Shinsengumi Mokuhiroku Wasurenagusa 4 – Toudou Heisuke
CV – Shimono Hiro
It was the first year of the Genji era . A chaotic era of war. It was the responsibility of the Shinsengumi who guard Kyoto to put a stop to the misdeeds of the Sonno Joi faction  who were planning to overthrow the shogunate. The Sonno Joi faction were terrible people who mistakenly believed that they could do whatever they liked in the name of the emperor. I always looked upon them as if I was looking at something unclean. We spent our days doing the rounds to control the Joi faction. But they were still able to skilfully avoid the Shinsengumi’s gaze and steadily keep on moving.
The investigation team discovered that the on the 5th of June, the Joi faction would discuss their plan to kidnap the emperor at night. In order to prevent that from happening, Kondo-san led us as we crossed the Kamo River and headed to the Ikedaya from Kiyamachi Street.
When Kondo-san called out “Stop what you’re doing!” our surroundings quickly turned to a bloody battlefield.
Huh?! Don’t run away from me! I’m surprised you can call yourself a soldier with that skill! The only advantage you’ve got is that you’ve outnumbered us!
Shin-san, I’m going round the back to help Kondo-san! I’ll leave this to you!
There’s a lot of people here too. Damn it! Did some of them run away already?
Have they all been beaten?
It’s really hot. Is this place hell?
Sweat is dripping into my eyes… Is that enough time?
It’s finally over? It’s so hot.
This forehead guard is getting quite old now…
What?! There were still some left!
Damn it! You…coward…
Is he dead?
Damn it… I can’t see in front of me…
I screwed up. I can’t believe I got defeated here. I’m such an idiot.
I lay face down, thinking about what had happened to me. The blood running from my forehead got into my eyes, and I couldn’t see. My arms and legs felt numb, and my ears were ringing. The only thing I could sense was the scent of blood and sweat which surrounded the Ikedaya. Somehow, I was able to lie on my back.
I laughed at myself, dissatisfied that I would die in such a way. Had I made a mark on this world? Had I died for the sake of someone else…for the Shinsengumi?
No… I couldn’t say that, considering the terrible state I was in. As I closed my eyes, I thought “I don’t think I’ll be able to die in peace the way things are now”.
Luckily, I awoke a little while later. I was told that I had a deep cut on my forehead. What a pathetic story. Hijikata-san was concerned about me and instructed me to recuperate for a while. But I would only end up feeling depressed if I did nothing. I asked if there was anything I could do.
Hijikata-san told me to look after the girl Saito had found. Apparently she worked at a restaurant and had been caught up in the Ikedaya incident. Looking after her is about the only thing I’m cut out to do right now. After the situation was explained to me, I went to that girl’s room to sit beside her until she woke up.
 Genji era – An era which began on February 1st, 1864.
 Sonno Joi faction – A group who supported restoring power to the emperor and expelling foreigners from Japan.
Ah… You’re awake?
How are you feeling? You’ve been sleeping all this time.
You’d rather know who I am? I’m Heisuke Toudou, Captain of the Shinsengumi’s eighth troop. You know who the Shinsengumi are, don’t you?
Ah, wait. Don’t move your right arm too much. You got hit by a sword.
Eh? My bandage?
Ah… The injury on my forehead? During the Ikedaya incident… Ah, it doesn’t mean I let my guard down! This is a man’s medal! A leader in the Shinsengumi can’t call himself a soldier without something like this.
Just forget about my injury.
Hey, weren’t your parents killed in front of you?
Saito-kun told me about it. It must have been a pretty terrible experience. It seems that Saito-kun told one of the soldiers to bring you to the headquarters because you were injured.
Ah. I’m sorry for making you remember what happened.
But… I understand how it feels to lose your parents. I’m just like you. My parents were killed a long time ago.
It hurts, doesn’t it? When the family you’ve known forever disappear in an instant… If only we could erase the things we don’t want to remember from our memories.
What’s the matter? Why are you so tense? I’m just trying to comfort you. Don’t you believe me? I really understand that you’re scared.
You’re trembling. Will you calm down a little if I hold you like this?
Your hair smells nice. I wonder why a woman’s hair feels so different to a man’s. It’s soft and delicate. I don’t want to stop touching it.
Don’t be scared. I’m just trying to comfort you. I told you that I understand your pain, didn’t I? So…
Why are you struggling? Won’t your wound open up if you do that?
Don’t look away. Hmm… I don’t mind it when a woman resists.
