Rurouni Kenshin Wiki
Kenshin Himura


Kenshin Himura, Formerly Shinta


緋村 剣心


Himura Kenshin


June 20th, 1849




158cm (5'2")


48kg (106 lbs.)





Blood Type


Professional Status
Discipline Hiten Mitsurugi-Ryu (by Hiko Seijuro XIII)

Ishin Shishi (formerly)

Kamiya Dojo

Occupation Former hitokiri (assassin), rurouni (vagrant)
Team Kenshin-Gumi
Base of Operations

Kyoto, Japan (formerly)

Kamiya Dojo, Tokyo, Japan

Personal Status
Marital Status Married to Kaoru, widowed by first wife.

Yukishiro Tomoe (late wife, deceased), Yukishiro Enishi (former brother-in-law), Kamiya Kaoru (wife), Himura Kenji (son, through Kaoru)

Hiko Seijuro XIII (adoptive father, mentor)

Weapons Sakabato (reversed-edged sword)
First Appearance
Manga Debut Volume 1, Chapter 1
Anime Debut Episode 1
Media Appearances Manga, anime, movie, OVA, novels, video games
Japanese Voice Megumi Ogata (CD book)

Kōichi Yamadera (anime)

Mayo Suzukaze (child) (anime)

English Voice Richard Cansino (anime, credited

as Richard Hayworth)

J. Shanon Weaver (OVA)

Himura Kenshin (緋村 剣心, Himura Kenshin?),, known as Kenshin Himura in the English-language dub, is a fictional character from the Rurouni Kenshin universe created by Nobuhiro Watsuki. He is the main protagonist for the series and has developed into a media franchise, which consists of a series of manga, anime, original video animations (OVAs), movies, soundtracks, video games, and other collectibles. When creating Kenshin, Watsuki designed him to be the physical opposite of Hiko Seijūrō, a character that appears in Watsuki's first one-shot manga, Crescent Moon in the Warring States, and later in Rurouni Kenshin as his swordsmanship teacher.

Set in a fictional version of Japan, during the pre-Meiji period, Kenshin is a former legendary assassin known as "Hitokiri Battōsai" (人斬り抜刀斎, "Hitokiri Battōsai"?).At the end of the Bakumatsu, he becomes a wandering samurai, now wielding a sakabato (逆刃刀), a katana that has the cutting edge on the inwardly curved side of the sword, thus being nearly incapable of killing. Kenshin wanders the countryside of Japan offering protection and aid to those in need, as atonement for the murders he once committed as an assassin. In Tokyo, he meets a young woman named Kaoru Kamiya, who invites him to live in her dojo despite learning about Kenshin's past. Throughout the series, Kenshin begins to establish lifelong relationships with many people, including ex-enemies, while dealing with his fair share of enemies, new and old. Through these encounters and relationships, Kenshin begins to find true atonement for his past enabling him to fully conquer his "Hitokiri" nature. By the series' end, he has found true peace and contentment as the husband of Kaoru and the father of their son, Himura Kenji.

Kenshin's character was well received by fans, with his holding the top spot in all reader popularity polls for the series. Critics of the series praised his personality, though some complained about his development during the anime OVA series, which differs from the manga. A variety of collectibles based around Kenshin have been created, including figurines, key chains, plushies, and replicas of his sakabatō sword.

Creation and conception[]

