Today marks 150 years since an important date in the history of Kyoto, an event known today as the “Ikedaya affair” (or “Ikedaya incident"). Ikedaya was an inn in Kyoto where in 1864, on July 8, a group of samurai advocating a violent overthrow of the Shogunate, gathered to plan a large-scale attack with the purpose of kidnapping the Emperor and assassinate Matsudaira Katamori, daimyo of Aizu, who was responsible for keeping the peace in the city of Kyoto.
If they had succeeded, the attack would have been devastating to Kyoto because the plan included setting fire to a large part of the city. Fortunately, a small group of samurai loyal to the Shogunate, the Shinsengumi, learned about the attack and a small 10 members team, lead by the master swordsman Kondō Isami, confronted the conspirators at Ikedaya and managed to kill 8 and arrest 23 of them, effectively thwarting the imminent threat.
During their lifetime, the Shinsengumi received no gratitude from the citizens of Kyoto, who were generally opposed to the Shogunate. But the history has done justice to them, and today their popularity in Kyoto continues to grow… And the building that stands today on the site of the Ikedaya inn, now housing a restaurant called Ikedaya, is decorated, on the upper floor, with a Shinsengumi reminding design…
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: