Glossary Familiarize yourself with Rurouni Kenshin terms.

Confused on some Kenshin terms? We can help! More to come…

A – G


Baka – Stupid / Silly.
Bakumatsu – The period in Japan during the end of the Edo era in which the Ishin Shishi group and Tokogawa were at war. See Japanese Crash Course for more information.
Battoujutsu – Kenshin’s most famous stance that earned him the name “Battousai” as he states to Jine.
-Chan – Suffix meaning “little”, “cute”, “small”. A loving term.
Dame – No/never/absolutely not.
Desho / Deshi – Pupil.
Edo Empire – Era in which the Tokugawa ruled. Edo (capital) is now known as Tokyo.

H – K


Hitokiri – Shadow assassin, Kenshin was hired as a Hitokiri during the ages of 14-17.
Jiiya – What Misao calls Okina.
-Kun – Suffix used as respect or with affection, to induce a certain familiarity.
Ishin Shishi – Group that brought about the Meiji Restoration, basically patriots like Kenshin.

L – R


Meiji Era – The era after the Tokugawa when imperial power was returned the Meiji, the emperor.
Meiji Restoration – Between 1853-1868 which had samurai fighting for the restoration of the emperor Meiji.
Okashira – Boss/leader.
Oniwa Banshuu – During the Bakumatsu, this secret elite of ninjas were assigned to guard Edo Castle.
Onmitsu – (secret) ninja/spies (ex. Oniwa Banshuu).
Rurouni – Wanderer.
Ryu – in Rurouni Kenshin “Ryu” often indicates the school (or technique) of a character.

S – Z


Sakabatou – A reverse blade, which is also Himura Kenshin’s weapon of choice.
-Senpai – Suffix used towards an elder/senior/older student.
-Sama – Suffix used towards a leader or someone respectable.
Sekihou Tai – Armed group of peasants who served the Ishin Shishi until they were massacred by them.
Sensei – Teacher/ Master
Shihandai – “Co-Instructor” (or assistant instructor). Used towards Kaoru, and Yahiko calls her this when he wants stuff.
Shinsengumi – Highly organized group which fought against the Ishin Shishi, thus against imperial rule.
Shishou – Means teacher or master. Kenshin uses this to address Hiko.
Shogun – Chief rulers in Japan during the Tokugawa Dynasty.
Tokugawa Shogunate – Form of government from 1609-1867 which didn’t allow western culture and was ruled by shoguns.
Usui – Weak, thin. Also the name of a character.
Yakuza – Gangs (in Japan).

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