Saitō Hajime

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Saitō Hajime
Goro Fujita aka Hajime Saito.jpg
Saitō Hajime in 1897
Native name 斎藤 一
Birth name Yamaguchi Hajime
Other name(s) Yamaguchi Jirō, Ichinose Denpachi, Fujita Gorō
Born (1844-02-18)February 18, 1844
Edo, Musashi Province
Died September 28, 1915(1915-09-28) (aged 71)
Tokyo, Empire of Japan
Buried Aizuwakamatsu, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan

Saitō Hajime (斎藤 一, February 18, 1844 – September 28, 1915) was a Japanese samurai of the late Edo period, who most famously served as the captain of the third unit of the Shinsengumi. He was one of the few core members who survived the numerous wars of the Bakumatsu period.

Early years[edit]

Saitō was born in Edo, Musashi Province (now Tokyo).[1] Very little is known about his early life. He was born Yamaguchi Hajime (山口 一) to Yamaguchi Yūsuke (山口 祐助), an ashigaru of the Akashi Domain, who had bought the rank of gokenin (a low-ranking retainer directly serving the Tokugawa shogun).[1] He had an older brother named Hiroaki and an older sister named Katsu. According to the published records of his family, Saitō left Edo in 1862, after accidentally killing a hatamoto.[2] He went to Kyoto and taught in the dōjō of a man named Yoshida, who had relied on Saitō's father Yūsuke in the past.[2] His style of swordsmanship is not clear. According to a tradition of his descendants, his style comes from Ittō-ryū. His style is considered to be Mugai Ryū that originates from Yamaguchi Ittō-ryū. He is also considered to have learned Tsuda Ichi-den-ryū and Sekiguchi-ryū.[3]

Shinsengumi Period[edit]

The same age as Okita Sōji and another member named Tōdō Heisuke, the three shared the distinction of being one of the youngest in Kondō Isami's group and being among its most gifted swordsmen. As a member of the Shinsengumi, Saitō was said to be an introvert and a mysterious person; a common description of his personality says he "was not a man predisposed to small talk." Saitō was an unusually tall man at 5' 11". He was also noted to be very dignified, especially in his later years. He always made sure that his obi was tied properly and when he walked he was careful not to drag his feet. At rest he always sat in the formal position, called seiza, and he would remain very alert so that he could react instantly to any situations that might occur.

He was, however, known to be very intimidating when he wanted to be. Along with his duties as Captain of the Third Squad in the Shinsengumi, he was also responsible for weeding out any potential spies within the Shinsengumi ranks. Members had to constantly be mindful of what they said around him.

His original position within the Shinsengumi was assistant to the vice commander (副長助勤, fukuchō jokin). His duties included being a kenjutsu instructor. Despite prior connections to Aizu, his descendants dispute that he served as a spy. His role as an internal spy for the Shinsengumi is also questionable; one common example being that he is said to have been instructed to join Itō Kashitarō's splinter group in 1867, to spy on them. However, this is disputed by Abe Jūrō, who did not believe he was a spy. It is probable that he also monitored other intelligence and enemy activity. His controversial reputation comes from accounts that he executed several corrupt members of the Shinsengumi; however, rumors vary as to his role in the deaths of Takeda Kanryūsai and Tani Sanjūrō.[4]

In the reorganization of the ranks in late 1864, he was first assigned as the fourth unit's captain. At Nishi Hongan-ji in April 1865 he was assigned as the third unit's captain. Saitō was considered to be on the same level of swordsmanship as the first troop captain Okita Sōji and the second troop captain Nagakura Shinpachi. In fact, it is rumoured that Okita feared his swordskill. Together with the rest of the Shinsengumi, he became a hatamoto in 1867. After the outbreak of the Boshin War (1868–1869), Saitō took part in Shinsengumi's fight during the Battle of Toba-Fushimi and the Battle of Kōshū-Katsunuma, before withdrawing with the Shinsengumi's survivors to the Aizu domain.

Due to Hijikata Toshizō being incapacitated as a result of the injuries sustained at the Battle of Utsunomiya Castle, Saitō became the commander of the Aizu Shinsengumi around May 26, 1868 under the name Yamaguchi Jirō (山口 次郎) (which he had used since late 1867). After the Battle of Bonari Pass, when Hijikata decided to retreat from Aizu, Saitō parted with Hijikata and continued to fight with the Aizu army until the very end of the Battle of Aizu. This parting account was recorded in Kuwana retainer Taniguchi Shirōbei's diary, where it was recorded as an occurrence also involving Ōtori Keisuke, whom Hijikata requested to take command of the Shinsengumi; thus the said confrontation was not with Hijikata. However, questions regarding this parting remain, especially considering the conflicting dates.

Saitō, along with the few remaining men of the Shinsengumi who went with him, fought against the imperial army at Nyorai-dō (a small temple near Aizuwakamatsu Castle), where they were severely outnumbered.[5] It was at the Battle of Nyorai-dō that Saitō was thought to have been killed in action; however, he managed to get back to Aizu lines and joined the Aizu domain's military as a member of the Suzakutai. After Aizuwakamatsu Castle fell, Saitō joined a group of former Aizu retainers who traveled southwest to the Takada Domain in Echigo Province, where they were held as prisoners of war. In the records listing the Aizu men detained in Takada, Saitō is on record as Ichinose Denpachi.[6]

After the Meiji Restoration[edit]

Saitō, 53, is seated with his second son Tsuyoshi, his eldest son Tsutomu, and his wife Tokio in 1897.

Saitō, now known as Fujita Gorō (藤田 五郎), traveled to Tonami, the new domain of the Matsudaira clan of Aizu. He took up residence with Kurasawa Heijiemon, the Aizu karō who was an old friend of his from Kyoto.[1] Kurasawa was involved in the migration of Aizu samurai to Tonami and the building up of the settlements in Tonami (now Aomori Prefecture), particularly in Gonohe village. In Tonami, Saitō met Shinoda Yaso, the daughter of an Aizu retainer. The two met through Kurasawa, who was then living with Ueda Shichirō, another Aizu retainer. Kurasawa sponsored Saitō and Yaso's marriage on August 25, 1871; the couple lived in Kurasawa's house. It was also around this time that Saitō may have become associated with the Police Bureau. Saitō and Yaso moved out of the Kurasawa house on February 10, 1873 and started living in the Ueda household. When on June 10, 1874 he left Tonami for Tokyo, Yaso moved in with Kurasawa and the Kurasawa family records last entry of her is in 1876. It is unknown what happened afterwards. It was around this time Saitō (as Fujita Gorō) began to work as a police officer in the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department.

