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Seijuro Hiko
Name: Seijuro Hiko the 13th

Series: Rurouni Kenshin, Samurai X

Other Names/Titles: 13th Master of Hiten Mitsurugi Ryuu, sometimes incorrectly spelled Seijiro Hiko, sometimes spelled Seijuuro

True Name: Niitsu Kakunoshin

Age: 43

Info: Arrogant, powerful, and cool as they come, Seijuro Hiko is Kenshin Himura's teacher, the last master of the Hiten Mitsurugi Ryuu (Flying Heavens Honorable Sword Flow), excluding Kenshin (More on that later). As his name suggests, he is not the first Seijuro Hiko. In fact, his true name is not Hiko at all, but Niitsu Kakunoshin. Seijuro Hiko, the original that is, was the creator of the Hiten Mitsurugi style of swordsmanship, with the name then been passed on from each master of the style to the new master, along with the cape Hiko is always seen wearing. Unfortunately, this always occurs when the current master's student learns the Amakekeru Ryu no Hirameki and in doing so kills their master. Seijuro Hiko is the 13th master. This, however, did not occur with Kenshin, who did perform the technique, but held back slightly and did not kill Hiko. But, I move ahead of myself.

Seijuro Hiko found Kenshin when he was a child, about to be killed by a group of bandits. Ever cool, his response to their asking "Who are you?" was "There's no point in giving my name to someone who's about to die." He then, of course, killed all of them. Kenshin, who had just lost all the people he ever knew, was left at the site by Hiko, who figured he would still be there the next day. When he returned, he was astonished to find that Kenshin had buried all the slain, even the bandits. This act by Kenshin so impressed Hiko that he took Kenshin on as his apprentice, after changing his name from Shinta, which he said was not a warrior's name, to his current name, Kenshin.

He trained Kenshin for several years, but Kenshin was far more reckless and hot-blooded when he was younger and left Hiko before his training could be completed. This is where he started on his path as a manslayer. Hiko then became a potter and moved to a home in the woods outside of the city of Kyoto. There he lived, watching his student kill and kill until he aquired the title of Hitokiri Battousai, Manslayer (Or more specifically, Assassin something, as Hitokiri roughly translates to assassin. I'll get back to you on the Battousai part.). He seemed to have lost track of his student at the end of the Meiji Revolution, and we don't have any further word on him until mid-Kyoto Arc when Kenshin, seeing that he could not beat Shishio and his Juppon Gatana in his current state, sought out his master to complete his training.

At first, Hiko refused, in his ever arrogant way, and with good reason. Kenshin had run off on him before, and all he knew of what Kenshin did after that was his time as a manslayer. After Kaoru and Yahiko told Hiko of Kenshin's conversion to a wanderer who refused to kill and spent his days helping others, Hiko agreed to teach Kenshin the final two moves of Hiten Mitsurugi Ryuu: Kuzu Ryuu Sen (9 Headed Dragon Flash), the attack that uses Hiten Mitsurugi Ryuu's god-like speed to strike nine times in nine different places on the body, and the Amakekeru Ryuu no Hirameki (Heaven's Soaring Dragon Flash). Hiko's training was hard, and it forced Kenshin, in the end, to almost kill his master. As noted earlier, Hiko survived, and Kenshin was off to battle Shishio. He tried to make Hiko promise to take care of the people at the Aoiya Inn in Kyoto, where Kaoru, Yahiko, Misao, and the Oniwaban were, but Hiko, in his characteristic fashion, refused (With a rather funny face, I might add.). But, he eventually did pull through, appearing when all hope was lost, defeating the giant Fuji with little effort. But, he did not defeat him before proving why he was master of Hiten Mitsurugi Ryuu, when he saw the true fighting spirit of Fuji, and released him from the control of evil. After Kenshin defeated Shishio, Hiko returned to his life as a potter, and to the best of my knowledge, he never appeared again.

Now, a few general notes: Hiko. even though he is over forty, appears to be very young, prompting Yahiko and Kaoru to speculate that Hiten Mitsurugi Ryuu also brings immortality, since Kenshin too appeared much younger than he actually was. His attractiveness makes him a magnet for the women, although he doesn't seem to care one bit. Hiko knows all of the moves of Hiten Mitsurugi Ryuu, making him Kenshin's equal, and he is both faster and stronger than Kenshin, making him possibly the strongest swordsman alive. He always is very arrogant, and believes, with good reason, that he is the strongest man alive. His arrogance extends to everyone, including Kenshin and anyone he comes in contact with. He views most people as worthless, but he does have a kind heart buried deep inside, although he rarely shows it. Fond of calling Kenshin "baka deshi," or "idiot apprentice," he isn't always the kindest master to have, but is is certainly the best. I personally believe that, had he gone with Kenshin to fight Shishio and the Jupon Gatana, every one of them would have dropped like flies before him and no one else would have even had to fight. ^^ Hiko is just that good. As this quote I found while surfing illustrates: "Hiko is just too cool to be wrong." --. The master has arrived, and the badass quotient is going through the roof. All hail Seijuro Hiko the 13th!

A word from the creator, Nobuhiro Watsuki:
"In Hiko's case, there was really no model for his character. When I go to illustrate someone with the name of 'Master,' I always think of someone who is extremely arrogant. But, he's a character that I like, and I really wish that I would be able to bring him in more. However, since Hiko is actually stronger than Kenshin is, my boss told me to think of him as a kind of a joker card in a deck, because he is so omnipotent, and that bringing him in can cause trouble...
This may sound strange, but lately I've been wondering about machismo, and Hiko is really a forerunner of that. You see him drink a lot, but I don't drink. I kinda put it in there because it looked all manly and cool and drink alone, but that doesn't mean that Hiko is a real heavy drinker. I also received letters asking if this Hiko was a relative of the Hiko Seijuurou from my short story "Crescent Moon over the Warring Country." In the story, the secrets of the Hiten Mitsurugi Ryuu are not passed down by blood, but by skill level.
Well, the design is the same as the one from Crescent Moon," but truthfully, that design is based on Master Obata's story "Arabian Lamp Lamp," the character Hiten Majin Hamel (Master Obata, I am so, soooo SORRY.).
From the short story to RK, I simplified his design, along with the hairstyle. Although both Hiko and Kenshin were men of the sword, Hiko was intended to be completely different, so I gave him a very macho body. For female fans who liked the face but were disillusioned by the body, I'm sorry...but if everyone was beautiful, how fun would it be...I don't like that...And the cloak is based off a popular American Comic, Spawn."