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Shintarō Nakaoka
Character Information
May 6
25~28 (Haruka 5)
26 (Kazahanaki)
180 cm (5'11")
Tosa samurai
Tea tasting, collecting tea instruments
Shrugging his shoulders
Voice Actor(s):
Takashi Kondo (Haruka 5)
Masakazu Nemoto (Haruka Matsuri 2012)
First Appearance: Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 5
Historical Information
Real Name:
Nakaoka Shintarō
Japanese Name:
中岡 慎太郎
May 6, 1835
December 12, 1867
Real given name is Michimasa (道正). Also known as Ishikawa Hinosuke (石川清之助
or 石川誠之助).

Shintarō Nakaoka is the common alias for a patriot who lived during the end of the Tokugawa shogunate. A bold yet calm intellectual activist, he spent the majority of his life toiling for a revolution in politics and has been praised to be superior to his comrade, Ryōma Sakamoto, in nearly every way. Fiction often depicts Shintarō playing second fiddle to Ryōma as his good friend from Tosa.

In Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 5, his character's name is officially spelled as "Shintarou Nakaoka" in English. Most characters refer to him by his surname within the script. His starting political ideology for this game is extremist.

Role in Games[]

Harukanaru Toki no Naka de[]

Nakaoka was born and raised in Tosa. He embraced the extremist movement during his teenage years, throwing his lot with Hanpeita Takechi and his rebels. When Tosa officials began to side with the imperialists, Nakaoka sensed the danger it imposed on himself and fled from his home. Sometime afterwards, he became acquainted with a wandering Ryouma. They bonded due to their shared origins and similar wishes for a new future. Whenever Ryouma wants to meet someone, he relies on Nakaoka to make the arrangements.

During the fifth title's main story, Nakaoka wishes to avenge their comrades who died at Ikedaya. He meets with the Choushu extremists to organize an armed rebellion. He urges Ryouma to join him when they meet again in the capital. Despite Ryouma's warnings to reconsider, Nakaoka stays with his plan and is ultimately foiled by Yuki's interference. The experience taught him that blood cannot redeem the past or future as he flees to Choushu.

Nakaoka decides to shift gears when he meets Ryouma again, agreeing to support his friend's talks for unity. While Ryouma is traveling with Yuki's party, Nakaoka is mediating between the rebels of the west to cease their armed resistance and organizing the Satchou Alliance. He regroups with Ryouma to report his side of current affairs and receive new orders in private.

Kazahanaki shows Nakaoka briefly attending a meeting with Ryouma. He reasons for the Choushu and Satsuma representatives to practice patience and reconsider Ryouma's offer to band with the Ichijo branch. Nakaoka's open support softens the shock of the proposal and calms Saigou's complaints.

Ishin no Arashi[]

Ishin no Arashi keeps his Tosa dialect and Ryōma's historical nickname for him (慎太, Shinta) in the script. Throughout the series, he is the one to introduce Ryōma to the Tosa Loyalist Party and helps the preparations for the Satchō Alliance. He can get the representatives together but he cannot stop their squabbling, leading to Shintarō to ask for Ryōma's direct assistance. His assassination beside Ryōma is always considered a historical event/ending.

Bakumatsu Isshiden has Shintarō bond with Ryōma due to their similar origins. He is a stern if friendly fellow who actively tries to get Ryōma involved with the extremist ideology. Shintarō informs his friend of many famous rebels of the era, such as Shinsaku Takasugi and Kogorō Katsura. If the player plays the historical route of Ryōma's story, Shintarō dies instantly at the attack in Ohmi-ya. The fictional route has Shintarō help defend Ryōma from the Shinsengumi and survive.

Shippuu Ryoumaden depicts Shintarō as a happy-go-lucky youth with fearsome cunning. He becomes Ryōma's acquaintance while they are still living in Tosa. When Hanpeita plots to assassinate Tosa politicians, Shintarō catches onto the danger it would cause for the rebels' future and advises Ryōma to abandon his friendship with Hanpeita. He leaves Tosa before Ryōma and wanders the mainland. He routinely informs his friend of the changing attitudes towards the Tokugawa shogunate with personal visits or letters. The historical default ending has Shintarō severely wounded by nameless assailants at Ohmi-ya yet conscious enough to hear his friend's final words. He hollers for a doctor to come to their aid before passing out.

