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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Gensai Kawakami

Lived: From 1834 to 1871

Claim to Fame: Samurai, inspiration for Kenshin Himura

He was one of four deadly assasins who lived in the last days of the shogunate. Soft-spoken and gentle at first glance, he was a cold-blooded killer at heart. Master of the lightning-fast Shiranui-ryu sword style, which he invented himself, he usually favored the quick draw and a low attacking stance. He was said to be virtually unbeatable. Just another anime character? Think again. Gensai Kawakami was the real deal.

Though different accounts of his life exist, Gensai Kawakami was best known for his midday duel with Sakuma Shouzan. Sakuma believed that the only way for Japan to progress was to open itself to the outside world. Gensai, like many of his countrymen, hated and feared gaijin, or foreigners, and wanted to keep Japan free of any foreign influence. His nationalistic acts became legendary and made Gensai the perfect inspiration for Samura X's hero, Kenshin Himura.

Source: K-zone



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