Appearance[edit | edit source]
Tsukishima is a short but thickset, strong man, with dark hair and dark eyes. His eyes give him a stern look with heavy tear trough underneath them. He has a rather small nose as well as a small goatee with a shaved head, He has quite a muscular physique and wears the standard Japanese military uniform with a big coat over it.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Tsukishima is a very serious man, taking orders from his superiors and being rather dilligent and dependable. Tsukishima is unfailingly polite and will address other people with honourifics and by their title, even when he does not have a high impression of or is upset with them. He is shown to be extremely loyal, though due to certain events regarding his past and Tsurumi's involvement in tricking him into learning Russian for use during the Russo-Japanese war may cast some of this into doubt.
He is brutal and efficient in a fight, willing to put himself into the fray and end the conflict as quickly as possible, whether that means kicking an animal off of his superior's back or just throwing bombs to clear out as many people as physically possible. By Tsukishima's own admittance, he is willing to dirty his own hands in order to get the necessary results that he desire.
He is described as "the conscience of the 7th Division.", often acting as the straight man as the entire group crumbles into chaos around him.
Despite his stoic demeanor, Tsukishima has shown to care for his comrades as seen when he offered words of consolation to Genjirou Tanigaki who had been verbally reprimanded and continued to show concern even when he is unable to address them directly.
Background[edit | edit source]
Hajime Tsukishima was born on the island of Sado and grew up with a father who was widely detested by the locals. As a result of his father's reputation, he was known as the "murderer's son" and called many other names as he would often fight with the other people on the island. His only friend was a girl with wild, unruly hair called Igogusa, who was the only person to ever call him by his name, Hajime.
As a young man, Tsukishima enrolled into the 2nd Division out of Shibata and fought in the First Sino-Japanese War that occured shortly afterwards. Before leaving to fight in the war, Tsukishima told Igogusa that when the war is over, that he will marry her and leave the island together. However, around the end of the war, Tsukishima stopped receiving letters from Igogusa and upon returning to Sado, learnt that he had been thought dead by the locals.
Tsukishima frantically searched for Igogusa whose shoes were found on the shores of the sea and everytime he saw egogusa seaweed washed up on the beach, it sent chills up his spine. He then began to think who it was that had spread rumours about his death and traced it back to his father. Filled with rage, Tsukishima killed his own father before he could ask why he had spread the rumours of his demise. As a result of committing patricide, Tsukishima was arrested and thrown into the army prison to be executed for the crime of parricide.
Sometime later in Meiji 29 (1896), his superior, the 2nd Lieutenant of the 2nd Division, Tsurumi paid him a visit in prison where Tsukishima recounted his early days to him. After telling him his story, Tsurumi went out to do some investigation on "Igogusa" and came back with the lie that "Igogusa" was still alive and produced some egogusa seaweed that he passed off as "Igogusa's" hair in order to relieve Tsukishima's mind. Tsurumi then tried to recruit Tsukishima into the 7th Division where he had been transferred to and told him to study Russian in order to become an interpreter despite Tsukishima's insistence that he cannot speak Russian.
In Meiji 35 (1902), Tsukishima, Ogata, and Kikuta were among the Imperial Japanese Army soldiers dispatched to Fort Goryokaku in Hakodate to assist with the Koito kidnapping case. As the three soldiers removed the bodies of the dead Russian kidnappers, they stared sombrely at Tsurumi joking around with Heiji Koito and his 16 years old son Otonoshin Koito.
Tsukishima took part in the Siege of Port Arthur where he fought in the Battle of 203 Hill along with his division and the other divisions of the Imperial Japanese Army. They were able to take 203 Hill with Tsurumi claiming victory.
Nine years later after being freed from prison in Meiji 38 (1905), on Mukden during the Russo-Japanese War, Tsukishima who had been injured, was approached by a young soldier from his home island on Sado and told that "Igogusa's" body had been found. Realizing that Tsurumi had lied to him, Tsukishima roared at Tsurumi and confronted his superior with fury in his eyes. With a scream of rage, Tsukishima punched Tsurumi and grabbed him, asking why he had found Igogusa's bones under his father's house and if he had been lying to him for the past nine years. Tsurumi states that he had done so because Tsukishima had already come to accept his execution and that if he knew Igogusa was still alive, he would feel regret.
