(To Takasugi) Anyone can bare their fangs to protect someone. Unfortunately you have nothing to protect, Takasugi. You're just a monster.
Katsura Kotarou

Katsura Kotarou ( 桂 小太郎 Katsura Kotarō ) is the leader of the moderate Joui (攘夷) faction and a fugitive wanted by the authorities. He is also an expert in using bombs and escaping from Shinsengumi and penitentiaries.


In his childhood, Sakata Gintoki and Takasugi Shinsuke were Katsura's classmates under the same tutelage of Yoshida Shouyou. After the Kansei Purge event, they would rise up as the last warriors of the Joui Patriots to free (and later, avenge) their beloved teacher from the Bakufu.

Katsura later became comrades with Sakamoto Tatsuma during the Joui War.

When Katsura and Gintoki were injured, surrounded, and outnumbered by the Amanto, Katsura suggested that they should commit seppuku and die with honour, but Gintoki refused, saying they should live out the fullest with honour. Katsura agreed and they charged the enemies together.

After the Joui War, the three classmates went different paths as Katsura continued his activities fighting against the government.


He has long black hair (Okada Nizou asked whether Katsura is really a man, for having such silky hair in Episode 58), dark brown eyes and has an attractive demeanor. He typically wears a blue kimono with a yellow sash. The fact that he typically wears a pale blue haori on top of his kimono and white socks with slippers suggests that he is particular about how he dresses and carries himself. He is never seen lying around or sitting in a unrefined manner, and he typically keeps his arms in his sleeves when not carrying anything.

He is usually seen with his sidekick Elizabeth.

Since he is a wanted man, Katsura usually uses disguises to hide from Shinsengumi or to wander freely in public.

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Katsura's illogical decisions often suggest him to be a complete moron, though this may be a result of his lack of common sense rather than actual stupidity. Despite that, Katsura couldn't identify the Shogun by his physical appearance, or by his nickname "shou-chan". He is hardly ever seen joking, which only serves to amplify the oddities of his character.

He is also very persistent and kept pestering Gintoki to join him in his Jouishishi rebellion. He is a charismatic leader and commands great respect from his followers. One of his Joui followers described him as a man who cannot back down once he gets into high spirits over something. In fact he was able to rally a big group of followers in a very short time during his prison stint in Episode 110.

Katsura cute face

Thrifty in habit, he eats simple meals like soba, and once chastised Elizabeth against eating 'strawberry milk and parfait' so as not to weaken the body and the spirit (see Episode 58), though he has a soft-spot for んまい棒 Nmaibo, a corn snack modelled after うまい棒 umaibo.

Katsura also takes an interest in outdated things. Such is the case when he walked into the Bentendo Owee convention expecting to buy a Famicom when everybody else was looking for the Owee. This could be satire of how outdated the Joui ideals have become in a modern day world.

Katsura loves animals especially the paw pads of dogs and cats.

He has an extreme imagination and improvisation:

  • He sometimes does the voice of some inanimate objects.
  • He is prone to imagine long (drama) story out of short words.

He has a soft spot for housewives (or fetish, just choose) as shown in the Owee chapter when he was playing the dating simulation and the bond with Ikumatsu. Later on, he diagresses on this softspot by bluntly admitting that he in fact has a fetish for unfaithful wives.

In the beginning of the series, Katsura hated the world for taking away Yoshida Shouyou life and was willing to cause destruction against the government and Shinsengumi. But after seeing how Gintoki was, he decided to find more peaceful solutions .

Strength & Abilities

Master Swordsmanship Specialist: In his childhood, he was under the tutelage of Yoshida Shouyou together with Sakata Gintoki and Takasugi Shinsuke. He learnt swordsmanship from Yoshida Shouyou, Katsura uses a Katana and he is a highly skilled samurai.

When Katsura was trained by Sarutobi Ayame as ninja to save Elizabeth, according to Sa-chan his speed doesn't fall behind a true ninja. He was ranked B as his speed was good but his awareness was moderate.

Not only is he the leader of a fairly large terrorist group he is also a bomb specialist and is extremely good at gathering information on a variety of people.

