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Kamiya Kaoru

Japanese name: 神谷 薫
The primary instructor of the Kamiya Kasshin-ryū fighting style developed by her late father, Kamiya Koshijirō, Kaoru inherited a small dojo from her father, who was drafted into and killed during the Seinan War, and operates it by herself. At the beginning of the story, she has no students and she is likely to lose the dojo until Kenshin appears and helps her. Naturally, she is independent, possessive, compassionate, courageous, feisty, strong-willed, and a great fighter to boot- with only the occasional mood swing. Kaoru is also known for her bad cooking which is disliked by her friends and family and her ability to see the good in others.

Though she is short tempered and possessive, Kaoru is incredibly selfless. Although most times she is seen fighting against Myōjin Yahiko, they care about each other and Kaoru sees him as the succesor of the dojo. She is considered naïve to be so trusting, but she has the maturity to handle the consequences. Kaoru's beliefs are held strongly and proudly, almost stubbornly, particularly her beliefs in the sword.

She falls in love with Himura Kenshin right from the beginning of the series, and continued to do so even after learning of his past crimes. One of Kaoru's biggest fears is that Kenshin might someday return to wandering, leaving her to be alone again. She gets jealous whenever another girl is also interested in Kenshin, such as Takani Megumi to whom she often argues but in the end of the manga ends admiring her. In the story Kaoru is often compared to a tanuki (raccoon dog).

Kamiya Kaoru adheres to her father's ideal of katsujin-ken ("swords that give life"), which teaches that swordsmanship should be used not to kill, but to protect. This belief is a slap in the face to many swordsmen, who advocate that a sword is for "mastery and death," and nothing more. Himura Kenshin, however, feels that her beliefs should, in fact, become reality.

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