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msr.iaidoka
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2007 5:49 am    Post subject: Ikedaya answer Reply with quote
Hey all,

Geez, I miss a few days from my shift rotation and I get stuck with the bottom of the barrel. The good part, I would have chosen this one anyhow.
The most significant part of the Ikedaya raid was the destruction of the Sonjo Roshi and, with it, a powerful segent of the Sonnou Joui movement. In doing so they thwarted a plan to burn Kyouto. The late arrival of Hijikata Toshizo and his troop allowed them to surround the inn and insure that only the Shinsengumi would get credit for the action. This was as much a philosophical victory as a military one and, with the "might is right" mentality, elevated the Shinsengumi power base.
This also marked (if I remember correctly) the last major involvement of Okita Souji. Sources debate the cause, but the fact that he collapsed and had to be carried away remains.
The brutality of the Shinsengumi before and during this raid is also a subject of much debate. Supposedly Hijikata Toshizo found out about the Ikedaya meeting by torturing a subject by means of inverted suspension, spikes through his feet, and lit candles on these spikes.
This engagement has been highlighted by many as a defining moment for the Shinsengumi, one which helped to capapult them into popularity. The membership boost after this, and the Kinmon Rebellion lends weight to this argument.


平和,

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wicked iemon
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2007 1:37 pm    Post subject: Shinsengumi Reply with quote
Wheres the brutality ????i mean 9 men (Shinsengumi )versus 30 plus Choshu fanatics for 20 minutes than another 20 gumi members show up and its even sounds more like a fair fight to me (According to Shimoswawa the Aizu troops never showed up until it was over .
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kitsuno
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2007 2:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Shinsengumi Reply with quote
Wicked Iemon wrote:
Wheres the brutality ????i mean 9 men (Shinsengumi )versus 30 plus Choshu fanatics for 20 minutes than another 20 gumi members show up and its even sounds more like a fair fight to me (According to Shimoswawa the Aizu troops never showed up until it was over .


I have to agree with this- in fact, when I read the above answer, that stuck out.
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msr.iaidoka
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2007 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
kitsuno,

That was my error when I was looking over it and editing before I posted. I was meaning to cite the torture before the Ikedaya attack.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2007 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
In a modern sense, as Matt was trying to convey, I think you can call Hijikata’s torture of Furudaka Shuntaro brutal, but then again, torture of any type is brutal and Japanese torture methods from the Edo period weren’t known for their pleasantness. Hijikata wanted to know who the Choshu conspirators were and where they were meeting, and if you take a Machiavellian approach that the ends justify the means, then he got the job done. Edo period politics were always Machiavellian in nature. The Bakufu wasn’t a benevolent democracy—it was a military dictatorship ruled by the Tokugawa family and the government apparatus existed to help perpetuate Tokugawa rule. When analyzing the actions of the Shinsengumi during the waning years of the Shogunate, most of what they did, while distasteful when looked at through modern eyes, was within the mandate of their mission.

Regarding the actual fighting at the Ikedaya incident, I, too, have to agree with Wicked Lemon. I don’t see anything brutal by what the Shinsengumi did when they attacked. The Mibu boys were vastly outnumbered in the early stages of the fight and what Kondo did shows either an incredible amount of bravado or foolhardiness (there is such a fine line sometimes). Even if the Shinsengumi decided to attack in full force, according to Hillsborough, they could have only mustered 34 men for active duty that night out of a total roster of about only 40. So, even at full force, it still would have been a fair fight.

You can say whatever you want about the Shinsengumi, but when it comes to this fight, you’ve got to tip your cap to them in recognition that they did something ballsy and pulled off a major victory that was not only good for the Bakufu (pushed back the Meiji Restoration by at least one year), but also, it was for the common good. If the Choshu extremists weren’t stopped, it is likely they would have burned down vast stretches of Kyoto, killing God knows how many innocents and leaving thousands homeless. Would this end have justified the mean in comparison to the *atrocities* committed by the Shinsengumi?
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kitsuno
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2007 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
msr.iaidoka wrote:
kitsuno,

That was my error when I was looking over it and editing before I posted. I was meaning to cite the torture before the Ikedaya attack.


That makes sense. It was pretty brutal. But I guess considering the time, place, and people involved it might have been status quo. Unless they really took it to an abnormal extreme witht his poor sod.
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heron
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2007 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I agree; it does seem like a pretty even fight. After Hijikata's arrival the decision was made to arrest the surviving shishi - but what then happened to them? Presumably they were executed eventually but does anyone know when or where?
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