The last year of the Edo Era. In 1868, there was a large civil war, called Boshin War, being waged which separated Japan into two opposing factions. The fighters were divided into the anti-shogunate and pro-shogunate troops, such as the Aizu Clan, a group that supported the shogunate.
After the pro-shogunate powers were defeated in many places in Japan, Aizu became the next battle field. The entire Aizu Clan fought in the war. One of the armies, called the Byakkotai, was composed of young boys between 16 and 17 years of age. After being defeated in battle, the remaining 20 Byakkotai members retreated to Mt. Iimori. Peering down the at the castle from mountain’s summit, they saw the castle enveloped with smoke from the battle, leading them to mistakenly believe that it was on fire, presumably after being overrun by the enemy. Because of their error, they all committed mass suicide as a display of loyalty to their lord.
Around Mt. Iimori, there are many places memorializing the tragedy of the Byakkotai fighters who followed the Bushido code and killed themselves. We will introduce those places you should see and we will also recommend other spots around the area.