Shinsengumi Hiyokuroku Wasurenagusa 2 – Itou Kashitaro
CV: Hirakawa Daisuke
It was 1864. The questionable rumours about the city of Kyoto often travelled as far where I lived in Edo.  There, men who called themselves Choshu  loyalists violently wielded their swords and there was no end to the random killings carried out by savage men. However, the city of Edo had a lively atmosphere which was nothing like that violence. The people of Edo forgot the rumours of Kyoto almost as soon as they heard them.
However… The Ikedaya Affair  took place on July 8th. As soon as that terrible news reached Edo, their name immediately became known as a symbol of fear.
The Shinsengumi. They are an organisation of cold-blooded assassins. It is said that those who oppose them are mercilessly killed. While they are secretly ridiculed for being the dogs of the shogunate, no one confronts them directly. If it is the Shinsengumi who control Kyoto, then I suppose that I’m glad to be in Edo. A supporter of the emperor like me is without a doubt an enemy of theirs. I pray that they don’t leave Kyoto.
That was what I thought. However, things suddenly changed. In early autumn, an old friend of mine, Toudou Heisuke, came to visit me. Heisuke enthusiastically recommended that I join the Shinsengumi. I turned him down at first, but I eventually decided to accept his invitation, with a specific thought in my mind.
November 26th, 1864. I became a member of the Shinsengumi. The organisation which is known as the Shinsengumi in the bloody city of Kyoto, whose only similarity was their desire to expel any foreigners.
Ah… I’m incredibly excited. I wonder what will happen from now on. There’s only one thing I want to achieve here. Right now, it’s still a secret.
Excuse me! My name is Itou and I’ll be living here from today.
I’m going round to introduce myself to everyone and I was wondering if I could have a moment of your time…
I’m coming in then.
Oh? You’re a woman!
Hello. Pleased to meet you.
Ah… I didn’t think there’d be a woman here.
I heard that this place was an unrefined one because of all the men here, but I’m happy to be proven wrong.
Ah… I’m Itou Kashitaro. I’ve come here as an adviser to the Shinsengumi. It’s nice to meet you.
And you are…?
Ah… You’re working here as a maid.
I think someone pretty like you could find a job without having to work around all these dangerous men. Why’d you come to work with the Shinsengumi?
I see. You got caught up in what happened at the Ikedaya and ended up all alone, hmm.
I’m sorry to hear that. I apologise for asking you about something difficult.
In that case, the Shinsengumi certainly does have to take responsibility for you.
Now that I’ve joined, I want to help you to feel happy, even if it’s only a little.
Don’t be shy. There’s no greater honour for a man than helping a woman to be happy.
I want you to let me help you.
But… As for what I can do…
Hmm… Ah, that’s right! Why don’t you study with me?
You see… If you’ve got lots of things to do, then it’ll distract you from feeling sad, won’t it?
Working without thinking is fine, but gaining knowledge is something enjoyable.
Yes! I’ll teach you anything.
I said I came here as an adviser, but I also have the position of a literary instructor.
If you like, I can teach you a lot of different things, without anyone else around.
I was joking. Unfortunately, you wouldn’t be the only student.
The members of the Shinsengumi are gradually going to increase.
However, there are men among them who haven’t had enough education, aren’t there?
It’s my job to teach them many different things.
I’ve also got some knowledge of how to wield a sword.
But it seems that people here are expecting me to teach instead of fighting with a sword.
So I plan on giving you plenty of knowledge, if that’s what you want.
What do you think?
I don’t mind you agreeing so easily, however…
Well, that’s fine! If you’re interested in studying, then come to my room. I’m planning to have study sessions every morning after breakfast. I’ll be waiting.
See you later then.
Ah… That’s right! I forgot something.
Give me your hand.
It’s a sign of our friendship.
See you later.
 Edo was the former name of Tokyo until 1868 and was also the seat of power for the Tokugawa shogunate which ruled Japan.
 The Choshu was a powerful clan which was attempting to overthrow the shogunate.
 The Ikedaya Affair was a raid carried out by the Shinsengumi against anti-shogunate rebels who had gathered at an inn called the Ikedaya.
Hey! Have you got a moment?
I’m coming inside.
Are you busy right now?
I’d like to ask you a favour.
Ah… You’re sewing, hmm?
I want to go shopping now. I was thinking that you could show me around the city if you weren’t busy.
I’ve been here half a month already, so it’s a little embarrassing.
I wanted to get to know the other men, so I was concentrating on that and didn’t have much time to go into the city.
Because of that, I still don’t know my way around Kyoto.
How about it? Would you be able to come out after you’ve finished sewing?
Ah… There’s no need to worry. I was the one who invited you out all of a sudden.
If you can’t do it today, then what about tomorrow?
That’s good. I’m going to speak to Kondo-san and Hijikata-kun to make sure you won’t be given any other errands tomorrow then. It seems that you’re being given plenty of errands every day, you see.
Oh? That’s not true?
Hmm… Then why haven’t you ever come to my lessons?
I’ve been waiting for you every day, thinking that “I’m sure today will be the day”.
I’m not trying to criticise you.
But I just wanted to know the reason why.
Is it because you’re suspicious of me?
Hmm… So that’s why you hesitated to come!
Just because you’re not one of the soldiers?
You should stop thinking that way from now on.
You’re not one of the soldiers, but you’re still a member of the Shinsengumi, aren’t you?
The vice-captain and leaders of each troop are under the command of the captain. There are also advisers such as myself, spies and ordinary soldiers. Then there’s also you, a maid. The Shinsengumi includes all those people.
You should believe that if anyone, including you, was missing from the Shinsengumi, then it wouldn’t be complete.
I don’t plan on treating you differently just because you’re a maid. I think the other men feel the same way too. So there’s no need for you to hesitate about coming. I’d actually like it if you were motivated to come!
Being reserved and humble is said to be something virtuous, but I don’t particularly like those things. I want to spend my days wisely, without any regrets. You’d like to do that too if you could, wouldn’t you?
Alright. It’s good to be honest.
Ah… But if you’re not coming because you’re not interested in studying, then it’d be a different matter. I’d have to think of another way, to do things you see.
