|Occupation||Mikage Shrine Familiar|
|English||J. Michael Tatum|
|Love Interest||Nanami Momozono|
Tomoe (巴衛) is a fox yokai, presently serving as the shinshi of Nanami Momozono in the manga series Kamisama Hajimemashita.
In chapter one we find that Tomoe has been abandoned by his former kami, Mikage, and left to care for the land god's crumbling shrine alone for the last twenty years.
When a powerless young girl named Nanami turns up on the shrine's doorstep bearing the wayward kami's mark, Tomoe is furious. He refuses to become her familiar and vanishes, deciding instead to give himself over to a life of sloth, drink and debauchery. However, in the world "over yonder" things rarely go to plan, and through desperation and cleverness, Nanami succeeds in tricking Tomoe and binding him to her service.
Tomoe bears many of the traits one might expect from a fox yokai; he is handsome, cunning, sly and possessed of a certain allure that those he meets often find difficult to resist. He does not appear to be wholly unaware of his attractiveness, and is quite pragmatic about employing both his looks and his charms when it suits him.
One thing you might not expect is Tomoe's unusually strong sense of loyalty and honor. It was largely this that bound him to Akura-Ou, that kept him standing watch over Mikage's crumbling shrine for twenty lonely years, and that causes him to go above and beyond the call of duty as Nanami's familiar, even before he realizes his feelings for her.
As a wild fox he displayed a certain flamboyant streak, wearing his hair long and possessing a collection of elaborately coloured and embroidered robes and kimonos. Here we see a stark contrast between the past and present Tomoe, as of now, he normally dresses much more somberly in shades of white, grey, dark blue and black. He does still occasionally don more colorful kimonos, usually either for formal occasions, during his leisure time or when he's not "working".
His familiar binding truly functions like a leash, tempering both his yokai powers and some of his more extreme tendencies. As a wild fox he exhibited a sort of grey morality in that he did not mind killing, so long as those he preyed on would or could fight back. He did on a few occasions object to the wholesale slaughter of innocents, such as children like Mizutama, but this is a very small credit to his name as regardless of his objections he did nothing to stop it. Since becoming a familiar his outlook has become something of a paradox; on one hand he still feels little patience for the weakness and frailty of creatures less powerful than himself, while at the same time he has grown gentler and more thoughtful, placing greater value on all forms of life and humanity in particular. He appreciates beautiful things and has learned through his association with Mikage and later Nanami that he is special, worthy of love, and has value beyond his yokai powers and the base drives of his predatory instincts.
Tomoe's understanding of human emotions is limited when he first encounters Nanami. It would be very close to the truth to say his ability to feel love had been sealed away along with his memories by Mikage, and so in the beginning he finds even the concept of love human-centric and foolish. He is however able to learn and change, and has displayed attempts to modify his behavior in an endearing, almost childish manner.
Tomoe remains short-tempered, proud, and fiercely protective of those he cares about. No obstacle has proven too great to keep him from Nanami's side; he has fought gods and literally gone to hell and back for her sake.
Tomoe's over-the-top good looks earn him a bevy of admirers wherever he goes. He usually merely tolerates the attention, rejecting any deeper connection.
Yokai age very slowly. Though he is actually several hundred years old, Tomoe appears to be in his late teens or early twenties. His hair is silver-white, normally worn short but in ages past he allowed it to grow quite long. His ears are large and fox-like, and he is able to manipulate them in a similar fashion. His eyes are angled similarly to a fox's, with violet fox-like pupils that darken with strong emotion, and a full, white tail. It has not been explained why at the age of 500+ years he possesses only one tail.
Wild fox Tomoe dressed with considerable flare in a dramatic, flame-patterned kimono, his hair long and loose and with a long samurai sword at his side. As a shinshi he is more conservative, wearing primarily a white yukata with a somber-colored haori in black or dark blue. It is clear he feels most comfortable in traditional clothing and goes barefoot as much as possible. He is ever practical however, and bows to necessity by dressing in the standard boy's uniform when he must accompany Nanami to school.
Tomoe's life nearly came to a premature end 500 years ago when he was taken by surprise in a brothel by Ikusagami, the god of war. The gods had decided Tomoe and Akura-Ou's murderous rampage across the human and yokai worlds must come to end, and for that purpose Ikusagami borrowed a special, sacred sword and went hunting for the white fox.
In the resulting battle Tomoe's sword was broken by the superior weapon and he was mortally wounded. He fled to the countryside only to collapse near a river, dying, with a band of armed humans hot on his trail. He made a last desperate effort and transformed himself into a child to fool his pursuers. However this too came perilously close to failure, if not for the timely arrival of a certain kind, beautiful young girl.
