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Umibouzu

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The only way I know how to show both love and hatred, is through battle.
Umibouzu
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Umibouzu (星海坊主, Umibōzu) is a renowned alien-hunter or 'Alien Buster' in the universe. His real name is Kankou (神晃, Kankō), and he is the father of older son Kamui and younger daughter Kagura.

The nickname Umibouzu, which literally means the sea of star (galaxy) monk, is given to him in honour of his fighting prowess. 

Background

In Umibouzu's younger days, he challenged Housen as he refused to accept the latter as King of the Night. They fought each other continuously for 3 days and only stopped when Umibouzu needed a toilet break.

Umibouzu would settle down with his wife in Rakuyou and have two children together. He was seldom at home as he is always traveling around the universe in attempt to find a cure for his wife's illness, but he would eventually distance himself from his family in fear of losing control of his Yato instinct after he almost killed his own son. The confrontation with his own son led him to lose an arm.[1]

As the strongest alien sweeper, Umibouzu is famous in governments from all over for his prowess in hunting down many monsters in the universe, thus earning his title as a living legend and his nickname. He also once starred in a supposedly planet-saving heroic deed which turned out to be a 30 minute long hair-growth commercial.

Appearance

With a short black moustache, Umibouzu has the distinctive pale skin color of members of the Yato clan. He has a hairstyle similar to Abuto's when he was younger, and he would tie it into a braid after his marriage to Kouka.

However, the present Umibouzu has small patches of black hair left on the sides due to his hair loss condition. He is now completely bald after Kagura ripped off one of the small patches off in a daze, mistaking it as sukonbu.[2]

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Personality

As a father Umibouzu is rather reserved, having difficulty expressing his feelings and resorting to extreme measures to show his love as evident in his relationship with his estranged son. He is also extremely protective of Kagura, willing to kill anyone who harassed or hurt her. He appears to be rather conservative as he is strongly against the idea of the young and unmarried Kagura staying with Gintoki; he angrily mentioned his displeasure when he was fighting Kagura in order to bring her home. [3]

Umibouzu is distressed by his 'baldness' and is very sensitive towards the phrase 'hage', which means bald in Japanese. 

Strength & Abilities

Like all Yato males, Umibouzu has smooth fair skin, very well toned, a lean body unhindered by age, and is "well-endowed". Widely considered as the greatest sweeper in the universe, he possesses amazing natural and instinctive fighting abilities, and tremendous physical strength, speed, durability, reflexes, agility, flexibility, instincts, tactical analytical skills, endurance, longevity, vitality, and senses all of which surpass human capabilities.

He is among the highest elite of the Yato, and his fighting power equals to Housen who is considered the King of Yato and ruled over the clansman. This shows that all of Umibouzu's abilities are far above those of his fellow Yato clansmen, with only two people (Housen and Kamui) having the ability to fight against him, both of which are in a league of their own.

Relationships

Family

  • Kouka: Umibouzu's wife. It was love at first sight in his case, and he loves her deeply. Umibouzu is guilty for causing her illness, and would often leave home in hopes of finding of a cure for his ailing wife, even willing to sacrifice his everything in exchange for his wife's lifespan.
  • Kamui:
    Attack

    Kamui attacking Umibouzu in one of the siblings' flashbacks in Episode 304

    Umibouzu's biological son. He lost his left arm when Kamui attempted to kill him. As a result, he almost killed Kamui in a fit of rage but was held back by Kagura. Kamui left home after that incident and their relationship become estranged since then.
  • Kagura: Umibouzu's biological daughter. He cherishes Kagura to the point that the abandoned home in fear that his Yato blood would someday overwhelm him and hurt her. He is also extremely protective of Kagura, getting agitated and ready to kill anyone who attempts to hurt her. Umibouzu is also considerate of her feelings, allowing her to stay on Earth after she expresses her wishes to do so.

Enemies

  • Housen: They were rivals and fought each other at their youth. Umibouzu refused to bow down to Housen and fought for 3 days, until Umibouzu stops the fight in order to take a dump. No victor was declared and their fight has not been continued since.[4]
  • Utsuro: An original evil persona of Gintoki's master, Yoshida Shouyou. Umibouzu has bounty to hunt Utsuro's head as one of the dangerous being in entire universe. Once Umibouzu found Utsuro's weaknesses how to kill him by getting him away from Earth where he could regenerate infinitely in his home planet, despite being defeated by the latter, as a result of losing another arm, Umibouzu ask his daughter to tell Gintoki about this to put an end of Utsuro's chaos.

