Hattori Takeo (服部武雄)

Takeo HATTORI (1832 - December 13, 1867) was a member of Shinsengumi and Goryo-eji (guards of Imperial mausoleums). He was commonly called Saburobe.

Biography

He was born as a son of a statesman of the Ako clan in Harima Province in 1832.

He joined Shinsengumi, and in October 1864, belonged to the Fifth Unit led by Shuntaro OGATA. In the spring of 1865, he became a Shoshi shirabeyaku ken kansatsu (Shinsengumi's organizational post for investigating movements of the opponents and keeping the Shinsengumi members under control) and instructor of Gekken martial art. In December 1865, he accompanied Isami KONDO on his trip to the Choshu Domain. In October 1866, he worked as a Metsuke (inspector) in the Sanjo-ohashi Bridge Noticeboard Incident. In April 1867, he separated from the group with Kashitaro ITO and others to form Goryo-Eji. On December 13 of the same year, he died in the Aburanokoji Incident. Died at the age of 36.

In the Aburanokoji Incident, when they were going to retrieve the body of Ito, who had been assassinated, he insisted that all of them should be armed, but it was refused. While Saburo MIKI, Washio KANO, Yahei TOYAMA and Tainoshin SHIMOHARA escaped, Hattori, the only one who was armed, fought alone till his last breath with his back to a wall.

Remarks

He was a big man and known as an expert, one of the best in the group, in swordsmanship, jujutsu and spearmanship.

"Above all, Mr. Hattori's death was most impressive. … He lay towards his enemy with swords in his both hands, his arms and legs outstretched. … He was dead, bleeding from more than twenty wounds at his head, shoulder, both arms and stomach, and his complexion still looked alive" (testimony of Masatake KOYAMA, a statesman of the Kuwana clan, who witnessed the scene after the incident).