Watsuki discovered and used the story of Kawakami Gensai, a hitokiri executed by the Meiji Government. According to Watsuki, when he found that Kawakami maintained a duty to his dead comrades, he decided to create the title character. Since Watsuki's debut work contained a tall, black-haired man in "showy" armor, the creator wanted to make a character "completely opposite" to the debut character and the new character ended up "coming out like a girl." According to Watsuki, he used "no real motif" when creating Kenshin and placed a cross-shaped scar when "not knowing what else to do."At the end of the series, Kenshin appears with short hair. Initially, Watsuki had planned to make his hair shorter before the end, however, he found this to be similar to the character Multi from To Heart.Watsuki based most of Kenshin's abilities on a real swordsman of the Tokugawa period named Matsubayashi Henyasai, who was skilled in acrobatic techniques.During the Kyoto arc, Kenshin is given a new sword with a sheath made of wood. Watsuki decided to redesign the sword to make it look as the first one Kenshin had in the series, though it is more difficult to draw.During the development of Rurouni, Meiji Swordsman Romantic Story, Watsuki and his editor argued over Kenshin's speech patterns; they settled for a "slangy" pattern. For the final version of the first Romantic Story, Watsuki adjusted the dialogue; in his view, he made Kenshin sound "more as I prefer him now." Watsuki added Kenshin's trademark "oro" as a placeholder to be an expression of the English speech disfluency "huh." Watsuki notes that he was surprised at how much it caught on, and how much he ended up having Kenshin use the sound during the series.Watsuki also planned to make Kenshin older than 30 years old; his editor commented that it was strange that the main character of a manga for teenagers was so old, so he made Kenshin 28 years old.In the first Rurouni Kenshin kanzenban, published in Japan in July 2006, Watsuki included a draft page featuring a redesign of Kenshin's character. To make his X-shaped scar more notable, Watsuki made it long enough to cross his nose. Kenshin's hair is tied in two tails, which are flowing to make him look younger, but shorter, to be less androgynous. Watsuki also added a habaki to Kenshin's sword to make it easier to draw by simplifying its structure, while also emphasizing strength.Kenshin's hitokiri look was also redesigned slightly, by making his clothes more damaged and giving him Yukishiro Tomoe's neck scarf.In the anime adaptation of Rurouni Kenshin, Watsuki's designs were combined with the voice talents of Mayo Suzukaze, a female seiyū. In producing the English dub version of the series, Media Blasters considered following suit, with Mona Marshall considered as a finalist for voicing Kenshin. Richard Hayworth eventually was selected for the role, giving Kenshin's character a more masculine voice in the English adaptation. Marshall was selected instead to voice the younger Kenshin during flashback scenes. Clark Cheng, writer of the dub script, noted that localizing Kenshin's unusual speech was a difficult process. His use of "de gozaru" and "oro" were not only character trademarks that indicated Kenshin's state of mind, but important elements to the story. However, neither is directly translatable to English, and in the end the company chose to replace "de gozaru" with "that I do" and "that I am." Kenshin's signature "oro" was replaced with "huah" to simulate it being a "funny sound" that had no real meaning.

Character Outline[]


Kenshin is born into a peasant family under the given name of "Shinta". After losing both his parents to cholera by age seven, he is sold into slavery.The slave-traders' caravan is attacked by bandits who kill all of the peasants except for Shinta, who is saved by a swordsmanship teacher called Seijūrō. He renames the boy "Kenshin", as the name 'Ken' (sword) and 'Shin' (heart) were more fitting for a swordsman. After a few years under Seijūrō's guidance, Kenshin's wish to protect the people with his skills results in his abandonment of both his master and his training, which was left incomplete. His sword skills soon attract the attention of Katsura Kogoro, a leader of the Chōshū clan. Kenshin is sent to Kyoto and assigned the role of an assassin, sharing the common goal of the Ishin Shishi upon the Tokugawa shogunate. Within the first six months of his career, he kills over 100 people, and eventually became known as the "Hitokiri Battōsai". At one point, he comes face to face with a woman named Yukishiro Tomoe, who initially wanted to avenge the death of her fiancé whom Kenshin had killed, but falls in love with him instead and starts a romantic relationship. After the crisis suffered by the Chōshū clan in the Ikedaya Jiken, both Kenshin and Tomoe act as a married couple to keep anyone from finding out Kenshin's true identity as an assassin and flee to a remote village.Sometime later, Tomoe meets with the leader of the Yaminobu, a fictional pro-Shogunate covert network of ninjas that had formulated a plan to assassinate Kenshin. She realizes that all along they had actually used her to create Kenshin's weakness. Meanwhile, Kenshin runs off to find his wife, but is ambushed by Yaminobu ninjas and is severely wounded. He manages to defeat them and eventually finds Tomoe with the leader of the Yaminobu. In a desperate attempt to defeat the leader, Kenshin blindly swings his sword, killing both his assailant and Tomoe, who jumps in at the last minute to save Kenshin from a fatal attack. Tomoe's knife flies into the air and coincidentally slashes Kenshin's already scarred cheek, creating the famous X-shaped scar across his left cheek. Following the death of Tomoe, Shishio replaces Kenshin in his role as assassin, and Kenshin is reassigned as a guerrilla swordsman protecting the Imperialists. After the end of the Bakumatsu, Kenshin leaves Kyoto.


