Kondo Yugoro (近藤勇五郎)

Yugoro KONDO (December 24, 1851 - February 23, 1933) was an expert swordsman from the end of the Edo period to the Meiji period. He was the fifth head of the Tennen Rishin school of swordplay. He was a son-in-law of the head of the Shinsengumi, Isami KONDO. His original family name was Miyagawa. His real name was Nobuyasu.

Personal profile

Yugoro was born as the second son of Otogoro MIYAGAWA in Kamiishihara Village, Bushu (Musashi Province). He entered the Tennen Rishin school of swordplay and practiced at the training hall of the Miyagawa family. Yugoro was engaged to Isami's only daughter, Tama KONDO, in 1863 when Isami KONDO left for Kyoto as a member of the roshi-gumi (an organization of masterless samurai). Afterward, Yugoro lived with Tama as well as Tsune MATSUI (it was written in his removed family registry that 'Iida-machi, Kojimachi Ward, Tokyo Prefecture -- the marriage of the eldest daughter of the warrior class, Yasogoro MATSUI, was registered').

After being informed of the planned execution of Isami during the Boshin War, Yugoro witnessed his execution in Itabashi,
He is said to have immediately returned to his hometown and come back with Otogoro to claim his body.

In 1876, Yugoro married Tama and opened a new hall for practicing swordplay, the Hatsuunkan. In 1883, their first son, named Hisataro KONDO, was born. However, Tama died 3 years later, in 1886. Yugoro remarried Tayo of Kokubun-ji Temple, but they were divorced 2 and a half years later because he could not get along with his mother-in-law, Tsune. He then married Kashi.

Interviewed by Kan SHIMOZAWA in the early Showa period, Yugoro talked about his memories of the end of Edo period

He passed away in 1933. Died at the age of 83.

Anecdote

His son with his second wife, Shinkichi, also devoted himself to swordsmanship and became a master of kendo (Japanese art of sword-fighting) at the Metropolitan Police Department.