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Kanto or wa yaku sak no arankep sinep ka isam.
— Nothing comes from heaven without purpose. (Ainu proverb)
In Hokkaido, the far northern lands of Japan, Sugimoto survived the Russo-Japanese war of the Meiji era. Nicknamed "Sugimoto the Immortal" during the war, he now seeks the riches promised by the gold rush in hopes of saving the widowed wife of his now deceased comrade from the war. During his hunt of gold, he finds hints of a hidden stash of gold by corrupt criminals. Partnering with an Ainu girl that saves his life from the harsh climates of the north, they venture into a survival adventure to race against the criminals that seek the hidden stash.
Asirpa (アシㇼパ) is a young Ainu huntress and the deuteragonist of Golden Kamuy series. She saves Sugimoto from a bear, and together they start their search for the Ainu gold.
Asirpa is an independent and capable young girl. She initially appears cold and withdrawn, but that quickly changes once she warms up to the other and exposes a more jovial and childish side.
As revealed by her uncle Makanakkuru, Asirpa changed after her father died. After being left alone, Asirpa relied on Retar and spent times with him in the mountains. One night, Retar left Asirpa while she begged the wolf to stay. Asirpa broke down in tears, being abandoned yet again. Since that day she rarely smiled, until she befriended Sugimoto; Makanakkuru notes that spending time with Sugimoto has given Asirpa back her smile. However, she still struggles with the fear of being abandoned, uncertain whether Sugimoto still stays by her side if they find the gold.
When with her friends and family, Asirpa is a playful and cheerful girl. She enjoys cooking and is enthusiastic about hunting. She occasionally likes to tease others, especially Sugimoto and Shiraishi.
As a hunter, Asirpa is aware of the cruelty of nature. She knows that in the wilderness weakness leads to death and thus is very pragmatic about survival. She acts mature and serious when hunting her prey or discussing the plans of finding the gold. However, Asirpa has strict principles and beliefs, as she refuses to murder people even if her life is at stake.