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Ikutaro Tokoro (所 郁太郎, March 11, 1838 – April 7, 1865) was a doctor practicing Western medicine and also a patriot in the closing days of the Tokugawa shogunate. He is well known as the doctor who saved the life of Inoue Kaoru severely wounded by the attack of the assassins and the staff officer of Takasugi Shinsaku.

Ikutaro Tokoro (所 郁太郎)
Ikutaro Tokoro.jpeg
Statue of Ikutaro Tokoro in Akasaka-juku (Nakasendō), his birthplace
Native name
Ikutaro Yabashi (矢橋 郁太郎)
Other name(s)
  • Ishikawa Shunsai (石川 春斎)
Born(1838-03-11)March 11, 1838
Akasaka-juku (Nakasendō), Ōgaki Domain, Japan
DiedApril 7, 1865(1865-04-07) (aged 27)
Yamaguchi (city), Chōshū Domain, Japan
Buried
AllegianceChōshū Domain
court rankJu shi-i no ge (従四位下, Junior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade)
Commands heldYugekitai (Chōshū Domain as the overseer (軍監)
Battles/warsthe Coup of August 18, 1863
Ikedaya incident
Kinmon incident
ChildrenSumen (す免) (real daughter)
Minokichi (美吉) (adopted son, formerly Minokichi Yabashi)
RelationsMataichi Yabashi (矢橋 亦一) (real father)
Iori Tokoro (所 伊織) (adoptive father)
Sue (すゑ) (granddaughter)

BiographyEdit

Ikutaro Tokoro (ja), formerly Ikutaro Yabashi, was a doctor practicing Western medicine and a patriot in the closing days of the Tokugawa shogunate.

He was born in Akasaka-juku (Nakasendō) in 1838 as the 4th son of Mataichi Yabashi (矢橋亦一). Later this "Yabashi" family had to moved out of the homeland because Ikutaro became a supporter of the doctrine of restoring the emperor. At the age of 11 Ikutaro became the son-in-law of Iori Tokoro (所伊織) who also had to move out of the homeland for the very same reason.

Ikutaro entered into Tekijuku. He had the reputation of being a brilliant student and enjoyed the companionship of Fukuzawa Yukichi, Ōmura Masujirō and so on.[1]

He became the head of the Kyoto Residence of Chōshū Domain upon the recommendation of Katsura Kogorō (later Kido Takayoshi).

In 1864 Ikutaro saved the life of Inoue Kaoru by sewing about 50 stitches who was severely wounded by the attack of Zokuron-to (Sodetogi-bashi Bridge (袖解橋) incident), received a near-fatal injury and had been appealing to Kaoru's brother for beheading right after the attack. The episode that then Inoue's mother, holding bloody Inoue, dissuaded his brother from beheading by saying "What's this? If he dies, he'll be unable to do his best for the country". This episode was introduced in the National Primary School Reader of the 5th Period. Before World War Ⅱ everyone knew this episode.

Ikutaro became staff officer of Takasugi Shinsaku. It is said that Ikutaro Tokoro, temperate and elegant person, didn't fawn although he rendered good service to the country and Chōshū and that even Takasugi Shinsaku with a fiery temperament followed Ikutaro's opinions even if they were against Takasugi's will.

Ikutaro Tokoro died of typhoid in camp at the age of 27.

He was enshrined in Kyoto Ryozen Gokoku Shrine in 1869.

Ikutaro Tokoro was awarded the title of Ju shi-i no ge (従四位下, Junior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade) by Inoue Kaoru, Shinagawa Yajirō and so on.

Ikutaro was also awarded by the erection of the monument at the site of the demolished Tokoro's house in Ono Town where Ikutaro as a member of the Tokoros grew up with the cooperation of Marquis Inoue Saburō, grandson of Inoue Kaoru.[2]

Inoue Kaoru rehabilitated the extinct family, the Tokoros, by bringing up Ikutaro's nephew from the family, the Yabashis, where Ikutaro was born, whose name was Minokichi Yabashi, in Inoue's residence at Torii-Zaka, Tokyo (now, International House of Japan).[3][4][5][6][7][8][9]

The Statue of Ikutaro Tokoro was built in Akasaka-juku (Nakasendō) where he was born. Inscription says as follows.

…Ikutaro Tokoro, a patriot in the closing days of the Tokugawa shogunate, that our Akasaka Town gave birth to, proceeded with all his heart and devoted himself to the national affairs in all sincerity…

Alongside the statue of Inoue Kaoru in Yudaonsen there is the monument to honor Ikutaro Tokoro which says as follows.

…Ikutaro Tokoro saved the life of dying Inoue Kaoru miraculously. Thinking of Inoue's achievements in his later years, do not forget this Tokoro's operation. On New Year's day in 1865 when Takasugi Shinsaku raised an army and fought with Zokuron-to, a pro-Bakufu power, Ikutaro Tokoro was honorarily received as staff officer of Yugekitai and cooperated with Takasugi…

ReferencesEdit