|Japanese Name||芳村 （よしむら）|
Manager (店長 Tenchō)
|Relatives||Ukina (Lover) †|
|Manga Debut||Chapter 1|
|Anime Debut||Episode 1|
|Novel Debut||Days: Chapter 1 (Mentioned)|
Days: Chapter 2
|Game Debut||Tokyo Ghoul: Jail|
Taiten Kusunoki (Kuzen)
|English VA||Sean Hennigan|
|Stage Play||Tadayoshi Katō|
"Acts of taking are equally evil. We, from the moment of birth, continue to take: food, people that got involved with us, even our own flesh and blood. For as long as we live, we continue to slaughter, kill, take. Life is to constantly sin. Life is evil itself. I am aware of it, I am evil... and so are you all. Now, come kill me, and I shall do the same!"
Yoshimura (芳村, Yoshimura) is an SSS-rated ghoul and was the manager of the Anteiku café. Later, under the moniker of the One-Eyed Owl (隻眼の梟, Sekigan no Fukurō), he repeatedly tried to cover up for the real Owl's behavior, who was really his daughter Eto who he had with a human named Ukina when he went by the name Kuzen (功善, Kuzen). When the CCG realizes there are two Owls, the ghoul investigators begin to call him the Non-Killing Owl (不殺の梟, Fusatsu no Fukurō). He tries to help ghouls who cannot hunt or kill human beings for themselves due to his love of both species. He, at one point, takes in Ken Kaneki, a human-ghoul hybrid, and shows him the way of living as a ghoul. Following the Owl Suppression Operation he is captured and his kakuhou is being used to create the Owl-series of artificial one-eyed ghouls.
Yoshimura has swept back white hair and his eyes are usually closed. A tall, powerful man who is commonly in a formal waiter uniform. When traveling he dons a black cloak and hat. He frequently smiles with his head held high and arms behind the back. With a tranquilizing composure and a discreet nature, Yoshimura is both an enigma and a gentleman. While he was younger, he had black hair.
Yoshimura's ghoul mask covers half of his face with a hooked beak that resembles an owl. In his kakuja form, Yoshimura's kagune creates a mask that resembles the One-Eyed Owl's mask, with minor differences in the mouth lines' length and eye holes' curve.
A kind and generous old man, the manager shows that he is both wise and reasonable even among the ghouls. People like Nishiki Nishio often question his motives on how and why it is that he has come to be a solemn peacemaker in the 20th ward, but he is nonetheless reliable and great for those who serve him. As head of his organization Anteiku, he is not afraid to assert his authority, but his demands are mostly agreeable to Anteiku's members. Although rare among the ghouls, Yoshimura holds equal regard to both ghouls and humans.
His kind and fair nature is a stark contrast to what Yoshimura was in the past. During his early years as Kuzen, Yoshimura had a loner's mentality. He was too strong and his strength isolated him from others. He avoided others and closed his heart to anyone he came across. He resented his existence as a ghoul, seeing himself as a curse that killed others in order to stay alive.
After meeting Ukina, his personality took a change for the better. He began to slowly open up to her and eventually came to love her immensely. It is through his relationship with Ukina that Yoshimura decided to create Anteiku and develop his goal to help those like his past self and other ghouls or humans in need. This is best represented with the birth of his child, a bridge between ghouls and humans.
Yoshimura feels strong paternal love for his child and will do anything in his might to protect her: He seeked to hide his child in the 24th ward from V's eyes and became a substitute for the One-Eyed Owl in the 2nd ward attack on the CCG HQ to divert V's attention from his child.
Yoshimura values life and shuns people and ghouls alike if they kill. Because of his ideology, in the third attack by "Owl" on the 2nd Ward Branch Office, and even in the CCG raid on Aogiri's 11th Ward Base, he did not kill anyone, only injuring those he attacked.
Although he has forsaken killing since leaving V, Yoshimura is clearly aware of how his past actions have caused irreversible damage to others. As a result, Yoshimura sees himself as "evil" and is willing to accept death at the hands of his enemies should it ever happen. Despite this sense of self-loathing, he is still willing to kill in extremely desperate situations to protect those that are precious to him, such as his subordinates.
