Sakata Gintoki (坂田 銀時 Sakata Gintoki ) is the founder of the Yorozuya, a highly skilled samurai and the main protagonist of Gintama. He enjoys eating sweet things and picking his nose.
Gin was first found as a child by his teacher Yoshida Shouyou in a battlefield, surrounded by corpses and holding a katana. Shouyou heard there was a corpse eating demon but found out it was a child eating a leftover riceball. Gintoki, cautious of Shouyou, drew a katana from a dead body, which then led to Shouyou figuring that he was a child that was stripping corpses to protect himself. Shouyou was impressed, but said that a sword swung in self defense while fearing others should be thrown away. He threw his sword to Gintoki, saying that if he was interested in learning how to use the sword, he should follow him. Gintoki, drawn to Shouyou, decided to follow him and asked him for a piggy-back ride.
When the Kansei Purge event happened, the Tendoshu, under the orders of Tokugawa Sada Sada, arrested Yoshida Shouyo and burnt down the school. Gintoki, who was tied down, watched helplessly as Shouyou was taken away. This caused Gintoki, Takasugi and Katsura to rise up as the last warriors of the Joui Patriots.
In the later parts of the Joui war, he, Shinsuke, and Katsura took up their swords and joined the fight. Gin gained the nickname Shiroyasha, which means"white demon," and was feared by both the Amanto and his companions because of his amazing powers in swordplay and his demonic white appearance. After the war, Gin disappeared for a while.
He later created Yorozuya with three other people, who were the predecessors of Shinpachi, Kagura and Sadaharu, until they went their separate ways (he tried to drown them when they started to date each other).
Gintoki has natural wavy and silver hair and half-lidded red "dead fish eyes" as Hijikata calls it. He wears a black shirt and pants with red linings, and a white yukata (a summer kimono) with light blue patterns worn sloppily, draped over his left shoulder.
Throughout the series he is seen wearing various disguises and has been shown in different styles for gags.
He normally uses dirty talk or says things that usually contains some scatological innuendo.
Gintoki's past continues to influences who he is and how he acts. He admitted to Umibozu in episode 42 that he believes having a loving family is all someone really need in life, due to his lack of a family. He is very respectful of his teacher Yoshida Shouyou and out of memory of his teacher's kind actions (the death of his teacher is probably one of main reasons he joined the Joi war), he was outraged that someone who would harm their student (Jiraia) would call himself a teacher.
His inability to protect many of his friends in the Joui war still haunts him, and as a result, he is very protective of his current friends. He had told Kawakami Bansai in the Shinsengumi Mutiny Arc the only reason he fought in the Joui war was to protect his friends, not for his country or the samurai way.
He has many childish personality traits despite his age, calling himself a child in a man's body. One such trait is his love of sweets to the point of nearly developing diabetes. He is mostly seen eating or drinking something sweet, with strawberry milk being his favorite.
He loves alcohol but his preference is Sake that is not too strong, his love of alcohol makes him very troublesome that all female characters: Otose, Otae, Kyuubei, Sarutobi Ayame and Tsukuyo decided to teach him a lesson by pranking him along with Zenzou.
He loves to read Shonen Jump and will go to great lengths to acquire the latest Jump issues, rivaling that of Hattori Zenzou who is similarly spirited. He also (just like Hijikata) has a hatred of the dentist, something he is ashamed of due to his age.
Gintoki is very lazy and unmotivated, and is often shown reading Jump and lying around the Yorozuya. Due to his poverty, he is always behind on his rent and often runs away when Otose, his landlady, comes to collect the rent. He attempts to save money whenever he can, but he also loves to play Pachinko and other gambling games, resulting in him spending all his money. Even though he's lazy most of the time, Gintoki is quite a dedicated worker and always puts his mind on his jobs.
He acts like a coward most of the time, will attempt to leave behind his friends if his life is in danger, but this only occurs in the more comical stories, as he is willing to risk his life for anyone, and is shown to be extremely caring towards his friends. He is extremely scared of ghosts, but is very sensitive to their presence and many times will try to deny their existence.
Gintoki seems to dislike his curly perm hair. To elaborate further, in Episode 5 he says his lack of girlfriends is due to his 'natural perm' hair. Though several female characters have shown an interest in Gintoki, such as Shimura Tae, Sarutobi Ayame and Tsukuyo, he usually does not show any response back and even assaults Ayame who tends to stalk him, but he has a huge crush of the weather girl, Ketsuno Ana and once stated he wished to marry her.
Despite his appearance and initial behavior, Gintoki has a great amount of pride for the old bushido code. He takes it upon himself to rescue or avenge not only his comrades and friends but also people he barely knows.
