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I will become stronger. I never wanna see Tokine get hurt, ever again!

Yoshimori Sumimura (墨村良守, Sumimura Yoshimori) is a Human with Kekkaishi powers living near the Karasumori site. He is the main protagonist of Kekkaishi and the middle child of the Sumimura Family. He attends Karasumori Academy with his childhood friend Tokine Yukimura. His brother refers to him as Yoshi.

Appearance

Yoshimori

Yoshimori in Kekkaishi uniform.

Apart from the typical features of a young teenager, Yoshimori also has a number of distinctive traits. Among these, one of the most significant is the Houin on his right palm. He is also known for his diminutive stature, although this is mostly seen when compared with Tokine, who, it must be noted, is two years his senior. He is short, has black spiky hair and brown eyes.

Personality

YoshiTokine

Tokine walking a crying Yoshimori home

As a child, Yoshimori was distinguished by his weakness of spirit: numerous flashbacks portray him as a boy who cried easily and frequently. His closest friend was Tokine, who often helped him when he was in trouble, despite the fact that their grandparents disapproved of them being friends.[1]
YoshimoriSoccer

A young Yoshimori playing soccer.

Early on, Yoshimori regarded his duties as a Kekkaishi with disdain,[2] and resented Shigemori for expecting so much of him so soon. He would often spend time playing soccer instead of training. Constantly throughout the series, Yoshimori clashes with his grandfather, both because they are equally strong-willed and stubborn, and over Shigemori's clear loathing of the Yukimura family.[3]

After Tokine was wounded saving Yoshimori from Yumigane when he was nine,[4] Yoshimori adopted a firmer, assertive attitude in regard to his responsibilities as a Kekkaishi, and in protecting those around him (Tokine especially).[5] Over time, Yoshimori's feelings toward Tokine develop into a rather obvious crush. This is most evident in the extreme lengths he goes to in order to prevent Tokine from coming to any further harm. Yoshimori immediately rejects any strategy that clearly places Tokine in harm's way,[6] often goes out of his way to protect her (whether his help is actually wanted or not),[7] and apologizes profusely any time Tokine is hurt, physically or emotionally, through his own actions.[8] Possibly because Tokine is very vocal about Yoshimori not being her ideal, he is also immediately suspicious of, and hostile toward, any boys that she has significant contact with.

At first glance, Yoshimori is not especially close to either of his brothers. He does not seem to understand Toshimori, who, unlike him, is studious, serious, and well mannered. Likewise, Masamori and Yoshimori each envy the other's position in the family, and most of their conversations tend to be either tense lectures from Masamori, or jokes at Yoshimori's expense. Despite their disagreements, Yoshimori is never actually seen fighting with Toshimori, and part of him still admires Masamori and wants to be a strong Kekkaishi like he is (though by following his own separate path). In addition, Yoshimori has strong bonds with his parents. Raised largely by his father, who is always encouraging and kindhearted, Yoshimori seems to have inherited his father's compassionate heart. At the same time, Yoshimori has an almost desperate love for his mother, who is absent for much of his life, and he reacts furiously in her defense if she is ever insulted.

Yoshimori is typically tired and irritable during the daytime because his nights are devoted to his work as a Kekkaishi. This is juxtaposed with his pleasure in making others happy, as seen with his love for baking sweets, and, most notably, candy castles. His favorite drink is coffee milk, which is also enjoyed by most of his friends at school.

He is often called too considerate or "soft" by Tokine and Gen, especially when contrasted with Tokine's own often ruthless nature toward dealing with Ayakashi and even human ghosts. On several occasions when others told him to let matters lie, such as with the ghost of the pâtissier, Yoshimori went to great lengths to aid others when there was no real benefit for himself, indicating a charitable spirit.

Because of his long nights, Yoshimori constantly falls asleep during classes (though Tokine almost never has this problem). He even brings a pillow to school and often skips his classes to take long naps on the rooftop. Indeed, Yoshimori does not seem at all concerned with the state of his grades or constantly earning his teacher's annoyance, and possibly for good reason: it is implied more than once that unless Karasumori is dealt with permanently, Yoshimori's only real future is to protect the site for the rest of his life, and as such, education is hardly a concern (for much of Masamori's school career, he was replaced by a Shikigami clone, courtesy of his grandfather).