Kenshin desires to protect people from danger without killing. Formerly known as "the strongest hitokiri," Kenshin is the main target of many old enemies or people coveting his title as "the strongest", thus he avoids letting others get too close to him personally for their own protection. However, he eventually begins relying on his friends, allowing them to fight alongside him. He also has a rivalry with the ex-Shinsengumi member Saitō Hajime since the Bakumatsu. Although they become partners in the series, they both know that one day they will finish their duel. After the end of the Jinchu arc, Kenshin challenges Saitō to end the rivalry, but Saitō refuses to fight since Kenshin is different from the time they were enemies. Throughout the series, a young woman named Kaoru develops strong romantic feelings for him, and he also comes to love her. Despite his feelings, he is constantly haunted by the wrongs committed in his past, and believes he does not deserve happiness. However, as he notes how Kaoru would feel if he dies, Kenshin decides not to leave her and regains a desire to survive. If he is not able to protect his loved ones, he begins to shift into his "Hitokiri Battōsai" personality, and takes extreme measures in order save others, caring little for the well-being of his opponents. However, Kenshin avoids changing his personality, swearing that he will never kill, and will try to avoid the deaths of as many people as possible. Kenshin's Japanese-language dialogue contains some unusual words and catch phrases which can cause problems in translations. Most of the time, he refers to himself with the extremely humble pronoun "sessha" (translated in the manga by Viz as "this one") and uses the formal verb "de gozaru" (conveyed by Media Blasters by phrases like "…that it is."). He also addresses most women with an honorific which is generally reserved for feudal lords. In the English anime, "Miss Kaoru" is used instead of "Kaoru-dono." When in his "Battōsai" mode, Kenshin changes from being polite to serious; one of his quotes, "de gozaru", disappears and "sessha" is replaced with the more typical brash male pronoun "ore".  Along the series, Kenshin uses the quote "oro", which expresses surprise or dismay, based on the similar exclamation "ara" (generally considered feminine). As proper Japanese vocabulary, "oro" only exists as a word for lochia. In the English dub, "oro" has been translated into "huh". "Oro" is kept intact in the Viz manga.


About Hiten Mitsurugi-Ryū[]

Hiten Mitsurugi Ryū (飛天御剣流, lit. Flying Heaven Honorable Sword Style), known as "Ultrasonic Sword Style", is a fictional ancient sword style that is said to pit one against many. It is a sword art that is passed from master to apprentice, its masters inheriting the name of Hiko Seijūrō. Kenshin states that the sword style was created in the Sengoku Period of Japan's history

The philosophy of Hiten Mitsurugi-Ryū is that a practitioner must protect those around him; he may use that lethal force for the protection of the people. When a student of Hiten Mitsurugi-Ryū understands this, he is ready to complete his training.

Hiten Mitsurugi-Ryū's principles are based on utilizing godlike speed, or Shinsoku(神速), and precision to deal powerful blows that usually bring down foes with one shot. The swordsman must also be able to read techniques at an amazing pace as well as interpret emotions as a form of clairvoyance in order to accurately predict what an opponent will do. Combining those two elements with the speed and the precision allows Kenshin and Hiko to subdue opponents before they even act. That is the power of Hiten Mitsurugi-Ryū. It also utilizes Battōjutsu, sword drawing techniques focusing on the cut. All Hiten Mitsurugi-Ryū Battōjutsu moves are based on two step attacks.

