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Yoshiko Kawashima

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Hmph. If soldiers of the Imperial Army can't bring in one little girl, they don't deserve to live. Sigh. I was so looking forward to bringing a worthy souvenir back to Tokyo for Father. What a waste.
~ Lieutenant Colonel Kawashima: Shadow Hearts

Lieutenant Colonel Yoshiko Kawashima is an antagonist in the videogame Shadow Hearts. Kawashima is the daughter of the council man, Naniwa Kawashima and is the head of the Japanese military forces stationed in China, where the game starts off. She is sent to capture Yuri and Alice to unlock and weaponize their supernatural abilities to give Japan's military an edge over other nations. While she eventually becomes friends with Yuri, Alice and the other heroes she never joins them and for the first part of the game functions as a particularly ruthless adversary of the party.

Kawashima in Shadow Hearts

In the year 1913 the Japanese military were transporting a girl named Alice Elliot across the Trans-Siberian railroad, the girl was said to have mystical powers and had been involved in a grizzly murder. Alice's father had been murdered in front of her in Roune France by a British warlock calling himself "Roger Bacon", as such she was less than opposed to being transporting out of the country in a private cabin surrounded by guards. However the warlock had made his way to the train and slaughtered all the army members between him and his prize. Alice was saved by another supernatural stowaway named Yuri Hyuga, a young-man with the power to transform into monsters. Yuri held off the British warlock with Alice's help and jumped off the train before the evil magician could recover. When the train got to Fengtian however the military was left with a less than complete account of what had happened. Lieutenant Colonel Kawashima was called into pick up the potentially dangerous girl but was met only with the torn up bodies of her men. Since the army had not confirmed the warlock's involvement in Roune and there were no witnesses to his presence on the train it was assumed Alice had slaughtered the soldiers herself with whatever powers she had at her disposal the same as she had done to her father. Lieutenant Colonel Kawashima called for the immediate arrest of Alice Elliot and sent out the Japanese military units stationed in China to bring her in.

Before long Lieutenant Colonel Kawashima became aware of Yuri traveling with Alice as well. By the time Alice and Yuri had left Fengtian Lieutenant Colonel Kawashima had confirmed that both of them had mystical abilities and she intended to use them once caught to fight the Chinese sage, Dehuai, who was intent on driving the Japanese out of his homeland. Once they had not only evaded the forces in Fengtian but gained the aid of the spy Margarete Zella, who the Japanese had come to refer to as "Malovich", Lieutenant Colonel Kawashima decided to handle the matter personally. She was sent a military geologist who specialized in the occult to aid her in research into the mystical forces now aligned against the army, the man was called "Seiji Kato". After one of her informants had reported seeing Alice and Yuri by his home in Dalian, Lieutenant Colonel Kawashima and Sargent Kato went there themselves to capture the party. Lieutenant Colonel Kawashima heard Yuri and Alice were looking for a boat so she went undercover as a smuggler offering to take them to Shanghai for a price. Yuri and Alice accepted the "Smuggler Boss"'s service as they also wanted to deal with a local ghost named Li Li, who was under the thrall of Dehuai out at sea. Kawashima transported Yuri, Alice, Margaret and the Dehuai's brother, an exorcist named Zhuzhen, to the ship and had Kato pilot it to their base in Shanghai, however Li Li  intercepted the ship much to their surprise. Even though Kawashima had been expecting some unnatural traits from Alice and Dehuai she had never witnessed anything otherworldly herself and was completely shocked the first time she saw one of Dehuai's demons in person.

Though the party fought and defeated Li Li and Dehuai's monsters Kawashima still intended to capture them once in Shanghai, she let them off the ship and sent them to a hotel in Shanghai, a hotel located right next to her main offices in Shanghai. The guards of the city sealed it off and kept Alice and company in town, though they had business to attend to in town anyway. Lt. Colonel Kawashima met with one of her friends named Suketai, who had been sent to investigate her, he told her that the Minister was concerned about her activities and sent him to make sure she was loyal, he also made it clear right away that his loyalty was to her over the Minister and he would alter his report as needed to accommodate her plans. As Kawashima, Sukentai and Kato discussed the situation Kawahima decided that apart from sending Yuri and Alice back to Japan she would allow them to take the fight to Dehuai themselves as it was clear now that they were enemies of Dehuai as well, with powers that might have matched his, Kawashima still intended to capture Alice and Yuri when they were done though. After dealing with one of Dehuai's henchmen, named Wugui, in Shanghai the guards permitted Yuri and company to leave and take their fight to Dehuai as they wished. Soon enough an old friend of Zhunzhen's and Yuri's father had told them of some of what he had overheard of Dehuai's plans from Wugui, they pieced together that Dehuai was going to attempt a second ritual like one he had tried fifteen years prior to destroy Japan with a demigod under his command. To pull off his scheme though Dehuai needed a seal held by his and Zhuzhen's old mentor, Master Xifa in Wuhan. Kawashima, still posing as a smuggler told the party that she had come by information about Wuhan and that both the Japanese military and Dehuai's agents had been sent there but had never come out of Xifa's temple she also said she and her fellow smuggler (Kato), would accompany them there to share their supplies if anything came up.