Strength & Abilities
During Joui war, he was the legendary Shiroyasha for his insane fighting abilities against the Amanto invasion. Current combat & sword skills are high enough that the blood-thirsty Yato Kamui has staked his claim on him as his future prey in Episode 146. Umibouzu stated himself that he "carries himself with a certain grace" and that he is "like a master of the sword" in Episode 200. There were times when Gintoki shows his rage to enemies with immense strength towards Jiraia, Doromizu Jirochou and Oboro His greatest strength seems to be his immense stamina and endurance, to the point where he has been called immortal by other characters.
Yagyuu Binbokusai conceded that Gintoki's sword style may well be his own, and not affiliated to any school.
His weapon of choice is usually a bokutou , a wooden katana, engraved with the word Touyako meaning Lake Toya on the handle, carried by his waist. He does not like killing, willing to adapt his bushido to other people or the current times in order to avoid needless loss of lives, as explained to Katsura in Episode 5. This is the most probable reason for his carrying a wooden sword and not a real version. His bokutou was made from a ten thousand year old tree from another planet, claiming to have the ability to break even the meteorite, whether it is true is still unknown, but it may be Gintoki's strength overall.
- His bokutou has broken in 6 occasions:
- He cheated by letting Kondou use it, who did not know that he had sabotaged him by breaking it.
- When Kagura was angry after trying to defend it from an Amanto Gankeimaru, only to discover that he bought it by phone.
- In his second battle against Okada Nizou after he obtained the Benizakura.
- In his first battle against Doromizu Jirochou.
- Trying to encounter the shock wave when he was trying to destroy Kintoki.
- His last showdown against Oboro.
As a child, he was attached to Yoshida Shouyou's Katana after he gave it to him. Gintoki would carry that Katana even during class.
The other time he used a Katana and Jutte was when he borrowed from Terada Tatsugorou memento in the Devas of Kabuki District arc, Gintoki vowed that he would protect everything that was important to him.
In fellow Shonen Jump anime Bleach, Gintoki was reading the manga in an omake wishing that he could use Getsuga Tensho, Bleach's Ichigo Kurosaki's signature attack in DVD version of Episode 3. But when there was an opportunity to learn a secret signature move from the spirit of Touyako, Gintoki was too lazy and unmotivated to learn.
He has a remarkable ability to sense ghost/Stand and can still maintain his self-consciousness to manipulate them even as they possess him in the Onsen Chapter Episode 134.
And in Episode 203, at the end of scene, he also shown had the same Final Getsuga Tensho's form like Ichigo Kurosaki's final attack from Bleach.
- Yoshida Shouyou: Shouyou was probably the most important person in Gintoki's life. Shouyou took Gintoki away from the corpes of the battlefield and offered him a life as a student and taught him everything. Gintoki deeply respects him, to the extend that he gets furious if someone dirties the name of being a master. The death of Shouyou was devastating to him.
Friends & Allies
- Kagura: Gintoki seems to care about Kagura more than anyone when she's in danger or not in a good condition. (He saved her in episode 42, when Kagura was attacked by an alien, despite the fact that he abandoned her awhile ago; he even tried to skip his job to take Kagura to the hospital in episode 91). Their relationship seems to be odd "father-daughter kind" even though she greatly admires him and has picked up several of Gintoki's habits such as picking her nose. They are usually partners in crime and join together in many different gags.
- Shimura Shinpachi: Gintoki met Shinpachi at a restaurant where he had ordered a Chocolate Parfait when a fight broke out between Gintoki and some Amantos because they were harassing Shinpachi and accidentally spilled his Parfait. Since then, Shinpachi has been with Gintoki. They could be considered brothers, though neither of them show it.
- Katsura Kotarou: Katsura has been Gintoki's friend ever since they were very little. They usually fight along side 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. They bicker with each other a lot and Gintoki often shows his annoyance and wants to get away when Katura is acting stupid (which is very often).
- Hijikata Toushirou: They both have similar personality, as Mitsuba once remarked, resulting in the two frequently clashing as rivals.
- Okita Sougo: Gintoki never can spell his name correctly from Soichiro, Soda, even Sofa. Okita seems to get along rather well with Gintoki. After a rough beginning, the two find common grounds in their love of torturing and humiliating Hijikata. After witnessing the fight between Gintoki and Hijikata, Okita said he would love to clash swords with Gintoki one day. Although a hit from Hijikata would often result in a violent retribution from Okita, he doesn't seem to have a problem with taking a lecture or a knock on the head from Gintoki. When his sister came to visit, Okita bribed Gintoki (with a chocolate parfait) to pretend to be his best friend. Later when Okita left, Gintoki acknowledges the friendship to Mitsuba.
