Zenjirou Shibukawa (渋川善次郎, Shibukawa Zenjirō) was the leader of a band of thieves that Toshizou Hijikata wanted to recruit.
Shibukawa is an old man with a gaunt face and heavy wrinkles on his eyes and mouth along with a small beard. He has long black hair that he keeps tied back in a knot and wears a dark robe with a fur coat hanging over it. Shibukawa is also seen carrying a pipe to smoke.
As the leader of a band of thieves, Shibukawa has earned the respect of his men as stated by Hijikata. He also enjoys torturing other people, when he suspects that they may know more than they let on. He is able to keep his cool when things go wrong for him, but this may be a ruse to throw off his enemy while he commands his men. It is implied that Shibukawa may be gay when he caught Shiraishi masturbating and told him that the reason why the prisoners are kept in odd numbers to each room was to prevent them from raping each other.
Sometime before the beginning of the story, Shibukawa was put into Kabato Prison, where he became acquainted with Hijikata. He was also put into a communal cell with Yoshitake Shiraishi and Chouan Kumagishi, but did not interact much with them. One night, he caught Shiraishi masturbating to a shunga picture and asked him if he knows why the prisons only kept odd numbers of prisoners in each communal cell. When Shiraishi says it's probably easier to make escape plans with only two people, Shibukawa says it's to stop them from raping each other. Some time later, he was recently released from prison and afterwards, was able to reassemble his old thieving band and made his home on the outskirts of Otaru.
While Shibukawa was relaxing at his home with his men, he is visited by Hijikata and his group. After one of his men got agitated and was thrown into the ceiling by Tatsuma Ushiyama, Shibukawa simply greeted them. When Hijikata asks if his men had visited him, he confirmed it and said that they had tortured them, to which they revealed the story about the Ainu gold. Shibukawa asks Hijikata to show his tattoo to them, but he replies by throwing the decapitated heads of his men who were outside, ready to surround Hijikata's group. As Shibukawa commented on Hijikata's nature, he is about to scream to kill him when Hijikata shoots and kill him. Hijikata and his men kills the rest of Shibukawa's men as well, and he comments that Shibukawa wasn't even half of the man that Kondo was.
Abilities and Equipments Edit
Shibukawa's prowess was such that a man like Toshizou Hijikata wanted to recruit him and even told his men not to kill him.