Friends

  • Sakata Gintoki: Both Umibouzu and Gintoki share the same daughterly love for Kagura, becoming extremely overprotective when they found out that she has a boyfriend[5]. Umibouzu originally thought Gintoki just wanted to take advantage of Kagura's Yato strength, but his opinions have since changed after seeing Gintoki fighting for Kagura's life. Believing that Gintoki really cared for Kagura, he leaves her in Gintoki's care. Once he fought an original persona Gintoki's master, Utsuro, despite his defeat, Umibouzu found his weaknesses to kill him by keeping away from Earth where he could regenerate infinitely on his home planet, and ask Kagura to inform this to Gintoki

Story

Umibouzu Arc

After learning that Kagura had left home and went to Earth, he tried to take her back. However, after reflecting and considering Kagura's feelings, he eventually let her stay on Earth with the Yorozuya.[6] They frequently exchange letters after this.

Yoshiwara in Flames Arc

After Housen's defeat during the aftermath of the Blaze of Yoshiwara chapter, Umibouzu met with Gintoki at Housen's grave. He told Gintoki that Kamui had obtained Yoshiwara so that other people couldn't lay a hand on it; Gintoki might get killed in the end although Yoshiwara was saved, .[7] He also questioned Gintoki's course of actions if he were to fight Kamui in front of Kagura.[8]

Santa Arc

Umibouzu dressed up as Santa and visited Earth after Kagura sent him a letter in which she questioned if Santa disliked her or even existed at all. [9]

Rakuyou Arc

Umibouzu appeared when the 7th division, led by Kamui, attacked a Harusame's flagship which he was on. It was revealed that he has joined forces with the Harusame pirates in taking down the 7th Division. He was later seen barging in to a meeting between the pirates and Utsuro, declaring that he will not let anyone else kill Kamui besides him, and will kill whoever that gets in his way.

He later approaches Abuto, who was hiding somewhere in Rakuyo with the remnant of the 7th Division and a comatose Takasugi, and assisted them in escaping the Harusame's attacks. He eventually fought with his son, but the battle was interrupted by Kagura and later Utsuro, who he ended up fighting with.

Trivia

  • According to Gintama (57), Umibouzu's children both took the kanji 神 (read as kami) from his real name. There is also an illustration of Kamui and Kagura tearing Umibouzu's hair out, which is a pun on the word kami. (Hair, or 髪, can also be read as kami.)
  • According to Kagura, Umibouzu had a shotgun marriage with her mother. [10]
  • According to Sorachi-sensei's answer to one of the reader's question in Gintama (51), Umibouzu's hair follicles is 93 years old.
  • Kagura's nickname for him, Papi is likely to be 'inspired' by the Japanese mythological creature Umibouzu but with the kanji name 海坊主, a sea monster said to have a large round head like those of Buddhist monks. For more information on this mythological creature, refer to Wikipedia Link.

Quotes

  • (To Abuto): I don't know the first thing about dealing with quarrels between fathers and sons. The only way I know how to show both love and hatred, is through battle.
  • (To Kouka): That is the karma I have to take up for causing the lone flower on that planet to wilt
  • (Sliently to himself): Kouka, I even let you, an immortal, die. I was an idiot of a husband. But there are some things only an idiot like that can do. Please, lend me your strength so I can protect our family.

References

  1. Sorachi Hideaki. Gintama. VIZ media, Vol. 8, Lesson 63, p. 13.
  2. Sorachi Hideaki. Gintama. VIZ media, Vol. 8, Lesson 63, p. 5.
  3. Sorachi Hideaki, Gintama, Shueisha, Vol 7, Lesson 58, p. 13.
  4. Sorachi Hideaki. Gintama. Shueisha, Vol. 25, Lesson 214, p. 13.
  5. Sorachi Hideaki, Gintama, Shueisha, Vol 48, Lesson 419, p.17
  6. Sorachi Hideaki. Gintama. VIZ media, Vol. 8, Lesson 63, p. 19.
  7. Sorachi Hideaki. Gintama. Shueisha, Vol. 26, Lesson 228, p. 10.
  8. Sorachi Hideaki. Gintama. Shueisha, Vol. 26, Lesson 228, p. 10.
  9. Sorachi Hideaki. Gintama. Shueisha, Vol. 33, Lesson 290, p. 2.
  10. Sorachi Hideaki, Gintama, Shueisha, Vol 48, Lesson 419, p.17

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