Rurouni Kenshin Fanfic:
Because I don't usually care to put notes (aside from the requisite disclaimers) within the stories themselves, I have decided to work up this page, just to give a few tidbits of information that you might want to know about my pieces of Rurouni Kenshin fanfic.
Please note that any information marked by an asterisk (*) has been obtained from the Wikipedia entries on the Shinsengumi, both English and French versions (the French has a great deal more detail). (See also Hierarchy of the Shinsengumi Under Kondō (1864-1867).)
- Manga Version Differences: Udō Jin-e Arc
- Jin-e talks a bit more before dying, telling Kenshin that he was hired for all the assassinations he did.
- Manga Version Differences: Isurugi Raijūta Arc
- The manga version of the Raijūta arc takes place in Tokyo.
- Yutarō's father is alive and a merchant who sells swords to gaijin (which shames Yutarō).
- Raijūta never realizes that Kenshin was Hitokiri Battōsai.
- The police are not involved at all (which makes Saitō's knowledge of what happened obviously the result of long-term observation).
- Miburō/"Wolves of Mibu"
- * Despite Watsuki-san's use of Miburō (as "Wolf/Wolves of Mibu") as an admirable term for the Shinsengumi (or, at least, for Saitō), they were in fact referred to as wolves by the citizens of Kyoto for the reckless and brutal actions of two of the original senior captains, Serizawa Kamo and Niimi Nishiki. (Niimi was made to commit seppuku by Hijikata, and Serizawa was killed on Sept. 18, 1863 by Hijikata and Okita (as part of a group that included Inoue, Yamanami, Tōdō, and Harada).) It was after this that the re-organization into ten units (which made Saitō captain of the Third Unit) took place.
- Ikeda-ya Affair
- * The Ikeda-ya affair (Ikeda-ya Jinken), on June 5, 1864, was what made the Shinsengumi heroes when they prevented the Ishin Shishi's plans to burn down Kyoto. Of the captains, it was Kondō, Okita, Tōdō (captain of the Eighth Unit), and Nagakura (captain of the Second Unit) who were at Ikeda-ya. Hijikata, Saitō, Inoue (captain of the Sixth Unit), and Harada (captain of the Tenth Unit) went to Shikoku-ya, as they didn't know for certain which inn held the conspirators.
- Okita's Illness
- * Okita suffered from tuberculosis (some information I've seen reads that he got it the night of the Ikeda-ya affair, other info that he already had it and that night worsened it) and died in a TB hospital in Edo on May 30, 1868.
- Laws of the Shinsengumi
- * Article #2 of the Shinsengumi's laws prohibited members of the Shinsengumi from leaving the group.
- * Article #5 of the Shinsengumi's laws prohibited members of the Shinsengumi from engaging in private fights.
- Saitō & the Shinsengumi in Aizu
- * Sept. 4, 1868, 20 of the remaining Shinsengumi, led by Saitō Hajime, fought the Imperial Army at the castle of Wakamatsu in Aizu; Saitō was the only survivor. The rest of the Shinsengumi fled to Hokkaido with Hijikata; his death in battle on May 11, 1869 against the Imperial Army is counted as the end of the Shinsengumi.
- Licking the sword
- (As per Vathara's research into Japanese folklore) Human saliva was supposed to be poisonous to dragons.
- Saitō & Internal Troubles of the Shinsengumi
- * March 10, 1867, a group of 15 men led by Itō Kashitarō, the military advisor of the Shinsengumi, deserted – provoked by Hijikata's decision that Yamanami Keisuke, who had been a friend of Kondō's (and likely Hijikata's and Okita's) since before the Shinsengumi, was to commit seppuku for deserting when he found that he no longer shared the same political beliefs as they did. Itō's group included one Saitō Hajime, who had actually been placed there as a spy by Kondō and Hijikata. Saitō sent them regular, detailed reports, and on November 18, the leaders of the group – Itō, Hattori Takeo, and Tōdō Heisuke (the captain of the Eighth Unit) – were killed. Most of the rest of the group managed to flee. It apparently resulted in giving Saitō a very unenviable reputation among the rest of the Shinsengumi.
- * Itō's group wasn't the only internal problem that Saitō dealt with. The Tani brothers – Mantaro, Sanjūrō and Kondo Shuhei – were a problem until Saitō killed Tani Sanjūrō (the captain of the Seventh Unit). Takeda Kanryūsai (captain of the Fifth Unit) decided to ally himself with Satsuma, and was trapped and killed by Saitō.
- In the anime (the subtitled version), Ōkubo is frequently referred to as "Ōkubo-kyo". The subtitles translate that as "Lord Ōkubo", but according to a bit of research done by the ever-esteemed Vathara, a closer translation would be "sir", as in the title given to English knights. In keeping with my habit of using the honorifics, I've used "-kyo" in this story rather than "Lord".
- Laws of the Shinsengumi
- * Article #1 of the Shinsengumi's laws prohibited members of the Shinsengumi from deviating from the path proper as a samurai.
- * The laws under which the Shinsengumi operated are one of the strictest sets of laws known in human history.
- Notes on the Tōkaidō
- Despite what Saitō says in the manga about it only taking ten days to walk along the Tōkaidō from Tokyo to Kyoto, the average person took twelve days. (Information from Taiho-Jutsu: Law and Order in the Age of the Samurai by Don Cunningham.)
- There were 53 post stations along the Tōkaidō where lodging, food, horse and porter stations were located, not including the two termini (Edo/Tokyo and Kyoto). Not counting the Tokyo end station, Odawara is the ninth station along the route; Hakone is the tenth. (Information from Taiho-Jutsu and The Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido.)
- Anime Version Differences: Aoshi recognizing Saitō
- In the anime, Aoshi recognizes "Fujita Gorō" as Saitō; somehow, I can't imagine him not doing so. This is the Okashira of the Oniwabanshū, after all...
- Notes on the Tōkaidō
- Numazu was the 13th post station along the Tōkaidō going from Tokyo to Kyoto.
- Interesting side-note: Mishima – Eiji and Ei'ichiro's surname – is the 12th station (between Hakone and Numazu). (Information from The Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido.)
- People Referenced
- Tsutomu was the oldest son of Saitō and Tokio, born in 1876 (so around 2 years old at this point).
- Takagi Morinosuke was Tokio's younger brother. Information from Shinsengumi Headquarters suggests that Saitō counted him a friend.
- Folding tessen (iron fan) made from silk, very thin leather, or washi (a very strong Japanese paper) spread over a metal frame. (pg. 81, Taiho-Jutsu: Law and Order in the Age of the Samurai by Don Cunningham)
- The prefecture encompassing what used to be Aizu (where the Takagi family is from).
- Commander of the Shinsengumi: Kondō Isami
- Vice-Commander of the Shinsengumi: Hijikata Toshizō
- Vice-Commander of the Shinsengumi: Yamanami Keisuke
- Captain of the First Unit: Okita Sōji/Sōshi
- Captain of the Second Unit: Nagakura Shinpachi
- Captain of the Third Unit: Saitō Hajime
- Captain of the Fourth Unit: Matsubara Chūji
- Captain of the Fifth Unit: Takeda Kanryūsai
- Captain of the Sixth Unit: Inoue Genzaburō
- Captain of the Seventh Unit: Tani Sanjūrō
- Captain of the Eighth Unit: Tōdō Heisuke
- Captain of the Ninth Unit: Suzuki Mikisaburō
- Captain of the Tenth Unit: Harada Sanosuke
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Last modified August 23rd, 2006.