The one drawback to the style on a whole is that it is a physically demanding style, only a person of peak athletic ability is able to maintain it. Thus a wide-framed muscular build like that of Hiko Seijūrō is more suited to Hiten Mitsurugi-Ryū compared to Kenshin's slender build. After Kenshin learns the "Amakakeru Ryū no Hirameki", he feels his body starting to deteriorate. By the time of the last chapter, five years after the main story, he has possibly become unable to perform Hiten Mitsurugi-Ryū.

Himura Kenshin mastered the Battōjutsu style, (note the name Battōsai) perfecting all parts of it, including all of its weaknesses.

A running gag in the manga with Kenshin upon first meetings is many people often think he's much younger than he really is. After seeing that Hiko also looks younger than his true age, Yahiko and Misao believe that the Hiten Mitsurugi Ryū is what causes both Kenshin and Hiko to stay young.

List of Hiten Mitsurugi-Ryū techniques[]

The following techniques are both Kenshin's and his master's:

Note - The names of the following techniques are all preceded by Hiten Mitsurugi-Ryū:
Doryūsen (Earth Dragon Strike) (土龍閃)
"Doryūsen" is a range technique that sends debris flying at the enemy from a powerful sword strike to the ground. Kenshin only uses this technique once in the manga.
Ryūtsuisen (Dragon Hammer Strike) (龍槌閃)
The "Dragon Hammer" is a sword-drop technique delivered from above, targeting the crown of the head or the shoulder of the adversary. The key to the technique lays in the height gained from the user’s jump and the free-fall, which is applied to the sword to multiply the force of the sword-stroke. This is one of Kenshin's favored techniques.
Ryūtsuisen ~ Zan (Dragon Hammer Strike ~ Tragedy) (龍槌閃・惨)
The "Zan" is a brutal variant of the “Dragon Hammer”, which instead plunges the sword into the adversary with a sword-plant rather than simply striking them. This was only seen once in the series.
Ryūshōsen (Soaring Dragon Flight) (龍翔閃)
The "Dragon Flight" was originally a move meant to utilize the edge of the sword, cutting the adversary below while aiming for the jaw and/or the pit of the stomach. The key to this technique lays in jumping power, utilizing it to its fullest. Kenshin has altered this move, instead pressing the flat of his Sakabato into the adversary, as opposed to the blade edge.
This is a combination technique which executes Ryūshōsen immediately after Ryūtsuisen.
Ryūtsuishōsen (Dragon Hammer-Flight Strike) (龍槌翔閃)

Sōryūsen (Twin Dragon Strike) (双龍閃)

This is a Battōjutsu move, the "Twin Dragon Strike" strikes with the drawing cut. If the opponent dodges it, it follows up with a srike of the sheath.

Sōryūsen~Ikazuchi (Twin Dragon ~ Lightning) (双龍閃-雷)

This move is, in a way, the inverse of the "Twin Dragon Lightning." The user sort of feints into using Battōjutsu, but actually strikes with the sheath. Then spins around and attacks with a vertical strike with the sword.

Hiryūsen (Flying Dragon Strike) (飛龍閃)

The "Flying Dragon Strike" uses a 360° spin, then shoots the sword from the sheath in the same way one shoots a marble. This is the only long distance move in Hiten Mitsurugi-Ryū.

Ryūkansen (Dragon Spiral Strike) (龍巻閃)
The "Dragon Spiral" is a move which takes advantage of centripetal force to accelerate the draw of the blade while simultaneously avoiding the adversary's assault, shifting directly into a counterattack.
Ryūkansen ~ Tsumuji (Dragon Flash Spiral) (龍巻閃・旋)
A variation of the normal Ryūkansen, the swordsman is in motion (and airborne in one particular case) while spinning. This causes the user to use the force of the spinning to draw the sword at lightning speed.
Ryūkansen ~ Kogarashi (Dragon Spiral Strike ~ Wintry Wind) (龍巻閃・凩)
A variation of the normal Ryūkansen, this technique targets the adversary's head.
Ryūkansen ~ Arashi (Dragon Spiral Strike ~ Storm) (龍巻閃・嵐)
A variation of the normal Ryūkansen, this technique places the swordsman is in a full somersault while attacking.
Ryūsōsen (Dragon's Nest Strike) (龍巣閃)
The "Dragon's Den" is a rapid-strike technique which deals a flurry of successive blows at god-like speed.
Ryūsōsen ~ Garami (Dragon's Nest Strike ~ Strangle) (龍巣閃・咬)
A variation of the normal Ryūsōsen, this technique targets the neck/head instead of the body.
Kuzu-ryūsen (Nine-headed Dragon) (九頭龍閃)

