Asirpa (アシㇼパ) is a young Ainu huntress and the deuteragonist of Golden Kamuy.
Appearance[edit | edit source]
Asirpa is a small Ainu girl with a small frame, as evidenced by her thin legs that are not covered by thick layers of cloth. She has dark long hair and blue eyes with tints of green.
Asirpa wears a typical white Ainu coat complete with swirling motif at the edges of the cloth over a purple band. The tunic itself covers several layers of thick cloth in order to protect from the cold. She also wear dark pants and deerskin boots named Yukker. Asirpa also wears fur made from Retar's parents to cover herself in the wild.
Moreover, Asirpa wears a number of accessories, most notably a dark headband with swirling motif called a "matanpushi", matching "tekunpe" hand coverings, and two "ninkari" earrings. In warmer weather, she can be seen wearing a "rekutunpe" necklace.
Asirpa also carries with her many items, most notably her longbow and quiver, but also several knives in carved sheathes.
Personality[edit | edit source]
When Asirpa is introduced, she seems to be a cold and unforgiving young girl. However, as she warms up to Sugimoto, she exposes a more jovial side.
As a hunter, Asirpa is aware of the cruelty of nature and thus is mature for a child. She is aware that in the wilderness, weakness leads to death and thus is very pragmatic about survival. She often acts serious when on a hunt or when discussing her goal of finding the treasure and may seem cold to others.
On the flip side, Asirpa is a spirited and jolly girl obsessed with eating and is enthusiastic if there's a prey to catch. She is generally friendly and acts polite with elders, but is more familiar with younger people or Japanese.
Asirpa mostly respects her culture and preaches the Ainu way of life. She has a deep respect for nature and considers animals as gods, therefore always honoring her prey and everything she uses as gifts from the Kamuy. She will never eat the meat from an man-killing animal. However, Asirpa dismisses other customs such as tattooing her mouth and doesn't believe in divination. Stubborn and sometimes domineering, Asirpa isn't intimidated by adults or danger; she notably can pressure Sugimoto into eating disgusting body parts with a severe look.
Makanakkuru mentions that she was already rather stubborn as a young child, but also was saddened by her father's death, to the point she never smiled and depended on Retar for emotional support.
However, Asirpa has developed a good friendship with Sugimoto, which Makanakkuru notes has given Asirpa back her smile.
Background[edit | edit source]
As a very young girl, Asirpa received a hohciri from her father and was told that once she gets bigger, they will go on a hunt together but until then she must keep the hohciri tied in front of her hair. Wilk once told Asirpa about the meko oyasi, saying that it is a monster cat that would eat all of a person's item. Asirpa was horrified to hear this and asked if it even eats a person's tobacco case. Asirpa and Wilk went to hunt some bears and they found a mother bear and its cub wandering around. Asirpa asks if they will kill the baby bear as well and if they could just bring it back to the kotan with them instead. However, Wilk says that the cub has grown too large for them to raise and asks Asirpa if she thinks it is cruel. He tells her that the bears will become a part of their flesh and blood and live on inside of them. Wilk finishes by saying that if they do not hunt, then they will starve and that misplaced sympathy or kindness can potentially become weaknesses which will cause the weak to lose and become eaten. One cold night, as they huddled together in a hut, Asirpa asked Wilk to tell her more about her mother and he tells her about how they met and how she taught him everything about the Ainu culture. Wilk then takes Asirpa in his hands and says that he has something to tell her which she must never forget. He explains that he once told her mother about how he got his name and so her mother gave him an Ainu name, "Horkew Oskoni". Wilk describes its meaning to her and that the only ones who knows his name are him and her mother, and that Asirpa must never tell anyone.
Plot[edit | edit source]
|Spoiler warning: Significant plot details about Chapter 70 onwards follow.|
|After the ordeal with the bears and the yakuza, and successfully getting her great-aunt's clothing back, Asirpa spots a bow hanging on the wall and reaches for it, saying that the craftsmanship is incredible. Dun tells her that he got it from a famous hunter in Hidaka and that he'd like for her to have it since her previous bow had been broken in the battle with the bears. In return, he'd like to know about the tattoo that they are after, however Sugimoto shoots him down saying that for his safety, it is best that he not know. (70)
Afterwards, the group returns to Huci's sister's kotan, and to prepare for the dinner that night, she and Sugimoto heads out to grab some plants. During the harvest, she tells him about the various plants that the Ainu people eats and how the Ainu people prepare for the summer and winter seasons. They return to the village and see Kiroranke and Shiraishi who were able to catch some fishes. Later that night, they sit around a hot pot of Icaniw ohaw and merrily eats it. Asirpa falls asleep and has a dream about her father, then she wakes up to find Shiraishi snoring and drooling in front of her. She angrily hits him with her stick and leaves the hut saying that Abashiri is still a long way away. (73)
In Yubari, Asirpa is trying to sell the bear's gall bladder to a buyer, but he tries to scam her by giving her less money than it's worth. When the buyer continues to act stubborn, Sugimoto and Kiroranke approaches and threatens him, with Shiraishi trying to break them apart. Later on, they head to a river and have fun splashing around and catching some lampreys to eat. After eating unaju made with lamprey and hearing Kiroranke tell of an Ainu legend, Asirpa makes a dirty joke at Shiraishi's expense.
The group heads back to Yubari, where they split up with Sugimoto and Shiraishi in one party while Asirpa and Kiroranke goes around town asking for information. Just then, there is a loud explosion from the Yubari coal mines and Asirpa and Kiroranke along with the Yubari citizens can only watch the pillars of smokes with a concerned look on their faces. Asirpa and Kiroranke along with the other Yubari citizens made their way to the Yubari mines where they spotted Ushiyama carrying Sugimoto and Shiraishi out from the mines. Upon seeing him, Asirpa instantly recognized him and pulled out a hanpen. When Ogata approached them and offered to explain the situation to everyone, they were taken to the Edogai store where he revealed Tsurumi's plan to them, much to their shock. The group are then approached by Hijikata carrying a cat and a tattooed skin, saying that they have to figure out whether the skin is real or not.