He is crafty, creative and intelligent person despite his outward appearance:

  • His stunts to escape Shinsengumi's sight.
    • By using a Nmaibo as a smoke bomb.
  • He carries a parachute pack under his haori.
  • Whenever he incorporates food (curry or fried rice) into his fighting style, enemies become quickly incapacitated from indigestion and severe diarrhea from consuming the food.
  • Use Takeshi's Famicom "Super Monkey Adventure" cartidge against the Shinsengumi.

He is a master of diguises:

  • He dressed up as a pirate, Katsura would call himself "Captain Katsura".
    • He dressed as a soccer player and called himself as Captain Katsura.
  • He diguises as a travelling Buddhist Monk.
  • While having an interview, Katsura just wore a Groucho glasses disguise
  • In Episode 60 it was shown that he managed to escape from Nizo and hide himself and disguise himself as Elizabeth. This shows he is quite intellectual to be able to come up with such a plan.
  • He also has his own custom Renho disguise which also a space suit.
  • He also go by the name "DJ Ozura" as his rapper identity but Kondou Isao saw through it.
  • When Katsura is crossdressing, he goes by the name "Zurako" (ツラ子).
  • On episode 98, Katsura calls himself "Katsuo" (カツオ) when he cosplayed as Mario during the Bentendo Owee event.
  • In Episode 120, he goes by the not-so-clever alias of 'Joey (Joui) Katsura' when he was working undercover as an Amanto in an exclusive Amanto-only Restaurant, with the intention to force it to close down by blowing it up, before the extremist factions come and caused trouble.
  • He quickly disguise as a waiter when hiding in Ikumatsu Ramen Store.
  • He disguised as a maid called "Ichihara Ezurako" in order to spy on Matsudaira Katakuriko.

According to Gintoki, Katsura has never catch a cold because he thinks that his body resisted the cold. It turns out that his body can absorbs viruses to the point of where it strengthens his immune system which turns him into Ill Smith.



  • Yoshida Shouyou: Katsura studied under Shouyou and he, Gintoki and Takasuji joined the Joui Patriots to avenge the death of their teacher.

Friends & Allies

  • Sakata Gintoki: Katsura and Gintoki knew each other since they were children. They usually fight alongside with each other, so they can be considered very close friends. Gintoki always calls Katsura by the nickname "Zura", which literally means "wig", even though Katsura prefers his real name. Katsura always tries to recuit Gintoki to his organization but ultimately fails as Gintoki wasn't interested fighting a futile fight. After meeting him more and more he has changed more benevolent and tries to find more peaceful solutions to Amanto infestation instead of just extreme violence.
  • Sakamoto Tatsuma: They've fought in the Joui together with Gintoki and Takasugi, although they haven't interacted with each other much after Jouishishi war, but they seem to be in good terms as seen in Renho arc. Sakamoto gave Elizabeth to Katsura as a pet.
  • Elizabeth: He is always accompanied by Elizabeth from Episode 15 onwards, very attached to it and goes to it's rescue when it was 'kidnapped' in Episode 44. Katsura's affection to Elizabeth is so great he refuses to acknowledge that Elizabeth is just a man in sheets despite seeing a picture of the chubby man in an x-ray in Episode 129. Katsura is overprotective of Elizabeth as he'll pursuit any person who injures him. When he sees multiple Renho, Katsura would end up falling asleep.
  • Kagura: . On Episode 44, he wanted to have the red ninja suit which usually means the leader of the team. Kagura told him that red is her color and she should be the leader. She commanded Katsura to call her "Leader". She also said that the color yellow fits him well and he should always bring curry with him, thus having the title "Curry Ninja". He mentions Gintoki that she would make a good samurai, much to her dismay.

Love Interest


"Aren’t you trusting me a bit too much?"

Katsura encounters Ikumatsu as he was on the run from the Shinsengumi in Episode 39. He is shown to be sympathetic over the death of Ikumatsu's husband who was killed during a conflict involving the Jouishishi. Katsura would use Ikumatsu's ramen store to place an interview with the news reporter. In the Benizakura Arc, Ikumatsu was one of the people that was shown to be important for him. And in Chapter 431, he admitted that he's in love with Ikumatsu's soba. But it is a unrequited love because she always thinks about her husband. After Katsura's run in with the Shinsengumi in Episode 39 and the events that took place in that Episode, Katsura has been seen to periodically dine at Ikumatsu's place, this is evident to a point where Gintoki noticed it and couldn't help but ask Katsura if he had ever slept with Ikumatsu.


