Kamiya Kaoru is a fictional character from Rurouni Kenshin (RK), an immensely popular manga (and later anime) series written and drawn by Nobuhiro Watsuki. Set in Japan's Meiji Era, RK tells the story of Himura Kenshin, a wandering swordsman with a dark past seeking atonement for his crimes.
Seventeen-year-old Kaoru is introduced as the sole heir and practitioner of the Kamiya Kasshin-Ryu, a style of kenjutsu (fighting style using swords) developed by her father, which is unique in that its emphasis is ironically not in killing the enemy, but in protecting the innocent. Kenshin—who was hinted at early on to be the hitokiri battousai, an infamous shadow assassin for the previous regime—is immediately drawn to this school, for he finds this incredibly antithetical to his own.
In the first chapter, Kaoru was searching for the person responsible for smearing the good name of her father's school, making her lose all her students in fear of wrongful association. Specifically, she was searching for the notorious battousai, whom she heard was dragging her father's name into the mud by telling everyone that he belonged to her school. She runs into Kenshin and is almost convinced he was the person she was looking for because he had battousai's identifying mark—the cross-shaped scar on his cheek—but dismisses him easily, for he looks weak and harmless. ^^;
Kenshin—the real battousai—eventually rescues Kaoru from this gang (or syndicate) who was after the dojo she inherited when her father died. By fighting in the actual style battousai is known for, the Hiten Mitsurugi-ryuu, Kenshin unmasks both the impostor and himself. Afterwards, Kenshin expresses his intent to continue his journey, stressing his new identity as a rurouni ("wanderer"). Kaoru's first reaction, however, is to invite him to stay, and to assure him that, however gruesome his reputation was, she does not care at all about his past. Startled at having met someone who could forgive him as easily when he could not quite forgive himself, Kenshin agrees.
As the story progresses, we see more facets in Kaoru's character: we get to know her as an independent, headstrong young woman with a caring heart and a strong sense of justice; her swordmanship skills are better than the average person, so against an ordinary fighter she can hold her own; she is not a very conventional woman in that she is not very domestically inclined—she cannot cook for her life (a running gag); and she is shown to lose her temper on occasion with her found family (Kenshin, Yahiko, and Sanosuke), but often for comedic purposes. Her best virtue, however, is her sense of compassion, a level of kindness that allows her to look beyond the faults of people and to see them for who they are, without the confines of how society has branded them. This is the mark she leaves readers, especially me, and that is why I chose it as this site's title.
For more on Kaoru, please go to the Rurouni Kenshin Wiki.