Reaching for the new world

Greetings! Welcome to Redemption; a tribute shrine for one of the most beloved samurai character from the classic love, tragic, and comedic story by Nobuhiro Watsuki, Kenshin Himura from the series Rurouni Kenshin. Kenshin has always been a favorite character of my childhood days. His complex character from being a silly Rurouni to a hard core manslayer, is one of the reasons why Kenshin is loved by many.

The greatest sin can never be forgotten.

Redemption is a part of the Amassment's One page One month Marathon, and AMINUET. You are currently viewing the first layout of the site entitile "twisted fate". The image came from the oro and other image and texture credits can be found here. If you have any questions related to this site, don't hesitate to contact me.

Chapter 01
Wandering Swordsman

The Series

Rurouni Kenshin is a shonen manga created by the brilliant Nobuhiro Watsuki published by Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump from September 2, 1994 until November 4, 1999. The series was then adapted into an anime which started in January 10, 1996. The series title Rurouni means "Wandering" while Kenshin is the name of the protagonist which also means "Heart of Sword". The series was wrapped up in a twenty eight volumes with two hundred twenty five chapters in total. Viz Media published the English version of the series which started the release in October 7, 2003 and ended in July 5, 2006. The series is highly popular in Asia, North America, and Europe. It was adapted into anime and Ovas and several video games.

Rurouni Kenshin       Rurouni Kenshin       Rurouni Kenshin

The story takes place in the 11th year of the Meiji Era in Japan. The story is about a kind-heart wanderer named Kenshin Himura who was known as the legendary Battousai or a manslayer from the Bakumatsu era. Kenshin arrives in Tokyo and meets a young girl named Kaoru Kamiya who is a teacher of her father's Kamiya Kashin Dojo. After, Kaoru learns that Kenshin is the real Battousai, she offers him a place to stay as Kenshin Himura and not as the manslayer. Kenshin gratefully accepted her request and helps her with the dojo. Kenshin and Kaoru then helps a young boy named Yahiko Miyoujin who becomes a Kamiya Kashin studend under Kaoru's mastery. Kenshin gains more lifelong friends, Sasagara Sanosuke, and a doctor named Megumi. However, as the story goes, Kenshin's former battles and former enemies then finds him and wants to avenge themselves. Kenshin has to save his friends and atone his sins from his past killings. Would Kenshin be able to find the answer to atone his sins or would he be drowned by his mistakes?

Chapter 2
The Legend

Basic Information

Kenshin Himura is a legendary man-slayer and the most feared samurai in his time. He was once a young assassin who grew up to become a man who pledge not to kill or harm anyone. Instead, he gives an effort to save the people who needs to be protected. Kenshin is known for his symbolic crossed shaped scar on his left chin, his skinny physique, and his long red hair.

Kenshin Himura Given Name: Himura, Kenshin
Birth Name: Shinta
Warrior Name: Hitokiri Battousai
Age: 28
Occupation: Former Assasin, a Wanderer
Type of Sword: Sakabatou
Sword Style: Hiten Mitsurugi Ryu

Ten years after his former job as an assassin, Kenshin, at the age of 28, is a wanderer who lives his life atoning his sins by protecting the others in need. He strives for a world which everyone can smile and live happily. Not knowing that the people he assassinated and fought before strives for the same goal, Kenshin had promised to himself that for the sake of those life he took, he will use his Sakabatou or a reverse-edge sword to protect.

Whatever path he chooses, Kenshin is still hunted by his past enemies and must survive to keep those near him alive.

In order to leave his dark side temporarily, Kenshin shows his other characteristic, by being silly, extremely humble, and occasional politeness which are also the reasons why Kenshin is love by many fans! He also uses a silly word "Oro" which is not even a real word. Oro is also the first word that Kenshin said in the first chapters of the series, even in the anime! Kenshin also uses the word "de gozaru" a formal verb which mean "..that it is" and a humble word "sessha" to refer himself which means "this one" from the Viz English translated version of the manga.

From the author

Character Notes

This is section was taken from the first volume of the manga, where Nobuhiro Watsuki-sensei describes Kenshin's characteristic, personality, appearance, and based from.

The secret life of Characters (1)
Himura Kenshin based somewhat on actual hitokiri Kawakami Gensai.sort of. except totally different.

Kawakami Gensai was on of the four great hitokiri or assasins, from the revolutionary Bakamatsu period. He was short and skinny, and could be mistaken at first glance for a woman.Contrary to his appearance, though, he was clever and clear-headed despite also for being the most dreaded among all the hitokiri.

Master of an original sword style called Shiranui-ryu, Kawakami is famous for felling the great idealist, Sakuma Shozan in one swing, in mid-day. Kawakami is nevertheles a mysterious figure, however, as there are no certain records of his other assasinations.