  • Kondou Isao: Katsura and Kondou are rivals, Kondo is always shown chasing after Katsura and they would always fight over the similiar nicknames such as Fruit Punch/Chinpo Samurai. In episode 88 they lose their memories and become friends (temporarily) both saying "I have a feeling that I was a person who protected the world peace. So we must've been comrades".
  • Takasugi Shinsuke: Katsura hated Takasugi now and even when they were still studying under Yoshida Shouyou but Katsura always thought Takasugi as a comrade. In the recent Benizakura arc, he tried to convince Takasugi out of his violence activity but failed as Takasugi desired only destruction. Katsura and Gintoki swore that the next time they meet, they would do everything to take him down.
  • Yagyuu Kyuubei: Since Kyuubei has more frequent appearance than Katsura, Katsura becomes very jealous stating that their character is overlapping each other for the dead-serious/eggheaded character, though Gintoki has mentioned many times that their characters don't overlap.
  • Tokugawa Shige Shige: When Shige Shige lost his memory, Katsura took him in to his Joui Army and teaches him how to be a Cool Leader. Katsura gets defeated by Shige Shige and all of the Katsura's Joui army now think of Shige Shige as a true leader including Elizabeth. When Katsura and Shige Shige decides to compete each other to see who can get Soyo Hime's head becomes the true leader. However it turns out it was all an act and Shige Shige tells Katsura that the next time they meet, one of them get will lose their head.


In Episode 39, he is unluckily spotted and injured by Okita Sougo and forced to take refuge in a ramen shop. The owner, Ikumatsu, allows him to stay as a waiter until the rain stops, he masters ramen making, or until his injury heals. Three fake Jouishishi continue to harress the owner for money, which Katsura runs off. Ikumatsu believes Joui are money-hungry bastards, who are responsible for the death of her husband. Katsura leaves with determination to prevent further civilian bloodshed.

Harusame Arc

Gengai Arc

Memory Loss Arc

Katsura's working for money when the main characters find him, and he invites a memory-less Gintoki to "forget all his worries" inside. When Gintoki's on the verge of remembering something, Katsura quickly asks if he remembers being his underling, who worked hard day and night, to Shinpachi's ire. Not working, Katsura joins Kagura in beating back the memories, but had to make a quick escape when the Shinsengumi arrive.

Go-Ninja Arc

Katsura enlists the Yorozuya to help him save Elizabeth, but the difficulty of sneaking in forces them to bring in an Expert to help them. After completing their training with Sacchan, Katsura and Yorozuya head forth to save Elizabeth, only to face various traps and other ninjas standing in their way.

Infant Strife Arc

Train Samurai Arc

Benizakura Arc

At the start of the Benizakura arc, Katsura is cut down by Okada Nizou, and the majority of his hair is put in a knot to show to Gintoki as proof of his death. Later Katsura re-appears bursting out of an Elizabeth costume, which Takasugi cut in two. Katsura was shown explaining his reasons for not wishing to destroy the world(also that he placed a bomb in the room with all of the Benizakura which then exploded). as Gintoki appears to face Nizou for a third fight. At the end of the arc, Gintoki and Katsura battle the Harusame space pirates in order to flee the ship as Takasugi and the Kihetai watch.After he and Gintoki declare that they will kill Takasugi, Katsura uses a parachute after they both jump out of the airship. Katsura comments about the pamphlet Shouyo gave the group of Joui as children. Gintoki said that he accidentally spilled Ramen on his, and had thrown it out.

Fuyo Arc

He was briefly seen eating Soba with Elizabeth when the news made an emergency announcement whenrobots are taking over. In the end of the arc, Katsura went to Otose Snack bar and spoke to Tama trying to teaching her about Samurais.

