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|“||You should think of me as your personal Grim Reaper. At any moment I should desire it, I can extinguish the candle of your life.||„|
|~ Tsurumi introducing himself to Sugimoto.|
Tokushirou Tsurumi is one of the antagonists in Golden Kamuy. He is the 1st Lieutenant of the 7th Division. Harboring a grudge against the Japanese government for their failure to extract remuneration from Russia for Japanese veterans of the Russo-Japanese War, he seeks to use the Ainu gold to lead a coup d'état to form an independent Hokkaido. Due to his influence on the story, he can be considered as the main villain. However, Tsurumi has goals for plausible reasons, possibly making him a grey character as well, his true goal however, is unknown.
In the Japanese version of the anime, he is voiced by Hōchū Ōtsuka, who is also the voice of Jiraiya in Naruto, and Yazan Gable in Gundam. Under the disguise of Kouichi Hasegawa, he was voiced by Taisuke Nakano. In the English dubbed version, he is voiced by David Wald.
Tsurumi is a man whose most distinguishable physical trait is a cermaic plate that covers his forehead, with brain fluid leaking out sometimes. He has his hair slicked on the back of his head and has a handlebar moustache and goatee. He is of average height and has a muscular, lean build.
Tsurumi usually wears his officer uniform with a coat to protect himself from the cold. Underneath, he currently sometimes wears a shirt made out of the skin of the tattooed Abashiri Convicts (Because the location of the Gold is hidden in the tattoos of the convicts so he wears them so that they won't get lost).
As Kouichi Hasegawa, Tsurumi sported a buzzcut hairstyle and wore round fake glasses. He would wear a fur suit, a pair of boots, and carry some of his photography tools in a handbag and a briefcase. While at home, Tsurumi also wore a dark vest over a light long-sleeved button up shirt as well as straw shoes.
|“||Arisaka: Do you realize how messed up you are in the head?
Tsurumi: I do! Lost my frontal lobes!
|~ Arisaka and Tsurumi joking around about both the other's mental state and injury.|
Ambitious, mysterious, erratic, histrionic and slightly eccentric, Tsurumi is a unpredictable man, even to his own followers. However, in the past, Tsurumi was more normal and even a brave Japanese officer who fought at the front during the Russo-Japanese war.
Receiving a shrapnel in the head and the general bitterness at the poor treatment his division has received after the war has made Tsurumi psychotic and violent, though his manipulative tendencies have already been present even before the injury, having manipulated most of his current subordinates into joining him. It's unknown whether he already had sadistic tendencies back then or not, as Tsurumi before his injury in the flashback clearly didn't want so many soldiers to rush mindlessly into war to be killed, but when he recalls the war, he states how the skies poured with blood of the fallen soldiers was one of the most perfect sights he'd ever seen.
He is prone to threatening people and personally inflicting physical injury on his enemies but hides his brutal tendencies under a veneer of sophistication and sympathy. Tsurumi doesn't care whether someone is his ally or foe once they did something he didn't like, such as he bit Captain Wada's finger off and had him killed when feeling insulted by him. He also genuinely admires the macabre work of Edogai and develops a friendship with him. Tsurumi never becomes angry, but coldly manifests his rage with a brutal gesture, perhaps due to his brain damage. Tsurumi mentioned once that he has trouble controlling his temper ever since the brain damage, showing that he's self aware and sometimes uses his brain damage as an excuse of his actions despite that. Although not being able to show normal emotions since the brain damage, he suffers from mood swings as well as sudden outbursts of violence and leaks more brain fluid than normally when dealt with certain emotions.
Tsurumi aims to take over Hokkaido and is very ruthless in his methods. He kills anyone in his way or threatens his plan. He seems to still hold the men under his command in high regard but hates traitors. He has shown a level of care for his subordinates as seen when he tries to get Nikaidou to eat his food and provide prosthetic limbs for him.
Tsurumi is also a very charismatic and manipulative man that can sway the minds of other people with a powerful and explosive speech. As a result, he is not above lying to other people if it is to get what he desires, such as loyal and strong followers, Tsukishima for example who Tsurumi lied to for 9 years and had him study Russian in order to become an interpreter just to get him out of death row, recruit him into the 7th Division, and make him one of his loyal followers.