Tomoe's life before coming to Mikage shrine was violent and bloody. His early days as the companion of Akura-Ou, the demon king, were spent carving a path of death and destruction across the human and yokai world. Their rampage came to an abrupt end after Tomoe was attacked and critically wounded by the war god Ikusagami. However, some five hundred years later, the wild fox is still known and feared by every yokai he meets.
The specific events leading up to Mikage's binding of Tomoe are related to his equally-mysterious romantic history. Long ago, he fell deeply in love with a human girl and made a pact with a fallen god to live out his life as a human, dying when his beloved did. Something went wrong, as he did not become human, but was dying all the same when Mikage found him wandering in the woods. Thanks to Mikage sealing his memories, Tomoe remembered nothing of this area of his life prior to meeting Nanami.
Nanami is Tomoe's master (the current God of Mikage Shrine). At first they didn't seem to have a good relationship, but as the story flows, Tomoe begins to open up to Nanami and vice-versa. He turned Nanami down when she confessed to him, yet at the further chapters, he shows clues that he has developed 'romantic' feelings toward his God. In more recent volumes he has admitted to himself that he likes Nanami while implying it to be romantic way and often wondered what attracted him to her. Although Tomoe was/is the second strongest Yokai in the demon world, he fears Nanami's anger, which mainly happens when he flirts with other girls, due to jealousy. And at some point when Nanami kicked both Tomoe and Mizuki (though he had nothing to do with it) to get some snacks, Tomoe happily stated that she was jealous, and that a "women's jealousy is a scary thing"
While traveling back to the past, Nanami saved Tomoe's injured past self from the villagers. Later in chapter 86 she fed him peach pills to heal his wounds and took care of him at night. But she hid from him her name and requested Futa to say it was Yukiji who saved him. Tomoe started to think of Nanami as Yukiji and pursued her. He thought about hurting/stopping her as Yukiji is getting married and going to belong to some other man. But Nanami's weak state left him shocked and he left her alone for the time being.
In chapter 91 Nanami decides to ride the palanquin instead of Yukiji and becomes the target of Akura-Ou. Tomoe initially thought about killing Nanami again as he blamed his unusual feelings on her but later saved her from Kirakaburi and took her with him. At first he was going to assault her, but he changed his mind when Nanami cried and begged him not to look at her. Tomoe hugged her instead and said he feels troubled when he sees her cry. Tomoe then decides to keep Nanami and forces her to stay with him. Nanami yells that she hated him for saying such things, surprising Tomoe. He tries to gather the willpower to kill her but fails, stung deeply by her words. He saves her from bandits and then desperately asks her to take back her words.
He continues to call her Yukiji, making Nanami believe that it probably wasn't her Tomoe fell in love with. Nanami still refusing to be his, Tomoe takes her to a sakura garden, making Nanami smile. Tomoe tells her to always smile like that and recalls when he first met her in the rundown hut one rainy day and bared her teeth at him, the time she had rescued him at the riverside and came at night to care for him. Finally, he admits he had fallen for her. Nanami cries with happiness knowing that Tomoe had fallen in love with her and not Yukiji and tells her that she is already his but will only be his wife in the future. Suddenly Nanami falls to the ground, her time for traveling in the past running out.
In recent chapters, Tomoe has realized that the woman he fell in love in the past was never Yukiji, but really Nanami, who is actually the descended of Yukiji and her child. The two are now in a relationship, and are keeping their promises of the past, and now seem to be engaged. Now, it shows Nanami wants to try harder in her school because she does not want to hold Tomoe back. In Ch. 102 the two share a scene under an umbrella, which in Japan is the sigh of Ai Ai Gasa, "Love-Love Umbrella". Ch. 103 shows that Tomoe does not want to hold back any more and wants to continue where they left off 500 years ago, (Or he was just really drunk and had no clue on what he was doing), which somewhat shocked and scared Nanami, but was saved by a protective Mizuki and an angry Mikage.
Akura-Ou was Tomoe's past comrade. However, because Tomoe admitted he was falling in love with a human girl and was going to become a human (no longer being a yokai), Akura-Ou got mad and then they split. 500 years later, Akura-Ou will tell Yatori, an ex-follower, that the reason why they split was because "That stinking fox went insane. He actually became enchanted with a human girl and saying he would no longer be a yokai and other nonsense" They referred to each other as "Brother." In the past, it was shown that Tomoe got easily mad at Akura-ou for stealing things that belonged to him (Like his clothes). When Tomoe begins to understand that he was falling in love, he meet back up with Akura-ou who comes to the hut he was staying with Yukiji, and confesses his feelings and his desire to become a human to stay by her side, resulting in Akura-ou's outrage, threatening him that if he became one then he would kill him off fast. Tomoe replies that he knows that because he was that type of person and that it couldn't be help if that happened, but hugs him and tells to to take care of himself and not to be too reckless. Akura-ou leaves and feels abandoned but just doesn't realize the extent of his loneliness.
