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Sumiko Sumimura

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I can move with confidence when everything's in an uproar.

–Sumiko Sumimura, Chapter 285


Sumiko Sumimura (墨村守美子, Sumimura Sumiko) is the wife of Shuji, daughter of Shigemori Sumimura, and the mother of Masamori, Yoshimori, and Toshimori. She is also an extremely powerful Kekkaishi, but not a Legitimate Successor.

Appearance

Sumiko is usually seen wearing the Sumimura Kekkaishi attire with her own Shakujo. She has brown hair that's tied up in the back with two long strands hanging in the front, one long strand in the back.

Personality

Sumiko has a logical, confusing, somewhat cold nature. She is often called a bad (or at least non-present) mother by others, a claim that always infuriates Masamori and Yoshimori. She tends to make most people uncomfortable, often on purpose: Yoshimori recalls that she likes to do outrageous things that others can't understand, himself included.[1] Yoshimori later discovers that both his mother's absence in his life, and her questionable plan to relocate the power of Karasumori, are entirely the fault of Tokimori Hazama: Sumiko has been searching over 10 years for a suitable place to re-seal Chushinmaru for good, at the Founder's request, in order to protect her family.[2] Sumiko is resigned to the fact that she has more talent as a Kekkaishi than a mother (Yoshimori notes that she is generally bad with household chores such as cooking[3] and sewing), and does not think a person such as her with "monstrous" power is meant to live a normal life.[4]

History

Though Sumiko was an active Kekkaishi at the same time as Tokio Yukimura, it is implied more than once that they did not work together: Yomi Kasuga mentions having known Tokio well (they both worked for the Shadow Organization), but admits the same did not to apply to Sumiko.[5] Tokine suggests that Sumiko was able to refuse jobs from the Shadow Organization because she was an exceptional Kekkaishi: beyond that, while members occasionally stayed overnight at the Yukimura Home, this was never the case for the Sumimuras.[6]

Shigemori reveals that before Toshimori was born, Sumiko performed a single job for the Shadow Organization, in which she killed the goat god of a Shinyuuchi, cutting the child out of the mother's body so it could become the area's new god. After this incident, Sumiko began to roam the land freely.[7] This was because she had secretly discovered Tokimori Hazama living within the Shinkai beneath Karasumori Academy, and at his request, began inspecting various Shinyuuchi for a possible sealing site for Chushinmaru Karasumori, a quest which kept her occupied for much of the following 10 years.[8] As a result, Sumiko was absent for much of Yoshimori's life, leaving he and Toshimori to be raised almost entirely by Shuji and Shigemori. She was at least briefly present at home after Yoshimori had started his Kekkaishi training and Masamori was still in school.[9] Sumiko occasionally sent letters to her family through Shikigami birds, which Toshimori especially looked forward to, and even when she returned home, she never stayed for long.[10]

Sumiko

Sumiko's anime appearance in one of Tokine's flashbacks.

Sumiko's first notable appearance in the series is in a flashback, taking Tokio Yukimura to his home moments before his death.[11] According to her, she had narrowly saved him from a Multi-Eyed Ayakashi capable of hypnotizing people and showing them their worst nightmares. Tokio was weakened by visions of something terrible happening to Tokine, and the Ayakashi seriously wounded him before Sumiko destroyed it. As she and Tokio were the only witnesses, there is some suspicion surrounding the event, but Tokine accepts this story after years of wondering.[12]

Plot

A Dragon's Detour

Sumiko forcibly removes a dragon god from its lake and brings it to Karasumori, where she drops it on the schoolgrounds without warning. Naturally, the dragon is enraged when it wakes up, and is especially hostile towards Yoshimori (likely due to a combination of Yoshimori's rudeness, as well as his displaying the same ability and Kekkaishi uniform as Sumiko).[13]

Noticing the dragon is wounded, Tokine manages to negotiate with it: the dragon is permitted to stay long enough to heal its wounds, but must leave immediately afterward to avoid being corrupted by Karasumori's power. Tokine can find no trace of any technique having been used on the dragon, indicating that the person who transported it had incredible skill. From the dragon's interest in Kekkai, she assumes that someone with similar abilities is responsible. Once healed, the dragon begins to rampage, damaging much of the school, and Sumiko watches from nearby with a smile on her face.[14]

Sumiko-drgn

Sumiko and the dragon god leave Karasumori

Yoshimori launches the dragon into the sky with a Kekkai, now realizing his mother must be responsible for bringing it to Karasumori. Tokine notices that with the dragon gone, it feels as if the built-up stress in Karasumori has vanished. The dragon angrily confronts Sumiko, who admits that she brought it to Karasumori to work off some of the land's stress. Furious at being used, the dragon attacks her, but Sumiko easily binds it again, noting that the transfer has benefited the dragon by improving its spiritual power. She promises to return the dragon to its home unharmed and guides it away. Though she hears Yoshimori calling out to her, Sumiko chooses not to see him, instead saying they'll meet again later.[15]

