|Notes||Historical site, no parking|
|Located in the southern part of Hakodate city near the base of Mt. Hakodate. There is no parking here so it's a little tricky but you can find some parking around the shrines nearby and take the path up to the site. For public transport, it is a 15 minute walk uphill from Yachigashira tram station (seven stops from Hakodate tram station).
5-14 Yachigashiracho, Hakodate, Hokkaido 040-0046
The Hekketsu Monument is the centre piece for the burial and tribute for the 800 samurai and their leaders who died fighting against government forces in the Boshin War. This war included, specifically, the Battle of Hakodate. This battle in 1869 was the samurai’s last stand. The government forces were intent on restoring the emperor to the throne and overthrowing the military rule of the Shogunate and the samurai. The monument here is made from stone brought up from Tokyo. The word ‘Hekketsu’ is derived from an old Chinese saying, “the blood of warriors who die for their lord turns blue after three years.”
Toshizo Hijikata who led the samurai in the final Battle of Hakodate was killed during this fight. This monument is also erected in his memory. His death poem reads “though my body may decay on the island of Ezo, my spirit guards my lord in the East.” In the aftermath of the battle, the bodies of the Shogunate forces were originally left on the streets and any burial or religious service was prohibited. The bodies were eventually moved to this current site. The government forces dead were buried at Hakodate Gokoku Shrine, which is not a far walk from here. This grassland in the forest is a peaceful and relaxing spot with a quiet stillness and is worth a visit. This site is not far from the shrines lower down on the hill and is better accessed from Gagyusan Myoshin Temple or the shrine of Hachiman-gu.
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