Mikage is Tomoe's previous master and the God who saved him from dying. Tomoe served him for 500 years and suddenly, Mikage went away and never came back (Once Mikage comes back to the shrine in chapter 79, he explains that for all the time he was gone, he was looking for a cure that could save Tomoe from the curse marks, but stated "That there are none to be found"). After Mikage erased Tomoe's memories of Yukiji, he took him under his "wing" and taught him the values of human life (since he lost his memory of ever being kind to a human, he turned back to the way he was before he fell in love with a human, which at that time was Yukiji)
Mizuki is Tomoe's fellow familiar of Mikage Shrine, his apprentice to be more precise. They often get into ridiculous mocking fights, yet deep inside they do care for each other in some way. In the beginning Mizuki is shown trying to get Nanami to hate Tomoe by telling her that "he was with the swamp women and that he really was pleased right now", although he was with the fake Nanami, that way Nanami would think of him as a better familiar than Tomoe. But as the story goes on, Mizuki eventually gives up on the idea, realizing that no matter what happens, Nanami will always love Tomoe.
Kurama is a Tengu (Crow) Yokai from Kurama Mountain. They developed a lingering hatred for each other, mostly due to Tomoe's jealousy towards Kurama's ability to understand Nanami and her human emotions. Though in the end, they become friends in a way. He is mostly seen giving Tomoe advice on Nanami's human feelings. In the Kurama Mountain arc, at the end Kurama gave Tomoe the advice to tell Nanami how he felt about her, saying that "a man's life is too short" and that he would never get any other chances. (Tomoe eventually tells Nanami "I like you too." but she was drunk when he told her that and thus she didn't remember the words.)
Narukami is the lightning god. After cursing Mikage and saying, "Stealing Tomoe away from me", it can be supposed that she had taken a liking to Tomoe. However, Tomoe makes it very obvious that he dislikes her. In attempt to make Tomoe her familiar, Narukami removes Nanami's deity mark and uses the Wealth god, Ookuninushi's lucky hammer to turn Tomoe into a child. During the time that Tomoe was turned into a child, Nanami took care of him with the help of Kurama. Narukami sends her familiars in search of Tomoe. Tomoe is taken back to the Mikage shrine which had started to decay because of Tomoe's absence. Tomoe then hides in attempt to escape Narukami's wish to make Tomoe her familiar. Nanami then arrives at the shrine, making a deal with Narukami saying that if Tomoe is found, then he would be returned to normal. Narukami agrees on this. With the help of Mikage's butterfly Nanami finds Tomoe hiding in Mikage's mirror. Nanami's deity mark is returned and Tomoe became normal again.
Yukiji was Tomoe's past love. He would do anything for her; even go as far as massacring many in order to take the Dragon King's right eye (which was said to bring immortal life and great power) to save Yukiji who was dying due to her weak body and perhaps disease. He was even seen shedding tears over her death as he told Mikage about how much he still loved her and wished to be with her.
In Chapter 80, Tomoe's curse is awakened when he remembers his past love (and the only way he could remember this was if he fell in love with a human again, such as Nanami). In an attempt to save him, Nanami travels back into the past to find the fallen god with whom Tomoe made the contract, in hopes of finding the "Key" to breaking his curse. While in the past, Nanami discovers that Yukiji is merciless towards yokai and hates them. It turns out that Nanami is the person Tomoe fell for. However, trying not to interfere with Yukiji and Tomoe's past affair, she only visits him at night. When Tomoe asked Futa about the woman taking care of him, Futa lied for Nanami saying that the woman's name was "Yukiji." Tomoe starts to pursue the woman called Yukiji believing Yukiji is the one who saved him.
In chapter 91 Nanami replaced Yukiji in the palanquin and became a decoy in order to ensure Yukiji's safety and happiness. Because of that, Tomoe ended up taking Nanami away in chapter 92, as he remembers her as Yukiji. After Tomoe takes Nanami back to the Lord's house, Yukiji sees their interaction and promise between the two, wondering who Nanami really was. After 8 years, Tomoe has kept his distance as he promised "Yukiji" and the real Yukiji is able to live a happy life with her husband along with her unborn baby. However, Akura-ou ruins it by destroying the mansion and killing her husband, but Tomoe arrives just in time to save and take Yukiji away, whom he still believes is the same girl, not realizing that Nanami and Yukiji are two different people. Yukiji though desperation for her child's safely stays with Tomoe, however will not allow him to be close to her because her hatred for demons still lingers. She keeps her eyes closed and doesn't look at him, fooling him into thinking that there was something wrong with her eyes. She only opens them when he is not around.
