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Encyclopedia > Battle of Hakodate
Battle of Hakodate
Part of Boshin War

French and Japanese soldiers of the Ezo Republic in 1869. Front row, second from left: Jules Brunet, besides Matsudaira Taro, vice-president of the Ezo Republic.
Date: 20 October 186817 May 1869
Location: Hokkaido
Result: Decisive Imperial victory
Combatants
Empire of Japan Ezo Republic
Commanders
Kuroda Kiyotaka Enomoto Takeaki
Strength

  • 7,000 combatants
  • 10 steam warships

  • 3,000 combatants
  • 11 steam warships
Casualties

  • 770 casualties
  • 1 ship sunk
  • 1 ship destroyed

  • 1,300 killed
  • 400 wounded
  • 1,300 captured
  • 2 ships sunk
  • 3 ships captured
  • 3 ships lost

The Battle of Hakodate (函館戦争) was fought from 20 October 1868 to 17 May 1869, between the remnants of the Shogun's army, consolidated into the armed forces of the rebel Ezo Republic, and the armies of the newly formed Imperial government (composed mainly of forces of the Choshu and the Satsuma fiefs). It was the last stage of the Boshin War, and occurred around Hakodate in the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. The Boshin War (戊辰戦争 Boshin Sensō, literally War of the Year of the Dragon) was fought in 1868-1869 between the Tokugawa Shogunate and the pro-Imperial forces in Japan. ... Jules Brunet, former French advisors, and Matsudaira Taro. ... Enomoto Takeaki (front, right) and the leaders of his loyalist troops in Hokkaido, 1869. ... 1869 (MDCCCLXIX) is a common year starting on Friday (link will take you to calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Sunday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... The French military mission before its departure to Japan. ... The French military advisors and their Japanese allies. ... October 20 is the 293rd day of the year (294th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 72 days remaining. ... 1868 (MDCCCLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a leap year starting on Friday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... May 17 is the 137th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (138th in leap years). ... 1869 (MDCCCLXIX) is a common year starting on Friday (link will take you to calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Sunday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... For the dog breed, see Hokkaido (dog). ... Official language Japanese Capital Tokyo Area 7. ... Enomoto Takeaki (front, right) and the leaders of his loyalist troops in Hokkaido, 1869. ... Kuroda Kiyotaka (黒田 清隆; October 16, 1840–August 25, 1900), also known as Ryōsuke, was a Japanese politician of the Meiji era, and the second Prime Minister of Japan from April 30, 1888 to October 25, 1889. ... Enomoto Takeaki at the time of Republic of Ezo in 1869. ... October 20 is the 293rd day of the year (294th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 72 days remaining. ... 1868 (MDCCCLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a leap year starting on Friday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... May 17 is the 137th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (138th in leap years). ... 1869 (MDCCCLXIX) is a common year starting on Friday (link will take you to calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Sunday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... In Japanese history, a shogun (将軍 shōgun) was the practical ruler of Japan for most of the time from 1192 to the Meiji Era beginning in 1868. ... Enomoto Takeaki (front, right) and the leaders of his loyalist troops in Hokkaido, 1869. ... Nagato (Ja. ... Satsuma is the name of a town in Japan, Satsuma, Kagoshima, the surrounding district, Satsuma District, Kagoshima, the former province, Satsuma Province, which is now the western half of Kagoshima Prefecture on the island of Kyushu, a revolt, the Satsuma Rebellion. ... The Boshin War (戊辰戦争 Boshin Sensō, literally War of the Year of the Dragon) was fought in 1868-1869 between the Tokugawa Shogunate and the pro-Imperial forces in Japan. ... View of Hakodate from Mountain Hakodate (函館市; -shi) is a city and port located in Oshima, Hokkaido, Japan. ... For the dog breed, see Hokkaido (dog). ...


The troops of the former Bakufu fought side-by-side with a group of French military advisers, members of the first French Military Mission to Japan who had trained them during 1867-1868, headed by Jules Brunet. The French military mission before its departure to Japan. ...

