Ikedaya Affair

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The entrance to the Ikeda-ya as it appears today
  • Date: 1864/6/5
  • Japanese: 池田屋事件 (Ikedaya jiken)

The Ikedaya Affair was a raid launched by the Shinsengumi against anti-shogunate rebels (Imperial loyalists) gathered at the Ikeda-ya, an inn in Kyoto.

The raid lasted roughly two hours, and ended with roughly seven rebels killed and 23 arrested.


The anti-Bakufu elements were banished from Kyôto after the Political change on August 18 (1863), however rather than be driven from Kyoto, they went underground. The Shinsengumi investigators Yamazaki Susumu and Shimada Kai located a merchant by the name of Masuya Kiemon who was actually the Ômi Gôshi Furutaka Shuntaro, who was cooperating with Chôshû. On the morning of 1864/6/5, Takeda Kanryusai and several Shinsengumi members raided and captured Masuya, and found arms and armor and letters from Chôshû samurai. Furutaka was taken to the Shinsengumi headquarters for questioning. He was tortured and revealed that the Sonnô Jôi Rôshi planned to wait for a windy night to set fire to the city of Kyoto and in the confusion kidnap the Emperor and take him to Chôshû. The story was immediately reported to the Military Commissioner of Kyoto, and a raid on the Ikedaya took place the same day.


Inside of Ikedaya.(Taishô period)
Inside of Ikedaya.(Taishô period)

Around 4:00PM, on 1864/6/5, Matsudaira Katamori ordered a search for the Rôshi. Kondô Isami the commander of the Shinsengumi waited for reinforcements from Katamori but they never came, so he gathered 30 Shinsengumi members[1] at the Gion Kaisho (PM8:00) and separated into two groups and started searching.(PM10:00)

Kondo took Okita Sôji, Nagakura Shinpachi, Tôdô Heisuke, Kondô Shûhei[2], Takeda Kanryûsai, Tani Mantarô. Asano Kaoru, Andô Sôtarô, Okuzawa Eisuke, Nitta Kakuzaemon.[3] Hijikata Toshizô took the rest.

At Ikedaya Inn, there were about 20 extreme Sonnô Jôi Rôshi discussing what to do next. Their plan was to destroy the Shinsengumi headquater and bring Chôshû troops into Kyoto.

Kondô left Ando, Okuzawa, Nitta at the backyard of Ikedaya, Takeda, Asano, Tani at the front door and entered with Okita, Nagakura and Tôdô.

When Sôbe the master of Ikedaya warned to the Rôshi on upstairs, Kondô and Okita ran up to the stairs and told "Anybody who resist will be cut off.". Some of the confused Roshi jumped onto the backyard, Okita killed one but he fell down unconscious[4] and left Ikedaya with Tôdô who was injured forehead.

Only Kondô and Nagakura were inside of Ikedaya, fighting against many Rôshi. Then Hijikata turned up with reinforcements and the Ikedaya was surrounded by Aizu and Kuwana troops.[5] The battle ended in 2 hours.

Okuzawa was killed, Ando and Nitta were heavily injured and died later.


According to Kondô's letter[6], 7 Sonnô Jôi Rôshi were killed, 23 arrested.

  • Yoshida Toshimaro (Chôshû) Suicide
  • Yoshioka Shôsuke (Chôshû) Killed
  • Sugiyama Shôsuke (Chôshû) Injured later died
  • Yamauchi Tarozaemon (Chôshû) Arrested
  • Saeki Itsuo (Chôshû) Arrested
  • Sato Ichirô (Chôshû) Arrested
  • Yamada Toranosuke (Chôshû) Arrested
  • Mochizuki Kiyata (Tosa) Suicide
  • Ishikawa Junjirô (Tosa) Killed
  • Kitazoe Kitsuma (Tosa) Killed
  • Tokoroyama Gokichirô (Tosa) Injured later died
  • Fujizaki Hachirô (Tosa) Injured later died
  • Miyabe Teizô (Higo) Killed
  • Matsuda Jûsuke (Higo) Arrested
  • Otaka Matajirô (Harima) Killed
  • Otaka Chûbe (Harima) Arrested
  • Furutaka Shuntarô (Omi) Arrested
  • Nishikawa Kôzô (Omi) Arrested
  • Onaka Shuzen (Yamato) Arrested
  • Sawai Tatewaki (Yamato) Arrested
  • Seo Kojûrô (Mimasaka) Arrested
  • Mori Kazue (Kyoto) Arrested

And the Ikedaya Sôbe's family and relatives were arrested. The Shinsengumi members who participated in the raid received a bonus from Bakufu. Marks on the Sanjô Ôhashi (Great Bridge at Sanjô) still visible today are said to be sword slashes from this incident.[7]

This incident later caused the Kinmon Rebellion.


  1. Only about 30 out of 48 members paticipated in the raid because of illness or desertion.
  2. According to a letter written by Kondô Isami, Shuhei was with them, however this is unverified.
  3. Nagakura's journal describes there were also Harada Sanosuke and Tani Sanjûro.
  4. Nagakura's journal describes it was Okita's chronic disease.
  5. They captured some Roshi who escaped from Ikedaya.
  6. Original letter was sold to Fujiokaya. The letter can be read in the Fujiokaya Nikki vol 11.
  7. Sign on-site at Sanjô Ôhashi.


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