Oh… You’ve gotten sweaty. Won’t you feel cooler if you take off your kimono?
Your back is soaked too. Are you feeling that hot? Or did my kiss make this happen?
I’m enjoying your frantic reaction… I’m not going to stop.
You’re gleaming with sweat here too.
Hmm? You want to know where?
Here. On your chest.
Huh?! That hurt!
Tch. I was just trying to keep you company.
It’s no big deal for me to kiss you and try to touch your chest.
How could you hit me when I’ve got an injury on my forehead?! What kind of person would do that?! I think you can tell just by looking that this was a serious injury! What if my wound opened up?!
Jeez! You’re such a violent girl!
I thought you were a nice girl when I saw you sleeping, but you’re the exact opposite!
Huh? Well, it doesn’t change the fact that I stayed by your side while you slept…
Don’t misunderstand! I was only checking up on you because Hijikata-san ordered me to.
You don’t have to thank me.
Oh well. So what are you going to do from now on? Have you got any other relatives?
I’m being serious. Do you have anywhere to go?
Hmm… So your parents were your only family.
I see… A small restaurant… You seem like a well-brought up and sheltered girl.
We could let you leave the headquarters, but now that you can’t work in the restaurant, you’ve got no way of making money.
Anyway, now that you’re awake, you should think of your future first. Got it?
Alright, I’m going to report to Hijikata-san. See you later, Miss Tomboy.
No, I suppose I should call you “Tough Girl”.
Ah, it’s you.
What are you standing around here for?
Why do you have such a scary look on your face? I’m not interested in doing anything to someone who suddenly punched me in the face.
You don’t look too happy. I don’t mind talking to you about it for a little while. So what happened to you?
Oh… Hmm… You told Hijikata-san you wanted to be a servant here.
And he turned you down, saying it’d be too difficult, didn’t he?
Even if you want to help out at the headquarters, you should consider the era we’re in. This might sound cruel, but the soldiers don’t have time to be thinking of you.
Maybe you should try somewhere else? A girl from the outside shouldn’t expect anything from the Shinsengumi.
Don’t look as if you’re about to cry. There’s nothing you can do about it.
Jeez. It’s no good giving up after you’ve only been turned down once though. Why don’t you ask Hijikata-san again? It’s important to show you’re sincere, you see. And if that’s still no good, just give up.
Hmm? Why are you thanking me? I only mentioned something that’s part of the samurai code.
Alright! That’s enough talking. I’m going back to my training. I haven’t got as much free time as you.
See you later.
Ahhh. I’m hungry. Isn’t it time for breakfast yet?
Of course not… It’s midnight.
The moon looks quite pretty. The half moon looks so big. Ah… It looks like a bean bun.
Oh, it’s you. Why do you look so happy?
You’ve been allowed to become a servant here?
Hmm… Good for you.
Hijikata-san said that “somebody requested it” and then told Kondo-san about it?
Did I ask him? No! I didn’t do anything like that…
Ah. I did talk about you, but that was only because I happened to see Hijikata-san for another reason.
What are you thanking me for? I told you I didn’t do anything.
Hmm? What’s that?
Bean buns? You’re giving them to me? Three of them?
That’s the only way you can thank me right now? I told you I didn’t do anything to deserve your thanks! But I’ll take them anyway.
Hey! Isn’t this wrapping paper from Sasaya Shiori ? I love the sweets they sell!
Look. I’m going to let you have a bite too.
Don’t be shy! Come on, say “Ah”!
Why do you look so annoyed? I’m not going to give you anything if you look at me like that.
Come on, open your mouth.
What do you think? Does it taste good?
It does? Of course! I think their bean buns are particularly tasty.
Well, now that Hijikata-san has given you his permission, you’ve got to work hard.
Work hard for the Shinsengumi now that you’ve made your decision. There’s lots of work to do. Don’t complain about the work if you want to stay here.
You may be a servant, but you’re a member of the Shinsengumi too. Don’t do anything disrespectful.
You don’t want to be told that by someone who started being rough all of a sudden?
It’s natural for a man to do that. You looked like you were enjoying it too. Didn’t my kiss actually feel good? Would you like another one? A deep kiss with me…
Ah! That was close. I almost got hit again.
Don’t get so angry. I was just teasing you.
Hey. Let’s eat these bean buns together.
The sky is clear and the moon looks really beautiful.
You didn’t expect me to say something like that?
Hey, you… Even I can appreciate scenery sometimes!
You didn’t think I could?
Alright, alright. I suppose I just look like a careless man.