Tsukishima angrily retorted if he should feel grateful to him but after hearing Tsurumi's praise for him, broke down saying that he never wanted him to use her to deceive him. As Tsurumi was about to tell him more about Igogusa, the Russians began to bombard their location and Tsukishima pushed Tsurumi down in order to protect him. However, Tsurumi's face ended up getting injured as Tsukishima was sent flying by the impact. As Tsukishima slipped in and out of consciousness, he has a vision of Igogusa speaking to him and Tsurumi at the monument for the dead as he subconsciously replied to Tsurumi asking if he was still alive. The 7th Division brought them both to a frozen body of water to be carried away and Tsukishima stares quietly at the soldier who had given up a sledge as he is carried away.
Once their wounds had been treated, Tsurumi talks more about Igogusa's story to Tsukishima and spoke about the Ainu plan that he plans to execute once the war was over. Tsukishima then says that since Tsurumi had saved his life, he will pledge to use what remains of it for his service, to which Tsurumi says he is glad to hear as he pats Tsukishima on the shoulder.
Plot[edit | edit source]
At a certain location during the night time, Tsukishima and Tsurumi are checking out various guns that were sold to them by Mr. Thomas. He notes that the guns are fairly old and that semi-automatic models of shotguns were recently developed. Mr. Thomas tells them that good guns require good money, and that they'll have to make do with what he gave them for the amount they have. He then says that they should have enough money once they get what they're after.
In the coal mining town of Yubari, under the commands of Tsurumi, Tsukishima is staking out a grave of a man who died in a mining incident, along with his superior and Kouhei Nikaidou in order to catch the grave robber. He questions if the grave robber would really take their bait, to which Tsurumi says that news of the mining incident must've spread all over town in no time and that the grave robber surely must've heard of it.
As Tsurumi is distracted by Nikaidou asking if he could give him his ear, he spots a silhouetted man to which he calls Tsurumi's attention. However, Nikaidou steps on a branch which alarms Tsukishima and Tsurumi and alerts the man, causing him to run. Tsurumi orders the two men to chase after him and Tsukishima with rifle in hand, tells Nikaidou not to kill him.
After the chase, Tsukishima met up with a doctor in Yubari who told him that a man with a strange tattoo was carried into his clinic after a mining accident and passed away. He then went to the graveyard where he was buried and attempted to dig it up only to find that it was empty. Sometime later, Tsukishima and Nikaidou are seen in a house next to the Edogai Taxidermy store, ready to fire in case anything happens. When Nikaidou asks if it would be better to just kill Edogai and search the store, Tsukishima tells him that if Tsurumi really was planning to kill him, he'd have done it as soon as he answered the door. 
As Tsukishima observes Tsurumi praising Edogai trying out various costumes made from human skins, he rubs his eye and wonders just what is happening in that house. He then looks around and notices that Nikaidou has disappeared. Afterwards, Tsurumi and Nikaidou heads back to Otaru, leaving another member of the 7th division, Maeyama with him to look after Edogai. However, when Edogai gets frustrated with his work, he tries to cheer him up only to get yelled and threatened at. Edogai continues to throw a big tantrum while the two soldiers can only look on, doing nothing.
When Edogai gets angry because someone had slammed the door to his store while he was working, he comes out and yells at Tsukishima and Maeyama. He endures Edogai telling the both of them to take a bath and to apologize to a mount of Tsurumi that Edogai had created. Once again, he just silently stares at Edogai during another one of his tantrum.
Tsukishima heads out for a trip to the bathhouse and merrily sings a song about how bad the town is but then realizes that he forgot his wallet. He heads back to the Edogai store to retrieve it, unaware that he is being tailed by Saichi Sugimoto and Yoshitake Shiraishi. Along the way, he is stopped by an elderly man who tells him that he saw a white bear running around, but he thinks that he is just joking. Entering the store, he sees Hyakunosuke Ogata and engages him in combat. While fighting, he berates Ogata for killing Maeyama and his plan to rise through the ranks by turning Tsurumi's platoon in. He calls out for Edogai but then realizes the white bear that the old man told him about was him in disguise. Tsukishima flees the store in order to find Edogai and asks around town if anyone has seen a white bear. He is able to locate Edogai and rescue him from Ogata's interrogation by taking him into a mine cart that he rode in.