After the revolution - and unable to let go of the idea that Japan should remain closed to the world - Kawakami found himself irrequent conflict with the revolutionary government. Ultimately, he was accused for a crime he did not commit and executed in the forth year of Meiji.

As I researched further, it began to occur to me that the story wasn't so cut and dry. What this hitokiri could not let go of was his duty to his fellow comrades and to the men that he had killed. It's this that gave me the initial idea for the "Kenshin" character. As for the others, there is the selflessness of Okita Soshi of the Shinsengumi and the mysterious quality of Saito Hajime.. but then again, who knows?

In terms of graphic desing, I had no real motif. The main character of my debut work was a tall, black haired man in showy armor, so when I set out to design someone completely opposite to him, he ended up coming out like a girl (heh). Not knowing what else to do, I put a cross-shaped scar on the left cheek. Now the same "X" marks the spot at which Battousai become Kenshin.. or so I've heard!

Chapter 3
Symbolic

the Meaning of his Name

Kenshin Himura Name

Kenshin's name is naturally perfect for him, not only because of his appearance and background but also his own destiny. His name was given to him by his teacher Hiko Soujiro when he decided to start teaching young Kenshin how to wield a sword.

The first Kanji from his surname Himura means dark red while the second Kanji from his surname Himura means village.

Thus the meaning of his surname describes the color of his hair, dark red; but more a bright one which takes me to come up with another meaning that takes to his childhood. Kenshin was born from a village but his family was also masacared when he was young. Does this mean the meaning of the first kanji for dark red symbolizes blood and murder. Well, let's leave it as that.

The Kanji for his name Kenshin means Sword while the second kanji from his name Kenshin means Heart.

The meaning of his name pretty much sums up his destiny to become a samurai who weilds his sword by his heart. It is true, Kenshin have learned the reason to fight is to protect the happiness of the one he loves.

Kenshin was born with a name Shinta which means Huge Heart.

Lastly, Kenshin's assassin name is Hitokiri Battousai, hitokiri is the japanese for manslayer. Hito - person while Kiri - to cut with sword. Battousai is Kenshin's nickname and was often called Himura Battousai. Probably because Kenshin has mastered the sword technique called Battoujustsu, a fighting style and the art of drawing the sword.

Chapter 4
Kawakami Gensai

character based

Kenshin Himura The story of Rurouni Kenshin is based on the Bakamatsu and the early years of the Meiji era. Some of the characters are also based on real life historical Japanese people. Kenshin is based on the great and most feared hitokiri, named Kawakami Gensai.

Kawakami Gensai (1834-1872) is a highly skilled samurai from the Bakamatsu period who uses his own high-speed sword style called Shiranui-ryu. He was one of the four most notable assassins. Though his appearance is short and skinny, Kawakami Gensai is intelligent and is not easily to be decived.

He joined the revolution which started from a conversation about the idea of imperial loyalty between two men who became an important factor from his Ishin Shi Shi, assassination activities. However, in the 4th year of Meiji; Kawakami Gensai was put into prison and was executed in 1872.

Similarities

Gensai to Kenshin

According to Watsuki Nobuhiro, "what this hitokiri could not let go of his duty to his fellow comrades and to the men that he had killed, which lead him in the idea of the character "Kenshin".Let's summarize or list some of the factors which are similar to Kawakami Gensai and Kenshin. From their appearance to personality and story.

01. Both are clever and clear-headed.
02. Both are feared from their generation.
03. Both have a high-speed sword style technique.
04. Both are skinny and short.
05. Both had a son and was married.
06. Both does not believe in Kenjutsu.

Chapter 5
Personality

Strong willed

Kenshin Himura From his exterior facade, Kenshin Himura shows a polite and humble personality. He constantly let Kaoru hit him anytime he acts all silly and let the pride Yahiko talk to him without any respect, and also to be easily be pushed over by Sano's manly excuses. However, this exterior personality that Kenshin shows might be an excuse to hide his real self. But in truth, Kenshin is a nice guy. Kenshin is an intelligent man who can read other people's mind from his past experiences as an ex-assassin. He could tell if you are lying, weak, or as strong as him. However, Kenshin constantly try to avoid battles whether they are stronger or weaker than him. He had denounce to kill and decided to protect those around him without harming others. His pledge not to kill and to use a Sakabatou are his way to atone his sins. His strong weakness is his friends and most importantly, Kaoru who became someone special to his wounded heart and the reason of his desire to survive. If Kenshin is at his peak of failing to protect his friends, his anger arises and he will changed into his past self as a mans-layer. The way he talk will change and he will be more open to kill just like in his fight with Jin-e in the early chapters of the series.

