Tachikawa Chikara (立川主税)

Chikara TACHIKAWA (1840? - January 22, 1903) born in Chikuzen Province was a member of the Shinsengumi (a special police force of the late shogunate period).
Later, he held a subordinate position of artillery,
His Buddhist name was Dokugan Kyokai or Takabayashi Kyokai.

It is said he had a manly feature with big eyes and thick eyebrows. He seemed to have a broad-minded attitude and a strong sense of duty.

He was born in a fishing village, Kanezakiura Munakata County, Chikuzen Province (the land of Fukuoka Domain, Oaza Kanezaki, Genkai-cho, Munakata County, Fukuoka Prefecture which was later merged into Munakata City) as the son of Kiroku, a merchant.

It is unknown when he entered the Shinsengumi. It is said that he was a close aide to Isami KONDO, the leader of the Shinsengumi.

After he was defeated in the Battle of Koshu Katsunuma and Isami KONDO turned himself up the new government in Nagareyama City, Shimousa Province, he went separate ways from Toshizo HIJIKATA, the deputy leader and headed for Aizu with Hajime SAITO (Jiro YAMAGUCHI) and Saisuke YASUTOMI. When Aizu War broke out, Old Shogunate military which had withdrawn to Sendai joined the fleet with Takeaki ENOMOTO as its commander. They also joined Toshizo HIJIKATA and moved to Ezo (inhabited area of Ainu).

When Toshizo HIJIKATA was killed in Hakodate War, he was there and entrusted to deliver a letter to the Hijikata family from Saisuke YASUTOMI, rikugunbugyo soeyaku (a person who support the army leader conveying the command or giving instructions). Then, he tried to escape from Hakodate, but he was seized by the new government. It is said that the YASUTOMI's letter was delivered by Chusuke SAWA, bacho (a person who was in charge of taking care of horses). He was confined in Kubota Domain and afterward, sent to Aomori in September 1869 and then, transferred to Hyobu sho, Tokyo Hyobu sho (the government agency in charge of military affairs) in November, and after that, he was confined in his hometown, Fukuoka Domain.

After he was granted a pardon, he visited Hikogoro SATO who lived in Hino taking a collection of tanka (poems) paying a tribute to the memory of Toshizo HIJIKATA and a diary in his own handwriting with him. After that, he entered the Buddhist priesthood and entered Gankuzan Itoku-ji Temple, Soto sect located in Hatakura Village (present Otsuki City), Tsuru County, Yamanashi Prefecture on the recommendation of Ichidakusai SAITO, a former member of the Shinsengumi. He used the name, 'Dokugan Kyokai'. After he entered the Buddhist priesthood, he continued keeping in touch with Hikogoro SAITO and Takeaki ENOMOTO who survived the Hakodate War.

In 1875, he served as the twelfth chief priest of Miyashitayama Saiho-ji Temple in Katsura Village, Tsuru County, in 1885, he served as the twenty-third chief priest of Koyozan Jizoin Temple in Kasugai Village (in the past, it was Kasugai-cho, at the present, it is Fuefuki City), Higashi Yamanashi County and then, in 1903, he died. It is said that he died at the age of 69 or 64. At the Hakodate War, he was a close aide to Toshizo HIJIKATA and he held memorial services for the repose of HIJIKATA's soul for all his life.

His daughter, Haruko, built his grave in Jizoin Temple in September 1924.

[Original Japanese]