Yoshimori initially has two personal dreams: to become strong so that no one is ever harmed at Karasumori again, and to bake the perfect candy castle (impressing Tokine as a bonus, as she clearly enjoys some of his creations, despite being critical of his love of baking). As he begins to question and learn more of Karasumori's mysterious origin, Yoshimori decides that he will seal the power of Karasumori forever, thus ending the constant threat of Ayakashi attack, and freeing both his family and Tokine's from their never-ending duty of protecting the site. After the power of Karasumori is sealed, Yoshimori decides to combine his love of art[9][10] with an old dream, and become an architect (so that he can build a home for himself and Tokine).[11]

History

Yoshimori is the second of three sons born to Shuji and Sumiko Sumimura. Because the Houin, the mark of the Legitimate Successor, appeared on his hand after his birth, he was predestined to lead the Sumimura clan as the 22nd Clan Head. In addition, he was also expected to become a Kekkaishi, the traditional protector of the sacred land of Karasumori. However, these were duties that young Yoshimori never asked for or wanted for himself.[12] Despite this, he began reluctantly accompanying his older brother to Karasumori at a young age to observe.[13]

He was treated with some resentment by his older brother Masamori (who, despite his own notable talents as a Kekkaishi, lacked the Houin and was therefore not a Legitimate Successor). There were no such problems with Toshimori, the youngest brother, who generally got along with his entire family. The boys grew up largely in the care of their father, as their mother spent much of her time traveling the world, returning home infrequently but never staying for long.

Yoshimori was always ordered by his grandfather Shigemori (the 21st Clan Head) to avoid contact with their neighbors, the Yukimura Family, a rival Kekkaishi clan that the Sumimuras had been feuding with for over 400 years. Despite this (and secretly encouraged by Tokio Yukimura), Yoshimori built and maintained a strong relationship with the Yukimura heir, Tokine. Yoshimori was a crybaby as a child, and Tokine was his closest friend, often protecting and supporting him, though she knew their grandparents would not stand for this.

Yoshimori was officially recognized as a Kekkaishi and sent alone to Karasumori at age 7. By then, 9 year-old Tokine had already been on active duty for some time (Masamori was active at the same time and watched over them, stepping aside once Yoshimori was appointed). Worried that Yoshimori was too immature and not taking the job seriously,
Tokine-his1

After Hanauo's defeat

Tokine purposely allowed a small Ayakashi to roam free on Yoshimori's first night of active duty, hoping him catching it would boost his confidence. However, not only did he fail to catch it, but Hanauo, a much larger Ayakashi, appeared and devoured it. Though Yoshimori was able to capture Hanauo with his larger than necessary Kekkai, he had trouble containing it, and it was only with Tokine's help that he was able to destroy it. Tokine then used Tenketsu to clean up the particles, by which time Yoshimori had fallen asleep, exhausted from the night's activities. Masamori appeared to carry Yoshimori home on his back, and asked Tokine to look after him from then on.[14]


Yoshimori resented his duties as a Kekkaishi, Shigemori's overly strict nature, and being denied a normal
Tokine-scar

The scars Tokine received defending Yoshimori as a child

childhood. This was reflected in his approach to being a Kekkaishi: he did not take the job seriously, despite frequent warnings from both Shigemori and Tokine, who took great pride in their job. Yoshimori continued to ignore all advice until he was nine years old, when Tokine was severely wounded protecting him from the Ayakashi Yumigane. Yoshimori managed to get her home safely, but blamed himself for his own inaction, and the scars still present on Tokine's right hand, wrist, and forearm are a near-constant reminder of this. From that day forward, he promised himself that he would become stronger, so that no one, Tokine especially, would ever be harmed on Karasumori again.[2]


Equipment

Shakujō: Yoshimori 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 him to discard his Shakujō until it is needed.

