Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Kawakami Gensai (河上彦斎, 1834-1871), one of the four great hitokiri of the Bakumatsu period of 19th century Japan. It is said that he could be mistaken for a girl at first glance, but that his nature was the complete opposite of his appearance; he was a cold, calculating man said to be the most dangerous of the four.
Kawakami was famous for cutting down Sakuma Syouzan in broad daylight with his unique, lightning-fast Furanui style of Kenjutsu. This style is also known as Shiranui-ryu. Whether he was responsible for other assassinations is still a mystery. After the Meiji restoration ended the era of the samurai, Kawakami's ideas about isolationism conflicted with those of the government’s, and he was tried on false charges and executed in the fourth year of the Meiji era (1871).
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