Head of the Intelligence Division
Born – Unknown. Osaka area.
Died – January 11, 1868 or January 13, 1868, either at sea or in Osaka.
[February 2, 1868 or February 4, 1868]
Imina – Unknown.
Physical Description –
Yamazaki was a tall man with a swarthy complexion. His exact age is unknown, but he was said to have been about two or three years older than Hijikata.
Personality Quirks and Traits –
He is described as a gentle person who did not speak crisply. He also appears to have been an educated man.
Family History –
Not much is known about Yamazaki’s family beyond the fact that his father was a doctor in the Osaka area who practiced “hari” (acupuncture) and “kyu” (moxibustion).
Martial Skills –
Ryu – Kadori style of bojutsu
Rank – Master
It is said that Saito Hajime enjoyed training with Yamazaki very much because of his unique ryu. Also, Yamazaki used a nagamaki, which could be considered a longer sword or a shorter halberd.
Shinsengumi Years –
Yamazaki entered the Shinsengumi in 1863 and first worked as a captain. He eventually became a spy for the group and remained in this position until his death a Toba-Fushimi. At the Shinsengumi’s height, he was Head of the Intelligence Division.
It is said that Yamazaki entered the group because he wanted to become a samurai. He was very useful to them because he knew the area. He eventually became a very able spy for the group and was much loved by Kondo.
During Matsumoto Ryojun’s visit to the Shinsengumi’s headquarters, Yamazaki was selected to receive first aid training due to his family’s medical background. Afterwards he would joke, “I am the doctor of the Shinsengumi.”
He was very seriously wounded in the last moments of Toba-Fushimi and died either in Osaka or on board the “Fujisan Maru” as the Shinsengumi sailed for Edo.