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

Shidou's Feather: As a token of thanks for helping Kokuunsai, Yoshimori was given one of Shidou's feathers. Though it appears ordinary, when Yoshimori waves the feather, he can summon and communicate with any nearby crows.[15]

Black Orb: Yoshimori formerly carried a black orb that contained the soul of Chushinmaru Karasumori. The orb was kept in a small cloth bag (which bore Chushinmaru's mark) and worn around Yoshimori's neck at all times, which allowed Chushinmaru to appear outside of the orb and share his power with Yoshimori as needed. Because Chushinmaru's power was so great, the orb tended to crack after some time, and he had to be transferred to a new one about every two days. The final orb shattered within the Shinkai at Hakuma, but the power inside merely returned to Chushinmaru, who was finally safely contained.[16]

Power and Abilities

Hazama-Ryu Kekkaijutsu: Yoshimori's primary ability. His abnormally high power levels, coupled with his penchant for blunt, borderline haphazard attacks, means that his use of the Hazama style is marked by larger, more impressive Kekkai than his colleague Tokine is generally able to produce. Through training, he has managed to dramatically improve his precision, though his style still tends to favor brute force over finesse.

YoshimoriZekkai
  • Quasi-Zekkai: Yoshimori has gradually become adept at producing an imperfect Zekkai that manifests as a black-colored flaming aura, which surrounds Yoshimori in a silhouette. It eliminates many things that come into contact with it,[17] however it can be overpowered, and its potency depends greatly on Yoshimori's focus and emotional state. Yoshimori has twice managed to expand and strengthen his Zekkai to the point that it closely resembled the more commonly recognized spherical shape,[18][19] but still seems most comfortable with the version he initially accessed.
  • Shinkai: In times of great stress, Yoshimori has also proven capable of instinctively summoning a rare and potent Shinkai barrier that manifests itself as a bright white, extending spherical aura, with Yoshimori at the center.[20] Shinkai is distinct in that, unlike Ketsu, which merely separates the inside from the outside, and Zekkai, which rejects foreign entities, Shinkai creates a sphere inside of which Yoshimori is able to control reality, rejecting that which he wants removed and maintaining (perhaps even restoring, in Souji Hiura's case) that which he wants preserved. Tokimori Hazama has explained that Shinkai is "the first step of the first step" in creating a new world.[21] After training under Hazama, Yoshimori is able to produce Shinkai, as needed (with support from Chushinmaru), with far more control over its size and contents.[22]
  • Musou: Since completing his training in the Sumimura family well,
    Yoshi going into Musou

    Yoshimori enters the blank state and summons Shiguma in cube form.

    Yoshimori has mastered a perfect Musou (blank) state, which completely shuts down his conscious mind and separates his powers from his emotions, using the resulting focus to dramatically increase his speed, precision, reflexes and power. This allows him to produce seemingly indestructible Kekkai in large numbers without any signs of fatigue or strain. While in this state, Yoshimori summons a familiar, or landlord, to maintain his connection to his heart. His landlord, Shiguma, takes the form of a striped cube that morphs into various animal and humanoid shapes.[23] Shiguma can also relay Yoshimori's subconscious thoughts to his conscious mind, thus allowing the conscious Yoshimori to understand and analyze the world around him in ways he never could otherwise. As part of Yoshimori, though, Shiguma shares his taste for brute force at the expense of subtlety.
  • Sensory Kekkai: While training with his mother's Shikigami, Yoshimori learns to use Sensory Kekkai while in his blank state. This allows him to extend his senses and investigate the surrounding area, gaining a great deal of information in the process, including the location of any nearby enemies. He can only maintain this for an instant, however.[24]

Enormous Spiritual Power: Even among the Sumimura Kekkaishi, all of whom seem to possess a great deal of spiritual power, Yoshimori has far more than even their standards would suggest is normal. Like his mother Sumiko, this routinely makes him capable of feats normally considered impossible, though to Yoshimori they are not as impressive because they are almost always well within the limits of his abilities (which is telling in itself).

Supernatural Endurance: Yoshimori repeatedly proves to have endurance in the range of superhuman in combat. He almost never reaches a point where he grows notably fatigued in battle. While some of this can be attributed to Karasumori's power supporting him as a Legitimate Successor, Yoshimori still possesses this trait even while removed from the site, proving that this is indeed a natural ability separate from Karasumori's power.[25] In addition, though his body is covered in scars from past battles, Yoshimori is never stated to have been seriously injured, or forced to withdraw from duty due to wounds suffered in battle. He is, however, still susceptible to common illnesses such as colds.

