Kaze Hikaru is set in the bakumatsu. After her father and older brother are murdered, Tominaga Sei decides to pose as a boy named Kamiya Seizaburo (神谷清三郎?) so that she can join the Mibu-Roshigumi (later known as the Shinsengumi) and avenge their deaths. Trained by Okita Soji, she soon finds herself falling in love with him.
The series has been published in Japan by Shogakukan since 1997. It is published in the North America by VIZ Media and ran in VIZ media's Shojo Beat magazine from the magazine's start until its September 2006 issue, when it was replaced by Backstage Prince. In 2003, it won the Shogakukan Manga Award for shōjo.
The title of this series is a reference to this haiku:
まこと の なたに
makoto no nata ni
hana goro mo
("Wind shines/around truth's flag/and the symphony of flowers too")
- Tominaga Sei (富永セイ?)
- A fictional character created by Watanabe Taeko, she poses as a boy named Kamiya Seizaburo and joins the Miburōshi (later renamed Shinsengumi) in order to avenge the death of her father and older brother at the hands of members of the Chōshū clan. Saitou looks like her brother and she actually calls him "ani-ue". After succeeding in revenge, she decides to stay with the Miburo to stand by Okita's side and protect him. Though most of the time he angers her more than anyone with his quirk and pranks, he often treats her like a child or forget she is a girl. In the Ikedayia affair, she went mad because Okita had gone down, though it was revealed he had fainted from a high dry fever, for her achievement, she earned the surname of "Ashura" (god of war), Kondo wanted to see her skills and luck to make Kamyia Seizaburou his son. Okita was struggling with his feelings and thus agree and even ignores her trouble, forgetting she was a girl, making her wants to tell everyone she was a girl and commit seppuku because she thinks he hated her. Okita often attemps to make her go back to her girl's life but she always succeeds to stay. She is stubborn and spirited. She often argues with Hijitaka. Becouse she still looks like a girl, many members of Shisengumi are in love with her, but they let her to Okita, as they acknowledge for a long time Kamyia loves Okita, they also learn to watch after her with time. Ito takes a liking on her because of her face and hugs her when he sees her, or tells her she is the reincarnation of a beautiful and successful man. He wanted her to be his assistant, which would have caused her a lot of trouble, as there are little chance she would be able to conceal her true identity, leading to Okita telling her to go before her secret his discored. Her brother's friend Akesato helps her with her period, Sei has a three days indulgence to hide this fact but she is disgusted that the other men think Akesato is Kamiya's girl. The doctor Matsumoto helped her to conceal her identity by inventing a dicease to explain why she was not masculine.
- Okita Sōji (沖田総司?)
- The genius swordsman and officer of the Shinsengumi. He has a sunny disposition that sometimes borders on childishness, but displays frighteningly deadly skill in combat situations. He is first assigned as the assistant vice captain; later in the series, he gets assigned as the captain of the first squad. He is one of the few people in the story who are aware of Sei's true gender and he cares deeply about her well-being. He wanted her to go back to her girl's life after she had have her revenge and often tell her to do so everytime they are hitting a wall (when Itou wanted her as Kosho, when he was about to leave for one full month). After the Ikedayia affairs, he realises he does "love" Sei as he loves Hijitaka, meaning he does like her. It takes him two years to realise he really LOVES Sei, while everyone (except for Sei) knew about it from a very long time. He is protective to Sei. He trains her. He would often hug her to comfort her. He is jealous when he sees someone hug her and would step before her or even snatch her of the man's hold. With Kamiya they often looks like a couple, though they have no idea.
- Hijikata Toshizō (土方歳三?)
- The Shinsengumi's vice-commander. He is known to many as cruel and strict taskmaster with a high standard of morals. Though that is simply facade because he simply had to learn to be the devils advocate due Kondou Isami's inability to put people in their place. Therefore, Hijikata plays the 'bad guy' to maintain order, and it is a role he plays well. Hijikata's softer side is his love of poetry, evident in a book filled with his haiku that actually gave the name of this series. Though he does not show it often, he does care for the people around him. He often argues with Kamiya
- Kondō Isami (近藤勇?)
- The leader of all the Shinsengumi. He is a kind gentle man who cares about every single member of the Shinsengumi. He is a natural leader and really devoted to his cause.
- Saitō Hajime (斎藤一?)
- Although he is not quite sure if Sei is a girl, Saito is quite fond of her. Saito is level headed and mature with combat skills rival that of Okita. Since he has an uncanny resemblance to Sei's deceased brother, she sometimes address him as aniue (translates to brother above). He is her silent protector - who is always there for consolation when something is upsetting her (usually something related to Okita). Saito's personality comes off to others as bland and very serious, but he does have a great sense of humor that comes out around Okita, then a hysterical side that comes out whenever he thinks Sei is being hit on.
- "小学館漫画賞：歴代受賞者" (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Retrieved 2007-08-19.
- Hajimenokizu - A site dedicated to Saitou Hajime and the Shinsengumi in various fictional and historical incarnations.
- Shining Wind - A fansite devoted to the Kaze Hikaru manga.