Tsukishima and Edogai heads into the mine but are being pursued by Sugimoto and Shiraishi in another cart. He and Sugimoto exchange gunfire at each other, but eventually Sugimoto's cart was able to catch up to them. Tsukishima then triggers a switch that causes their carts to go separate ways. However, since the miners had just lit a dynamite, they all are caught up in an explosion. Once it had died down, Tsukishima frantically searches for Edogai to find him trapped under a pile of rubble, with his legs crushed. Edogai hands the bag of skins and a final message to pass on to Tsurumi. With that, Tsukishima attempts to make his way out of the mines.
Tsukishima was able to escape the mines and made his way back to Otaru to make his report to Tsurumi. He delivered the fake tattoed skins that Edogai had made as well as Edogai's last word to his commander. Afterwards, Tsurumi tells him that he has done an excellent job and that he should take a long rest. Putting on his hood, Tsukishima steps out into the rain to make his way to his destination.
When Nikaidou was severely wounded on a mission against Sugimoto and Hijikata, he was brought to a hospital in Otaru to be treated, and Tsukishima would look after him. However, Tsukishima had to argue with Nikaidou due to him stealing bottles of morphine every so often. He was then brought out by Tsurumi to meet Lieutenant General Narizou Arisaka whom Tsukishima did not recognize at first. After apologizing to Arisaka and observing his exchange with Tsurumi, he wonders just how much he does not know about Tsurumi.
Arisaka then brought out some guns designed by him and his subordinates which Tsukishima immediately tested out. He continued to listen to the two eccentric men talking until Tsurumi brought up Nikaidou's plight. They returned to the hospital to find that Nikaidou is trying to steal morphine again, which Tsukishima tries to wrestle away from him. When Arisaka gave him a prosthetic leg capable of firing shotgun shells, Tsukishima, Tsurumi, Arisaka, and a strange man congratulates him on getting a new leg.
With the wolverine still outside the banya, Tsukishima wonders what they can do about their situation before noticing that Gansoku is adding more steam to the room, much to his desperation. When Gansoku takes out a venik and begins to slap everyone, Tsukishima allows himself to fall into his pace while wondering what he is doing. Koito thinks this is all part of Sugimoto's brilliant plan, but Tsukishima denies it. They then notice that the wolverine has finally turned its attention elsewhere, to Sugimoto and notes that a wild animal is doing battle with a monster. With the wolverine killed by Tanigaki and Cikapasi, they are able to leave the banya.
When Sugimoto and Gansoku begins to fight, Koito wonders if they should help and Tsukishima asks who he intends to help. Tanigaki says that the fight must be stopped so they rushed in to break them up, but the ice underneath them breaks, sending them all into the cold water. The five of them immediately jumps out, with Tsukishima helping Koito out, and back into the banya to warm themselves up. In the banya, Tsukishima agrees with Sugimoto's idea not to let Gansoku die, telling him to leave Karafuto and even suggests heading to Russia where he can continue to practice stenka. He then silently listened as Gansoku tells Sugimoto about his encounter with Asirpa.
As Gansoku takes Tsukishima's advice and leaves Karafuto, Koito asks Tsukishima why he let Gansoku go without consulting Tsurumi. Tsukishima then tells him that Tsurumi has left all decision making up to him, then turns to Sugimoto, saying that it also included what to do with him. He warns Sugimoto that if he were to ever lose control again, then he will kill him. Sugimoto's group comes to a Karafuto Ainu village and decides to stay there for the night. When Koito complains about not continuing on to Toyohara just to sleep at a wonderful inn, Tsukishima reassures him that they will arrive in Toyohara the next day since they need to do some shopping there.
They eventually reach Toyohara whereupon Sugimoto's bag is stolen by a young boy so Tsukishima, Sugimoto, and Koito chases after him. Tsukishima asks Sugimoto if Gansoku's tattoo is in the bag to which he admits it before splitting up with the others so that they can catch the thief between them. As he rejoins with Sugimoto, they hear a gunshot which was fired by Koito who had managed to catch up with the thief.