In 1874, Saitō married Takagi Tokio.[7] Tokio was the daughter of Takagi Kojūrō, a retainer of the Aizu domain.[8] Her original name was Sada; she served for a time as lady-in-waiting to Matsudaira Teru. The marriage is believed to have been sponsored by the former Aizu karō Yamakawa Hiroshi and Sagawa Kanbei as well as the former lord of Aizu Matsudaira Katamori.[9] Saitō and Tokio had three children: Tsutomu (1876–1956); Tsuyoshi (1879–1946); and Tatsuo (1886–1945).[10] Tsutomu and his wife Nishino Midori had seven children; the Fujita (Saitō) family continues to the present day through Tarō and Naoko Fujita, the children of Tsutomu's second son Makoto.[10] Saitō's third son Tatsuo was adopted by the Numazawa family, Tokio's maternal relatives (another family of Aizu karō) whose family had nearly been wiped out in the Boshin War.

He fought on the Meiji government's side during Saigō Takamori's Satsuma rebellion, as a member of the police forces sent to support the Imperial Japanese Army.[11]

During his lifetime, Saitō shared some of his Shinsengumi experiences with a select few, these included Aizu natives Yamakawa Kenjirō and Takamine Hideo, whose houses he frequented. He would drink sake with Yamakawa and Takamine and tell stories of his past.[12] However, he did not write anything about his activity in the Shinsengumi as Nagakura Shinpachi did. During his life in the Meiji period, Saitō was the only one who was authorized by the government to carry a katana despite the collapse of the Tokugawa rule. Saitō assisted Nagakura and Matsumoto Ryōjun in setting up a memorial monument in honor of Kondō Isami and Hijikata Toshizō.[13]

Saitō worked for Ochanomizu University in later years, as well as for the Tokyo Higher Normal School and Tokyo Education Museum, jobs he secured thanks to his friendship with Takamine Hideo.[14] Takamine also relied upon Saitō's skill as an appraiser of swords, and gave Saitō permission to freely enter his art warehouse.[14]

Saitō's heavy drinking is believed to have contributed to his death from a stomach ulcer. He died in 1915 at age 72, sitting in seiza in his living room.[15]

Detailed timeline[edit]

The timeline dates present here, spanning from 1844 until 1873, are based on the traditional lunisolar calendar that was in use at the time. Dates appearing 1873 and after reflect Japan's implementation of the Gregorian calendar and are Western dates.


  • Wednesday, January 1st. [Western date, Sunday, February 18th.] Saitō is born Yamaguchi Hajime in Edo.


  • April 15th. His second wife, Takagi Tokio, is born.


Saitō leaves Edo for Kyoto after accidentally killing a hatamoto. He teaches in the dojo of Yoshida, a friend of his father's, and changes his name to Saitō Hajime.

(end of) The Tokugawa bakufu officially begins to recruit rōnin to suppress renegades, offering amnesty to criminals deemed worthy enough to be set free and enlist.

December -

  • December 9th. Matsudaira Chikaranosuke is appointed the commander of the as-yet unnamed rōshi unit.
  • December 24th. Matsudaira Katamori of Aizu, appointed the head of Kyoto's security forces by Tokugawa Yoshinobu, arrives in Kyoto with one thousand armed samurai. Serizawa Kamo (under his 'courtesy' name Udono Kyuou) is chosen as the commander of the Rōshi-tai. 


January -

(early) Saitō trains at Kondō's dojo, the Shieikan.

February -

  • February 8th. The Rōshigumi (浪士組, meaning "the rōnin squad"), established, leaves Edo for Kyoto.
  • February 23rd. The Rōshi-tai arrive in Kyoto. Kiyokawa Hachirō reveals his scheme; that he had founded the Rōshigumi to work with the Imperialists and not the shogunate. Some thirteen to seventeen members dissented and remained in Kyoto.

The headquarters of the dissenters are established at the mansion of Yagi Gennojō in Yagi-tei, Mibu village. Kondō's group, of which Saitō was a part, set up residence in Maekawa Shōji’s house, which doubled as a dojo.

March -

  • March 4th. Tokugawa Iemochi arrives in Kyoto.
  • March 10th. The shogunate is ordered to take charge of the Rōshigumi members who remain in Kyoto. Saitō and others, under Kondō and Serizawa, submit a petition to the daimyō of Aizu, Matsudaira Katamori, asking to remain and join the Aizu clan in policing Kyoto.
  • March 15th. Saitō and the other Rōshigumi who remained in Kyoto become retainers to the Aizu clan and the Rōshigumi is renamed the Mibu Rōshigumi.
  • March 22nd. Saitō's signature is featured, along with eighteen other names, in a petition submitted to Itakura Katsukiyo, the daimyō of the Kuwana domain.
  • March 25th. Attends a play (mibu-kyōgen) with Shiro Honda, an Aizu feudal soldier.

April -

(early) Kiyokawa Hachirō is killed by Tokugawa swordsmen after discovering his plan to attack a foreign settlement in Yokohama.

  • April 6th. After receiving an audience with Matsudaira Katamori in the clan mansion, a contest demonstration was held in front of the daimyō; Saitō was matched against Nagakura Shinpachi.
  • April 17th. Inoue Matsugorou holds a feast for Saitō and company in Kyoto.
  • April 21st. Saitō goes to Osaka to act as a guard to the shogun.

May -

  • May 25th. Kondō and Serizawa submit a petition to keep the shogun in Kyoto. Saitō begins his position as group leader (kumi-gashira).

June -

(end of) Minakuchi official files a complaint with Aizu regarding Serizawa's behavior.

July -

  • July 15th. Serizawa Kamo and several other Shinsengumi members begin a drunken brawl with sumo wrestlers. Five wrestlers are killed and several others are wounded.

August -

  • August 13th. Serizawa orders Yamatoya, a silk cloth store, destroyed when they could not give him money and the shop is set on fire with a cannon.
  • August 18th. The Mibu Rōshigumi are given the new name Shinsengumi (新選組, "New Selected Group") by Matsudaira Katamori at this time. Also on this day, the Chōshū (an anti-Tokugawa) clan were forced from the Imperial Court. The Shinsengumi are sent to aid the Aizu and guard the gates of the Imperial Court.
  • August 21st. The Shinsengumi are given authorization for "city control".
  • August 25th. Four men from Chōshū are sent by Katsura Kogoro to the Shinsengumi headquarters in Mibu as assassins, asking to join the group after leaving their clan. Kondō accepts them and informs Nagakura and the others to be on guard.

Aug (end of) Saitō and company arrest a burglar at Shijou Horikawa rice shop.

September -

  • September 2th. The Shinsengumi corps, including Saitō, receive imperial grant money from the court because of their defense of the Imperial Palace South Gate on August 18th.
  • September 18th. Serizawa Kamo is assassinated at the Yagi residence after a drinking party hosted by Kondō Isami, who is under the orders of Matsudaira Katamori. There are varying accounts of which Shinsengumi members were involved, but they include an alternate rumor that Saitō was present.
  • September 26th. The four Chōshū spies who enlisted in August are discovered and killed.

