The Courtship of Lady Tokio

Disclaimer: all character rights belong to Watsuki Nobuhiro, Shueisha etc. This is a fictionalized account based in part on historical facts.

Prologue

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful girl from the land of Aizu. She was the dutiful daughter of a samurai household, and she served her land and lord well. Many men came from far and wide to seek her hand in marriage, and she refused them all with a gentle smile. The years passed, and times changed, and war tore apart the land. Through it all, though so much was lost, she continued to live as best as she could.

Once upon a time, there was a man, one of the greatest swordsmen of his times. He was called a wolf, a demon fighter, and he was feared. But in truth, he was a keeper of the peace, and a good man. He lived by his sword and never wavered in his convictions. It was the strength of those convictions that sustained him when he had nothing else to his name.

His life was filled with everything that makes life great: with challenges, with courage, sorrow and laughter, with friendship and love and loss.

Her life was the mirror to his: of its trials and tribulations, its rise and fall, of tragedy and triumph, of redemption and resolution.

Together, they told one story, the story of a woman who was called "the Flower of Aizu" and the man known as "the Wolf of Mibu".


Author's notes:

Japanese girl who has been obsessed with Saitou Hajime and the Shinsengumi ever since he appeared in Rurouni Kenshin. And while there are quite a few fantastic Saitou-Tokio fics out there - I just really wanted to write my own...

This story is heavy on history which I have tried my best to explain in my footnotes. (I've always maintained that I have the smartest readers for being able to keep up with the historical events.) Regarding the characters, most are based on real people, and I have tried my best to follow Watsuki's characterization of Saitou. I'm sorry if I don't always succeed.

Artist Eeni is in the process of making a doujinshi based on this fic. Please see my profile page for more details - it's really quite excellent and has a terrific sense of action. I love her rendition of the scenes and the characters, and hope you will enjoy it too!

I first started this fic back in 2004 and it took me eight years to finish. I am incredibly grateful to all the readers who have supported me over this time. All criticisms and comments would be greatly appreciated; it is truly gratifying and humbling to hear from people. Thank you very much for all your support.