Moving the Lord

The next time Sumiko comes home[16], she announces her intent to remove the soul of the lord of Karasumori from the site, with Yoshimori's help. Though Shigemori and Shuji both disagree with this plan, Yoshimori knows this will bring him a step closer to sealing Karasumori and agrees to help.[17] Sumiko and Yoshimori, joined by a visibly shocked Tokine, head to Karasumori, where Sumiko introduces herself to the on-duty Night Troop members, but asks them to stay back while the kekkaishi enter alone. Sumiko raises a hidden castle out of Karasumori Academy's schoolyard, and leads the group inside. Yoshimori locates the lord, a pale young boy named Chushinmaru, and Sumiko helps transfer his soul into an orb before they leave the castle. Once the lord's soul leaves the site's boundaries, the school collapses. Sumiko then explains her intent to take Yoshimori, the lord, and Madarao to a new site where they can practice sealing the lord. As they depart, Yoshimori reflects on the discovery that the mother who returned to get him is actually a shikigami, containing a seventh of Sumiko's power and memories. This makes him realize that the difference in their power is far greater than he originally thought, and how much effort and planning Sumiko has contributed in order to seal Karasumori.[18]

Training With Shikigami Mom

Sumiko's Shikigami clone relocates the lord to an abandoned house in the country, where she teaches Yoshimori how to transfer Chushinmaru's soul to a new orb as it becomes necessary, which is roughly every night. Just as with the former Karasumori site, Ayakashi appear,[19] drawn by the lord's power. Sumiko's Shikigami tasks Yoshimori with destroying the Ayakashi, though she has to step in and save him more than once due to the sheer number. She teaches him to use Sensory Kekkai in order to detect all enemies nearby.[20]

The following day, Sumiko's Shikigami instructs Yoshimori to repair the damaged portions of the house, reminding him that her power is limited, so he must serve as their main defense against attack. The attacks on the house are more focused that night, and delivered by an unseen enemy. Sumiko's Shikigami is forced to transfer the lord's soul while Yoshimori fights.[21] Though Yoshimori insists on handling the enemy himself, he is drawn into a trap[22] and dropped a considerable distance from the house. By the time he returns, Sumiko's Shikigami has driven the enemy away herself. The next night, she calmly introduces Yoshimori to the "enemies": Tokimori Hazama and his Ayakashi companion Kumon.[23] At Hazama's request, she forcibly collars Kumon, giving him a smaller form like Madarao's and sealing away his true form. Hazama takes over Yoshimori's training, while Sumiko's Shikigami continues to drill him on the basics.[24] During the course of the training, Chushinmaru emerges despite his soul still being contained in an orb. Sumiko's Shikigami believes it is the same condition as with Madarao.[25]

Hazama tells Sumiko that he confessed the details of his past to Yoshimori, but that Yoshimori still intends to go along with their plan. Sumiko isn't surprised, as her sons are kind like their father. Sumiko is busy creating a net that will be able to support the sealing process.[26]

Sumiko visits Arashizaki Shrine and introduces herself to Shichirou Ougi, and asks if he will assist them in sealing Chushinmaru. She warns Shichirou that either way, they will succeed, with brute force if necessary, but if he does not contribute, his wishes would be ignored. Sumiko is so confident that Shichirou, with all his power, is not a threat, because so far, no one has ever been able to defeat her or alter her thinking through force.[27]

The Secret of Shinkai

Sumiko arrives at the shinkai site in Hakuma just after Yoshimori has created a sprawling, populated castle-town. She encourages Yoshimori to add more, as this castle should be an improvemet on the former one. After Yoshimori creates a copy of Gen Shishio, he adds a copy of himself at Sumiko's suggestion. The orb containing Chushinmaru's power breaks, and the power flows back into him. Sumiko explains that this is fine: Chushinmaru has no real body, so he will be happy until he disappears. Sumiko leads Yoshimori toward the exit, and reveals that a shinkai can only be complete when it is closed from the inside[28], a role that she had intended for herself for the past decade. Yoshimori refuses to accept this, and offers to do it himself. Amused, Sumiko reveals that he is not powerful enough: his only task was to draw out Chushinmaru's power, but she was the one who had actually stabilized the shinkai from the outside the entire time, and without her it would have collapsed already. Sumiko admits she thought everyone would be happy with the plan. She does not understand people, does not feel she can live as a normal person, and contributed little to her family, so she wanted to use her immense power for her family's sake. She brushes off Yoshimori's protests and dispels, revealing herself to have been a shikigami clone. With her last words, she says it will take some time to seal off the huge world that Yoshimori created.[29]

Sumiko sends a shikigami clone home with Yoshimori, who apologizes to his family for failing to convince her to return to them. Tokine later asks if Yoshimori's Houin has also gotten paler. Yoshimori reasons that since shikigami get weaker the farther away they are from the creator, the Houin might fade if the connection to Chushinmaru was severed. Likewise, his mother's shikigami has also gotten weaker, and therefore might vanish once the shinkai at Hakuma is complete.

