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Saitou Hajime

Japanese name: 斎藤 一
A former captain in the loyalist Shinsengumi, Saitō has had a long time rivalry with Himura Kenshin, a former manslayer of the Imperialist cause. As a result of his involvement in the Ikedaya Affair, he and his Shinsengumi comrades successfully prevented the burning of Kyoto by an extremist faction of the Ishin Shishi. Nevertheless, the pro-shogunate forces were ultimately defeated and he was forced to go into hiding.
Saitō, known as the "Lone Wolf of Mibu," has no compassion or mercy for his enemies. He lives by the Shinsengumi code "Swift Death to Evil" (悪即斬 Aku Soku Zan, also translated loosely as "Evil Unto Evil," where evil is killing), though he never shows much regard for human life, at some points even letting on that he likes to kill. He is rather morbid and arrogant. Nevertheless, none of these character flaws prevent him from being a superb investigator and fighter. He believes in peace and order, even in the society created by his former enemies. Anyone he considers to be corrupt or despotic, he targets for elimination.
Saitō joins forces with Kenshin to fight against Shishio Makoto. However, he considers Kenshin to be more of an adversary rather than an ally. After acknowledging Kenshin's vow to never kill again, Saitō decides to put an end to their rivalry.
Saitō is an able observer and a quick analyst (working as a spy for the Meiji government). In addition to being a skilled swordsman, he is revealed to possess immense physical strength when he pummels the Sagara Sanosuke in a hand-to-hand fistfight. He considers Sanosuke to be a dimwitted amateur with mild potential, due mostly to Sano's lack of insight.
Saitō is married to a woman named Tokio (時尾), who does not appear in the story.

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