|“||Just wait, Tokine. I'll surpass my brother and one day, I'll seal the Karasumori site. Then you'll no longer have to worry about learning kekkai techniques or fighting Ayakashi. That way, neither you nor anyone else will ever be hurt.||„|
|~ Yoshimori Sumimura|
Yoshimori Sumimura is the main protagonist of the manga/anime series Kekkaishi. He is the 22nd Kekkaishi of the Sumimura family and is tasked with dealing with Akayashi, supernatural beings that terrorise the land of Karasumori every night. His family, the Sumimuras, are one of two families that are descended from the Hazama clan, the other being the Yukimuras, to which his childhood friend, Tokine Yukimura, belongs to.
Apart from the typical features of a young teenager, Yoshimori also has a number of distinctive traits. Among these, one of the most significant is the Houin on his right palm. He is also known for his diminutive stature, although this is mostly seen when compared with Tokine, who, it must be noted, is two years his senior. He is short, has black spiky hair and brown eyes.
|“||I guess I don't really know what you're trying to say. All I know is it doesn't really matter if I get hurt. But if it was someone else getting hurt, I'd have to do something. I couldn't just stand there and watch. That's one thing I will never let happen ever again.||„|
|~ Yoshimori to Sen Kagemiya, when asked why he risked his life to save him|
After Tokine was wounded saving Yoshimori from Yumigane when he was nine, Yoshimori adopted a firmer, assertive attitude in regard to his responsibilities as a Kekkaishi, and in protecting those around him (Tokine especially). Over time, Yoshimori's feelings toward Tokine develop into a rather obvious crush. This is most evident in the extreme lengths he goes to in order to prevent Tokine from coming to any further harm. Yoshimori immediately rejects any strategy that clearly places Tokine in harm's way, often goes out of his way to protect her (whether his help is actually wanted or not), and apologizes profusely any time Tokine is hurt, physically or emotionally, through his own actions. Possibly because Tokine is very vocal about Yoshimori not being her ideal, he is also immediately suspicious of, and hostile toward, any boys that she has significant contact with.
At first glance, Yoshimori is not especially close to either of his brothers. He does not seem to understand Toshimori, who, unlike him, is studious, serious, and well mannered. Likewise, Masamori and Yoshimori each envy the other's position in the family, and most of their conversations tend to be either tense lectures from Masamori, or jokes at Yoshimori's expense. Despite their disagreements, Yoshimori is never actually seen fighting with Toshimori, and part of him still admires Masamori and wants to be a strong Kekkaishi like he is (though by following his own separate path). In addition, Yoshimori has strong bonds with his parents. Raised largely by his father, who is always encouraging and kindhearted, Yoshimori seems to have inherited his father's compassionate heart. At the same time, Yoshimori has an almost desperate love for his mother, who is absent for much of his life, and he reacts furiously in her defense if she is ever insulted.
Yoshimori is typically tired and irritable during the daytime because his nights are devoted to his work as a Kekkaishi. This is juxtaposed with his pleasure in making others happy, as seen with his love for baking sweets, and, most notably, candy castles. His favorite drink is coffee milk, which is also enjoyed by most of his friends at school. Because of his long nights, Yoshimori constantly falls asleep during classes (though Tokine almost never has this problem). He even brings a pillow to school and often skips his classes to take long naps on the rooftop. Indeed, Yoshimori does not seem at all concerned with the state of his grades or constantly earning his teacher's annoyance, and possibly for good reason: it is implied more than once that unless Karasumori is dealt with permanently, Yoshimori's only real future is to protect the site for the rest of his life, and as such, education is hardly a concern (for much of Masamori's school career, he was replaced by a Shikigami clone, courtesy of his grandfather).
He is often called too considerate or "soft" by Tokine and Gen, especially when contrasted with Tokine's own often ruthless nature toward dealing with Ayakashi and even human ghosts. On several occasions when others told him to let matters lie, such as with the ghost of the pâtissier, Yoshimori went to great lengths to aid others when there was no real benefit for himself, indicating a charitable spirit. Yoshimori can also be very reckless, a prime example being when he allows an Ayakashi to take him to the Kokuboro dimension in order to get revenge on Kaguro for the murder of Gen, an act that gets him scolded by Tokine when the two return to their own dimension. While he does apologise sometimes, it's noted by Tokine that he never actually means it, since he keeps making the same mistakes and reckless decisions he's supposedly sorry for. Yoshimori is even aware of this, saying that while he always feels bad, he never changes.
Yoshimori initially has two personal dreams: to become strong so that no one is ever harmed at Karasumori again, and to bake the perfect candy castle (impressing Tokine as a bonus, as she clearly enjoys some of his creations, despite being critical of his love of baking). As he begins to question and learn more of Karasumori's mysterious origin, Yoshimori decides that he will seal the power of Karasumori forever, thus ending the constant threat of Ayakashi attack, and freeing both his family and Tokine's from their never-ending duty of protecting the site. After the power of Karasumori is sealed, Yoshimori decides to combine his love of art with an old dream, and become an architect (so that he can build a home for himself and Tokine).
- Shakujō: Yoshimori typically carries a Shakujō while on duty. While primarily used to perform Tenketsu, it can also serve as a secondary weapon, a cutting tool, or a means of support when fatigued. However, it is fairly common for him to discard his Shakujō until it is needed.
