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Overview

Wilk (Вилк, ウイルク, Uiruku) was Asirpa's father and a revolutionary who fought for the independence of ethnic minorities in Hokkaido, Karafuto, and Russian Far East. He was also said to be Noppera-Bou, the mysterious killer of the seven Ainu who gathered the gold to fight off the Japanese for the independence of their land.

Appearance[]

As a young man, Wilk had a fair complexion, short dark hair, wide bushy eyebrows, big blue eyes, and a moustache. After being in close proximity to an explosion during assassination of Alexander II of Russia, he received a scar in the shape of a cross that ran horizontally across his forehead and down his left eye to the cheek. He would typically wear a dark three-piece suit.

After moving to Hokkaido and assimilating into Hokkaido Ainu culture, Wilk started wearing an attus and other traditional Ainu male clothes. He grew out his hair slightly and grew a beard, too.

As Noppera-Bou, Wilk's appearance changed drastically: his face was disfigured after being skinned. The only feature on his face that was still recognizable were his signature blue eyes. Wilk's body changed too: the tendons on his legs were cut so he could not run away. As an Abashiri Prison convict, he wore an orange prison robe.

Personality[]

Ever since he was a child, Wilk always loved wolves, thinking that they were pure and beautiful, and as a result, he was given the Polish name for wolf. His fascination with the wolves was so strong that he wanted to become like them, logical creatures that cut away any excess kindness so that they can survive. This would help to shape much of his future personality.

Wilk can be brutally violent when necessary as seen while interrogating an Okhranka officer. He was also willing to kill his comrades when necessary such as in order to avoid being spotted and survive. In this regards, he was once compared to Toshimichi Okubo, who was described as being cold-blooded due to the fact that he was willing to use any means necessary in pursuit of his goals.

Background[]

Wilk was born in a Karafuto Ainu village, where his mother and maternal grandparents were born as well. He was the son of a Polish father and a Karafuto Ainu mother and raised as a Christian.

Before Wilk was given his name, he had found a weakened wolf in the forest near his village. Wilk would always go to see the wolf every day and observed it howling to its pack. He deduced that the wolf wanted to return to its pack but could not since it may have an illness or defect. Afterward, Wilk found that the wolf had been killed by its own pack and came to the conclusion that wolves cut away any excess kindness in order to survive, becoming enthralled by their nature. Wilk, deciding that he wanted to become an animal like them, cut off the dead wolf's pelt and began to play with it everywhere he went. His father, seeing the boy with the fur all the time, decided to name his son after the Polish language for "wolf".

In 1875, when the Treaty of Saint Petersburg was signed by both Japan and Russia, Karafuto became a Russian territory but many Ainu in Wilk's village were allowed to leave to become Japanese residents. Since Wilk's father was Polish, Wilk was unable to leave Karafuto as well, and so stayed in the village alongside his parents.

Sometime during his youth, Wilk took down his very first prey, a musk deer, and cut his hohciri off on the spot as a sign of adulthood. Wilk, alongside Kiroranke, wandered all over Karafuto during their younger days and together became known as "muskies". Wilk also shot and killed a reindeer that had belonged to another person, so he joined their wild reindeer hunt party as an apology. Wilk and Kiroranke had also hunted a lynx and they sold the pelt for a lot of money. They cooked its meat in an attempt to eat it, but Wilk did not like the taste of it, making a disgusted face.

As a young man, Wilk was involved with a group in Russia known as the People's Will and became closely acquainted with their leader, Sofia Golden Hand. One day in Saint Petersburg, a teenaged Kiroranke failed to throw a bag of bombs into the Russian emperor, Alexander II's carriage. Wilk hurriedly ran and picked the bag up, managing to throw it into the emperor's carriage as the emperor stared at him in shock. The ensuing explosion killed the emperor and damaged Wilk's face as he was carried away by Kiroranke.

As he spent time with Sofia, Wilk described to her about the Ainu culture and their way of living, stating that if they don't fight to protect them, they will lose them and that the children born in the future will never know about their heritage. He laments that the indigenous people of America lost to the white men because they were in constant conflict and being too busy killing each other. Wilk then tells Sofia about the Ainu in Hokkaido and expresses his dream of creating a far eastern federation that would include both Karafuto and Hokkaido.

One night, the revolutionaries were being chased by the secret police and they fled into a forest, however one of their comrades became seriously injured and fell unconscious, so Wilk and Kiroranke helped carry him to a hiding spot. The man then began to make groaning sounds, which would have given their position away, so Wilk took out a knife and silently kills him, shocking the rest of the revolutionaries. His quick thinking and action had helped them to escape their pursuers and also gained him the trust and respect of Kiroanke and Sofia.