As Hijikata enters the room and speaks with Sugimoto about Noppera-Bou, Asirpa speaks up and is about to refer to him as her father. However, Hijikata cuts her off by threatening to draw his sword and demands whether they should join forces or fight to the death. Shinpachi Nagakura then come and tells Sugimoto's group to sell the skins and lead quiet lives back home, to which Sugimoto refuses. The tense mood is broken due to Asirpa's stomach loudly grumbling and Ienaga suggests that they eat something.
The two parties then sit around a table and a pot of nanko nabe. Asirpa quietly eats her food as Sugimoto begins to provoke Ogata. When Hijikata voices his concerns about distinguishing the fake skins from the real one, Ienaga says that she may know someone who may help, a counterfeit artist named Chouan Kumagishi. Some time later, Asirpa heads to the mines along with Sugimoto and Ushiyama to find Sergeant Tsukishima's corpse but are unable to locate it.
They return to the store to find that it has been set on fire and were able to rescue Ienaga when Ushiyama breaks the bars off of the windows. Once Sugimoto, Hijikata, and Ogata had successfully left the store, the group as a whole returns to the town where they agreed to split up in order to remain inconspicuous. Asirpa and Sugimoto heads out to Tsukigata along with their new partners, Ushiyama and Ogata while Hijikata and Ienaga meets up with Kiroranke, Shiraishi, and Nagakura.
The four of them take an off route path through a forest in order to avoid being spotted by anyone that can alert their position to the 7th Division. Asirpa spots some woodcocks and when Sugimoto asks if they taste good, she confirms that their brains do. She spots Ogata taking aim at them and tells him not shoot as woodcocks have an erratic flying pattern and suggests that they set some traps. The next day, she is irritated as her traps has caught only two woodcocks and plucks their feathers off violently.
They are approached by Ogata who was able to shoot down three birds and when Sugimoto notes that Ogata must've done it since he got worked up by Asirpa's words, Asirpa says Sugimoto must be jealous since he has terrible aim, to which he denies it. They cook up some woodcock brains and Asirpa offers it to Ushiyama who is extremely nervous about eating it, but Ogata declines to eat it. Afterwards, they begin chopping up the body to make some citatap and Asirpa to make an ohaw which they all eat. She tells them about an Ainu religious love poem which Sugimoto and Ushiyama enjoys.
They spent at least one night sleeping in the forest and were able to make their way to an Ainu kotan. However, Asirpa says she does not have any relatives in this kotan and says it is her first time coming here. They are greeted by an Ainu man that is proficient in speaking Japanese. Ushiyama points out a cage behind them, and Sugimoto sees that the bear is too big to fit in the cage.
When Sugimoto questions about the bear cage, the Ainu man says the bear simply grew too fast and that they will move it. He then introduces himself as Ekurok and says that his "father", Retanno Ekasi is the leader of the village and that they should ask him for permission to stay. They are led to his house where an Ainu man comes out and sees them only to go back inside immediately to begin cleaning. When Ushiyama asks if they are ready yet, Asirpa tells them a story about several important government officials that got caught in rain and couldn't enter an Ainu house due to them cleaning, which took so long that the rain stopped.
The young man comes out and leads them inside and Asirpa begins to take off her bandanna before deciding against it. Inside, they meet Retanno Ekasi who begins to gesture to them before Asirpa says "Musonkami" which catches everyone by surprise. When Ekurok is introducing his "family", Asirpa interrupts them again to go to the bathroom and leaves the house. Outside, she heads to the bear cage and sees that it has been poorly fed before being grabbed from behind. She is tied and gagged and taken to another house by Ekurok's Brother who asks Kumagishi to keep an eye on her. Asirpa is able to free her mouth to ask why they are pretending to be Ainu.
Asirpa explains that "musonkami" is an insult in the Ainu language and saw that the men had no idea what it meant. She began listing off other evidences of them not being Ainu before asking once more why they are pretending to be Ainu. Kumagishi covers her mouth and tells her to be quiet while explaining the true nature of the men, that they would kill anyone who came to the village and that they were originally convicts that escaped from Kabato Prison due to the assistance of a man named Kiyohiro Suzukawa. Asirpa asked him why he was broken out as well, and Kumagishi says that he has been confined to make counterfeit money by Suzukawa. As he is freeing Asirpa so that she could go out and ask for help, she asks him if Suzukawa had strange tattoos on his body. They suddenly hear Sugimoto's loud scream which Asirpa notes as being the long-eared monster.
As Sugimoto's yell could be heard throughout the whole village, Kumagishi says that he cannot stop the convicts that will come after him and that he feels sorry for Sugimoto. However, Asirpa says that since Sugimoto is angry, he should feel more sorry for the fake Ainu. Asirpa hears Sugimoto calling for him but before she could leave, one of the convicts comes in and sees that Kumagishi is letting her go. The convict was then knocked out by Monoa who has rallied the village's women to strike back.
Kumagishi looks out and sees that it is total chaos and that they should take this opportunity to escape but Asirpa refuses since they need him alive. She then tells him about her situation and confirms if he really is the counterfeiter Chouan Kumagishi. He reveals the reason why he started making counterfeit money and is about to say something to Asirpa before Sugimoto runs by, calling out her name. When Sugimoto is about to fire at Kumagishi, Asirpa is able to stop him and reveal that the man with her is Kumagishi. Suddenly, an arrow flies past Sugimoto and hits Kumagishi who lets out a groan of pain.