Owee Arc

Ryugujo Arc

Monkey Hunter Arc

Kintaro Arc

Yorozuya Barbers Arc

Character Poll Arc

Rokkaku Arc

He briefly made an appearance as the source of information about joushishi activity. Gintoki and Shinpachi went to the amusement park where Katsura was working and ask Katsura about Soukaitou group.

Kabukicho Stray Cat Arc

After escaping from the Shinsengumi, He is later found hiding on a bushes near a temple infested with stray cats. After defecating and urinating on the grave of the stray cats Katsura turn onto a black cat with an blue handkerchief tied around neck.

Santa Arc

According to his new year card he sent to Gintoki, he was standing outside on standby with Elizabeth.

Jugem Arc

When Jugem escapes, Yorozuya used their social network to help them find him. They first called Katsura and Elizabeth brought Balmung Fezalion instead.

Timeskip Arc

Two years later, Katsura became a transgender with his okama name Zurako. He battles with Kyuubei to be the best gay bar champion. Later he confronted Kondou when he gave birth to his child Goriko.

Vacation Arc

Renho Arc

Kintama Arc

Katsura and Elizabeth spent six months practicing to beat Kintoki at the Costume Grand Prix, and step on Gintoki while he's still lying in the road shocked over the altered 60 DVDs of Kintama.

Hasegawa Taizou and Katsura later reminise about nothing, then about someone they always hung out with... Big Daddy! Kintoki runs them over for ruining the mood.

When Gintoki was wanted for hurting Tama, everyone was out on the streets handing out wanted posters - including Katsura and the Jouishishi (but theirs were for other wanted fugitives). While helping look for Gintoki (and dragging his feet), Katsura visited a cosplay shop and cosplayed a flight attendant woman, scoring an offer from Tsukuyo to join Yoshiwara.

When the three girls defended Gintoki from Kintoki, and Kintoki crossed the line made of kunai, Hasegawa and Katsura both raised their hands against Kintoki, Katsura declaring their promise to "never change," and "if you ever change, I'll be there to cut you down."

Ikkoku Keisei Arc

Katsura was on standby while everybody was playing kick the can.

School of Beam Saber Arc

Confessional Arc

Before the events of Gintoki's sham confessional charging one thousand yen(approximately $12.77), Katsura saved the life of the current Shogun Tokugawa Shige Shige. Katsura gave him training to keep him calm so that he can become a future leader, justifying this by saying "shou-chan" possessed style, and was refined. Katsura's training included a match of Jenga while Elizabeth pelted them with dodge balls, and a recording of a black school teacher yelled the words "You Fool". The tower was referred to as the "organization" that they were leading. The tower soon collapsed as Elizabeth hit it with a ball, but Katsura kept his cool in order to teach his subordinate. After numerous balls hit him he still manages to keep his cool, but after the teacher started yelling "You Fool", Katsura snapped. He broke the television while screaming "Baka Janai, Katsura da!", a variation of his catch phrase "Zura Janai". After he saw the Shogun setting the Jenga pieces up Horizontally instead of Vertically, Katsura analyzed his setup and commented that without a leader at the top of the organization, it would fall apart. Katsura placed a piece ontop of the others to represent the leader, but a dodgeball hit him in the back of the head, causing a Domino effect on the Jenga blocks. The blocks lead to Shou-chan's face, and he said that he would be the foundation supporting the organization. Katsura was considered the loser of the match. In his loss, Katsura claimed that there was another quality that a leader must have, to never show weakness, and that he will show him this in a game of Othello with insults written on the backs of the pieces. A few days later Katsura plans to break Gintoki out of prison and tells his comrades not to follow under any circumstances, just to see if any of his comrades are concerned about him, but after telling them four times, they tell him to keep quieter, as they are busy playing UNO with Shige Shige. Katsura then made his way into Edo Castle, and knocked out the guards in his way and met up with Gintoki. After hearing enough about Katsura's personal problems, Gintoki kicks him in the face, and tells him that it's his own fault for letting the Shogun live with him. Katsura corrects him, saying that he was not the shogun but actually Shou-chan, and that Gintoki had already killed the Shogun. A group of guards finds Katsura inside but "Shou-chan" knocks them out. Katsura decides that whoever takes the head of Soyo Hime should be the true head of the Joui. When they start running on the rooftops a group of archers fire towards the two, and Katsura pushes Shige Shige to the ground and cuts all of the arrows with one swing of his blade claiming that a leader must be cool at all times. Katsura accidentally tore Shige Shige's clothes off when he tried to pull part of the roof out of his ass, but Katsura took it as an expression of Shou-chan throwing out the concept of strength and weakness all together. After the roof collapses, the two fall in and some of the Joui members accompanying them pull their blades on Shige Shige, while the Shogun's subordinates draw their blades on Katsura. It is revealed that the two of them had knew about each other all along and that they truly wanted to see what kind of man their enemies leader was. Soyo comments that they should keep it quiet because a friend of hers is trying to get to sleep and Gintoki asks if he is allowed to be released as well. On their way out Kagura, who was having a sleep over with Soyo Hime at the time pulled Gintoki, Shige Shige, and Katsura under the blanket, and threw their battered bodies out moments later.