Right… Why don’t you go and pour some tea? You worked at a restaurant, so wouldn’t your tea taste a little different?
Ah, thanks. It tastes good. It’s a nice evening.
Hmm? What is it? Are you that happy to be a servant here?
Well, I don’t mind listening if things get difficult. Talk to me anytime you like.
You think I’m actually quite kind? Why’d you say that all of a sudden?!
Ah…I spilt the tea! Jeez!
Hearing something strange like that made me forget how the bean bun tasted!
Give me your bean bun too! Give it to me without making a fuss!
You put the whole thing in your mouth at once!
Hey… It should be impossible to eat that bun in one go!
Stop chewing and saying it tastes good! Why do you look so happy?!
This is why tomboys are such trouble!
Jeez! You should behave more like a servant! Don’t you think you’re not cut out to be a servant? Will you be able to work properly?
You’ll try your best? That’s right! Try your best to act like a woman would.
 “Sasaya Shiori” could be a reference to Sasaya Iori, a traditional sweet shop that was founded in Kyoto in 1716.
Ah, you’re here. Come in.
Sit down there. There’s something I want to talk to you about. I’m sorry for calling you out all of a sudden.
We’re going to Edo soon. We’ll be recruiting new soldiers.
Soon the Shinsengumi will undertake an even greater mission. But the number of soldiers has just kept on decreasing recently. Gathering here in Kyoto has meant that we’ve attracted some opposition and many people are targeting our lives.
Unfortunately, there have been a lot of disagreements within the Shinsengumi and there are even less soldiers than before, aren’t there? To put it simply, there aren’t enough members in the Shinsengumi. So we’re going to Edo to recruit some soldiers. I’m thinking of taking you there. Edo is a long way from here and it’ll be a long journey. I won’t force you to come, but it’d be a change of pace.
What do you think?
You’ll come? I see. I’m glad.
Why are you smiling so much? I told you it’d be a change of pace, but it’s not like I was thinking about you! You’re such a troublesome girl!
Well, I suppose it’s better than you getting annoyed about it. Anyway, we’ll be leaving when we’re prepared, so you get ready too!
I’ll tell Kondo-san and Hijikata-san that you’re going.
We’re finally arrived at where we’ll be staying in Edo.
Alright, we’ve put our stuff down, so I suppose we’ll get started recruiting soldiers right away.
Hmm? I thought you’d be tired but your eyes are shining brightly.
You’re surprised by how many stalls there are in Edo?
Ah, you’re right. Some people say there are so many stalls that you can live without having to leave your house. They’re selling some food you might like over there.
Well… When I see you looking like that, it feels like it was worth bringing you here.
Alright, I’m going out on my mission now. You take care of things while I’m out.
Hmm? You want to know if I’ll take you with me?
Don’t be silly. I can’t do that.
It’s no good looking at me like that!
Hmm… Ah, right!
Ask the owner of this place or someone else around here to take you somewhere nice. We’ll go there together when I get back.
Alright, that’s decided! I’m looking forward to where we go. See you later.
Hey. I’m back.
Sorry I kept you waiting.
You scared me! Why’d you run up to me like that? That gave me a shock!
You were excited and couldn’t wait to go into the city?
Alright, alright. Sorry I made you wait.
Hmm? I’m not tired.
Come on, we’re going out.
Alright, you’re going to show me the way now. I’m hungry, so I’d like to get something to eat too. The food in Edo is pretty tasty.
Have I tried it?
No… Umm… A souvenir! I was given food as a souvenir!
Where are we going first?
There’s a famous bean bun shop?
Hmm… I suppose it must be that place.
You really do like bean buns. Ah, well. Come on and show me the way.
You look as if you’re enjoying yourself.
Hey… Is this the right way?
You think it must be? I suppose I’ll leave it to you then…
No, I don’t think there’s a bean bun shop around here…
Hey… I don’t see many shops around here. Is this the right place?
I’m sure this is the wrong way!
Hmm? What’s the matter?
I already knew you were! It took you so long to realise!
I should have said sooner if I knew?
But you seemed so confident! I didn’t want to discourage you.
All we have to do is go back to where we came from.
Eh? You thought you could see all of Edo in one day?
You dummy! Edo is a big place, so it’d be impossible.
Ah! Do you know the rules in Edo?
Hmm? What am I talking about?
When a man and woman are walking together, there’s something they have to do.
That’s right. They have to hold hands like this.
Not like that! They don’t hold hands normally, their fingers should be entwined together.