The thief and his master begins to apologize to the soldiers for the trouble that the boy had caused, and the master decides to take things further by taking his sword out to cut the thief. After clearing up the misunderstanding, they reveal that it was fake blood as part of a magic trick and that the two belongs to the Yamada Circus Troupe. This gives Sugimoto an idea to join their act so as to pass the message to Asirpa that he is alive by having the whole town of Toyohara talk about his performance.
Initially, Yamada refuses Sugimoto's request but gives in after Sugimoto threatens him and at Choukichi's suggestion. They are then led into the troupe's tent where they see some of their performances and given an opportunity to try them out. While Koito continue to deliver excellent performances one after the other, Tsukishima, Sugimoto, and Tanigaki perform poorly and so Yamada tells Sugimoto to practice the harakiri act and has Tsukishima and Tanigaki relegated to the Girls Group dance led by Fumie Yamada. Unlike Tanigaki, Tsukishima is not intimidated by Fumie's harsh words and attempts to console Tanigaki. However, Tanigaki is only upset that he is a burden on the GIrls Group as he cannot dance well.
When Tanigaki continues to make mistakes during the Girls Group dance routine, thus earning the ire of Fumie which causes him to cry again, Tsukishima watches from behind a stack of boxes as some of the girls console him. Tsukishima and the other solders kept practicing their acts until the day of the performance finally arrives as the whole troupe gets ready for their show. Tsukishima quietly takes part in the Girls Group dance as he partners up with Tanigaki. At a certain time, he put a photograph of Tsurumi on the tightrope so that Koito would notice and fail at his performance, however he watched as Koito was instead able to increase his popularity with the crowd. Afterwards, the Girls Group performed another dance and headed to the back where they celebrated their success, as Tsukishima silently watches them.
When Koito finds that the photograph of Tsurumi wasn't originally his, Tuskishima confessed that he had placed the photograph on the tightrope as he had figured Koito would be a huge success and as such there would be no point to doing the show themselves. He then laments that his plan had backfired but became curious when Koito expressed concern as he had switched Sugimoto's fake blade with a real one, since he believed that Sugimoto had taken his photo.
When Sugimoto cuts himself with Koito's blade and looks around in bewilderment, he sees Tsukishima and Koito holding the fake blade but when he decides to continue with the show, Tsukishima is surprised by this. As Sugimoto prepares to cut his stomach, Tsukishima and the others notice several Russian men walking on stage, one of whom points a gun at Sugimoto. However, Sugimoto is able to counter and kill two of them as Tsukishima knocks out the third one. Yamada tells everyone to go out for the final bow so that they can recover the bodies.
Some time later, Tsukishima interrogates the Russian man that he knocked out and finds that their target was Yamada and that they were hired by the Russian government to kill him. Tsukishima asks if Yamada is a spy, to which Yamada admits his background to Sugimoto's Group. Afterwards, Tsukishima was able to gain a copy of the newspaper and finds an article about their performance. Tsukishima then tells Yamada about their purpose and he tells them about the Alexandrovskaya Prison, where members of a partisan group were being held in. Sugimoto's Group believes that is where Kiroranke will eventually head towards to as Tsukishima comments that while their Karafuto performance was a failure, they were able to gain important information from Yamada.
Sugimoto's group then uses Enonoka's dogs to travel north to the national border through heavy snowstorms. Koito notes that the weather has gotten worse and Tsukishima comments that they will be in trouble if they don't find shelter. Just as Enonoka's grandfather finds a building nearby, Tsukishima notices that Sugimoto's sled is no longer following them and tells him to stop. He fires off a gunshot which Tanigaki responds with his own, and Tsukishima asks Koito if he had heard something, but Koito is unable to hear him through the strong winds.
As Tsukishima continues to search, Koito tells him that they will be in trouble too if they continue to stay in the blizzard. They both then hopped back onto the dog sled as Tsukishima says they should head to the building that Enonoka's grandfather found. Inside, they see cows but Tsukishima maintains that they should focus on getting a fire started to get warm. When Koito expresses concerns about Sugimoto's party, Tsukishima tells him that since Tanigaki is with them, they won't die so easily.