Sumiko's shikigami gives Shuji a final message: Sumiko was happiest and felt the most human among her family, apologizes for being selfish, and promises to never forget him. Afterward, the shikigami dispels. Yoshimori later looks at his hand, sees the Houin is completely gone, and realizes that Sumiko has successfully sealed the shinkai.[30]

Equipment

Shakujō: Sumiko typically carries a Shakujō while on duty. While primarily used to perform Tenketsu, it can also serve as a secondary weapon, a cutting tool, or a means of support when fatigued. However, it is fairly common for her to discard her Shakujō in heated battle in order to keep her hands free, and reclaim it for use later.

Shikigami Paper: Sumiko carries several pieces of paper, marked with the Houin, to create Shikigami as needed.

Powers & Abilities

Sumiko-sensory

Sumiko uses a sensory Kekkai

Hazama-Ryu Kekkai technique: Sumiko is one of, if not the most powerful Kekkaishi currently active. Like Tokiko Yukimura, Sumiko can also create perfect Shikigami clones. The one that accompanied Yoshimori is quite durable, as it had a seventh of Sumiko's power and memories, and Yoshimori admitted that he never would have known she wasn't authentic without using Musou[18] (implying that the actual Sumiko was at least seven times stronger than Yoshimori in his blank state then). Despite not being a Legitimate Successor, Sumiko is very knowledgeable of the skill set reserved exclusively for them, including Musou.[31] Though it is never stated in detail, Sumiko most likely learned directly from Tokimori Hazama during their 10 year partnership.

  • Sensory Kekkai: Sumiko is also capable of using Sensory Kekkai to detect objects within a limited area, though unlike Masamori, she does this without the use of a landlord, and the impact upon others is not quite as stifling; Sen describes it as being more quiet and casual yet also very cold.[32]

"Monstrous" Spiritual Power: Sumiko has an immense amount of spiritual power for a human, and has regularly proven herself capable of feats thought to be impossible, such as killing one god and subduing another with no trouble.[33]

Relationships

Family

Sumimura Family

Main article: Sumimura Family

Despite the multiple years spent away from her family, Sumiko is generally held in high regard by them, and they refuse to tolerate outsiders speaking badly of her. They themselves, however, will not hesitate to criticize her often abrupt nature to her face, although this rarely seems to bother Sumiko at all. Sumiko's naturally commanding presence extends even to her family, and no matter how much they disagree with her, they tend to quietly go along with her decisions in the end.

Allies

Tokimori Hazama

Main article: Tokimori Hazama

Sumiko first discovered Tokimori Hazama in the incomplete Shinkai beneath Karasumori Academy, awaiting a Kekkaishi talented enough to assist him in sealing his son Chushinmaru. Sumiko readily filled that role and began a 10 year search for a suitable Shinyuuchi, sacrificing much of her family life in the process. Despite this, she is one of the Kekkaishi that appears to hold no resentment at all toward Hazama for his part in linking them to Karasumori. She regards Hazama as her teacher and addresses him respectfully. In addition, they both seem to accept distancing themselves from their loved ones to do what is necessary to protect them.

Trivia

  • She made a few appearances in the anime, but her entire face was never shown.
  • Sumiko once said that, on occasion, Tokio Yukimura used to call her Bakemono (化物, Monster)[12]
  • 'Su' (守) means protect and 'miko' (美子) means beautiful young woman.

References

  1. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 152, page 16
  2. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 316
  3. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 294, page 5
  4. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 343, pages 12-13
  5. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 9, page 9
  6. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 8, page 9
  7. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 184, pages 9-12
  8. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 316, pages 11-13
  9. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 343
  10. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 8, page 10
  11. Kekkaishi anime, Episode 3
  12. 12.0 12.1 Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 288
  13. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 151
  14. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 152
  15. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 153
  16. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 284
  17. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 285
  18. 18.0 18.1 Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 291
  19. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 292
  20. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 293
  21. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 294
  22. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 295
  23. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 296
  24. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 297
  25. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 300
  26. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 317
  27. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 326
  28. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 342
  29. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 343
  30. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 344
  31. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 285, pages 4-5
  32. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 286
  33. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 153

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