You don’t understand?
Well… Seeing as there’s a woman here, I’d like to get to know her.
Choosing a different way would actually be easier. Maybe you’d prefer that too?
Hmm… Where would be good this time?
After having kissed the back of your hand… Next would be your lips…
No, maybe it’s too soon for that. What about your forehead then? Your neck?
Right… Your fingers would be good.
Hey. Show me your hand.
Now, now. I believe in doing things like this in a specific order.
I’m not going to suddenly push you down.
Alright, caught you!
Stay still and show me your fingers.
Ah… Poor you. They’re all rough. It must be difficult because you have lots of chores to do, but you have to put ointment on your hands.
This must hurt. I’m going to relieve your pain.
If I gently lick your fingers like this, then doesn’t the pain mysteriously fade away?
You’ll be in trouble if the others hear you, won’t you?
I’m sure your hands will look beautiful when they’ve healed.
I think that the most beautiful part of a woman’s body is her fingers.
So I can’t bear your fingers being rough.
I’ve finished licking all your fingers.
I wonder why people only have ten fingers. If there were even more, then I’d lick them all.
Maybe I’ll lick your toes next?
Will you show me your feet too?
You don’t want to do it…
I like your reaction. It makes me excited.
I’m not going to lick your toes, so let me lick another part of your legs instead.
I think the second most beautiful part of a woman’s body is her legs.
When you run away while blushing, it really makes me want to corner you.
There’s nowhere for you to run though… Where are you going?
See. I’ve caught you again.
I’d actually like to lick your thighs, but you won’t let me do that yet, will you?
What if I gently touch your ankles and calves?
Hmm… Your legs are beautiful.
Yes, they’re exactly my type. I like them.
They don’t look like it, but your legs are quite disobedient.
Though if you struggle like that, your kimono will come loose and I’ll see something.
Would you be happy with that? Or are you actually trying to show me?
You look cute when you’re struggling like that, but it’s also cute when you’re obedient too.
I’ve got to lick this other leg too. It’s only fair, isn’t it?
I’m not scared of you glaring at me when your face is all red.
It actually makes me want to do even more.
Did I do too much? I’m sorry.
You even look cute when you’re angry though.
Hey. I’ve got a good idea.
I want you to be my lover.
Oh? Why are you so surprised?
You don’t have to think so hard about it.
You can do it for fun or just for the experience.
Hmm… You turned me down quite strongly.
I see. If there’s no room for negotiation, then there’s nothing I can do about that.
I’ll give up for today then. I wouldn’t want to interrupt your sewing any further either.
Ah… But I’d still like you to be interested in me.
Remember that I confessed to you today.
See you again tomorrow.
The weather is great! It’s a perfect day to go shopping!
You think so too, don’t you?
By the way, why are you walking so far away from me?
Did I do something to you?
Hmm… You’re asking me to think about it?
Well, I licked your fingers and legs, then kissed your hand and cheek, didn’t I?
Ah, I licked your ears a little too. I think that’s about it…
Oh? What was so wrong with that?
It’s not as if I hurt you, or forced you to go all the way.
I was trying my best to be considerate. That wasn’t any good?
That’s no good… You’re glaring at me as if I was some kind of beast.
Hmm… That makes me sad. My heart really hurts.
I’ve been excited about the thought of going out with you since this morning. It’s too bad.
Hmm… Are you really sorry about it?
Then I want you to hold my hand and heal my heart. Alright?
Yes, this is enough to heal me.
Oh? That’s no good! I’ve found an excuse for us to hold hands, you see. I’m not going to let go.
And I told you that we’d become lovers, didn’t I?
Now that I’ve confessed, I’m going to do things that’ll draw your attention to me, so that we can be lovers. So let’s spend the day holding hands.
Of course I’m serious! That’s because I’ve fallen in love with you.
Ah… The Shinsengumi regulations, hmm. Isn’t Hijikata-kun in charge of those?
Hmm… It’ll corrupt everyone’s morals? Isn’t he thinking too hard?
Hijikata-kun has a somewhat old-fashioned way of thinking, doesn’t he?
Trying to control the romantic relationships between men and women is too conceited.
Even though you can’t do anything to control people’s feelings. You get punished or have to commit seppuku  if you break the rules… Ruling people with fear too often isn’t a good thing.
Hmm? Are you worried about me?
You’re a kind person. Thank you.
But it’s alright. Kondo-san is fond of me, so I don’t think I’ll have to commit seppuku, even if Hijikata-kun hears a few criticisms about me.
Anyway, I think you should gradually start speaking your mind. The Shinsengumi is an interesting organisation, but the regulations are too controlling.
I want to live freely, without being controlled by anything.
Of course, there have to be some boundaries though.
You still look concerned. Are you that worried about it?
But it really isn’t anything for you to be worried about.
Well, for example… I don’t mind doing things like this in front of other people.
Ah… That hurt! You didn’t have to push me so hard, did you?
Anyway, you’ll draw attention to yourself if you make a fuss.
Oh? Is it something to get so angry about?
I’m trying to take the right steps to become lovers.
Confessing, going out for the first time together, holding hands, kissing when I think it’s the right time… See, I didn’t do anything that suddenly, did I?
It seems like I’ve made you angry. I’m sorry.
I’ll buy you something as an apology then. Come here.
Don’t turn me down so quickly. You’re not even going to give me a chance to redeem myself?
It’s alright, I’m not going to do anything else. I promise.
If I do anything else, you might go home without showing me around.
Will you let me hold your hand though?
We’re supposed to be walking together, so if I turned around and you happened to have disappeared, then I’d be completely lost.
To tell the truth… My sense of direction is quite bad. I might not be able to get back to the headquarters if I get separated from you in a city I’m not familiar with.
So… Let’s hold hands.
Well… I’d like to go to a street with plenty of shops. Where would you recommend?
Ah… It really does have a completely different atmosphere to Edo.
Edo is much more lively, but Kyoto is a refined place. The things you can buy are elegant and eye-catching.
Hmm? That shop…
How beautiful! Why don’t we have a quick look?
A vidro… 
This is my first time being able to look at one carefully.
Hmm… When you were a child?
