Nomura Risaburo (野村利三郎)

Risaburo NOMURA (1844 - May 6, 1869) was a member of the Shinsengumi (a special force that guarded Kyoto during the end of Tokugawa Shogunate). His imina (personal name) was MINAMOTO no Yoshitoki. He was from the estate of Heinai (平内) KATO, who was a hatamoto (direct retainer) of Mino Province. He can be identified as a person called 'Kaichi' according to Shumon ninbetsu cho (a census register by religious sect).

The time of his enrollment in the Shinsengumi is unknown, but in the record of the military buildup at Goheishinden district in March 1868, Nomura' s name can be found. In the next month, April, when Head of Shinsengumi, Isami Kondo presented himself at the station of the New government army in Nagareyama of Shimousa Province, he accompanied Kondo and was also captured. Afterwards, although Kondo was executed on May 17, 1868, Nomura, who was also scheduled to be executed together with Kondo, was released with Soma, another captive, thanks to Kondo's pleading for their lives.

After he was released, he worked together with Kazue SOMA, under the direction of Saemon KASUGA, who was the commander of the former Edo bakufu's army forces (Edo bakufu was the last Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun). He fought against the government army at Jobanguchi, in tandem with the Oetsu-reppan alliance. After the Oetsu-reppan alliance was abrogated, he went to Sendai and joined Takeaki ENOMOTO fleet, Toshizo HIJIKATA and others, and crossed the sea to Ezo (present Hokkaido). Nomura did not return to the fold of the Shinsengumi, and although he was exclusively in charge of a squad of the army forces, he was not satisfied with the commander Kasuga's leadership and caused various troubles including disobedience to Kasuga's orders. After the Ezo Republic was established, he held the post of Rikugun bugyo soeyaku (magistrate's assistant of the Edo bakufu's army forces), the post which was under Hijikata's direct control.

It is said that during the Battle of Miyakowan Bay, Nomura was on the warship Kaitenmaru, and on May 6, 1869, he took the initiative to cut into the enemy's warship positioned in the East. Nomura died in this battle. It is said that his squad was about to withdrew, but he was killed on the ironclad warship and his body was thrown away into the sea by the New government army. He was 26 years old. His name is engraved on the memorial for the Shinsengumi located at Hakodate Shomyo-ji Temple.

[Original Japanese]