- Otose: Otose is Gintoki's Landlady. Although they argure about paying rent, they both care about each other. When Otose was cut by Doromizu Jirochou, Gintoki went rage against Jirochou showing how much he cares about her.
- Sakamoto Tatsuma: Both of them fought in Joui War but Sakamoto has a close friendship with him even though he keeps calling him Kintoki. When Sakamoto retired from the war, he offered Gintoki to come along with him but Gintoki declined.
- Tatsumi: She was in episode 53, with Gintoki by her side in an uphill battle to become a fireman as she always dreamed. He left her happly with her father at the end and after that kept every huge pile of newspapers of her in it.
- Ketsuno Ana: Gintoki has a crush on the weather-girl . He even once escaped from his cleaning duties at the Otose Snack to go and buy a Ketsuno Ana figurine, but started tearing out pages of calendar in despair when he saw on TV that she had suddenly gotten married. After her divorce with her husband, he stated he wished to marry her and become apart of the Ketsuno Clan family.
- Sarutobi Ayame: She is so in love with Gintoki up to the extent that she stalks him constantly and wants to have a SM(sadist-masochist) play with him. Gintoki however shows hostile feelings towards her but still helps her when she is in need.
- Tsukuyo: Although Tsukuyo said that she threw away her woman identity she has romantic feelings for Gintoki where she even told him at one point that her resolve weakens when she is around him. Whenever Gintoki accidentally gropes her breasts, she'll do a German suplex on him. When she is in her drunk mode, she thrashes Gintoki to the point where Gintoki has become afraid of her in that state.
- Shimura Tae: They first met when Gintoki made Shinpachi lose his job. There are subtle hints that Otae has romantic feelings for Gintoki, such as when Gintoki's memory was lost and Otae took care of him in Benizakura arc. Otae usually goes to Gintoki about her brother's problems.
- Shiramizu Pinko: A game character based on Love Chorris Gintoki chose her due to his poor skills in the game.
- Chin Pirako: She first meets Gintoki wanting him to train her. She asked him if he would help her turn Edo into a "garden of red roses:
- Takasugi Shinsuke: Although Gintoki, Katsura and Takasugi studied together under Yoshida Shouyou and had the same starting point. However Takasugi is different, he seeks to destroy what Shouyou left behind while Gintoki is the oppersite in which he protects what Shouyou left behind. Imai Nobume said that the only similarities that Gintoki and Takasugi shares are their sorrowful eyes. Gintoki and Katsura swore that they would do everything to take him down in Benizakura arc, likewise Takasugi said to Kamui that he wants to kill Gintoki.
- Kamui: Elder brother of Kagura. Kamui has his eyes set on Gintoki as a prey after he and the Hyakka defeated Housen. He has combined his forces with Kiheitai.
- Oboro: They've encountered each other in the Joui war when Oboro slayed many of Gintoki's allies but Oboro failed to kill him. They've met up again when Gintoki confronted Tokugawa Sada Sada, Gintoki assumes he died when he landed his broken Bokutou on him.
- Daraku: Gintoki and Katsura charged into a Harusame ship to save Shinpachi and Kagura from Daraku. His fate remains uncertain.
- Onijishi: Dakini mercenary. Gintoki fought against Onijishi after he killed Oshou Doushin. His fate remains uncertain.
- Okada Nizou: Okada Nizou was first met as a hired blade. He was employed by Hashida to find his grandson. He would later appear as a member of Kiheitai and as a wielder of Benizakura sword. He was killed by Gintoki when the Benizakura took over his body.
- Kawakami Bansai: Kiheitai's assassin and negotiator. He was seen first time by Gintoki aboard Harusame spaceship next to Takasugi. He would later use Itou Kamotarou as a tool to destroy Shinsengumi from within, he was defeated by Gintoki.
- Housen: Powerful Yato clansman also known as King of the Night. He was defeated by combined forces of Hyakka and Gintoki.
- Jiraia: Tsukuyo's master and original leader of the Hyakka. He appeared again in Yoshiwara after Tsukuyo learned to rely on others and intended to make her independent by killing all dear to her. He was defeated by Gintoki.
- Doromizu Jirochou: One of the Four Devas and leader of Dobunezumi yakuza. He is old Joushishi veteran who is also childhood friend of Otose. While not techically evil, he forsake his humanity in order to stop Kujaku Hime Kada to conquer the Kabuki District the same way Housen obtained Yoshiwara. In his last duel with Jirochou, Gintoki spared his life as he was important to Terada Tatsugorou and saved him from his suffering. He retired after Kada was repelled from Kabuki District.