Then you must be pretty familiar with them.
I’m not. I’ve seen one, but never played with one.
Alright. Why don’t we try playing with it?
Hmm… It’s not making a sound.
Ah, yours made a sound!
How much air you breathe into it?
Hmm… I’ll try one more time then!
It really isn’t making a sound. Never mind.
Not being able to play won’t cause me any trouble. It’s nothing to be proud of either.
Anyway… This is boring!
Let’s go over there! Aren’t they selling something much better than toys?
Hey… Was everyone around you always able to play with a vidro?
Hmm… I see. So it’s a toy that even children can easily play with.
I just had a slight feeling that it needed some kind of special skill.
It’s not as if I want to be able to play with it. I was just a little curious.
Alright! Let’s talk about something else.
If you don’t stop laughing, then I’ll break the promise I made earlier and kiss you again.
Somehow it feels complicated when you stop laughing so suddenly.
Ah! That shop has some nishiki-e.  Can we have a look?
Do you like art?
I particularly like nishiki-e. I collect the ones I’m interested in.
I don’t know that much about them. It’s not as if I can talk about them in that much detail.
But among the nishiki-e, I think the azuma nishiki-e  are particularly wonderful works of art.
Some of the prints use such deep colours that I’m surprised by how brilliant they are.
They capture people’s hearts. I’ve had that experience many times before.
I hope this shop will have some prints like that.
Ah… How about this one?
Yes. It’s a nice picture. The setting sun in the sky looks lovely.
You’re right. It looks beautiful.
It really does catch your eye.
It even makes you feel as if you’re dreaming that you’re a bird flying through the landscape in the picture.
Yes, I like everything that’s beautiful.
Artistic images bring colour to your daily life, you see.
I like this one, so I think I’ll buy it. What about you, is there one you like?
If you want to see it, then come to my room. I’ll show it to you whenever you like.
Alright, that was a good shopping trip!
I’ve got to show this to the others when I get back. Sannan-san and Hijikata-kun might be interested. They like nishiki-e too.
The world would be a simpler place if people could get along with one another by simply having the same interests.
The things made in Kyoto really are wonderful, aren’t they?
Even the simple stalls in front of houses have a different kind of elegance which catches your eye.
Ah! It looks like they’re selling brushes at that shop. Can we look inside?
Hmm… This is a big shop, isn’t it?
Big shops have a wide range of products and it’s worth choosing something.
Ah… Do you have your own brush?
Let’s have a look at them together then. The handles have many different thicknesses and lengths. Depending on what you’re using the brush for, the hairs are different too. You can touch them and see what they’re like.
By the way, I like the brushes made from goat hair. They’re good at picking up the ink, you see.
You won’t know what a brush tip is like without testing it, but a soft one is good for when you’re writing things.
See, try and touch the brushes that are around here.
What do you think?
Hmm… You like that one? Isn’t that one fine then?
It’s not as good quality as the goat hair brushes, but brushes made from cat hair are soft and easy to write with.
Ah… If you haven’t got a brush, then you don’t own a writing box either, do you?
It seems like there are some inside the shop, so let’s have a look.
When buying a writing box, you should just get the one you like the craftsmanship of.
If you like the design of it, then you’re more likely to take good care of it.
The ones without any pictures on them are for people who appreciate the look of the wood.
However, I like the ones that are more brightly coloured. What about you?
Really? In that case, the two of us might have similar tastes. I’m happy about that.
Ah. Did you find a box you liked?
This is… It’s a picture of a ground cherry.
Yes. It’s a good choice! It’s unconventional and eye-catching.
Let’s buy this writing box and the cat hair brush then.
Don’t worry about the money. Look at this instead. It’s a box to keep letters in. The maple looks beautiful. It’s a similar colour to the sunset in the nishiki-e I bought earlier.
You think so too! I’m also going to buy this letter box.
Hmm? Why’s that? You said all these things were nice, didn’t you?
The reason I’m buying them for you? You’re worried about something insignificant like that? Even though this is the perfect chance to own the things you thought were nice! There’s no need for you to hesitate. If you insist on having a reason, then call it a reward for accompanying me all day.
Alright, Mister. Could you wrap these all up?
Ah, wait a minute. These bookmarks have been dyed a beautiful colour. If you saw one of them sticking out of a book, then wouldn’t it make you want to pick it up and immerse yourself in reading it?
If I had one of these, then I probably wouldn’t end up leaving a book unread for days on end.
Hey, which colour do you like?
Why can’t you choose? You don’t like these bookmarks?
Ah… So you can’t choose because they’re all so beautiful?
Hmm… I understand that feeling. Then why don’t we buy all the bookmarks from here to here?
Is that so? Then you’d better choose the one you like quickly.
It’s this one, isn’t it? Then I’ll have this pale blue one. It’s the colour of the Shinsengumi and the sky.
Could you also wrap up these two bookmarks, Mister?
That was a good shopping trip! It feels great when you can spend money extravagantly.
Are you that bothered about it? It really is fine! I just wanted to buy you those things, you see.
Something you could do in return?
Hmm… I’m the type who buys things by themselves if they want something.
Ah… That’s right! Come to my classes then. It’s better to use the equipment you’ve bought instead of just leaving them lying around.
Alright! Now that’s decided, we’ll have to buy the rest of the equipment that you’re missing.
Of course! The only thing you’ve bought to go inside the writing box is a brush.
So are there are other shops aside from the one we just went to which sell ink stones and ink?
I’d like to see the products other shops have if that’s possible.
Ah. They’re over there?
Alright, take me there then. I’m looking forward to seeing which things you like.
 Seppuku is a form of ritual suicide that was originally reserved for samurai. It was used voluntarily for samurai to die with honour instead of being captured by enemies or as a punishment for samurai who had committed serious offences or done something to bring shame upon themselves.
 The vidro or bidoro is a glass toy which makes a popping sound when it is blown into.
 Nishiki-e is a type of multi-coloured woodblock printing. It was invented in the 1760s, and before this time most prints had been in black and white or coloured by hand.
 Azuma nishiki-e refers to nishiki-e which were produced in the city of Edo (modern day Tokyo).