As Kumagishi falls to his knees, Asirpa shouts out his name. They realize that the arrowhead has been coated in poison and that there is nothing they can do since it was lodged in Kumagishi's stomach. With his dying breath, Kumagishi gave them a clue on how to find evidences in counterfeit pieces and Asirpa steps outside, confirming his death. She is horrified to find numerous dead bodies in front of her eyes and Ogata says that it was mostly Sugimoto's work. Sugimoto comes out and puts a hand on her shoulder asking if she is hurt as she could only stare at him in bewilderment.
They help the Ainu women bury the dead convicts and Asirpa translating for the Ainu women says that they want to express their thanks and treat the group to dishes made with the year's harvest of turep. As they ready the ingredients, Asirpa explains to her group about how to prepare the food. Once they had finished, they begin to eat the turep which they enjoyed. When Sugimoto takes out his miso, Aisrpa immediately grabs and eats it, calling it miso which causes the Ainu women to be suspicious. She hands the miso to them which they found to be delicious as well and begins to praise her.
After they had finished enjoying themselves, Sugimoto's Group deliberates on what they should do with Kiyohiro Suzukawa. Ogata says that he'll just be a pain and that they should just kill and skin him with Asirpa questioning if he's going to kill a defenseless man. Sugimoto decides to take him along since they are in a hurry and they can talk with Hijikata about what to do with him. She helps translate for the Ainu women that they want Ushiyama to stay and repopulate the village due to him taking down a bear, but Sugimoto and Suzukawa carries him away despite his insistence. She tells her group that they do not have to worry about the Ainu women, that they are not weak, and that they will bring their kotan back to life. The group as a whole then says their farewells to the Ainu kotan.
They make their way back to Tsukigata and meet up with Nagakura at the inn. Nagakura says that he has two pieces of bad news, the first which is that Kumagishi is dead and they are surprised that he already knew. Asirpa asks what the other bad news is and Nagakura tells them that Shiraishi has been captured by the 7th Division. Once Hijikata and Kiroranke returned from their mission and informed the rest of them that they had failed to rescue Shiraishi, everyone thought about what to do before deciding to leave Shiraishi to his fate since they already had a copy of his tattoo. However, Sugimoto refuses and says that he wants to save Shiraishi and pulls over Suzukawa, saying that they could use his skills as a con artist.
Kiroranke's group comes to a Russian village where Kiroranke and Ogata decides to do some information gathering and Shiraishi offers to Asirpa to have some tea in a nearby building. Unbeknownst to them, they were followed by Maiharu Gansoku who recognizes Shiraishi as a fellow tattooed convict. Inside, Shiraishi tries to comfort Asirpa about what happened with her father and says that he believes that Sugimoto may be alive. Asirpa responded that Sugimoto cannot be dead as he is "Sugimoto the Immortal" after all. Later, when Kiroranke and Ogata were unable to find any information in the village, they departed for their next destination.
Kiroranke's group finds some sea lions off of the coast of Karafuto so they decided to hunt them. Asirpa was able to finish off a wounded sea lion that had been shot by Ogata and tried to swim away. She helps Kiroranke cut up the sea lion and gives the meat to Ogata and Shiraishi. When Ogata expresses concern that he could not kill the sea lion, Asirpa tells him that they have thick skulls and that he should keep in mind not to aim for the head before happily gorging herself on the sea lion meat.
Once they had finished their hunt, Shiraishi asked what they will do with the sea lion skin and Asirpa informed him that they can make some torar, long and durable leather straps that can be used to bind or tie various things up and that they can also use the sea lion oil as seasoning for foods. They are then approached by a Karafuto Ainu man who offers to buy their sea lion skin as well as provide information on where they can sell their meats and innards. With that, they come to a fox breeding facility and are greeted by the owner there. Asirpa notes that most of the foxes on the farm are setunpe kamuy, benevolent gods.
When Kiroranke asked the owner about an Ainu village in the area, Asirpa asked him if she knew someone here. Kiroranke tells her that the Ainu village that used to be in their spot was the village where her father Wilk was born. Asirpa asked where everyone went and learned from Kiroranke the grim history of the village. He then tells her that her father believed that she is the light of hope and that she will soon learn the answer about her father in Karafuto. Afterwards, she went to observe the foxes as Kiroranke and Ogata silenty held their conversation about her and her father.
Kiroranke's group goes out to do some hunting and Asirpa encounters musk deers for the first time. Ogata shoots and kills one, which Asirpa and Kiroranke carves up. When Asirpa asks if their meat tastes good, Kiroranke denies it and says that the only useful part is the male's musk gland, which he takes out. Kiroranke offers to let Aisrpa smell it, and she reacts strongly to the smell, saying that it stinks.
Kiroranke then begins to talk about his younger days with Wilk, which catches Asirpa's interest and he spoke about the time Wilk took down his first prey and cut his hohciri off. This triggers a long lost memory of her father to come back to her and she says that thanks to the musk deer, she felt like she saw a part of her father she never knew and that she was able to recall a memory that she had forgotten. In the middle of her travels, Asirpa came upon a freshly laid mound of feces and became excited, thinking that a large prey must be nearby. However, Shiraishi revealed that it belongs to him since he had just pooped earlier.
Asirpa's group hires a couple of Karafuto Ainu men to take them all the way to Shisuka (modern day Poronaysk) and made their way on foot through a forest. They come across a casket belonging to the Orok people and Kiroranke tells everyone about the Oroks. Just then, Ogata fired at something with his rifle and Asirpa asked him what he had shot. Ogata replies that it was an Ezo deer but Kiroranke says that there aren't any Ezo deer in Karafuto.
They come across a dead reindeer with a collar around it, which Asirpa puts on Shiraishi. They also find an Orok man looking for his reindeer, whereupon the group teases Ogata for killing it. The Orok man asks them to hunt wild reindeers together and Kiroranke tells Asirpa that her father also accidently killed a reindeer. Ogata asks Asirpa to come with him and she accepts, saying that it might help her remember something about her father.