October -

Takeda Kanryūsai joins the Shinsengumi.


January -

  • January 2nd. Saitō goes to Osaka to act as a guard to the shogun and the Tokugawa family.
  • January 8th. He enters the castle of shogun Tokugawa Iemochi in Osaka to provide security.
  • January 14th. He goes from Osaka to Fushimi as guard and escort to the shogun.
  • January 15th. Acts as guard to Tokugawa in his entry to Nijō-jō.

March -

  • March 11th. Enjoys the hanami (cherry blossom viewing ceremony) in the Chibeniman Murasaki-rou of Shimabara.

May -

  • May 7th. Tokugawa returns to Edo, and Saitō returns to guard Osaka.
  • May 20th. Uchiyama Hikojiro, a Tokugawa magistrate in Osaka, is assassinated by Kondō, Okita, Harada, Nagakura and Inoue.

June -

Saitō starts in the duty of fukuchō jokin (assistant to the vice commander).

  • June 5th. The raid of the Ikedaya Inn, known as the Ikedaya Incident, occurs after the Shinsengumi arrests Chōshū imperialist Furutaka Shuntaro, who informs them of plans to set fire to Kyoto and kidnap the daimyō of Aizu, Matsudaira Katamori. Saitō is part of Hijikata Toshizō's group that storms the Ikedaya Inn, acting as reinforcements for Kondō Isami's initial team.
  • June 6th. The Shinsengumi returned to Mibu headquarters.
  • June 7th. Saitō receives 17 ryō as reward money for participation in the Ikedaya Incident, 600 ryō total for the Shinsengumi.
  • June 16th. Saitō and company go to the front upon receiving the request of Kamatori to face the Chōshū Army who was proceeding to the capital.

July -

  • July 18th. The Kinmon no Hen, or the "Forbidden Gate Incident" occurs. Chōshū han clashed with Aizu and Satsuma troops near the Hamaguri Gate of the Imperial Palace. Fires were set by the retreating Chōshū han, which spread and burned Kyoto for three days.
  • July 20th. He and others head for Tennozan Hill, stayed in Fushimi overnight.
  • July 21st. Saitō climbs the Tennozan with Kondō and Nagakura to subjugate the enemy troops that fled.
  • July 23rd. He goes to Osaka and attacks the Chōshū clan's storehouse.
  • July 24th. After the hunt in Osaka, he returns to the capital on the Sanjuu Ishifune (ship) of Hachiken-ya.
  • July 25th. Takes the responsibility of patrolling the city under the control of the Osaka magistrate.

August -

  • August 13th. Tokugawa bakufu orders twenty-one domains to prepare their armies for an expedition against Chōshū. 
  • Aug (end of) With six people, including Nagakura and Harada, Saitō submits a petition against Kondō Isami's despotism in Aizu. Matsudaira Katamora calls a meeting with Kondō and the rest of the group to settle the dispute. 

September -

Sakuma Ikujiro (the son of Sakuma Shozan) enlists in the Shinsengumi to avenge his father's murder. 

October -

October 27th. Itō Kashitarō joins the Shinsengumi.

November - The Gougun record was created and Saitō was drawn up as the Yonbangumi-chou (4th group head).

  • November 17th. Saitō and the rest of the Shinsengumi receive an award from the shogunate for their service in the Kinmon Rebellion.


February - (end of) Along with Hijikata and Inoue, he negotiated the move of the headquarters to Nishi Hongan-ji.

March - Appointed as a kendo instructor. Headquarters moved to the Nishi Hongan-ji.

  • March 21st. Goes to Edo with Hijikata Toshizō and Itō Kashitarō for new Taishi recruitment.

April -

The Shinsengumi Taishi register of names, the Ibunroku, is drawn up.

  • April 5th. Saitō and company arrive at Edo.
  • April 27th. They leave Edo with 52 new recruits.

May -

The Hensei Omote is drawn up and Saitō becomes the captain of the Shinsengumi's third squad.

  • May 9th. They stay at the Kusatsu-ya.
  • May 10th. Arrival in Kyoto.
  • May 22nd. The shogun and his family are guarded from Osaka to Nijo Castle in Kyoto.
  • May 24th. Guards the shogun Tokugawa Iemochi to Osaka.

July -

Eimeiroku was drawn up it, recording those who came from Edo.

September -

Inoue Genzaburou wrote to Matsugorou that Saitō and the other executives were safe. In the second Kougunroku (record) he is recorded as head of spear troop.

October -

(early) Matsudaira Katamori persuades the shogun to abandon his resignation and Saitō and the others guard the trip to Nijo Castle.

  • October 4th. The shogun goes to an opening of a port in Hyougo and Saitō serves as a guard.


April -

  • April 1st. Tani Sanjurō is assassinated. There is a prevailing theory that Saitō was responsible.

June -

  • June 23rd. Shibata Hikosaburo deserts the Shinsengumi after extorting money for personal use. He is pursued, brought back to Kyoto, and ordered to commit seppuku.

July -

  • July 20th. Shogun Tokugawa Iemochi dies. Tokugawa Yoshinobu succeeds him.

September -

  • September 12th. Thirty-four members of the Shinsengumi are sent to stop the vandalizing of bakufu bulletin boards near the Sanjō Ōhashi Bridge.

Itō and Shinohara Yasunoshin hatch a plan to gain the trust of Satsuma and Chōshū and obtain information from them by pretending to 'officially secede' from the Shinsengumi. They inform Kondō of their decision and, suspicious, Kondō sends Saitō with them to observe them as his spy. 

December -

  • December 25th. The Imperial Prince Nakagawa gives 20 silver ryō to the Shinsengumi.


January -

  • January 1st. [Western February 3rd.] Emperor Meiji ascends the throne.
  • January 3rd. Saitō is invited by Itō Kashitarō and they drink all night with Nagakura in a corner shop in Shimabara.
  • January 4th. Upon approaching the Sanjō Ōhashi Bridge to return to headquarters, Saitō, Itō and Nagakura cross swords with Totsukawa samurai Nakai Shougorou and Tosa feudal retainer Nasu Sakai.

March -

Itō and twelve others, including Shinohara Yasunoshin, Suzuki Mikisaburou, Toudou Heisuke, Hashimoto Kaisuke, and Saitō (as Kondō's spy) 'secede' from the Shinsengumi.

  • March 13th. The splinter group receives Imperial orders to join the Guard of the Imperial Tomb (御陵衛士 - Goryō Eji) of Emperor Komei; Itō leaves ten allies with the Shinsengumi to provide him with information and to occasionally stir trouble among the ranks.