Tsukishima and Koito heads out once more and Tsukishima fires off another gunshot, but just then an elderly Russian man approaches and speak to them. Tsukishima tells him that they lost their companions nearby, to which the Russian man takes them to a lighthouse. Tsukishima and Koito prepares the lighthouse for use and turns it on. When Koito attempts to look for Sugimoto's party, Tsukishima tells him not to stand in front of the light as he will block it out.
When Sugimoto, Tanigaki, and Cikapasi finally rejoined them, Tsukishima tells them about the space above the pechka which is the warmest part of the room. As they huddle in the spot, Tsukishima says that they are lucky to be alive as the lighthouse had not been use since the Russo-Japanese War and that if the Russian couple had not been here, they'd be frozen to death. He then turns to the couple and thanks them in their language.
When the three had gotten warm enough, they help Enonoka's grandfather make another sled to replace the one they had burned for fire and upon finishing it, Tsukishima says that they will be able to set off. Just then, Koito yells out to Tsukishima, saying that a hammer is stuck to his hand. Tsukishima tells him that it is due to him touching metal with his bare hand at a cold temperature, and calls for someone to urinate on the hammer so that they can pull it off. Sugimoto volunteers to do so, which causes Koito to run outside.
Sometime later, the Russian couple prepares some food for Sugimoto's group and they all gather around a table to eat. When Cikapasi asks how to say "delicious" in Russian, Tsukishima tells him it is "vkusno", which Cikapasi, Sugimoto, and Enonoka repeats. When Sugimoto and Koito asks about the Russian couple's home life, Tsukishima translates to them that their daughter had been taken by some Russian army deserters and that the government had done nothing to help them. Sugimoto then says that the lighthouse had saved their lives and asks to borrow a picture of their daughter.
As Sugimoto's group says their farewells to the Russian couple, Tsukishima tries to confront Sugimoto about their objective, but Sugimoto tells him that they are just going to ask around about their daughter at the places they stop at and that even though their original goal is their top priority, he wishes to repay the couple. Afterwards, Sugimoto's group leaves the lighthouse to continue their journey.
Sugimoto's group stops by a Karafuto Ainu village in Niitoi where Sugimoto asks the local childern about Asirpa and the Russian couple's daughter, whose name Tsukishima states to be Svetlana. As they rested in a hut, they overhear Cikapasi and Enonoka talking about a meko oyasi and Tsukishima was able to figure out that it is a lynx from Enonoka's description of the monster cat.
Koito wonders if they are talking about Ogata and that they may have caught up with Asirpa's group. Sugimoto asks what Ogata has to do with a lynx, and Tsukishima explains that "wildcat" is a slang term for "geisha" and that it is just a pathetic joke that was passed around through their division. Koito then goes on to talk more about Ogata and his personailty while Tsukishima and Tanigaki continued to remain silent on the subject.
As Sugimoto stares at the copy of Gansoku's tattoo, Tsukishima asks him if he realized something but Koito says that Sugimoto wouldn't be able to solve the tattoo's mystery since he is an idiot. Sugimoto fires back, saying that he did realize something but he won't tell either of them what it is. They then hear a loud commotion coming from outside and checks to see that an escaped killer has taken Enonoka captive. However, Sugimoto and Cikapasi are able to subdue the killer and rescue Enonoka.
With the killer tied up, Sugimoto says that he could've killed him since the Ainu doesn't practice the death penalty, but the Ainu states that they have their own ways of dealing with criminals, to which Koito is curious about. The Ainu reveal that they stab needles into their eyes and bury the criminals alive in a bottomless casket, to which Koito notes that even when punishing criminals, they do not want to directly kill them and Tsukishima comments that it just goes to show how much the Ainu dislike the act of murder.
Sugimoto's Group runs into an Orok settlement where one of the men is able to speak Russian, and so Tsukishima is able to find information about Asirpa's whereabouts. Tsukishima then calls for Koito who had ran off to chase a little reindeer. Sugimoto then suggests that they put a reindeer collar around Koito's neck, which Koito found to be rude, asking Tsukishima if he thought so too, but Tsukishima just stayed silent as he stared at the reindeer collar.