Contents


Background

The Boshin War erupted in 1868 between troops favourable to the restoration of the Emperor and the government of the Bakufu. The Meiji government defeated the forces of the Shogun at Toba-Fushimi and occupied Edo. The Boshin War (戊辰戦争 Boshin Sensō, literally War of the Year of the Dragon) was fought in 1868-1869 between the Tokugawa Shogunate and the pro-Imperial forces in Japan. ... For the James Clavell novel, see Shogun or for the TV Miniseries. ... The Meiji Restoration (Japanese: 明治維新, Meiji-ishin), also known as the Meiji Ishin, Revolution or Renewal, was a chain of events that led to a change in Japans political and social structure. ...


Enomoto Takeaki, vice-commander of the Navy, refused to remit his fleet to the new government and left Shinagawa on August 20th, 1868, with four steam warships (Kaiyō, Kaiten, Banryū, Chiyodagata) and four steam transports (Kanrin, Mikaho, Shinsoku, Chōgei) as well as 2,000 members of the Navy, 36 members of the "Yugekitai" (Guerilla corps) headed by Iba Hachiro, several officials of the former Bakufu government such as the vice-commander in chief of the Army Matsudaira Taro, Nakajima Saburozuke, and members of the French Military Mission to Japan, headed by Jules Brunet. Enomoto Takeaki at the time of Republic of Ezo in 1869. ... Shinagawa (品川区; -ku) is a special ward located in Tokyo, Japan. ... Kaiyō Maru (Japanese: 開陽丸) was one of Japans first modern warships, powered by both sails and steam. ... Kaiten The Japanese warship Kaiten (回天) was a warship of the troops loyal to the Shogun during the Boshin war in Japan in 1868. ... BanryÅ« The Japanese warship BanryÅ« (蟠龍)was a ship of the Bakufu Navy, and subsequently belonged to the troops loyal to the Shogun during the Boshin war in Japan in 1868. ... The Chiyodagata (Jp:千代田形) was a gunboat of the Tokugawa Navy, and Japans first domestically-built steamboat. ... Kanrin Maru (Japanese: 咸臨丸) was Japans first sail and screw-driven steam warship. ... Part of the fleet of Enomoto Takeaki off Shinagawa. ... Shinsoku The Shinsoku (神速) was a Japanese warship belonging the troops loyal to the Shogun during the Boshin War. ... Chogei Chogei (長鯨) was a transportation ship belonging to the troops faithfull to the Shogun during Japans Boshin War. ... The French military advisors and their Japanese allies. ... The French military mission before its departure to Japan. ...


On August 21, the fleet encountered a typhoon off Choshi, in which the Mikaho was lost and the Kanrin, heavily damaged, forced to rally the coast, where she was captured in Shimizu. Chōshi (銚子市; -shi) is a city located in Chiba, Japan. ...

Part of the fleet of Enomoto Takeaki off Shinagawa. From right to left: Kaiten, Kaiyō, Kanrin, Chōgei, Mikaho. The Banryō and Chiyodagata are absent. 1868 photograph.
Part of the fleet of Enomoto Takeaki off Shinagawa. From right to left: Kaiten, Kaiyō, Kanrin, Chōgei, Mikaho. The Banryō and Chiyodagata are absent. 1868 photograph.

The rest of the fleet reached Sendai harbour on August 26, one of the centers of the Northern Coalition (奥羽越列藩同盟) against the new government, composed of the fiefs of Sendai, Yonezawa, Aizu, Shonai and Nagaoka. Image File history File links EnomotoFleet. ... Image File history File links EnomotoFleet. ... Shinagawa (品川区; -ku) is a special ward located in Tokyo, Japan. ... Kaiten The Japanese warship Kaiten (回天) was a warship of the troops loyal to the Shogun during the Boshin war in Japan in 1868. ... Kaiyō Maru (Japanese: 開陽丸) was one of Japans first modern warships, powered by both sails and steam. ... Kanrin Maru (Japanese: 咸臨丸) was Japans first sail and screw-driven steam warship. ... Chogei Chogei (長鯨) was a transportation ship belonging to the troops faithfull to the Shogun during Japans Boshin War. ... Part of the fleet of Enomoto Takeaki off Shinagawa. ... BanryÅ« The Japanese warship BanryÅ« (蟠龍)was a ship of the Bakufu Navy, and subsequently belonged to the troops loyal to the Shogun during the Boshin war in Japan in 1868. ... The Chiyodagata (Jp:千代田形) was a gunboat of the Tokugawa Navy, and Japans first domestically-built steamboat. ... 1868 (MDCCCLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a leap year starting on Friday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... See Sendai (disambiguation) for other places whose name is Sendai Sendai (仙台市; -shi) is the capital city of Miyagi Prefecture, Japan and the largest city in the Tohoku region. ... Yonezawa (米沢市; -shi) is a city located in Yamagata, Japan. ... Monument to the Byakkotai Samurai Aizu ) is a former feudal domain (Han), part of the modern-day Japanese prefecture of Fukushima, formerly a part of Mutsu province. ... Nagaoka (長岡市; -shi) is a city located in Niigata, Japan. ...


