Yagyuu Kyuubei

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Yagyuu Kyuubei
Yagyuu-kyuubei mug
Name: 柳生 九兵衛
Romaji: Yagyū Kyūbei
English: Kyuubei Yagyuu
Date of Birth: 20 Apr/Taurus
Age: 17
Titles: Kyuu-chan
Also known as:
Physical Features
Race: Human
Height: 157 cm (5' 2")
Weight: 45 kg (99 lb)
Eye Color: Dark brown
Hair Color: Black
Status: Alive
Professional Status
Affiliations: Yagyuu Family
Strong Points:
First Appearances
Episode: Episode 76
Voice Actors
Japanese VA: Orikasa Fumiko
English VA: Brittney Karbowski (movie)
(To Tae) "I wanted to play house and cat's cradle with everyone else. I wanted to wear a pretty kimono and walk around town like everyone else. I wanted to become like you, Tae-chan... A strong girl with a kind heart."
Yagyuu Kyuubei

Yagyuu Kyuubei (柳生 九兵衛) is the sole heiress to the Yagyuu family name, being the daughter of Yagyuu Koshinori and granddaughter of Yagyuu Binbokusai. She is brought up as a male, following the code of a samurai. She is the main antagonist of the Yagyu Arc.


After Yagyuu Koshinori's wife died right after giving birth to Kyuubei, he never remarried and raised Kyuubei as a strong samurai along with his father Yagyuu Binbokusai. As the head of the Yagyuu family was traditionally always male and Koshinori was afraid Kyuubei could not properly back her name as a woman, he decided to raise her as a man.

This caused children to bully Kyuubei during her childhood. At the same time she met Shimura Tae, who beat up the ones who made fun of her and became an important part of her life. She admired Tae's strong yet feminine personality and wanted to be just like her. When debt collectors physically absued Tae and her brother, Kyuubei attacked them to protect her. Kyuubei lost her left eye in the process, which filled Tae with guilt. She swore to Kyuubei that she'd become her new left eye.

Kyuubei later left with the ambition to become stronger than a man or a woman and even stronger than Tae. She underwent a rigorous training to achieve her goal, so she could one day return and marry Tae.


Kyuubei dresses as a man. She has black hair in a ponytail and dark-brown eyes, with an eyepatch covering her left eye. Her weapon of choice is usually a sword. When dressing as a female, she is shown to be very attractive; wearing her hair in twin ponytails and an orange flower covers her left eye. She wears a pink kimono with a short skirt and black socks covering up to her thighs. She also has large breasts despite being covered up most of the time, as seen in episode 217 when Hasegawa Taizo and Gintoki calling them "tasteful cups" when she was in a swimsuit.


Kyuubei has a bit of a cold personality, probably due to how she trained herself to become strong. However, Tae's influence is currently shaping a softer Kyuubei, as they share more time together during their free time. She is deeply in love with Tae, and once tried to marry her. Kyuubei tends to act masculine as she was more or less raised as a boy. She also doesn't like it when men touch her, having the automatic reflex of throwing them over her shoulder. Despite this, she has showed at times her feminine side.

Strength & Abilities

She is a genius swordsman; surpassing average swordsmen in skills, and is able to hold herself against veteran swordsmen, like Hijikata Toushirou and Sakata Gintoki. She is famous of her lightning-fast sword strikes, and has mastered the Yagyuu Ryu sword school after going on a training journey.



  • Yagyuu Koshinori: Her father, he insists Kyuubei to call her daddy or papa due to their status as celebrities.

Friends & Allies

  • Toujou Ayumu: She is always being guarded by Toujou Ayumu, to the point of being overprotective towards her. He also tries to convince her to wear gothic lolita outfits, which cause irritation to her, blasting/beating him up because of it.
  • Shimura Shinpachi: She treats Shinpachi as a friend since he is the younger brother of Tae.
  • Kondou Isao: She hated him when their were first meet in the Yagyu Arc but in time, she began to like him. They are love rivals, but they don't argue about it. Both of them want to make Otae happy, and that purpose made them closer.
  • Sarutobi Ayame: They gain a friendly interaction during the Kintama arc.
  • Tokugawa Shige Shige: As a fellow noble family of their own clan, Kyuubei respected Shige Shige when he was alive prior his death at the end of the Shogun Assasination arc.
  • Katsura Kotarou: In recent Gintama chapters, she became the target of jealousy of Katsura Kotarou, as he felt that she is recently becoming more active in the manga spotlight than him but despite this, Katsura was the more popular character. Although they did get along during her birthday and when they got lost on an unknown island during the Ryuuguujou arc.