June -

  • June 8th. Itō's group, the Goryō Eji, becomes known as the Kodai-ji faction, after being headquartered at Gesshin-in, a sub-temple at Kodai-ji.
  • June 10th. All of the Shinsengumi is granted the status of hatamoto, becoming retainers of the Tokugawa shogunate. Kondō and Hijikata adopt new names and were promoted to ome-mie ijō status, a higher rank of hatamoto that permitted private audiences with the shogun.
  • June 15th. Five days after becoming hatamoto, the Shinsengumi move their headquarters to Fudou-dou village.
  • June 22nd. Kondō Isami holds a farewell sake party for Takeda Kanryūsai, who had obtained permission to leave the Shinsengumi but whose secret communications with Satsuma were discovered by Hijikata, and Takeda is assassinated after the party. Despite having left the Shinsengumi as part of Itō's group months earlier, Saitō is credited with his assassination. (There is also a theory that he may have died of a stroke.)

Itō's remaining allies within the Shinsengumi decide to leave the group, citing that they didn't join to become Tokugawa retainers. The ten men request to formally join Itō's faction, but a previous agreement with Kondō and Hijikata prevents them from accepting defectors, so Itō informs them to petition the lord of Aizu instead. Four of the men wait at Aizu headquarters and are later intercepted by Shinsengumi members and killed. An official Shinsengumi report says they committed seppuku, and the remaining six are expelled from the group. 

(end of) Saitō's name is missing from a register of names of those who transferred from the Shinsengumi to the Guard of the Imperial Tomb. The Goryō Eji serves under the magistrate Toda Yamatomori Tadashi with the support of the Satsuma domain.

October -

  • October 14th. Yoshinobu announces his abdication as shogun, formally stepping down ten days later, and restoring governing power to the emperor.

November -

  • November 10th. Saitō leaves the Goryō Eji and returns to the Shinsengumi headquarters in Fudou-dou village. He also begins using the false name Yamaguchi Jirō, and under this name, he once again assumes his duties as fukuchō jokin (assistant to the vice commander).
  • November 15th. Sakamoto Ryōma is assassinated at the Ōmiya Inn in Kyoto. Despite members of a pro-shogun group, the Mimawarigumi, confessing to his murder, initial reports accused the Shinsengumi, and Kondō in particular, of being responsible. 
  • November 18th. The Aburanokoji Affair. The main force of the Goryō Eji, including Itō, are assassinated after Saitō reveals Itō's plan to assassinate Kondō and take over the Shinsengumi. After the confrontation four surviving Goryō Eji members present flee to the Satsuma estate.

December -

  • December 7th. The Tenma-ya Incident. Muira Kyutaro, a high-ranking Kii official and one of the main suspects in Sakamoto's murder, fears revenge from Sakamoto's supporters, and appeals to the Shinsengumi for protection. Saitō's squad of seven is assigned to defend him. Sixteen of Sakamoto's Kaientai, including Nakai Shougorou (who had fought Saitō on the Sanjō Ōhashi bridge), raid Muira's banquet at the Tenma-ya inn. Miyagawa Nobukichi of the Shinsengumi dies, Saitō and two others sustain injuries, and Nakai is killed.
  • December 9th. Due to the Tenma-ya and Aburanokoji incidents, the Shinsengumi undergoes re-organization.
  • December 12th. Shogun Tokugawa Yoshinobu leaves for Osaka with Katamori and orders the defense of Nijo castle by the Shinsengumi.
  • December 14th. Nagai Naoyuki leaves for Osaka and takes the Shinsengumi with him.
  • December 15th. According to Nagai, the Shinsengumi's temporary headquarters are moved to Kitano Tenmangū in Osaka.
  • December 18th. Kondō is shot in the shoulder by surviving Goryō Eji members on his way back to Fushimi from Nijo castle. Kondō is badly wounded but escapes. The Shinsengumi set up headquarters at the Fushimi magistrate's compound.
  • December 20th. Kondō goes to Osaka for treatment.
  • December 28th.185 ryō was distributed to all the members of the Shinsengumi Taishi as an extra allowance.


January -

  • January 3rd. Civil war breaks out. The battle of Toba-Fushimi begins, and the start of the Boshin war.
  • January 4th. Saitō and the Shinsengumi fight the new government army along the Toba highway. It is because the Yodo han refused the entrance of the old Shogunate troop into the castle fortress.
  • January 5th. A fierce battle happened in the embankment of Yodogawa and many Shinsengumi are killed and wounded, they withdraw to Hashimoto.
  • January 6th. Saitō and Nagakura take their positions at the side of Yawata mountain and fights with the Satsuma soldiers. The burning of a home in Yawata was not complete, Saitō sends out a scout to for communication however Hijikata and the Aizu soldiers had already retreated. Saitō who returns to the camp in Hashimoto was surrounded by the New Government Army, however he is able to overcome their forces and escape to Osaka.
  • January 7th. Although Saitō's Shinsengumi enters the Castle of Osaka, the foot of the castle wall was on fire and they were forced to withdraw to the Hachiken Kyouya Chubee house. Eventually at Osaka castle the Shinsengumi Taishi of Saitō were provided with 155 ryo.
  • January 9th. Nagakura and the others embark on the Jundō Maru (Jun'ugo Maru) sailing in Tempozan sea towards Edo.
  • January 10th. The others including Kondō and company embarks on Fuji-san maru (Fujimaru) sailing in Tempozan sea towards Edo. It is not recorded where (what ship) Saitō embarked on.
  • January 12th. Jundō Maru enters Shinagawa
  • January 15th. Fujimaru enters Shinagawa and 63 people stays at the Kamaya. The wounded soldiers including Kondō heads for the medicine clinic of Matsumoto Ryoujun. Saitō stays first at the Kamaya but then proceeds to the medicine clinic.
  • January 18th. Allowance is paid to the Shinsengumi who took encampment in the Kamaya.
  • January 19th. Saitō receives treatment for a slight injury in the clinic at Izumibashi (Matsumoto Ryoujun).
  • January 27th. Saitō and the rest who received treatment at the clinic in Izumibashi, with the exception of Kondō and Okita, moves to the medicine pavilion.
  • January 28th. Saitō whose treatment for his injury ended, moves to Ukyounosuke's home in Kaji Hashikado.

February -

  • February 12th. Kondō Isami and the Shinsengumi receives instructions to guard Tokugawa Yoshinobu who was going to Edo castle.
  • February 13th. Allowance money was paid to the Shinsengumi Taishi like Saitō and company because they acted as Yoshinobu's guards.
  • February 15th. Saitō and other Shinsengumi Taishi acts as a guard to former Shogun Tokugawa Yoshinobu.
  • February 25th. Saitō and company finishes the duty of acting as Yoshinobu's guards.
  • February 27th. Saitō and the Shinsengumi received 2,394 ryo from the Tokugawa bakufu for their dispatch in Koushuu.
  • February 28th. The Shinsengumi is ordered for departure for the front for the pacification of Koushuu and an allowance was provided.

