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Houji Sadojima

Japanese name: 佐渡島 方治
Sadojima Hōji is Shishio's second in command. He used to be an official in the Meiji government but lost faith in it when he saw no one in the government worthy of controlling the country. He abandoned his position in the government and eventually met Shishio. Hōji, too, envisions Japan as a mighty power led by Shishio, ruling with the principles of basic animal survival. Hōji is indeed unique; although he is not proficient in any fighting style, he is a cunning organizer and possesses frightening leadership qualities. His skills as a staff officer figure are quite amazing; he even manages to purchase Rengoku (煉獄, Purgatory)—the gigantic ship—on the black market. Hōji's plan with the Rengoku fails when Kenshin, Sanosuke, and Saitō arrive at the dock and Tsukioka Tsunan's bombs, which Sanosuke carries, blow a hole into the ship, causing it to sink; since Hōji did not have any members of the Ten Swords accompany the ship, Kenshin and his allies were able to destroy the ship. Hōji was 'baptized' by Shishio's intense body heat to kindle in him a belief in hell.
Hōji strongly believes in Shishio's strength as he throws away a gun he had hidden after learning of Shishio's fifteen minute limit. He is in utter disbelief when Shishio is finally defeated by Kenshin and then attempts to destroy the complex in which the fight took place so that if Kenshin died, there would be no victor; thus Shishio would never have been beaten. As the complex collapses, Hōji was saved by Anji and Sōjirō. Anji convinces Hōji to surrender himself to the police, and Hōji agreed with the intent of using the criminal courts to project Shishio's ideals and plans. At the end of the Shishio arc, it was revealed that Hōji committed suicide in prison after government officials decided that his voice was too dangerous and refused to grant him a trial. After slitting his throat, he wrote a message on the wall with his own blood: "This world is dead to me now. I go to follow my master to hell." The message was directed at the Meiji government to convey Hōji's disgust with the regime and his loyalty to Shishio. He is last shown in Hell with Shishio and Yumi, vowing to follow Shishio when he declares that he will conquer Hell.

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