Inside the tent, Cikapasi and Enonoka finds some carved statues and Sugimoto's Group wonders what kind of animal they are. Tsukishima speaks to the Orok man and reveals that it was left behind by a man from the Nanai people and that even the Oroks does not know what it is. Afterwards, Sugimoto's Group makes their way to Akou Prison. As they got closer to the prison, they hear a loud explosion and sees smoke flowing in the distance. Using his binoculars, Tsukishima tells everyone that the smoke is coming from Akou Prison.
Upon arriving at Akou Prison, they find that they are too late as Asirpa's Group has already left but Tsukishima notes that they must still be close. Sugimoto then has Ryu sniff out Asirpa's scent from her makiri knife, saying that he now believes in the dog. When Cikapasi and Enonoka suddenly screams, everyone turns around to see an Amur tiger coming out from the hole in the prison's wall. Tsukishima and Tanigaki both shoots at the tiger, managing to scare it away.
Sugimoto's Group attempts to look for Asirpa's Group but their sleds are unable to maneuver across the drift ice as it has become too rough and uneven and Tanigaki warns that the weather might get worse, saying that it would be too dangerous to go after Asirpa's Group. However, Sugimoto is adamant that Asirpa is close and cuts Ryu's leash to go look for her. Tsukishima, Koito, and Tanigaki goes to look for Sugimoto, following his tracks when Tsukishima notices a person hiding among several blocks of ice. He finds that the person is Svetlana, the daughter of the lighthouse couple and calls out to the others to stop, but they are unable to hear him. Tsukishima grumbles that he does not have the time to deal with the girl but stops and asks if she is indeed Svetlana.
Svetlana is confused that he knows who she is and he tells her that her parents had helped him and his group and that they asked them to look for her. He asks Svetlana if she is alone and why she is here, and she replies that she just wanted to get away from life on an empty, boring island. Tsukishima tells her to get up and head towards the dog sled where they will take her home on but she resists, saying that she wants to see Saint Petersburg. Hearing this, Tsukishima explodes at her, asking if she is even going to let her parents know she is alive and questions how she could be so cruel to make them wait. Svetlana breaks down, saying that she could not tell her parents that she had committed robbery and been arrested as a result.
As Tsukishima attempts to escort Svetlana, they are approached by Koito who calls out to him. Koito is surprised to see a woman with Tsukishima and Tsukishima tells him she is the daughter of the elderly couple at the lighthouse that had helped them. Suddenly, Koito gets angry and tells Tsukishima to forget about Svetlana. Later, they manage to find Tanigaki wounded and lying on the ground with Tsukishima asking who had injured him. Tanigaki says that the culprit was Kiroranke and Tsukishima tells him not to get up as he and Koito will take care of the rest. Koito notices a trail of blood leading elsewhere and Tanigaki informs them that Kiroranke had also been wounded. Koito draws his saber, telling Tsukishima to get moving and orders Svetlana to wait with Tanigaki.
As they look around on the drift ice, Tsukishima and Koito finds Tanigaki's rifle and Koito picks it up with Tsukishima noting that the blood trail continues on. Koito sees some strings attached to the gun and Tsukishima is able to react quickly enough to pull Koito down to barely avoid Kiroranke's explosive booby trap as they are blown away by the explosion. As Koito recovers from the blast, he checks on Tsukishima to find that his neck had been heavily wounded with Tsukishima covering it to mitigate the blood loss. Tsukishima looks at Koito, asking him if he had been injured but Koito only reacts with rage as he continues the search for Kiroranke despite Tsukishima's plead to not go by himself.
Tsukishima is able to recover from his injuries and he meets up with Tanigaki to find Koito in a struggle to the death with Kiroranke. The two soldiers both shoots at Kiroranke, causing him to fall to the ground and allowing Koito to get up. Tsukishima calls out to Koito but he tells them not to interfere, saying that he will finish Kiroranke himself as he picks up his saber. With their guards lowered, Kiroranke detonates a bomb and throws it at Tsukishima and Koito. However, Koito is able to cut it down and avoid being blown up. Tsukishima orders Tanigaki to fire at Kiroranke but they are stopped by Asirpa who begs them not to kill Kiroranke. Tsukishima ignores her and tells her to move away, pointing his rifle at Kiroranke but Asirpa pleads him to back down as if Kiroranke dies, she will never know the truth. Tsukishima then quietly watches as Asirpa and Kiroranke exchange words before Kiroranke passes away from his wounds.