The expedition had not gone as well as intended and though Master Xifa appeared safe the seals Yuri and his friends had broken to get in allowed Dehuai to follow them and take both the seal and Alice. Master Xifa uses his magic to try to keep the temple from falling apart around them with Dehuai's exit but only succeeds in slowing it down. Yuri and friends encounter Wugui at the front of the temple and fight him. Yuri and friends win the battle but were still slowed down enough for the temple to fall down around them. However Kawashima had ordered her men to dig them out and give them medical aid. Yuri and friends awoke back in Shanghai to find Kawashima, who finally revealed herself and Kato to them. By now Kawashima was certain Yuri and Alice were not her enemy, though she and Margaret were on less than good terms considering their roles as agents of opposing governments. Kawashima told Yuri where to find Dehuai and gave him the key they had made to open his tower. Shortly after Yuri leaves though and Kato follows to deliver the key the Japanese army closes in, Minister Ishimura's agents had finally arrived in Shanghai to deal with Kawashima and the less than loyal Sukentai. Sukentai was shot and several agents were sent to place Kawashima herself under arrest, Kato quickly made his way out to ask Yuri and his friends for help. Yuri and his friends came to Kawashima's aid and defeated all the soldiers except for Major Kutsugi, the head of the team who ran away to report back to the Minister.

After being saved by Yuri, Kawashima regards Yuri as an ally completely and no longer has any intent of turning him or Alice in once Dehuai is defeated. The Lieutenant Colonel however still had every intent of taking down Dehuai as soon as Yuri secured Alice's safety in the tower and stood by with her entire force ready to charge the tower at a moment's notice. When the last of Dehuai's seals are down and Alice is saved the Japanese military secures the lower parts of the tower. Yuri and Alice finally fight with Dehuai himself at the top of the tower where he reveals his plan to summon an incarnate of the earth's wrath called The Seraphic Radiance to destroy the Japanese and make him the mystical ruler of China. Dehuai is defeated but with his dying breath channels all his spiritual energy into the ritual site!...and..nothing happens... It seems Dehuai was dabbling with forces FAR beyond his ken and just as the party was left to wonder how he got hold of such a ritual in the first place "Roger Bacon" reappeared. "Bacon", now apparently far more than just some low-level mystic under Dehuai's service, used a tiny bit of his own power to boost the ritual, the spell went into overdrive and The Seraphic Radiance was summoned. Yuri tried to absorb the demon into his body by fusing with it but only slightly pacified the beast which sure enough flew off without destroying China but still blew-up Shanghai before leaving with Yuri still inside it. The heroes left China to follow "Bacon" and Yuri across Asia into Europe but that is the last Kawashima ever saw of Yuri or any of his friends.

It seems as if Kawashima leaves the story at this halfway-point in the game but her role in the game and towards the sequel is not over yet. Towards the end of the game if Yuri visits one of Zhuzhen's friends in Roune he will be able to receive a letter from a friend in China who has some news about Kawashima and Kato. Lieutenant Colonel Kawashima had become remorseful that she had not gone with the party in search of Yuri, but she had managed to clean-up some of the destruction left behind in China and establish order. She worries as to if Yuri is alright, Kato tells her that the adventures are tough and will probably be alright. During this time Kawashima reveals she has known for awhile Kato was sent by the Minister to spy on her, Kato is surprised to hear this and assures that while he was originally sent to do so he is one-hundred-percent loyal to her and has been leaving delicate details out of his reports back to headquarters. Lieutenant Colonel Kawashima thanks Kato but says it does not matter and views the political subterfuge of the military as par for the course in her life. At this time Kato also confesses his feelings for Yoshiko. Lieutenant Colonel Kawashima looks a little awkward upon hearing the confession and seeing this Kato immediately starts to bang his head against the wall in embarrassment. Before Lieutenant Colonel Kawashima can address Kato's feeling a new unit comes in from the capital with a message for the
Shadow Hearts Death of Kawishima

Shot-down at the height of her career.

