Ito Kashitaro’s Kodaiji Party

Shinohara Tainoshin –

Oct 10, 1828 – June 13, 1911

            Shinohara was the eldest son of a farmer from the Takami Village in the Chikugo Province. His father was named Gensuke and he had been adopted by the 11th generation head of the Shinohara family when he married the man’s daughter, Taki.

            There was one source which claimed that the family was very poor and spoke with a Kurume dialect. However this information is not very reliable because the same source went on to claim that they were part of the Kurume clan and that Shinohara was a native of Edo, which is false. He did have some connection with the Kurume clan, because he learned to use the spear from one of their clansmen and entered the service of another in 1852. By 1858 he was in the service of the clan in Edo. (The person he entered the service of in 1852 was probably named “Arima Ukon”. He either continued to serve this person in Edo in 1858 or was referred to someone there by him at that time. However the details were not clear enough to be absolutely certain.)

            Shinohara is described as a calm, quiet person with a friendly nature. He seems to have been an educated person and was eager in the martial arts. By 18, he had learned how to use both the sword and the spear, and was good at jujutsu. His sword style is said to have been the same as Ito’s.

            The assassination of Ii Naosuke in 1860 greatly shocked Shinohara and he joined the cause of “Sonno-joi” at that time. He traveled around for a bit, visiting Mito, Osaka, Echigo, and other places. At some point during this time period, he also married his first wife, Hagino, and they had a son around 1863.

            Also in 1863, he was hired by the Kanagawa magistrate as a guard for the foreigner’s settlement in Yokohama. This brought him into contact with Kano Washio and Hattori Takeo, who were also apparently working at this job. That same year Kano took him to Edo and introduced him to Ito Kashitaro.

            Like the others, Shinohara decided to follow Ito into the Shinsengumi when he joined in 1864. However he arrived later than the rest of the group, only showing up on May 10, 1865. After settling in Kyoto, he called for his wife and child to join him there. (The reason for this delay is not listed. He may have stayed behind in Edo to look after Ito’s wife, but this task would have become unnecessary when Ito divorced her for deceiving him. Or he may have hesitated because of something relating to his own family.)

            Shinohara was made a spy for the Shinsengumi and was one of the jujutsu instructors. He is said to have been friendly with Matsubara Chuji, who also taught jujutsu.

            After Ito’s assassination, he joined the Sekihoutai and became involved in the “False Imperial Army” case, for which he was briefly jailed. In just a matter of a few months he was back in the fighting, this time as a sergeant in the Satsuma clan forces.

            As soon as the revolution was over, he changed his name to “Hata Shigechika”. The government gave him a job with the Ministry of Justice, but he did not last too long at this one. (There was some indication that this may have been because of an “anti-government plot”, but the information was not very clear.) He next worked for the Ministry of Finance, but resigned in 1873 after only a year. From there on he “meddled” in various businesses, but never felt any particular need to be “successful”.

            The reason for his attitude was the fact that he became a convert to Christianity. At some point he also remarried to a younger woman. (It was not noted whether he divorced his first wife or if she had died.)

            In 1911, Shinohara died of an inflammation of the middle ear. He had his sons with him and his passing was calm. He was 84 [82] at the time of his death.

Kano Washio –

Jan 9, 1939 – Oct 27, 1902

            Kano was born in the Kano Village in the Izu province. He went to Edo and learned swordsmanship at Ito’s dojo and worked as a guard of the foreigner’s settlement in Yokohama. He followed Ito into the Shinsengumi in 1864, where he served as a corporal. During the Boshin War he was able to get “revenge” for Ito’s death when he was called on to identify Kondo for the Satsuma clan, causing the Shinsengumi commander to be executed. When Oishi Kuwajiro foolishly sought him out for help in 1870, Kano turned him over to the government as well. After the war he worked for the Bureau of Development. Kano passed away in 1902 at the age of 64 [63].

Abe Juro –

1837(?) – 1907

            Abe was the second son of a farmer from the Yuri area of the Dewa province. He suffered some sort of childhood illness which left him twisted at the waist.

