Machino Mondo (町野主水)

Mondo MACHINO (December 30, 1839 - June 9, 1923) is a feudal retainer of Aizu Domain.

He was born as a child between the father, Izaemon MACHINO, and the mother, Kiyoko. His common name is Gennosuke and his imina (posthumous name) is Shigeyasu. The Machino family was derived from Yukiyori MACHINO, who was a senior vassal of the Gamo clan, and after the Gamo clan changed their territory, they still stayed in Aizu to serve Masayuki HOSHINA and then became the vessal of the Aizu-Matsudaira family.

In 1864, on the way to the headquarters of Kyoto Shugoshoku (Military governor of Kyoto), Mondo cut down a feudal retainer of Kuwana Domain and he was put into jail after the arrival. At the time of the Hamaguri Gate Incident in July, he broke out of jail and tried to be Ichiban-yari (the spearmen who beat enemy first in the battle), and then he came joint-Niban-yari (the second spearman who beat enemy) with Kozen IIKAWA, but he was ordered to stay in Tsugawa, Kanbara County, Echigo Province.

In 1868, appointed to Okurairi Bugyo ken Horoyaku (magistrate of directly controlled land and officer of horo (a military kit)), Mondo was assigned to Koidezima in Echigo, which was a exclave of Aizu Domain, to defend Mikuni Pass, but after his younger brother Hisayoshi was killed in the Battle of April 24 he went back to Koidezima, and being further attacked, he moved to the battle line of Echigo. In October 11, he assumed a position of leader of Suzaku Shichu Yonban-tai Troop and fought around the battle line of Hokuetsu, but the news that Seigun (the Western Camp) had invaded into Tsuruga-joka Castletown forced him to rush back to the castletown. After leading Aizu Army to a great victory in the Battle of Kumakura, in the midst of the fierce battle of Ichinoseki, he entered into the Tsuruga castle with the military administrator Gensuke HIGUCHI on orders of the commander of the camp Gonbei KAYANO to report to the lord of the domain Katamori MATSUDAIRA about summons to surrender from Yonezawa Domain. In September, the five members of his mother Kiyoko, wife Yayoko, the first daughter Naoko and the first son Gentaro committed suicide with their sword, and his aunt Katsuko NANMA killed two of her childlen and committed suicide. It is said the wrong report about the war situation from their servant rushed them into death.

After the surrender of the castle to the enemy, he received the message 'keep staying in the castletown and control people in the town' from the Military Affairs Bureau of New Government Army and served as 'Wakamatsu Torishimari' (Controller of Wakamatsu). During this time, he expended his effort in burying those who were killed in the war with Hyakuetsu BAN. When the Aizu-Matsudaira family was allowed their restoration, they were forced to choose the place to found the domain on, and Mondo recommended Inawashiro, but in the end, Shimokita, where Hiroshi YAMAKAWA recommended, was chosen. It was Tonami Domain. In 1870, Kataharu MATSUDAIRA, a son of Katamori, became the governor of Tonami Domain. In 1874, 300 feudal retainers of the Aizu clan including Kanbei got a job as patrol officer of Keishi-cho (Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department).

In the Meiji period, Mondo didn't move to Tonami but lived in 52 banch, Wakamatsu Kitakoji to commit to the reconstruction effort of this place. In 1873, when the Department of War put Tsuruga-jo Castle on sale, Mondo won a bid for 862 Japanese yen. However, in the next year, 1874, the castle was demolished. In 1876, Mondo assumed a position of Goyogakari (general affairs official) of Civil Engineering Division, Kashima Prefecture (current Saga Prefecture).

Amid the growing expansion of Jiyu Minken Undo (Movement for Liberty and People's Right), Mondo founded Aizu Teisei Party (Aizu Imperialism Party) in the joint name with Isuke SUWA and Soji TATSUNO in June 1882, and contributed to the construction of Sanho Road by Michitsune MISHIMA, Fukushima Kenrei (prefectural governor) at the time, and got involved in the Shimizuya Ryokan Affair. In August, he lost his second wife, Yoshiko (33 years old). The child between two of them is Takema MACHINO (1875 - 1968, adviser of Sakurin CHO, member of the House of Representatives). In 1885, Mondo was recruited as the head of Onuma District.
Later, he was appointed as Shohachii (Senior Eighth Rank)
In 1887, he got married for the third time to Matsu, the eldest daughter of Heizaburo UMEMIYA. Mondo was 48 years old.

In his later years, he exercised his ability as a warrior to slay a rozekimono (ruffian) in 1912 and took the head of the founders of Aizu Irei Gi Kai (Aizu Association of comforting the spirits of the war victims), but he died at the age of 85 in 1923. He wascalled the last samurai of Aizu. His tomb is placed in Yutsu-ji/Yuzu-ji Temple in Aizuwakamatsu City. His kaimyo (posthumous Buddhist name) is Mugaku-in Denkofunsaishin Koji (無学院殿粉骨砕身居士).

Hisayoshi's spear
In August 1890, Yajiro SHINAGAWA, who found out the matter of the spear of Mondo's younger brother Hisayoshi in the possession of Aritomo YAMAGATA, visited Mondo and asked him, 'Shall I recapture the spear from Yamagata?', however, Mondo refused his offer, saying 'How can I receive on tatami mats the spear deprived by an enemy in the battlefield'.
(The spear is on display in Tsuruga-jo Castle)

Samurai's honor
In August 1917, at the time of 50th Ceremony of Boshin War martyrs, it started raining in the middle of the ceremony. When the mayor pointed to a tent, saying 'please get back', Mondo shouted loudly 'what do you mean 'get back' for samurai', then people who had entered into the tent also came out again and the ceremony continued in the rain.

Funereal with mushiro (woven mat)
At the time of his funeral in 1923, his son, Takema, was blamed by the police because he carried the dead body of his strict father to the cemetery only covered with mushiro on straws. This is because Takema followed what Mondo always told as follows.
After my death, I want to be treated in the same way with people of former feudal domain who had been neglected in the castletown.'
If my funereal were so nice, I wouldn't be able to make excuses to fellows in another world.'