Kondo Isami

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  • Born: 1834
  • Died: 1868
  • Ranks:Shinsengumi Commander
  • Other name:Ôkubo Yamato
  • Japanese: 近藤 勇 昌宜 (Kondou Isami Masayoshi)

Photograph of Kondo Isami


Kondô Isami was born Miyagawa Katsugoro, in the village of Kami-Ishihara in Musashi province, where he came from a farming family. In 1848 Kondô Isami started training in the Tennen Rishin Ryu sword style, at the Shieikan (this ryu was studied by many members of the Shinsengumi). A year later in 1849, he was adopted by Kondô Shûsuke (the third master of the Tennen Rishin Ryu) and changed his name to Shimazaki Katsuta. In 1861 Kondô became the fourth master of Tennen Rishin Ryu.

In 1863, Kondô and another 8 Shieikan members joined the Roshigumi. The Roshigumi arrived at Kyoto on Feb 23, staying at the Yagi Gennojo residence in Mibu.


Kiyokawa Hachiro suggested the Roushigumi return to Edo, however, Kondô and 23 other Roushi decided to stay in Kyoto. They submitted a petition to Lord Matsudaira Katamori of Aizu han, the Military Commissioner of Kyoto and started working under Aizu han as Mibu Roshigumi.

The Mibu Roshigumi were ordered to guard Ohanabatake gate during the Political change on August 18. After that, they were given the new name Shinsengumi by Katamori (Or Buke Denso). On September 16, Kondô Isami's group killed Serizawa Kamo's group and Kondô became commander of the Shinsengumi.

In 1864, the Shinsengumi raided the Ikedaya (Ikedaya Affair) and destroyed the Sonjo Roshi group. After the Kinmon rebellion, Kondô went back to Edo to hire more members. He brought Ito Kashitaro's group to Kyoto. In 1867 June, Shinsengumi members were appointed to be Jikisan. In December, Kondô was shot in the right shoulder on the Fushimi street, and was narrowly saved by Shimada Kai.

Kondo isami's grave site in Chofu city.

Boshin war

Kondo was at the Osaka Castle with Okita Soji who was ill at the time during the Battle of Toba-Fushimi in January 1868, Kondô returned to Edo,reorganized the Shinsengumi to Koyo Chinbutai.the Koyo Chinbutai headed to Kofu castle, but lost the battle at the Battle of Koshu-Katsunuma. In April,the Shinsengumi were surrounded by imperial troops at Nagareyama, Kondô surrendered as Okubo Yamato. He was beheaded on May 17 1868 at Itabashi. His head has been missing after being displayed at Sanjo river side, Kyoto.

Kondo's grave sites are

  • Itabashi, Tokyo.
  • Ryugen-ji. Chofu, Tokyo.
  • Aizu, Fukushima.

Kondo Isami's swords

His Kotetsu is believed to be fake. It could be Kiyomaro's sword with Kotetsu signature.

Isami in Fiction


  • Shinsengumi (新選組) 1925 (Director:Tsuji Yoshiro )
  • Shinsengumi Taicho Kondo Isami (新撰組隊長近藤勇) 1928-29(Director: Inutsuka Minoru)
  • Kobo Shinsengumi (興亡新選組) 1930 (Director:Ito Daisuke )
  • Ikinokotta Shinsengumi (生き残った新撰組) 1932(Director:Kinugasa Teinosuke )
  • Shinsengumi Hika (新撰組悲歌) 1934 (Director: Masuda Yasuo)
  • Shinsengumi (新選組) 1937 (Director: Kimura Sotoji)
  • Shinsengumi (新撰組) 1938 (Director: Makino Masahiro)
  • Shinsengumi Kyouraku Fuun no maki (新選組 京洛風雲の巻) 1952(Director: Hagiwara Ryo )
  • Shinsengumi Ikedaya Sodo (新選組 池田屋騒動) 1952(Director:Hagiwara Ryo )
  • Shinsengumi Maken Ranbu(新選組 魔剣乱舞)1952(Director:Hagiwara Ryo )
  • Ikedaya Sodo (池田屋騒動) 1953 (Director: Ikeda Tomiyasu)
  • Shinsengumi Oni Taicho (新選組鬼隊長) 1954 (Director:Kouno Toshikazu )
  • Shinsengumi (新選組) 1958 (Director: Sasaki Yasushi )
  • Souretsu Shinsengumi (壮烈新選組) 1960 (Director:Sasaki Yasushi )
  • Fu-un Shinsengumi (風雲新撰組) 1961 (Director:Mouri Masaki )
  • Shinsengumi Keppuroku Kondo Isami (新選組血風録・近藤勇) 1963 (Director: Ozawa Shigehiro)
  • Shinsengumi (新選組) 1969 (Director:Sawamura Tadashi )
  • Shinsengumi (新撰組) 2000 (Director: Ichikawa Kon )


  • Shinsengumi Shimatsuki (新選組始末記) TBS 1961
  • Shinsengumi Keppuroku (新選組血風録) NET 1965-66
  • Shinsengumi (新選組) CX
  • Shinsengumi Shimatsuki (新選組始末記) NET 1977
  • Shinsengumi Ikedaya no ketto (新選組池田屋の決闘) TBS 1992
  • Shinsengumi Keppuroku (新選組血風録) ANB 1999
  • Shinsengumi (新選組) 43rd NHK Taiga Drama 2004


  • Kotetsu (虎徹) Shiba Ryotaro
  • Kondo Isami Nagareyama Bojo (近藤勇・流山慕情) Komatsu Shigeo
  • Kondo Isami Hakusho (近藤勇白書) Ikenami Shotaro
  • Kondo Isami (近藤勇) Akiyama Kano
  • Shosetsu Kondo Isami (小説近藤勇) Domon Fuyuji
  • Shinsengumi Kondo Isami Den (新撰組近藤勇伝) Yamamura Tatsuya
  • Kondo Isami Ansatsu Shirei (近藤勇暗殺指令) Take Masaya


  • Ishin no Kagaribi (維新の篝火) 1961 (Director: Matsuda Teiji)(Movie)
  • Moeyo Ken (燃えよ剣) 1966 (Director: Ichimura Taiichi)(Movie)
  • Okita Souji (沖田総司) 1974 (Director: Deme Masanobu)(Movie)
  • Gohatto (御法度) 1999 (Director: Oshima Nagisa)(Movie)
  • When the Last Sword is Drawn (壬生義士伝) 2003 (Director: Takita Yojiro) (Movie)

  • Moeyo Ken (燃えよ剣) NET 1970 (TV)
  • Mibu no Koiuta (壬生の恋唄) NHK 1983 (TV)
  • Byakkotai (白虎隊) NTV 1987 (TV)
  • Goryoukaku (五稜郭) NTV 1988 (TV)
  • Moeyo Ken (燃えよ剣) TX 1990 (TV)
  • Tokugawa Yoshinobu (徳川慶喜) NHK 1999 (TV)


  • Shinsengumi Zentaishi Tettei Guide (新選組全隊士徹底ガイド) Maeda Masaki
  • Shinsengumi Taishi Den (新選組隊士伝) Gakken
  • Shinsengumi (新選組) Sekai Bunkasha
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