            He first joined the Shinsengumi in 1863 and seems to have held more with Serizawa’s faction than with Kondo and Hijikata. Abe participated in the political change of August 18, 1863, but then left the group sometime after Serizawa’s death. He went to Osaka, where he went by the name “Takano Juro”. It cannot be said that he was hiding from the group however, because he stayed at the Tani dojo during this time and so was never completely out of contact with the Shinsengumi.

            In 1866 he helped Tani Mantaro deal with some Tosa ronin for the Shinsengumi. A few months later he was persuaded to return to the group after being told about Ito Kashitaro. He served as a corporal and a teacher of artillery. (There was no mention of exactly when and where he is supposed to have learned that skill, which may go a long way toward explaining why the Shinsengumi never got any better at it.)

            After Ito’s death, he joined the Sekihoutai with the other faction members. Later he fought in the Oshu region. After the war, he worked for the Bureau of Development and went to Ezo, which had then been renamed Hokkaido. There he established the Abe Orchard and cultivated apples.

            In his later years, Abe appears to have claimed to have been the one who shot Kondo. This lead to his friendship with Shinohara being broken off. Abe also seems to have been responsible for at the murder of at least one former Shinsengumi member after the war. (The murder of Yasutomi Saisuke.) He died in 1907 at age 64 [63] of an illness.

Hattori Takeo –

1842 – 1868

            He was originally from Ako in the Harima province. Hattori was noted to have a good build and was a great swordsman. He also knew jujutsu and how to use a spear.

            He worked as a guard of the foreigner’s settlement in Yokohama and appears to have been connected with Ito’s dojo. He joined the Shinsengumi at the same time Ito did in 1864 and was first a part of Ogata Shuntaro’s 5th unit. Later on his skill with a sword earned him a position as an instructor of kenjutsu when the group reorganized. He may have also worked as a spy after this time. Hattori was eventually killed with Ito and Todo on Nov 18, 1867. He would have been about 27 [26].

Tomiyama Yabee –

1843 – 1868

            Tomiyama was apparently from Satsuma. When he first attempted to join the Shinsengumi (either in Kyoto or Osaka) in 1864, he was almost refused on the suspicion that he was a spy for that clan. Ito intervened and he was accepted, becoming part of Matsubara’s unit at first. Later he served as a corporal in the group.

            It is known that Ito established some sort of contact with the Satsuma clan before leaving the Shinsengumi. Since Tomiyama was from there originally, he probably played a part in that. He left the group with Ito’s faction and was wounded fighting at Toba-Fushimi for the Imperialists. This seems to have kept him from joining the Sekihoutai with the other member of the Kodaiji Party.

            In April of 1868, he was ordered to make some sort of search for the new government, during which he was captured by an enemy faction (apparently from Mito). He attempted to escape and was killed. He was 26 [25] at the time of his death.

Arai Tadao –

1835 – Feb 15, 1891

            Arai was the second son of his family and for some reason it seems he used his mother’s family name rather than his father’s. He first appeared in Edo around 1852 and joined the Shinsengumi in the summer of 1865. He was made a spy and an instructor of kenjutsu. He was also known to have been an “unparralleled” regular drinker.

            Arai seems to have been on a mission at the time Ito was killed. During the war he joined the Sekihoutai with the others and was arrested for the “False Imperial Army” case. After his release he was a sergeant in the new government force fighting in the Echigo region.

            After the war, he served in some post in Kyoto for until 1870, but was then dismissed. In 1874 he re-entered government service in the Department of Justice. He retired as a local government official in 1886 in Tokyo. He died in 1891 at age 57 [56].

            Strangely enough, Arai seems to have been a friend of Saito’s at least in their later years. This is a bit surprising since Saito is believed to have betrayed Ito to the Shinsengumi, either as a spy or to get himself out of trouble. Both men lived in the Hongo area of Tokyo, so perhaps this was a factor in their decision not to continue any hostilities. Also their respective jobs may have forced them to declare a truce. At any rate it seems that they were close enough friends that Saito attended Arai’s funeral.