Kenkichi Aoyama (青山賢吉, Aoyama Kenkichi) was an Ani Matagi from the 1st Division.
Appearance[edit | edit source]
Aoyama has a square face with a long nose and eyebrows shaped like triangle and soft eyes. He has stubbles on his chin and his head is shaved with a widow's peak. He wore the Matagi clothes with a hood tied to his neck to keep his head warm from the cold winter.
As a member of the Imperial Japanese Army, Aoyama wears the standard military uniform and cap.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Aoyama is a friendly person with whom Genjirou Tanigaki got along well and joked with. He married Tanigaki's sister, Fumi, and loved her dearly that he did not want her to die a lonely and painful death and he was also willing to die alongside her. After Fumi's death and leaving Ani, Aoyama has always carried an enormous sense of guilt and wanted to apologize to the Tanigaki family for what happened to their sole daughter.
Aoyama was also a fearless man who would not hesitate to sacrifice himself for the sake of his comrades as he willingly threw himself at a Russian suicide bomber during battle.
Background[edit | edit source]
Aoyama grew up as a Matagi, and was one year younger than Tanigaki. During one of their Matagi hunts, when the both of them were assigned as "seko" to shout at their prey and drive it in front of the others with guns, they took shelter in a small area with a campfire. Tanigaki gave Aoyama one of his specially made kane mochi, which he was able to correctly guess had walnuts in it.
Sometime later, Aoyama got married to Fumi, Tanigaki's younger sister and went to live a quiet life in a house separate from the village. However, one day, Fumi fell ill with smallpox and despite hearing stories of how relatives abandoned their own ill family members, Aoyama couldn't bring himself to do that as he loved her dearly. As he did not want Fumi to die a lonely death, he was determined to die with her, but Fumi wouldn't let him do that. Since the Tanigaki family would surely find her if Aoyama doesn't come down to the village, Fumi asked Aoyama to kill her and leave the village so that no one else would become infected. She told her husband that if he did not catch her disease, then he should live on and find his own purpose in life. Aoyama then euthanized her using the method he was most familiar with, by use of his masuke which he left behind and set fire to their own house, leaving the village without telling her family about her death.
Aoyama then left Akita and joined the Imperial Japanese Army where he was assigned to the 1st Division. He became a part of the same platoon as Saichi Sugimoto and got acquainted enough with him to tell him about the Akita dialect and his past as a hunter in Ani.
Aoyama took part in the battle on 203 Hill as a part of the 1st Division. When the Japanes army had built trenches to take cover in, and the Russians growing desperate, strapped grenades on themselves to make suicidal assaults, Aoyama jumped from the trenches and tackled one of them, preventing them from blowing up his comrades. As a result, Aoyama lost his eyesight, his hearing, and his legs, with his innards spilling out, which would lead to his eventual death. Before dying, he was able to tell Tanigaki, unaware that it was him, his story of how Fumi died. As he begged Tanigaki to tell the Tanigaki family his story, Tanigaki gave him a piece of his kane mochi with walnuts. Aoyama instantly recognized the taste and asked if the person was Tanigaki, before taking his last breath.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- In 2018 Golden Kamuy All-Stars popularity poll Aoyama ranked 95th, gaining 155 votes.