The “Nine-Headed Dragon” is a formidable technique which utilizes Shinsoku (lit. God-speed) to the fullest extent; dealing nine strikes to the most fundamental targets of swordsmanship (Kara Take, Kesa Giri, Saka Gesa, Hidari Nagi, Migi Nagi, Hidari Kiriage, Migi Kiriage, Saka Kaze, and Tsuki), all at the same time. These points are the focus of the technique as they make up the basis of one’s guarding stance, regardless of style or weapon. So with the Kuzu-ryūsen, attacking all nine all at once, guarding and dodging becomes virtually pointless. It should be noted, that this move was not created for actual combat, but as a byproduct in the creation of the secret; as an initiation for the secret. If the initiate can overcome their master's nine dragons, then they would be ready to acquire the secret. Unlike the multiple strike attack, Ryūsōsen, all nine strikes of the Kuzu-ryūsen carry lethal force. However, weight and power play a critical aspect in the effectiveness of the technique. This means, even if the move is executed without flaw, the force behind the technique will differ from wielder to wielder depending on their class in weight and arm strength. Essentially, a "lighter" Kuzu-ryūsen would be overpowered by a "heavier" Kuzu-ryūsen.

Amakakeru Ryū no Hirameki(Heaven-Bridging Dragon Spark)(天翔龍の閃)

The "Heaven-Bridging Dragon Spark" is an incredible Hiten Mitsurugi-ryu's secret technique, or Ōugi(奥義). (Note the "spark" as in inspiration not fire or flame.) It is a two-step Battōjutsu move and comprises of two strikes. The first is the draw and then the user spins around for a second strike such as the Sōryūsen~Ikazuchi. The user draws leading with the right leg; to avoid slashing his/herself. The Heaven-Bridging Dragon Spark follows with a quick left, but in order not to cut his leg or lose the momentum of the swing. The user brought that final step just after drawing his/her sword. That single step adds force and acceleration using the Shinsoku of Hiten Mitsurugi into the even faster Heaven-Bridging Dragon Spark. Though it is just one step, being that much closer to the opponent; brings the user that much closer to the opponent's zone. Thus the user is in the thin line between life and death, and cannot have hesitation in his/her technique. Then if the opponent blocks the first strike, the air pushed out by the block creates a vacuum by the spining for the second strike. This is the one defense against the "Nine Headed Dragon," attacking the opponent before he/she does, with god-speed and Battojutsu technique.

Hiko descibes this move as "Even if one's opponent dodges the fangs of the dragon in flight, still they shall be caught by the wind of it's wings...and be shredded by its claws."

Oddly enough Enishi is able to counter the move with speed of his "freinzied nerves" enhancement. He also survived the "Heaven-Bridging Dragon Spark" without rendered utterly immoblized.

Battōjutsu techniques[]

Art of Drawing the Blade (Battōjutsu)

Stance with right foot placed in front of left, pressing the blade of the sheathed sword against the curve of the sheath, which increases draw speed. The drawing of the blade is the same motion used for the attack. It is an all-or-nothing attack where missing the target results in the user being completely vulnerable. All battōjutsu in Hiten Mitsurugi-Ryū are comprised of two steps to avoid failure.