Oh my. The sun has already begun to set.
The evening really did come quickly. Shall we go home then?
If there’s something we’ve forgotten to buy, we can just come again another day.
Ah… My shopping?
Hmm… To tell the truth, there wasn’t anything in particular that I wanted to buy.
I wanted to go out with you and I used going shopping as a reason to do that.
Well… I bought a nishiki-e and a bookmark, so it’s not as if I wasn’t telling the truth.
Oh? Why do you look so troubled?
Were you thinking of me as a liar? I’m sorry if you did.
Next time I lie, I’ll make sure you can’t tell. Can you forgive me?
You say some amazing things. How can you live without lying? That’s impossible!
People find that lying is as natural as breathing. How much they lie depends on the person though.
And if I tell lie that makes someone happy, then it doesn’t matter, does it?
You didn’t feel bad when I said I loved you, did you?
No, it’s true. Everything I’ve said to you is true.
I love you so much that I can’t bear it.
Why did you let go of my hand? Are you trying to make me get lost?
Ah… She’s gone. Maybe I teased her too much? Not knowing when to stop is one of my bad habits.
But it’s also her fault for being a good person to tease. Her reactions are so honest that I can’t help wanting to do it.
Oh my… It seems that she can’t be left alone.
The moment she ended up alone, she got caught up in something.
Hey! What are you doing? Have you already found a different man because you’re not interested in me?
I must say that you’ve got quite bad taste in men.
I was talking to her just now. Who are all of you?
You’re so noisy. Don’t shout like that.
It’s so unrefined.
So what were you going to do to her?
You were going after the woman I’m interested in… You’re unrefined, but it seems you have good taste.
Aren’t you aiming too high though?
Oh my… You’re acting like that just because you’re a little worked up.
You’re foolish, aren’t you? It must be incredibly difficult to live with such a short temper.
By the way… It seems to me that you’re the men responsible for the terrible acts of violence that have been happening quite often over the past few days.
You’re nothing more than thoughtless hooligans. Isn’t that right?
In other words, you’re the type of people who will only cause harm if you’re alive.
I’ve made up my mind. I’ve got to get rid of anyone that gets in the way of another person’s love.
Isn’t that right?
Ah… I’m not going to let you escape either.
Oh… How beautiful… The ground is completely red…
I think the sight of blood spraying out is an artistic one.
It would be wonderful if I could display this scene in my room…
Hey… You should look carefully too. Don’t you think that this is a captivating piece of artwork, just like the nishiki-e?
It looks so beautiful…
Is that so?
There are people who understand though.
I think Sano-chan said that sprays of blood were like flowers.
Even the most worthless hooligans are made from the same things we are, you see. I’m sure there’s no harm in praising the beauty of the flowers they create at the end.
Ah… But I suppose I shouldn’t have talked about that in front of someone who only just lost their parents. I’m sorry. I got excited.
Ah… It’s not as if just cutting anyone down can excite me.
For example… When I kill men like them who enjoy mocking the weak and show off by criticising others… That’s when I can’t help being excited.
I feel as if the world improves a little when I kill pests with my own hands. It makes me so happy that I’m excited enough to come.
On the other hand, when I hear about the death of someone who is loved by many people and an honest person who has contributed to society, I can’t bear the pain in my heart.
Even the Shinsengumi are all promising men who are passionate about their beliefs.
Ah… If they were to die, then I wouldn’t be able to stop crying…
You feel the same way? I’m happy to hear that. We get along very well with one another.
I wonder about that… Wouldn’t you feel excited if you could kill pests too? It isn’t good to make up your mind about something by simply thinking about it. You should test whether you really feel that way. You’ll realise whether you’re different from me when you kill someone, won’t you?
If you would like… Why don’t I find someone who would be good for you to kill? I’m sure I’ll find someone right away.
Is that so? That’s unfortunate.
Well, let me know if you change your mind.
Shall we go back then? Something bothersome will happen if we keep staying here.
Oh my… You’re welcome. I didn’t think you’d thank me for helping you.
I’d actually like you to say you’re sorry.
Listen up. You got into that situation because you let go of my hand without asking.
It’s alright as long you understand.
Hey… Anyway, what did you think of me earlier? Didn’t you fall in love because of how amazing I was? I’d really like it if that were the case.
You always deny things straight away! Isn’t it alright for you to give me a little hope? You’re so unkind.
Alright, that’s enough for today. Thank you for your hard work, everyone.
Oh? Why are you sitting all by yourself? Have you got a question for me?
You’re an enthusiastic student, you see. I’m happy that you’re getting good use out of the equipment I bought you. I enjoy teaching students like you.
Tell me right away if any of your equipment gets worn out or breaks, alright? We’ll go and buy some more.
I’m sorry. I was happy because we haven’t been alone together for a while.
Hmm… Have you got a question? Or are you finally ready to confess your feelings for me?
I wonder which one it is.
Judging by that expression on your face, it’s not the answer that I’m hoping for.
Alright. What did you want to ask me?
Hmm… The atmosphere in the headquarters has changed since I got here?
Ah… In what kind of way has it changed?
I see… Heisuke seems to be worried about something and there’s something strange about Sannan-san too?
That’s not a particularly specific observation. But I suppose you could say it’s a perceptive one.
Isn’t it unkind of you to say it’s my fault though? It’s as if you’ve decided that I’m a bad person.
I see, so you don’t feel that way. I’m happy to hear that, but you are unfortunately right. I’m probably the one who is most responsible for the strange atmosphere in the headquarters.
There’s no need to have such a scary look on your face. It’s only natural that my presence would change the atmosphere in the headquarters.
You see, I joined the Shinsengumi because Heisuke asked me to improve it.
Yes, the atmosphere actually seems to be getting worse. Isn’t that why you think of me as a bad person who is throwing the Shinsengumi into confusion?
You want to hear my side of the story first?
Hmm… That’s a good answer. I’ll compliment you for not giving a hasty response.
Well done. As a reward, I’ll tell you a little about why I’m here.
I’m trying to give the Shinsengumi a good future. I’m sure the Shinsengumi can become even better, you see.
Well… Things are quite troublesome though.
