Last Battlefield for Meiji Restoration: Goryokaku

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Hakodate, a city with many stories. Goryokaku, a star-shaped fort, was used to protect Tsugaru Strait.

In 1855 Goryokaku was designed by Takeda Hisaburo. But what makes Goryokaku famous is the last battle of Boshin War. This fighting happened from June 20 to 27, 1869.

Now it is a public park and everyone can enter and walk around in the rare star-shaped fort in Japan.


Hijikata Toshizo, leader of the Shinsengumi, fought and died in the battle of Hakodate.

Hijikata Toshizo
Hijikata Toshizo

This reads “the last place of Shinsengumi”.

the last place of Shinsengumi
the last place of Shinsengumi

In 1868, Boshin War erupted between Emperor Meiji and Tokugawa shogunate. Edo, Shogun’s capital was occupied. Shogunate Navy refused to surrendered then moved their fleet to Hakodate and occupied Goryokaku.

On December 25, former troops of Tokugawa Shogunate became rebels and found Ezo Republic.

With overwhelming power Emperor Meiji troops defeated Ezo Republic.

Goryokaku regained peace.

building of Goryokaku
building of Goryokaku

There is few building in Goryokaku, but you can walk along the line of star.

It is a good place to think about Meiji Restoration.


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