Under the identity of Kouichi Hasegawa, Tsurumi was a humble and compassionate man who loved his family and was also kind towards strangers who had come to him for help. He was also a very observant man as he easily noticed how other people would behave and any other unique traits that they displayed. When the Okhrana (secret police force that cracked down on revolutionaries and anti-government elements) found out about him, a worried Tsurumi told his wife that she should go back to her family home, stay there and absolutely not return until he comes to get her, knowing that she wasn't safe if she had stayed with him, showing that he truly cared for her despite being a spy. Though they were part of his guise while on a spy mission, Tsurumi genuinely seemed to care about his family as he spent time with them in their final moment and became disillusioned with the Japanese government as a result of their deaths.
Tsurumi likes sweets and is regularly seen chewing on dangos.
Tokushirou Tsurumi was born on the Niigata mainland. While talking to the Herring Magnate, Tsurumi mentioned that his family used to be wealthy but fell on hard times. This is further proved by Tsurumi's skillful piano playing and his rank as First Lieutenant, which is also evident of him finishing Imperial Japanese Army Academy.
Life as Kouichi Hasegawa
Tsurumi joined the Imperial Japanese Army and he was sent to Russia to act as a spy under the identity of Kouichi Hasegawa, a photographer who came to live in Vladivostok because of his father's work. He met and married a Russian woman named Fina and together they had a daughter, Olga. The three of them lived peacefully in Vladivostok with Fina taking care of the baby and Tsurumi out doing field work as a spy while taking photographs with his camera.
One day, Tsurumi was taking photographs of the town of Vladivostok when he hears a howl coming from behind. Upon seeing a wolf nearby, he attempted to take a photo of it, but by then it had already ran away and he notes how rare it was for one to come close to a human dwelling. Tsurumi then returned to his store where he was welcomed by Fina and he asked if Olga had been good. When Fina notified him that they have customers, Tsurumi heads up front to see two men and a woman, greeting them. The woman, Zoya tells him that they didn't come to have their picture taken and one of the men, Grigori says that they are interested in Japan and would be willing to pay him for teaching them the Japanese language.
Tsurumi agreed to teach them Japanese and over the course of several months, would oversee their lessons and report their progress to Fina. He notes that both Grigori and Philip are learning Japanese at an amazing rate, especially the former. However, he says that Zoya is simply not interested in learning Japanese while noticing that she is able to speak French. Grigori and Philip takes Tsurumi out to teach him to hunt and he comments that he could buy himself a new camera if he sets a lot of traps. Meanwhile, Tusrumi noticed that the two men were constantly on guard and asked them where they came from. He notes the differences between them and Zoya, saying that she seemed like she came from a noble class unlike the two of them. Sometime later, Tsurumi finds wanted posters of Grigori and Philip and looks at them with a grim look on his face.
As Tsurumi prepares to take a photo of the revolutionaries, he begins to talk about the Three Great Nobles of the Restoration and how they played a central role in bringing about a successful revolution that would result in Japan becoming the only country in Asia to proceed on the path to modernization. Tsurumi would go on to warn Fina to head to her family home and not to return until he comes for her and Olga. When the revolutionaries arrived at his store for their lesson, Tsurumi tells them not to come anymore and to immediately leave. Just then, they hear a knock on the door and Tsurumi goes to answer it to find himself coming face to face with an Okhrana officer.
Suddenly, Zoya hits the officer with the butt of her rifle which allowed Philip to grab and bring him inside for Grigori to interrogate. The Okhrana officer does not know who the three people are and that they only came for Tsurumi, revealing him to be a spy for the Japanese army. With his secret now out, Tsurumi takes Philip upstairs to his studio where he reveals that his camera stand was actually a machine gun, much to Philip's surprise. Philip then used the machine gun to kill most of the Okhrana officers, but one was able to escape. Grigori exclaimed that not one should be allowed to escape or else he will be back with reinforcements, which caused Zoya to head out and kill the lone survivor. Upon turning around, Zoya finds Fina lying on the ground with blood coming out of her body.
Tsurumi takes Fina in his arms and upon examining her, says that she cannot be saved. He turns to the revolutionaries and tells them to get going, but when Zoya attempts to apologize to him, he coldly tells her to hurry up and leave. Tsurumi then turns his attention back to Fina as she calls him by his fake name, reaching out to touch his cheek. Tsurumi grabs her hand, saying that his name is not Kouichi Hasegawa, which leads to her asking who he is. He reveals his true name to Fina before taking Olga in his arms one last time. Tsurumi takes Fina and Olga's body back to the store, laying them in the bed before lighting the store on fire, and walks away from his life in Russia.
- Experience and Leadership: He's a Military Officer and Russo-Japanese War IJA Veteran.
- Charisma: Tsurumi is highly manipulative and can convince others with his sweet lies or a powerful speech.