How I’m going to improve them? Why do you want to know that?
You’re right. I certainly did say that you were one of the Shinsengumi.
I see. So that’s why you want to do something for their sake. In that case, I’d like you to put even more effort into your studies. I’m sure that’s something you can do for the sake of the Shinsengumi.
Haha. You just keep on asking questions.
Why would putting more effort into your studies help the Shinsengumi? I’ll let you answer that question in your own time. Will you tell me when you know the answer?
Hahaha. Is that so? You might be able to answer it by yourself, even without knowing what I think.
I’m interested in what kind of answer you’ll come up with. Maybe it was a little difficult though.
I’ll give you a hint then.
The way Kondo-san and Hijikata-kun do things is too forceful.
They get rid of the men who are drifting away from the Shinsengumi due to their differences in opinion. However, the men of the Shinsengumi are nothing like the worthless ruffians you can find anywhere. They’re not the kind of people it’s acceptable to kill like that.
There’s no need to be so surprised, is there? You said you didn’t know how I felt. I told you how I felt because I thought it might help you answer the question I gave you. I’d like it if you were happier about that.
Right! Why don’t you tell me how you feel if you can? Then the two of us will be able to understand each other better and become closer to one another.
Hey. What did you think about what I just told you?
You don’t look well.
It’s alright then. You can answer that question in your own time after all. Saying you don’t know isn’t a bad thing. Anyone can find an answer if they think carefully. Make sure you think about it properly.
You even look cute when you’ve got a worried expression on your face. May I kiss you?
You don’t have to run away so quickly! I’m not going to chase you.
See you tomorrow. Make sure you look where you’re going!
I did it again. I wonder why I always try to make a move on her.
There are plenty of women in the red light district. There shouldn’t be any reason for me to get involved with a maid from the Shinsengumi. Even so…
Ah… This is troublesome. I can’t help feeling excited when I see that woman.
I wonder why that is… Perhaps it’s because I enjoy her reactions…
This is the first time I’ve felt like this. Trying to solve this by going to the red light district would be an unfortunate thing to do.
For now, I’ll go out into the city and kill some ruffians for a change of pace.
Good morning! The weather is great again this morning.
Oh? What’s the matter? Your eyes are all red.
Didn’t you get enough sleep?
Staying up late is no good! I’d be really sad if it wasn’t just your fingers that got rough, but your face and legs too.
Come here. My room is right over there. You can sleep for a while.
Alright, sit down.
Can you lay your head down here?
I think a man’s lap is probably hard and uncomfortable to lie on, but isn’t that just right for a short nap?
It’s alright! I won’t do anything. I’m not the type of person who’d make a move on someone who looks so tired.
I’ll wake you up after a little while too. You don’t have to worry about oversleeping.
Come on, come here.
That’s right. Try and relax.
Close your eyes.
Anyway… This is the first time I’ve seen you looking so tired.
Why were you staying up late?
Would you mind telling me?
I see… It was because of the assignment I gave you the other day?
Have you been thinking about it all the time since then?
I see… You didn’t have to think about it this hard.
Thank you though. I’m happy you took it so seriously.
So did you find an answer?
To help you fall asleep gradually, I gently stroked your hair as I spoke.
You seemed tired as you replied slowly, carefully considering your words.
You criticised the purges carried out by the Shinsengumi for being too forceful. Couldn’t those things be replaced by knowledge and discussion?
Even a powerless person who cannot wield a sword could become strong by being a skilled speaker. So wasn’t that the reason you told me to put more effort into studying? Creating people who are skilled at speaking will eventually help the Shinsengumi.
After you said that, you began your journey to the world of dreams. I replied as quietly as possible so that I wouldn’t wake you up.
I’m surprised. You were right. You understood exactly what I was thinking. I didn’t think you’d consider it so carefully. I can’t help my heart beating faster. The Shinsengumi would become even better if there were more people like you. I’ve got to work harder too, haven’t I?
Good night. I hope today will be another good day for you.
April 1865. I was alone on the veranda, looking at the sky.
The waning moon dimly lit up the inky sky. A faint light that seemed as if it might disappear, hidden away by the clouds.
I’m sure there’ll be rain or snow tomorrow.
I simply gazed at the moon, wanting to take my mind off the things I had to think about.
Ah, it’s you.
I’m sorry, but could you go somewhere else?
There’s nothing wrong. I’m just looking at the moon.
No. Go back to your room.
It’s cold out here. You’ll catch a cold.
I’m fine! When I’m in my room, I feel as if I can’t breathe. I’m here because I want to be. I thought looking at the moon would take my mind off things.
I don’t want anyone to approach me right now though.
I wonder why you found me when I came all the way to this veranda people don’t usually go to.
You can understand when I’ve said this much, can’t you?
Could you go over there?
Is that so?
I’m the same as usual. There’s nothing strange at all.
Come on. I’m the one telling you, so isn’t that fine?
Hurry up and go somewhere else.
You’re so annoying. I’ll be back to normal in the morning.
Isn’t that fine?
Why don’t you go to sleep and forget about me?
What good will worrying about a man you don’t even love do?
It doesn’t matter if I’m acting strangely!
Or is someone kind like you so worried about a worthless person like me that they wouldn’t mind catching a cold and collapsing from a lack of sleep?
Is it that interesting to see me acting strangely?
I know. But I’m not acting like a decent person this evening.
I treated you cynically and hurt you so easily.
Despite your intelligence, you’re also a fool.
Nothing good will come of hearing what I’ve got to say. You’re just going to end up feeling bad listening to me complain on and on.
I see. Then you can just listen to everything and look down on me.
I was the one who forced that person into a difficult situation. I was the one who made him commit suicide.
He and I studied together. I’ve seen him training on many occasions.
His skills were enough to charm me. He certainly was a first-rate swordsman.
However, he had become unable to wield a sword even before I joined the troop. Because of that, he had begun to lose his place within the Shinsengumi. At the very least, I’m sure that’s how he felt.
In addition to having studied with him, I suddenly joined the Shinsengumi as an adviser. It was at that time that he completely lost his place within the Shinsengumi.
Then that incident happened… My existence pushed him into a difficult situation.
