Okita Souji's Description and Portrait
Okita Souji is usually established with an image of a young and handsome swordsman. In film, TV and play he is always casted for that role. But when we take the accounts back then and piece them together, he seems not to be a handsome young men especially since there was no picture left (well at least not back then we do have a probable picture now).
There is a portrait that is in Tachikawa city that is kept by a descendant of Okita's sister. It gives a name but I can't seem to understand, the name keeps translating to "Photon" but I doubt that's correct. According to Mori Makiko (name!?) in a manuscript of Okita Souji, the present head of the Okita household Okita Katsuyoshi (name!?) confesses to the author that the point model was his father (thus not really Okita). The grandchild (I assume Katsuyoshi's dad) was told that he looked similar to Souji and then used the hair style of a popular actor who impersonated Okita in the movie called "Swordsman Okita Souji". Now from what I know there's at least two movies by that name, I would think they are referencing the older one done in 1929. Case in point, the portrait is not Souji and is just a composite.
Now there are two people who indeed had met Okita and left descriptions... Those are Yagi Tamesaburou and Satou Higokorou.
Yagi Tamesaburou as we know is the son of Yagi Gennoujou who let the Shinsengumi stay in the estate in Mibu. Tamesaburou says that Okita was a dark man, with a high shoulder (tall and/or broad shouldered?) and was 20 years old was the youngest. The youngest statement, I guess is his impression only as we know Okita is not the youngest in the group.
The account of the great grandchild of Satou Higokorou tells us a bit more. This account was done for NHK Educational television in March 1973. He mentions that it is said that Okita was a man who laughs cheerfully often. He was dark, the eyes thin (I would think this means narrow) and the face like a fish (I've heard that this "fish face" could mean that the face was "flat").
NOW... We do have a most "probable" photograph of Okita. It was used as the cover for "Geki Shinsengumi" that came out after the Hakodate war, amongst the personal effects (things) of Hijikata. Now this one I think has a much better chance of being the real Okita, however there is still a lot of doubt it is really him amongst Japanese Shinsengumi researchers...