Lieutenant Colonel, one that only she is privy to. Kawashima tells Kato they will talk more about Kato's feelings after she goes to deal with the envoy. Afew seconds after Kawshima and the soldiers leave the room though Kato hears the loud bang of a gun and runs outside to find Lieutenant Colonel Kawashima has been shot in the back. Kato tears through all the soldiers and takes Kawashia in his arms. Lieutenant Colonel Kawashima comments on how her family clout must have run out after the inquest team was repelled and laughs at her life's work in service of the her country. Her biggest regrets are that she had not lead a life as free as Yuri and she dies in Kato's arms.

Ramifications - Shadow Hearts: Covenant

Lt. Col Kawashima's Grave

Kato mourns Kawashima

Lieutenant Colonel Kawashima's death is a driving force for Kato's actions in the sequel, Shadow Hearts Covenant. Though in the game Kato's actions appear benign at first as the game progresses they take on darker and darker levels. Kato blamed Kawashima's death on himself for not doing his job and becomes Minister Ishimura's personal go to agent. Kato also tries to get his hands on the books used by "Roger Bacon" to revive Yoshiko Kawashima. Although Kato only brings back a duplicate of her body, which he names Ouka, he considers her to be a extension of the Lieutenant Colonel reborn. After Ouka is killed though Kato snaps and becomes the main antagonist of the remaining story and goes rogue, at this point Kato tells Yuri where to find Minister Ishimura. Yuri makes good use of the information Kato gives him and goes to kill Minister Ishimura for many of the things he had done up to that point but most notably in his mind the assassination of Lieutenant Colonel Kawashima.

Personality

Lieutenant Colonel Bitch

Lt. Colonel Bitch

Kawashima would often philosophize about the state of China, the policies of Japan and political manipulations of the common man even while functioning as a consummate antagonist. Though highly respected she was also a considerable jerk to those around her, demeaning Kato pretty regularly, showing no pity for her own people if they were weak enough to be killed, ridiculing her superiors and willing to crush anyone that got in her way, be they friend, foe or innocent bystander. One of the finer examples of Kawashima's odd balance of philosophy and ruthlessness is shortly after Alice and Yuri arrived in Dalian. The man from Dalian who informed to Kawashima interrupts her contemplation of public affairs and morals vs the greater good to report Alice's whereabouts in his town, she thanks him, gives him his reward and asks him not to tell anyone he has been to see her. The man leaves assuring her he won't tell anyone and that he has already forgotten ever leaving his village then walks out of her office. Kawashima waits a minute or so then calls the guards in and whispers to them to see to it the man does not make it outside of the building alive before rushing out herself to capture Alice and Yuri. She is not shown to be particularly honorable but is heavily concerned about winning honor for her father through her successes. Though highly patriotic she has strong sympathies for the people of China being forced to submit to the Japanese occupation. Her feelings for Kato are never confirmed one way or the other but if she had any they seem far less important to her than Kato's feeling for her were to him.

Abilities

Kawashima's greatest ability is perhaps her charismatic nature. Despite her harsh actions she manages to draw-in several officers to siding with her over their own commanders in favor of allowing her some leeway to handle matters in China her-self. The soldiers in her command view her as a hero and celebrity, they are happy to serve under her no matter how harsh she is on failure. She is said to be an expert marksman with perfect aim though we never see her open fire in the game. She is considerably rich, probably from both her father's wealth and her military funds, but whatever the case she is able to afford transportation by land, air and sea with ease as well as pay off spies. Naturally Kawashima has an expansive information network over both China and the inner workings of the military. Kawashima is also a very well preformed liar and able to make-up excuses on the fly while undercover.

Trivia

  • Lieutenant Colonel Kawashima is based on real life Yoshiko Kawashima who served in the Japanese military and was executed as a traitor by political and military rivals during her tour of China.
  • Kawashima's rival within the party, Margaret Gertrude Zelle, AKA "Malchovich", is also based on a real world spy executed by rivals, the famous "Mata Hari".
  • Lieutenant Colonel Kawashima's father, Naniwa Kawashima, is encountered in Shadow Hearts: Covenant and turns out was the mentor of Yuri's father.
  • Lieutenant Colonel Kawashima comes closer than any other non-supernatural character, and many supernatural ones, to stopping Yuri or his friends.


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