ito’s request to separate to become a loyal defense retainer of the Emperor, Itou probably meant to become a guard of the “Imperial Palace”, since Emperor Komei passes away on December 25, three months after this heated argument. Since Emperor Komei dies before the separation from the Shinsengumi was achieved, their charge was most likely changed to “Guards of the Imperial Tomb”.

Kizu’s blab: The assumptions in the preceding paragraph is Tooru’s own words. It’s a little confusing to me with Itou talking about being an Imperial Tomb Guard already… But it is possible as the author suggested that Itou might’be meant to be a guard of the Imperial Palace (grounds). I did this to learn more about Shinohara Tainoshin, there are probably better sources in my other books but I’ve not really looked into them -yet-.