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Saitou Hajime fought in the Bakumatsu on the side of the Shogunate in a group of swordsmen called the Shinsengumi. Saitou's sword skills quickly earned him the captaincy of the third unit and his ferocity in battle earned him the nickname Miburo or Wolf of Mibu. Saitou's sword style is Mugai Ryu and his favorite technique is a left handed flat thrust called Gatotsu. The only swordsman of the Ishin Shishi who could cross blades equally with Saitou was Hitokiri Battousai. Thus they fought many pitched battles without ever coming to a clear decision as to who was the better swordsman.
After his side lost the war, Saitou changed his name to Fujita Goro and worked as a police detective for the Meiji government. In 1878, Saitou found out that the former Hitokiri Battousai had come to Tokyo and was now residing at the Kamiya Dojo under the name Himura Kenshin and wielding his sword, but not killing. While Kenshin might have seemed strong to the people of the Meiji Era, Saitou remembered the warrior Kenshin once was and grew ever more disgusted as he watched Kenshin from a distance. When he was given the order by the Meiji government to fight Kenshin to evaluate the former hitokiri's skill, he was quite enthusiastic.
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