Tsukishima and the others continue to remain silent as Shiraishi buries Kiroranke and gives him an eulogy. Just as Asirpa wonders where Sofia is, Tsukishima begins to feel fatigued from the pain in his neck and both Koito and Tanigaki tends to him. Sugimoto and Asirpa momentarily runs off to check on a person that Asirpa had found and returns with Gansoku who helps to carry Tsukishima, much to his annoyance.
Sugimoto's Group stops by a Nivkh settlement near Akou and Tsukishima is given a bed to recover from his wounds while the other soldiers discusses Ogata's motives for working with Kiroranke. Tsukishima calls out to Svetlana and tells her that he understands not only her for wanting to leave the island, but her parents as well for wanting to know that she is safe. He suggests that she cross over to the continent with Gansoku before telling her to write a letter to her parents, promising that he will give it to them so that they can have salvation. Svetlana agrees to do so, telling Tsukishima that she wants to become a strong woman and make a name for herself in Saint Petersburg so that she can have her parents join her.
As they continue to rest, Sugimoto's Group listens to Enonoka translate a Nivkh legend about a man who scared a monster away by putting charcoal on his buttocks and showing it to the monster. Afterwards, Tsukishima, Koito, and Tanigaki watches silently as Sugimoto and Asirpa attempts to emulate the story to prank Shiraishi who had also thought of the same idea to prank the both of them as well.
When some of the Nivkh women prepares a dish called mos for Sugimoto's Group to eat, Koito excitedly shouts out the name and begins to eagerly eat it. Tsukishima notes that Koito seems to be in an awfully good mood and Koito reveals that the food reminded him of his father. Koito says that they were able to accomplish their goal of getting Asirpa back and that he is happy that he will be able to report it to his father. Tsukishima responds that he is sure that not only his father but Tsurumi will be proud of him. Koito is happy to hear Tsukishima's word and so gives him some mos, however Tsukishima has difficulty eating it while bedridden with his injuries.
Enonoka tells Sugimoto's Group that the Nivkh women are making medicine for both Tsukishima and Ogata, but it will not be enough to save Ogata's life. Sugimoto then declares that they must bring a doctor, but Koito objects that they shouldn't put their lives at risk just to save Ogata. Sugimoto then tells him that Tsukishima also needs a doctor to look at him. Some time later, Sugimoto returns with a Russian doctor who has a look at Tsukishima and he asks him if they are Japanese soldiers. Tsukishima replies that they only came to get a girl who was taken from them and that as soon as he recovers, they will return to Japan without causing trouble.
The doctor has a look at Ogata next and states that his injuries are so severe that he must be brought back to his hospital, which Tsukishima translates for Sugimoto and Koito. However, Koito refuses the change of location, upsetting the doctor. Despite Koito's refusal, Sugimoto agrees to the doctor's recommendation, saying that since he has a lot of things he wishes to ask Ogata, he will not let him die just yet. Tsukishima informs Sugimoto and Koito that the doctor has threatened to report them to the Russian army, and as such all of their hard work would be wasted. Sugimoto's Group finally heads out for the hospital with Ogata strapped down to the sled and Tsukishima stays behind to nurse his own wounds.
Sugimoto's Group returns without Ogata who has regained consciousness and escaped so they head towards the national border out of Russia 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. As Tsukishima rested, Koito asks him what the Russian word "barchonok" means and Tsukishima reveals that it is basically calling someone a "pampered brat". When Tsukishima questions Koito where he had heard the word, Koito just remained silent with an upset look on his face.
By the time Sugimoto's Group reached Shizuka, Tsukishima's wounds had healed enough for him to move around to help with shopping for necessities. Once they had finished, they prepared to set off as Tsukishima says that they need to get as much distance that they can while it is still light out. However, they find that Sugimoto has disappeared so Shiraishi goes to look for him. Shiraishi is suddenly shot in the leg, alarming the whole group, and prompting Tsukishima and Koito to hide behind the dog sleds.
