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2009 January : ShinsengumiHQ


January 3, 2009 · Filed Under makoto · Comment 
Secretarytocapt3: manga cover
Anne Cain: Saitou Hajime
Aishiterukouji: New uniform design
Bait: New uniform design
Claudia: Okita Soujiro
Claudia: Rurouni Kenshin Characters
Secretarytocapt3: Spoof
Secretarytocapt3: Fujita Goro in Seinan War
Secretarytocapt3: Hijikata Toshizo
Secretarytocapt3: Spoof
Tohlee: If Itou Kashitaro had a daughter…
Secretarytocapt3: spoof Mr & Mrs Smith
Secretarytocapt3: spoof Myspace
James: Okita
Phoebe: Shinsengumi
Secretarytocapt3: Peacemaker Saitou
Bait: spoof Red Bull
S-girl: Kondou Isami & Hijikata Toshizou
Saitohworship: New uniform design
Tohlee: Okita
Tohlee: Okita
Secretarytocapt3: Saitou in 47 Ronin Costume
Secretarytocapt3: Spoof Gatorade
Secretarytocapt3: Spoof Shinsenschool
Secretarytocapt3: Saitou w/ Tattoos
Secretarytocapt3: Saitou Hajime
Secretarytocapt3: Nakano Takeko
Tohlee: Peacemaker Kurogane Tetsu & Saizou
Secretarytocapt3: spoof The Bachelor
Secretarytocapt3: Takagi Tokio and Yamamoto Yae
Artist name lost: If Todou Heisuke had a daughter…
Tohlee: NHK Shinsengumi! Chibi Saitou
Tohlee: NHK Shinsengumi!
Tohlee: NHK Shinsengumi! Takeda Kanryuusai
Artist name lost: Yamazaki Susumu’s Challenge


January 1, 2009 · Filed Under makoto · Comment 


All photographs are the property of Sarah

Interview With Sarah

I had asked Sarah if she read Professors Wright’s outstanding article Wright, Diana E. “Female Combatants and Japan’s Meiji Restoration: the case of Aizu” War in History 2001 v. 8 (4) pages 396-417 which was the basis for the Women’s Brigade website. Before finding this wonderful article many members of this website and mailing list had only heard of Takagi Tokio as the assistant or secretary to Aizu’s Teruhime. On page 413 of the article Tokio is mentioned as forming a bodyguard unit for Teruhime and Matsudaira Katamori’s two other wives. So we were all surprised that Sarah had chosen a more “warrior” theme for Tokio even prior to reading this article which added a new never before known dimension to Tokio.

Sarah “Anyway! Yeah, when I found out that the women of Aizu also fought I thought, “How cool would it be if Tokio had been one of those women?!” Hehe, good guess, eh?”

#1, How did you encounter the Shinsengumi?
Like many people, I’m sure, I first learned about the Shinsengumi through the anime Rurouni Kenshin. I started watching the series in 2000, I believe, and I quickly became obsessed with Saitou. After a little research I learned about the super-cool Shinsengumi. I guess a lot of new information has come up since then, and it’s amazing to me that I knew as little as I did about them when I got my first tattoo, my Shinsengumi flag. It was a spur of the moment decision, to be honest, but I’ve never regretted it.

#2, How long did it take for you to have the artist complete the tattoo? And was it painful?
The first one (the flag) took about 45 minutes, and oddly enough, I don’t remember it being that bad. I’ve had it touched up twice, and both times it hurt a lot more than I remember it hurting the first time.
Tokio took two sessions, one for the outline and the shading, and one for the color. Again, I don’t remember the first session hurting that much, but when I had her colored in it was pretty painful. The odd thing is that after a while, despite the pain, I started to get drowsy (my artist had me lie on my stomach) and I had a hard time getting up when he was done!

#3. How did you explain your intent to your artist or what did you use him/her to use as a guide?
The flag was taken directly out of the Rurouni Kenshin manga. I found Tokio when I did a google image search for “naginata.” Sometimes I have random tattoo inspiration, and the second I saw the ukiyo-e of a young woman with a naginata, I knew she was my next tattoo. I took it to an artist friend of mine to draw an outline, and my tattoo artist went from there. The color scheme was my own decision, since in the original her kimono was black and I like very colorful tattoos.

#4. How did you decide on the design—are there personal motivations and what will this tattoo mean to you?
The first one, as I said, was a spur of the moment thing. My sister was getting a tattoo, and I refused to let her go without me. So I grabbed my manga and we went.
Tokio was slightly redesigned for me by my friend, but I basically went with the original. When inspiration hits, I go with it. Being a feminist, Tokio sort of represents feminine strength. No matter what kind of girl you are, I think it’s important to be able to kick some ass when the need arises!

#5. Many people harbor negative stereotypes against people who have
tattoos. If you meet these people, how do you explain the subject of your tattoo to them?

