Episode 464 – The Wolves of Mibu

This week: a long-requested dive into the ronin police force known as the Shinsengumi. Who were the members of this group, and how, despite their rather marginal role in the history of the 1860s, have they become one of the most famous organizations in Japanese history?


Keene, Donald. Emperor of Japan: Meiji and His World, 1852-1912. 

Wert, Michael. Meiji Restoration Losers: Memory and Tokugawa Supporters in Modern Japan’

Shiba, Ryotaro and Tadashi Hori. “Japanese History: From a Personal Viewpoint.” Review of Japanese Culture and Society, Vol 1, No 1 (October, 1986).

Beasley, W.G. The Meiji Restoration. 


The poster for the 2021 Moeyo Ken! film adaptation. 3.5/5 stars on Yahoo Movies Japan, so don’t get your hopes up.
The Battle of Kofu Castle, as depicted by Yoshitoshi in the 1890s. Kondo Isami is front and center.
Mibudera (Mibu Temple) on the outskirts of Kyoto, one of many places used as a headquarters by the Shinsengumi.
Today, the former site of the Ikedaya is a theme restaurant dedicated to the Shinsengumi, and if that’s not this entire episode encapsulated in one image I don’t know what is.

1 thought on “Episode 464 – The Wolves of Mibu”

  1. What I want to know is if it’s true that Kondo Isami could fit his whole fist in his mouth, as he was wont to brag about?

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