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Lessons from the (Reverse-Edged) Sword: What Every Man Can Learn from Battosai

by Culture Team
31 Jul 2017 | 2:10 PM

For every Filipino kid in the late '90s who had access to Studio 23, there's no other sword-wielding character as iconic as Kenshin Himura. With Samurai X's epic sword fights and gripping plot lines, it's no wonder many people grew to love the assassin-turned-wanderer.

Red hair and yukata, a reverse-edged sword, and a cross-shaped scar on the left cheek - these are the things that define Kenshin Himura, the Battosai. But beyond the distinct appearance of this Shogunate-era manslayer, there is much more to the character.


hen you mull over the stories and peculiarities of the series, you would know that there are life lessons you can pick up from the man who practiced the Hiten Mitsurugi-ryu. Now that the second live-action film has been in cinemas for quite some time, it's the perfect moment to ponder on these life lessons.

Stand up for what you believe in
If there's one thing we all have to admire about Kenshin, it's his rock-hard conviction in his beliefs. When he gave up his ways as a killer, he decided to stick with his newfound belief no matter what happens. This became evident the moment he started wielding a reverse-edged sword, a blade that can't cut and that's practically useless to anyone, but him. Throughout the series, Kenshin used no other sword.

The sword symbolized his conviction toward his path as a mere wanderer - and this is something you can apply in everyday life. No matter what trial comes your way, it's always important that you have your own principles to uphold. These are the beliefs you deem non-negotiable, things you won't give up for any temptation or bribe. After all, these beliefs define you, your moral ground, and your honor not just as a man, but also as a human being.

Know where to draw the line
When the villain Shishio Makoto started his crusade against the newly established government, Kenshin received a request from the government to help put a stop to this plan. At first, the Battosai didn't give an answer - but he said yes to the request the moment he saw the atrocities Shishio has committed. This is where he knew he had to draw the line. This is where he decided to do everything in his ability to stop Shishio's madness.

Kenshin knew when it was his moment to act. You should pick up that lesson, too. A lot of things in life depend on the time you made your move, after all. The success rate of asking her out, the probability of you scoring that promotion, and the chance you get to make your life better - you can attribute all these things to proper timing at one point.

Moreover, this is part two of the first lesson. When you have your beliefs, you have to know when you need to fight just to uphold it. Do know that your action can go a long way in achieving the ends of your beliefs. As Battosai himself said in the anime, "New eras don't come about because of swords. They are created by the people who wield them."

Circumstances make life more interesting
Life always has its share of conflict to throw in your direction. Just take a look at Kenshin's story. He left his path as a killer, yet there were many instances wherein he was challenged to go back to his old ways. Of course, he did use his beliefs and conviction (on top of excellent sword skills) to get through, but the point is that he never gave up. He understood the value of life and what it truly means to live.

Although you might face nerve-wracking situations at some point, you should always hold on and strive towards improving your situation. These trials, after all, are what make life more interesting. To borrow a quote from the manga, "You can always die. It's living that takes real courage."

Kenshin Himura transcends from being an icon of childhood. From a deeper perspective, Battosai is a source of valuable life lessons we can take with us forever. Although it may seem that the character is nothing more than an image of our TV-filled childhood, it's important that we remember these things we can learn from fictional characters.