Hmph. Watch your mouth. You're speaking to the new ruler of Shanghai.
~ Major Kutsugi

Major Kaoru Kutsugi is a minor villain in the game Shadow Hearts, he is a rival of Lt. Col Kawashima, and is sent in to discipline her when Japan suspects she has gone rogue. Though in truth he is an agent acting on behalf, Minister Ishimura, to kill her to get to her father, Naniwa Kawashima, the Minister's chief political rival.


Lt. Yoshiko Kawashima was the head of Japan's military forces in Japan and was sent to capture a girl called Alice Elliot who had supernatural powers and was suspected of killing a Japanese envoy. Kawashima chased Alice and her friends Yuri, Zuzhen and Margarete across China mercilessly, however after they saved her life from a demon attack Kawashima reprioritized her objectives. Long before Kawashima began to considered sparing Alice and her friends though she decided to conceal her activities from the military higher-ups in order to side-step the red-tape that would have slowed up her mission and in order to maintain sole credit for giving Japan the keys to weaponizing the supernatural. The shadow ruler of Japan, Foreign Minster Ishimura, never did trust Kawashima because she was a daughter of his chief political opponent, Naniwa Kawashima and aside from that she was well liked enough by her troops to easily mount a coup if she ever wanted to, and so the Minister sent agent Masaji Kato and Lieutenant Ken Suketani to spy on Kawashima; however Kawashima won over both agents' loyalty and both covered up her movments and plans, Kato simply by refusing to report any suspicious activities and Sukentani by outright falsifying paperwork about Kawashima's presence.

Major Kutsugi was very envious of Kawashima's post in mainland China and so he went over the official reports about Japan's military activities in China with a fine toothed-comb. When he found inconsistencies between Suketani's reports and military chatter he immediately reported to Minister Ishimura and was assigned to seize control from Kawashima and "discipline" any officers who held loyalty to her over Ishimura. When he arrived in China Kutsugi interrogated Sukentani to find Kawashima's location. Though Sukentani refused to turn on Kawashima and tried to feign ignorance Kutsugi did not believe him, had him shot and then ordered his troops to comb Shanghai for Kawashima's safe-house. They eventually do find Kawashima and corner her, however Kato evaded capture and asked Yuri and his friends to help Lt. Col. Kawashima. When cornered Kawashima attempts to use her family clout to her advantage warning Kutsugi of the scandal involved once her father found out about his orders. Kutsugi however laughs off the notion informing Kawashima that the reason he and his troops made their move when they did was that her father had been deposed and in-fact to retain some level of clout he had adopted a member of the Qing Dynasty so not only was Kawashima fair game but her father had in essence replaced her.


As Kawashima was likely about to be assassinated by Kutsugi and his men Kato arrived with Yuri and his friends to save Kawashima. While a ruthless hunter, Kawashima had taken the time to give Yuri and Alice the benefit of the doubt eventually. Yuri and his friends make quick work of the wet-works team and let Kutsugi alone live to run back to Tokyo in disgrace. Kutsugi is never seen or mentioned again after his retreat but very late in the game Kawashima is shot in the back by Ishimura's troops, posing as a mere messenger envoy. It is unknown what happened to Kutsugi himself but considering he is replaced in Shadow Hearts: Covenant by Lt. Col. Terada and Ishimura's practice of covering up his illicit activities by silencing potential witnesses via murder it is very likely Kutsugi was killed shortly after his return.

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