新選組，日本幕府末期令人聞風喪膽的武士組織，以守護德川將軍及維護京都治安為任。別名「壬生狼」，由近藤勇 (Kondō Isami) 及土方歲三 (Hijikata Toshizō) 統率，擅以暗殺、圍剿方式殺敵，在池田屋事件上更是一戰成名，威名傳遍京都、大阪及江戶。
The Shinsengumi (1863 – 1869) was one of the shogunate army and was active in Kyoto at the end of the Edo period. Led by Kondō Isami and Hijikata Toshizō, the Shinsengumi, formerly known as Roshigumi organized by the shogunate for guarding the 14th Shogun Tokugawa Iemochi, was founded by the lord of Aizu-han Matsudaira Katamori. They gained considerable fames in Ikedaya Jiken and Coup of August 18 event etc.
With the proclaimation of Taisei Hokan (returning the power to the Emperor) and Oseifukko-no-Daigorei (restoring the Imperial rule) in force respectively in October and December 1867, the Boshin War broke out between the forces of former shogunate and the new government.
After the heavy loss in the Battle of Toba-Fushimi, the Shinsengumi continued to fight against the antagonists and unfortunately suffered from the great disadvantage with Kondō Isami being decapitated at Itabashi on 25 April 1868. Hijikata Toshizō, who re-established the army force with the Hakodate Government of former shogunate, was killed in the all-out assault of Hakodate on 11 May 1869.
The Shinsengumi, tiding over the turbulent state of the late Tokugawa period, stayed loyal and fought bravely against the revolution initiated by the new government forces. Most of the members fought to their ends in the battles. However their way of life that sacrificed itself for loyalty to the shogunate and belief in Bushido have attracted many people worldwide and remained one of the favourable and prominent figures in the Japanese history.