In recent chapters, Tomoe has realized that the woman he fell in love in the past was never Yukiji, but really Nanami and seems to show his feelings for her a little more now.
It would not be an exaggeration to say that Tomoe's unbound abilities elevate him very nearly to a god himself, and a short-tempered one at that. His powers, charm and good looks make him highly desirable as a shinshi among the many envious gods of he and Nanami's acquaintance, and a source of terror to other yokai.
In his early days as a wild fox, Tomoe was known for his ability to control vast oceans of foxfire, a supernatural inferno capable of quickly reducing his enemies to piles of ash. He can also use his foxfire to fly through the air, locate persons or objects or simply light the way home. He is a formidable swordsman and can change his appearance and that of others with the aid of enchanted leaves. He has exceptional hearing, strength, dexterity and a dependable "sixth sense". His fingers and toes are tipped with razor sharp claws, and he is not above using them should the need arise. Perhaps most deadly of all however, he is highly intelligent, sly, courageous, clever and resourceful.
Nor can it be denied that Tomoe can be a hard worker when he sets his mind to it. Though he certainly enjoys his leisure time, he takes very seriously his duties as a shinshi of Mikage shrine, and is meticulous in ensuring that everything is kept clean and in good repair on a daily basis. He also protects and cares for Nanami, handling all the cooking, cleaning and laundry while she is at school or practicing her divine powers. Though he himself does not need to eat, he threw himself into the perfection of his culinary skills with very positive results. This too has become a weapon in the clever fox's arsenal, as he will passive-aggressively insert shitaki mushrooms into Nanami's food when she has irritated him in some way, or threaten to cook an enemy or turn them into sashimi.
- In the manga, Tomoe is seen wearing fancy kimonos with butterfly patterns, but in the anime, he is seen wearing regular kimonos (some of which are adorned with flower patterns).
- Tomoe is actually over 628 years old.
- In the manga, Tomoe's eyes are portrayed as being yellowish or even green in color, but in the anime and some of the covers of the manga, his eyes are a purple color.
- According to Akura-Ou, Tomoe has a fox like habit of hiding his precious things. This could explain why Tomoe is always trying to hide Nanami away from others, males included.
- Tomoe is a rare female Japanese name that means "friend and blessing". It's also a Japanese abstract shape (a swirl) that resembles a comma or the usual form of magatama. The symbol is quite similar to the Yin-Yang symbol for balance and it is made up of interlocked flames resembling tadpoles.
- Tomoe has a fear of Nanami leaving just like Mikage.
- In the manga, Tomoe refers to Nanami as his "Master" but in the anime version, he refers to her as either his "Lady" or "Mistress".
- Tomoe seems to have a fascination with hair. In the manga we see him kiss Yukiji's hair while holding her. He buys Nanami a hairpin even though she rarely puts her hair up, and then finds a reason to use it later (showing that he is good at hair styling). He plays with young-Nanami's hair in the 12 Zodiac arc. In the anime, Episode 6, Tomoe plays with her bangs after checking her temperature. In the manga, we also see him getting his hair cut (after he is changed back to normal from his chibi self). In chapter 92 Tomoe holds Nanami while patting her head, touching her hair.
- Long haired Tomoe looks much more mature than short haired Tomoe.
- Tomoe's favorite food is sasamochi (bamboo leaf rice cake). He came to like it because originally Nanami fed it to him when he was injured in past arc although he has no recollection of it in present.
- When Tomoe took an interest in Yukiji for the first time, it was actually Nanami who was in Yukiji's body. Later even when he fell for Nanami he still thought of her as Yukiji due to Nanami not showing her face.
- In the manga, he had 3 types of hairstyles, one similar to Kirihito's current hairstyle, a bob cut and his long hair, however in the anime, Tomoe was only seen having the latter two.
- Tomoe never fell in love with Yukiji. The woman he fell in love with was Nanami - who was disguised as Yukiji. Tomoe described the things he loved about Yukiji to Kuromaro, all of which were about Nanami or things she had done while in his presence.
- Tomoe has only ever shed tears twice in the manga, but never in the anime.
- I won't fall in love with a human girl.
- Humans are very weak; they break easily. If they are broken, that means that everything is over.