Rare account of feudal warrior’s daily life.

Rare candid diary of end-Edo period samurai warrior gives fascinating and frank account of daily life, such as falling asleep on his watch…

Japanese History and Culture

HIKONE, Shiga Prefecture–Fascinating tidbits from the daily lives of samurai warriors have been gleaned from a diary found four years ago at the residence of a notable family.

The discovery of the “Biwa Nikki” (Biwa Diary), a memoir of a samurai from the late Edo Period (1603-1867), sent the pulses of researchers racing as few such intimate handwritten documents from that time exist.

It had been kept by the Takigai family, which provided matchlock troops for the Hikone domain.


Researchers at the Hikone Castle Museum and a study group have been scrutinizing the work that records the reminiscences of the family’s seventh-generation Uhachiro (1843-1923), one of the last warriors of the domain.

The document was written in 1912 by Tatsugoro, the fifth son of Uhachiro, based on stories he heard from his father.

Researchers have completed their studies of the diary in the portion up to the early Meiji Era…

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