As Kiroranke talks about the reindeer, Asirpa blurts out a word, which Wilk had taught her when she was young. While they prepare for the reindeer hunt, a reindeer turns around and bites Shiraishi, causing Asirpa to become concerned for him. However, she calls him a bad guy when he says that they should've ran away instead of apologizing for Ogata's mistake. Kiroranke says that in order to continue on from Shisuka, they'd have no choice but to make contact with the Oroks.
As the hunt began, Ogata tells everyone to stay back as he single-handedly kills the entire reindeer herd. Once the initial shock had worn off, Asirpa tells everyone to hurry up and skin the reindeers as they will have to make several trips to carry them all back. At the Orok village, Asirpa's group eats the reindeer meat as well as food made by the Orok women, while Asirpa offers the reindeer brain to Shiraishi and Ogata. She notes that due to living with the reindeer, the Orok people's customs are completely different from the Ainu, calling it fascinating.
She then listened to Kiroranke's idea for sneaking into Russia by hiding out among the Oroks who have tacit permission to go back and forth across the border. Some time later they carry out this plan, but unbeknownst to them, due to a leak from Tsurumi, the Russians were already aware of them and shoots one of the Orok men. Ogata tells Asirpa to stay down and says that they are dealing with an experienced sniper as they enter Russia.
As they are attacked by the Russians, Asirpa silently watches as Kiroranke restrains the Orok man who tries to help his father. They try to escape into the woods nearby by hiding behind the reindeers, even as a couple of them were shot and killed. When Ogata voices his concerns that the Russians are being too violent for crossing the border illegally, Asirpa wonders if they were waiting to ambush them. Suddenly, Kiroranke gets up and walks over to the elder Orok man to help him, which causes Asirpa to yell out at him. Due to Kiroranke's action, Ogata is able to shoot the Russian spotter, which gave them a chance to run into the woods.
Within the forest, they examine the Orok man and finds out that he had survived thanks to his large hat and Kiroranke says it was thanks to the gods. However, Ogata says it was thanks to him and that everything that happens has a reason behind them, including why they were attacked. Asirpa tells Kiroranke that he was right to try and save the Orok, but that he may have realized something if he went that far. Kiroranke only remained quiet as Ogata prepares to confront the Russians for answers, saying that the war with Russia isn't quite over yet.
As Ogata splits away from the group to battle with the Russians, Asirpa's Group hears a loud explosion which came from a trap that Kiroranke had laid down, killing one of the Russians and heavily injuring another. They eventually find Ilya, the Russian spotter whom Ogata had shot earlier and he speaks to Kiroranke in Russian, which Asirpa is unable to understand. Ilya pulls out a wanted poster of Kiroranke, shocking both Asirpa and Shiraishi, and says that Russia hasn't forgotten about Kiroranke.
Once Ilya had died from his wounds, Asirpa picks up the wanted posters as she and Shiraishi questioned Kiroranke about them, and Kiroranke then revealed his past to them and his involvement in the Russian emperor's death. As she listened to the story, she noticed another paper under Kiroranke's poster and finds that it is a wanted poster of her father, Wilk who was also involved in the assassination.
Some time later as they waited around, Shiraishi expressed concern about Ogata and wonders if they should help him, but Kiroranke says that Ogata wanted to be alone and that they should believe in Ogata's abilities. Afterwards, Asirpa's group hear several rounds of gunfire as Ogata and Vasily fought each other in a sniper battle.
As Asirpa looks through her binoculars, she sees that Ogata is returning from his sniper duel and notifies the others. They find that Ogata is now suffering from a terrible fever which he attempted to brushed off as nothing. Asirpa's group then makes their way to an Orok settlement where Asirpa tended to Ogata's health. They are joined by a shaman who recited a prayer for both Ogata and the elder Orok man who had been shot.
When Shiraishi left the tent to relieve himself, Asirpa notices him motioning at her to come out too. Outside, Shiraishi asks Asirpa to run away together now that Ogata is ill, saying that being with Kiroranke is too dangerous for them. However, Asirpa declines, which surprises Shiraishi before they are joined by Kiroranke who explains more about himself and Wilk to them. Asirpa says that she wishes to know more about her father and wonders if the Ainu gold should be found.
While Ogata slept, Asirpa notes that his fever had gone down. She is then given some sewa figurines which Kiroranke says are medical treatments for certain parts of the body. When Shiraishi is also given one and thinks it is a protective charm for his trips to the pleasure district, Asirpa coldly tells him that it was because of the dirty look on his face from watching a woman breastfeeding her child. After some time had passed, Ogata wakes up which Asirpa notices and greets him.
When one of the Oroks begins to carve out a reindeer bone, Asirpa asks what he is doing and Kiroranke explains that the Orok will divine the future for them. The Orok man tells them that someone is coming from behind them which Asirpa listened to quietly. Some time later, Asirpa's group prepares to leave the Orok settlement with a reindeer that the Orok gave to them to give to their relatives in the north.
Kiroranke apologizes to the Oroks for the Russian ordeal and turns to Shiraishi, saying that they should part ways. When Shiraishi agrees to it, Asirpa thanks him for his help and tells him to take care of himself. Asirpa, Kiroranke, and Ogata then leaves the settlement before being rejoined by Shiraishi, who says that he wants to have some fun with blonde Russian girls. Asirpa laughs, saying that if his groin hurt again, that would be his problem and Shiraishi says that he will be fine so long as he has the charm.
During their journey, Asirpa finds some tracks and wonders if they came from a meko, saying that they are too big to belong to them. Shiraishi asks her about the meko and Asirpa explains that they are cats, with Kiroranke stating that the tracks belongs to a lynx. Hearing this, Asirpa gets excited that it is a meko oyasi as her father had once told her about them. When Kiroranke tells her that he and Wilk had once hunted a lynx together, Asirpa is curious about how it tasted only to be told that it was terrible.