Note - The names of the following techniques are all preceded by Hiten Mitsurugi-Ryū:
Battōjutsu Soryūsen (Art of Sword-drawing, Double Dragon Strike) (双龍閃)
As above, but with a follow-up attack utilizing the sheath as its secondary strike. This second swing covers the period of vulnerability left after a normal battōjutsu.
Battōjutsu Soryūsen ~ Ikazuchi (Art of Sword-drawing, Double Dragon Lightning) (双龍閃・雷)
“Ikazuchi” is the reverse variant of Soryūsen, wherein the blade strike follows that of the sheath. The swordsman feints battōjutsu to distract from the sheath strike and follows-up with the second blade strike. It is a highly-advanced maneuver, as the sheath strike locks the adversary and their weapon, leaving them completely vulnerable to the swordsman's blade.
Battōjutsu Hiryūsen (Art of Sword-drawing, Flying Dragon Strike) (飛龍閃)
This projectile sword-technique uses centrifugal force and the user's hand (more precisely, the thumb) to shoot the sword from inside the sheath, allowing them to strike at adversaries outside the sword's reach. The culmination of centrifugal force and hand strength makes the accuracy of the strike all the more efficient, enabling the swordsman to strike regions on the adversary such as the middle of the forehead.
Ryūmeisen (Dragon Howl Strike) (龍鳴閃)
Ōgi - Amakakeru Ryū no Hirameki (天翔龍閃)
This is a sword-technique opposite to the god-speed battōjutsu of Hiten Mitsurugi-Ryū, shinsoku nōtōjutsu (lit. god-speed sheathing). When the sword hilt connects with the sheath, the god-speed sheathing produces a sonic boom that temporarily stuns an opponent's auditory nerve, impairing their hearing and equilibrium. Kenshin uses this technique only once, against Yukishiro Enishi, to counter Shikkū Tōsei (lit. Sky-Stride Sword Rush).

Note: It literally translates into "Flying Heaven Honorable Sword Style Secret: Heavens Bridging Dragon Spark"; VIZ "Dragon Flight of Heaven".

The Amakakeru Ryū No Hirameki is battōjutsu that surpasses Shinsoku. This is the key to defeating the Kuzu-ryūsen. Because the Kuzu-ryūsen is a charging technique that cannot be blocked, an attack must be made before the Kuzu-ryūsen arrives, thus the true nature of the final technique: the Amakakeru Ryū No Hirameki must be faster than a regular battōjutsu in order to hit the opponent. The secret behind the technique lays in an additional step with the left foot. This single step alone adds instantaneous acceleration and weight to the sword changing the god-like speed of Hiten Mitsurugi Battōjutsu to "Beyond god-like speed". However, this extra step is difficult to take as one of the fundamental teaching of battōjutsu states that one should step forward with the right foot as to avoid cutting their own foot with the attack. As such, the additional step forward with the left foot can spell certain death for the swordsman, as it takes precise timing to coordinate, as to not lose any momentum while drawing; it requires the utmost concentration, that can only be obtained by one's desire to live.
There is another secret to this technique. If the initial strike is avoided or blocked, the force of the unusually fast slashing motion displaces the air around it, generating a vacuum in its wake and sucking the opponent in. As this happens, the body is spun around for a second strike, the previous action adding force and momentum to the swing, making the subsequent strike far stronger. This is the true power of the Amakakeru Ryū no Hirameki. As Kenshin's teacher Hiko Seijuro said, Even if you were able to avoid the fangs of the flying dragon, the gusting winds strip away freedom of movement, and the claws would rip you apart.
"Amakakeru Ryū no Hirameki" is so fast that its implementation can be successful even when the enemy's strike has actually reached the user's body, as in Rurouni Kenshin manga volume 14. As depicted, Shinomori Aoshi's signature Kaiten-kenbu Rokuren attack has actually begun to cut into Kenshin's neck when Kenshin released the attack, and blows Aoshi back before he can even finish. The invincible attack "Amakakeru Ryū no Hirameki" is the final technique of the Hiten Mitsurugi Ryū.
In order to perform the attack flawlessly, the user must be in peak physical condition and there must be nothing inhibiting their application of the technique.