Indomitable Will: Yoshimori has repeatedly proven his willpower to be one of his strongest points, and he has never given up on a single one of his endeavors. He always accomplishes his tasks with great determination without ever faltering, and he has never stopped on any of his goals. This is most prominent in his battle with Kaguro, where Yoshimori was determined to kill Kaguro no matter what happened to him in the aftermath.

Chushinmaru Karasumori Affinity: Okuni reveals to Masamori that Yoshimori
Yoshi-chushin

Chushinmaru sharing his power with Yoshimori and Shiguma

is an extremely rare human being that is compatible with Chushinmaru Karasumori, who can share his massive spirit reservoir that has the potential power to destroy the world, with Yoshimori.[26] It has become clear that Yoshimori shares an uncommon affinity with Chushinmaru. The child-like Karasumori is drawn to Yoshimori's brashness and brute power, presumably finding it entertaining. Because of this relationship, and when it suits him, Chushinmaru is capable of funneling his own power into Yoshimori, significantly augmenting his already considerable strength. After their departure from Karasumori Academy, Yoshimori carried Chushinmaru, contained within a round orb[27] in a pouch around his neck.[28] Yoshimori trained under Tokimori Hazama so that he could eventually seal the young lord's enormous power for good. Hazama himself commented that, when he is in Chushinmaru's presence, Yoshimori is nigh unbeatable.[29]

Relationships

Family

Sumiko Sumimura

Main article: Sumiko Sumimura

Yoshimori is easily frustrated by his mother's behavior: she tends to do outrageous things that most people cannot understand, and seems to enjoy the chaos she causes. Additionally, he is somewhat disappointed that she has very little skill at typical household tasks, such as cooking and sewing. Despite this, Yoshimori cares for her deeply, and because of her constant absence in his life, he desires, more than anything, for her to just come home and stay there. He becomes extremely defensive if anyone insults Sumiko in front of him.

Masamori Sumimura

Main article: Masamori Sumimura

Though they have a great deal in common, Yoshimori and his older brother Masamori consistently have difficulty getting along, and have since they were younger. Masamori seems to resent Yoshimori being chosen as their generation's Legitimate Successor, and repeatedly lectures him on living up to the title. Yoshimori is intimidated by Masamori's skill and power as a Kekkaishi, despite Masamori's being a non-Successor. Also a sore point for Yoshimori is the fact that Tokine greatly admires Masamori. However, both brothers have a tendency to take on monumental tasks in order to protect those around them, and they can often join forces despite their lingering feelings of unease around each other.

Shigemori Sumimura

Main article: Shigemori Sumimura

Yoshimori resents his grandfather, both because he feels Shigemori's strict training robbed him of a normal childhood, and because he hates being criticized. They tend to disagree on many things, from Yoshimori's love of baking, to his desire to become more friendly with the Yukimuras, who Shigemori largely sees firmly as inferior rival Kekkaishi. But Shigemori has a great deal of pride and faith in Yoshimori's skill and power, even if he almost never admits this aloud.


Allies

Tokine Yukimura

Main article: Tokine Yukimura

Tokine was Yoshimori's best childhood friend, and saved him from trouble numerous times. However, several factors gradually caused them to grow apart, including the feud between their families, as well as their duties as Kekkaishi, which turned their friendship into more of a rivalry. Yoshimori resented being a Kekkaishi while Tokine dedicated herself to the job, which only caused more disagreements between them. Yoshimori's attitude changed drastically once Tokine was seriously wounded saving him from Yumigane: he devoted himself to becoming a strong Kekkaishi, so that no one, Tokine especially, would ever be hurt because of Karasumori. Despite the distance between them, Yoshimori developed an obvious crush on Tokine as they grew older, which she seemed aware of, but generally tried to discourage. Yoshimori became instantly jealous any time a male other than himself seemed to be getting friendly with Tokine, unaware that despite Tokine's sometimes harsh treatment of him, she held similarly strong feelings for him, though it was some time before she allowed herself to admit this. Yoshimori's main priority in battle, other than defeating the enemy, was to ensure Tokine's safety at all times, which both annoyed and impressed her.

