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|“||That's right, I'm furniture! Furniture!! Why... why didn't you let me die back then?!!||„|
|~ Yasu to Nanjo and Genji|
Sayo Yasuda better known by the nickname Yasu is a character from the visual novel series Umineko no Naku Koro ni. She is the Golden Witch Beatrice's true form. Most of the mysteries of the visual novels surround Yasu, with her being written as one of the true culprits in several of the manuscripts, though in reality she never carried out any of her planned murders.
Yasu (born Lion Ushiromiya) was the child of Kinzo Ushiromiya, and was conceived through incest with Kinzo's daughter Beatrice Ushiromiya. The child was given to Natshui as a sign of atonement, but she rejected it; Natushi viewing it as a sign of her failure of her womanhood. The child later fell off of a cliff along with a servant nineteen years ago. Unbeknownst to the other island inhabitants, the child survived its fall off the cliff, but was gravely injured with particular damage to the sex organs, being reassigned from male to female and raised as such. They were then taken to the Fukuin House orphanage and under the alias Sayo Yasuda, although Fukuin had a practice of "blessed names" in which they combine the first kanji of the child's given name (in this case "紗") and the kanji for sound "音", giving us Shannon. By either fate or deliberate action on Kinzo's part, she was one of the orphans selected to work at Rokkenjima as servants; a fact that confused her fellow orphans/co-workers due to having perceived privileges (such as a room all to themself and only working weekends so that she can attend school along with Jessica) as well as being significantly younger and having traits unbecoming of a servant such as clumsiness and forgetfulness, becoming an instant target of bullying.
The only comfort Yasu having in these troubled times being the motherly guidance of Kumasawa (the Ushiromiya elderly housekeeper) and mystery novels such as Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None, she also began to create imaginary friends and personas such as the perfect servant "Shannon" as well as starting to blame objects disappearing on the Golden Witch Beatrice, even playing pranks of newer servants to continue the witch's legend as well as to try to gain respect as Shannon. Eventually deciding to become a witch, albeit still maintaining the Shannon persona, effectively splitting Shannon and "Beatrice" into two different people.
As time progress though, Sayo began to focus more on the real world all but discarding the fantasy world entirely. Especially thanks to her relationship with Battler Ushiromiya and the other Ushiromiya cousins around her age. In 1980 during the annual family conference, Battler accidentally makes a promise to Shannon that they would have a life together soon, and she took what he was saying as truth, and waited for him. However, due to some family problems, Battler doesn't come back to the island, and Shannon's heart was broken, delving back into her mystery novel habits. Around the same time, she began to experience gender dysphoria due to not developing the same way as the other girls her age such as menstruation and breast development, due to a combination of that and the heartbreak from Battler's perceived abandonment led her to create the male persona of Kanon (often switching back and forth between the two). She would also "transfer" her love for Battler onto the Beatrice persona, and pursue a relationship with George as Shannon and Jessica as Kanon.
In April of 1984, Kinzo had a portrait of Beatrice and an epitaph displayed, having suspected for years that Lion Ushiromiya was still alive; Yasu cracking the code of the epitaph, Kizno revealing the truth about her origins, as well as awarding her with the successorship to the Ushiromiya family before dying afterwards. However Sayo wasn't interested in becoming head of the family (leading that to Kinzo's oldest son, Krauss) and only kept the gold, keys to the VIP room, and Beatrice's dress; truly becoming the Golden Witch Beatrice while still maintaining the personas of Shannon and Kanon. However she still was unhappy with her life, viewing herself as "furniture", particularly being devastated at the idea that she couldn't "love", particularly to bear children with George. Eventually culminating in her planning a murder-suicide to claim the lives of the Ushiromiya family and everyone else (including her) that was on Rokkenjima during the 1986 family conference, even rigging World War II explosive to go off to ensure that there are no survivors.
