Japan's Edo Period was drawing to a close. The shogunate, who'd held power in the country for more than 200 years, found itself challenged by the imperial court, and by several domains who had chaffed under shogunal rule. In this midst of this political unrest, an organization rose to prominence: the Shinsengumi. Originally formed to protect the street of Kyoto from dangerous ronin, they came to represent the last, tragic bastion of the honor-bound samurai culture that had defined much of Japan's history.
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