1. A character appearing in the Rurouni Kenshin anime series. While only appearing first in the first bit of the Shishio (Kyoto) arc (episode 31), his character is IMHO one of the strongest of the entire show.

Soujirou was betrayed at an early age when his mother, a prostitute, left him with his father, a man in the rice distribution business. His father died soon afterwards, and he was left in the family as a kind of unwanted orphan. "Unwanted," is quite a weak word in this instance. He was repeatedly flogged by his foster parents. The only recourse he had was to force himself to smile so that his dysfunctional parents would stop relentlessly beating him. This behaviour started his supression of most of his emotions. One night Soujirou witnessed a bandaged man killing a police officer. While trying to be quiet, he was betrayed by a snapping branch behind him, alerting the bandaged man, Shishio, of his presence. When threatened with death, Soujirou's only response was to crack a smile and grin like a maniac. When asked by Shishio, "Would dying make you happy?" Soujiro did not reply and continued to grin. Shishio quickly agreed to let Soujirou live if only he were to keep shishio safe for a while.
Later on, whilst conversing with his two cousins, Soujirou's bag of rice broke and he was once again flogged mercilesly. That evening, he returned to the rice storage house to bring Shishio his rice and fresh bandages. Shishio quickly explains to him that the reason he is subjected to beating: "The strong survive and the weak just die." After handing soujirou his Wakizashi, Soujirou spent the next few days pondering those words. Eventually, the family figured out that Soujirou had been hiding Shishio. Soujirou tried to escape, only to find his brothers chasing him relentlessly. He is forced to slaughter his entire family. ShiShio(who had been sitting in the warehouse eating the whole time) came out and asked if Soujirou had been crying. Soujiro then turned to him with a smile on his face and said that he was not. However, we discover later on that he was.

With an invitation from Shishio and nowhere else to turn, Soujirou finally decided to abandon his life and adopt Shishio's ideals.

A long time later, we see Soujirou as an 18 year old killer with the power of Sukuchi (sp?) or amazing speed. His skills prove to be better than Kenshin's, but his ideology is proved faulty and he abandons Shishio to become a wanderer.


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