- Sakata Kintoki: An android which was created by Gengai to substitute Gintoki when he was absent. Kintoki soon conquered protagonist title with his hypnosis wave when Gintoki was away. Kintoki had altered Edo's residents memories so that he had always been the protagonist of Gintama (or more fittingly, Kintama). While Gintoki has many flaws as protagonist, Kintoki has none of them.
Yorozuya was asked by a client to find his missing daughter, Kimiko. They would eventually find their way into a night club filled with Amanto. Bartender warned them about dangerous drug called Tensei Kyou. After Gintoki went to bathroom, suffering from hangover. Shinpachi and Kagura were captured by Harusame officer, Daraku. Gintoki would bumb into Daraku and Kimiko in bathroom. Harusame were trying to dispose of Kimiko who was creating too big scene because of her addiction to Tensei Kyou. Gintoki tried to protect Kimiko from space pirates, but after seeing Kagura and Shinpachi taken away by them, Daraku used this as an advantage and managed to take Gintoki off guard, impaling his left shoulder. He and Kimiko fell through window into alleys below.
After waking from nightmare, he found himself in Katsura's residence. Katsura warned Gintoki not to go after the space pirates in his condition. Gintoki wouldn't listen because his friends were in danger. Both he and Katsura went to find the pirates in order to save Kagura and Shinpachi.
Meanwhile Shinpachi woke up in Harusame ship. Daraku was speaking with Bakufu amanto official, Kinya. Frog-like amanto was the reason why Harusame was able to smug and trade their drug so easily. Harusame believed that the kids were spies sent by Katsura. Shinpachi was blackmailed to tell everything about Katsura and his hideouts whereabouts, or else Daraku would kill Kagura. Kagura kicked Daraku and was about to drop into the sea, weren't it for Gintoki who had found the pirate ship. Katsura diverted the pirates from Yorozuya by bombing their Tensei Kyou storage. Daraku would be Gintoki's only enemy now. After trading single sword strikes, Daraku admitted that for a person who doesn't was his hands in bathroom, he was pretty clean guy. Daraku fell to ground and Gintoki carried Kagura and Shinpachi home.
Okita Sougo offered to Yorozuya a job which involved them tracking down champion of Rengokukan, Kidoumaru. They later found out that Kidoumaru raised dozens of orphaned children and in the end, tried to aid them to escape from wrath of Tendoshu. Kidoumaru was killed by new Rengokukan champion, Onijishi. Children asked Yorozuya to avenge their sensei's murder, and they decided to enter Rengokukan to defeat Onijishi. Shinsengumi packed them even though their interference would have cost them their heads.
Memory Loss Arc
Gintoki had lost his memory in scooter accident. Kagura and Shinpachi tried to restore his memory, almost succeeding few times, but always returning back to start by outside interference. Sakamoto Tatsuma crashed his spaceship on Yorozuya's shop, wiping last remnant of proof of Gintoki's existence, he decided to disband Yorozuya and start anew.
He would later find work in Justaway factory, where Yamazaki Sagaru had infiltrated because of factory manager's shady background. Yamazaki would find both Gintoki and his commander Kondo who had also lost memory because of Otae's cookings. They found out that the Justaways they produced were actually powerful bombs. Facotry manager had decided to destroy Edo because of losing his job and causing his otaku son to turn into a total loser because of this.
Kagura and Shinpachi found their way to factory, thanks to Otose's investigation and helped Shinsengumi to try defeat Banzou's ambition. Gintoki finally regained his memory and destroyed Banzou's mass destruction weapon with his bokutou.
Infant Strife Arc
With a baby that was similar in appearances to Gintoki turning up at his doorstep, Gintoki must now clear the misunderstanding that the child was not his. It later turned out that there was more than meets the eye, with the child being the grandson of a wealthy old man.
Train Samurai Arc
Okita Mitsuba Arc
Gintoki was "bribed" by Okita Sougo to pretend to be his best friend for the day. Even though it was supposed to be all a setup to assure Sougo's sister, Mitsuba, Gintoki admitted the friendship to Mitsuba at the end of the day.
When Mitsuba's health conditions worsened, Gintoki visited her at the hospital with her favourite spicy snacks.
Before Sougo headed off the battlefield, Gintoki, while pretending to be sleeping, listened to Sougo's most inner thoughts. He then headed off to the battlefield together with Sougo.