The man who eventually became Yoshimura was known as Kuzen. Kuzen was a ghoul who lived a bleak and resentful existence. As a ghoul, he ate humans to survive but took it further by eating other ghouls as well. Although Kuzen cursed his existence as a ghoul, he continued down upon it nonetheless. As his strength and abilities increased, Kuzen's name and reputation spread far and wide and came to the knowledge of an organization known as V. V offered Kuzen a position as a "cleaner" within their organization. Kuzen decided to accept their proposition. As one of V's "cleaners," he satisfied his hunger and expenses by wiping out rival human and ghoul organizations. Although Kuzen did not need to worry about basic needs such as hunger, he did not see the organization as his home but rather an employer. As a result, Kuzen continued to live a lonely solitary life. However one day while ordering a coffee in a café he often frequented, he met the human waitress named Ukina. Despite being a solitary person, Kuzen gradually grew closer to Ukina as he frequented the café, opening himself to her that he otherwise would not with other people.
At some point, Ukina was able to find out Kuzen's true identity. Kuzen contemplated killing her but Ukina embraced him and saw how lonely his life had been. This event deepened Kuzen's love for Ukina and the two became lovers and she was eventually pregnant with Kuzen's child. Kuzen wanted to have the child, but he knew that the odds of a human-ghoul hybrid surviving pregnancy was extremely low because the child would starve to death within the womb. Kuzen frankly informed Ukina about this and that a "miracle" was needed in order for their child to survive. Throughout Ukina's pregnancy, Kuzen observed her eating human meat. This helped increase the child's survival rate and eventually lived to survive birth.
As Kuzen and Ukina lived together raising their child they named Eto, Kuzen noticed Ukina's diary and discovered Ukina was not a waitress but a journalist who was chasing V and discovered many of their secrets. Both Kuzen and Ukina were not aware of each other's affiliations and met by chance. V eventually discovered their relationship and ordered Kuzen to kill Ukina in order to protect themselves. Since the organization was too strong to oppose, Kuzen sadly killed Ukina. After her death, Kuzen left V and left his child to Noroi, an acquaintance in the 24th ward, knowing the area was far enough to escape from V's grasp.
As time passed, Kuzen, now going by the name of Yoshimura, heard of the appearance of the One-Eyed Owl, a ghoul that hated the world. He became convinced this ghoul was his child. Yoshimura had heard his child had been heavily wounded in a battle against the CCG. Fearing the organization V might find out about his child and target her, Yoshimura attacked the 2nd ward for a third time alone in his child's place. The CCG's team was unable to exterminate Yoshimura. However, the genius Rank 2 Investigator Kishou Arima used the Special Class investigators' quinques as he went up against Owl. Finally, he defeated Owl, leading to the CCG's victory. Owl, fatally wounded, vanished after this day ten years before.
Differences in the anime
In the anime, Ukina was killed by the organization while she and Kuzen were running away from them.
At the time Kaneki went to Anteiku asking help from Touka Kirishima, Yoshimura offered him human meat to satisfy his hunger after Touka's refusal.
After treating Hideyoshi Nagachika and the incident between Nishiki Nishio and Kaneki, he listened to Kaneki's regret of almost hurting his friend and his inability to live as a human nor a ghoul. Yoshimura assured him that he was wrong in that thinking, and he in fact was the only one who has two worlds in which to belong. He then offered Kaneki to join Anteiku as a part-time waiter in order to learn how a ghoul lived in the human world.
Yoshimura used a lie about a car accident to cover up what had really happened to Kaneki and Hide in the incident with Nishiki. Shortly after Kaneki started working at his place, Yoshimura showed Kaneki how to eat sandwiches like a human.
During the time Touka willed to avenge Ryouko Fueguchi, he refused to get involved with the Doves. However, Yoshimura was present at the place where Kaneki, Touka, and Hinami Fueguchi clashed with Koutarou Amon and Kureo Mado. And after the incident, he was glad the "human self" of Kaneki sided with the ghouls.
Yoshimura made a speech about the ghouls who killed their emotions and forgot the value of life, after Kaneki escaped from the Ghoul Restaurant. Later he and Yomo discussed Shuu Tsukiyama's danger that was approaching Kaneki, it ended with Yoshimura's decision to leave Kaneki dealing with the danger by himself so he could grow up more.
Kaneki was abducted while Yoshimura was away on business, possibly gathering information as to the condition of the 11th ward. After learning about his abduction, Yoshimura returned to Anteiku and told the ghouls gathered there that they would probably no longer have any contact with Kaneki, due to the situation.
