Behind the Story of Blood and Tears – The Boshin War

Behind the Story of Blood and Tears – The Boshin War

July 31, 2018 Behind the Story Blog Blood and Tears Graphic Design History Japan 0
Map showing affiliated domains of the Ōuetsu Reppan Dōmei.

Ōushū Alliance 奥羽越列同盟, sabakuINK 2018 CC-BY-SA 4.0

Blood and Tears is set during the Bōshin War, a tumultuous civil conflict that ends with the dissolution of Japan’s centuries-old governance by military families, the samurai.

matsudaira katamori aizu

Katamori Matsudaira, Lord of Aizu
Source: Wikimedia Commons


Tsurugajo Castle, Aizu Domain sabakuINK 2018 CC-BY-SA 4.0, Source: Wikimedia Commons

Although the Tokugawa shogun peacefully surrendered power to the emperor at the end of 1867, many samurai domains in the northeastern region of Japan continued to fight the changeover. Among the most powerful of these was the Aizu domain, ruled by Lord Katamori Matsudaira.

The Blood and Tears story begins in early May, shortly after the formation of the Alliance of Northeastern Clans and before the Battle of Ueno.

Boshin War Timeline

Year 1867 (all dates refer to Lunar calendar)

14OCTShogun Tokugawa Yoshinobu surrenders ruling
authority to Emperor Mutsuhito (Meiji) and retires.

Year 1868

03-06JANBoshin War begins, Battle of Toba Fushimi
18FEBMatsudaira Katamori leaves Kyoto, returns to Aizu
06MARBattle of Koshu Katsunuma
03APRShogitai occupy Kaneiji Temple
11APRTokugawa Yoshinobu surrenders Edo Castle
19-23APRBattle of Utsunomiya Castle
20APRBattle of Imaichi (Nikko Guchi)
25APR-01MAYBattle of Shirakawa Castle
03MAYCreation of the Ōuetsu Reppan Dōmei
(Alliance of Northeastern Clans)
15MAYBattle of Ueno
17MAYKondo Isami executed
02MAY-29JULBattle of Hokuetsu/Nagaoka Castle
17JULEdo is renamed Tokyo
29JULBattle of Nihonmatsu Castle
21AUGAizu War begins, Battle of Bonari Pass
23AUGInvasion of Aizu, siege of Tsurugajo Castle
27AUGMeiji Emperor’s accession ceremony
28AUGYonezawa domain surrenders
08 SEPMeiji Period begins
15SEPSendai domain surrenders
22SEPTsurugajo Castle surrenders, Aizu War ends
23SEPShonai domain surrenders
13OCTMeiji Emperor arrives in Tokyo
25OCTEnomoto Takeaki occupies Goryōkaku Fortress in Hokkaido

Year 1869

09APR-18MAYBattle of Hakodate, Boshin War ends

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