Tokiko Yukimura

Main article: Tokiko Yukimura

Though Yoshimori resents Tokiko's attempts to keep him away from Tokine and belittle his family, he recognizes that she is a supremely talented Kekkaishi and has, on more than one occasion, managed to swallow his pride and ask for her guidance. Tokiko always seems reluctant to agree as a rule, and while her general dislike of Yoshimori in particular never really fades, she does eventually reach the point where she can tolerate his presence for the sake of Kekkaishi duties that she cannot handle alone.

Gen Shishio

Main article: Gen Shishio

Gen and Yoshimori initially cannot stand each other: Gen sees Yoshimori as a weak excuse for a Kekkaishi and Legitimate Successor, and Yoshimori considers Gen to be nothing more than a jerk with a violent streak. As they learn more about each other, Gen slowly begins to accept that their similar attitudes make them compatible partners, and Yoshimori comes to appreciate Gen not just as a powerful comrade, but a somewhat reluctant friend.

Sen Kagemiya and Shu Akitsu

Main article: Sen Kagemiya
Main article: Shu Akitsu

Despite the fact that they get off to a rocky start, Yoshimori's continued exposure to Sen and Shu eventually makes them some of his closest and most dependable friends. Shu makes friends easily and never fails to bring a positive outlook to any situation. Sen, while often moody and quick to anger, is still more open with his feelings than Gen was, which sometimes creates noticeable parallels in Yoshimori's mind. Though Yoshimori is rarely one to accept advice easily, he often asks for Sen's opinion on problems that trouble him, and keeps in touch with him when they are separated, something he rarely bothers to do with other comrades.

Friends

Hiromu Tabata and Tomonori Ichigaya

Main article: Hiromu Tabata
Main article: Tomonori Ichigaya

Hiromu and Tomonori are Yoshimori's friends and classmates. While they are not above teasing him or taking advantage of the fact that he falls asleep practically every day in class, their doing so also provides Yoshimori with a sense of normalcy. In addition, Hiromu maintains a rather thorough databook on rumors and people at Karasumori Academy, which sometimes helps Yoshimori in his investigations. Tomonori, on the other hand, acts as a dose of realism any time Hiromu or Yoshimori become too imaginative.

Trivia

  • Yoshimori is originally left-handed (he could possibly be ambidextrous), but because the Houin appears on the right hand in the Sumimura family, Shigemori trained him to use Kekkaijutsu with his right hand. Yoshimori later discovers that it is much easier for him to use Kekkaijutsu with his left hand, and Tokimori Hazama guides him through the process of closing the sensory gap between his right and left sides.[30]
  • Though it is unknown how much energy Yoshimori has, he was once able to cover the entire courtyard of Karasumori Academy (which had been overgrown by a forest) in a giant Kekkai, and wasn't tired afterward.[31]
  • On the night that Tokine was injured by Yumigane, Yoshimori was wearing a white version of kunai holsters that Tokine does, but that is the only time he's ever seen with them.[2]
  • Yoshimori was fighting Ayakashi even before he began elementary school.[32] Oddly enough, if Tokio Yukimura had survived, he wouldn't have allowed Tokine to begin until she was in junior high.[33]

References

  1. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 1, pages 27-30
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Kekkaishi anime, Episode 1
  3. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 1, page 13
  4. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 1, pages 41-45
  5. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 1, page 53
  6. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter , pages 4-11
  7. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 2, pages 27-32
  8. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 69, pages 11-13
  9. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 1, page 12
  10. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 2, page 13
  11. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 354, page 20
  12. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 1, pages 13-14
  13. Kekkaishi manga, Gaiden, page 2
  14. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter: Gaiden
  15. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 133
  16. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 342, page 16
  17. Kekkaishi anime, Episode 50
  18. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 204
  19. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 216
  20. Kekkaishi anime, Episode 51
  21. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 300
  22. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 308
  23. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 266
  24. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 293, pages 15-18
  25. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 159, pages 10-11
  26. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 273
  27. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 290
  28. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 298
  29. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 297
  30. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 298
  31. Kekkaishi anime, Episode 14
  32. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 126
  33. Kekkaishi manga, Chapter 8

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