Yato Tribe 夜兎族
|Yato Tribe 夜兎族|
|The Yato Tribe mark, showing the rabbit with the pestle (to pound mochi) on a moon background|
Yato 夜兎 literally means 'Night Rabbit', but the character of this tribe is far from being rabbit-like. 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 fighting abilities and tremendous physical strength also meant that they are very difficult to defeat. Their only known Achilles heel is their inability to adapt to sunlight, which was what killed Housen 鳳仙 eventually in Episode 146. This explains why they always carried an umbrella or are fully wrapped up whenever they appear in daylight. The tribe is characterized by a tribe marking in the form of a rabbit holding a double-pestle (a reference to the Chinese folklore of Chang'e whose rabbit in the moon pounds the elixir of life, in the Japanese version it is mochi that is being pounded), first seen on the back of Kagura's dress when she first appeared in the manga chapter 3.
Amongst the Yato characters that appear in Gintama, only 3 are related by blood: Umibouzu 星海坊主 is the father of older son Kamui 神威 and younger daughter Kagura 神楽. Though still a teenager by all accounts, Kamui's 神威 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 春雨 group. The 2 followers who tagged along with him to Yoshiwara are Abuto 阿伏兎 and Ungyou 云業. Kamui 神威 and Housen 鳳仙 used to have a master-and-disciple relationship, which has since broken down due to Kamui's ambition to defeat Housen 鳳仙, who along with Umibouzu 星海坊主, were known as the most powerful Yatos. Both Umibouzu 星海坊主 and Housen 鳳仙 once fought each other continuously for 3 days, the only reason they stopped fighting was because Housen 鳳仙 needed a toilet break, and no victor was declared.