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"I can’t do that. Kayo-san and the late Kagura-san and Nagare-san have always taken great care of me. If she’s become mentally ill then I have to look out for her now more than ever."
―Yuka Musubi[src]

Yuka Musubi, commonly referred to as Oyuka, was the proprietress of a hairpin shop in Enbizaka, Jakoku. Surviving the great fire that struck the town, the woman returned to managing her business alongside her husband. She later reached out to her neighbor Kayo Sudou.


Early Life[]

Born in Momogengou, Jakoku sometime during the 9th century EC, Yuka lived in the small village and eventually became friends with Eikichi Akagi. After Kokutan-douji was born in the village in EC 828, Yuka learned that the boy was apparently birthed from an ebony tree and was disturbed by his blond hair, treating him coldly as a result.

Later on, Yuka married a hairpin craftsman and moved to Enbizaka in EC 832.[1] Helping manage her husband's business, the couple made a living selling hairpins to customers,[2] with Yuka becoming more familiar with foreigners.[1] She later sired a daughter with the man. Yuka also became indebted to her neighbors Nagare and Kagura Sudou, and became acquainted with their daughter Kayo.[3] Over the years, Eikichi often skipped his detective work to hide out at the hairpin shop and converse with her.[4]

Neighborhood Tragedy[]

In EC 838, Yuka requested a purple kimono from Kayo. When a great fire struck Enbizaka at the end of the year, Yuka and her family evacuated her home with the rest of their neighbors, managing to survive the fire. Following the reconstruction of Enbizaka by the Freezis Foundation, Yuka went back to managing her business with her husband.[3]

A Murderer in Enbizaka[]

In EC 842, Yuka heard rumors of Kayo being mentally ill. Later that year, Kayo approached her shop and gave her the kimono she had requested four years ago; after talking, Yuka invited Kayo to dinner and asked her if she was alone at home. As Kayo suddenly started talking about Gakuga's pleasure-seeking and her son Ren's job at the Freezis trade house, Yuka became confused. She also saw Kayo look at her and her daughter in a terrifying manner, before Kayo refused her dinner invitation and left.

Shortly after, Yuka talked to her husband about how the rumors about Kayo appeared to be true, and how Kayo had apparently forgotten that her family even perished. Pitying the tailor, Yuka she visited Kayo's shop to share with her some sweet buns from Momogengou. She arrived to find Kayo asleep and pained; after frantically waking her up, she determined she wasn't ill and listened as Kayo described having a "purple dream". Yuka lectured her about overworking herself, she gave Kayo some of the sweet buns before leaving.[3]

Following the discovery of Mei's naked corpse, Yuka rushed over to Kayo's shop and shared the news with her in a panic; as she did, she became shocked to see that Kayo herself didn't appear concerned. As she questioned why, knowing Mei had often requested Kayo's help with her work, she was further shocked when Kayo stated she didn't know anyone from the Miroku shop. Deciding not to argue the point with her, remembering Kayo's earlier issues with memory, Yuka left the shop after bidding that she be careful.[5]

Following the discovery of Miku's corpse in the river, Eikichi came by Yuka's shop and told her about the investigation and Constable Uibee Aoi's findings. She then again rushed to tell Kayo, explaining in a panic what Eikichi had told her about the case. As they discussed how the murder differed from the previous one, they both agreed to look out for each other as they were both women like the victims.

The Arrival of Kokutan-douji[]

"It's true it's a lie, but if you would take the role of Kayo-san's son, I'd be grateful... if it'll put Kayo-san's mind at ease just a little, okay?"
―Yuka to Kokutan-douji[src]

Several days later, Eikichi skipped work to go to the hairpin shop again, despite Yuka's lecture to him to stop. After her scolding, Eikichi informed her that the people from the Yarera-Zusco Firm were snooping around, Yuka guessing that Kiji Yarera wanted revenge for his girlfriend Miku's murder. As they talked, Yuka considered moving back to Momogengou and learned from Eikichi that Kokutan-douji, as well as his friend Inukichi, were heading to Onigashima, punishing evildoers along the way. She also learned that the head of the Rangu Clan had joined them.

The two speculated they were coming because of the murders and Yuka scolded Eikichi again for supposedly letting Kokutan-douji do his work for him. Afterwards she returned to her work, going to the back of the shop and calling for her husband.[4]

After Kokutan-douji arrived to Enbizaka with his two companions, Yuka heard that the boy received a revelation from a mermaid that Kayo was his real mother and that they were now living together. Concerned, she visited the tailor shop a few days later to speak with him. After the two caught up, Yuka apologizing to Kokutan-douji for her treatment of him ten years ago, she came inside and explained to him how Kayo's infant son had perished in the Enbizaka fire only four years ago, and that therefore the mermaid's revelation had to be false.