Koito tries looking for the shooter but Tsukishima warns him not to stick his head out. Koito turns to Tsukishima, asking to borrow his hand mirror but Tsukishima is confused by his request, causing Koito to tell him to give him his own hand mirror from his bag. Koito takes a moment to touch up his face before raising the mirror only for it to be quickly shot at. Tsukishima notes that the sniper is shooting from quite a distance away, and Sugimoto's Group comes to the conclusion that their attacker could only be Hyakunosuke Ogata. As they continue to hide, Koito is frustrated that they cannot move at all and asks Tsukishima what they are going to do.
Tsukishima sees Sugimoto running around town and Koito is in disbelief that the sniper who they presume to be Ogata would overlook him. Tsukishima then calls out to Shiraishi, telling him to get over to their location so that he can be treated for his wound, However Shiraishi declines, saying that he never planned to ask for help from him. Tsukishima then puts his cap on his rifle and lifts it for the sniper to shoot at. When Tanigaki wonders if he is playing with the sniper, Tsukishima reveals that he is keeping the sniper's attention drawn to them so that Sugimoto can find the sniper, saying that he will be the sniper's nightmare if he can manage to get close to the sniper.
Koito calls out to an elderly man driving a horse-drawn sledge, telling him to stop or he will be shot at. However, the man continues to drive by them, confused by Koito's words. Seeing him pass by unscathed, Tsukishima raises his cap, and figures out that Sugimoto has stopped the sniper. Sugimoto's Group heads into the building where the sniper was and finds both Sugimoto and the sniper lying on the floor drawing pictures. They find out that the sniper Vasily was one of the Russian soldiers after Kiroranke. Tsukishima speaks to Vasily in Russian, telling him 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 death. Outside, they are confronted by an angry Shiraishi who yells at Vasily for shooting him, which Tsukishima translates for Vasily. Afterwards, they leave town to head back to the Russian lighthouse where they give Svetlana's message to her parents and Svetlana's mother hugs Tsukishima in appreciation. In Toyohara, Tsukishima and Koito tells the rest of Sugimoto's Group that Tsurumi has business to attend to in Noboribetsu and that he will come to meet them in Odamari in two weeks time so they will stay in Toyohara for a while. Some time later, Tsukishima observes Sugimoto and Asirpa hunting from afar with his binoculars when he notices Vasily nearby, telling him to go back to Russia.
Abilities and Equipments[edit | edit source]
Tsukishima is armed with a rifle. He is also proficient enough to earn the rank of Sergeant and the trust of First Lieutenant Tsurumi.
Russian language - Tsukishima is fluent enough in the Russian language to hold conversations with native Russian speakers. However, he is not proficient enough to translate difficult expressions.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
|Hajime Tsukishima has an associated gallery here.|
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Tsukishima's name contains the kanji:
- (月) Moon
- (島) Island
- (基) Basement, first
- Tsukishima likes egoneri.
- In 2018 Golden Kamuy All-Stars popularity poll Tsukishima ranked 3rd, gaining 9 851 votes. 
References[edit | edit source]
[edit | edit source]
|7th Division members||Hajime Tsukishima • Kikuta • Kouhei Nikaidou • Maeyama † • Mishima † • Otonoshin Koito • Tokushirou Tsurumi • Tokishige Usami †• Youhei Nikaidou †|
|Deserters||Genjirou Tanigaki • Hyakunosuke Ogata • Noma † • Komiya • Okada † • Rikimatsu Ariko • Tamai †|
|Allies||Heiji Koito • Narizou Arisaka • Terunaka Yodogawa • Yasaku Edogai †|
|Associates||Koujirou Hanazawa † • Yuusaku Hanazawa † • Wada †|
|Main Group||Asirpa • Saichi Sugimoto • Yoshitake Shiraishi|
|Allies||Genjirou Tanigaki • Kiroranke ‡ • Vasily|
|Associates||Hyakunosuke Ogata • Tatsuma Ushiyama • Hajime Tsukishima • Otonoshin Koito|