Asirpa is disappointed that the meko oyasi doesn't taste good but is relieved to hear more about her father and Kiroranke offers to tell her more about him. He tells her that there is a person being held in Akou Prison in Alexandrovsksakhalinsky and is their leader Sofia Golden Hand. Kiroranke says that Sofia should know more things about Wilk that not even he knows. With this, Asirpa's group makes the decision to head to Akou.
Asirpa's Group goes hunting for beluga with some of the Nivkh people and when Ogata manages to shoot and kill one, Asirpa praises him. As Kiroranke carves up the dead animal, Asirpa says that she has never seen a completely white hunpe before. When Shiraishi comments that they should have some miso to go with the whale soup, Asirpa reveals that she has Sugimoto's miso since she had been holding them for him.
Asirpa's Group eats the whale soup together and they run out of the miso, with Asirpa refusing to eat any miso that doesn't belong to Sugimoto. As they eat, Ogata says "hinna" which surprises Asirpa and she asks him to repeat it while looking back at Kiroranke and Shiraishi to see if they heard him as well. When Kiroranke and Shiraishi begins to talk about Sofia, Asirpa asks Kiroranke to tell her more about his leader. Kiroranke tells them about Sofia and that he and Wilk had admired her, which Asirpa is curious about and says that she wants to meet the revolutionary leader.
Kiroranke reveals his plan to break Sofia out of Akou Prison and Asirpa listens nervously as Kiroranke and Shiraishi discusses the details of the plan. When Shiraishi asks how he plans to get a large amount of explosives to blow up the prison's wall, Kiroranke points to a nearby lighthouse, saying that explosives has been supplied there in the case of a Japanese invasion and says that all they have to do is to wait for them to arrive so that they can set the plan in motion.
Asirpa's Group heads to a Nivkh village where Asirpa is intrigued by a Nivkh man wearing a hat with ears. Afterwards, Asirpa's Group discusses breaking out Sofia and having her meet Asirpa. Kiroranke mentions that Sofia has several underlings in the prison but Asirpa is concerned if having them on their side would be for the good of the Ainu people. Kiroranke reassures her that it would be beneficial for every ethnic minorities so that they can continue to live their lives their own way.
Kiroranke then begins to tell Asirpa's Group about how he, Wilk, and Sofia first met a Japanese man named Kouichi Hasegawa who was living in Russia and their time learning Japanese with Hasegawa. He tells them about Hasegawa's suspicions of their background as well as the fact that Hasegawa was actually a spy for the Japanese army. As Kiroranke finishes up the story, he says that they never saw Hasegawa again and that Sofia continues to blame herself for the death of Hasegawa's daughter. He takes Asirpa's Group up north to where some drift ice are and begins to explain about the serfs, the Russian Orthodox Church and why he and Wilk joined Sofia's cause. Asirpa then asks him if he had told Sofia about what happened to Wilk.
Asirpa's Group goes hunting for some seals and Asirpa is able to catch one by impaling it with a klaa harpoon. As she pulls the seal out of the water, she notices a reindeer nearby and wonders if it came from across the sea. Ogata says that perhaps it came over because it was being chased by something. Later, Asirpa's Group drills some holes in the walls of Akou Prison and obtains the explosives from the abandoned lighthouse. They then go over their plan to break Sofia out and have her meet Asirpa. When daybreak arrives, Asirpa's Group sets their plan into motion, however only Kiroranke's explosives worked and Kiroranke curses that the explosives may not have been preserved properly.
Ogata begins to notice that something is wrong when none of the prisoners are coming out of Kiroranke's hole and wonders if something happened. Asirpa's Group then decides to make another hole with their explosives, which proved to be more successful as Sofia and her men were able to make their escape. Sofia approaches Asirpa, recognizing her clothes as being Karafuto Ainu before seeing Asirpa's blue eyes which she inherited from her father. Upon seeing Kiroranke, Sofia suddenly slaps him, apparently upset at what he did to Wilk, surprising everyone present.
Asirpa's Group is stunned by Sofia slapping Kiroranke but no one says anything until Sofia turns around, ready to leave. Afterwards, as they walk over the drift ice, Shiraishi notes that their plan worked perfectly as their disguise helps them to blend in with the Nivkh fishermen that had come out onto the ice to hunt. Asirpa asks Sofia about her father and she listens silently as Kiroranke translates for Sofia who recounts her time with Wilk and his dream to protect the Ainu culture for the future generation.
As Asirpa reflects on what she heard of her father's background, Kiroranke points her attention to a group of wolves that had come nearby to them. Upon seeing them, Sofia says that Wilk has always loved wolves and tells Asirpa about how Wilk sacrificed one of his comrades in order to avoid being caught by the secret police. She then asks Kiroranke and Asirpa if they knew the origins of Wilk's name but Kiroranke does not know and Asirpa struggles to remember. Upon hearing the origins of her father's name, a memory about Wilk telling her his true name comes back to her. Asirpa has a realization and thinks back on the letters of the tattoos that she and Sugimoto had obtained and lets out a gasp.
With her memories returning to her, Asirpa wonders why she had forgotten about them, even after her father had told her to never forget them and that she should've remembered when she saw Retar. She then remembers that after Wilk had told her the name, he had disappeared and Retar had also left her as well. As she cries over her losses, she realizes that she'd pushed that memory into a corner of her mind to keep from thinking about them. As Asirpa wipes her tears, she notices Ogata standing in front of her as Kiroranke asks him what was wrong but Ogata says that it is nothing and that they should hurry since the weather looks like it will get windy soon.
Asirpa's Group is separated from Shiraishi when the drift ice between them breaks so Shiraishi heads out to find another path to rejoin them and Asirpa warns him not to fall into the freezing water as there will be no one to save him. The rest of Asirpa's Group finds a big ice wall to take shelter behind while Asirpa and Ogata heads out to find some driftwood to burn. When Asirpa finds some more driftwood, she calls out to Ogata but he stops her, asking if she had remembered something very important earlier.
