Kusunoki Kojuro (楠小十郎)

Kojuro KUSUNOKI (year of birth: ca. 1848 - date of death: October 26, 1864) was a member of Shinsengumi (a group which guarded Kyoto during the end of Tokugawa Shogunate) who came from Kyoto. He was a member of binan goninshu (five men of beauty).

He is said to have joined Shinsengumi in the early days of the group because he was ordered by Kogoro KATSURA from Choshu Domain to act as a spy in the group.

He looked young and had a fair-complexioned, full-cheeked face with bright, clear eyes. He is said to have had such a gentle voice as a woman. He called himself a ronin (masterless samurai) of 17 years in Kyoto.

Around 10 o'clock in the very foggy morning of October 26, 1864, he stood around in front of the gate of Maekawa residence, which was used as a place where Shinsengumi quartered. Then he was cut down from behind by Sanosuke HARADA who was ordered by Isami KONDO. He escaped to a field where potherb mustards were cultivated. But he fell dead there.

Tamesaburo YAGI, the second son of the Yagi family, is said to have witnessed the scene.