I actually wanted to save him too though.
Was that something unexpected? I suppose it was.
That was because I smiled when I saw how things ended for him.
I felt that it was unfortunate, but unavoidable.
I smiled. You see… Isn’t that what I should have done?
If I was troubled by his death, then he would become even more pitiful. That would be unforgivable!
However… Since then, my regrets have become even greater at night, making me wish I could cry out loud.
I spend every evening here, acting as if I’m the victim.
It’s strange, isn’t it?
That’s right. It might be better if someone blames me.
Hey… Will you laugh at me scornfully?
Tell me I’m a worthless man. That I shouldn’t even be here!
You wouldn’t do that, would you?! Because you’re such a kind person!
I knew that!
I said those things because I knew…
I really am a terrible person.
I could say something even worse…
Not being able to fulfil my aim is a greater regret than his death.
Because of his death, there’s no longer anything I can do.
It’s no good. There’s no future for the Shinsengumi.
People with different ways of thinking joining forces and wielding their swords.
I always thought the Shinsengumi just had to become like that.
That was the aim I was trying to achieve here. If we shared the belief of expelling the foreigners, then the supporters of the emperor and the supporters of the shogunate wouldn’t have to fight each other.
I was trying to be the mediator who made that happen. But then that person was killed and everyone began to argue even more.
The Shinsengumi will soon fall apart.
If that happens, then there is only one path for the men who have opposing thoughts to Kondo-san and Hijikata-kun. They will have no choice but to leave the Shinsengumi.
I thought I could have done better than this. In the end, I wasn’t able to do anything.
I’ve said this before, but I love the Shinsengumi. I don’t want it to fall apart.
That’s why the supporters of the emperor have to consider leaving the Shinsengumi. Even the men who support the emperor continue to believe in their ideals because they think it will make the world a better place.
Isn’t it a tragedy for them to be killed in such a one-sided manner?
It’s much more peaceful to force the men who hold different beliefs to leave, instead of killing them. If only we could have worked things out by discussing them…
It was no good, was it?
I was happy to help everyone to study, teach them the basics of conversation and create students who could express themselves eloquently. Everything is going to end up being worthless. It’s unfortunate.
You gently wiped away my tears. When I looked at you in surprise, you hesitantly spoke in a small voice.
“I might not be able to understand the way you feel. But I know that crying alone is a sorrowful thing. At least let me wipe away your tears.”
Stop that. I might really fall in love with you.
This is no good… Even though it was a feeling terrible enough to make me want to die…
How can something you say make me feel this way?
You’d probably say the same thing to anyone.
But I want to misunderstand those words in a way that’s convenient for myself.
It’s just as I thought… You really are too kind.
If you were to leave the Shinsengumi… You would still be tormented by guilt, even if I insisted that it was the right thing to do.
It was a difficult thing to talk about. Just forget about it.
I wasn’t planning on talking about this.
This is no good…
Hey! Wait a minute!
Kondo-san asked you to run an errand, didn’t he?
I’ll come with you. These days, a woman should be careful when walking alone, even if it’s during the daytime.
You’re always so hesitant. Even though you wouldn’t leave me alone the other night, no matter how much I insisted upon it.
I’m not trying to criticise you. I was able to feel better because of it.
Well… If you’re feeling sorry about it, then why don’t we do this?
Alright? Let’s hold hands like this again.
Walking around the city like this was fun, wasn’t it?
If you don’t mind, then I’d like to do the same thing again today.
I wish we could entwine our fingers too, but then you’d be too embarrassed to walk with me, wouldn’t you?
I understand how I should act around you.
Alright, let’s go.
Where are we going then?
A sweet shop?
Ah… Did he say something like “Miss… I want you to buy me some sweets so that Hijikata-kun doesn’t find out.”?
Kondo-san is the same as usual.
Hmm… Don’t you think that being sent on an errand like that gives you the right to have a taste of the sweets?
I just found somewhere that’d be perfect for having a break. Let’s go there on the way home after we’ve been to the sweet shop.
I’m looking forward to it.
Let’s have a break here. No one else is around. There’s a slight breeze which feels good, doesn’t it?
You really bought a lot though, didn’t you? Did Kondo-san really tell you to buy this many steamed buns?
I see… So that’s why Hijikata-kun gets angry.
Right! How about we eat then?
They’re delicious! The black sesame smells really good!
Hey. Do you think we can get away with eating one more?
If my lovely accomplice agrees, then it must be okay!
It’s so delicious that having a taste was the right thing to do!
If Kondo-san gets angry at anyone, then it’ll be the two of us together.
Also… You’ve completely let your guard down now.
Ah… You dropped the steamed bun!
Are you alright?
Ah… I’m sorry. It wasn’t just the first time, but this time too. I’ve been too forward.
Even so… I’m reluctantly trying to hold myself back a little.
I’d actually like to kiss you everywhere. I might actually make a move.
If only holding you like this was enough to satisfy me.
The longer I’m with you, the more I feel like I want to stop holding myself back and steal you away instead.
Do you think I’m lying?
You probably wouldn’t believe me if I told you I loved you now.
That would be my own fault though.
Hey… If I can’t say it out loud, then how about this way?
I heard you’d be going out and so I quickly wrote up a few lines. I wanted to tell you my feelings somewhere we wouldn’t be disturbed.
I wasn’t able to write a particularly good love letter. Will you still listen to it though?
No matter what I say, it might sound like I’m not telling the truth, but I want to make a promise to you. Whenever you’re sad or hurt, it will be my turn to wipe your tears away. I’ll always be by your side.
This is how I feel right now. I won’t ask you to believe me. You can decide whether I’m telling the truth or not.
I see. You really are a kind person.
If I was going to be selfish, then I would want to know how you feel too. I think I’m also scared to ask. I’m a cowardly person like that. I’m a little surprised.
Ah… I’m sorry though. It seems as if I’m saying something selfish, but there’s no need for you to respond to my feelings. If I ask you any more than this, then it won’t be any good for you. Nothing good will come from getting involved.
Alright… Shall we go back now?
Kondo-san is going to get impatient if we take too long.
Can we hold hands on the way back too?
