Yato (夜兎) literally means 'Night Rabbit'. It is to be assumed that they are called "rabbits" as rabbits are generally very susceptible to heat exhaustion. Just like the Yatos, direct sunlight weakens them and can even lead to death.
Among every Yato character introduced in Gintama, only four of them are related by blood. Those are Umibouzu, his wife who never made an appearance and was merely mentioned, their older son Kamui and their youngest daughter Kagura.
Like other names in Gintama (such as Shinsengumi), Yato can be traced back to an existing word Yato 野兎 meaning 'Wild Rabbit'. Note the replaced syllable uses the kanji for Night, which is also found in Yasha (夜叉).
The Yato Tribe (夜兎族) looks exactly like humans but they have both good qualities and bad.
They are known as blood-thirsty Amantos whose killing instincts and insatiable hunger for supremacy leads them to keep on seeking out the best fighters in order to challenge them, even among their own kind. Their amazing natural and instinctive fighting abilities, and tremendous physical strength, speed, durability, reflexes, agility, flexibility, endurance and senses all of which surpass human capabilities gives them an overwhemling advantage in battle which means also means that they are very difficult to defeat. Tsukuyo herself has stated that an entire army wouldn't be enough to handle four Yatos, Kagura was able to dodge bullets, and easily catch them with her hands and teeth.
Their only known Achilles heel is their inability to adapt to sunlight, which was what killed Housen eventually in Episode 146. This explains why they all have smooth fair skin color.
Housen was the king of the Yato race also known as "King of the Night" due to him being the strongest Yato and conquering other Yato. He encounters another strong Yato called Umibouzu but he refuse to submit to Housen. Both Umibouzu and Housen once fought each other continuously for 3 days, the only reason they stopped fighting was because Umibouzu needed a toilet break, and no victor was declared.
The Yato race would join the Harusame and Housen founded and lead the 7th division, Kamui now holds Housen's position. Kamui and Housen used to have a master-and-disciple relationship, which has since broken down due to Kamui's ambition to defeat Housen who along with Umibouzu , were known as the most powerful Yatos. Though still a teenager by all accounts, Kamui's spectacular fighting abilities has elevated him to the rank of Captain of the 7th Division of Harusame's Thunder Guns 春雨の雷槍 the most powerful combat unit with the Harusame group. The 2 followers who tagged along with him to Yoshiwara are Abuto and Ungyou.
There was an old tradition where the son would challenge their father to the death but this tradition has been thrown away due to the dangerous decline of the species. Kamui tried to revive this tradition by trying to kill his father.
Due to their weakness to the sun, they always carry an umbrella or are fully wrapped up whenever they appear in daylight. Their umbrellas are their main weapon in combat.
The Yato clothing are based on traditional chinese clothing.
|List of Gintama Characters|
|Organizations||Harusame 春雨 • Yorozuya 万事屋 • Kaientai 快援隊|
|Amanto||Yato Tribe 夜兎族 • Shinra Tribe • Dakini Tribe • Renho Tribe • Genbu Tribe|