On October 4, 1986, Yasu began to commence the murder-mystery game of Rokkenjima, only to be stopped by a few adults who solved the epitaph and had managed to get the gold, being greeted by Yasu in the Beatrice dress and four rifles. However, greed got the better of the four siblings and the incident resulted in a massacre regardless; with Rudolf and Kyrie being the main culprits. Battler would later stumble across the VIP room, with Sayo confessing that she, Kanon, and Beatrice were all the same person; still not forgetting his "sin" after all these years. Battler offered to escape the island on a motor boat, but Sayo insisted she become the "Master of the Golden Land" (effectively insisting that she must die), commiting suicide by diving into the sea, Battler tries to save her ,but to no avail (but he does survive, albeit with brain damaged-induced amnesia; making him and Eva the only survivors). The events we see throughout the series being hypothetical scenarios crafted by Yasu being scattered through several message bottles under the alias Maria Ushiromiya, the true events of the massacre being undiscovered for nearly twelve years.
- Beatrice - character, role
- Shannon - character, role
- Kanon - character, role
- Battler Ushiromiya - rival, love interest, cousin, nephew
- George Ushiromiya - fiancée, cousin, nephew
- Jessica Ushiromiya - love interest, cousin, niece
- Maria Ushiromiya - best friend, cousin, niece
- Eva Ushiromiya - half-sister, aunt, successor
- Chiyo Kumasawa - mother figure
- Genji Ronoue - father figure
- Beatrice Ushiromiya - mother, half-sister
- Kinzo Ushiromiya - father, grandfather, successor
- Clair Vaux Bernardus - original Beatrice appearance, temporary form (during Requiem)
- Lion Ushiromiya - alternative existence
In the original visual novels, Yasu is not given a sprite (barring the Clair avatar) and as such unclear to the audience as to what they look like outside of their various personas. In the manga adaptation of Requiem of the Golden Witch however, Yasu appears as a frail, young girl; typically dressed in the Ushiromiya maid uniform, with long blonde hair that covers their eyes.
However in the Twilight of the Golden Witch manga, this was revealed to be a trick by an unreliable narrator being depicted to be identical to Shannon (including the same flashback panels from Episode 7 redrawn so that Yasu looks like a younger Shannon), with short brown hair and blue eyes; to reflect their true identity.
Yasu is always characterized by a feeling of vast loneliness, pain, want for understanding, and horrible body image. When Yasu first appears they are a rather well-behaved, happy, and very lonely child who creates imaginary friends to feel less lonely. As Yasu ages and grows up they build up more self-confidence when new servants come and along with it Yasu also grew a love for pranks and magic tricks. After meeting Battler however, Yasu's personality starts breeding a shred of bitterness and anger that will continue to grow over time. Yasu continues to grow and become more content even in the loneliness. Once Yasu finds out about the condition of their body however, their personality does a complete turn around and Yasu grows extreme self-worth, body image, and gender identity issues which lead to them calling themself "furniture" and believing they are incapable of love. Bits and pieces of Yasu's full personality are littered throughout Yasu's three personas. When Yasu appears in 1986, they are completely lifeless and uncaring of themself and are open to any punishment the roulette will deal out, even death.
- Yasu's note at the end of Legend of the Golden Witch is very similar to the note Keiichi Maebara left at the end of Onikakushi-hen.
- One piece of foreshadowing that Shannon and Kanon are the same person is that the first kanji in Kanon's given name Yoshiya (嘉哉) is the reversed form of the kanji for Sayo (紗代)
- Yasu having both male and female characters/roles and sexual attraction to both genders may be due to the conclusion held by Yasu towards whether to identify as male or female.
- Supposedly Yasu committed suicide on October 6, 1986, as the boat scene in EP8 showed, but there are also fans who believe that Yasu actually survived and became Ikuko.
- Portraits of Yasu's character/alternate universe self, Beatrice and Lion, have been featured, meaning Yasu is the character with most featured portraits.
- Yasu's appearance is not shown in Episode 7 (manga is an exception). Bernkastel constantly displays Yasu as Clair Vaux Bernardus to confuse Theatergoers. Shannon and Kanon are only played roles.
- In the "Answer to the Golden Witch", Ryukishi07 responded to "a body that is unable to love" with "If you take this expression as a basis, you can imagine their sad fate of having some kind of imperfection on a sexual level" implying that the injury had some influence on Yasu's sexual problems/gender. He also states that he had to obscure it, because it was a very adult topic.
- Also Ryukishi said: "How scary must it be, to be told that your partner “wants children”, when you have a body that cannot make love." - referring to Shannon/Yasu, what might imply that Yasu is unable to have sex.