“Though my body may decay on the isle of Ezo
My spirit guards my lord in the east.”
— Hijikata Toshizou, death poem (1869)
Toshizou Hijikata (土方歳三 Hijikata Toshizō) is the main character in the Hakuouki series. While he is de-jure the second-in-command of the Shinsengumi after Isami Kondo (the leader), he is the one who does most of the work in keeping the Shinsengumi together and in check.
He is based on the historical Hijikata Toshizō
Hijikata is a handsome young man (a nod to his real-life counterpart) that he is popular with the ladies with waist-length black hair (when not tied up), dark violet eyes and he is about average in height within the Shinsengumi as he is taller than Hajime Saito, but Hijikata is shorter than Soji Okita. Underneath the standard blue haori, cord and headband, he wears a purple kimono top and gray hakama in the first season and carries a katana and wakizashi on his left hip. His sword is an 11th generation Kanesada, an impressive blade, as noted by Saitou. In Season 2, Hijikata cuts his hair to chin-length and changes to an elaborate blue and black western-style outfit.
Hijikata is a strict disciplinarian to his troops, hence his nickname the "Demon Vice-Commander" (鬼の副長). At the same time, he is very thoughtful and mature and puts the Shinsengumi and Isami Kondou above everything else; he believes that it is his duty to rule with an iron fist as the shadow behind Kondou's light. He takes the Shinsengumi's welfare to be his personal responsibility and runs himself ragged with trying to keep the organization going single-handedly. He dislikes accepting help from others and appearing weak, though he will put the survival of the Shinsengumi above things like honor. Hijikata's greatest desire is to elevate the commander's position and make Kondou a great samurai. Always trying to soften the world for Kondou is one of Hijikata's greatest flaws and one of the reasons Kondou ultimately fails as a leader.
Hijikata is very serious but does tend to smile occasionally, such as when Hajime Saito returned to the group after an extended absence in the ova episode. He has a lot of respect for women, which is one of his reasons for being so protective of Chizuru Yukimura. When she first encounters the Shinsengumi in Season 1, it is Hijikata who vouches for her life, arguing that if she were a threat he would deal with her. Souji Okita, who has known Hijikata since his childhood, has a habit of messing around with him, especially with his haiku books. Although Hijikata is exasperated by Okita's behavior, he sees him as a little brother and is very protective of him, to a fault.
Though his troops grumble at his strictness, the Shinsengumi highly respects Hijikata and regards him as a true warrior, despite his low birth. His close companions have been able to see through his harsh exterior and Sannan Keisuke has remarked that Hijikata is far too kind.
Though Hijikata tends to be a worrywart, he is, in truth, a caring person who values his friends above all else, even his own safety. He is willing to go to great lengths in order to protect the honor and well-being of those he holds dear.
Hijikata came from a prosperous peasant family that also produced medicine, Ishida Powdered Medicine (石田散薬). The folk remedy could make you heal quicker, and was especially for cuts and bruises. Hijikata seems to think highly of it even though it apparently tastes "gross", according to Heisuke Toudou.
Hijikata's parents died when he was very young so his elder sister and brother-in-law looked after him.
Though he was expected to work in the family or apprentice in a small business nearby, Hijikata quit multiple times, dissatisfied with his life and circumstances. During his stint as a medicine peddler, he met Kondou, the adopted son of a small dojo master. It was then that Hijikata finally found his calling in life and resolved to become a Samurai. This was a tall dream in his day and age, as the class system in Japan was very strict and it was nearly impossible for a peasant to become a warrior. Even so, Hijikata joined the Shieikan dojo and, after getting permission from the Bakufu, moved to Kyoto to start the Shinsengumi.
He joined Kondou shortly after Souji Okita had won his first sword match. It is unknown how old he was back then.
While searching for escaped Rasetsu (or Furies), Hijikata runs into Chizuru Yukimura for the first time and the furies kill the ronin trying to catch Chizuru and are about to kill her, when she is saved by Hajime Saito and Souji Okita. As no one is supposed to know about the furies, they debate whether they should kill Chizuru, but Hijikata decides to bring her to the headquarters instead. There, they question her, and decide to let Chizuru be a part of the search for her father if she does tell anyone about the furies. After making sure that she can defend herself, Hijikata gives Chizuru permission to join the Shinsengumi's regular patrols.
After learning of the Choushu plot against Kyoto and the emperor, Hijikata takes the larger part of the Shinsegumi to the Yamazaki house where he hopes to apprehend the conspirators. However, Chizuru comes with the message that the Choushu are actually at Ikedaya, to where Hijikata hurries. He doesn't let any non-Shinsegumi pass, to make sure that nobody takes credit for the Shinsegumi's work.
Hijikata has worked himself to the point of exhaustion and his control over his thirst for blood as a Rasetsu is weakening each day. At the same time, he is becoming gentler to Chizuru Yukimura and the two are developing feelings for each other.
He puts the Rasetsu Unit out of action after Hajime Saito tells him that the Rasetsu's extraordinary powers come from using up their life force. Hijikata disapproves of further experimenting with the furies, as he sees it as senselessly wasting his soldiers' lives.
When Isami Kondou sacrifices himself to allow the Shinsengumi to escape, Hijikata nearly cries out of despair at his own powerlessness to protect the person he wanted to protect the most. He only obeys Kondou's wishes after he, as commander of the Shinsengumi, orders him to leave with Chizuru. During the escape, Hijikata destroys an entire troop of enemy soldiers in his anger.
Eventually, Hijikata allows Chizuru to give him her blood to alleviate his pain and the two grow closer as a result.