Ogata crouches down, asking Asirpa to tell her the key to solving the coded tattoos, reasoning that he only wishes to be paid a fair reward for risking his life during their travels. He says that he does not need all of the money, otherwise he would not have a peaceful life but that if Asirpa were to tell him the code, then she could be free from the fight for the gold and return to her kotan to be with her grandmother. Ogata continues to reason with Asirpa, telling her to leave the problems of the Ainu to Kiroranke and Sofia so that she would not have to shoulder such a heavy burden. Asirpa finally speaks up, asking Ogata why he had waited until after they were separated from Kiroranke to ask her this. Just then, they hear a gunshot off in the distance and Ogata takes out his binoculars before loading his rifle.
Asirpa asks if there are people coming after them but Ogata just stays silent as he looks out onto the drift ice. They hear Sofia calling out for Asirpa, which she notes and says that they should go back but Ogata tells her that back when Sugimoto and Wilk were shot at Abashiri Prison, Kiroranke had made a signal to somewhere before grabbing her arm. As they walk across the drift ice, Asirpa questions Ogata on what he said earlier and he tells her that Kiroranke had a sniper shoot Wilk and believes that the two of them must've had an argument over how they would use the gold. Asirpa is stunned that Ogata had not told her about this before and Ogata says that he thought it was necessary to work with Kiroranke so he kept quiet to see how things would play along but decided to break off the alliance since Kiroranke might kill them all once he gets the code. Ogata turns back to Asirpa and pleads her to tell him what she remembered, but Asirpa is suspicious of Ogata's words.
Upon seeing that Asirpa won't talk, Ogata says that he is just doing what Sugimoto asked of him, which surprises her. Ogata reveals that when he went up to the bodies of both Sugimoto and Wilk, Sugimoto was still conscious and he had begged Ogata to help the widow of his best friend. Asirpa gets angry, saying that he never once told her about this and that he had previously told her that Sugimoto was already dead when he checked on them. However, Ogata ignores her outburst and says that it was the last thing Sugimoto spoke of and asked if she wanted to hear more. Ogata tries to get Asirpa to tell him the code, saying that it was for the sake of Sugimoto's last request and she asks if he knew the woman's name. He says that her name is "Tome" and that they should be able to find her if they ask the army where Sugimoto was raised.
Asirpa asks a couple more questions about Sugimoto's final moments, including what he wanted to eat one last time and Ogata says that Sugimoto wanted to eat anglerfish nabe. Asirpa finally sees through Ogata's lies, knowing that Sugimoto's favourite dish was actually dried persimmons. She pulls away from Ogata but stumbles in the process and when Ogata attempts to calm her down, she grabs her bow and arrow, pointing them at Ogata, telling him to stay away from her as there is not a single thing that she can trust about him. Ogata finally admits to having lied to her all along and says that there is something that had been bothering him for quite some time. He states that when they had first met, Asirpa prevented Sugimoto from killing him due to her belief not to kill anyone in order to remain a "pure" person.
Ogata found it strange and asks if Wilk had not taught her about killing people and wonders if the icon of the Ainu has to remain "pure" as well. Asirpa is confused by Ogata's words but he tells her to kill him, saying that "pure" people don't exist in this world. Seeing that Asirpa is still hesitating, Ogata reveals that he was the one who killed her father and provokes Asirpa to take his own life. However, Asirpa lowers her bow, saying that she will not kill him and Ogata draws his rifle, pointing it at Asirpa, declaring that it is simply not right that people like her exists. Unbeknownst to the both of them, Sugimoto approaches them from behind Ogata with a furious look on his face.
Sugimoto roars at Ogata and his scream startles Asirpa, causing her to let go off of the bowstring holding the arrow in its notch. The arrow hits Ogata in his right eye and Asirpa can only stare in horror as Ogata falls down to the ground with a smile on his face. Asirpa collapses to her knees, in shock and trembling from what had happened as Sugimoto carves out Ogata's right eye and sucks the poison from his system. Sugimoto notices the ice below them breaking and he calls out to Asirpa, snapping her from her shock, telling her to grab his hand as he reaches out to her. Asirpa says Sugimoto's name as she jumps towards him and the two of them embraces each other as Asirpa states that she knew he was alive all along while Sugimoto reminds her of his title.
Sugimoto asks if she can stand since they need to get moving but Asirpa says that she cannot move away. He thinks she is still being emotional and tells her that they have to go after Kiroranke, however Asirpa reveals that her eyelid is frozen to his jacket's metal button. Sugimoto calls Shiraishi over and asks him to urinate on them, much to Asirpa's shock. Despite her pleads, Shiraishi urinates on them, managing to free Asirpa from Sugimoto's button and Asirpa tells Shiraishi that it is enough with a disgusted look on her face. Shiraishi turns to Sugimoto and asks him if he is crying, but Sugimoto denies it and says that the liquid on his face is just his urine.
Asirpa, Sugimoto, and Shiraishi are able to find Kiroranke before Tanigaki shoots him, saying that there is something she needed to ask Kiroranke. Tsukishima orders Asirpa to move away from Kiroranke but Asirpa pleads him to stand back as if Kiroranke dies, she will never know the truth. Kiroranke struggles to stay alive, telling Asirpa to run away and meet with Sofia to talk about her father, believing that the key is within her. Asirpa looks at Kiroranke's wounds before saying that her memories had returned, and thanks him for getting her to remember. Upon hearing this, Kiroranke's expression relaxes and he tells Asirpa that he is leaving the rest to her, for their sake and with Sofia. Kiroranke calls out Sofia's name and Asirpa begins to ask him if it is true that he killed her father. However, Kiroranke never answers as she shakes his body, repeatedly saying his name.
