Tokushirou Tsurumi (鶴見篤四郎, Tsurumi Tokushirō) is the 1st Lieutenant of the 7th Division and one of the antagonists of the series.
Tsurumi is a Japanese man whose most distinguishable physical trait is a metal plate that covers his forehead. He has his hair slicked on the back of his head and has a handlebar moustache and goatee. He is of average height and has a lean build.
Tsurumi usually wears his officer uniform with a coat to protect himself from the cold.
As Kouichi Hasegawa, Tsurumi sported a buzzcut hairstyle and wore round fake glasses. He would wear a fur suit, a pair of boots, and carry some of his photography tools in a handbag and a briefcase. While at home, Tsurumi also wore a dark vest over a light long-sleeved button up shirt as well as straw shoes.
Tsurumi has an unpredictable, mildly histrionic and erratic behaviour. However, In the past, Tsurumi was normal and was even a brave Japanese officer who fought at the front during the Russo-Japanese war.
Receiving a shrapnel in the head and the general bitterness at the poor treatment his division has received after the war has made Tsurumi psychotic and violent, though some of his manipulative tendencies may have been present even before the injury. He is prone to threatening people and personally inflicting physical injury on his enemies but hides his brutal tendencies under a veneer of sophistication and sympathy. He also genuinely admires the macabre work of Edogai and develops a friendship with him. Tsurumi never becomes angry, but coldly manifests his rage with a brutal gesture, perhaps due to his brain damage.
Tsurumi aims to take over Hokkaido and is very ruthless in his methods. He kills anyone in his way or threatens his plan. He seems to still hold the men under his command in high regard but hates traitors. He has shown a level of care for his subordinates as seen when he tries to get Nikaidou to eat his food and provide prosthetic limbs for him.
Tsurumi is also a very charismatic and manipulative man that can sway the minds of other people with a powerful and explosive speech. As a result, he is not above lying to other people if it is to get what he desires, such as loyal and strong followers.
Under the identity of Kouichi Hasegawa, Tsurumi was a humble and compassionate man who loved his family and was also kind towards strangers who had come to him for help. He was also a very observant man as he easily noticed how other people would behave and any other unique traits that they displayed. Though they were part of his guise while on a spy mission, Tsurumi truly seemed to care about his family as he spent time with them in their final moment and became disillusioned with the Japanese government as a result of their deaths.
Tsurumi likes sweets and is regularly seen chewing on dangos.
Tokushirou Tsurumi was born on the Niigata mainland. It is hinted during the Herring Mansion arc that he had a wealthy upbringing when someone comments on his skillful piano playing.
Tsurumi joined the Imperial Japanese Army and he was sent to Russia to act as a spy under the guise of Kouichi Hasegawa, a photographer who came to live in Vladivostok because of his father's work. He met and married a Russian woman named Fina and together they had a daughter, Olga. The three of them lived peacefully in Vladivostok with Fina taking care of the baby and Tsurumi out doing field work as a spy while taking photographs with his camera.
One day, Tsurumi was taking photographs of the town of Vladivostok when he hears a howl coming from behind. Upon seeing a wolf nearby, he attempted to take a photo of it, but by then it had already ran away and he notes how rare it was for one to come close to a human dwelling. Tsurumi then returned to his store where he was welcomed by Fina and he asked if Olga had been good. When Fina notified him that they have customers, Tsurumi heads up front to see two men and a woman, greeting them. The woman, Zoya tells him that they didn't come to have their picture taken and one of the men, Grigori says that they are interested in Japan and would be willing to pay him for teaching them the Japanese language.
Tsurumi agreed to teach them Japanese and over the course of several months, would oversee their lessons and report their progress to Fina. He notes that both Grigori and Philip are learning Japanese at an amazing rate, especially the former. However, he says that Zoya is simply not interested in learning Japanese while noticing that she is able to speak French. Grigori and Philip takes Tsurumi out to teach him to hunt and he comments that he could buy himself a new camera if he sets a lot of traps. Meanwhile, Tusrumi noticed that the two men were constantly on guard and asked them where they came from. He notes the differences between them and Zoya, saying that she seemed like she came from a noble class unlike the two of them. Sometime later, Tsurumi finds wanted posters of Grigori and Philip and looks at them with a grim look on his face.
