Tsukuyo (月詠), also known as the Death God 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. 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.
She appears in the Yoshiwara is Burning arc (Episodes 139-146), Red Spider arc (Episodes 177-181) and Popularity Poll arc (Episodes 182-184)
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'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.
- Height = 170 (5' 7") cm
- Weight = 52 kg
Tsukuyo is an attractive 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. This habit is shared by the characters, Doromizu Jirochou and Terada Tatsugorou.
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As mentioned by Katsura Kotarou, 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.
She is very considerates when it comes to peoples feelings in Yoshiwara is Burning arc and Character poll arc.
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. 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 occasions when Gintoki groped her by accident.
Strength & Abilities
She trained as a ninja under Jiraia, she mastered the Iga arts implying, she is highly skilled in throwing kunias. She has 2 Tantō attached to the back of her waist belt.
- Jiraia: Tsukuyo went to Jiraia with the intention to become stronger to protect Hinowa and Yoshiwara. Jiraia was scared of losing anything and bearing burdens, but he was drawn to Tsukuyo because she was a child who tried to carry everything on her small back. Jiraia taught everything he knew so she wouldn't be like him but she exceeded his expectation as she found a home, comrades and friends. He became scared as Tsukuyo became distant and headed a path that was different than him. Tsukuyo was devoted to Jiraia and she abandoned her woman identity by scarring her face. The only person she relied on was Jiraia until he faked his death, Tsukuyo decides to carry burdens without relying on others. Jiraia planned his own death by the hands of his beloved pupil and appeared to Tsukuyo as a villian.
Friends & Allies
- Hinowa: Tsukuyo had known Hinowa since she was a child and she served under her until she scarred her own face.
- Sarutobi Ayame: Sarutobi sees Tsukuyo as a love rival standing between her and Sakata Gintoki. Sarutobi always complain about the character ranking with Tsukuyo as Sarutobi ranked in 25th and Tsukuyo in 10th.
- Sakata Gintoki: It is hinted by Jiraia (in Chapter 255/Episode 178) Hinowa and Seita (in Chapter 294) that she has romantic feelings for Gintoki. This is further supported by her scribbling out statements from Hinowa's and Seita's New Year's cards commenting how lonely she was when they heard Gintoki has gotten married and her inability to give him chocolates for Valentine's Day (in Episode 204).
Yoshiwara in Flames Arc
When the Yorozuya and Seita 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 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.
Red Spider Arc
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 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.
While making Hinowa think she's recovering from the stress caused by meeting her master, she was secretely going out and continuing her duties as a Hyakka. To help relieve her, Hinowa asks her to be the courtesan of a special guest, who turns out to be Gintoki. She gets drunk only after only a small amount of sake and begins to act violently towards her guest and threatens to kill her observers (Seita, Hinowa, Kagura and Shinpachi, unless they join her. She wakes up later that night to go on with her job, but not before lamenting on the paths her life could have taken and being reassured by Gintoki
Character Poll Arc
She is later dragged in the fight over the 2nd popularity poll results by Shimura Tae, Sarutobi Ayame and Yagyuu Kyuubei who all disapprove of her higher ranking. She shows no interest in the ordeal and willingly offers her rank. After a short talk, the four of them join forces to take over the 1st position of the poll, although even then, Tsukuyo still shows disinterest in the poll and simply wishes for it to end as soon as possible. She's confronted by Sarutobi about her view but Sadaharu and Elizabeth interrupt their skirmish. At the end, she assists in throwing Shinpachi and Yamazaki Sagaru from the roof.
During the Scandal arc, it was revealed that Tsukuyo was the only person who wasn't supporting the plan to punish Gintoki, she was forced to help in punishing Gintoki. She was also the one who helped him to destroy the shop when she was drunk.
Host Club Arc
Arriving drunk to the Tagamagahara along with her Hyakka. She cause much trouble to the hosts along with other known female characters.
She was one of the many manipulated to hunt down Gintoki after Sakata Kintoki destroyed Tama and framed Gintoki as the killer. She was the first, along with Kyuubei and Sarutobi to stand against Kintoki.
- She speaks with a classic prostitute accent.
- She placed 10th in the Second Popularity Poll.
- Kagura and Sa-chan call her "Tsukki", 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.