Why? Hmm… That’s it! It’s because Edo is a dangerous city. People would think that a woman who follows a man is a prostitute. You might get taken away somewhere if I don’t do this.
That’s right. That’s why you’ve got to act like my girlfriend. They wouldn’t do anything to someone else’s woman.
Hmm? What would I do? Well, if I saw a woman I was interested in walking on the street, I’d start talking to her…
Why are you looking at me like that? It doesn’t really matter. I’m not in love with anyone right now.
Hey… Your hand got sweaty all of a sudden.
What is it? Are you nervous? Is this your first time holding hands with a man?
Huh… Are you serious?! Then the kiss from that morning was also…your first?
Is that so? Then I’ve made a mistake. I heard that girls want that kind of first time to be special.
Umm… I see… Sorry. I’m sorry.
Then… Right! Shall I take responsibility for what I did?
Your face is bright red! You’re so simple! This is why girls who aren’t used to men are so interesting!
What is it?! I was just teasing you a little! Don’t get so angry!
Hey! Don’t let go of my hand! Don’t run away! We’re going to the bean bun shop, aren’t we?! I’m sorry! Come back!
You run too fast. Jeez! It took forever for me to catch up.
Watch out! You almost bumped into someone.
Come on, come here. There are a lot of people around here, so I’ve got to put my arm around you like this.
Eh? No, there’s nothing unusual about this. Hurry up and put your arm around my waist.
That’s right, there. Hold onto my waist.
Eh? It’s hard? You dummy. Of course it is. Unlike women, men have bony bodies.
What? You didn’t know that either?
That’s what makes well-brought up sheltered girls interesting. They don’t know anything about men.
Look. I’m going to tell you about another rule in Edo. Lovers have to go into a backstreet like this and kiss.
You dummy. Why’d you close your eyes? I was lying, of course.
Your face is all red. Are you that annoyed that you got tricked?
Then can I make that lie into the truth?
Shall we kiss?
Come closer. Don’t struggle. I’ll make you feel good. Huh?!
Alright! I’m sorry! Oww!
You really are a violent girl. Isn’t there anything attractive about you?
Hmm? The bean bun shop?
Ah, you’re right! We’re finally here.
Jeez. It took us long enough to get here.
Hey! Why are you asking for ten bean buns?! I’m the one who has to pay! Bean buns aren’t the kind of thing you stock up on!
Huh? You normally eat this much in one day? You’re a frightening woman.
Ah, it’s you. Have you finished your errands?
Me? I was just taking care of my sword. He’s my partner, so I’ve got to take good care of him.
Do I like swords?
Yes, I do. But not as much as Kondo-san does. This sword is the only one I like. This sword proves that I’m a member of the Toudou family. His name is Kazusanosuke Kaneshige, and he was made by a swordsmith my family has been indebted to for generations. Do you understand what that means?
Of course you wouldn’t. I’m actually an illegitimate child . I don’t have a father. Well… It’s more like he doesn’t acknowledge me. He says I’m not his son.
Eh? You thought my parents were killed? What are you talking about?
Ah… I see! That time after you’d just woken up…! That was a lie. Hmm… That was a lie I had to tell to get closer to you.
Sorry. I won’t tell strange lies anymore. I promise.
Anyway, my mother says there’s definitely only one man who could be my father, but I can’t call myself his son if he doesn’t acknowledge me. So I’m not a true member of the Toudou family. But someone can’t possess this sword unless they’re a member of the Toudou family. Which means this sword is the only thing that tells me where I’ve come from. I have a reason to call myself Toudou, but when I think of that, I can’t use it carelessly.
This doesn’t mean I want a proper father. Now that I’m a soldier in the Shinsengumi, I don’t need a father.
But I sometimes remember the expression on my mother’s face when she was betrayed by him. I couldn’t see my mother like that. I hate him. I really hate the type of man who would make a woman dear to him cry. So I decided that I would be the one man who didn’t make my mother cry. On the days when my mother went out to work to raise me, I could behave myself as long as possible, if it was for the sake of my mother. Of course my mother loved me. But sometimes when I’d look at her, she wasn’t looking at me at all.
Even a child like me could understand. She would sometimes see my father in me. I was hurt because I’d tried to behave well for my mother, and not act in a selfish way. There were times when I thought that my mother might have loved him instead of me. I probably wanted my mother’s love all to myself back then. The first reason I joined the Shinsengumi was to put my mother at ease.
But the Shinsengumi needed me. I thought I had found a place to be for the first time in my life. So I swore on this sword that I’d give myself completely to the Shinsengumi. But when I put it into words like that, you might question it. It makes me truly happy that I’ve been accepted now.