Imperial troops continued to progress north, taking the castle of Wakamatsu, and making the position in Sendai untenable. On October 12th, 1868, the fleet left Sendai, after having acquired two more ships (the Oe-大江 and the Hou-Ou, previously borrowed by the Sendai fief from the Bakufu), and about 1,000 more troops: Bakufu troops under Otori Keisuke, Shinsengumi troops under Hijikata Toshizo, Yugekitai under Katsutaro Hitomi, as well as several more French advisors (Fortant, Garde, Marlin, Bouffier). Wakamatsu is one of the wards of Kitakyushu city. ... The Hou-Ou Maru (1854) The Hou-Ou Maru (Japanese: 鳳凰丸) was one of Japans first Western-style warship following the countrys period of Seclusion. ... Otori Keisuke(1833-1911) Otori Keisuke during the Boshin War (center). ... Mannequins dressed in Shinsengumi outfits The Shinsengumi (Japanese: 新選組) were a special police force of the late shogunate period. ... Hijikata Toshizō Statue at Takahata Fudo, Hino, Tokyo Hijikata Toshizō (土方歳三)(May 31, 1835—June 20, 1869) was the deputy leader of Shinsengumi, a small-built and talented Japanese military leader who resisted the Meiji Restoration. ...


Battle of Hakodate

Occupation of southern Hokkaido

The rebels, numbering around 3,000 and travelling by ship under Admiral Enomoto Takeaki reached Hokkaido in October 1868. They landed on Takanoki Bay, behind Hakodate on October 20th. Hijikata Toshizo and Otori Keisuke each led a column in the direction of Hakodate. They eliminated local resistance by the Governmental army, until they reached and occupied the fortress of Goryokaku on October 26th, which became the command center for the rebel army. Goryokaku was the Republic of Ezos main fortress. ...

The fortress of Goryokaku, headquarter of the rebel army.
The fortress of Goryokaku, headquarter of the rebel army.

Various expeditions were organized to take full control of the southern peninsula of Hokkaido. On November 5th, Hijikata, commanded 800 troops and supported by the warships Kaiten and Banryo occupied the castle of Fukuyama. On November 14th, Hijikata and Matsudaira converge on the city of Esashi, with the added support of the flagship Kaiyo, and the transport ship Shinsoku. Unfortunately, the Kaiyo was shipwrecked and lost in a tempest near Esashi, and the Shinsoku also was lost as it came to its rescue, dealing a terrible blow to the Bakufu forces. Image File history File links GoryokakuPlanLarge. ... Image File history File links GoryokakuPlanLarge. ... Goryokaku was the Republic of Ezos main fortress. ... Esashi (江差町; -chou) is a town in Hiyama District, Hiyama, Hokkaido, Japan. ...


After eliminating all local resistance, on December 25, they founded on the American model the Ezo Republic, with Enomoto Takeaki, as the President (総裁), Japan's only President ever. December 25 is the 359th day of the year (360th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 6 days remaining. ... Enomoto Takeaki (front, right) and the leaders of his loyalist troops in Hokkaido, 1869. ...

Enomoto Takeaki as President of the Republic of Ezo in 1869.
Enomoto Takeaki as President of the Republic of Ezo in 1869.