For over ten years since the asssassination of Alexander II, Wilk, Kiroranke, and Sofia led their lives as fugitives until they arrived in Vladivostok and hid in a farmhouse there. There, they went to meet a Japanese man named Kouichi Hasegawa and asked him to teach them Japanese, promising to pay him for the troubles. Wilk and Kiroranke were able to learn Japanese quickly, much to Hasegawa's amazement. The two of them also took Hasegawa out and taught him how to catch some martens with some traps and Hasegawa is pleased that he will be able to sell the pelts to buy a new camera. However, Hasegawa expressed concerns about their background, especially Sofia's and asked them where they came from.

Later, as Hasegawa prepares to take the revolutionaries' picture, he begins to talk about the Three Great Nobles of the Restoration. Afterward, Wilk and Kiroranke discuss crossing over to Japan and Kiroranke mentions that Sofia is feeling conflicted but says that if Wilk tells her to come with them, she will. When they arrived at Hasegawa's store for their lesson, he tells them not to come anymore and that they should leave right away. Just then, they hear a knock at the door, which Hasegawa opens to see a Russian officer. Wilk recognizes the officer as being a part of Okhrana, a secret police force that cracks down on revolutionaries and anti-government elements.

Sofia attacks the officer with the butt of her rifle, which gave Kiroranke an opportunity to bring him inside for Wilk to interrogate. The officer does not know who they are, and that they only came for the Japanese man, Hasegawa, who is revealed to be a spy for the Japanese army. A gunfight erupts between the revolutionaries and the Okhrana as Wilk held the officer hostage. Kiroranke uses a machine gun that Hasegawa shows to him to mow down the officers, however, one is able to survive. Wilk exclaims that not one of them should be allowed to escape, lest he comes back with reinforcements. In response, Sofia heads out and manages to kill the lone survivor.

The revolutionaries and Hasegawa find that Hasegawa's wife and daughter, Fina and Olga, had been caught up in the battle and upon examining Fina, Hasegawa says that she cannot be saved. As Wilk notices his own bounty lying on the ground, Hasegawa tells them to hurry up and leave and Wilk takes a crying Sofia by her arm. Wilk analyzes the situation, saying that no port is safe for them, which meant that entering Japan will be difficult. He then suggests that they should head north where they would be able to cross over the drift ice and into Karafuto. As Wilk states they should head to Hokkaido to confirm the special information leak, he notices Sofia hesitating behind him. Sofia professes her love to Wilk but says that she cannot go with him since she cannot get Olga's death out of her mind. She swears that she does not need happiness as a woman and that she will continue to fight as a revolutionary. Hearing this, Wilk says his farewells to Sofia as he and Kiroranke head over to Japan.

In Hokkaido, Wilk meets Inkarmat, who taught him about the land and Ainu culture. After settling down in Otaru, he married an Ainu woman and they had a daughter, Asirpa. Wilk once told his wife about how he got his name and so she gave him the name "Horkew Oskoni", which means "to catch up to the wolves" in the Ainu language. Wilk's wife died shortly after Asirpa's birth. Wilk taught his daughter to hunt with the hope of preparing her to lead an Ainu independence movement. When Asirpa was a very young child, Wilk gave her his own hohciri and told her that when she gets bigger, they will go on a hunt and until then, she must keep it tied into the front of her hair.

When Asirpa was old enough to hunt, Wilk takes her to hunt some bears and they find a mother bear and her cub. Asirpa expresses concerns about the baby bear and asks if they could bring it back to the kotan with them, but Wilk says that it has gotten too big for them to raise. He asks Asirpa if she thinks it is cruel to kill the baby bear and explains that the mother bear and her cub will become a part of them and live on in them. Wilk finishes by saying that if they hesitate to kill for fear of being cruel, they will end up starving and that misplaced kindness or sympathy can potentially become a weakness, which will lead the weak to lose and become eaten.

Sometime later, when Asirpa became a young girl, sitting at a campfire in a small hut, she asked her father about her mother. Wilk claimed that she was a beautiful woman like her and talked about how they met. He says that Asirpa would be the one to lead the Ainu people and that he has something to tell her which she must never forget. Wilk tells Asirpa about his Ainu name, "Horkew Oskoni", and that she must never tell anyone about it. Wilk once told Asirpa about a meko oyasi, saying that it was a monster cat that would eat a person's shoes, clothes, bags, and carrying ropes. Asirpa found the story to be frightening and asked if it even ate the tobacco case.

Wilk was arrested trying to transport some of the gold that had been stolen from Ainu who were preparing to fight the Japanese. His face was heavily disfigured at the time, so, with his identity being unknown to authorities, he was named "Noppera-Bou". Among the Ainu, he was presumed to be killed among the other men guarding the gold. Wilk would deny being the one who killed the men guarding the gold.

Incarcerated at Abashiri Prison, Wilk tattooed a group of prisoners with a coded map leading to the rest of the stolen gold.