Miscellaneous techniques[]

Air Dragon Strike (地龍閃, Ka-ryūsen)
A gust of wind caused by Kenshin's sakabatō, he uses this to stun or impede opponents at a distance.::Wrapping his wounded arm and sheath to the belt and taking the stance for the Amakakeru Ryū No Hirameki, Kenshin leaps high into the air, and begins a free-fall. Knowing there is no stability while airborne, Kenshin utilizes the free-fall to multiply the torque of his rotating body to accelerate the draw of his sword for the decisive strike. This technique is more accurately akin to Ryūkansen, in that it uses the body’s centripetal force to counter any adversary’s assault with a lightning-swift counterattack. Sagara Sanosuke was the one to coin the name "Kenshin-Ryu: Kaiten Battōjutsu".
The most skilled swordsmen were purportedly able to use their swords to cut through steel. Kenshin states he can use it anywhere except underwater.
Shiraha Dori
The most skilled swordsmen using the best of blades were supposedly able to slice an object in two and rejoin the halves together, as if it were never cut at all. Kenshin demonstrates this when he cuts a daikon and then reforms it back together. He doesn't cut it with his sword, but rather a kitchen knife, since his sakabatō was broken at that time.
Modoshi Giri (Reversing Cut)
In the final duel of "Ishin Shishi he no Requiem (Requiem for the Ishin Patriots)", Kenshin improvised this original move as a last resort, as his left arm was wounded and the other techniques of the Hiten Mitsurugi Style had been rendered all but useless before Shigure's Kanuma Sword & Sheath Style.
A defensive technique where the enemy's sword is stopped by using the bare hands. This was the move used to defeat Shinomori Aoshi in the Tokyo Arc.
A gust of wind caused by Kenshin's sakabatō, he uses this to stun or impede opponents at a distance.::Wrapping his wounded arm and sheath to the belt and taking the stance for the Amakakeru Ryū No Hirameki, Kenshin leaps high into the air, and begins a free-fall. Knowing there is no stability while airborne, Kenshin utilizes the free-fall to multiply the torque of his rotating body to accelerate the draw of his sword for the decisive strike. This technique is more accurately akin to Ryūkansen, in that it uses the body’s centripetal force to counter any adversary’s assault with a lightning-swift counterattack. Sagara Sanosuke was the one to coin the name "Kenshin-Ryu: Kaiten Battōjutsu".
The most skilled swordsmen were purportedly able to use their swords to cut through steel. Kenshin states he can use it anywhere except underwater.

Plot overview[]

After receiving his sakabatō blade, Kenshin assumes the life of a wanderer. Ten years after the Revolution, he arrives in Tokyo where he meets Kaoru, who offers him to stay in her dojo despite her knowledge that Kenshin is the "Hitokiri Battōsai". Numerous events transpire from that point, and Kenshin establishes lifelong relationships with many people, including ex-enemies. However, he still makes his share of enemies like Shishio Makoto, the brutal once-successor to Kenshin's position as Chōshū's hitokiri, and mastermind behind a movement seeking to overthrow the Meiji Government. To defeat such foes, Kenshin is forced to resume his training and mend his relationship with his teacher, while forging the strongest bonds with his allies and enemies. When Yukishiro Enishi, Tomoe's revenge-obsessed brother, found out about Kenshin's feelings towards Kaoru, he set out to kidnap her, doing so and leaving a professionally made decoy of Kaoru with a sword in her heart, making everyone believe that she had been murdered. Kenshin falls into severe depression and runs off to a village of wanderers to mourn. However, he breaks out of his depression and after his friends discover Kaoru is alive, the group goes to rescue her on Enishi's island. A battle between Kenshin and Enishi follows and when Kenshin wins, he and Kaoru return home. Five years later, Kenshin is married to Kaoru and has a son named Kenji. After an encounter with Yahiko, Kenshin gives his sakabatō to him as a gift for his coming-of-age.

Appearances in other media[]