Touka, Hinami Fueguchi, and Nishiki told Yoshimura that they would save Kaneki even if he would not, at which point he stated he wanted to confirm if they were willing to throw away their lives.
During the invasion of the CCG into Aogiri Tree's base consisting of several buildings, Yoshimura told Kaya Irimi and Hinami that he would buy time after the two had pinpointed the Special Class ghoul investigators carrying quinque.
Owl Suppression Operation
After the assault on Anteiku began, he appeared in the area and turned his focus on the CCG troops who flocked around. After transforming into his kakuja form he began monologuing about how evil the world was before slaughtering the nearby CCG forces, glaring at Yoshitoki Washuu. Soon after killing numerous investigators he begins to intimidate them greatly, he was then confronted by Shinohara and Kuroiwa with a combination attack before being shot at by Kousuke Houji's quinque. Continuously parrying the relentless attack they dealt towards him, Yoshimura began to feel annoyed with the way they were fighting. Later joining this battle came Juuzou Suzuya and Koori Ui who joined in on the consecutive attacks towards Yoshimura. As the battle went on, Ui was able to land a strike to his torso. Fleeing from their consecutive attacks, Suzuya confronted Yoshimura alone and managed to slash off his left arm, but lost his right leg in the process. Wounded, he made his last stand on a rooftop confronted by his previous pursuers and was finally taken down with Houji's last attack. Shortly after his body fell to the floor, the real One-Eyed Owl appeared in its full kakuja form, attacking the investigators. Shortly after, it handled all of the investigators present with ease until Kishou Arima arrived. Suffering blows from him alone, the One-Eyed Owl swallowed the wounded Yoshimura and escaped with him to another building. After regurgitating him, the One-Eyed Owl referred to him as her father.
Post-Owl Suppression Operation
Yoshimura was kept inside a liquid tank, much like Rize Kamishiro in Dr. Akihiro Kanou's old lab. His kakuhou had been farmed for the kakuhou transplant surgery to be done on humans. It is unknown how many subjects died during the experiments using Yoshimura, though only one successful "Owl" and a single "Floppy" had been produced among sixty-three kidnapped ghoul investigators during nearly three years of experiments.
Yoshimura was mentioned by Dr. Kanou. He continued to be used as a donor for the surgeon's ghoulification experiments.
Yoshimura first met Ukina in a coffee café. Despite initially not caring for her, he was moved when she accepted his true nature. He loved her dearly and was shattered when he was forced to kill her under V's orders. Ukina was the catalyst for Yoshimura's change in personality as well as his inspiration to create Anteiku.
Although never seeing each other, Yoshimura loved Eto greatly and would do anything to protect her. Yoshimura stated that after Ukina's death, his child was the only thing that gave him hope. Even after knowing of the child's role as the leader of Aogiri, he still wants her happiness. However, Eto does not seem to hold the same feelings towards her father, since she captured her father to use him as the kakuhou donor for the creation of one-eyed ghouls.
Yoshimura knew Noro, back then known as Noroi, from when he was still Kuzen. While not much is known about their past, he trusted Noroi enough to leave Eto in his care.
Yoshimura first met Yomo when he saved him after he was almost killed by Kishou Arima. Sometime after their meeting, Yomo's personality tranquilized and his hot-blooded vengefulness subsided. Yoshimura trusts Yomo deeply, asking him to deal with meat collection and monitoring both Kaneki and Touka when they were fighting Koutarou Amon and Mado Kureo.
Yoshimura cares for Kaneki. He is understanding to Kaneki's circumstances, and is the first person to offer assistance to him. He helps Kaneki accept his new nature, stating that he belongs to two different worlds, both human and ghoul, instead of not belonging to either. Yoshimura guided Kaneki in adapting to the world of ghouls and played a critical part in his development. When Kaneki returns to Anteiku, Yoshimura convinces him to return. He trusts Kaneki enough to tell him the truth about his daughter and entrusts him to save her.
Yoshimura cared much about Touka's safety even before her employment at the cafe. During her visits to Anteiku for coffee, he would incessantly lecture her to be careful, despite the annoyance it would cause her. Later, he wishes Touka to live a life of a regular human girl, and pays for her tuition after enrolling her in a school, she sees him as a father-like figure to her.
Enji's very loyal to him after he offered him a new life in Anteiku.