Kenshin Himura Kenshin Himura

In the early chapters of the story, Kenshin will punch his forehead in the effort to regain his Rurouni self. He will come back and refer to himself as "this one". The more the story goes further and the more Kenshin learns his answer to his sins, the more he was able to control his hitokiri self, and was able to put everything in his past. To sum it up, Kenshin is honest to his feelings and to those around him. He says what he thinks and will never back down from his word. He is very reliable not only from fighting but from cooking, and being a tenant of Kaoru's dojo. To be honest, Kenshin's birth name is what describe his whole personality, huge heart.

I'm a killer who hides his hitokiri nature within his soul. Kenshin Himura | Volume 12 Chapter 94

Stubbornness

Young Kenshin

Kenshin Himura His stubbornness and immaturity are the reason why his past came to be. Kenshin was indeed young when he started his killings spree. His agitation to help in the war and stubbornness to follow his master, lead him to become a hitokiri, but it was his talent which made him legendary.

Young and baby faced as he is, Kenshin was only 15 when he became the Hitokiri Battousai. He shows a tough and serious facade, and he gets pissed right away when the people around him is making fun of him.

Even though he is feared as a fighter, the people around Kenshin could make him change emotions just like a human should.

Chapter 6
Appearance

Physical Structure

Kenshin Himura Kenshin is a man-slayer who wears a fundoshi and fight the bad guys! He is famous for his cross shaped scar on his left cheek.. wait? what? I think that's a loincloth. But Kenshin seems to be enjoying his new attire.

Enough said! Let's do this again. Kenshin is skinny in terms of his physique. He is short and has a long thick red hair while his face looks a lot younger than his actual age. He is practically a girl! However, Kenshin is more describe as a man with a cross-shaped scar on his left cheek. He wears a red Hakama and carries a reverse-blade sword or Sakabatou.

Kenshin could also change his facial expression. From being a Rurouni with bright huge eyes to being the Hitokiri Battousai with ranging dark killer eyes.

Color Scheme:
This is fully based from the manga colored chapters and covers. We all have different kinds of scanners, so the color which was shown with the picture might not be exactly as yours, but well this is an approximate color used for Kenshin.

Kenshin Color
Kenshin Color
Kenshin Color

Pretense, Symbolic much?

Kenshin's Hair Analysis

Kenshin's hair is probably not intended to symbolize anything, but in my opinion, it's somewhat mirrors his identity. When he was a young hitokiri, Kenshin ties his hair up high like a proud and confident assasin, but when he grew older, his hair is tied down like his humble self. And when he finally had a chance to let go and achive happines, he had cut his hair.

Kenshin Himura      Kenshin Himura      Kenshin Himura

Hair Evolution
Rurouni Kenshin is the first manga series by Nobuhiro Watsuki, as to that, it's understandable that the way he draws improves and changes from the start to finish of the story. You'll be able to recognize the change right away from Kenshin's hair.

Kenshin Himura 01. The Dragon Ball Era
At the early volumes of the series, Kenshin has a huge puffy hair and with cutsie eyes. His pony tail is pretty thick and puffy, you could tell that he doesn't comb his hair much. This is the reason why Kenshin is short; he carries such a heavy hair all day long.

Kenshin Himura 02. The Overly unused hair lines
At this point of the story specifically in Volume 15, Kenshin's hairlines have decreased and the thickness has also loosen. His eyes also changed, and Nobuhiro Watsuki's brilliant style is becoming. Kenshin's pony tail is still tied up the same way as before and it still looks thicker.

Kenshin Himura 03. Sleek and shiny
And thus, Kenshin's hair becomes more simple and thin, but his bangs grew and it is covering his eyes more than the earlier versions. It is also in this point of the end of the story where Kenshin CUT HIS HAIR but it is still looks the same in the front. He just lost his pony tails.

Freedom

His Smiling Face

Kenshin Himura In chapter 255, when everything has reached it's end and everyone has finally decided to move forward, Kenshin has reached to a conclusion on how to atone his sins, that the people around him are the ones he should take care of. In the 15th year of Meiji, Kenshin at the age of 32, had cut his long hair which symbolizes his feelings about his past. He decided to let go and to move forward in the new era, Kenshin also gave his Sakabatou to Yahiko and told Yahiko to surpass him. Most importantly, his cross-shaped scar has gradually shrinking and the pain of what it carries has also been decresed, however, Kenshin states that the scar would never disappear.

It is true that Kenshin constantly smile in the series, but his smile in the latter part of the story were more true and natural. The way he smile before was just to cope with the others, but in the latter part of the story, Kenshin smiles more because of his own found happiness.

