Hiruma Gohei (比留間 伍兵衛) and his older brother, Hiruma Kihei, plot to take over Kamiya Kaoru's dojo. After her father died, Kihei collapsed in front of her dojo and she took him in. Kihei became kind of a live-in apprentice and kept asking her to sell her dojo. Gohei, a former samurai, became a murderer under the false name of Hitokiri Battōsai. When Kaoru begins to discover the truth, Kihei and Gohei try to kill her but Himura Kenshin saves Kaoru, beats Gohei and scares Kihei to unconsciousness. The brothers later ask Sagara Sanosuke to fight Kenshin, a battle that the former hitokiri end up winning. Revolted, Gohei shoots at Kenshin, but he is able to stop the bullet with his sakabato. When they try to attack Kaoru and Myōjin Yahiko, Sano defeats Gohei and Kenshin injures Kihei into submission. Later in the series, they are employed as bodyguards by a yakuza in Sanosuke's hometown, and then by the yakuza's uncle. Sanosuke beats them on both occasions.
In the anime, Gohei has no brother, and his intelligence is increased to the point where he could be considered a "fusion" of the two, sometimes even performing the actions Kihei did in the manga. Gohei used to be a student in the Kamiya dojo, but because he kept insisting in using real swords for killing, he was challenged by his teacher, Kaoru's father, and got his right thumb crushed, preventing him from using a sword with his right hand. Gohei comes back later, claiming to be Battōsai and using Kamiya Kasshin-ryū, he attacks Kaoru's dojo. Kenshin saves her and crushes Gohei's left fingers using his Hiten Mitsurugi-ryū, making him unable to wield a sword at all. Feeling totally useless in being unable to wield a sword for the rest of his life, Gohei seeks revenge on Kenshin and hires Sanosuke (then known as Zanza fighter-for-hire) to fight Kenshin, but this fails. Later, he hires the Kisaki brothers to defeat Kenshin. Though they almost succeed, Yahiko returns Kenshin's Sakabatō and the brothers are defeated.
Watsuki wanted "interesting villains to start things off with a bang". He wanted one as "brainy" and one as "wild". He used a manager and director of Takeshi Obata's Chikarabito Densetsu as a model for Kihei and a character he found in a magazine for Gohei. Watsuki states that, unlike the faces of Kenshin and other characters, the faces of Kihei and Gohei are of basic shapes. In Watsuki's view, drawing the Hiruma brothers was "easy" as a result.
- ↑ "The Secret Life of Characters (4). Rurouni Kenshin Volume 1