I'm Tsuruchiyo Niiro's surrogate father. I know who his real father is, but I won't tell him - though I've seen how withholding this information has aided the poor bastard in flushing his life down the toilet. Still, I won't tell him. I must not tell him.
I'm Hoshino Kenmotsu. I'm the leader of the Mito faction that is going to assassinate Naosuke Ii. Nothing must interfere with this plot. I'm a big picture kind of guy. The Tokugawa Shogunate is no longer able to handle Japan's security, what with the Russians to the north, the Americans to the East and the French and British everywhere else. Japan needs a new order.
I'm Okiku. When I first met Niiro, I thought he was a little strange. Then, when he stayed drunk at my inn, refusing to leave and causing a disturbance, I thought he was just a mess. A potentially dangerous mess. I tried to get rid of him. Then I heard about the gal that looked like me and that he loved and was denied. From then on, Niiro had my heart.
I'm Tsuruchiyo Niiro. I like sake. I've been cheated out of my heritage because nobody will tell me about my noble birth. I'm pretty handy with a sword, but because I'm a bastard, no prominent house will make me a samurai. I was once studying at a prominent dojo with the hope of letting my skill as a fencer earn me a good position, but that tanked because my heart is too passionate. Now I'm going to do something truly spectacular - something that will win me praise and ensure that I become a famous samurai. We'll just call it a dream until it comes true!
I'm Naosuke Ii. I'm a vital figure in the Tokugawa government. I realize the Mito clan is plotting against me, but I know there is no way on God's green earth that they will kill me. If they do, the entire government would collapse. It would mean the end of the samurai. So it's ridiculous to think that somebody would want to assassinate me. After all, aren't revolutionaries rational people, too? I mean, who would be foolish enough to kill me?