Kawai Kisaburo (河合耆三郎)

Kisaburo KAWAI (1838 - March 28, 1866) was a Shinsengumi Accountant (a group who guarded Kyoto during the end of Tokugawa Shogunate).


He was from Takasago City, Harima Province, and his parents' home was a wealthy Kuramoto (rice wholesaler). His sister, who married into Shoka (mercantile house) in Osaka recommended him to Shinsengumi, which caused Shinpachi NAGAKURA to refer that Kawai was from Osaka. He played an active role in the accounting of expenses for the group as an accountant, utilizing his skills at arithmetic.

Some people believe that he was behind the spear works (military exploits) of other members since he was an accountant.
However, some people say that he was as good as the other members since he received rewards for his performance in the Ikedaya Incident; he was active as a 'fighting accountant.'

In March in 1866, he was made to commit Seppuku (suicide by disembowelment).

Mystery behind his Seppuku (the followings are the assumed reasons)

Because he couldn't manage to raise the expense for redeeming Miyuki Dayu, the concubine of Isami KONDO (It seems that there is no link between two issues; redeeming Miyuki Dayu was attempted at the different time from Kawai's purge).

Because he failed account processing under the process of redeeming another geisha other than Miyuki Dayu.

Because he showed his reluctance or gave Kondo critical comments against Kondo's lavish expenditure for his women as the person responsible for to control expenses of the group, which led to Kawai's being purged.

Because Kawai misused Shinsengumi's money for unknown reasons. The reason which was adopted in the historic drama of NHK (to be described later).

Because Kawai's plot to carry out a rebellion was identified.

Because he merely used Shinsengumi's money for himself.

It is unmistakably true that Kawai was purged and died; What happened before Kawai's death has not yet been identified. In the historic drama of NHK 'Shinsengumi!' in 2004, the reason for Kawai's purge was that he lent Kanryusai TAKEDA, the leader of the fifth group, money for him to buy military science texts without Kondo's permission.

According to another story, Kawai sent an emissary to his parents' home to borrow money to cover the money for Shinsengumi to avoid committing Seppuku. At that time, there was a trouble at his parents' home, by which the money from his parents had been delivered just after Kawai's Seppuku. His parents, having heard of Kawai's Seppuku, became extremely angry and had a great tomb built in Mibu-dera Temple to worship their son, apart from the tomb which was built by Shinsengumi.

[Original Japanese]