Hardboiled Detective Arc
Tasked with buying the Owees by their clients, Gintoki and the Yorozuya queued up for the purchase of Owee. The situation later turned into a battle of the Yorozuya against the Shinsegumi. Gintoki, together with Kagura, took part in the final round of battle, Dragon Hunter lll, where each team will have to fight to defeat the bandits in the caves.
Abandoned by their teammates right at the start, Gintoki and Hijikata teamed up to make their way to the caves where they eventually was able to restore their health back to full. Using the village leader as their weapons, Gintoki and Hijikata started their fight with the bandits.
Hasegawa Prosecution Arc
When Hasegawa was charged with sexual harassment, Gintoki turned up last minute as his lawyer. Hasegawa remarked that Gintoki stood a chance since no one had ever won an argument against him.
Shinsengumi Crisis Arc
Gintoki and the Yorozuya were asked by Hijikata to protect the Shinsegumi as he was unable to do so when the demonic sword's power started eating into his personality. Later, while dressed in Shinsegumi uniforms, the Yorozuya headed off into the battlefield to save Kondou that was the target of the internal strife.
Gintoki fought Kawakami Bansai who was no match for him because he couldn't read his rhythm. Bansai was eventually defeated by Gintoki when he slammed Bansai's helicopter to ground that was targeting the train where Kondou and others were in.
Guardian Dog Arc
Monkey Hunter Arc
Ghost Ryokan Arc
Yoshiwara in Flames Arc
Yorozuya Barbers Arc
Tama Quest Arc
Red Spider Arc
Character Poll Arc
Kabukicho Stray Cat Arc
Kabukicho Four Devas Arc
Love Choriss Arc
In order to save Shinpachi and bring him back to reality, Gintoki started playing the Love Choriss game but was stuck with the most unpopular character of the game, Shiramizu Pinko. Pinko's son died when Gintoki shut the game with force. After the event he was haunted by Pinko and her son's visions even in real world even though other people excluding the fellow Choriss gamers couldn't see.
During the Love Choriss event, when forced into a corner, Gintoki, with his imagination, was able to remodel Pinko into his dream girl, successfully allowing him to face off Shinpachi in the final round. In the end, he was the one who fell deepest in the game world which woke the others back to reality.
Host Club Arc
Sasaki Isaburo offered Gintoki a job after he was arrested. He was to infiltrate Check It Out Gang, which held connections to Jouishishi. He was arrested later by Hijikata after he found out he was famous Jouishishi veteran Shiroyasha. Sasaki Tetsunosuke vouched for his freedom.
After returning to his house from his drinking trip, he had found out that someone named Sakata Kintoki had taken his place as a main protagonist of Gintama. No one recognized him and he almost gave up until Tama and Sadaharu came to help him. They formed temporary Yorozuya in order to restore everyone's memories of him. Tama would play the role of Kagura, going by the name of Tamagura. Sadaharu would be Shinpachi, known as Hachiharu, dog with glasses.
- According to Sorachi, Gintoki's name was based on Sakata Kintoki, also known as Kintaro, from a famous folk tale set in the Heian Period. Kintaro became friends with the animals that lived on the mountain where he was raised, and was even capable of battling with them. After certain events, he became a samurai and eventually went under the name Sakata Kintoki (坂田公時). Sorachi-sensei, in one of the question corners explains this, and doesn't intend on making Gin-san a descendant of Kintaro.
- Gintoki likes to order a custom "red beans on rice" dish at his local restaurant.
- He might not look like it, but Gintoki was noted by Sorachi as a skilled chef  (behind the scenes). He is also a capable baker, being able to bake his own strawberry cake at Shinpachi's house as shown in episode 2.
- His design was actually for Hijikata's when sorachi lost his first design.
- (To Hijikata, anime only) "You can slash away at any number of men, but you can never betray a girl's innocence."
- (To Hasegawa) "So what if the government collapses or the country is ruined! I'm not civic-minded! All I want is to stand tall, and live on until the day I collapse and die!"
- (To Katsura) "If you've got enough free time to fantasize about your beautiful death... Why don't you just live your life beautifully to the end?"
- (To Shinpachi) "A samurai doesn't need a reason to take action. If something needs saving, all you have to do is grab your sword. Do you love your sister?"
- (To Bansai) "Then and now, what I protect has never changed."
- (To Tsuu's Dad) "The best way to live a full life is to be a child, no matter what your age."
- ↑ Sorachi Hideaki, Gintama, VIZ media, Vol. 7, "Sorachi's Q&A Corner #10", page(s) 50.
- ↑ Sorachi Hideaki, Gintama, VIZ media, Vol. 13, "Sorachi's Q&A; Hanging with the Readers #38", page(s) 106.