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If the master's duty is to shoulder the student along with their pain, what's the student's duty? To grow strong enough to shoulder the master.
Tsukuyo
Qotd

Tsukuyo (月詠), also known as the God of Death Courtesan (死神太夫, shinigami tayuu), is a highly skilled ninja, specializing in the usage of kunai, having trained under the infamous assassin and then-Leader of Hyakka, Jiraia 地雷亜. She is the current leader of the Hyakka, Yoshiwara's guardians (吉原自警団「百華」の頭), an all-female law enforcement squad deployed by Housen 鳳仙.

Appearance


Tsukuyo is a blond woman of average height and a slender figure. She has a scar running horizontally on the left side of her forehead and another vertically on her left cheek.

Her shoulder length hair is normally tied up at the back of her head, while her parted fringe is done up in a bundle, held by 2 miniature kunai, both with red thread at the end, on each side. The part of her hair that isn’t tied is left to run down her cheeks, reaching past her chin.

Tsukuyo’s preferred attire is a black kimono, without a right sleeve and exposing her right leg, decorated with autumn leaves, held by a red obi. On her right arm she sports a detached sleeve that goes from her wrist to her mid-biceps. She also wears fishnet stockings and black high-heel boots that reach just below the knee. She’s often seen smoking a kiseru, a trait she shares with fellow main character, Takasugi Shinsuke 高杉 晋助.

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Personality


As mentioned by Katsura Kotarou 桂 小太郎, she's dead serious at all times, even when making jokes or finding herself in a comedic situation. Because she cares deeply for her friends, she carries her own burdens as to not trouble them and only seems to open up to the Yorozuya 万事屋.

She has a very low alcohol tolerance, needing only a small amount to get drunk, even whiskey bonbons. While drunk, she tends to display an extremely aggressive nature, mercilessly beating whoever is near her, namely Sakata Gintoki 坂田 銀時. However, after resting she shows no visible signs of a hangover. Despite claiming to have abandoned herself as a woman and not having an issue with being touched by a man, she's shown embarrassment on both occassions Gintoki groped her by accident.

Story


She was sold to Yoshiwara at a young age, where she became the apprentice of courtesan Kamekichi, with whom she would often get into fights for her arrogant attitude. She quickly grew to hate the city and the women in it because of how easily they'd given up on leading a normal life. This changed once she witnessed Hinowa 日輪's strength and her positive influence on the other courtesans that Tsukuyo demonstrated her desire to protect Hinowa and Yoshiwara.

With that desire in mind, she approached Jiraia, who agreed to take her under his wing and teach her the ninja arts. It is then that Tsukuyo scarred her own face thus throwing away her life as a woman. Four years prior to meeting the Yorozuya, during a fire in Yoshiwara, Jiraia sacrificed himself to protect Tsukuyo, seemingly burning to death.

She later became the leader of Hyakka, where one of her jobs was to hunt down and kill prostitutes trying to escape. However, going against those orders, she would simply scar them to ensure they wouldn't lead such a life again and hide them as members of Hyakka.

When the Yorozuya and Seita 晴太 infiltrated Yoshiwara, she feigned killing them and led them to an escape route, unbeknownst to the rest of the Hyakka. That was prevented by Kamui 神威 and his subordinates as they managed to kidnap Seita to use as a bargaining chip against Housen. When the Yorozuya reveal their plan to get Seita back and free Yoshiwara from Housen's terror, she agrees to help them, also wishing for the city's freedom. Their infiltration, however, was quickly discovered by the Hyakka and Tsukuyo held them back, buying Sakata Gintoki time to reach Housen. While under her subordinates' attack, she refuses to fight back, claiming she has no right to do so as she's become a traitor. The Hyakka refuse to kill her, saying she's their saviour and just as important to them as Hinowa. They later assist Gintoki in defeating the Night King 夜王.

Some time after that, the Yorozuya were called in to help deal with a strain of illegal drugs that have been going around Yoshiwara. She and Gintoki join the Red Spiders (Benigumoto), searching for a lead. They eventually made it to a shipping dock where they were easily discovered Benigumoto's leader and surrounded. There, she learns the person responsible for a major part of the crime in Yoshiwara is her master, Jiraia. He easily overwhelms Tsukuyo and Gintoki, appearing to kill the latter. She is then taken to an unknown tower in Yoshiwara and learns she was meant to abandon her sense of self and not rely on others so that she would become a copy of her master and ultimately die by his hand. To experience this pain, she was forced to watch the city burn down. This doesn't go as planned as the Yorozuya, Hattori Zenzou 服部 全蔵 and the citizens of Yoshiwara prevent the fire from spreading and Sakata Gintoki arrives at the tower to save Tsukuyo and fight Jiraia.

After the battle, Tsukuyo delivers the finishing blow and lears of Jiraia's past and true motives from Zenzou. Having heard the truth, she reconciles with her teacher as they watch the moon, before the Spider breaths his last breath.

Trivia



  • She speaks with a classic prostitute accent.
  • Kagura calls her "Tsukky", a nickname Hinowa likes.
  • Tsukuyo, whose name contains tsuki, meaning "Moon", is referred to as Yoshiwara's Moon, just as Hinowa is referred to as its Sun.
  • It is hinted by Jiraia (in Chapter 255/Episode 178) and Hinowa and Seita (in Chapter 294) that she has feelings Gintoki. This is further supported by her inability to give him chocolates for Valentine's Day.

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