Character Information[]


Nakaoka was designed to be a visual contrast to Ryouma. He is meant to look like a stern and certain gentleman of assertiveness. His clothing was meant to be concealing to highlight his exasperated reactions to Ryouma.


Serious and analytical Nakaoka works tirelessly for a new future. Although he follows Ryouma's idealism and has genuine faith and respect in his capabilities, he doesn't completely understand his carefree comrade's beliefs. Nakaoka once questioned the likelihood of Ryouma's plans by voicing his honest skepticism for them. Each time he did, his friend would hush him with unbeatable optimism. Having learned that his misgivings will not deter him, Nakaoka instead compensates by stating his gripes for the trouble Ryouma puts him through.

Character Symbolism[]

His symbolic color is dandelion yellow.


  • "You better be on time. If you two aren't here, I'd have to think of the future by myself."
  • "Well, here they are. Exactly as you wanted them to be. Happy?"
  • "I swear... Stubborn as always. It's because you're like this that I complain."
  • "I'll be waiting for the good news."
  • "So you're this princess he talked about."
  • "You're gonna start a war? Here, in the capital?"
"That's the only way we've got left to make change."
"War doesn't shape the world. It's people's ideas, their beliefs. We gotta change how they feel to get anything done."
"The world doesn't give us the time, Ryouma."
~~Ryouma and Nakaoka; Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 5

Historical Information[]

Photograph courtesy of Kitagawa Nakaoka Shintaro Museum. Taken November 24, 1866 by Ōsaka Yohei. Smiling photographs are rare for the time era. Yohei said he was smiling at a woman out of frame.

Personal Info[]

Nakaoka Shintarō was considered a hero for the people. He was known to be courteous and sincere; though he was not always polite, he was punctual and would avoid intruding on others at their inconvenience. If there was a problem near him, Shintarō would act within his realm of influence to solve it. In the heat of private arguments, Shintarō would never raise his voice in anger yet his stern composure could deliver a clear message that could cut across the room. His words were bold during talks, but he could crack a joke once business was over. Those who didn't know him from his revolutionary talks —women in particular— knew him best as a funny man with a warm smile and laugh. He earned much respect for his kindness and assertiveness.

Many suspect his behavior could have been taught to him during his youth due to the nature of his father's profession. When he saw his father struggle to deal with corrupt merchants or report to the oppressive shogunate inspectors during his childhood, Shintarō had lost faith in the shogunate at a young age. He experienced the dangers of mob mentality due to his personal experiences with public riots during his childhood. During his adulthood, he voiced his belief that while the people are obligated to support the community, it was the government's job to rule justly. Though his views and methods were dated, his life vendetta to overthrow the shogunate and restore imperialism was driven by this personal conviction.

Reportedly intelligent since childhood, Shintarō was well read. He also had a strong body. One childhood tale depicts one of his friends accidentally dropping a scroll down a cliff. It fell into a river about twenty meters below. Without any concern for his safety, Shintarō hopped after it. When his alarmed playmates ran to his side a few minutes later, Shintarō beamed a happy smile with no physical injuries. He apologized for getting the scroll completely drenched as he handed it back to his friend. In adulthood, Shintarō studied swordsplay and was reputed to have been one of the strongest in his dojo. Ryōma could never win a bout against him.

Fiction has one grain of truth: he was historically good friends with Ryōma. Both openly shared their Tosa origins and accent with one another, addressing each other as "Friend" (オンシ) whenever they met. They were each concerned with the recreation of the land's government, praised for their sharp intellect, and often laughed together during their meet and greets. Yet to say that their thoughts were always one would be a contemporary misconception. Ryōma was the merchant and Shintarō was the strategist. Ryōma may have been jovial, but he was notoriously stubborn in negotiations and sometimes took the straw-man argument to immediately get his way. Shintarō would patiently hear both sides before giving his concise opinion. He would agree to doable compromises and offer alternatives which had not been presented to the table. Even Shintarō would be exasperated by his friend's conduct and was spotted by Tanaka Mitsuaki and others to have been sighing in frustration on more than one occasion.

