Most of the following below was written
almost two years ago except the last few paragraphs. This is really
more of a fangirl approach to history which I still add anyway
because fans provide fuel for interest, whether they are fiction
fans or history fans.
What's he really like? Well not as hot
as RK Saitou but then again it's not fair to compare the two. I have
grown a healthy respect for the historical version. The San-ban-tai
Kumichou went through several name changes mostly because of the
line of his work as a spy, first he was Yamaguchi Hajime, then
Saitou Hajime (Shinsengumi), Inouhe Denpachi and finally Fujita
Gorou. He was born to Yamaguchi Yuusuke and Masu. Well as most
significant life starts out a bit shaky, he is rumored to have
killed the son of a Retainer to the Shogun and thus left Tokyo, his
hometown. He left behind his mother and father and his siblings
Katsu (sister) and Hiroaki (brother). He also had a nice named
He met Kondou (soon to be Commander of
the Shinsengumi) in Tama and later on joined the Shinsengumi as a
troop captain. He is described as a very good swordsman on par with
Okita Souji who during the time was the best swordsman in the
Shinsengumi. In history just like in Anime and the movies he did
command the third troop and was trusted by Hijikata, so much so that
he gave him the assignment to spy on Itou Kashitarou. Itou's group
defected from the Shinsengumi and created what is considered to be
one of the worst internal disturbance in Shinsengumi history.
Historical Saitou fought valiantly in Toba-Fushimi, during the
Seinan wars and the Boshin wars. He became part of the Tokyo
Metropolitan Police. It is believed that it was Toshiyoshi Kawaji, a
native of Satsuma who recruited Saitou into the TMPD. After serving
the TMPD (and rising up in the ranks) he finally retired and became
a Museum guard, teacher and traffic enforcer in a girl's school
where his wife Tokio also worked.
There is also a rumor that before Tokio
Takagi (his wife), he was involved with a woman older than him named
Yaso during the war but she died. It is unclear whether she died of
illness though. His marriage to Tokio Takagi was arranged and it is
said that the Daimyo himself was the sponsor for the marriage. He
had three sons named Tatsuo, Tsutomu and Tsuyoshi. The youngest,
Tatsuo was actually adopted.
Correction on Tatsuo's adoption
9/8/04: There are new findings that Tatsuo was not actually an
adopted son, he is actually the biological son of the Fujita's
however he was adopted "out" of the family to the Numazawa family.
It is believed that Tatsuo was adopted out to help preserve the Aizu
as the Numazawa's were retainers and Tokio and Hajime had strong
ties with the Aizu clan. However there is debate if this was the
only reason. There might've been more to the adoption, it is most
probable that during the time Saitou Hajime (Fujita Gorou) was a
prisoner of war the Numazawa's probably helped him during the time.
The Numazawa's approached the Fujita family and probably asked the
Fujita's to bear a child for them to adopt, citing Hajime's
indebtedness while he was a POW.
Personality wise there is not much said
or known about the man. Again it is rumored that there are family
records and Shinsengumi records which are still in possession by the
family and has not been made public up to now. We do know that he is
fond of drinking (which ultimately led to his death - he died in a
Seiza position by the way), a very quiet man as described by his
brother in law and washed and stretched his fudonshi everyday. For
those who do not know what a fudonshi is, it's underwear. Now don't
laugh, this is actually a very good thing, because it points to
cleanliness. Now who wouldn't want an intelligent (yes he must be
intelligent because he served as a spy), skillful (fighting skills)
and CLEAN man? Ladies?
I don't care much for the facial
features of the real Saitou Hajime. Some say that he has a face only
a mother could love but I'll let you be the judge of that. He was
rather tall almost 6 feet. Some say he was "stocky" but later on put
on some weight (later in his Museum guarding days). A couple of
other downsides was that as I've mentioned before he drank quite a
lot and there is an account that he is fickle when it came to women
(I'm still waiting for more info on this). So there you have it a no
holds barred low down on the real Saitou Hajime.
How did Saitou Hajime die?
Well he never did in the world of Anime,
Manga and Fiction (at least my fanfiction ^_^ )... But for the
curious let me detail to you what happened in history.
September 28, 1915, Saitou Hajime died
at the age of 72. As I wrote earlier he was fond of drinking and
this is the cause of his death. As he realized that his time was
near, he asked his family to move him to an alcove, there he sat "Seiza"
and awaited his death while his daughter-in-law Midori (Tsutomu's
wife), continuously removed phlegm from his throat by chopsticks and
some cotton balls. Note how he died in "Seiza", this means sitting
on your heels with your back straight, this requires continuous
presence of mind and discipline as it is a formal way of sitting. He
did all this until the moment of his death, this not only pointed to
his self-discipline and control but also his awareness of the Mugai
Ryu. Mugai Ryu is his swordsman style and it advocates to
continuously challenge oneself. Being in "Seiza" until death shows
his dedication as a Mugai Ryu swordsman.