Physically, he is a tall man with a somewhat angular face and a phenomenally developed physique. His hair is jet black and long, and usually kept in a pony tail. His attire consists of a set of black pants with European styled boots, and a short sleeved shirt, colored blue in the anime and red in the manga. He also wears a floor length, red and white cloak. This cloak is an heirloom of the Hiten Mitsurugi Ryu, and serves to maintain the strength of it's owner during peacetime. Hiko remains in training just by wearing it, as it is composed of several heavy materials that weigh him down and force him to work out because of counter-springs in the shoulders that constantly apply a pressure of around 200 pounds (90 kgf or 900 N). The cape also serves to keep the powers of Hiten Mitsurugi Ryu under control during training, and further enhance the physical aspects of the training for Hiko. The only time in the series Hiko is seen without it is when he prepares to kill Kenshin during their second bout of training, when he removes it in order to unleash his full power. Watsuki mentions in the manga that he based the billowy capes' image on Spawn of Image Comics by Todd McFarlane, particularly the collar
Paul Gekko ArcEdit
The thirteenth successor to the sword art of Hiten Mitsurugi-Ryū, Hiko serves as Kenshin's teacher and surrogate parent. Nothing is known about Hiko's past prior to meeting Kenshin. They first met on the day that Shinta (Kenshin's true name) traveling companions are under attack by bandits. He comes upon the scene by chance and saves the young boy from being killed but arrived too late to save anyone else. He tells the boy to go to the nearby town and tell them what happened, assuming that they would help him. He later receives news that nobody matching the boy's description had been seen in town, and assumes that he committed suicide. He then decides to journey back to the site of the massacre to bury the dead. When he arrives, he is surprised to find that, not only did the boy not commit suicide, but Kenshin had stayed behind to bury the dead himself. When he comments on this fact, assuming that the boy's companions had been his family, Kenshin reveals to Hiko's further surprise that his companions were in fact slavers. After his parents died of cholera, he had been captured and was to be sold when the slavers came under attack by bandits. He also tells Hiko of the three young women who he had wanted to protect, but who instead sacrificed themselves for him. Hiko then pours sake on their gravestones as a tribute. Impressed by the boy's inner strength and kindness, Hiko asks him for his name. When the boy tells him that his name is Shinta, Hiko gives him the name of Kenshin, stating the name Shinta sounded too soft to be the name of a swordsman. He then takes the boy as his apprentice, and trains him for the next six years.