Love Interest

  • Shimura Tae: Despite having to realize that Tae doesn't love her, she still has some affectionate feelings for Tae. Anyway, the two remained in friendly ties after the Yagyuu arc. She goes wherever Tae goes and tries the things that Tae does. She takes every word Tae says to heart and would give her life to make Tae happy. It has also been revealed that she actually even likes Tae's cooking. She also protects Tae from the stalker Kondou Isao and anyone else who bothers her. After having her gender changed during the Dekoboko arc, she seemed to become even more interested in becoming Otae's 'boyfriend'. It was only during this arc that Tae reciprocated Kyuubei's feelings for her.
  • Sakata Gintoki: Gintoki is the only guy that made Kyuubei behave like a girl and made her nervous or blush whenever he touched her. 


  • Hitotsubashi Nobu Nobu: After Shige Shige died in the same time when Shinsengumi was disbanded and their leaders, her friend Kondo and the commander's superior Matsudaira were about to be executed five days later, and Nobu Nobu threaten and kill innocent people, even trying to kill Tae when she opposed the tyrannical shogun's rule, Kyuubei, along with Shinpachi became enraged, and wished to put an end of Nobu Nobu's regime once and for all for the sake of Shige Shige's honor.


  • Jugem Jugem: A shogun pet that is given to the Yagyuu clan.


Yagyu Arc

During her introduction, she came back after years of training. She tried to take Shimura Tae hand for marriage as her fiancee, though Shimura Shinpachi and the rest opposed to it.
But after losing against Shinpachi (and the gang) in a dojo challenge, Kyuubei gave up her plan, conceding that Tae could never love her as a man. The two remained friends after the incident.

Ryugujo Arc

She fought along side Kagura to save Tae when she fell down in the pool of sharks

Timeskip Arc

Devastated for the lost of Otae to Kondou, Kyuubei underwent a procedure to replace her female genitals for male genitals; she then tries to join the okama club.

This was proven false when Shinpachi hit everyone with a paper fan to destroy the parasitic alien "Kyusainetol".

The Kyusainetol is an alien boil-like parasite that attaches to an organism, and takes over the body. While the host becomes gradually smaller, the boil becomes bigger. After two days, the parasite takes a human shape and size, and the host is concealed within it. The Kyusainetol gathers information from the host body and roughly in three days, becomes its replica. With enough time, the parasite interprets "the host's ambitions" and becomes what the host has themselves inspired to be.

People infected usually claim that two years have passed; they also take the appearance they would have within 2 years. In order to stop the Kyusainetol, the afflicted must be stroke with a paper fan-like object.

Kyuubei returns to normal by the end of the arc.

Kintama Arc

She along with Tsukuyo and Sarutobi tried to kill Gintoki for supposedly destroying Tama and try to attack Kintoki but later changed sides to aid Gintoki.

Freeze Time

Genderbending Arc

She was in conflict with being given the opportunity to become a man. She wished to be a man, secretly wanting plastic surgery or the like. During the final chapter of the arc, Kyuubei realizes that being a woman is the only way she can truly be herself, and decides to remain a woman for the rest of her life.


  • Yagyuu Kyuubei is based on the feudal era samurai Yagyū Jūbei Mitsuyoshi 柳生 十兵衞 三厳 who was later regarded as the best swordsman of the Yagyu Clan. There is a legend in which Jubei had only one eye and wore an eyepatch.
  • Also on Date Masamune 伊達 政宗 who was outstanding tactician, he was made all the more iconic for his missing eye, and Date was often called (独眼竜), or the "one-eyed dragon" and his helmet was famous for having a crescent-moon, an allusion was made for both on the Group Date Arc.
  • The "kyuu" in Kyubei is the word for "nine", and the "juu" in Jubei is the word for "ten". Along with the name of the samurai who Kyuubei is based of, it makes a pun at Genderbending Arc referriung at the fact that Kyuubei became Juubei by adding another "unit", making 9+1=10.
  • During the Scandal Arc, Kyuubei is the only girl who actually felt that they went too far in punishing Gintoki. She got convinced by Otose that the punishment was perfect.


  • (To Sarutobi Ayame) "If Tae is the heroine... then I shall be her hero!"
  • (To Shimura Tae) "Tae, no matter how hard I try... I'll never be a man. But if I become stronger than a man... or a woman... even stronger than you, Tae... then I'll definitely protect you."
  • (To Hijikata Toushirou and Shimura Shinpachi) "All of you, who have been blinded by the labels of male and female, can't defeat me."
  • (To Shimura Shinpachi) "This is laughable, isn't it, Shinpachi? To think you were the weakest of all. I'm sure you already knew, didn't you? That in the end, someone would come and save you. That's why you engaged me in battle despite knowing you couldn't win. You are always like that. Always hiding in someone's shadow and being protected... You don't even try to see the feelings and anguish of your protector! Do you now understand why Tae always puts on that fake smile? It's because you're weak. If I was at Tae's side... then such a thing would never have happened!"

Gintama The Final Chapter: Be Forever Yorozuya

  • (To Shimura Tae) "You look exactly the same. You're the same as you've always been, Tae-chan. Beautiful and dignified, but sincere."
  • (To Gintoki) "Gintoki, if you ever put Tae-chan through that again... I will never forgive you. And if you ever abandon us again... We will never forgive you."


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