Suzuki Mikisaburo (鈴木三樹三郎)

Mikisaburo SUZUKI (August 15, 1837 - July 11, 1919) was the leader of the Ninth Unit of Shinsengumi and a member of Goryo-eji (guards of Imperial mausoleums). He was a younger brother of Kashitaro ITO. His childhood name was Tamon.

His Birth

In 1837, he was born in the Shizuku Domain as the second son of Senemon Tadaaki SUZUKI, a statesman (Gometsuke [inspector of villages]) of the Shizuku clan. His father Tadaaki was later exiled from the domain and opened a private school in the village of Takahama (now in Ishioka City). On the death of Tadaaki, he succeeded to the management of the school. He was later adopted as heir by Masuuemon TERAUCHI, a statesman (Chugosho [the lowest rank of samurai]) of the same clan, and called himself Tamon TERAUCHI. He started to work as Director of Forest and Goshuin-ban (supervisor of official documents) in the domain. However, the adoption was dissolved due to his bad behavior, such as getting drunk. After that, he called himself Arajiro MIKI.

Ronin (masterless samurai) Period

Mikisaburo, having left the domain in order to work for Sonno Joi Movement (the movement advocating reverence for the Emperor and the expulsion of foreigners), stayed with his older brother Ito, who was the owner of a dojo (training hall) in Fukagawa, Edo. After the Sakuradamongai Incident, he left Edo where the investigation against Ronin had become more intense, and secluded himself for several years in Taga County, Hitachi Province. When the Tenguto no Soran (Rebellion of Tenguto) occurred, he went back to Shizuku for investigation upon the request by Ito, and when it ended, he did not remain there but returned to Edo.

Shinsengumi Period

In October 1864, he went to Kyoto with Ito, Tainoshin SHINOHARA and others, in response to the request of his old acquaintance Heisuke TODO to join the group. He then formally joined Shinsengumi. Around that time, he called himself Saburo Miki. After serving as a Metsuke (inspector), he became the leader of the Ninth Unit in 1865.

Goryo-eji Period

In March 1868, he separated from Shinsengumi with Ito and others, and belonged to Goryo-eji (Kodaiji-to Party). He then called himself Saburo MIKI or Izumi MIKI. In November of the same year, when he went to retrieve the body of Ito who had been assassinated, he was attacked by Shinsengumi but survived the fight, and was sheltered in the residence of Satsuma Domain (Aburanokoji Incident). In the Battle of Toba-Fushimi, he fought against Shinsengumi under the command of Hanjiro NAKAMURA of the Satsuma clan, and then joined the spearhead convoy of the expeditionary force to the east. He later served as the leader of the Second Unit of Sekihotai Army, but was imprisoned for alleged conspiracy with Sozo SAGARA in the Nise-kangun Incident (incident of fake government forces). Afterwards, he joined the Seventh Unit of conscription army of the new government. In June, he was appointed as a sergeant of the Military Affairs Bureau and went to Edo. During the Boshin War, he fought at the front in the Hokuetsu and Aizu area.

From the Meiji Period

In July 1869, he became a Sho-junsatsu (a class of inspector) of Danjodai (Board of Censors). After Haihan-chiken (abolition of feudal domains and establishment of prefectures), he changed his name to Tadayoshi. He held a position mainly in judicial and police organizations in Ina Prefecture, Ministry of Justice, Chiba Prefecture, Yamagata Prefecture and so on. In 1879, he organized an imperial visit as the chief of Tsuruoka police station. In January 1885, he retired from his last job as Nitozoku (second-ranked junior official) of Fukushima Prefecture, and then spent the rest of his life in Ishioka City, Ibaraki Prefecture.

In 1919, he died of old age. Died at the age of 83. His tomb is at the Toyo-ji Temple in Ishioka City.

Remarks

In 1852, Mikisaburo presided over a private school at the age of 16 after the death of his father Tadaaki. However, he not only neglected to give lessons, but also did nothing but mock battles, flying a flag with large letters of "Tamonmaru KUSUNOKI" (childhood name of Masashige KUSUNOKI, known as a paragon of fidelity) written on it. As a consequence, the number of students decreased, which led to the closing of the school.

He served as the leader of the Ninth Unit of Shinsengumi, but was later demoted. Although he was good at study and speech, his polite personality was said to be a disadvantage for him.

The remnants of Kodai-ji Party attacked Isami KONDO near Sumizome in Fushimi, but it is unknown whether Mikisaburo was one of them.