Like the Shinsengumi, the Mimawarigumi were a corps of high-ranking samurai retainers loyal to the bakufu who patrolled the streets of Kyoto during the bakumatsu looking for Ishin-Shishi and trying to maintain order. At first, the Mimawarigumi was particularly influential in the capital, but as the Shinsengumi (which was made up of ronin rather than samurai loyal to any feudal lord) gained favor after the Ikeda-ya Incident, the two groups found themselves competing fiercely for control of the city, even within the bakufu's ranks. Eventually, the Shinsengumi won out and became the face of the bakufu in Kyoto. Shigekura Jūbei, Ishiji and Kiyosato Akira were three members of the Mimawarigumi at the height of its influence and among the first to be assassinated by the Chōshū Ishin-Shishi hitokiri Himura Battōsai.

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