While fighting as the new section leader of a new army, he inspires his men with his strength and bravery by charging headlong into battle. His troops take a castle as a result, though that castle would be reclaimed by the enemy due to the Bakufu's incompetence. In the castle, Hijikata runs into Kazama Chikage and Kyuujyu Amagiri (Kazama's follower). Despite admonitions from Amagiri to stop fighting, Kazama charges into battle with Hijikata and severely injures him with a demon-slaying blade called Douji-giri Yasutsuna, a legendary sword once used by a demon named Minamoto Yorimitsu to slay the oni, Shuten Douji.
After the battle, Chizuru takes Hijikata into hiding to allow him to recover while Saitou takes over as temporary leader. Later, enemy soldiers discover Hijikata's location and plan a surprise attack but are stopped by Okita, who makes a last stand to protect Hijikata. Hijikata learns about Okita's efforts in the night and, while still weak and injured, manages to reach the mountain pass that Okita had been fighting at with Chizuru's support. However, he is too late; he finds only Okita's sword surrounded by the bodies of the defeated enemies, implying that Okita has faded into dust after completing his last mission.
Hijikata, along with Heisuke Toudou, infiltrate Sendai castle to get Chizuru back after she is unwillingly taken by Koudou. He, along with Heisuke and Sannan Keisuke, slay the army of rasetsu that Sannan and Koudou had brought. Heisuke and Sannan, after using up their lifespans, tell Hijikata not to rush through life, before turning to dust. As he departs for Hakodate, Hijikata orders Chizuru to stay behind, much to her dismay.
At the end of season 2, Hijikata has a hallucination of Chizuru, which makes him realize his feelings for her. Although surprised to see her come to Hakodate to work as his attendant, Hijikata admits that he wants her to be at his side. The night before the final battle, Hijikata and Chizuru confess their love for each other and kiss. On June 20, 1869, while charging on horseback Hijikata is shot by a direct enemy bullet. Carrying him away, Chizuru tries to heal him with her blood. Seeing this, he says no man wants to see the woman he loves suffer, but Chizuru replies that she can not bear to see him in pain either. As they come across a beautiful cherry blossom tree, Hijikata comments that sakura blossoms suit her. Chizuru smiles and states that she always thinks they suit him even more. Kazama appears and Hijikata duels the demon for the last time, saying he has someone he must protect. The former finally acknowledges that Hijikata is no longer a "fake" Rasetsu, but a true demon(oni) bestowing him the titular name "Hakuouki": Demon of the Fleeting Blossom. He defeats Kazama, stabbing him in the heart and wins, before falling on his knees weakened and staring contentedly at the cherry blossoms. He is then seen unconscious on Chizuru's lap. At the end of the episode, she has a vision of all the dead members of the Shinsengumi where Hijikata joins them. But whether he truly dies is left rather ambiguous and open to personal interpretation. Chizuru cries when a hand gently wipes away her tears, and Hjijkata is seen standing and smiling at her, dreamlike, softly calling her name.
Hakuoki Demon of the Fleeting Blossom Movie 2
At the end of Hakuoki Demon of the Fleeting Blossom Movie 2: Warrior Spirit of the Blue Sky it doesn't leave the viewers wondering if he lives or dies. Hijikata and Chizuru are looking out over the landscape of a village when he see an image of all his dead comrades he simply says sorry to his men as he still has a life to live with Chizuru and won't be joining them just yet as he simply asks them to watch over them.
In SSL, Hijikata is the homeroom teacher of Second Year, Form One. He teaches the Classics and is also a Disciplinarian Adviser. He acts on behalf of Isami Kondou as the Assistant Principal presiding over most of the school's management and is a childhood friend of Kondou as well. In his varsity years, he was Kazama Chikage's classmate and even now, is always at loggerheads with him. Hijikata currently lives alone in a mansion near the school and is a habitual smoker.
Trivia, Anime differences & Other info
- It is a well-known fact that Hijikata has a soft spot for poetry, particularly haiku. But, it is also a well-known fact that he isn't very good at it as Souji Okita teases him mercilessly for it and has even memorized all of Hijikata's poems to that end. Hijikata once admits that his poems are bad to save face when Hajime Saito gets to see them in a drama CD.
- Hijikata's Family medicine "Ishida Powder" is from the village of Ishida where he grew up. Although there were many people named "Hijikata" in that prefecture, Toshizou's family was the only one that made the medicine.
- Hijikata also has his own theme song.
|Toshizo Hijikata | Chizuru Yukimura | Souji Okita | Hajime Saito | Heisuke Toudou | Sanosuke Harada | Isami Kondou | Keisuke Sannan | Shinpachi Nagakura | Genzaburou Inoue | Susumu Yamazaki | Kai Shimada | Itou Kashitarou|
|Chizuru Yukimura | Kazama Chikage | Shiranui Kyo | Kyuujyu Amagiri | Senhime | Kimigiku | Kaoru Nagumo|
|Dr. Matsumoto | Enomoto Takeaki | Ootori Keisuke|
|Others / Game-Related|
|Serizawa Kamo | Ryunosuke Ibuki | Oume | Kosuzu | Niimi Nishiki | Hirama Jyuusuke | Sasaki Aijirou | Tonouchi Yoshio|
|Okada Izou | Kirishima Kozue | Takasugi Shinsaku | Katsura Kogorou | Glover | Yamagata Aritomo | Kusaka Genzui | Itou Hirobumi | Yoshida Shiouin | Takechi Hanpeita | Kirishima Sousuke | Kiyokawa Hachirou|