Kyoto Mimawarigumi

Kyoto Mimawarigumi

Kyoto Mimawarigumi

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The was a special police force created by the Tokugawa shogunate during the late Bakumatsu period to restore public order to Kyoto.

In the unsettled period after to ending of the national isolation policy, the political situation in Japan became increasing chaotic. Anti-government and anti-foreign rōnin congregated on the old imperial capital of Kyoto, and many of the daimyō from the western feudal domains also established residences in Kyoto in an attempt to exert influence on the Imperial Court to pressure the shogunate towards the sonnō jōi movement ("Revere the Emperor, Expel the Barbarians") against the foreign powers.

In 1864, the Kyoto Shugoshoku Matsudaira Katamori authorized the establishment of a militia of approximately 200 samurai formed into two companies under the command of Maita Hirotaka and Matsudaira Yasutada to restore public order to Kyoto. The two companies took their names from the courtesy titles of their commanders: the Sagami-no-kami-gumi and the Izumo-no-kami-gumi. The headquarters for the force was Nijo Castle in Kyoto.

The purpose of the Mimawarigumi was very similar to that of much more famous Shinsengumi.

The Mimawarigumi was composed entirely of higher-ranking samurai and sons of hatamoto-class retainers, all of whom were direct retainers to the Tokuguawa Shogunate, as opposed to the rōnin-based Shinsengumi. Indicative of this difference in status, the Mimawarigumi was assigned...
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