Asirpa looks on forlornly as Shiraishi buries Kiroranke and she says that she wanted to hear directly from Kiroranke's mouth why her father had to die. Tanigaki relays what Inkarmat had said to him, that Kiroranke told her that Wilk had changed and betrayed his comrades. Asirpa wonders if her father really was killed because he killed the Ainu and took their gold, but Sugimoto reveals that just before he died, Wilk had claimed that he did not kill the Ainu, which left Asirpa feeling confused. Asirpa then remembers Sofia and looks around for her, since Sofia should know everything about her father and Kiroranke.
Asirpa sees a person off in the distance and both she and Sugimoto runs off to find the person, ignoring Koito's demands to stay by his side. As they get closer, they hear some violent sounds and upon peering around the ice block, sees Gansoku fighting a couple of Akou prisoners. They immediately turn to leave, pretending to ignore what they saw but Gansoku follows them back and helps carry Tsukishima, who is suffering from a neck injury. Asirpa continues to look around for Sofia and Sugimoto asks if they should come back to the drift ice after dropping the injured off at Akou. However, Asirpa says that it is not necessary as she knows they will meet Sofia again. Sugimoto then returns Asirpa's makiri knife to her and she thanks him as she puts it back on her sash.
Sugimoto's Group stops by a Nivkh settlement near Akou so that the soldiers can rest from their battle against Kiroranke. Meanwhile, Asirpa, Cikapasi, and Enonoka are shown around the settlement by the local Nivkh children. Asirpa notes that the Nivkh clothing looks similar to the Uilta clothing, commenting that they are all a little different and yet alike as well and that she would have never known about their culture had she stayed in Hokkaido.
When Gansoku and Svetlana leaves to cross the continent, Sugimoto tells Asirpa that she better let Huci know she is doing well too. Asirpa states that Tsurumi may not let her return to the kotan and Sugimoto thinks so as well, saying that Tsurumi only needs her for the tattoo code and that it would be better to work with him than with Hijikata. Asirpa is confused by this statement and asks him if her father had told him anything else but Sugimoto denies this.
Asirpa says that if she finds the gold, she may be able to find out why her father was killed and asks Sugimoto if he will continue to cooperate with Tsurumi, which he begrudgingly says that he will since Tsurumi has taken all of their tattooed skins and is the closest person to finding the gold which is still his main goal. Asirpa notes that this meant that they are walking the same path again and the two of them renew their partnership contract to work together once more.
In a to ryv, a Nivkh winter home, Sugimoto's Group listens to Enonoka translate a Nivkh legend about a man who put charcoal on his buttocks in order to scare away a monster that was approaching him. Once she had finished, Sugimoto wonders why such a weird story had been passed down in the Nivkh community but believes that there must be a lesson to it, which he asks Asirpa about. Asirpa replies that "those who do bad things are afraid of being seen". With Shiraishi off in the bathroom, Asirpa exclaims for Sugimoto to show her his butt and she put markings on it in order to emulate the legend to surprise Shiraishi. Once Shiraishi had returned, they found that Shiraishi also had the same idea to surprise them as well.
Sugimoto sees some Nivkh women working on something and asks Asirpa about it and she reveals that they are tanning fish skin which will be used to make boots and clothes. When Sugimoto sheepishly puts a fish skin hat on his head, Asirpa commends that it looks good on him. She tells Sugimoto that the Nivkh have their own traditional dish also made from fish skin called mos, which Sugimoto's Group enjoys. Sugimoto sees a Nivkh woman making medicine from plants and Enonoka tells him that it won't be enough to save Ogata's life, and Sugimoto declares that they must bring a doctor to treat Ogata.
Asirpa silently stares at Ogata's form as Koito objects to saving Ogata due to the risk from being in the country illegally where they can easily get reported on. However, Koito relents after Sugimoto informs him that Tsukishima also needs a doctor to take a look at him. Some time later, Sugimoto and Enonoka manages to return with a Russian doctor who examines both Tsukishima and Ogata. The doctor states that Ogata needs to be brought back to his hospital for better treatment and Sugimoto's Group sets out on the dog sled with Ogata tied down to it.
Sugimoto's Group arrives at the hospital and they wait outside of the building while the doctor and his nurse operates on Ogata. Once they had finished, the doctor steps out to inform Sugimoto's Group that despite doing all he could, Ogata is gradually getting weaker and he will die soon. Asirpa is crushed to hear the news and so Sugimoto decides to head inside the hospital to ask if there is any other way Ogata's life can be saved. Moments later, Sugimoto runs out screaming that Ogata has escaped and orders everyone to find him while telling Asirpa not to leave his side.
As Asirpa and Sugimoto searches for Ogata, Asirpa hears the sound of a horse running and sees Ogata making his escape, informing Sugimoto about it. When Sugimoto takes his rifle out to shoot, Asirpa asks if he is going to shoot Ogata but Sugimoto reassures her that he will only aim for the horse. However, Sugimoto fails to hit the horse or Ogata and both Asirpa and Sugimoto can only silently watch as Ogata makes his getaway.
Sugimoto's Group makes their way south towards the national border and stops by a Karafuto Ainu village to rest. They are given some of "grandma's chewed dango" to eat, which Sugimoto and Shiraishi becomes drunk off of. When Sugimoto begins to cry that he lost his miso case, Asirpa pretends not to know anything about it and feigns sorrow about the loss. Once Sugimoto, Shiraishi, and Tsukishima had recovered, Sugimoto's Group heads to Shizuka to do some shopping for necessities, and as they prepared to set off, Asirpa notices that Sugimoto had disappeared.
Shiraishi goes to look for Sugimoto but is suddenly shot in the leg by a sniper, alarming the whole group as Asirpa calls out to Shiraishi. Asirpa shouts to Shiraishi, telling him to get behind a building but Shiraishi says that he has been shot in the leg so he is unable to move quickly. The sniper shoots at them again and Asirpa along with Tanigaki, Cikapasi, and Enonoka hides behind the dog sleds for cover. As they hid, the soldiers comes to the conclusion that their attacker must be Hyakunosuke Ogata, as he is the only person who can shoot from a far distance.