As Tsurumi prepares to take a photo of the revolutionaries, he begins to talk about the Three Great Nobles of the Restoration and how they played a central role in bringing about a successful revolution that would result in Japan becoming the only country in Asia to proceed on the path to modernization. Tsurumi would go on to warn Fina to head to her family home and not to return until he comes for her and Olga. When the revolutionaries arrived at his store for their lesson, Tsurumi tells them not to come anymore and to immediately leave. Just then, they hear a knock on the door and Tsurumi goes to answer it to find himself coming face to face with an Okhrana officer.
Suddenly, Zoya hits the officer with the butt of her rifle which allowed Philip to grab and bring him inside for Grigori to interrogate. The Okhrana officer does not know who the three people are and that they only came for Tsurumi, revealing him to be a spy for the Japanese army. With his secret now out, Tsurumi takes Philip upstairs to his studio where he reveals that his camera stand was actually a machine gun, much to Philip's surprise. Philip then used the machine gun to kill most of the Okhrana officers, but one was able to escape. Grigori exclaimed that not one should be allowed to escape or else he will be back with reinforcements, which caused Zoya to head out and kill the lone survivor. Upon turning around, Zoya finds Fina lying on the ground with blood coming out of her body.
Tsurumi takes Fina in his arms and upon examining her, says that she cannot be saved. He turns to the revolutionaries and tells them to get going, but when Zoya attempts to apologize to him, he coldly tells her to hurry up and leave. Tsurumi then turns his attention back to Fina as she calls him by his fake name, reaching out to touch his cheek. Tsurumi grabs her hand, saying that his name is not Kouichi Hasegawa, which leads to her asking who he is. He reveals his true name to Fina before taking Olga in his arms one last time. Tsurumi takes Fina and Olga's body back to the store, laying them in the bed before lighting the store on fire, and walks away from his life in Russia.
Upon returning to Japan, Tsurumi heads back to the Imperial Japanese Army where he is placed in the 2nd Division and attains the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. It is during his time in the 2nd Division that he became acquainted with one of his subordinates, Hajime Tsukishima. Some time later, Tsurumi was eventually transferred to the 7th Division.
Tsurumi visits Hyakunosuke Ogata at a brothel and they talk about Ogata's younger half-brother, Yuusaku Hanazawa's personality. Tsurumi comments that Hanazawa's sense of justice is too strong for them to control him since he comes from a noble bloodline which Ogata refutes. Tsurumi observed Hanazawa's leadership skills in the Battle of Port Arthur and spoke to Ogata, saying that Hanazawa is a more gallant soldier than they'd imagined, having won over the hearts of all the other men. Ogata then agrees not to kill Hanazawa in order to avoid the consequences from the act.
In Meiji 29 (1896), Tsurumi paid a visit to Tsukishima who had been thrown into the army prison for commiting parricide where the latter recounted his early days to him, including the time that he spent with a girl called "Igogusa". After hearing Tsukishima's story, Tsurumi went out to tour the island as an excuse to fabricate his lie that "Igogusa" was still alive, in order to get Tsukishima to follow him into the 7th Division. Nine years later, on Mukden during the Russo-Japanese War, Tsukishima finally realizes this lie and confronted Tsurumi as he coldly stares back at him.
As Tsukishima screamed, he punched Tsurumi and grabbed him, asking if he had been lying to him for the past nine years to which Tsurumi replied that he had done it because Tsukishima had already come to accept his execution. Tsurumi then took a moment to tell the rest of the 7th Division, who had gathered due to the commotion, to leave the two of them alone. Turning back to Tsukishima, he tells him that if had found out Igogusa was still alive, then he would feel regret about being on death row and that his own life was more valuable than his father.
