The Meiji Teachings
Evil In Question

Akai Kitsune

"The age when the oppressed weak cry themselves to sleep is over. There will be no high or low. The age of equality for the four classes has come. And we, the Sekihoutai, will lead the way."

I hate Meiji. I hate this government, damn underhanded, untrustworthy, murdering-

I hate them.

People always ask questions about me, though never to my face. They ask behind my back - at my back, where they can see what I show them when I turn.


There are always questions.

Why does he always pick fights?

Why is does he seems so casual, then so angry?

What's with the bandana he's always wearing?

Why does he wear the kanji for evil?

What can I say to them? I have my own questions.

Why were we lied to?

Why did the government abandon us?

Why were we slaughtered like animals without a crime on our backs that they themselves didn't cause?

Why did the Meiji government raise the hopes of the Sekihoutai, then stab us in the back?

The leaders of Meiji put the symbol of evil on the backs of the Sekihoutai.

What's left of us.

Why do I wear evil so proudly? Because I will not be ashamed of what I was part of. What so many people died for.

Sagara-taichou saved my life that day, the day he died. The day they killed them, killed them all.

Damn them.

I hate Meiji. I hate everything about Meiji.

Well... maybe...

The people are living peacefully now. No more war-torn Kyoto, living in fear and unfairness for every peasant family across the country. Things are getting better.


Then why did the Sekihoutai have to die without reason?

There was a reason. The government lied to us, to everyone. They killed us to cover it up, and then they lied again.

They put the symbol of evil on the backs of the Sekihoutai.

I wear the symbol of evil on my back, because I am not ashamed of who I am.

I am Sekihoutai, and I survived when all the others were killed. I survived because my captain is an honourable, brave man who cares about the people who work under him.

I wish the Meiji government could have learned from him.

I wish they could learn from the mistakes they have made against the people who wanted nothing more than to make a difference in the world.

There are still men like that, it seems.

After the deaths of Sagara-taichou and the other Sekihoutai, I would have done anything to be strong, to get my revenge against the ones responsible for their murders. I fought, and I won a reputation of fear and danger, of strength and skill. I grew into someone who could defend myself and others if I had to.

I wish I had had this strength when Sagara-taichou needed it. Maybe I could have...

I would have fought until the very end, for him. I have always fought for him.

At least... I might have thought that way, before.

I understand much better now. It was never for him... never for Sagara-taichou.

I fought for myself. I fought to forget what was done to me, to my family in the Sekihoutai. I fought for the sake of losing myself in the battle, so that, even for a brief instant, I could stop thinking of when they all died, and I alone survived.

I never realized... until I was defeated by a man who echoes what I saw in you, Sagara-taichou.

A man who still believes in the Meiji government, what they are capable of.

Somehow, I wanted to hate him for that. For believing, for seeing something that I couldn't.

For hoping that, even after all they've done, it could still get better.

But... I guess part of me still wanted to know if it was possible. If things could get better, if men like him could lead the country towards something different, something stronger and more worthy of the title of Revolution.

I wanted to see why he still believed, after all he had been through, all he had done, that things could get better.

I wanted to know why my captain was urging me to stay with this man, to see if he is all he claims to be.

So... I'll be watching you, Himura Kenshin.

Sagara-taichou never disappointed me.

I'm kinda hoping... that you don't, either.


Akai Kitsune
Written April 2003