March 8, 1866 was a night of well-deserved rest for master swordsman Sakamoto Ryoma. A pro-loyalist, he had just helped negotiated an alliance between Choshu and Satsuma–two clans with a long history of rivalry. The alliance was a big step toward finally ending the Tokugawa shogunate and Ryoma was taking his rest at Terada Inn along with his friend Miyoshi Shinzo. Unfortunately, the local Fushmi bugyo caught wind of the fact that a high profile pro-loyalist was staying at the inn, and sent twenty armed assailants to arrest him. Ryoma was, however, not caught off guard and although the inn was a tight space for fighting so many people, Ryoma and Miyoshi managed to fight them back with pistol and sword, long enough for the pair to escape out of a back entrance only mildly injured.
The Terada Inn was no stranger to conflicts between the pro-loyalist and Bakufu factions. Four years earlier the inn was the stage for the failed plans of a pro-loyalist uprising that came to nothing after daimyo Shimazu Hisamitsu discovered and foiled the plot. Today the Terada Inn sits in the southern Fushimi ward of Kyoto. Although the wooden structure has been reconstructed, it still bears the marks of Ryoma’s battle against the Bakufu patrolmen in bullet holes and sword cuts. The inn also features several bits of Ryoma memorabilia for interested guests to view, as well as the stunning traditional Japanese interior that so wonderfully preserves the atmosphere of old Japanese inns.
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