Ah… Bell crickets…
I see… It’s already autumn.
Now that I think about it, I feel as if I’ve been here a long time.
My chance has finally come. I wonder what will happen to the Shinsengumi.
Ah… It’s you, hmm?
What is it? Refreshments?
Thank you. I was just about to stop training though.
Could you give those rice balls to one of the other men?
It’s nothing. Not something for you to worry about anyway.
Hmm… If I seem to be acting strangely now, then wasn’t I actually strange before?
I’m feeling better than ever. There’s nothing to worry about.
I can’t fool you at all, can I?
Shall we talk for a while?
Sit down there.
I’m going to leave the Shinsengumi and take the men who support the emperor with me.
Everyone has probably already noticed, but the rift within the Shinsengumi has become unmanageable.
What Hijikata-kun is trying to do means eliminating anyone who doesn’t share the same beliefs.
I want to save the men he is trying to get rid of. Even if someone else didn’t do this, the Shinsengumi would still end up being split apart.
I’m going to leave this place because I love the Shinsengumi.
But I’m nothing more than a traitor to the men who will remain in the Shinsengumi. You’ll think of me as a bad person too. Isn’t that right?
That’s because you’re obviously going to stay with the Shinsengumi, aren’t you?
A kind person like you couldn’t betray anyone. You belong here.
So I’m speaking to you with the assumption that you’ll be staying with the Shinsengumi.
You did say that you’d wipe away my tears back then.
But wasn’t that only going to be while I was a member of the Shinsengumi? Even I understand that much.
Is that so? If you don’t consider me a traitor, then it seems as if my reason for leaving the Shinsengumi makes sense to you, doesn’t it?
Is it alright for you to trust me so easily? I’m the type of man who enjoys killing worthless men.
Isn’t it strange for you to believe what someone like me says?
You’re such an honest person. You want to trust someone like me… Even though everything I’m saying might not be the truth… I wonder whether you’re actually foolish, or something else entirely…
I believe that I should consider and decide all my actions by myself. I’ve always done that up until now. I’ve lived honestly, only believing in my own justice. I don’t doubt myself.
I can’t do anything about how that might look to other people. The important thing is continuing to believe in the justice that I’d first chosen. In the same sense, even that stubborn man Hijikata-kun is trying to continue believing in his own justice. It’s an honourable thing to do.
On the other hand, I dislike anyone who changes their beliefs just because of the opinions of others.
One of the men I studied with is called Sakamoto Ryoma.  He’s the clearest example of that. It disgusts me to see someone without a sense of their own self.
That’s why I certainly can’t consider that everything would work out if all the men became supporters of the shogunate. That’s not my sense of justice.
I think that there’s no future for supporters of the emperor like Heisuke and I, other than leaving the Shinsengumi.
Yes. There’s no other choice. We’ll never have the same beliefs as Kondo-san and the others, no matter what.
It’s not a question of who believes in the right thing though. Only time will tell who is in the right.
That’s why I feel as if I have to believe in my own thoughts and never let myself compromise. Otherwise I’ll lose, swallowed by the waves of time! Until now, I’ve seen many others who’ve faded away without believing in themselves.
The Shinsengumi and I are too wonderful to end here, aren’t we? That’s why we’re going to go our separate ways. I’m sad that it’s happening though.
The promise? Ah… The promise I made to always stay by your side?
I wonder about that… The way things are, I’d end up having lied again.
I don’t want it to be a lie either. But it would be better for your sake if it was a lie.
Yes. That’s right. I make too many decisions all by myself.
But I’m scared to say how I really feel. I’m not good at giving answers.
I’m going to leave the Shinsengumi. If you can’t forgive me for that, then just report it to Hijikata-kun. But if you can forgive me, then I’d like to take you with me.
I won’t force you to come. I actually want to take you without even asking. That wouldn’t be any good though. You should just believe in your own sense of justice.
I’ve revealed everything to you. But if you still decide to stay with the Shinsengumi, then there’s nothing that I can do.
I’ll only ask this once. Will you come with me?
You’ll come with me?
You’re right… Without you, I’ll just end up crying alone. There’d be no one to wipe away my tears from now on. I need you.
Once we leave the Shinsengumi, it’s very likely that we’ll end up facing Kondo-san and the others as enemies. Our lives might be in danger.
But even the Shinsengumi was the target of extreme loyalists. Either side has its dangers.
I want you to come with me. I’ll make sure I protect you.
Thank goodness. It looks like I’ll be able to stay by your side from now on.
That promise won’t have to be a lie.
You didn’t like that?
I thought so. I don’t have to hold back then.
I reached my limit a long time ago.
Put your arms around me.
That’s right. I want to feel your heartbeat close to me.
I love you.
I wonder when it began. Before I knew it, I had been captivated by you.
I love you.
I can finally touch you.
Did you want me to touch you too?
Then tell me that.
Or did you actually want to touch me?
Right now, I belong completely to you. Try and touch me.
See… My body has become so warm while thinking about you.
Hey… I love you.
My love for you is real now. I was lying all the other times I said I loved you.
I’m sorry. I was planning on using you at first.
You have a refreshing effect on the Shinsengumi, so I thought that it’d be easier to befriend people with different ways of thinking if you were on my side.
At some point, I became unable to tell whether I was approaching you for the sake of that aim or whether I was interested in you.
I really confused you, didn’t I?
I’m sorry. I really do love you now.
Yes… Your skin looks really pink.
Maybe kisses alone aren’t enough to satisfy you?
Relax. There’s nothing to be afraid of.
It seems as if you like it here. Do you want me to keep touching you?
Try and beg me by saying “more…”
Do it in a cute way.
That’s no good. I don’t like it when people answer back.
Just be quiet and do as I say.
If reason is getting in our way, then just abandon it right away.
I want you to feel me deeply.
Hey… I want you to desire me more.
I love you.
Do you want me to touch you here too?
Ah… It’s amazing…
It’s much exciting than when I’ve killed someone or found a wonderful nishiki-e…
You see… Don’t you?
Until now, I thought it was natural to feel excited about a undressed woman in front of you, but doing this with someone you love makes your heart beat faster like this…
I want you to become even more captivated by me too. I want you to feel embarrassed and cling to me.
