And Hijikata Toshizou, the second-in-command of the private militia called the Shinsengumi–nicknamed “The Oni” (an ogre-like spirit that tracks down sinners and drags them to the Buddhist hells) because of his harsh, unyielding leadership. Violating any of the rules he created (such as “no private grudges” and “no deviating from the path proper to a samurai”), meant one had to commit harakiri. But he forbade married men and only sons to join, so as not to destroy any families, and voted for the removal of their founder, Serizawa Kamo, when Serizawa used the group’s power to racketeer–and, rather than letting his comrades take on the responsibility alone, assisted in Serizawa’s assassination, when Serizawa refused to step down. Hijikata was a harsh, violent man, but he, more than any of the other members, exemplified their motto, “Makoto”–sincerity or integrity.
Very interesting Hastrman. I will have to do some reading.
I agree about Joe McCarthy also.
Now is the point in the thread where I mention Vlad Tepes :eek:
Not too unlike Hijikata perhaps. Vlad Tepes (ascribed Vlad the Impaler in common folklore and the purported basis for Stoker’s Dracula) was born the son of Vlad II Dracul, the king of Wallachia. He and his brother Radu were given as vassals (they were hostages basically) to the Ottoman Turks. Dracul did this to appease the Muslims and forestall threat of invasion. While a young boy under the cruel supervision of the Turks, Vlad was whipped and beaten frequently. He also watched the Muslims brutally torture his countrymen. He grew to hate his brother Radu who was favored and treated more kindly by the future Sultan. He eventually attained the throne, his older brother brutally murdered. He maintained his hatred for the Ottoman Turks and eventually sided with Hungary and stopped paying tribute to the Sultanate. When the Turks assembled an army of around 90,000 troops to march on Vlad and Wallachia, they were greeted with a field of stakes with impaled Turkish prisoners on them. His psychological tactic and scant 30,000 troops were not enough and the Turks defeated him.
It was not long before the Ottomans withdrew, leaving Radu on the throne. Vlad, after a short guerilla war, was imprisoned for a time. He converted to Catholicism while in captivity. He gave generously to churches and monasteries in the region. He would fight the Ottoman forces again and eventually be killed in battle.
He lived a hard life, being tortured by the Muslims as a young boy and was witness to the torture and execution of many of his countrymen. He eventually found Christ and converted - generously giving to the Church and fighting the Ottoman advances, defending his people. There are stories of his cruel treatment of the guilty (and sometimes not so guilty) after his release from his time under the Sultan’s whip. Eastern Europe, particularly Romania, paint a much more respectful picture of him than Western Europe and the popular folklore passed down by Bram Stoker.