Faced with Kokutan-douji's disappointment, Yuka admitted that, even so, she wished for him to keep living with Kayo as if it was true; explaining Kayo's apparent psychosis regarding her family, she asked the boy to stay with her to put her mind at ease. She also warned him against doing anything perverted against Kayo, for the shocked Kokutan-douji's to assure her he wouldn't. After claiming she would check in on things, Yuka left.[1]

Conclusion of the Mystery[]

Several days later, Kai visited the hairpin shop with his daughter Rin. After they purchased a golden hairpin from the shop, Yuka offered to help Rin put it on; while doing this, she overheard the girl and her father make small talk about her stay with her grandfather in Amayomi. Once she finished, she energetically gave her farewells to Rin and Kai as they left the shop hand-in-hand.[1]

Following Rin Miroku's disappearance, Yuka talked to Kayo in a tea house about the panicked atmosphere around Enbizaka. They made small talk for a time while they ate, and Yuka, when asked by Kayo, related how much she liked the town. She was surprised as, during their conversation, Kayo suddenly began to earnestly thank her for all of her help over the years. The next day, Kayo had disappeared from Enbizaka, and Yuka eventually learned that she was the murderer of the Miroku Family.[6]

Following Kayo's execution, Yuka mourned her friend but continued to carry on in her work. As the town began to calm down from the murders, spring came to Enbizaka and Yuka returned to her routine with Eikichi, scolding him for slacking off at her hairpin shop before attending to some customers.[7]

At some moment, Yuka went to put some flowers next to Kayo's severed head when she encountered a monk reciting sutras before it. After being asked if she knew the woman, Yuka responded that Kayo was her friend. When the monk asked her about the head's crime, Yuka told him how Kayo killed the Miroku family with a pair of scissors. Soon after, Yuka left the execution grounds, rumbling about how her husband would scold her if he discovered that she had been there.[8]

Personality and Traits[]

"Kayo-san, it’ll be time for dinner soon. Knowing you, I can imagine you’ve been so hard at work that you haven’t prepared anything, right? If you like, you are welcome to eat at my home tonight."

Yuka was a cautious but caring woman. Having grown up in the rural village of Momogengou, Yuka had never seen foreigners or their culture, and thus had a fear of them that led her to treat Kokutan-douji coldly. After moving to Enbizaka, Yuka's interaction with foreigners greatly expanded her worldview, realizing how common hair and eye colors other than black were among foreigners. Like many, she also became terrified by the supposed killer going around Enbizaka; she was similarly disturbed, even fearful, of Kayo's own strange behavior and mental illness.

Yuka's fears and caution were tempered by her generosity towards others. While disturbed by Kayo's psychosis, she nonetheless pitied her and looked after her friends' well-being, also worrying about Kayo in the wake of the murders. She also wished to make amends for her treatment of Kokutan-douji after expanding her worldview. Aside from this, the woman was a caring mother, raising her daughter with love.[5] As a follower of the local faith, Yuka appeared to believe in reincarnation.[1]

Skills and Abilities[]

As the proprietress of a hairpin shop, Yuka was adequate at business, helping her husband in his livelihood by selling their products to customers. Yuka was also a decent homemaker, able to cook for her family and raise her daughter with care.[3] Being in contact with a police constable, Yuka was also able to keep abreast of the crimes occurring in Enbizaka shortly after they occurred.[9]

Character Connections[]

Kayo Sudou: Yuka's neighbor and acquaintance. Yuka maintained an amicable relationship with the woman, requesting work orders from her and later reaching out to her following the fire. Yuka felt the need to take care of tailor due to this relationship, her pity of Kayo's circumstances, and how indebted she felt to the Sudou family. Despite this, she was disturbed by Kayo's unusual behavior and the rumors of her mental illness.

Eikichi Akagi: Yuka's childhood friend. Having been acquainted since childhood in Momogengou, Yuka maintained a friendly relationship with the detective and learned about his cases from him. Although she would scold him over his lazy and slovenly nature, Yuka appreciated his visits and their conversations.

Kokutan-douji: Yuka's fellow villager. Initially disturbed by his foreign appearance, Yuka discriminated against the boy with the other inhabitants of Momogengou; she felt remorse for this, however, after her experiences in Enbizaka. Although suspicious of his living situation with Kayo, Yuka hoped that he would help her friend by indulging her wish to have her child back.


Conceptualization and Origins[]

  • The "o-" typically put before Yuka's name is an exalted Japanese prefix that denotes respect, and was occasionally used for married women during the Edo period, most famously with Sakamoto Ryōma's wife Narasaki Ryō, or "Oryo".