Tsurumi then goes on to praise Tsukishima, which causes him to break down, saying that he never wanted Tsurumi to use Igogusa to deceive him. As Tsurumi was about to tell more about the story, the Russians began to bombard their location with cannons and Tsukishima pushes Tsurumi down in an effort to protect him. However, this causes Tsurumi's face to become severely wounded and sends Tsukishima flying. The 7th Division tries to rescue the both of them as Tsurumi, blinded from his wound, screams for Tsukishima, asking if he was still alive. The other soldiers then brings the both of them to a frozen body of water to be carried away on sledges, unknowingly running into a soldier whom they would have a fated encounter with in the future.
Sometime later, once their injuries had been treated at camp, Tsurumi continue to tell more about Igogusa and spoke of the Ainu plan that he plans to execute once the war is over. He tells Tsukishima that he needs men with resolve at his side and that he is the only one whom he can trust. When Tsukishima says that he will use his life for his service, Tsurumi pats him on the shoulder, saying that he is glad to hear him say that while staring at the soldier from Sado who peeks in momentarily before walking away.
Sometime during one of the 7th Division's excursions, they stayed in a wooden building in the midst of a heavy snow storm. While the rest of the platoon were resting, Tsurumi was in another room with Genjirou Tanigaki, listening to him talk about his Matagi heritage as well as his past about how his younger sister was murdered and his reasons for joining the 7th Division. After hearing his story, as well as him questioning what his purpose in life is, Tsurumi tells him that he is a man that he needs, and asks if he would be willing to make kane mochi with walnuts for him.
Sometime after subduing Nikaidou and before heading to Yubari, Tsurumi met with a fortune-teller named Inkarmat and advised her to make use of one of his soldiers, Tanigaki, whose leg should have be healed by now.
(From chapter 70 onwards)
in Yubari, Tsurumi is staking out a graveyard with Sergeant Tsukishima and Nikaidou in order to capture a grave robber. As he and Tsukishima are talking about the latest events in town, he notices Nikaidou holding his brother's ear to his, and he asks if he could have Tsurumi's left ear. Tsurumi humours him saying that he could have it if he dies, just then Tsukishima calls out to him to spot a silhouetted man in front of a grave. However, Nikaidou steps on a branch which alerts the man causing him to flee. He tells Tsukishima and Nikaidou to chase after him as he stops to pick up a glove that the man dropped. He sees that it is made out of human skins, and supposes that he'll have to bring it back to him as he puts it on his left hand.
Tsurumi is seen approaching a big store and knocks on the door. He is greeted by a kind-faced man who Tsurumi confirms as Yasaku Edogai and is let into the store. Inside, Tsurumi asks Edogai several questions about his duties as a taxidermist and pats his shoulder, praising him for his skills. Edogai sees that he is wearing a glove made of human skin, and pretends to not know anything. However, approaching a window, Tsurumi tells him that they were able to track him down as Nikaidou and Tsukishima are in the next house over prepared to fire in case anything happens. He surprises Edogai by saying that he would like a pair of human gloves made for him as well. When Edogai goes into the next room to retrieve them, Tsurumi throws the door open to see that the other people in the house aren't alive, seemingly unaware that Edogai is behind him waiting to kill him.
However, Tsurumi speaks up saying that the people seem like they may start moving any time, surprising Edogai. As Edogai is arguing with his mother, he comments on how Edogai is the only one who can hear her voice and that it is not healthy. In order to grab Edogai's attention, Tsurumi takes off his coat to reveal Tsuyama's skin to which Edogai is fascinated with. Back in the workshop, Edogai shows Tsurumi some of his skins to which he praises. When Edogai heads back into the dining room and sees Nikaidou on top of his mother, Tsurumi grabs him and gives him a gun to shoot at his mother to let go of his past. Afterwards, as Tsurumi and Edogai have one final dance, Tsurumi tells Edogai that he wants him to make fake skins with fake tattoos to throw off the other parties also in search of the skins.