- Intelligence gathering and analysis: Tsurumi is regarded as a dangerous man for has proficiency in the intelligence discipline, as well as his sharp mind.
- Physical strength and agility: Tsurumi is shown to be physically strong as he snapped a incoming cane with one hand. He is also quite agile as when he pursued Sugimoto and his horse was shot down by an arrow, he did a barrel roll and immediately kept pursuing Sugimoto on foot.
- Russian language: As part of his duty as a spy in Russia, Tsurumi is also fluent in the Russian language.
- Borchardt C-93
- Colt Model 1903
- Winchester Model 21
- Winchester Model 1987
- The "Toku" Kanji in Tsurumi's name can mean fervent, kind, cordial, serious, deliberate while the "Shirou" Kanji might indicate that he's the fourth son in his family.
- His fake name "Kouichi" on the other hand, means happiness. He lost his happiness when he revealed his true name to his dying wife.
- The Mangaka Satoru Noda based Tsurumi's background on Hasegawa Tokushirou, the grandfather of Noda's father's friend who shared the same name, Noda Masanobu. After Tokushirou passed away, his relatives found a couple of curious things within his possessions: an old résumé and a child’s pinky bone.
- Before the fanbook confirmation, there were other speculations about Tsurumi's character real personalities inspirations.
- Analysis of Tsurumi.
- Tsurumi likes Japanese sweets but dislikes alcohol.
- In situations where he has to drink with his superiors, Tsurumi only pretends to drink and get drunk. It's because he is a lightweight and has low tolerance for alcohol.
- Tsurumi’s love for sweets and dislike for alcohol could be a call back to how Hitler was abstemious, but loved sweets.
- According to the Golden Kamuy anime character reference sheet, he's 173 cm (5'8) tall.
- The quote Tsurumi had said towards Sugimoto about being his Shinigami, capable of blowing his 'candle of life', is a reference from a rakugo story titled Shinigami. Rakugo itself was a form of verbal Japanese entertainment emerging in the Meiji period (1868–1912), where Golden Kamuy's timeline is supposedly set.
- The gestures he did in one of his speeches were identical to those of Adolf Hitler in "Triumph of the Will".
- In Volume 6's omake, Tsurumi plays Ludwig van Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57, also known as the Appassionata.
- The way Tsurumi enters the house in Chapter 105 is a reference to Norman Stansfield from the 1994 Movie Léon: The Professional.
- The scene where Tsurumi cradles the baby as Nikaidou, Tsukishima, and Koito look at them is a reference to "Song of the Angels", an 1881 painting by the French painter William-Adolphe Bouguereau.
- The scene where Tsurumi holds the deceased Usami in his arms is a reference to Michelangelo’s famous sculpture of Jesus laying in the arms of the Virgin Mary, the Pietà.
- The scene where Tsurumi fires the gun and says "Come and say hello to Arisaka's little friend" is a reference to "Say hello to my little friend" from the 1983 Movie Scarface.
- The scene where Tsurumi clings on Heij's back and whispers him tips/clues could be a reference to the 2000 Movie The Emperor’s New Groove, with Tsurumi acting like a Shoulder Devil.
- Tsurumi has been referred to as the "devil" a few times in the manga, making this even more likely to be a reference.
- The way Tsurumi and Koito meet for the first time was revised with the release of Volume 20.
- Tsurumi shows similarities to Pier Luigi Bellini delle Stelle, an Italian anti-fascist partisan and practicing lawyer, notable for capturing Benito Mussolini at Dongo in April 1945, where he used the nom de guerre of Pedro.
- The flowers which are sometimes behind Tsurumi in scenes/panels are opium poppies. Tsurumi oozing brain liquid is reminiscent of opium poppy seed pods exuding latex.
- According to the Mangaka, Tsurumi is the same age as Kiroranke who was 15 in 1881 when he took part in assassination of Alexander II with Wilk, so he was likely born in 1865-1866. Therefore if Golden Kamuy started around 1907 Tsurumi should be currently in his early 40s.
- It's likely that the finger bones shown in Chapter 232 are the ones of his deceased wife and child, possibly making his true goal related to them.
- Chapter 265 confirms this.
- In the 2018 Golden Kamuy All-Stars poll, Tsurumi ranked 7th, gaining 5499 votes.
- When asked what occupation Golden Kamuy characters would have if they lived in the present time, the Author said that Tsurumi would be a Public Security (Intelligence Agency) officer.
- Tsurumi plays with his headplate while bathing.