Shishio Makoto (志々雄 真実), known in western order as Makoto Shishio. After the death of Yukishiro Tomoe, Himura Kenshin became a free wielding swordsman to protect members of the Ishin Shishi. Shishio Makoto became his successor as hitokiri (assassin) and was responsible for the assassination of I'izuka, the man who had betrayed the Choshu party. The future Meiji government was more secretive about Shishio than Kenshin; many members of the Chōshū and Satsuma clans (the members of the future Meiji government) had very little information on him.
Later, the new Meiji government believed it would be in their best interests to eliminate Shishio. While they had found Himura to be an idealistic servant of the Imperialist cause, Okubo and other Meiji officials correctly concluded that Shishio was an opportunistic sociopath who would undoubtedly use his vast knowledge of government secrets to plunge the country into turmoil for his own personal gain. Thus, during the Boshin War, Shishio was knocked out from a blow to the head, doused in oil and burned alive by the Ishin Shishi. He survived, sustaining severe damage to his entire body. Even though years have passed since his injuries, he continues to wear bandages day and night.
Shishio assembled a group of the best fighters in Japan, called the Juppongatana (Ten Swords), to overthrow the Meiji government. He envisioned a Japan ruled by him, enforcing the principles of Social Darwinism, or what he called "the strong eat the weak". Using this belief, Shishio ran a campaign against the Meiji government, as he felt it was too weak to effectively lead the country. Using his motto, he molded an ideological disciple out of Seta Sōjirō, who served as his right-hand man, and the strongest of the Juppongatana. He planned to strengthen the economy with petroleum once he took over the country.
Shishio's sword, like Kenshin's, is a work by master swordsmith Arai Shakku: a blade called Mugenjin (無限刃? lit. "Unlimited Blade"); its self-sharpening serrated edge flaked away in a regular pattern as it was used and it had become soaked in the flesh and body fat of the victims he had killed over the years. As a result he is able to execute fire-oriented techniques using the oils as fuel. However, due to its serrated edge, the blade does not cut very deeply, allowing Shishio's opponent to feel the pain of both slashing and burning. Shishio is nevertheless capable of slicing opponents in two with one quick slash.