50 ryo was paid to Shinkichi Miyagawa who was under Saitō's command when he was killed in the Tenma-ya store incident of miura of the Kishuu clan.

March -

  • March 1st. Shinsengumi was renamed to Koyou Chibuntai when they sent their troops from Edo to Koshuu. Saitō's position in the Kōyō Chibuntai was Fukuchō Jokin. The Koyou Chibuntai along with Saitō stays at Shinjuku Naito.
  • March 2nd. Kooyou Chibuntai puts up at two separate lodgings in Hachioji and Fuchu.
  • March 3rd. On this day they encamped at Yose inn.
  • March 4th. They encamped at Koma-umakai (Komaka?) inn. Saitō and the others hears the news that Itagaki Taisuke has led the New Government Army's successful entry into Koufu castle. Saitō who heard the invasion of Koufu castle, doesn't want to fight along with Nagakura and Harada if there were no reinforcements from those who lived in the vicinity. Kondō and Hijikata requests assistance from the Aizu han to send Aizu soldiers as reinforcements.
  • March 5th. Saitō of the Koyou Chibuntai is in battle formation in Katsunuma. Saitō defends the Kannonzaka bypass in between Tsuruse and katsunuma. The Koyou Chibunta was in a desperate fight at Kashio, Kond Isami had Saitō and his group pull out towards Edo because the reinforcements they requested from Aizu and nearby village did not arrive. The effect of this is described and they are pushed back to Hachioji.
  • March 9th. Saitō of the Kōyō Chibuntai moves backward to hachioji.
  • March 10th. Saitō of the Kōyō Chibuntai headed to Edo as it was unlikely the reinforcements would arrive anymore, they passed through Hino at night time because the New Government Troops had used local allies in the Koshuu area.
  • March 11th. Saitō's Kōyō Chibuntai arrives in Edo.
  • March 12th. Nagakura, Harada and two others Saitō Hajime and Ogato Shuntarou remained, while kumebe Masachika took the injured soldiers of the Shinsengumi to Aizu. Saitō at this time is not included in this group of injured soldiers brought to Aizu.
  • March 13th. The remaining Shinsengumi soldiers gather at Gohei Shinden Masako house. It has been recorded in the story "Kondō Isami in Ayase-son", in the past of Kaneko "at 35 Yamaguchi who seems to be a good natured man and samurai of 6 years". It's not certain whether it talks about Saitō as the age is different by one year and the name does not come out.

April -

  • April 2nd. They leave Gohei Shinden and setup encampment in Nagareyama.
  • April 4th. Since Kondō Isami surrendered to the New Government Army the previous day, the remaining Shinsengumi squad in Nagareyama disarmed itself and went to Aizu.
  • April 6th. Saitō leads the Shinsengumi and departs from Aizu Wakamatsu to the front and encamps at Akatsu inn.
  • April 21st. The Shinsengumi goes to the front aiming for Shirakawa Castle from Sandai.
  • April 22nd. Shinsengumi encamps at Shirakawa Komine Jouka inn.
  • April 23rd. The Shinsengumi defends the Shirasaka Kanmon (Shirasaka barrier).
  • April 25th. The New government army attacks the Shirasaka barrier.
  • April 26th. The Shinsengumi defends the Shirasaka barrier from the Shirakawa attack of the New Government Army.
  • April 28th. The Shinsengumi encamped in Aktasu inn going by way of Shirakawa from Nagareyama.
  • April 29th. The Shinsengumi and Hijikata arrives and joins Aizu. At this time there is no proof that Saitō was participating in both.
  • repeat month 5-Apr Matsudaira Katamori has an audience with the Shinsengumi, Saitō as one of the Captain's of the Shinsengumi is ordered to go to the front, to Shirakawa district.

Shinsengumi defended the Shirasaka barrier and took the place of Sendai soldier. They took a rest at a two storied building at Shirakawa Jouka Nikaidate, encampment was done at Wakimoto Yanagi-ya (Yanagi inn).

May -

  • May 1st. The Shirakawa Komine castle was captured by the attack of the New Government Army. The Shinsengumi group that was commanded by Saitō was defeated at the Kurokawa battle and they stayed at Seishidou lodging.
  • May 2nd. They leave the Seishidou inn, encampment in Sandai.
  • May 26th. The Shinsengumi could not recover Shirakawa Komine castle and they withdraw to Kamigoya (Kamikoya) village for encampment and the New Government Army captures Shirakawa.
  • May 27th. While they head to Ooyachi village from Shirakawa Komine they met the New Government Army and engage in war but since there were no support soldiers, they retreat to Makinouchi. Recently in Sandai, Saitō's name appears as a coomander of the Shinsengumi Taishi in "Aizu Sandai Hisashi Jinja Meibo" (comment: Unsure of exact name but translates to "Aizu Sandai member list of names").

June -

  • June 3rd. When the Aizu feudal lord Matsudaira makes an official business trip to Yoshinori, Saitō and company returns from Sandai to have an audience with him. Saitō and company receives 25 ryo as war funds.
  • June 6th. Saitō who leads the Shinsengumi goes to the front departing to Oohira-kuchi.
  • June 12th. Saitō's group is once again defeated as it tries to recapture Shirakawa Komine from Hata village.
  • June 16th. He returned from Hata village to Fukura, staying at Senjuin lodging.
  • June 25th. The battle to re-capture Shirakawa Komine castle is done but it is unsuccessful.

July -

  • July 1st. Although the Shinsengumi goes to war from Hata village and invades the Tenjin mountain to capture Shirakawa Komine castle, they are beaten by the New Government Army and withdraws from Hatori to Fukura to re-organize the preparations.
  • July 7th. It went to war from Fukura to Moriya-machi (Moriya town).
  • July 8th. It went from Moriya-machi to Naganuma encamping there to rest.
  • July 25th. The fight to recapture Shirakawa Komine castle is done and it loses for the 7th time, they leave. The sending of troops to Shirakawa ended substantially.
  • July 29th. Saitō and the Shinsengumi soldiers had planned to send more troops from Moriya-machi to the Kooriyama area, but many clans/feudal lords in Ou (Tohoku area) had pledge allegiance to the New Government side so the dispatch of troops was called off.