Tsurumi and Nikaidou returns to Otaru leaving Tsukishima and Maeyama to watch over Edogai's activities. Some time later, he received a report from Tsukishima whose uniform had been dirtied in the Yubari mine explosion. Tsukishima was able to deliver the fake skins to him as well as Edogai's final word "iron". He says that he had received a report while he was on his way back to Otaru and assumes that Edogai had passed away. He tells Tsukishima that he has done an excellent job and that he should take a long rest. Later, Tsurumi muses on Edogai's final word while feeling the rain drops with his skin glove from a window. He then touched a pot which revealed markings on the gloves. At this, Tsurumi realized how to distinguish the real skins from the fake ones and swore that he would not let Edogai's sacrifice go to waste.
When Nikaidou was severely wounded on a mission against Sugimoto and Hijikata, Tsurumi paid him a visit at the hospital in Otaru. There he finds that Nikaidou has been stealing bottles of morphine and scolds him for it. He takes Tsukishima out to meet Lieutenant General Narizou Arisaka who supplies them with the latest weapon designs made by him and his subordinate. Due to Arisaka's hearing loss, they have a conversation in shouts as they talk about Asahikawa, opium, weapons, and Nikaidou's situation.
They return to the hospital where Tsurumi introduces a wonderful guest to Nikaidou but are interrupted by a strange man who Tsurumi shoos away. Arisaka then comes into the room and greets Nikaidou, giving him a prosthetic leg as a present. The leg is capable of firing off shotgun shells in close combat for a surprise attack, which Arisaka shows off to the injured man. After being scolded by the doctor, Tsurumi, Tsukishima, Arisaka, and the strange man all congratulates Nikaidou on his new leg.
After returning to Abashiri, Tsurumi visits Nikaidou at the clinic since he'd had heard from Usami that Nikaidou hadn't been eating due to having lost motivation from Sugimoto's "death". Tsurumi tried unsucessfully to convince Nikaidou to eat his food by rewarding him with morphine. They are then joined by by Arisaka who'd had made a new hand for Nikaidou and Tusrumi tries to get Nikaidou's attention by asking if it had anything special in it. However, after seeing that its special trick is a chopstick holder, Nikaidou, unimpressed, goes back under his covers.
At some point in time, Tsurumi did some investigation into Kiroranke's background and found out about his involvement with the assassination of Emperor Alexander II of Russia. He then took pre-emptive measures and gave information to the Russians that Kiroranke will secretly attempt to cross the border in the near future, hiding out among one of the nomadic groups. Tsurumi later spoke of this development to Nikaidou who was still recovering from his injuries.
Afterwards, Tsurumi begins to examine the tattooed skins that the 7th Division has collected thus far and talks about the code breakers and their personalities regarding their occupation. When Tsurumi notes the number of skins that they have, Usami asks if he should kidnap someone from the army and bring them to Abashiri. However, Tsurumi declines, saying that Wilk wouldn't have been able to create a code so complex that they would need a cryptanalyst and says that the code must have been designed so that only Wilk's daughter, Asirpa can solve it.
Abilities and Equipments Edit
Career Military Officer, Russo-Japanese War IJA Veteran, Intelligence gathering and analysis. Owns a Borchardt C-93 Russian Language - As part of his duty as a spy in Russia, Tsurumi is also fluent in the Russian language to be able to hold everyday conversations.
Tsurumi likes Japanese sweets but dislikes alcohol.
The quote Tsurumi had said towards Sugimoto about being his Shinigami, capable of blowing his 'candle of life', is a reference from a rakugo story titled Shinigami. Rakugo itself was a form of verbal Japanese entertainment emerging in the Meiji period (1868–1912), where Golden Kamuy timeline is supposedly set.
(To Sugimoto) "I'm your Shinigami. Your life is a candle, and I can blow it out anytime I choose."