I began a corner named Saitou Watchers' Tea Room at my homepage. At the "Tea Room," you may taste green tea and Japanese-style confection instead of Darjeeling Belldandy loves. When I recommended the Monaka Cake as a confection at tea time, fans of Shinsen-Gumi Company sent me several data files.
Hajime Saitou was the real character.
In the late Tokugawa Shogunate, some masterless swordsmen sent the Shogun from Edo (Tokyo) to Kyoto under due escort in order to revere the Emperor and to expel the barbarians (Japanese: Sonnoujoui). 13 of them formed Shinsen-Gumi Company at Kyoto under the patronage of Katamori Matsudaira, a feudal lord of Aidu Clan. Hundreds of masterless swordsmen who applied for joining the army then included Hajime Saitou. Shinsen-Gumi Company at first included Kamo Serizawa who was famous for the iron fan and his trusted follower Nishiki Niimi. These two was killed and Isami Kondou became the commander of Shinsen-Gumi Company (Taichou).
Shinsen-Gumi Company used a flag with a chinese character "cheng" which Japanese call Makoto. The flag was sold by Takashimaya in Kyoto. They used uniforms, Japanese half-coats with different-colored stripes. They were sold by Daimaru in Kyoto. Moreover, Mr. Toshizou Hijikata, who was Saitou's boss, formerly worked for Matsuzakaya in Edo (Tokyo). Takashimaya,Daimaru and Matsuzakaya are large-scale department stores in Japan at present.
Hajime Saitou was a master swordsman. Therefore he worked as an assistant vice-commander (Fukuchou Jokin) of Shinsen-Gumi Company from the first. When Shinsen-Gumi Company invited applications for a swordsman as an addition, he also worked as the leader of the third squad (San-Ban-Tai Kumichou). Shinsen-Gumi Company fought and were defeated at Toba, Koufu, Edo (Tokyo), Aidu, and Hakodate and were disbanded with the ruin of the Tokugawa Shogunate. He was defeated at Aidu to be a surrenderer.
Hajime Saitou rises in popularity recently because he is described at Rurouni Kenshin, one of the most popular cartoons in Japan at present. Nobuhiro Watsuki, a famous cartoonist who draws Rurouni Kenshin made Hajime Saitou made Kenshin meet with Mr. Toshimichi Ookubo in 1878 and entered the agitating point of Makoto Shishio with Kenshin in order to make Kenshin assassinate Mr. Shishio in Rurouni Kenshin.
Mr. Akihiko Nakamura, a novelist wrote a novel titled Meiji Buraiden where Hajime Saitou was the hero and took the active part in the early Meiji Era.
Moreover Shinpachi Nagakura, Saitou's co-worker, wrote his autobiography, Shinsen-Gumi Tenmatsuki. He said "Mr. Saitou saw to a few and did away with them in rapid succession with a lunge, his special art" (in page 146) on a terror raid by royalists from Satsuma, Choushu and Tosa Clans in autumn 1867 on Yasushi Miura, a great talent of Kishu Clan, who was selected as a member of the House of Peers thereafter, when Shinsen-Gumi Company patrolled. He was left-handed and good at a lunge with his left hand.
According to Makoto Fujita, a grandson of Hajime Saitou who lived in Tokyo, his grandfather said, "Since the Meiji Restoration, someone often sought my life to be exposed to danger" (from Shinsen-Gumi 100-Wa).
His personal data is as follows:
Hajime Saitou was born in 1844 at Edo (Tokyo).
It is thought his birthday was January 1.
There are other reports on his birthday.
He died at 09/28/1915.
Father: Yusuke Yamaguchi
Mother: Masu Yamaguchi
Elder brother: Hiroaki Yamaguchi (He worked for Ministry of Finance.)
Elder sister: Katsu Yamaguchi
Wife: Tokiwo Takagi
Sons: Tsutomu Fujita, Tsuyoshi Fujita, and Tatsuo Numazawa
His father was a low-grade vassal of the Family of Matsudaira at Akashi, Harima (Hyogo).
Hajime Saitou was the leader of the third squad (San-Ban-Tai Kumichou) and the assistant vice-commander (Fukuchou Jokin) of Shinsen-Gumi Company.
He knows the "Mugai-ryu" fencing art, a kind of art using a single sword.
He called himself Jirou Yamaguchi just before the Battle of Toba-Fushimi.
He was defeated at the Battle of Aidu. He was removed to Tonami, Shimokita Peninsula, Aomori Prefecture and called himself Denpachi Ichinohe.
Around 1874, he called himself Gorou Fujita through the good offices of Katamori Matsudaira, a feudal lord of Aidu Clan. He was married with Ms. Tokio Takagi through the good offices of Katamori Matsudaira.
He was a hard drinker. He died of gastric ulcer at his own house in Hongou, Tokyo.
He worked for Tokyo Metropolitan Police (Japanese: Keishi-kyoku, the predecessor of Keishi-chou) in 1877-1891 as an Assistant Police Inspector mainly.
He went to the front in the Southwestern Rebellion. Then he was decorated with the Order of the Blue Paulownia (Seishoku Touyou Shou).
Thereafter he worked for the following schools.
Guard of Tokyo Education Museum, Tokyo Higher Normal School (This is the predecessor of University of Tsukuba.)
Secretary, Tokyo Higher Normal School for Women (This is the predecessor of Ochanomizu University.)
His wife was Ms. Tokiwo Takagi.
The Family of Takagi was a hereditary vassal of the Family of Matsudaira at Aidu. The amount of its fief was 300 koku.
The father of Tokiwo was Kojurou Takagi, a senior superintendent officer of Aidu Clan. Her mother was Katsuko Takagi. Her younger sister was Tami Takagi. Her younger brother was Seinosuke Takagi.
Many books on Shinsen-Gumi Company are available in Japan.
I introduce some books.
Touru Suzuki: Shinsen-Gumi 100-Wa (Chuou Kouron Sha)
Shinsen-Gumi "Ikinokori" Taishi Jiten, Rekishi Dokuhon 42(4), April 1997 (Shinjinbutsu-Ouraisha)
Shizuko Akama: Saitou Hajime, Rekishi Dokuhon 42(12), December 1997 (Shinjinbutsu-Ouraisha)
Shinpachi Nagakura: Shinsen-Gumi Tenmatsuki (Shinjinbutsu-Ouraisha)
Akihiko Nakamura: Meiji Buraiden (Shinjinbutsu-Ouraisha)
Touji Doumon: Shinsengumi (Seibidou Shuppan)
Shinjinbustu-Ouraisha: Shinsengumi Jiten (Shinjinbutsu-Ouraisha)
The following book will be published again by Shinjinbutsu-Ouraisha.
Shizuko Akama: "Shinsengumi Fukuchou-Jokin Saitou Hajime"
Unfortunately, these are written in Japanese.
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You know Mr. Hirotaka Suzuoki played the role of Hajime Saitou from TV-animation type Rurouni Kenshin (Samurai X). He formerly played the role of Mr. Tatewaki Kunou from Rumiko Takahashi's Ranma 1/2. You know Tatewaki Kunou is a high school student and Japanese fencing player using a single sword. In fact, the two characters are much alike.