Kenshin first appears in two chapters of Rurouni, Meiji Swordsman Romantic Story in which he arrives in Tokyo and defeats several groups of villains attacking families. In these stories, Kenshin is given a similar personality to the one he has in the series but his name is unmentioned. Later, in the movie Samurai X The Motion Picture, Kenshin meets a samurai named Takimi Shigure, who tries to overthrow the Meiji Government and avenge the deaths of his family during the Bakumatsu. Kenshin encounters Shigure and defeats him in order to avoid the start of a war.In the OVAs, Kenshin is given a more humanized design and a different personality. There are also numerous changes to his life story compared to that of the manga, including the way he received his X-shaped scar in Samurai X: Trust & Betrayal. In Samurai X: Reflection, as time passes, Kenshin becomes tortured anew by the guilt of leading a happy life after such a destructive past. He makes the decision to wander again, and Kaoru strongly supports him, promising to welcome him home with a smile and their child. Kenshin eventually becomes ravaged by an unknown disease. However, he decides to assist in the First Sino-Japanese War as he had promised the Meiji Government. After the war's end, Sanosuke discovers a gravely injured Kenshin on the shore, and arranges for Kenshin's return to Tokyo and Kaoru. The two finally meet, and Kenshin collapses into her arms as he clutches her to him. Kaoru then notices Kenshin's scar has faded away, signifying his death. Nobuhiro Watsuki, after watching the last OVA, was quite unhappy with how his story ended, saying that "Kenshin went through so much crap and deserved a happy ending." Kenshin is a playable character in all of the Rurouni Kenshin video games, including Jump Super Stars and Jump Ultimate Stars. Tokiko Tsumura, one of the main characters of Buso Renkin, another series created by Watsuki, is based on the design of Kenshin as a hitokiri. Watsuki commented that Tokiko is the female version of the "Hitokiri Battōsai" when he drew her face.


Kenshin has been highly popular with the Rurouni Kenshin reader base, having ranked first in every Shonen Jump popularity poll of the series, always with more than double the votes of second place. Watsuki received letters from fans describing Megumi Ogata's audio theatre voice as a "good fit" for Kenshin. Watsuki said that he imagined Kenshin's voice to be "more neutral." A plethora of merchandise have been released in Kenshin's likeness including keychains, action figures, and plush dolls. Since the manga was published, non-functional and functional sakabatō have been produced for purchase by collectors and fans.

Several publications for manga, anime, video games, and other media have provided praise and criticism on the character. T.H.E.M. Anime Reviews criticized that the fact that Kenshin looks super deformed in comedy scenes is not suited for the context of the character and the series. remarks that Kenshin has a "smartass" attitude in a review of volume 8; while they noted that is a common attitude in the anime that makes him look out-of-character. Anime News Network praises Kenshin for being a character that all people enjoy to watch due to his comedy scenes. remarked "Kenshin's schizoid personal conflict between his ruthless-killer side and his country- bumpkin" as a perfect way to develop good stories. The development of Kenshin in the OVA series has had negative reviews by many publications. Anime News Network also adds that in Samurai X: Reflection he continues to be his old mopey self and criticizes that he never says "oro," while IGN cited that some moments of the relationship between Kenshin and Kaoru were depressing.However, some reviewers noted Kenshin's personality in the OVAs to be one of the most complex to ever be animated remarking the fact that he can not forget his bloody past, although having a peaceful life. A large number of video game characters were based on the character of Kenshin such as Keiichiro Washizuka from The Last Blade and Shizumaru Hisame from the Samurai Shodown series. Kenshin's personality was also planned to be used in the character Kakashi Hatake from Naruto, but the idea was deemed as a failure. In an interview with Mayo Suzukaze, who is the seiyū for the character, she says that she started feeling similar to Kenshin after years of work as his voice, and comments that providing the voice for the character was one of her best experiences. Kenshin Himura was known throughout the land as "Battousai the Manslayer" during the revolution but vowed to Tomoe that he wouldn't be a manslayer after the Revolution, and so he became a wanderer. After, he met Kaoru and started to live at her place. He was born a peasant under the name Shinta, with no family name. Kogoro Katsura, the leader of the division he fought in during the Boshin War that gave him the family name of Himura, and Shinta was renamed to Kenshin by Seijuro Hiko after Hiko saved his life and took him as an apprentice. Kenshin got the scar on his face from two different sources. The vertical portion he received first while fighting Tomoe's fiance, Kiyosato Akira. Then the horizontal scar was made by his betrothed. He was fighting someone, and as he was dealing the death stoke, she got in the way, and as she was dying in his arms, she picked up her dagger and added the line to make the cross. In the manga, the dagger was knocked from her hand and coincidentally made the cut.