Plot[]

Introduction Arc[]

When Takechiyo Gotou encounters Saichi Sugimoto panning for gold in Hokkaido, he tells him a story of the Ainu who gathered a large amount of gold to fight off the Japanese. The Ainu were then killed by a man who stole the gold but was caught and thrown in Abashiri Prison. While imprisoned, the man tattooed other prisoners with a secret code that would lead to the gold's location and told the convicts to escape and find his allies in Otaru.

Later, when Sugimoto meets Asirpa and tells her of the story he learned, she says she believes it because her father was one of the Ainu men who were killed that night. Sugimoto gets Asirpa to join him in the gold hunt by telling her that her father’s killer must be still alive in prison and that it's her chance to avenge him.

The first prisoner who Asirpa and Sugimoto catch reveals that the imprisoned man had no face and they called him Noppera-Bou.

It is also revealed that Wilk was very good with his hands and thus was popular with the ladies. Asirpa says her father took her hunting in the woods with him and taught her everything she knows about survival.

Wilk in his cell, thinking of his daughter.

Escape King Arc[]

Yoshitake Shiraishi tells Sugimoto that he does not know anything about Wilk's accomplices, saying only their leader who took charge of escape does. Before Shiraishi leaves, he shares another thing with Sugimoto: Noppera-bou told all convicts to head to Otaru.

Later, when Asirpa tells Sugimoto about a strategy to hunt bears, she reveals that her father was so brave that he would crawl inside the bear's den with a poison arrow in hand and kill the bear by himself.

Abashiri Prison Arc[]

In this section there is information missing. Please help improving the Golden Kamuy Wikia by filling the gaps.

During the events in Abashiri Prison, Wilk is shot in head and killed by Hyakunosuke Ogata.

Abilities[]

  • Language skills: Beside knowing Russian, Wilk also knew Japanese and Ainu. As noted by Hasegawa, Wilk quickly learned Japanese and after a few months of studying could already use complex constructions and idioms.
  • Leadership: Wilk was a man with exceptional leadership skills. He was able to make quick and difficult choices while taking the responsibility in his own hands. His personality was also quite charismatic, allowing Wilk to unite people of different backgrounds and views under his leadership.
  • Survival: After years of being a guerilla, Wilk has learned a lot about survival under hard conditions. After moving to Hokkaido, he has also enriched his knowledge with traditional Ainu ways of hunting and surviving in the wild.
  • Firearms: Wilk was proficient with using guns.

Equipment[]

  • Schmidt M1882 Revolver (uses 7.5mm rounds) [1]

Chapter Appearances[]

Appearances
Introduction Arc
1. Sugimoto the Immortal Debut
2. Wen Kamuy Mentioned
3. Trap Absent
4. Noppera-Bou Mentioned
5. Hokuchin Unit Mentioned
Escape King Arc
6. Persecution Mentioned
7. The Escape King Mentioned
8. Flight Flashback
9. Cornered Rat Absent
10. Gamble Absent
11. Ainu Kotan Absent
12. Kamuy Mosir Mentioned
13. Guardian Spirit Visually
14. Howling Mentioned
15. Scent Absent
16. Shinigami Absent
17. Trackers Absent
18. Rescue Operation Mentioned
19. Gallop Absent
20. Argument Mentioned
21. Ghost Appears
Legendary Hunter Arc
22. Legendary Bear-Killer Absent
23. Hunter's Spirit Absent
24. What Lives On Absent
25. Yuk Absent
26. The Law of the Mountain Mentioned
27. The Scent of Death Absent
28. Complication Absent
29. The Old Man and the Mountain Absent

Trivia[]

  • Wilk means wolf in Polish.
  • The name Noppera-Bou derives from a Japanese youkai, a legend of a spirit without a face.
  • In 2018 Golden Kamuy All-Stars popularity poll, Wilk ranked 71st, gaining 268 votes.[2]
  • Wilk is likely based on two real-life figures:
    • Bronisław Piłsudski, a Polish cultural anthropologist who conducted research on the Ainu, Orok and Nivkh indigenous people of Sakhalin Island and took part in the revolutionary movement. He fell in love with an Ainu woman and married her, and later had a son and a daughter with her.
    • Ignacy Hryniewiecki, a Polish member of the Russian revolutionary society Narodnaya Volya. He threw the bomb at the Tsar Alexander II of Russia and was wounded himself in the attack. He succumbed to his wounds shortly.
  • Wilk liked lingonberry but disliked snakes.[3]
  • Wilk was shorter than Vasily, same height as Toni and Sugimoto, and taller than Tsurumi and Koito.[4]
    • Since Wilk was as tall as Sugimoto, it's safe to assume that his height was 175 cm (5'9), too.[5]
  • Wilk was lighter than Koito, same weight as Nikaidou twins, Ogata, Shiraishi and Usami, and heavier than Kadokura.[6]
  • Satoru Noda said that it might be difficult for young people to understand Wilk's attitude towards Asirpa. However, he wants to end the story in a way that will make them.[7]

References[]

Site Navigation[]

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