高杉晋助, Shinsuke-sama, Hikusugi-kun Leader of the Kiheitai
Height: 170 cm Occupation: Hobbies: Smoking pipe playing shamisen A former comrade of Gintoki and Katsura and a major antagonist. He is easily recognisable through his bandaged left eye his colorful kimono his eerie smile and the pipe he is often seen smoking. He Gintoki and Katsura studied in the same temple elementary school when they were children and he fought with them against the Amanto invasion during the latter part of the Joui war. After the war ended he vanished and has since gained a dangerous reputation due to his assassination of many of the Bakufus main officers and his planning of a largescale coup detat. Before his first appearance in both the anime and the manga he was mentioned to have fled Edo and to have been hiding in Kyoto although it is unclear how long before this was. He now believes that the only way to save it is to destroy the rotten postJoui war world. He is shown to like festivals although this is mainly due to the opportunity they provide for a largescale terrorist attack: he appears to have an attraction to ruin that is almost nihilistic. He also appears to have considerable insight due to his seeing through Itous heart and subsequently planting him in the Shinsengumis ranks. It can be assumed that he is as skilled a swordsman as both Gintoki and Katsura having fought alongside them as one of the heroes of the Joui war. That aside he appears to have at least considerable skill in playing the shamisen and is shown at one point playing it with Bansai as they talk.