Tonouchi Yoshio (殿内義雄)

Yoshio TONOUCHI (1830 - May 12, 1863) lived during the end of the Edo period. He was a member of roshi-gumi (an organization of masterless samurai).

He was born the child of a statesman of the Yuki clan, Chuemon TSUCHIYA, a wealthy farmer of Tonouchi village (present-day Sanbu-gun, Chiba Prefecture). He dedicated himself to studying at Shoheizaka Gakumonjo (Shoheizaka School) (corresponds to present day Tokyo University) in Edo (present-day Tokyo). It is believed that he was sturdy and strong, and was excellent in martial arts. In 1863, he joined the roshi-gumi founded by Hachiro KIYOKAWA, and was granted the title of superintendent officer, but was demoted for his failures. When they reached Kyo (present-day Kyoto) to hatch a plan, Kiyokawa tried to return to Edo to expell foreigners from Japan together with roshi-gumi. Many members agreed with Kiyokawa, and accompanied him. Apart from Kiyokawa's movement, he was assigned by Kyuo UDONO to person responsible for organizing the remaining members of roshi-gumi in Mibu village together with Tsuguo IESATO.
(Tonouchi and Iesato were not listed as they were the responsible persons on the recruiting side.)
The members from the Mito clan; Kamo SERIZAWA, Nishiki NIIMI (Iori TANAKA), Jusuke HIRAMA, Goro HIRAYAMA, Shingoro KASUYA, Jusuke HIRAMA, Kenji NOGUCHI, the members from Shieikan training hall; ABIRU, Isami KONDO, Keisuke YAMANAMI, Toshizo HIJIKATA, Shinpachi NAGAKURA, Sanosuke HARADA, Soji OKITA, the members who joined in Kyoto including Genzaburo INOUE, Hajime SAITO and Matasaburo SAEKI, and NEGISHI force including Yuzan NEGISHI and Goichi SHIMIZU came together.

He was the top warrior of Mibu-Roshi (Mibu masterless warriors group), but there are few references and traditions concerning him, most likely due to the fact that he was violently hated by Isami KONDO (There still remains a document which says that Kondo killed Tonouchi out of this hatred). It is said that Kondo, Serizawa, Negishi had already organized their respective factions, but Tonouchi and Iesato didn't have any factions (probably, they never imagined that so many warriors would be purged in the future) as they became the top warriors who had the confidence of Edo bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun), and were close to Negishi. Just before Tonouchi left Kyoto to organize his own faction, Kondo offered him a sizeable amount of Sake. After that, he was attacked by surprise, and died on Shijio-ohashi Bridge in Kyoto (It is believed that he was attacked by Isami KONDO and Soji OKITA, and was killed by Okita). Tonouchi was killed while wearing clothes and having belongings fit for travel; his sword was kept in a bag.

Various reasons abound as to the reason behind the feud between Tonouchi and Kondo including: Tonouchi's less than fine character; he was the first person who was killed as a result of Kondo's ambition; it was a purge carried out by the Serizawa faction. If Tonouchi had not been killed and had been available, Shinsengumi would have been a different group during the end of the Edo period.
(Apart from the presence of his ability for leadership and no matter whether it was good or bad, Kondo also purged Serizawa, and made the group develop close to the Aizu clan.)
Tonouchi's murder was described in a picture. Iesato who lost Tonouchi left Kyoto for Osaka, and he was captured and purged while recruiting a member. Negishi left Mibu village to worship Ise-jingu Shrine just after Tonouchi died.
(Thereafter, Negishi lived until the age of seventy something while being a part of the Shinsengumi.)