I’d never realised this feeling. This might be the first time I’ve truly fallen in love with a woman.
I want to treat you gently, but part of me also wants to make you cry. Would you cry if I did something to make you really embarrassed?
Hey… You’ve seen me crying, haven’t you? I want you to cry this time.
This is enough to make you struggle like that… Aren’t you embarrassed?
You’re trying your best not to make a sound. Do you like it that much?
See… I’m going to wipe away all your tears.
Cry… Look at me more closely and feel embarrassed…
Why are you shaking your head? You don’t want to do as I say?
Or are you denying that this feels good enough to make you cry?
But just a slight touch is enough… See… There are so many…
Look… It’s amazing, isn’t it?
All these tears flow out when I do this…
You look cute. I love you.
I love you.
I want you to say it too.
Come on… Say it…
Say that you love me…
I feel the same way… I want to touch you even more…
Your warmth feels as if it’s going to make me melt.
Hey… Do you love me?
Give me your hand. Let me hold it.
I like holding hands with you. I want to be connected with you everywhere.
I love you.
No matter how many times I say that, it won’t be enough.
I love you.
 Sakamoto Ryoma was an important figure in the movement to overthrow the Tokugawa shogunate. He was assassinated in 1867 and the leader of the Shinsengumi, Kondo Isami, was executed for this crime. However, the Mimawarigumi (a special police force similar to the Shinsengumi) later confessed to his murder.
Not long after that, in April 1867, I left the Shinsengumi with along with you, Toudou Heisuke, Saitou Hajime and several other men, then went on to form the Goryou-Eji. 
I don’t know what became of the Shinsengumi. Although I’m worried, the only thing I can do is to pray that things turn out well for them. We may have gone our separate ways, but I still love the Shinsengumi and the members within it.
I honestly hope for a day when we will be able to understand one another.
I’m worried about several other things, such as the future of the Goryou-Eji, but at the moment, I’m enjoying every single day. The days I’m spending with you are something new to me.
Holding hands, kissing and whispering our love to each other.
From the moment I wake up in the morning, I start looking forward to the evenings I spend with you.
Hmm… I wonder why it never feels like enough, no matter how many times we kiss.
Can I kiss you one more time?
Ah… I know. It’s your fault for having such a sad look on your face when our lips part.
Shall we have one more kiss?
Oh my… Of course I feel sad about it. So it’s only natural to seem like that.
But if you had a satisfied look on your face, then I could consider it.
However, you’ve got a look of desire in your eyes. You excite me by breathing harder right away, don’t you? That’s why I don’t stop kissing you.
So I’m going to kiss you one more time.
Hmm… Why’d you stop me?
You want to talk about something?
Alright then. It’s not as if we know everything about each other yet anyway. Conversations are important.
What I was like in the past?
Well… I experienced many different things. I went away to Mito in order to study. I was also a teacher at a private school.  Then I took over the Hokushin Itto Ryu  dojo too.
You didn’t know I was strong enough to take over a dojo, did you? I’m accomplished in both literary and military arts. That’s why I can protect you too. Have you fallen in love with me again?
It’s cute how honest you are. I can’t hold myself back after all. I’m going to kiss you one more time.
Shall we continue?
Hmm? Don’t be so reluctant.
Are you embarrassed? You don’t have to be so obvious about changing the subject.
Well… That’s right. It’s where I met Heisuke too. I got to know him at my dojo.
Do we have to talk about this right now though?
It’s not polite to talk about another man when you’re under the quilt with me.
All you have to do is be captivated by me.
I suppose I don’t have a choice.
Fine. I shouldn’t tire you out too much anyway.
Right… We’ve been staying inside all the time recently, so how about we go out into the city for once tomorrow? I want to hold hands and walk with you again.
You want to play with a vidro again? Why’s that?
Alright then. The one I played with before was probably broken anyway. It should be fine this time.
Hmm… Maybe I’ll get a reward if I manage to play the vidro.
A reward… Like a kiss or a love letter… Is that alright?
Then go to sleep now and we’ll leave early tomorrow morning.
Ah… I might buy some books at the book shop. I’ve finished reading all the books I’ve got.
You’re right. It might be because of the bookmark we bought together. When I see that pale blue colour these days, I can’t help picking up a book. Then before I know it, the book is finished.
I hope that everyone is doing well.
Hmm… I wouldn’t be telling the truth if I said it wasn’t lonely. But there are people who believed in me and came with me. Most importantly, you’re by my side.
I hope I’ll always be on good terms with the people I’ve met.
When I want so many things, I begin to wonder what’s most important to me.
Out of all the people we meet in our lifetime, there are probably only a few who we mustn’t let go of or who we want to keep beside us. Some people might not ever meet someone like that.
That’s why I’m really happy we met and that you chose me.
You’re the only person I definitely can’t lose. I won’t let go of you, even when I’m gone.
Hey… I want you to be my wife.
I was wondering when to ask you, but I’d never imagined saying it underneath this quilt. It seems like my feelings just all came out. Were you surprised?
You’re happy… Does that mean you’re saying yes then?
I should be thanking you. I love you.
Don’t cry. I want you to save your tears for when you’re struggling in my arms.
I’m only joking.
Come on. Look this way. I’ll wipe your tears away.
It seems like we’ve got one more plan for tomorrow. I’ve got to buy you a comb.
I’m looking forward to it too. Show me some combs that you like.
I’ll buy you as many as you like, even if it’s ten or a hundred.
We should go to sleep soon.
Can we keep holding hands like this? I can sleep better that way.
I hope we’ll see each other in our dreams too.
 The Goryou-Eji was a group created by Itou Kashitarou after he and his allies separated from the Shinsengumi. Its name means “Guards of the Emperor’s Tomb”.
 Itou Kashitaro’s father ran a private school called Shunjuku, where Itou taught after completing his studies.
 Hokushin Itto Ryu is a school of swordsmanship that was founded in the 1820s by Chiba Shusaku Narimasa. Swordsmen who mastered it include the Shinsengumi members Itou Kashitaro, Toudou Heisuke and Yamanami Keisuke.