A defense was established around Hakodate in anticipation of the attack by the troops of the new Imperial government. The troops were structured under a hybrid franco-japanese leadership, with the Commander in chief Otori Keisuke seconded by Jules Brunet, and each of the four brigades commanded by a French officer (Fortant, Marlin, Cazeneuve, Bouffier), seconded by eight half-brigade Japanese commanders. Enomoto Takeaki during the Boshin War (1869). ... Enomoto Takeaki during the Boshin War (1869). ... Enomoto Takeaki at the time of Republic of Ezo in 1869. ... Enomoto Takeaki (front, right) and the leaders of his loyalist troops in Hokkaido, 1869. ... Otori Keisuke(1833-1911) Otori Keisuke during the Boshin War (center). ...


An Imperial fleet had been rapidly constituted around the French-built ironclad Kōtetsu, which had been purchased from the United States. Other Imperial ships were Kasuga, Hiryu, Teibo, Yoshun, Moshun, which had been supplied by the fiefs of Saga, Choshu and Satsuma to the newly formed government in 1868. The fleet left Tokyo on March 9th, 1869, and headed north. Kotetsu (Japanese: 甲鉄, literally Ironclad) was the first ironclad warship of the Imperial Japanese Navy. ... The Japanese warship Kasuga (JPN: 春日) was built in 1862 (or possibly 1863) in Great Britain under the name Kiangsu (after the area of Jiangsu in China). ... Teibo (第二丁卯) The Japanese warship Teibo (第二丁卯) was a ship of governmental forces during the Boshin war. ... Moshun (猛春). The Japanese warship Moshun (猛春) was a warship of the Imperial forces during the Boshin war in Japan in 1868. ... A reconstruction of a Yayoi period building at the Yoshinogari site Saga Prefecture (佐賀県; Saga-ken) is located on Kyushu island, Japan. ... Nagato (Ja. ... Satsuma (薩摩国; -no Kuni) was an old province of Japan that is now the western half of Kagoshima prefecture on the island of Kyushu. ...


Naval battle of Miyako

The Imperial navy's revolutionary ironclad Kotetsu.
Enlarge
The Imperial navy's revolutionary ironclad Kotetsu.

The Imperial navy reached the harbour of Miyako on March 20th. Anticipating the arrival of the Imperial ships, the rebels organized a daring plan to seize the powerful new warship Kotetsu. Download high resolution version (690x652, 94 KB)CSS Stonewall (later Japanese battleship Kotetsu) in the Washington Navy Yard c. ... Download high resolution version (690x652, 94 KB)CSS Stonewall (later Japanese battleship Kotetsu) in the Washington Navy Yard c. ... Kotetsu (Japanese: 甲鉄, literally Ironclad) was the first ironclad warship of the Imperial Japanese Navy. ... Miyako (宮古市; -shi) is a city located in Iwate, Japan. ...


Three warships were dispatched for a surprise attack, in what is known as the Naval Battle of Miyako: the Kaiten, on which were riding the elite Shinsengumi as well as the French officer Henri Nicol, the warship Banryu, with the French officer Clateau, and the warship Takao, with Eugène Collache onboard. To create surprise, the Kaiten entered Miyako harbour with an American flag, and the Banryu with a Russian one. They raised the Bakufu flag seconds before boarding the Kotetsu. The Kotetsu managed to repel the attack with a Gatling gun, with huge loss on the attacking side. The two rebel warships escaped back to Hokkaido, but the Takao was pursued and self-wrecked herself. The Imperial navys revolutionary ironclad Kotetsu was the object of the Naval Battle of Miyako. ... Henri Paul Hipolito Nicol was an officer of the French Navy in the 19th century. ... The wreckage of the Takao, pursued by steamships of the Imperial Navy. ... Eugène Collache in samurai attire. ... A 1865 Gatling gun. ...


Landing of Imperial forces

The Imperial troops, numbering 7,000, finally landed on Hokkaido on April 9, 1869. They progressively took over various defensive positions, until the final stand occurred around the fortress of Goryokaku and Benten Daiba around the city of Hakodate. April 9 is the 99th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (100th in leap years). ... 1869 (MDCCCLXIX) is a common year starting on Friday (link will take you to calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Sunday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... Goryokaku was the Republic of Ezos main fortress. ... Benten Daiba. ... View of Hakodate from Mountain Hakodate (函館市; -shi) is a city and port located in Oshima, Hokkaido, Japan. ...