August -

  • August 1st. Saitō's Shinsengumi pulls out from Moriya towards Sandai
  • August 18th. Saitō's Shinsengumi joins the Denshuu Daiichi Daitai and Kaiten-tai in Sandai moves Ishimushi-kuchi and stays overnight at Inawashiro Jouka (comment: Jouka can be translated to near the castle or at the foot of the castle wall)
  • August 19th. They stay at Kijikoya village at Kiji Koyamura lodging
  • August 20th. They go to Bonari Touge (Bonari Pass)
  • August 21st. Saitō arranges for three cannons for the defense of Masaiwa in Bonari-touge. Instense firefight between both armies occurred here. The situation of the Shinsengumi is recorded at this time as "The war and tear on the 21st, total of Yamaguchi Jirō's Shinsengumi, officer, infantryman, leads 120 or more to Shougunzan". It is described in "Wakamatsu-ki Soukou" ("Account draft of Wakamatsu") Because the New Government Army made a surprise attack at the rear of the Shinsengumi whose view was obstructed by fog, Saitō retreated to Inawashiro district. Although Saitō meets Kuroda Denta a Nihonmatsu Taishi, at Tanima Hosomichi and both head towards Aizu, he separates in response to the attack of the New government army. Afterwards, Saitō enters the vicinity near the Wakumatsu castle by way of Juurokubashi.
  • August 22nd. Shirobee Taniguchi describes in his diary with regards to the motive of the Old Shogunate army not staying at Aizu thus, "Now that Aizu's fall is imminent, it is not in the spirit of Makoto to abandon it" Those Shinsengumi who followed Saitō after this stayed at Shukuyashiki's Saitō-ya. The other Shinsengumi who did not go with Saitō stayed at Tenneiji lodging.
  • August 23rd. Saitō and the remaining Shinsengumi who stayed with him tried to enter the Aizu castle by the north side but could not because the gate was closed. At this point the Aizu clan shut all the castle gates of the castle and the New government troop had surrounded the vicinity around the castle, the south gate with its stone wall only consisted of wooden gate became the target. However the Shinsengumi who remained unfamiliar with the geography and did not know the existence of the southern gate. The situation of the Shinsengumi at this time "It suddenly drew near the enemy, a riot happens in the city and the soldiers are scattered around Shiokawa vicinity, from "Wakamatsu-ki Soukou".

September -

  • September 5th. While guarding Nyoraidou, Buddha temple, the New Government Army came and the battle became fierce, the Shinsengumi that Saitō led decreased and got scattered
  • September 23rd. Saitō says that although he was fighting together with Sagawa Kanbee at Minamiadzu the Aizu han surrenders. The Aizu clan's military magistrate Asaba Chuunosuke informs that the conflict was finished. Sagawa Kanbee's fight outside the castle ended. The New Government Army considers in Shiokawa the punishment of Saitō and others who fought outside of the castle.


January -

  • January 4th. Saitō who fought outside the castle is assigned to the Takada penitence group and prays at Amida-ji Temple.
  • January 5th. Aida Kakuzaemon, an Aizu feudal soldier finishes writing "Kaihan Hokuetsu Takada Kishin jinmei" which records Saitō's false names "Saitō Hajime koto Ichinose Denpachi". The Takada penitence group which includes Saitō divides into six going to Takada from Aizu, towards Joetsu city and they are penitent in Higashi honganji Temple in Teramachi.

September -

  • September 2nd. Saitō and others were permitted the right to bear a surname and carry a sword by the Meiji government. The Meiji government pardons the crime of Saitō and others who fought in the Boshin war.


April 8th. Onogi, an Aizu retainer records in "Echigo Takada Tsumemeisai yuujin Chou" Saitō's false names "Saitō Hajime koto Ichinose Depanchi" Saitō Hajime uses the false name Fujita Goro. June He goes by land to Tonami by winter time and resides with Kurasawa Hiejiuemon who acted as small councilor of the Tonami clan.


August -

Tokio Takagi becomes Kurasawa's adopted daughter.

  • August 25th. Saitō marries Shinoda Yaso who is a daughter of an old Aizu feudal retainer. He acted as bodyguard for Matsudaira Kataharu who was the feudal lord of Tonami when he goes to Tokyo for the abolition of clans and establishment of prefectural system. It is said that at this time two haori coats were received.


January 29th. The Tonami draws up the Jinsaru (Kansoku) register of Gonohe village where Saitō was currently residing. March The Jinsaru census is concluded. In the Jinsaru register Shinoda Yaso and Fujita Goro (Saitō) living at 132 residence. Tokio Takagi went to Tokyo.


February 10th. Saitō moves from Kurasawa's mansion to Shichirou Ueda's house which was where Yaso originally lived in.


June 10th. Saitō left Yaso in Gonohe and went to Tokyo. (divorced with Yaso or Yaso's death? There is a problem with the family records overlapping in years. It is uncertain whether this is a mistake or a doctored document) Sagawa Kanbee and Yamakawa Hiroshi served as the lower go-between of Saitō and Tokio's marriage. It is assumed that Matsudaira Katamori served as the higher sponsor. The arrangement of the marriage and marriage itself it said to be between fall up to spring of 1875.


June 1st. Katsu dies. She was Saitō's older sister who married Souma Toshiaki a doctor of the Mito Tokugawa family. Helps Matsumoto Ryoujun, Nagakura Shinapchi and others in erecting a stone monument for the Shinsengumi at Jutoku-ji temple boundary in Itabashi Tokyo.


July -

  • July 20th. Fujita Yaso moves into Kurasawa Hiejiuemon's house, the last record of Yaso found in the family register.

December -

  • December 15th. Eldest son Tsutomu is born. The godparent is Yamakawa Hiroshi who served as the councilor of the Tonami clan, a principal retainer of the old Aizu clan.


February -

  • February 20th. Entered the Metropolitan Police because of the Satsuma Rebellion (Seinan War) which had started on Feb 17. There he was appointed by the Assistant Police Inspector. Upon departure for the front (of the Seinan war) he was enlisted under the Hagihara-tai.

May -

  • May 8th. Saitō who belongs to the Bungo Kuchi Keishi Choubotai is in the gathering in front of the Metropolitan Police department which sailed from yokohama port to Kyushu in the evening. A photograph is said to have been taken at this time (the photo where he is sitting at the right hand edge). Saitō had served as semi-captain of the second troop.
  • May 20th. Visit in the Kobe port.
  • May 21st. Arrives and disembarks at Saganosekikou. Encampment at Tokou temple.
  • May 22nd. It arrived at Oita-cho via Tsurusaki. The encampment lodging was centered at Takechou Kiya Kengorou (place?).
  • May 23rd. The members marched towards Imaichi.
  • May 24th. Was included in the advance party going to Kamitsutsumi village, then the attack forces captured Okashiro castle.
  • May 25th. They proceeded to Takeda-kuchi and crosses Oosakatouge (Osaka peack) to battle Saigou's troops. Later they capture Houshi-yama (mountain) and proceeded to the foot of the mountain to a town in a private house lodging for encampment.
  • May 27th. The Hoshi mountain was protected as a back-up. The government sent troops (with the exception of the 2nd platoon) fought against Saigo's troops from the front and fell into trouble. The 2nd platoon which included Saitō made a detour and attacked Saigo's army at the back and they were made to retreat back towards Hoshi mountain.
  • May 28th. It passes Kaguchi and arrives at Kamikaguchi to Edmura government office.
  • May 29th. Okashiro is captured.
  • May 30th. The government troops march with the exception of Saitō's 2nd Platoon.
  • May 31st. Okashiro was defended and it started in the duty of being at post in Sonawa.

