Kato Higuma (加藤羆)

Higuma KATO (year of birth unknown - June 23, 1867) was a common member (regimental soldier) of the Shinsengumi (literally, the newly selected corps, referring to a special police force for the Tokugawa regime) and was a 側越人 of Kanryusai TAKEDA.

It is unknown as to when Higuma joined the Shinsengumi. Higuma participated in the Sanjo-ohashi Bridge Noticeboard Incident (which is called 'Sanjo Seisatsu Jiken' in Japanese) taking place on September 12, 1866. Higuma received a reward of 7 ryo 2 bu (the terms ryo and bu were the unit of gold currency in Edo; 1 ryo being equal to 4 bu equal to 16 shu, where the ryo, bu and shu are denominational units), which was the same amount of money as that given to Kensuke YAGUCHI.

When the Shinsengumi was formally employed as a group of mercenaries by the shogunate on June 10, 1867, Higuma's name was included in a record as a Hira-doshi (common soldier).

Following the savage killing (assassination) of (Kanryusai) Takeda on June 22, 1867, Higuma escaped from the Shinsengumi. It is said that on June 23, 1867, the captured Higuma was executed by committing Seppuku (or hara-kiri, meaning disemboweling himself) at the Shinsengumi headquarters ('tonsho' in Japanese).
(Opinion varies)

[Original Japanese]