I don’t usually. =p
I like them, so I don’t really feel the need to justify them to anyone. But if I had to, I suppose I’d say that they represent strength to me, and most importantly the importance of sticking to your beliefs and what you think is right, no matter what the consequences. It doesn’t matter if you win or lose, as long as you do what’s right.


January 1, 2009 · Filed Under makoto · Comment 


All photographs are the property of Laura


January 1, 2009 · Filed Under makoto · Comment 


All photographs are the property of Natohi


January 1, 2009 · Filed Under makoto · Comment 


All photographs are the property of Wolverinesg7.

Interview With Wolverinesg7

Ques #1 “How did you encounter the Shinsengumi?”

I had a friend in Japan who would help me get information about the 47 ronin. She told me about the Shinsengumi.Then I asked my Sensei and he told me that those men wheir legends, true Samurais. When I got home I did a google search and came across the SHQ web site and never looked back. So in terms its all your fault..

Ques #2 “How long did it take for you to have the artist complete the
tattoo? And was it painful?”

I had got my shoulder blade done first that took 7hrs. Then when it healed I went to another artist and this on took three sessions.

Ques #3 “How did you explain your intent to your artist or what did you
show to him/her to use as a guide?”

Well first I told my artist about my love for Japan, Samurai, and Shinsengumi so he can get a feeling of where I’m coming from. I printed photos from the site as a guide.

Ques #4 “How did you decide on the design—are there personal
motivations and what will this tattoo mean to you?”

This is my deication to all Shinsengumi members who fought like true Samurais and showing the world the true meaning of honor, duty, and loyalty. Thats what I look up to and thats what motivates me.

Ques #5 “Many people harbor negative stereotypes against people who
have tattoos. If you meet these people, how do you explain the subject of
your tattoo to them?”

That every tattoo has a symbolic meaning. May it be one letter or one line, I bet they still have a story behind them.


Aizu Festival 2004

January 1, 2009 · Filed Under makoto · Comment 
Aizu Festival 2004
Photographs and comments by Tama
Please do not link to images.
The day before of the Aizu parade, Koji Yamamoto( wearing sunglasses) visited the city hall of Aizu Wakamatsu to be appointed to Ambassador of goodwill of Aizu Wakamatsu at this occasion.
Many fan girls (including me and my friend) met him at the entrance.
Opening ceremony of the Aizu Clan parades.
The messenger in armor announce the opening.
Ceremony of arrow shouting from the Crane castle (Tsurugajo Castle).
An off stage shot just before the opening address by NHK Shinsengumi actors. You can see Koji Yamamoto (Hijikata), Koi Kumatsura (Masajiro Ozeki :the standard-bearer of Shinsengumi), and Shouei(Kai Shimada)
Opening stage address by Koji Yamamoto. He told us the message from Masato Sakai (Yamanami), giving an imitation of him, which excited the audience.
Aizu clan parade. Cortege in the Daimyo procession.
Princess Kiku and followers.
A famous novelist Mitsugu Saotome, author of many historical novel about Bakumatsu or Shinsengumi among other a long novel entitled, “Aizushi damashii”( The sprit of samurai of Aizu), portrayed famous chief retainer Tanomo Saigo. He has participated to the parade since more than 30 years!
Nagaoka Juushitai (Nagaoka musketeers)
Famous Gatling gun
[left] Military governor Tsugunosuke Kawai
(I forgot already some who’s who, so if someone find out possibly mistake, please let me know.)

[right] Matsudaira Katamori. Katamori sama was portrayed by Mr.Katahisa Matsudaira. As you can guess by the name he is the direct descendent of Katamori and the present master of the Matsdaira of Aizu, representing 14th generation.

And Aizu shinsengumi arrived.
Saito in the parade.
And NHK Shinsengumi!
Hijikata san look at me!(It seemed I was placed at “wrong side” this time.)
Every actors stopped at the shopping arcade to make another speech.
This time, Koji began his address by saying, “Mataseta na”(I’ve kept you waiting!) the word of NHK Hijikata at Ikedaya raid which made scream fan girls again. There were too many people but I called to him,”Hijikata saaan!”, though.(LOL)
After the shopping arcade, we moved nearby hotel and after taking lunch in the room, we was waiting for the arrival of the parade which would pass just in front of our hotel.
There was less crowded and we could see better this time!
(To approach the parade, we was acrossing the street just in front of a Princesse’s car, which deserved the death as punishment in Edo period.)
And here Aizu Shinsengumi again.
Tadasaburo Sasaki and Mimawarigumi. Sasaki sama was portrayed by a director of an enterprise in Aizu.
No need to explain, them again!
This time, we are so close to them. He didn’t look at me and discussing something with the man who was pulling his car, but I didn’t have the courage to call him “Hijikata san” again. Because he looked like too Hijikata .
(I noticed only after watching this photo, how his chest and hands were sexy. LOL)
And Shimada seemed so friendly and smiled to everyone.
Suzaku (phoenix) unit
Seiryu (blue dragon) unit
Princess Teru of Aizu,ladies in waiting, and guards.
A westerner came from Prussia, Henry( or Heinrich, if he was a Prussian?) Schnell who became the military adviser of Aizu clan and later organized the first Japanese immigration to America.
He is accompanied by Okei, one of the first Japanese immigrant woman.
Genbu (turtle) unit
The banner of Joushitai
Takeko Nakano portrayed by the chief of the student council of a High school in Aizu wakamatsu, followed by female pole sword (naginata) unit , Joushitai.
NHK again. This time we got back to the Crane Castle to attend the closing ceremony and waited the parade again! (oh! Yes)This time, Hijikata looked at us. (or toward us) But no photo.
The closing address by actors on the stage.

