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Hijikata Toshizo (May 31, 1835 - June 20, 1869) was the deputy leader of Shinsengumi, a small-built and talented Japanese military leader who resisted the Meiji Restoration. In 1863, he and Kondo Isami formed the Shinsengumi. Kondo and two other men, Serizawa Kamo, Niimi Nishiki became joint leaders of the group, and Hijikata served as one of the deputy leaders. Shinsengumi served as a special police force in Kyoto that fought against the Reformists under Matsudaira Katamori, the Daimyo of Aizu. The regulations set up by Shinsengumi within Kyoto were strictly enforced and Hijikata was known to be harsh in enforcing them with his sword, the Kanesada, hence his nickname: "The Demon of the Shinsengumi". Even within the Shinsengumi itself, regulations were strictly enforced by Hijikata. Deserters and traitors were forced to commit seppuku; this happened to Yamanami (one of Hijikata's old friends) when he tried to leave Shinsengumi in 1865. After Kondo surrendered to the Imperial Loyalist Army and was executed on May 17 (lunar calendar April 25) 1868, Hijikata led Shinsengumi on their final battles against the new government. After a time in Aizu, he went to Sendai, where he joined up with Enomoto Takeaki's fleet. In Hakodate, he was made a vice-minister of the Army in the new Ezo Republic. He knew he was fighting a losing battle, and told the physician Matsumoto Ryojun that "I am not going to battle to win. With the Tokugawa government about to collapse, it would be a disgrace if no one is willing to go down with it. That is why I must go. I will fight the best battle of my life to die for the country". On June 20, 1869, he was killed near Hakodate, while in combat on horseback by a bullet that shattered his lower back. It is unknown where he was buried, but a memorial gravestone stands near Itabashi Station in Tokyo, next to Kondo Isami. The death poem that was entrusted to Ichimura Tetsunosuke shortly before Hijikata's death read: "Though my body may decay on the island of Ezo, My spirit guards my lord in the east." Texts cited from Wikipedia Hijikata Toshizo is often considered an icon of the last Samurai and still adopted for a novel, a film, music and even for Manga comic. Despite of his handsome look, he was feared as a demonic executioner and the executioner's favorite weapon was a sword made by Aizu Kanesada the 11th. This Kanesada Koshirae is the perfect replica of original sword preserved at Hijikata Toshizo Museum in Saitama prefecture. Ishime Higo type Fuchi/Kashira and Kuwagata Kojiri are made of brass and the surface are carefully oxidized by hand. Tsuba is Ishime Mokko style and the theme is "Ume Ichirin(one plum). Menuki set features the theme of Japanese pepper. A black cotton Tsuka cord is bound over white Tsukasame. Saya is finished Anshu Ishime(dark reddish brown matte finish). Cotton Sageo is also included. A sand-cased, extra-reinforced wide zinc/aluminum alloy blade provides the superb balance for the dynamic air-slashing move. Hamon reproduces the work of Aizu Kanesada the 11th. Each parts are uncompromisingly hand-assembled by the Japanese sword craftsman, who is expert in making the genuine Japanese sword, Shinken. The blade is available up to 2.50 shaku. Weight without Saya is approximately 1000 gram(for 2.50 shaku). Proudly made in Japan.