Historical accounts of Shintarō's compassion often mirror the romanticized patriotic Ryōma, so there is a rising theory with modern day historians that a great deal of the latter's positive image in politics could have been exaggerated by fiction. Ryuma ga Yuku in particular has Shintarō's historically intimate involvement with the activists directly attributed to Ryōma within the narrative. The popularity of his friend's fictional image has faded Shintarō from the public spotlight. His historical significance is commonly attributed to be the friend who was assassinated with Ryōma, even as more historical records are being found and verified.

Shintarō had three older stepsisters from his father's first wife. He was married to one known wife and had no children. Hatsutarō, his nephew, inherited his lineage after his death.

Other Names[]

His popularly known and most documented alias is Shintarō, but he cycled through many pseudonyms at different points of his life. He went by the names Fukugorō (福五郎), Fukutarō (福太郎), and Kōji (光次) during his childhood. The first two were related to the nature of his birth. His father wanted a son and, to answer his wish, his mother camped within Tenguga Forest by herself to spend four months in prayer. "Fuku" acknowledges the good luck his parents had received. Ozaki Takuji adds that his nickname became Kōji after he miraculously recovered from a punishing illness while still an infant. He personally used these nicknames when he was a teenager.

Adult Shintarō signed letters and essays as Ishikawa Hinosuke or Nishiyama Yorisaku (西山頼作). He referred to himself as Teraishi Kanfu (寺石貫夫) prior to his first meeting with Saigō Takamori. Some other one-use names include Ōyama Hikotarō (大山彦太郎), Ishikawa Jizō (石川二蔵), and Yokoyama Kanzō (横山勘蔵).

He scribed three names as his given name. In the Tosa Loyalist Party registry, he used Tamechin (為鎮). At a dojo where he trained, he used Haruhisa (春久). Michimasa was the name best associated with him since he used it during 1863 and the eve of his death. The last name is an anagram of his Teraishi ancestor's given name, causing many onlookers to suspect that this may be his lone true name. Whether this is truly the case or not remains unclear.

Early Youth[]

Shintarō was born as Nakaoka Kodenji's fourth child in present day Kitagawa, Kōchi. His mother was Kodenji's second wife, Ushi. Kodenji was a village administrator who was respected and liked by locals and neighboring communities for his charitable character. As Kodenji's only son, Shintarō was raised with high hopes of succeeding the Nakaoka name.

His studies began when he was three years old at Seishōji. Four years later, he studied under Han mentor Master Shimamura with a family servant. When he ten years old, he occasionally went to Toda Gakukan for extracurricular calligraphy studies. He became acquainted with many influential figures of the teaching facility and his home domain during his sporadic visits. By his early teens, Shintarō had learned and memorized the "Four Books" of Confucianism: Analects, Great Learning, Doctrine of the Mean, and Mencius. Even at this age, his intelligence was recognized to be "astounding". He could outsmart adults and corrected the ones who misquoted the texts. During these years, Shintarō purportedly aspired to become a calligrapher and was known for his cheerfulness.

When he was fourteen, his mother died of illness. Once he heard that the famed unparalleled scholar Masaki Tetsuma had returned to Tosa the same year, Shintarō personally begged for the master to teach him and his family servant. Tetsuma accepted him and taught him the Chinese texts, Classic of Poetry and Book of Documents. Shintarō and his friend spent many hours a day studying at Tetsuma's home or at the Nakaoka household. They took quiet strolls in the streets when they tired and immediately returned to reading once their minds had regained their focus. If Shintarō happened to be alone, he would rarely acknowledge others and would walk in complete silence. Children in the neighborhood would tease him for being a bookworm or bully him for his large ears, but he would never respond to them. On the one occasion he was hit, he barely took note of his injury. His solemn routine peppered his autumn and winter.

Kodenji had a friend in the neighboring Kōchi Village (present day Kitagawa Village). He arranged for a marriage between his friend's eldest daughter, Kane, and Shintarō when his son was fifteen. For the next few years, Shintarō would regularly visit Kōchi in between his studies out of obligation to her family. He is widely believed to have begun his friendship with Takechi Hanpeita and Yoshimura Toratarō around this time.

Start of Activism[]