Around 1860, at the time of Bakumatu (幕末, the closing days of the Tokugawa Shogunate), the public security in Kyoto was very unstable due to the rise of the Sonno Joi (尊王攘夷, extreme imperialism and exclusionism) sect in Kyoto. In order to regain the security, Sir Matusdaira Katamori (松平容保), the lord of the Aizu (会津) domain, was appointed to the Kyoto Shugoshoku (京都守護職, the Military Governor of Kyoto) in 1862. Today, Katamori has become very popular for his contribution which was often involved in dangerous incidents. Tragically, many of his subordinates were killed in battles.
In Saiun in (西雲院), a subtemple of Konkai Komyo ji (金戒光明寺) in the Sakyo (左京) ward, better known as "Kurotani-san (黒谷さん)”, the graveyard for those casualities is located. It already has been 150 years since then, yet still many people visit this graveyard to dedicate prayers and flowers.
In June this year, a statue of Katamori was set in this graveyard. He is watching over the town of Kyoto from the hill top high, quietly sitting beside the resting souls of the deceased samurai (侍) worriors.
Kyoto Expert Certification 1st Grade