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Escape From Terada-ya!

On the night of January 23rd, 1866, the famed history-shaping ronin Sakamoto Ryoma sat in a small room on the second floor of the Terada-ya inn Fushimi, Kyoto. With him was his bodyguard, Miyoshi. As the two enjoyed a cup of sake, Ryoma's wife, Oryo, who had been taking a bath downstairs burst into the room and frantically informed them that members of the Fushimi Bugyo (magistrates police) had come to arrest Ryoma. Pictured below, the Terada-ya in Fushimi, Kyoto as it is today (the site is open to the public with an entrance fee).

Ryoma grabbed his pistol and Miyoshi took up his spear as they prepared to defend themselves against the coming attack. Up to twenty men had come to the Terada-ya to take Ryoma but after Sakamoto fired two shots from his pistol they quickly retreated. That though, was not the end of it. It was dark in the inn and the numbers were against Ryoma and Miyoshi. The magistrates police attacked again, this time Ryoma parried a sword blade with his own short sword and Miyoshi thrust in every direction with his spear. Ryoma was eventually out of shots with his pistol and he was cut badly on his hands. It was time to escape from Terada-ya!

The two men fled through the window and over the rooftops of neighbouring houses and buildings. Injured and exhausted they managed to make their way to a lumber house by the Ote Bridge by Go River, nearly 1km away. The two hid away there whilst Oryo got word to the nearby Satsuma Clan (Han) buildings/House who were able to send help and bring Ryoma to safety. (Pictured below, the stone monument at Ote Bridge that marks the location of the lumber store house where Ryoma and Miyoshi hid until safe passage to the Satusma dwellings was made)

Sakamoto Ryoma had escaped the Tokugawa Bakufu this time, if he hadn't then the future of Japan may well have been a different story.

You can read more about the life and connected locations of Sakamoto Ryoma in HIDDEN PATHS - Walking Historical Kyoto Omnibus Edition, available from all regions of Amazon in digital and paperback formats.

Pictured below, the attack at Terada-ya depicted on a local shop shutter.

Pictured left, Sakamoto Ryoma, the rebellious ronin that had a strong hand in the shaping of modern Japan at the time of the Meiji Restoration and the fall of the Tokugawa Shogunate.

Although Ryoma escaped with his life on 23rd January 1866, he would ultimately fall foul of the assassins blade on December 10th 1867 and would never get to see the Japan that he dreamed of.

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