Like Enji she possesses a deep-set loyalty towards him.
He offers Nishiki a second chance to live without killing, but requires him to work at Anteiku as payment. Later on, Nishiki complains that Yoshimura is always the type to clean up others' messes if allowed to--his way of showing affection for the shop's manager.
Their relationship was cordial, with Yoshimura often gently teasing her with wordplay or jokes. He had endless patience for her mistakes, but it does not seem he was fully aware of her true nature.
Though never having interacted, Yoshimura is the one indirectly responsible for saving Takizawa's life. His kakuhou was transplanted into the young human, transforming him into a one-eyed ghoul.
Though never having interacted, Yoshimura is the one indirectly responsible for saving Amon's life. His kakuhou was transplanted into the young human, transforming him into a one-eyed ghoul.
Powers and Abilities
Ghoul Physiology: Yoshimura is a ghoul, possessing an ukaku kagune and a kakuja obtained from continuous cannibalization. His unique trait is shooting ukaku shards through his entire body.
- Ukaku Kagune: He has two to four kakuhou that form spikes and fires fast projectiles very rapidly. The other two kakuhou form concentrated Rc that fans out as heavy shotgun pellets and pours down through cover. With two types of ammunition in his arsenal, Yoshimura has the firepower to take down many unprepared foes. Despite his tall and bulky frame, he is quick to overpower many opponents in a matter of seconds. Unique to Yoshimura, he has shown the ability to shoot Rc projectiles out of his entire body, not just his kagune.
- Ukaku Kakuja: Ukaku ghouls are known to specialize in long range attacks and can be overwhelmed at a close range. Having cannibalized ghouls, Yoshimura has sharpened and developed his kagune to form two large scimitar blades from his shoulders to counteract this weakness. With two large blades, he can cover the distance between his opponents, parry incoming attacks, and strike back synchronously. While his ukaku kagune extends from middle to far distances, his kakuja cuts down those in front; it is almost impossible to escape Yoshimura's reach. Yoshimura's kakuja kagune also forms a mask similar to the One-Eyed Owl's, with minor differences in the eye hole size and line curves. His kakuja form is potent enough to endure and counter multiple Special Class investigators' attacks and enhances his physical capabilities to where a lot effort from the aforementioned required in order to subdue him, as Yoshimura is also skilled enough to fight an army of investigators simultaneously without much trouble.
- In the first character popularity poll, Yoshimura was ranked seventeenth. In the latest, he came in as thirty-seventh.
- Interestingly, like his daughter Eto, while his kagune is classified as an ukaku, its overall shape and function resemble that of a koukaku.
- In the manga, Yoshimura killed Ukina, as ordered by V. However, in the Root A anime, Yoshimura is seen fleeing with Ukina from members of the organization, and Ukina is killed by them instead. Also rather than fearing the organization like he did in the manga and leaving his child in the 24th ward, in the anime Yoshimura destroyed the organization in order to protect his child and to avenge his lover.
- Yoshimura has a great fondness for and skill at wordplay, a fact focused on in one of the Oma-bien audio dramas.
- In Tokyo Ghoul Trump, he is referenced as the "King of Clubs."
- To Kaneki: "You are a single person who has two worlds in which to belong."
- To Touka: "It's not because we can't take vengeance that we should feel sorry. The real reason to feel sorry... is when one is hung up on revenge and can't live their own life."
- To Touka: "I'm sure there's a person out there who feels better just by knowing you're there."
- To Kaneki: "My own private philosophy... is that the most important thing, even more than where beans are from, is how you approach each of them. [...] Your approach must vary, depending on the bean. Just because some beans are expensive, if you brew them without care, they will not turn out well. The opposite is also true. Even cheap beans can become flavorful, if you carefully brew them to bring out their special qualities."
- To the CCG: "We're always trying to justify our actions with ideals. But ideals cannot give grounds for killing another person. The act of taking a life will always be considered... evil."
- To the CCG: "Acts of taking are equally evil. We, from the moment of birth, continue to take. Food, people that got involved with us, even our own flesh and blood. For as long as we live, we will continue to slaughter, kill, take. Life is to constantly sin. Life is evil itself. I am aware, I am evil... and so are you all. Now, come kill me. And I shall do the same!"
- To Kaneki: "I want you to save lonely people... and eventually... my child as well."