Ah… I’m sorry! I suppose you didn’t really want to hear about that. I let myself get carried away…
Hey! Why are you crying? It’s not the type of story that’s supposed to make someone cry.
Come on, look this way. Don’t cry too much. Your eyes will get red and the other soldiers will be suspicious.
Hmm? I don’t have to lick your tears?
You dummy. You should stay still and be quiet at times like this.
I didn’t talk about those things to try and make you understand me.
I wonder how long it’s been since someone cried for me.
I’ll remember your tears. Thank you.
 Toudou Heisuke claimed to be the son of Toudou Takayuki, who was a daimyo during the late Edo period (1800s).
Is he dead? He’s dead, isn’t he?
You…! What are you doing here? It’s late at night! Don’t wander around like this!
Someone suddenly asked you to buy something, and you’re on your way home now…
I’ll go back with you then. Come on, let’s go.
You want to know where we’re going? We’re going back to where we’re staying.
We’re going a different way? It’s alright. We can go back this way too.
Let me stop by that river first…
Just let me do it!
Hmm? You want to know what I’m washing off? You can tell by looking, can’t you? It’s blood.
I’m fine. It’s not my blood. I’m not injured either. I’m not hurt anywhere.
You’re asking me what’s wrong…?
Hmm? What’s the matter? Why are you looking at me like that? I told you to try not show your emotions.
I’m sorry for making you feel bad. I killed one of the lawless soldiers earlier. Hijikata-san has ordered us to kill them when we find them. Things are no different here in Edo. Things weren’t like this when I lived here.
Eh? Yes, that’s right. I’m from Edo.
Ah…I see. I acted like this was the first time I’d been here. I kept quiet about it because you were so enthusiastic about showing me around. It was funny seeing you go in a completely different direction.
…Huh? Aren’t you going to hit me? Or call me a liar like you usually do?
I’ve got a sad look on my face?
I’m not feeling sad at all! Killing those lawless soldiers is my duty. I’ve done that until now. I’m used to killing people. I don’t really care what you think…
That’s not true! I’m just shivering because it’s cold. The river gets cold at night. That’s all it is!
What are you holding my hand for?!
No! Let go! My hands are dirty! Why won’t you let go?! Don’t bother me with your stupid attempt to comfort me!
What is it? You don’t want anyone else to die? You’re telling me to stop killing?
Huh? You want to help me? Don’t make me laugh! How can you do that? Don’t act like you understand! There’s no way you would know what killing someone is like!
Let go! Let go!
You’ve got to let go! My hands are dirty! Leave me alone!
You don’t want to? I told you already…!
Aren’t you actually an idiot? Why are you going this far?
Who are you anyway? Why are you confusing me like this?!
Aren’t you going to resist? Is this supposed to comfort me too?
I’m sorry. There must be something wrong with me.
I’m feeling tired. Will you sit over there with me and talk for a while?
I suppose I’ve gotten distracted because Hijikata-san isn’t here. When I killed that soldier earlier, I remembered the first time I killed someone.
I still can’t forget the face of the man who died looking at me. It hasn’t faded from my memories. Of course, killing the lawless soldiers is the duty of the Shinsengumi who protect Kyoto. I have to carry out that duty.
But I wish I didn’t have to kill other people. Killing other people makes me feel as if my heart is being torn out. Deep inside my heart, I’m agonised by the feeling that my heart is burning. Damn it!
You’re going to hold my hand again?
I’m sorry. I know I tried to push you away earlier, but will you let me stay like this a little longer?
Hey… I don’t want to be the kind of person who can kill others without feeling any emotion. That might not be the right thing for a soldier in the Shinsengumi to think, but the way things are, I feel as if I’m going to break.
I really am pathetic. I’m supposed to be the captain of the eighth troop.
You’re sorry you can’t understand me? Why are you apologising? There’s no way for you to understand my feelings. Don’t worry about it.
But…you can share the pain I feel in my heart?
Thank you. I’ve got to do something to show my gratitude too. I suppose all I can do is protect you with this sword.
But…I don’t know if I can protect you the way I am now. Doesn’t that make me unreliable?
It doesn’t? Why not?
You believe in me?
Strangely enough, I’m convinced because you’re the one telling me.
Hey. Can I believe your words too?
No… Let me believe them. I feel as if I can be strong if you let me believe. Stay by my side forever. You don’t have to worry anymore. I’ll make sure to protect you.