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The Shogun's Last Samurai Corps: The Bloody Battles and Intrigues of the Shinsengumi

Paperback - 02 March 2021
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"Power to them meant everything. It was founded on courage, which begot honor. And by this courage and for this honor they fought to the death."

The Shogun's Last Samurai Corps tells the thrilling story, the first ever in the English language, of the Shinsengumi--the legendary Samurai corps tasked with keeping order in Kyoto during the turbulent final years of the Tokugawa Shogunate (1600-1868).

This book recounts many fascinating tales of political intrigue, murder, and assassination that would turn Kyoto's streets into a sea of blood as rival groups vied for power including:

  • The infamous slaughter at Ikeda'ya Inn where, after learning of a plan to set fire to the city, a group of thirty Shinsengumi viciously attacked and killed a group of anti-Tokugawa plotters, killing eight.
  • The bloody assassination of Serizawa Kamo, the Shinsengumi leader, under highly suspicious circumstances which allowed his fellow commanders to consolidate power.
  • The death of commander Kondo Isami, who was arrested by imperial troops, imprisoned, tried and executed for assassinations carried out by the Shinsengumi.
  • The final bloody battles of the civil war where the Shinsengumi fought and died in a doomed last stand.

Author and Samurai history expert Romulus Hillsborough uses letters, memoirs, interviews and eyewitness accounts to paint a vivid picture of the Shinsengumi, their origins, violent methods and the colorful characters that led the group. In this updated volume, Hillsborough has contributed a new chapter on the Tennen Rishin swordsmanship school favored by the Shinsengumi leadership further commenting on the bloody story of this fascinating Samurai corps.

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