[Statues of Nihonmatsu Youth Corps in front of
[Minowamon gate of Nihonmatsu Castle (Kasumigajo), after which one of Daishichi's most popular junmai daiginjo sakes is named]
The Youth Corps was led by Kimura Jutaro who had studied in Edo. Interestingly, the corps possessed a Western cannon unit. Ages of the boys were between 12 and 17 - those of 12 and 13 had in fact lied about their real age.
[Graves of the Youth Corps in Dairinji, Nihonmatsu]
In the fierce Battle of Odanguchi, at the western entrance to the castle town, 16 out of 20 teenagers were struck down by the forces of the Meiji government. They now rest in Dairinji, the family temple of the Niwa clan. There are always fresh flowers at the monument near their graves.