Thank you for your letter and your time.
I read your letter and thought the followings these three days,
You want to read books on Shinsen-gumi Company written in English.
You could not find them.
You are right.
In Japan, Shinsen-gumi has been very popular for many years.
As you know, in the end of Tokugawa Shogunate, Tokugawa 14th Tykoon "Iemochi Tokugawa" went from Edo to Kyoto. Then some Samurai swordsmen had to go to Kyoto to protect the Tykoon. However Tokugawa Shogunate had little money. The government employed Tama-district half-farmer unemployed swordsmen.
Tama-district is Machida city (near Tokyo) at present. Machida has several universities and colleges now. Tama-district half-farmer unemployed swordsmen had their own sword art called "Tennen Rishin Ryu" Method. Tama people still have the sword method.
Now the leader of Tennen Rishin Ryu, Isami Kondou joined with the protect group. Kondou had a lot of followers, for example, Toshizou Hijikata, Souji Okita. Of course, they also joined with the protect group. The protect group also included Mito Clan "Tengu-tou" Party, for example, Kamo Serizawa, Nishiki Niimi.
On the other hand, the protect group included many swordsmen that were Emperor followers. The number of those followers was much more than Kondou group and Serizawa group.
The protect group reached Kyoto. Then Emperor followers escaped. Kondou, Serizawa and Niimi formed a kind of police group at Mibu under Katamori Matsudaira of Aidu Clan. This is the origin of Shinsen-gumi.
Mibu is a western district in Kyoto city at present.
Then Saitou joined with Shinsen-gumi.
But Saitou had been already a friend of Tennen Rishin Ryu Method swordsmen.
In Japan, Ms Shizuko Akama, a very old female historian, researches him for many years. She wrote several books on him. However his life is still a mystery.
Many historians regards him as a spy of Aidu Clan. As I show in my homepage, after the collapse of the Shogunate, he was a public servant for many years.
I looked for Shinsen-gumi books or Hajime-Saitou books written in English. But I cannot find them.
Mr. Totman recently published "The Collapse of the Tokugawa Bakufu" at Univ. of Hawaii Pr. (48 dollars)
This book is also a book for historians.
Kyoto people regard Shinsen-gumi as Wolves in Mibu. On the other hand, Tama people regard them as heroes. Tama people have many homepages on Shinsengumi written in Japanese. Few historians reseach Shinsen-gumi because many historians regard them as a kind of assassins.
Seiichi Morimura, Ryoutarou Shiba and Touji Doumon, that are famous novelists in Japan, dealt with Shinsen-gumi. But those works have not been translated into English yet.
As you know, great homepages on Rurouni Kenshin are made in USA. Unfortunately some of them are made by Japanese students in USA. They translate Japanese novels and comics into English.
Shueisha publishes Kenshin. But the company failed in comics business in USA formerly, for example, Hokuto No Ken. Therefore the company does not want to sell the title in USA well. On the other hand, Kodansha has published books written in English for many years. Kodansha's titles, for example, "Ah! My Goddess" "You're Under Arrest" and "Sailor Moon" are easily available in USA.
Hajime Saitou is still a mystery for me.
His grandsons are still alive in Tokyo, but I cannot see them, of course. Shizuko Akama has a lot of followers. She forms "Hajime Saitou Society." I could not join with the society. Many Saitou fans cannot approach to the news source of Saitou Hajime.
Thank you very much for your cooperation.
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