Takechi Zuizan

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  • Born: 1839
  • Died: 1867
  • Other Name: Takechi Hanpeita
  • Japanese: 武市 瑞山 (Takechi Zuisan)

Photograph of Takechi Zuizan.

Low ranking Tosa samurai (goshi) who used his influence as a master swordsman to recruit anti-Bakufu members for his Tosa Loyalist Party. Takechi used the Tosa Loyalist Party to launch horrific assassinations of pro-Bakufu proponents, such as Tosa minister Yoshida Toyo in 1862. Takechi was a close friend of Sakamoto Ryoma, but after Ryoma fled Tosa in 1862, he began to distance himself from the intrigue and violence that Takechi plotted. Takechi also masterminded many of the tenchu (heaven’s revenge) attacks in Kyoto up through 1864. As the power of Takechi’s Tosa Loyalist Party grew, Yamauchi Yodo, leader of Tosa, felt compelled to give Takechi a greater say in han politics, however, unknown to Takechi, Yodo suspected him of orchestrating Yoshida’s assassination and slowly drew the increasingly arrogant Takechi into the snare. Takechi was subsequently arrested and forced to commit seppuku.


  • Hillsborough, Romulus. RYOMA- Life of a Renaissance Samurai. Ridgeback Press, 1999
  • Jansen, Marius B. Sakamoto Ryoma and the Meiji Restoration. Columbia University Press, 1994.