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“In order to create the new era, we must first destroy the old one. Will you kill to create a new era?”

Name: Katsura Kogoro

Age: 31

Weapons/Attacks: Katana, Shinto Munnen Ryu

Allies: Himura Kenshin, Katagai, Iizuka

Enemies: Tokugawa Bakufu

Love Interests: Ikumatsu

First Appearance: Revenge Arc (Tsuiokuhen flashback)

Biography: A real historical figure, Katsura Kogoro was born August 11, 1833. He was adopted into the Katsura family at age seven and given the name he would use until after the Bakumatsu. As the head of the Choshuu Clan’s Ishin Shishi faction, Katsura journeyed to Choshuu where he and best friend Takasugi Shinsaku watched over a group of recruits who wanted to join the Kiheitai, a civilian militia which worked for the Ishin Shishi. Among the recruits was a small boy with long red hair and sword skills far beyond his years.

Katsura was so impressed with the boy’s performance in the field that he had the boy brought to him and questioned him about his abilities. When Katsura found that the boy, who called himself Kenshin, used the ancient sword style Hiten Mitsurugi, he drafted Kenshin to be his new hitokiri (assassin) in Kyoto and gave him the family name Himura so he would better fit in among the samurai.

Personality: Katsura is so fixated on overthrowing the Bakufu and reinstalling the Emperor to power that he will stop at nothing to achieve this goal, even going so far as to make an underage boy into an assassin. Too late, Katsura realizes that doing so has ruined the boy’s soul and feels great remorse over what ends up happening to Kenshin.

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