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Yukishiro Tomoe
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Yukishiro Tomoe, known in Western order (Tomoe Yukishiro) in the English anime, is a fictional character in Nobuhiro Watsuki's popular anime and manga series Rurouni Kenshin, otherwise known as Samurai X. She takes a major role in the Rurouni Kenshin: Tsuioku Hen/Samurai X: Trust and Betrayal OVA (original video animation) and her seiyû is Junko Iwao. Yukishiro Tomoe was the daughter of a samurai, a low-level bureaucrat who served the Shogunate in Edo. Her only sibling was her younger brother Enishi, who viewed her as a surrogate parent because of their mother's death shortly after his birth; he threw a tantrum on hearing of her engagement to Kiyosato Akira, the younger son of another similarly-ranked family. Her skills included the Edo-mae style of cooking (distinct from Kyoto cuisine), the flower-arrangement art of ikebana, and beautiful calligraphic handwriting; her signature perfume was the scent of white ume blossoms. As required by the Shogunate, she practiced Buddhism. She kept diaries to record her inner thoughts and emotions, which she found difficult to express more openly. This reticence left Kiyosato unaware of how much she truly loved him. Thinking that he needed to win her over with greater accomplishments, he went to Kyoto as bodyguard of a Shogunate official and was killed by the Hitokiri Battôsai (the nom du guerre of Himura Kenshin), but also gave Kenshin his first battle scar, a single slash along the face. Distraught with grief, Tomoe left home and came to Kyoto, where she was recruited by Shogunate spies to win her way into Kenshin's confidence. The Imperialist leader Katsura Kogorô (known as Kido Takayoshi after the Meiji Restoration) also sensed that she was a key to Kenshin's more human side. After the Ikedaya Jiken, Katsura sent both of them away from Kyoto to an isolated house near the town of Otsu. To mislead enemies who would might ask about a single newcomer, Kenshin and Tomoe were instructed to live as husband and wife; in the manga, Kenshin insisted on making the marriage official; in the OVA, their marital status was less clear. At the time, weddings were largely a matter of civic registration rather than religious ceremony, but one of the first acts of their shared life was a short pilgrimage from Otsu to the remains of the Buddhist temple complex on Mount Hiei. She also travelled with him around the nearby countryside as part of his further disguise as a seller of herbal medicines. In reawakening Kenshin's former gentle nature, she became conflicted about her own feelings for him. Eventually, she tried to throw off the Shogunate spymasters in hopes of saving Kenshin's life, but ended up being used as bait to draw him in for the kill. By the time Kenshin reached her, he had been weakened by several preliminary ambushes, so that he seemed likely to lose the final duel until Tomoe threw herself between the two combatants. Blinded with pain, Kenshin was unable to see her until it was too late, and delivered a fatal blow to his opponent and to her with the same slash of his sword. The second half of Kenshin's cross-shaped scar was cut by Tomoe's dagger, although the exact circumstances differ between the OVA and the manga. Kenshin brought her body back to the house they had shared near Otsu, where he remained for a brief period of mourning before razing it as her funeral pyre. He carried her diaries away with him. Although this house stood near Otsu, a gravestone for her was later erected in a Kyoto temple, where he left her diaries after the battle of Toba-Fushimi. He did not return to her grave until many years later, after Shishio's defeat. In the manga, Tomoe's brother Enishi returned as an adult to visit her grave and pursue vengeance against Kenshin, whom he considered his sister's murderer. Enishi's actions sent Kenshin into near-catatonic despair that was broken by a vision of Tomoe's spirit; eventually, Enishi's own motivations were also broken by similar visions of her, as well as by reading passages from her diary.

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