On 09/29/1998, I received a letter. As you know, the model of Kenshin Himura is Mr. Gensai Kawakami. However he was older than Hajime Saitou. He was killed in 1871.
I replied to him.
Thank you very much for your letter. I read your letter and thought.
In Japan, Shinsen-gumi company is still very popular.
Especially a lot of young women still support it.
Formerly I lived in Nagoya. I often went to Kyoto, say, twice a month.
In Mibu-dera temple, many young women took pictures in front of its buildings.
I came to Tokyo this April. In Tokyo, there is a fencing art, "Tennen Rishin Ryu" method. Of course it was Shinsen-gumi's method. Isami Kondou's successors still live in Tokyo Tama District.
For me, Shinsen-gumi company is a histrical issue.
However for Tama district people, it is still their own history.
Shinsen-gumi fans in Tokyo are not different from rural fans.
Famous female historian, Shizuko Akama wrote many books on Shinsen-gumi company and Hajime Saitou. It is she that knows Fujita Family.
Fujita Family in Tokyo has been watched by assassins. Therefore Fujita Family refuses any interview. Many historians cannot talk with the family. Fujita Family still has important data on Shinsen-gumi.
Hajime Saitou (Gorou Fujita) lived in Hongou, Bunkyou Ward, Tokyo. I work there at present. But I cannot get information on Hajime Saitou. There are many invisible obstacles.
Ms Shizuko Akama is an aged woman. She still monopolizes information on Hajime Saitou. So many Saitou fans had to approach to her. At last she has a private group of Saitou fans.
What? She has Saitou's clothes.
I cannot talk with her.
Formerly I pointed out these things at a famous publisher, Shinjinbutsu-Ouraisha. Shinjinbutsu-Ouraisha has published Shizuko Akama's history books.
On the other hand, Shinjinbutsu-Ouraisha publishes a monthy magazine "Rekishi Dokuhon" (written in Japanese).
In the magazine, Shizuko Akama pointed out that Doujin-shi cartoons after Rurouni Kenshin are not accurate. (Especially she lays stress on Hajime's fencing art name, "Mugai Ryu" method.)
Some Kenshin fans were angry. Other enthusiastic Shinsen-gumi fans blamed Nobuhiro Watsuki for it.
Nobuhiro Watsuki often apologized on them. I think he need not apologize on them.
These are Kenshin's deep-rooted background.
At last in 1998, Shinjinbutsu-Ouraisha published two books on Saitou written by Shizuko Akama.
One is "Shinsen-gumi/ Saitou Hajime No Nazo" (Shinsen-gumi Hajime Saitou's mysteries).
The other is "Shinsen-gumi Fukuchou-jokin Saitou Hajime."
Unfortunately they are written in Japanese.
Watsuki often uses real characters. And he was born in Niigata prefecture. He often named his characters after Niigata place names, Yahiko, Sadojima. He wrote on character models in Rurouni Kenshin. He used EVA, Samurai Shodown, American comics and his master's works. He worked for Takeshi Obata as an assistant.
It is said that the model of Kenshin Himura is Mr. Gensai Kawakami.
He was called "Hitokiri Gensai." He was born in 1834. He was killed in 1871. He was a swordsman under Kumamoto Clan. Thereafter he worked for Choushu Clan as an assassin. He killed Zouzan Sakuma in 1864.
Fortunately Kyoto University Library has some data on him.
The URL is here (written in Japanese).
In short, Kenshin's fighting skill is a fiction.
But real characters' fighting skill are rather real.
In Winter 1997, cinema-type Rurouni Kenshin was released. It was much blamed. It was not accurate on real characters.
Formerly Nobuhiro Watsuki drew a tale on the Civil War Era in 1500s. In the tale, he created "Hiten Mitsurugi Ryu" method. The art is a fiction. Kenshin's rivals used well-known fencing arts.
I know little information on Kenshin and Shinsen-gumi. But I have EVA page and Samurai Shodown page. I could supplement my Kenshin contents.
Thank you very much for your time and cooperation.
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