Shimotsuki Yasuie, last known by the alias Tonoyasu (jap. トの康, Tonoyasu) or Yasu (jap. ヤス, Yasu), was the former daimyo of Hakumai, a province of Wano Country. He was nicknamed Yasu the Hedgehog (jap. ハリネズミの康, Harinezumi no Yasu) and was also the adoptive father of Toko. Before his execution, he roamed the poor villages of Wano Country as a taikomochi (male geisha) and supported them with his meager means, which is why he was considered a saint by many.
Shimotsuki Yasuie was a very short man with a very round head and reddish cheeks. He had a thin moustache and stubble on his face. In addition, he had a relatively large mouth and always had a smile on his lips. He was also missing one of his front incisors. He wore a light-colored kimono, which was already patched in many places, and WarajiJapanese sandals, on his feet.
Around his head he had tied a dotted scarf, allowing only a small portion of his hair to be seen. Under this bandana he hid his spiky afro, which also earned him his nickname.
Over 25 years ago, his face was much more angular. He wore a polka-dotted kimono and a dark robe over it. Furthermore, he was much taller back then and wore his afro open.
Shimotsuki Yasuie was always laughing and easily excited, so he held praises of Zoro’s deeds and even mimicked them excitedly. While he could also be very demanding, he did not feel offended when the swordsman called him “kasu” (trash) instead of “yasu”.
Basically, the welfare of Wano Country’s inhabitants was close to his heart, so he always donated the money his adopted daughter sent him to the starving population and helped them with all their problems otherwise; He also played with the children. But he was also helpful to strangers, whom he could obviously judge well. So he offered Zoro, Usopp and Law his house of his own accord and left it to them.
As Daimyo, however, he was much more serious and took his duties very seriously, especially the protection of the only port. He also showed little consideration towards Oden in this regard, asking him to follow in his father’s footsteps. Although his reputation was so high that the people once saw him as the next Shogun of Wano Country, he always saw the future in Kozuki Oden, and thus supported even his retainers when they tried to steal money from him.
He even gave them more so that they would buy books and more from it to become proud supports for him. His loyalty to the Kozuki family was so strong that he would rather have died than serve Orochi.
Under Sukiyaki’s rule
Many years ago, when Kozuki Sukiyaki still ruled Wano Country, Yasuie served under him as Daimyo Hakumai. Then 41 years ago, he hired the still young Orochi as an errand boy under him. Shortly thereafter, Oden was present in Hakumai, having been driven out of the castle by his father, and said that Yasuie, not he, would become the next shogun anyway. Yasuie replied that the future of the country would be in his hands and that he should finally prove himself.
Oden, however, preferred to go to sea, but Yasuie admonished him that in order to do so, he would first have to become a true samurai. Oden did not stay long and left for Kuri to defeat the bandit Ashura. After his departure, Yasuie’s subordinates were shocked to note the condition in which Oden had left his room. Yasuie, on the other hand, did not feel this was a bad thing, and also seemed to doubt Orochi’s story that Oden had stolen money when he left.
A little later, he learned of Oden’s actions in Kuri and that it was once again a peaceful place. Then, when the Nine Akazaya gathered under Oden and tried to steal money, they were caught by Yasuie, who did not punish them, however. Instead, he gave them more, which they were to use to become good retainers and supports for the later shogun, Kozuki Oden.
About 28 years ago, when Oden was sailing with the Whitebeard pirate gang, Yasuie and the other daimyos met with Sukiyaki, who appeared ill but was actually Kurozumi Higurashi. To Yasuie’s amazement, Sukiyaki suggested the young Orochi as his successor, who was also a Kurozumi.
Under Orochi’s rule
A few years later, with Kaidou’s help, Orochi finally became the shogun of Wano Country. When Oden and his subordinates went to war against Kaidou 20 years ago, Yasuie and his men guarded Kozuki Oden’s family in Oden Castle. However, Oden failed with his retainers and on the day of his execution, Yasuie received a letter informing that Oden had made an ape of himself for five years to protect the people. Afterwards, he and the other daimyos were then given a choice: They were to submit to him or fight. They took up arms, but they were outnumbered, especially by Kaidou. Yasuie managed to survive and went into hiding in Ebisu.
There, he later took on the little girl Toko as an adoptive father after her real parents died. However, he later sold Toko to work in the flower capital. However, she sent most of her income to Yasuie, who used it to support the people of Ebisu.
New hope for Wano Country
Tonoyasu saw Zoro and paid him for the sushi. He had a good feeling about him and this was reinforced when Zoro won money gambling and beat up some yakuza members of the Kyoshiro family. He then accompanied the swordsman to Ebisu village, where he was warmly welcomed and introduced Zoro to the residents.
Later, he met Usopp, Franky as well as Trafalgar Law and reported to them that Zoro had already left to retrieve his stolen sword. He offered them to use his house since it would be a vacant one anyway. Later there, when Law and Shinobu were arguing about the spy in their ranks, Tonoyasu barged in and showed them Kinemon’s hidden message and told them about the rumors doing the rounds. After offering to assist them, he went out and helped the residents.
However, he allowed himself to be captured the following night, posing as the Ushimitsu boy. He was to be executed in the Rasetsu District and was attached to a giant cross. He addressed his last words to Orochi, mocking him for not being able to follow in Oden’s footsteps. He lied that the secret message was just a joke of his to lower morale among Orochi’s troops. As a result, he was shot by the Shogun himself. Before his death, however, he altered the secret message so that Kinemon’s plan could still work.
Zoro and Sanji then protected his adopted daughter, whom the Shogun also wanted to kill, while Franky grabbed his body. They were able to get him safely to Ebisu and promised the local residents that they would bury him with honor. Later, temporary graves were built for him and Pedro in Kuri.
Furthermore, his death moved Ashura Doji to rejoin his former colleagues and thus the Ninja-Pirate-Mink-Samurai Alliance with the Atamayama Band of Thieves.
- His name is apparently a reference to Tokugawa leyasuthe founder of the Tokugawa shogunate during Japan’s Edo period. The syllables Ie and Yasu are merely interchanged.
- The yasu in his name was originally supposed to be written in katakana and the he in kanji, but in the end it was decided to write it the other way around.
- His appearance as Tonoyasu resembles a Noh.
- His family name Shimotsuki (霜月) means “frosty moon” and is an old word for “November”.
- His favorite dish was white rice (in Japanese, hakumai, a reference to the eponymous province of Hakumai on Wano Country, over which he ruled as daimyo).