- Shikigami Paper: Yoshimori carries several pieces of paper, marked with the Houin, to create Shikigami as needed.
- Shidou's Feather: As a token of thanks for helping Kokuunsai, Yoshimori was given one of Shidou's feathers. Though it appears ordinary, when Yoshimori waves the feather, he can summon and communicate with any nearby crows.
- Black Orb: Yoshimori formerly carried a black orb that contained the soul of Chushinmaru Karasumori. The orb was kept in a small cloth bag (which bore Chushinmaru's mark) and worn around Yoshimori's neck at all times, which allowed Chushinmaru to appear outside of the orb and share his power with Yoshimori as needed. Because Chushinmaru's power was so great, the orb tended to crack after some time, and he had to be transferred to a new one about every two days. The final orb shattered within the Shinkai at Hakuma, but the power inside merely returned to Chushinmaru, who was finally safely contained.
Power and Abilities
Hazama-Ryu Kekkaijutsu: Yoshimori's primary ability. His abnormally high power levels, coupled with his penchant for blunt, borderline haphazard attacks, means that his use of the Hazama style is marked by larger, more impressive Kekkai than his colleague Tokine is generally able to produce. Through training, he has managed to dramatically improve his precision, though his style still tends to favor brute force over finesse.
- Quasi-Zekkai: Yoshimori has gradually become adept at producing an imperfect Zekkai that manifests as a black-colored flaming aura, which surrounds Yoshimori in a silhouette. It eliminates many things that come into contact with it, however it can be overpowered, and its potency depends greatly on Yoshimori's focus and emotional state. Yoshimori has twice managed to expand and strengthen his Zekkai to the point that it closely resembled the more commonly recognized spherical shape, but still seems most comfortable with the version he initially accessed.
- Shinkai: In times of great stress, Yoshimori has also proven capable of instinctively summoning a rare and potent Shinkai barrier that manifests itself as a bright white, extending spherical aura, with Yoshimori at the center. Shinkai is distinct in that, unlike Ketsu, which merely separates the inside from the outside, and Zekkai, which rejects foreign entities, Shinkai creates a sphere inside of which Yoshimori is able to control reality, rejecting that which he wants removed and maintaining (perhaps even restoring, in Souji Hiura's case) that which he wants preserved. Tokimori Hazama has explained that Shinkai is "the first step of the first step" in creating a new world. After training under Hazama, Yoshimori is able to produce Shinkai, as needed (with support from Chushinmaru), with far more control over its size and contents.
Musou: Since completing his training in the Suminmura family well, Yoshmori has mastered a perfect Musou (blank) state, which completely shuts down his conscious mind and separates his powers from his emotions, using the resulting focus to dramatically increase his speed, precision, reflexes and power. This allows him to produce seemingly indestructible Kekkai in large numbers without any signs of fatigue or strain. While in this state, Yoshimori summons a familiar, or landlord, to maintain his connection to his heart. His landlord, Shiguma, takes the form of a striped cube that morphs into various animal and humanoid shapes. Shiguma can also relay Yoshimori's subconscious thoughts to his conscious mind, thus allowing the conscious Yoshimori to understand and analyze the world around him in ways he never could otherwise. As part of Yoshimori, though, Shiguma shares his taste for brute force at the expense of subtlety.
- Sensory Kekkai: While training with his mother's Shikigami, Yoshimori learns to use Sensory Kekkai while in his blank state. This allows him to extend his senses and investigate the surrounding area, gaining a great deal of information in the process, including the location of any nearby enemies. He can only maintain this for an instant, however.
- Enormous Spiritual Power: Even among the Sumimura Kekkaishi, all of whom seem to possess a great deal of spiritual power, Yoshimori has far more than even their standards would suggest is normal. Like his mother Sumiko, this routinely makes him capable of feats normally considered impossible, though to Yoshimori they are not as impressive because they are almost always well within the limits of his abilities (which is telling in itself).
- Supernatural Endurance: Yoshimori repeatedly proves to have endurance in the range of superhuman in combat. He almost never reaches a point where he grows notably fatigued in battle. While some of this can be attributed to Karasumori's power supporting him as a Legitimate Successor, Yoshimori still possesses this trait even while removed from the site, proving that this is indeed a natural ability separate from Karasumori's power. In addition, though his body is covered in scars from past battles, Yoshimori is never stated to have been seriously injured, or forced to withdraw from duty due to wounds suffered in battle. He is, however, still susceptible to common illnesses such as colds.
- Supernatural Stamina: Even when pushed to the limit, Yoshimori is never seen to tire out during intense combat, due to the immense amount of spiritual power he possesses.
- Enhanced Regeneration: One of the side-effects of his enormous amount of spiritual power is that he can heal from most minor injuries rapidly when pushed to the limit, as seen in his fight with Kaguro. He is also capable of healing from Kaguro's attacks, which generally should stop the regeneration process in most organisms.
- Indomitable Will: Yoshimori has repeatedly proven his willpower to be one of his strongest points, and he has never given up on a single one of his endeavors. He always accomplishes his tasks with great determination without ever faltering, and he has never stopped on any of his goals. This is most prominent in his battle with Kaguro, where Yoshimori was determined to kill Kaguro no matter what happened to him in the aftermath.