The 1000-year-old home of the Shinsengumi Samurai Warriors
When people think of Mibu Dera Temple, they recall the Shinsengumi, a special police force organized in the name of the Bakufu government during Japan's late Tokugawa period.
Kyoto was facing the end of the Tokugawa regime. A group would dawn pale turquoise cloaks embedded with the character for “makoto” or truth. These swordsmen and samurai such as Isamu Kondo, Toshizo Hijikata, Souji Okita and the like are infamous to this day and have been featured in Japanese movies, TV shows, and anime programs over the years.
Though only active for a short period of time, Mibu Dera Temple was used as a training ground for these warriors in the years of their formation. As a result, to this day you can still find the graves of some of these warriors on the temple grounds and fans from all over the country gather here to pay their respects.
Nowadays, these samurai are regarded as heroes, however, the people of the surrounding areas didn’t look upon them as favorably at the time. Why were they treated as criminals?
Let’s start our journey by looking at how the Shinsengumi was formed and the role Mibu Dera Temple played in this picture.