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Gintama

Bakufu

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Introduction

Bakufu, or Shogunate (将軍職, Shougunshoku, The General's Post), is the central government in Japan. Originally the national military force under the control of the Japanese Emperor, they, lead by the Shogun, ended up gradually ruling the entire country starting from the late 12th century. In the Gintama universe, the shogunate becomes a recurring influence to the many characters in the series.

Shogun

Shogun is the abbreviation of the title "Seii Taishougun", (征夷大将軍, Barbarian Subduing Generalissimo). Being the highest ranking military leader in Japan appointed by the emperor, they ultimately became a military dictator controlling almost everything, including the emperor. There existed three shogunate dynasties from the 12th century until the present. The setting of Gintama takes place during the "relative" last years of the third dynasty, the Tokugawa Shogunate. The Tokugawa Shogunate ruled for over 200 years and were responsible for closing the borders of Japan from the Earth foreigners.

12th Shogun

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12th Shogun

13th Shogun

Sada sada mug
Tokugawa Sada Sada
徳川 定々

14th Shogun

Tokugawa-shigeshige mug
Tokugawa Shige Shige
徳川 茂々

15th Shogun

Nobunobu
Tokugawa Nobu Nobu
徳川 喜々


Story

Twenty years before the present, the Amanto arrived in Japan and demanded that the country opened its borders to them. The government realized they stood no chance against the aliens' advanced technology and the 12th shogun fell ill due to anxiety. Sada Sada took over, becoming the new shogun and allowed the Amanto to enter the country. This caused dissent from some of the people, including some samurai, who believed the government to be traitors. The dissension sparked a 10 year long civil war called the Joui Wars, which ironically allowed the invaders to be more involved in the humans' affairs. The joint Bakufu-Amanto alliance were able to defeat the Joui, but this didn't wipe the rebels out and the survivors went underground for the next ten years.

As an Amanto group called the Tendoshu consolidate their control on Earth, Sada Sada also consolidates his power in the bakufu before retiring and setting up his puppet heir, his nephew Shige Shige, as the next shogun. Sada Sada becomes his relative's advisor and it is implied that he is mostly the person behind the government's day to day decisions in running the country. Unknown to him, Shige Shige has been learning more about the lives of everyday people thanks to Matsudaira as well as his kind nature. He also becomes increasingly aware of the government's corruption, which includes his uncle who conducted assassinations and manipulations to first obtain then keep his power. He will later resign from his shogun position to make sure his untouchable uncle pay for his crimes. Sada Sada will later be killed by a Joui before he is rescued by the Tendoushuu and Shige Shige is temporarily reinstated by the Emperor on the advice of the Tendoushuu.

Unfortunately, Sada Sada was the buffer that protected his nephew from potentially being overthrown by his rivals and enemies which includes the Hitotsubashi Faction and the Joui. A Joui faction called the Kiheitai allies with the Hitotsubashi to overthrow and kill Shige Shige, who was forced to flee and take refuge in the Iga clan lands. The faction then decided to take the Tendoushuu's offer of making Nobu Nobu shogun and betrays the Kiheitai. Shige Shige fled to Kyou (modern day Kyoto) to create a resistance and ask for the Emperor's help, but he is assassinated by Nobu Nobu three months later.

Days after, Nobu Nobu antagonized the Shinsengumi by arresting their commander Kondou Isao and the commissioner Matsudaira, who is replaced by Isaburo. The Shinsengumi teamed up with Katsura Kotarou's Jouishishi faction and the Yorozuya to free Kondou, Matsudaira and Katsura from prison. Unbeknownst to both sides, this was all part of Isaburo's plan to destroy the bakufu and the police and he with his Mimawarigumi joined in the fighting. Everyone was forced to flee due to the arrival of the Naraku and the Tendoushuu, but the three arrested men were rescued; Isaburo dies in the process. When Nobu Nobu learns of Isaburo's betrayal, he dissolved the police force. But it indirectly led to Shige Shige's resistance growing, now lead by Matsudaira and the Shinsengumi.