Chapter 7
Born with a kind heart

Kenshin Himura Childhood

Kenshin Himura Childhood Kenshin was born in 1849 and was given the name, Shinta. However, he became an orphan at the age of 7 when both of his parents died from cholera. He was then sold into slavery but after a year, slave trader's caravan was attacked by bandits except for Kenshin who was saved by a powerful man named Hiko Seijuro. After being saved, Seijuro told Kenshin to go down to the village at the foot of the mountain and tell his story, and the people will take him in. He told Kenshin that this kind of incident happens in Japan frequently, and Kenshin being alive is a matter of luck and he should be glad about it. When Hiko Seijuro asked about Kenshin in the town, they said that they haven't seen the young boy. He had thought that Kenshin might have committed a suicide and killed himself. He went back to check on the site of the incident, instead of dead decomposing bodies, Hiko Seijuro found a graveyard which was Kenshin's doing. He asked Kenshin for his name and Kenshin answered that it was Shinta.

Bandits or slavers once their dead, they're just bodies. Still you made graves for them. Hiko Seijuro | Volume 12 Chapter 95

Kenshin never did cry or shed a tear, but his expression were just shocked when he was saved by Hiko Seijuro from the massacre. He already carries a strong heart and was able to endure his own fate as a little boy. He even specially buried three woman who he thought that he must protect even though he had only met them for a day.

Kenshin Himura Child Hiko Seijuro found a student in young Kenshin, and also who become the second father and master of Kenshin teaching him the ancient inhuman speed sword style, Hiten Mitsurugi Ryu. It was also his teacher who gave him the name Kenshin since having a name Shinta is too gentle for a swordsman.

However, blinded by the truth, Kenshin abandonned his teacher in the effort to protect the people with his skill. Kenshin left his teacher's guidance and training in which his sword style was left unfinished.

Chapter 8
Shadow Assasin

Kenshin Himura Battousai

They say it rains blood at scenes of battle.. you truly.. make blood rain. Himura Tomoe | Volume 19 Chapter 168

Kenshin Himura The story starts in the year 1864, when Japan was in the middle of a war between the revolutionist swordsmen and those who are loyal to the Shogunate. Kenshin only 15 had achived the name as the shadow assasin, Hitokiri Himura Battousai. Young Kenshin was given an assignment to assasinate Shigekura Jubei who just came from a sake party with two of his comrades named Ishiji and Kiyosato. Kenshin told the three that he does not have any personal grudge on them, but Jubei must die for the new era that the revolutionist were creating. Ishiji draw his sword and was cut starting from his forhead and dies instantly with Jubei from Kenshin's sword. Kiyosato was the last man standing and was told by Kenshin to give up since he isn't the target. However, Kiyosato attacked Kenshin and was strongly killed while pursuing to survive the incident. Remarkably, Kenshin was wounded on his left cheek as he clashed his sword with Kiyosato. Little did he know that Kiyosato would become one of the significant part of his life hitokiri life.

I thought.. I'd be able.. to love you.. I'm going.. to be married.. Tomoe.. Kiyosato | Volume 19 Chapter 165

Bakumatsu: A time of clashing ambitions and ideals as Japan is opended to foreign imperialism and the emperor and the shogun for power. As revolutionary swordsmen rise against those loyal to the Tokugawa Shogunate and split the nation into two.

Rurouni Kenshin Young Kenshin works as a special assasin under the young leader of the Choshu Ishin Shi Shi, Katsura Kogoro who was also one of the key figures of the revolution. Kenshin was always given the hardest task since he is the strongest of all the Ishin Shi Shi. Kenshin only desire was to help and fight for the new era and not because of popularity, so his assasination activities were always in the shadows and rumours. However, Kenshin, after helping a lady from being teased by drunken men, was attacked by another assasin like himself and won. But, his short battle with the enemy was seen by the lady he saved. Kenshin was thinking if he should kill her since his battles must always be hidden.

The young lady in a white kimono was named Tomoe who becomes the first wife of Kenshin. As I was narrating, Tomoe becomes unconscious and Kenshin was left with no choice since he chose not to kill her but to bring her to the Choshu Ishin Shishi headquarters. Morning came and Kenshin awoke, Tomoe was already taking her time and helping out in the kitchen and Kenshin was aggrivated that Tomoe is being teased to him. In a conversation with Katsura Kogoro, Kenshin frankly told him that the information of the Ishin Shishi is leaking and that there is a traitor within. This came to Kenshin since he was ambushed by a shogunate assasin that night. Katsura was thinking the same thing and some of their comrades were already arested by the Shinsengumi.

END

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Kenshin Himura Kenshin Himura Kenshin Himura Kenshin Himura Kenshin Himura Kenshin Himura

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