15 (at end of series)
|Manga Debut||Act 34|
|Anime Debut||Episode 19|
|Voice Actor||Michael Lindsay (Bang Zoom!)|
Brian Donovan (Bang Zoom!)
Mona Marshall (Sony)
Tsukayama Yutarō is the son of an ex-samurai katana dealer and the young ward of Isurugi Raijūta. After becoming acquainted with Myōjin Yahiko and the others at the Kamiya dojo, Yutarō begins to doubt his master's plans for the future of kenjutsu. However, Raijūta's negligence and lack of concern for his young adherent costs the young man the use of his right arm and very nearly deprives him of the ability to wield a sword.
Though apparently of the same height and similar build to Yahiko, Yutarō's neat, smooth light brown hair sets him apart. He has the same cat-shaped eyes as Yahiko, but Yutarō's are depicted as a lighter brown in the manga's color art and as blue in the anime. He wears a simple but high-quality hakama and uwagi outfit, but with a Western twist, including a white collared dress shirt under his uwagi and dress shoes with his ensemble when not wearing zori sandals. When leaving for Germany, he dons a very simple Western outfit consisting of a dress shirt and vest with short pants, high socks and dress shoes.
In the kanzenban re-release of the manga, a character redesign is added by Watsuki to depict Yutarō at the age of fifteen. He wears an outfit similar to his Western suit, but with more details - a more elaborate vest, a fancier dress shirt with ruffled sleeves, plaid short pants and a pageboy hat.
- Myōjin Yahiko - Initially bitter rivals, the two befriended each soon after, though maintained a friendly rivalry. Yahiko was enraged when Raijūta had betrayed Yutarō and paralyzed his right arm, thus apparently ending his dreams of becoming a great swordsman.
- Tsukayama Yuzaemon - His father. In the manga, he became a merchant and sold swords as an art. Yutarō held no respect for him. In the anime, however, he's dead and remembered as a strong warrior and Yutarō dreams to be as strong as him.
- Himura Kenshin - Kenshin saves his life and afterwards Yutarō begins to hold great respect towards the Rurouni.
- Kamiya Kaoru - Kaoru becomes his Kenjutsu instructor for a short while, after Kenshin saves his life.
- Isurugi Raijūta - His master, who initially gained his trust by apparently saving him from a group of bloodthirsty hooligans, though it is later revealed that they were following his instructions all along. When he and Kenshin prepare to battle one another, Yutarō intervenes and Raijūta betrays him, by performing an Izuna attack that paralyzes his right arm.
- Sanjō Tsubame - He often hits on Tsubame (off-screen), much to Yahiko's aggravation, although he gets nowhere.
Yutaro was taught little to no techniques by Raijuta. He instead studied the Kamiya Kasshin-Ryu along with Yahiko, managing to catch up to him in just ten days. In the manga, Yutaro returns at the end of the series (though offscreen) and has apparently become quite the pervert, flirting with Tsubame daily. He again studies Kamiya Kasshin-Ryu. In the anime-only season 3, Yutaro returns to Japan having learned fencing.
Yutaro first appears as the disciple of Raijuuta. He's the son of a wealthy sword merchant and ex-samurai who made a fortune by selling swords to Europeans.
He greatly respects Raijuta, but is betrayed when the man targets him with his signature Tobi Izuna attack during a fight with Kenshin. After the battle, the Tobi Izuna's resultant scar, having left a deep and large friction marred cut caused by the kamaitachi effect, severs off the majority use of his muscles and nerves in his right arm, leaving him in his current state unable to practice kenjutsu. As a result, his uncle takes him away to Germany, hoping to find better medical treatment. Before he leaves, however, Yahiko confronts him, scorns his sulking, and tells him that he can overcome his sorrow by working to be better than he imagined Raijuta to be. Yutaro responds that he will never stop practicing swordsmanship and his left arm is still enough to become great.
At the end of the series, Yutarō (though never making an appearance) is identified as one of the instructors of the Kamiya Kasshin-ryū dojo, along with Yahiko.
Anime Arc - The Black Knights and the Secret of ImmortalityEdit
Several months later, Yutaro returns to Japan alongside his mentor and doctor, Doctor Hans, having made a full recovery and regained the use of his right arm. With a cheerful and spirited reunion with the Kenshingumi, they all come to celebrate at the Akabeko on a night filled with fireworks. However, having noticed his mentor hiding a secret the night before, Hans is attacked and grievously wounded by leading members of the Black Knights, an ancient European based Freemason secret society. Curious as to know what caught their attention, Yutaro and the Kenshingumi come to find the answer with the doctor's own journal that he hid away underneath the Kamiya Dojo's foundation.
The results of the journal were astounding; several years ago, Doctor Hans' further study on East Asian medicine lead him to discover documents and artifacts brought from Japan by a Portuguese missionary approximately 300 years ago. These documents entailed the true source of what many would call amrita, the fountain of youth, nectar, the elixir of immortality, and ambrosia as according to myth throughout the world- essentially, the secret to eternal life, and that its origins lay hidden within the depths of mainland Japan. However, as wonderful as this discovery may have been, Hans also warned and informed the group of his pursuers, the Black Knights, and urged Yutaro to find and keep the elixir out of their hands, as the Black Knights desired to use the secret of immortality to fund their plans for global conquest.
Given a cryptic poem and a rock, the group soon figured out that the secrets to immortality dwelled within Lake Suwa. Yutaro, along with the Kenshingumi, made way to Nagano prefecture. During their journey, and their discovery of Lake Ryujin, they were soon accompanied by Misao of the Oniwabanshu, and as they also learned that the Sanada ninja clan was the area's guardians, and as its keepers of the divine elixir, their behavior as of recent grew to be more troubling as of late.
As the group's informant and guide, Yutaro contributed greatly to their journey; as he was knowledged in many subjects of Western curriculum, many of his studies proved to be a great help along the quest. Chemistry proved to be a valuable asset, as he prevented an explosion by Misao within the depths of a gas filled chasm, and by saving the life of a Sanada ninja with medical attention, they were all able to catch up with the Black Knights with the secrets he told.
However, as they reached the ancient sanctuary which the elixir was held, the land which the elixir grew upon was also a natural seep of petroleum, and caught on fire during First Lieutenant Melderz's and Kenshin's battle. As the field of the elixir was ablaze, Yutaro was able to salvage a good specimen before being saved by Sanosuke.
Saving the doctor's life with the elixir, and with their journey to find and keep the elixir safe, the entire journey also was a turning point in young Yutaro's life. Reflecting on times past, and how Yahiko was to save lives with the sword he wielded, Yutaro decided to drop the path of the martial artist, to pursue the path of saving lives with medicine by continuing his studies abroad. But, even after changing his goal in life, Kaoru and Yahiko, even after the latter's reaction, still considered him as a disciple and friend, and Yutaro vowed to be a part of the Kamiya Kasshin-ryu school as a doctor, all in the spirit of Katsujinken - the sword that gives life.