The Naval Battle of Hakodate, Japan's first engagement between two modern fleets.
The Naval Battle of Hakodate, Japan's first engagement between two modern fleets.

Japan's first major naval engagement between two modern navies, the Naval Battle of Hakodate, occurred towards the end of the conflict, during the month of May 1869. From Illustrated London News 11 September 1869. ... From Illustrated London News 11 September 1869. ... The Battle of Hakodate was fought from 4-10 May 1869, at the beginning of the Meiji Restoration, in the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, between the remnants of the Shoguns navy, consolidated into the armed forces of the rebel Ezo Republic, and the newly formed Imperial Japanese Navy. ... The Battle of Hakodate was fought from 4-10 May 1869, at the beginning of the Meiji Restoration, in the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, between the remnants of the Shoguns navy, consolidated into the armed forces of the rebel Ezo Republic, and the newly formed Imperial Japanese Navy. ...


Before the final surrender, in May 1869, the French escaped to a French ship stationed in Hakodate Bay, from where they were shipped back to Yokohama and then France.


After having lost close to half their numbers and most of their ships, the shogunate forces finally surrendered on May 17, 1869. May 17 is the 137th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (138th in leap years). ... 1869 (MDCCCLXIX) is a common year starting on Friday (link will take you to calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Sunday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ...


Epilogue

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

The battle marked the end of the old Bakufu regime, and the elimination of armed resistance to the establishment of the Meiji restoration and the rule of the Meiji emperor. After a few years in prison, several of the leaders of the rebellion were rehabilitated, and continued with brilliant political careers in the new unified Japan: Enomoto Takeaki in particular took various ministry functions during the Meiji era. Image of Toshizo Hijikata - since it was obviously taken within the 19th century, it is assumed that it is in the public domain. ... Image of Toshizo Hijikata - since it was obviously taken within the 19th century, it is assumed that it is in the public domain. ... Hijikata Toshizō Statue at Takahata Fudo, Hino, Tokyo Hijikata Toshizō (土方歳三)(May 31, 1835—June 20, 1869) was the deputy leader of Shinsengumi, a small-built and talented Japanese military leader who resisted the Meiji Restoration. ... Mannequins dressed in Shinsengumi outfits The Shinsengumi (Japanese: 新選組) were a special police force of the late shogunate period. ... For the James Clavell novel, see Shogun or for the TV Miniseries. ... The Meiji Restoration (Japanese: 明治維新, Meiji-ishin), also known as the Meiji Ishin, Revolution or Renewal, was a chain of events that led to a change in Japans political and social structure. ... Emperor Meiji (Mutsuhito) Mutsuhito (睦仁), the Meiji Emperor (明治天皇, literally Enlightened Rule Emperor) (3 November 1852–30 July 1912) was the 122nd Emperor of Japan. ...


The new Imperial government, finally secure, established numerous new institutions soon after the end of the conflict. The Imperial Japanese Navy in particular was formally established in July 1869, and incorporated many of the combatant and ships which had participated in the Battle of Hakodate. Ensign of the Imperial Japanese Navy. ...


The future admiral Togo Heihachiro, hero of the 1905 Battle of Tsushima, participated to the battle as a gunner onboard the paddle steam warship Kasuga. Admiral Togo at the age of 55, shortly before the Russo-Japanese War Fleet Admiral Count Tōgō Heihachirō (東郷 平八郎 Tōgō Heihachirō OM, January 27, 1848 - 30 May 1934) was a Japanese Admiral and one of Japans greatest naval heroes. ... Combatants Japan Russia Commanders Heihachiro Togo Zinovi Rozhdestvenski Nikolai Nebogatov Strength 4 battleships, 27 cruisers, in addition to destroyers and auxiliary vessels 8 battleships, 3 coastal battleships, 8 cruisers Casualties 117 dead, 583 injured, 3 torpedo boats sunk 4380 dead, 5917 injured 21 ships sunk, 7 captured, 6 disarmed The... The Japanese warship Kasuga (JPN: 春日) was built in 1862 (or possibly 1863) in Great Britain under the name Kiangsu (after the area of Jiangsu in China). ...


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