Asirpa suggests that she, Tanigaki, Cikapasi, and Enonoka push the dog sled closer to Shiraishi so that they can rescue him. However, Tanigaki refuses, saying that if the sniper really is Ogata, then he might be after her. When Asirpa still tries to come up with a way to save Shiraishi, he tells her to stay away as he has a plan of his own. When Tsukishima lifts his cap up on his rifle for the sniper to shoot at, Tanigaki wonders if he is playing with the sniper, but Tsukishima says that it is for the sake of their coordinated attack in order for Sugimoto to find and defeat the sniper.
Koito calls out to an elderly man driving a horse-drawn sledge to stop or else he will be shot at. When the man passes by unharmed, Tsukishima raises his cap and figures out that Sugimoto was able to defeat the sniper. Hearing this, Asirpa immediately runs off to find Sugimoto despite Tanigaki calling out to her. She manages to find Sugimoto and overhears him telling the sniper how her presence has helped to cleanse and save him. Afterwards, the rest of Sugimoto's Group catches up and finds Sugimoto being friendly with the sniper.
Asirpa tells Sugimoto's Group that the sniper, Vasily was one of the soldiers after Kiroranke and Tsukishima tells Vasily that Kiroranke has died, that Ogata has gone missing, that they only came to retrieve Asirpa, and that they have nothing to do with the Russian Emperor's assassination. Afterwards, Sugimoto's Group leaves town but they notice Vasily following them on horseback and Shiraishi wonders if Vasily does not believe them about Kiroranke's death but Asirpa says that Vasily no longer cares about Kiroranke as his wanted poster was torn up to be used for drawing.
Asirpa asks Sugimoto if Ogata will come back and Sugimoto says that so long as she is the key to solving the code to the gold, there is a chance that he might. However, Asirpa notes that Ogata had acted like he was going to kill her and wonders if he really wanted the gold, to which Sugimoto suggests that Ogata is just stirring things up for the fun of it. Upon returning to the lighthouse and giving Svetlana's message to her parents, Asirpa and Sugimoto meets at the top of the lighthouse to talk about Sofia and how she is the only person to know the truth behind everything.
Sugimoto's Group decides to stay in Toyohara to wait for Tsurumi to arrive in Karafuto so Asirpa and Sugimoto goes out hunting and stumbles upon wolverine tracks. Despite Sugimoto's warning, Asirpa suggests they hunt one as she wonders what a wolverine's brain tastes like. Asirpa then prepares a prayer ritual, which Sugimoto notes that despite being a new Ainu woman, she still makes sure to perform her Ainu rituals. Asirpa states that since they will be heading into the mountains, they will be facing all kinds of danger and that performing the ritual helps to make them more focused. She says that now that they have matches, they only use their tools when they go out to hunt and laments how they will be able to leave them behind for the future.
They are then approached by two men who asks Asirpa to perform her ritual again and upon being questioned by Sugimoto reveals that they are here to record moving pictures. Before they could explain what moving pictures are, they are suddenly attacked by a wolverine. However, Asirpa and Sugimoto are able to kill the wolverine and its pack, and takes their brains out to eat. Sugimoto turns to one of the men, asking them what they were filming and they tell Sugimoto and Asirpa that they had been with two Karafuto Ainu men but got separated. Asirpa wonders if filming is different from taking pictures and the two men explains that their device is a cinematograph which they are using to record a lot about the Ainu culture.
|Significant plot details about Chapter 70 onwards end here.|
Abilities[edit | edit source]
Trapping, hunting, poison brewing, Ainu cuisine, knowledge of traditional medicine, deep knowledge of Hokkaido's flora and fauna, harsh winter survival.
Equipments[edit | edit source]
- Bow wrapped in cherry tree bark (Karimpaunku)
- Deerskin Boots (Yukker)
- Hiking Stick (Ekimnekuwa);
- Hunting Knife (Tasiro)
- Knapsack (Saranip)
- Quiver (Ikayop) And Arrow (Ay);
- Snowshoes (Cinru)
- Short Knife for Women (Menokomakiri)
Gallery[edit | edit source]
|Asirpa has an associated gallery here.|
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Wilk named her Asirpa, which mean "new year" but can also mean "future". Her childhood name was Ekasiotonpuy, which means "grandfather's butthole". Her Japanese name is Asuko Kochoube (小蝶辺明日子) (コチョウべアスコ). ”明日”, meaning 'tomorrow' or 'future', and ”子”, meaning 'child', is a common ending for feminine names.
- Asirpa likes salted brains and Sugimoto's osoma (miso) but dislikes snakes.
- Asirpa was born sometime in the 1890's.
- Asirpa's grandmother mentions that Asirpa is almost old enough to start receiving her tattoo. Ainu girls would begin receiving their tattoos when they are about 12-13, putting Asirpa around that age.
- In 2018 Golden Kamuy All-Stars popularity poll Asirpa ranked 4th, gaining 9 458 votes. 
- When asked what occupation Golden Kamuy characters would have if they lived in the present time, Satoru Noda said Asirpa would be a student in Otaru. 
- According to Golden Kamuy anime character reference sheet, Asirpa's height is 121 cm (3'11). 
Quotes[edit | edit source]
- "Hinna, hinna!"
- "I'm an Ainu girl for a new era!"
References[edit | edit source]
[edit | edit source]
|Main Group||Asirpa • Saichi Sugimoto • Yoshitake Shiraishi|
|Allies||Genjirou Tanigaki • Kiroranke ‡ • Vasily|
|Associates||Hyakunosuke Ogata • Tatsuma Ushiyama • Hajime Tsukishima • Otonoshin Koito|
|Main Group||Asirpa ‡ • Hyakunosuke Ogata • Kiroranke † • Yoshitake Shiraishi ‡|