Kondo Yoshisuke (近藤芳助)

Yoshisuke KONDO (May 1843-July 5, 1922) was from Kunitomo Village, Omi Province and a member of the Shinsengumi
A corporal. Later, he called himself as Saburo KAWAMURA.

He lost his father when he was two years old and mother when he was 10 years old. He lived near the Edo Shieikan (a training hall of swordplay) from a child. In October 1864, he entered the Shinsengumi at the age of 22 in response to recruitment. He served as a corporal of the Shinsengumi.

In the Battle of Toba-Fushimi, he got injured; however, he joined an army at the Battle of Koshu-Katsunuma and participated in the Aizu War. Got separated from the main force of the Shinsengumi during the Battle of Bonari-toge, he reunited with Shinpachi NAGAKURA, who formed the Seikyotai (Seiheitai), and they went to the Yonezawa Domain together. When he was leaving for Ezochi (inhabited area of Ainu) after hearing of the crossing of Takeaki ENOMOTO, Toshizo HIJIKATA, and others, KONDO was captured by the new government army in the castle town of Yonezawa-jo Castle and sent to Edo.

During the questioning by the new government, he did not reveal that he was a member of the Shinsengumi, saying that he was just a Shogun's retainer. He was put under the custody of the Shizuoka Domain and then sent to Kyoto for examinations. After that, he was released in 1870.

He started working as a lawyer in Minami Ota-cho, Sumiyosi Town, Yokohama, and assumed office as a prefectural governor in 1887. Afterward, he served as a member of a municipal assembly and a prefectural assembly. The letters that were sent to Seii TAKAHASHI, who also was a member of the assembly, have been kept as valuable historical materials about the Shinsengumi.

He maintained exchange with the Shinsengumi survivors including Hajime SAITO.

He died in 1922. He was 80 years old.

[Original Japanese]