Nobu Nobu searched for Sakata Gintoki, due to his involvement in the rebellion, into space, where he is captured by Gintoki, Katsura, and Sakamoto Tatsuma and taken prisoner. It is this moment when the government starts to collapse.

Political Party

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Hitotsubashi Faction
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The Hawk Clan


Within the Bakufu were a number of political factions vying for power and influence, the biggest prize being shogun. The largest is the Hitotsubashi Faction, lead by the Hitotsubashi family, one of three branches of the Tokugawa. They fell from political grace during the Joui Wars after a Hitotsubashi general suffered a devastating loss against the Joui rebels. They will spend the next ten years trying to regain their power in the government by conducting purges (especially against the rebels who made them lose face) and dodging assassination attempts (including one where Nobu Nobu and his father were meant to be killed by the Naraku and are saved thanks to Sasaki Isaburo). Until Sada Sada's assassination, the faction was unable to gain strength due to him. Afterwords, they were able to make an alliance with the Kiheitai-Harusame, then the Tendoushuu to finally be able to place Nobu Nobu as the Shogun.

Law

Tokugawa Sada Sada Laws:

  • Kansei Purge - Hunt down Jouishishi and related personnel.
  • Samurai are banned from carrying swords. This new law has made society look down on Samurai.

Tokugawa Shige Shige Laws:

  • Reform the barbershops

Police Force

The National Police Force was lead by Police Commissioner Matsudaira Katakuriko. After the Shogun Assassination Arc, he was fired and replaced by Mimawarigumi Commander Sasaki Isaburo. Isaburo dies during the Farewell, Shinsengumi Arc and in the end, Shogun Nobu Nobu dissolves the police to restructure it under his control.

Former Commissioner

Matsudaira mug
Matsudaira Katakuriko
松平 片栗虎
155195
Sasaki Isaburo
佐々木異三郎


Active Police Officers

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Kozenigata Heiji
小銭形 平次
Haji mug
Haji
ハジ

Former Officers

Banzou mug
Banzou
蛮蔵

Deceased Officers

Tatsugorou mug
Terada Tatsugorou
寺田 辰五郎


Special Military Police Force

Four years before the start of the series, Matsudaira and Isaburo chose to start a military force stationed in Edo that mostly consisted of Ronin and lower class samurai, the Shinsengumi. The Bakufu wanted to create their own version of the Shinsengumi but only with higher-ranking samurai and retainers who served feudal lords and this created the Mimawarigumi, also stationed in Edo. The two forces were usually tasked to hunt down Jouishishi and other terrorists Amanto and Humans. But they are also called on for most regular police work, though they are above the police in rank.

Former Special Police Forces

Shinsengumi group
Shinsengumi
真選組
Mimawarigumi
Mimawarigumi
見廻組


Immigration Department

The Immigration Department is in charge of monitoring persons coming in and out of Earth. The former head of the department was Hasegawa Taizou, who was fired and called to commit ritual suicide after hurting a royal Amanto, an illegal action.

Former Head

Hasegawa-taizou mug
Hasegawa Taizou
長谷川 泰三


Oniwabanshuu (お庭番衆, Guards of the Inner Garden)

The Oniwabanshuu were a small group of Iga ninja tasked with being the shogun's special forces, created during the early Tokugawa shogunate. Their duties include protecting the shogun and his family, information gathering, and assassinations. They had replaced the Tenshouin Naraku as the Shogun's go to during this period.

During Sada Sada's reign, a renegade Oniwaban named Jiraia tried to assassinate him and failed. But due to this, the ninja were dismissed and replaced by the Naraku. They were still occasionally hired by other officials for their services. Their leader was Hattori Zenzou's father then Zenzou himself after his father retired due to injuries sustained by Jiraia. The father later dies of old age while Jiraia was killed by his student, Tsukuyo, with the help of Gintoki.

Former Head

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Zenzou's Father
全蔵の父

Deceased

Jiraia mug
Jiraia
地雷亜

Present Head

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Hattori Zenzou
服部 全蔵

Active

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Sarutobi Ayame
猿飛 あやめ


Trivia

  • In the real world, the Tokugawa Shogunate come to an end in 1868 after ruling for more than 200 years.

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