June -

  • June 1st. Saitō's 2nd platoon marches to Utaeda to the Metropolitan Police recruitment corps. The Metropolitan Police enlistment corp asks for assistance from the Choshuu han. Yoshisuke's troops arrive at Rokkayama.
  • June 6th. Encampment is done in Nakatsu.
  • June 7th. It advances to Hisabe village and encampment is done.
  • June 21st. Appointed as sentry to Komanaki-touge (Komanaki peak) and marches to Fusube field.
  • June 23rd. Leaves Shigeoka and went to Kurosawa village.
  • June 24th. Encampment at Todoroki Koshi inn.
  • June 25th. Although it went to war at Todoroki touge taking base at Maruichi ridge's Satsu, since there were no reinforcements they retreated.
  • June 28th. In the first ten days of the next month, it went into a fierce battle with Saigo's army around Shigeoka.

July -

  • July 12th. The second platoon advance to Mikawauchi as a forerunner towards Todoroki Koshiguchi. At 2 AM Saitō leads the group from the right, starting from Morisaki village and progresses to Fukuhara passing Yakio touge, engages Saigo's army into battle and drives them away. Saitō progresses to Takatoko-yama and attacks Saigou's military encampment, here he receives a gunshot wound. Because of this he is sent to Saikioohashi Houtai-jo (Saeki Oohashi bandange facility) in Dainichi temple at Saeki Jouka.

October -

  • October 28th. Return from Kyushu to Tokyo.


March 30th. Was appointed as Probationary Assistant Police Inspector (Keibu Shiho) by the Metropolitan police (Keishi) department.


August -

  • August 4th. Was appointed as Assistant Police Inspector.

October -

  • October 4th. Second son Tsuyoshi was born.
  • October 8th. He was awarded 100 yen and a medal, "The Order of the Blue Paulownia" (for services rendered in the Seinan war).


January -

  • January 9th. From the Department of the army it is appointed to Gyougakari and receives a monthly salary of 15 yen.

September -

  • September 9th. Is dismissed from the appointment of the Department of the Army.

November -

  • November 11th. Is appointed as a Police Sargeant by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department with the salary of 12 yen.


November -

  • November 26th. In a kendo tournament sponsored by the police headquarters Tomiyama Madoka, a police sergeant and Fujita Goro (Saitō) fights the result was a draw.

December -

  • December 7th. Salary becomes 15 yen.


July - Promoted as Assistant Police Inspector.


February -

  • February 7th. The salary becomes 18 JPY.

March -

  • March 29th. Midori Nishino who marries Saitō's eldest son Tsutomu is born.

July -

  • July 1st. Third son Tatsuo is born.


Tatsuo (Saitō's youngest son) is adopted to the Namuzawa family, as Namuzawa Shichiro's son.


November 1st. Saitō is appointed as Police Inspector.


January -

  • January 23rd. Saitō who was working for the Aso Police Station wins over Watanabe Yutaka in a kendo tournament sponsored by the Metropolitan Police Department.

April -

  • April 2nd. Saitō retires from the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department (TMPD). With Hideo's assistance he gets work as a museum guard in Tokyo Education Museum with the salary of 12 JPY.


August - Yukiko who is the daughter of Saitō's elder brother (Hiroaki) dies.


January 13th. A permanent change of registered domicile is done from 269 Gonohe, Sannohe-gun Aomori to 17, Wase-cho Fukushima.


March 31st. For professional diligence in duty 10 JPY is granted.


April -

  • April 23rd. Monthly salary becomes 15 JPY.

December -

  • December 19th. For professional diligence in duty 12 JPY is granted.


February -

  • February 27th. Retires from the Tokyo Educational Museum. Visits Yamakawa Hiroshi frequently and is said to say he wanted his bones to be buried beside the fallen Aizu soldiers at Amitabha temple.

April -

  • April 13th. Receives 30 JPY because he had worked for the Tokyo Normal School for seven years or more (the Tokyo Educational Museum was an affiliate of the Tokyo Normal School). After retiring he then worked for the Tokyo Women's Normal School as a general clerk and person in charge of accounting.


June 1st. Souma Toshiaki, Saitō's brother in law (Katsu's husband) passes away. Hide-ko Fujita an expert in the tea ceremony from Gonohe goes to Tokyo at 23 and lodges in the Saitō house (Fujita house).


October - Tokio plants cherry blossoms in Amida-ji Temple for those killed in action during the Aizu war.


While currently residing in Tokyo, Tokio becomes a promoter for purchasing graves for the Aizu dead. She contributes 250 sen (a sen is hundredth of a yen).


February 27th. Saitō retires from the Tokyo Women's Normal School.


February 9th. Saitō's grandchild is born, the son of Fujita Tsutomu.


Saito's grave in 2008

November 12th. Tokio's name appears in the "Aizu Association Bulletin" for being promoter for purchasing graves for Aizu people killed in war.


January 26th. The Amida-ji Temple grave purchase was recorded in "Aizu Association Bulletin". Saitō himself contributes 10,000 yen


September 28th. Saitō leaves the Teikoku Taigaku Miura Naika Byoutu (Imperial University Miura Internal Medicine hospital ward), he dies of a stomach ulcer.

Saitō in fiction[edit]

Saitō has become a better-known figure among young anime fans in the West since several anime and manga series used him as a character. The popular Rurouni Kenshin series portrays him as somewhat of a rival character, Saitō Hajime, once a mortal enemy of former imperial assassin and protagonist Himura Kenshin, and eventually an uneasy ally. As portrayed in Rurouni Kenshin, Saitō is very tall and plain-looking compared to the other characters and has a cold and quiet disposition, following some of the very few descriptions of his personality in real life. He is also harsh, sarcastic, resorts coolly to violence, and maintains an attitude of unflappable superiority in all situations. This Saitō chain-smokes instead of drinking, claims to tend to want to kill people whenever he drinks, and is fond of soba. In Rurouni Kenshin, Saitō is granted special permission as a specialized police lieutenant to carry a katana. The Gatotsu sword technique that he uses in the series is similar to the description of his original sword technique, but is purely fictional, and not entirely accurate to real swordfighting. The real left-handed thrust is used, in most sword styles, as a surprise maneuver. It is executed as a tsuki or thrust while stepping through, releasing the right hand at the last moment, leaving the left holding the end of the hilt. The grip-change and the step grant an extra foot or more of reach, completely changing the spacing of the fight, but it must be done suddenly to be most effective. The "Aku Soku Zan" motto he lives by (悪即斬, most literally, "Kill those who are evil immediately,", translated as "Slay Evil Immediately" in the English dub and as "Swift Death to Evil" in the VIZ manga) is most likely fictitious, though it does encompass a common sentiment of the Shinsengumi during the Bakumatsu.

