Matsumoto Sutesuke (松本捨助)

Sutesuke MATSUMOTO (May 29, 1845 - April 6, 1918) was a member of Hachiban-gumi Tai (eighth platoon) of the Shinsengumi (a special police force of the late Tokugawa shogunate period). He was a relative of Toshizo HIJIKATA. He is the first son of Tomohachi MATSUMOTO, the nanushi (village headman) of Honshuku Village, Tama Country, Musashi Province (present Honshuku, Fuchu City, Tokyo).

He learned swordplay in Tennenrishin-ryu school at Kondo Dojo training hall, and he wanted to join Mibu-Roshigumi (Mibu masterless warriors group) which was established in January 1863, but he gave up because of his family's objection. Afterwards, he went up to Kyoto and in December 1863, he was rejected the enlistment of the Shinsengumi (a special force that guarded Kyoto at the end of Tokugawa Shogunate), the predecessor of which was Mibu-Roshigumi, even though he asked for it anxiously. It is said that the reason of the reject is because he was the first son. Even afterwards, he did not give up to persuade his parents, and it was in 1867 when he finally achieved to join the Shinsengumi. He took part in the Battle of Toba-Fushimi and the Koshu War. During the Aizu War, he left the Shinsengumi while he was in Sendai and returned to his home town.

After the Meiji Restoration, he ran a rice dealer in Aichi Prefecture, and late in life he lived in Hachioji City (Tokyo). In 1889, when the nephew of Toshizo HIJIKATA, Toshinobu SATO was excused from lese majesty, Sutesuke also went to meet him. His grave is found at the Honshuku public cemetery in Fuchu City, Tokyo.

Fictions

In Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK)'s period drama "Shinsengumi!," Sutesuke TAKIMOTO performed by Shido NAKAMURA (the second), a personality modeled on Matsumoto, played an active part. In the drama, he was a childhood friend of Kondo and Hijikata, and the first son of a wealthy farmer. He was an active young man who seemed to be everywhere at once.

In the TV drama based on the historical fiction, "Moeyo Ken" (The Blazing Sword aka Turbulence) by Ryotaro SHIBA, a personality appeared with the identical name based on the historical fact as Sutesuke (performed by Shigeru INOUE).
(Broadcasted in 1970, Production: Nihon Educational Television, Ltd. (present: TV Asahi Corporation), Toei Kyoto TV Production)