Mibu gishi Den (2003)

January 1, 2009 · Filed Under fiction · Comment 


are from the Region 2 dvd you can purchase here
we encourage all fans to purchase the official copy and support
quality film making. Everything is the
property of Shochiku.

We also
recommend the OST
by Hisaishi Jo (best known for his work in Princess Mononoke)

was originally a novel by Asada
, TV series starring Watanabe
as Yoshimura and Naoto
as Saito and finally major motion picture.


, Okita in Mibugishiden was Yamanami
in NHK’s

, Saito, was Serizawa

, Yoshimura was the voice
of Hijikata Toshizo
in Kon
‘s animated feature SHINSENGUMI


Screencap1 Screencap2 Screencap3 Screencap4
Screencap5 Screencap6 Screencap7 Screencap8
Screencap9 Screencap10
Behind the scenes1 Behind the scenes2
Behind the scenes3 Behind the scenes4
Behind the scenes5 Behind the scenes6
Behind the scenes7


This was
a film I definitely had to watch twice, once to pay close attention
to the subtitles to get the backstory of the Yoshimura character
down and then again to be able to concentrate on everything
else. I know it was the story of the real Yoshimura Kanchiro
but I would have been much happier with more time spent on his
Shingengumi comrades and their explots instead of flashing back
to the family he left behind in Nanbu so often.

What action scenes there were, were super and I would have loved
to see them longer. To me Koichi Sato stole the film as Saitou
Hajime who had a loathing/respect relationship with Yoshimura.
In fact all the main Shinsengumi players shown were excellent,
Nagakura, Okita, Hijikata even Kondou. This is a definite must


http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0359692/ deals with Yoshimura, a
fictitious character (this was mentioned on a site—it is -incorrect-
Yoshimura Kanichiro was a REAL person) created to represent
alot of the other nameless samurai/swordsmen and I think that
the actor

portraying Yoshimura did a great job. However, good acting cannot
make up for a poor writing/directing in regards to the fate
of Yoshimura (his last

scenes in particular which dragged on and on and on).

The movie should have been better edited because the content
did not move the story along (I’ve seen MANY Japanese films
by several directors and although some are SLOW the content
is still relevant to the story)

[I know that the film is a drama but who watches a film on the
Shinsengumi and not expect to see some ACTION?] To me, if feels
like the fired the choreographer who designed the first action
sequence between Yoshimura and Nagakura (one Nagakura’s one
handed overhead deflection looked cool)…if they sprinkled
the movie with a few more of those I’d be REALLY happy.

my final score 8/10

*good analyzation of left handed sword technique (examination
of a corpse)

*Saito uses his special technique (left hand thrust with right
hand supporting sword) in almost all fight scenes and the directing
is very detailed…he eats with his left hand

*very realistic beheading (this movie is not for kids)

*inclusion of guerilla warfare techniques which the Shinsengumi
DID employ

*showing Saito taking out the trash existing in the Shinsengumi

*demonic Okita

*GREAT fight between Nagakura (cute) and Yoshimura

*cross generational impact of Shinsengumi

*the detail is awesome note Yoshimura’s damaged metal headband
after deflecting a slash to his head from the guy he cornered
in the alley

*S.H. spitting water on the sword handle + catching drops of
rainwater before unsheathing the sword (to get a better grip

[cut scenes worth mentioning]

1) a member of the Shinsengumi threatening an accountant with
a sword and asking for more money to fix his sword (I gather
from the body language)…S.H. sees this and looks at the list
of rules posted on the wall and thinks to himself

*transition* S.H. and Okita beating a guy up in the dojo with
a wooden swords (no body armor)…it is really hard to tell
but it seems that S.H. is beating the guy who earlier threatened
the accountant

2) Hijikata using a rifle!…in the movie he grabs the barrel
of the gun with his hand (shot)…I think the director removed
this because he wanted just to portray Hijikata wielding traditional

3) Okita action scene…Saitou at Toba Fushimi running into
a building with the enemy following…he kills all of them in
the building

4) Okita making fun of Yoshimura while Yoshimura was having
his pic taken (Okita was funny even though I didn’t know what
he was saying I think he was trying to imitate Yoshimura’s accent)

behind the scenes all in Japanese…Koichi Sato looking very
very handsome in a blue kimono…also showed CG techniques for
the beheading scene…showed Okita practicing all of his moves
for filming but then they cut the scene.