In Peacemaker Kurogane, another historical manga and anime that tells the story of Ichimura Tetsunosuke who joins the Shinsengumi to avenge the deaths of his parents, he appears as the captain of the third troop and is rather laidback and mystical (like a shaman), with a perpetually sleepy expression.

He also appears in Kaze Hikaru, in which he is portrayed as a quiet and serious character, who was friends with (and bears a striking resemblance to) the main character's older brother.

Saitō is the protagonist in the manga Burai, a fictional story about the Shinsengumi during the late Tokugawa shogunate.

In 2000, Saitō were the main theme of an entry of the International Obfuscated C Code Contest (a programming contest where the goal is to produce creatively obfuscated C code).[16] The source code of this program depicts an anime portrait of Saitō in ASCII Art. When executed, it writes the source code of a second program, which source code writes "aku" in ascii art. This second program is perfectly valid and can be compiled and then executed. Its output is a third program, which source code writes "soku" in ascii art. When executed, this third program writes a fourth valid program, which source code writes "zan". When executed, the fourth program writes the second program back (the one depicting "aku"). This loop of executions thus writes "aku soku zan", Saitō's motto.[17]

In the 2003 Japanese film When the Last Sword Is Drawn (Mibu gishi den), Saitō is played by Kōichi Satō. At first, Sato portrays Saitō as a cold, dark, uncaring captain of the Shinsengumi. However, Saitō changes as a man through his interactions with Kanichiro Yoshimura (played by Kiichi Nakai) during the last years of the Shinsengumi.

In the 2004 NHK Taiga drama Shinsengumi!, actor Joe Odagiri played the role of Saitō.

A Kenshin series look-alike named Keiichiro Washizuka was featured in The Last Blade series of games. Again, he was characterized by a cold and quiet persona, along with a fierce loyalty to the Shinsengumi. His appearance was consistent with the Saitō featured in the Rurouni Kenshin's Trust and Betrayal OVA, and fights with a series of "sliding charge" attacks resembling the Gatotsu.

Saitō is also featured in Getsumei Seiki (manga), Bakumatsu Renka Shinsengumi (video game series) and in Code of the Samurai (video game series), Hakuouki (video game series and 2010 anime).

There is also a parody of Saito Hajime in the anime Gintama, as Saito Shimaru.

Saitō Hajime is also shown in later episodes of the anime "Shura no Toki: Age of Chaos" and recently, "Hakuōki Shinsengumi Kitan." He is also shown in the continuing series of this anime, "Hakuouki Hekketsuroku". In these two series, Saitō is portrayed as a quiet character, who is a master at sword fighting. Saitō is also in the prologue of Hakuouki Shinsengumi Kitan and Hakouki Shinsengumi Hekketsuroku called Hakuouki Reimeiroku. In all three series, Saitō is portrayed as the only left-handed member of Shinsengumi and of the all the characters. Being a left-handed samurai is also "strange", from the reaction of the character Ibuki Ryunosuke at the end of episode one (Hakouki Reimeiroku) where viewers are first introduced to Saitō's character. Kondō also points out later in the series how being a left-handed samurai is advantageous because there are no "known" ways of counter-attacking a left-handed attack.

Actor Yosuke Eguchi portrays Saitō in the 2012 live-action adaptation film of Rurouni Kenshin.

Played by Shugo Oshinari on one episode of the NHK historical documentary series Rekishi Hiwa Historia.

In the 2013 NHK Taiga drama, Yae no Sakura, Kenji Furuya of Dragon Ash played the role of Saitō.


  1. ^ a b c Itō, "Takada kinshin kara Tonami zaijūroku," p. 145
  2. ^ a b Itō, "Shinsengumi kessei made," p. 40.
  3. ^ Akama Wako,Shinsengumi Saitō Hajime No Nazo(Japanese),Sinjinbutuouraisha,pp.52-57
  4. ^ Name reading as per Tōdō, p. 198.
  5. ^ Kikuchi, "Saitō Hajime no Aizu-sensō," pp. 126-130.
  6. ^ Itō, "Takada kinshin kara Tonami zaijūroku," pp. 137-138.
  7. ^ Itō, "Saitō Hajime nenfu," p. 238
  8. ^ Nagaya, p. 36
  9. ^ Itō, p. 238
  10. ^ a b Nagaya, p. 36.
  11. ^ Itō, pp. 238-239
  12. ^ Tōdō, pp. 194, 198, 204
  13. ^ Itō, "Saitō Hajime nenfu," p. 238.
  14. ^ a b Tōdō, p. 198.
  15. ^ Itō, p. 242.
  16. ^ Don Yang (2000). "dhyang entry to IOCCC'00" (C source code). 
  17. ^ "Explanation of the dhyang entry to IOCCC'00" (plain text). IOCCC. 2000. 


  • Kikuchi Akira (2003). "Saitō Hajime no Aizu-sensō," pp. 110–135 in Shinsengumi Saitō Hajime no Subete. (Tokyo: Shin Jinbutsu Ōraisha).
  • Itō Tetsuya (2003). "Saitō Hajime nenfu," p. 223-243 in Shinsengumi Saitō Hajime no Subete. (Tokyo: Shin Jinbutsu Ōraisha).
  • Itō Tetsuya (2003). "Takada kinshin kara Tonami zaijūroku," pp. 136–149 in Shinsengumi Saitō Hajime no Subete. (Tokyo: Shin Jinbutsu Ōraisha).
  • Nagaya Yoshie (2003). "Saitō Hajime no shūhen (shutsuji to sono kakeizu)," pp. 27–37 in Shinsengumi Saitō Hajime no Subete. (Tokyo: Shin Jinbutsu Ōraisha).
  • Shinsengumi Encyclopedia. Tokyo: Shin Jinbutsu Oraisha, 1978.
  • Tōdō Toshihisa (2003). "Saitō Hajime kanren jinbutsu jiten," pp. 193–206 in Shinsengumi Saitō Hajime no Subete. (Tokyo: Shin Jinbutsu Ōraisha).
  • Yamamura Tatsuya (1998). Shinsengumi Kenkyaku-Den. Tokyo: PHP Interface. ISBN 4-569-60176-6
  • 幕臣取り立て at

External links[edit]

  1. Hajime no Kizu A site dedicated to Saitō Hajime and the Shinsengumi in various fictional and historical incarnations.
  2. wiki.samurai-archives Website that catalogs information on the Shinsengumi and it's historical activities and members.
  3. Shinsengumi HQ Timeline of events pertaining to the Shinsengumi from historical research, from before 1860 until after Meiji.