Homeless Arc

Patriot Reunion Arc

Soul Switch

Gintama The Final Chapter: Be Forever Yoruzuya

The second Gintama movie shows Katsura wearing a bandage in his right eye and a kimono, fashion, and appearance similar to Takasugi Shinsuke.


Fight Outcome Time it Occurred
Katsura Kotarou vs. Okada Nizou Loss Lesson 89
Episode 58
Sakata Gintoki and Katsura Kotarou vs. Harusame Retreat
Yorozuya, Kaientai, Katsura Kotarou and Elizabeth vs. Dark Vader Win


  • According to Sorachi, Zura is modeled after Kido Takayoshi who went under the name Katsura Kogoro 桂小五郎, a man known as "Runaway Kogoro 逃げの小五郎" because of his feat of eluding from the sight of Shinsengumi during Bakumatsu.
    • In the Japanese drama "Shinsengumi!" that Sorachi-sensei used to get some of his ideas from, he would always be known to elude capture.
  • Gintoki calls Katsura by his nickname Zura ( ヅラ). The term ヅラ zura is a shortened form derived from Katsura.
  • He is shown to mistake his basic vocabulary easily, just as when he mistook "nakama" (which means comrades) into namaka, manaka (main character of Ichigo 100%) and ManaKana (which is a japanese girl group composing of twin girls).
  • In episode 112, on his birthday, he made a short Katsuratama segment (parody of Gintama). 
  • namaka manaka nakama ichigo100% manakana gil twin group


  • "It's not Zura, it's Katsura!"
  • (To Sakata Gintoki) "Your right arm isn't enough to carry the burden, from now on I'll be your left arm."
  • (To Kihentai) "'I can't die before I see the dawn of Edo, if Edo is woken by rude people like you, it will get upset, you've got no need to see tomorrow's sunshine so rest in peace."
  • (To Takasugi Shinsuke) "Takasugi, do you know how many times I have also wanted to reduce this world to smouldering ashes? However, that man has always endured it... Gintoki... He who has the most reason to hate this world has always endured it. "
  • (To Takasugi Shinsuke) "If you hate this country, then destroy it. But if you hurt the people living in Edo, then I cannot allow you to indulge yourself."
  • (To Sakata Gintoki) "Gintoki, there are things in this world that won't go your way! Forget about the country, I can't even change one friend"
  • (To Sakata Gintoki) "Gintoki, don't change, it'll take too much effort to kill you"
  • (To Fumiko and Yorozuya) I'm not cooperating with you! And I am not fighting as a Joui patriot defending his planet! I'm going to save my friend! I may have a hundred doubts, a thousand doubts, but I choose to believe in the drink we shared. That's how a friendship between men works. He must have his reasons. He must have been forced into his current situation. In that case, I will cross the galaxy and rivers of blood to save him!
  • (To Sakata Gintoki) "You're always blaming your natural perm for your cowardice. You're a pitiful man."
  • (To Ikumatsu) "Good evening, I'm Santa Claus."
  • (To Elizabeth) "It doesn't matter if you're in a dark place or at the farthest reaches of the universe! I told you that I've got your back!"
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