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- Chris Glenn
A long time Japanophile, Chris Glenn first came to Japan in 1985 as a Rotary Exchange Student. On his return to Australia in 1986, he commenced working as a radio DJ. In 1992 he returned to Japan, where he remained working in radio, TV and as a newspaper columnist and writer.
- WEBサイト： Chris Glenn Website
The Ikedaya Incident
The Ikedaya Incident
The Ikedaya Incident, in which members of the Shinsengumi attacked and killed anti-Tokugawa activists
thwarting their supposed plans to torch Kyoto, took place 151 years ago on this day, July 8, 1864.
The attack is known as the Ikedaya Incident, as the rebel Choshu (modern-day Yamaguchi Prefecture) and
Tosa (now Kochi Prefecture) clan samurai had been using the Ikedaya Inn in Kyoto as a regular meeting
place. The attack occurred after one of the members of the rebel forces, Furukata Shuntaro, “admitted”
that the Choshu and Tosa clan samurai were planning to burn Kyoto, kidnap the Emperor in the confusion
and take him to Choshu, and kill any daimyo and their men that came to the aid of the capital.
The Shinsengumi had used brutal interrogation techniques on Furukata to gain the admission –the poor man
was suspended upside down, 15cm long steel spikes were hammered into his heels, and once removed, lit
candles were placed inside the holes, allowing the hot wax to drip and burn his lower legs. He was severely whipped, and his back shredded. From this torture the Shinsengumi “gleaned” information regarding a
major plot to burn Kyoto. Whether this is true, or a trumped up charge remains a major debate between
All the same, it led to the July 8 attack on the Ikedaya, in which eight rebels were killed, and 23 arrested,
while only one of the ten Shinsengumi members was killed in the incident. Another two would die of their
injuries later. (incidentally, the well prepared shinsengumi had been wearing chain mail and light armour,
while the unsuspecting rebels were lightly dressed and had been drinking for most of the evening.)
Kido Takayoshi of the Choshu clan later claimed the samurai had met at the Ikedaya that evening simply
to discuss how to rescue Furukata from the Shinsengumi!
The actual inn, the Ikedaya was destroyed in the battle, and until recently a pachinko parlor stood on the
site.The Ikedaya was rebuilt, and today operates as a late Edo period / Shinsengumi themed Izakaya pub.
(Photograph “borrowed” from Wikipedia)
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