Mar. 20th, 2013

cannotcrossdress: ([hakama] Crying Sword)
Out of Character Information

Player Name: Mippa
Player Journal: [personal profile] mippa
Playing Here: N/A
Where did you find us? Previous player
Are you 16 years of age or older? 30 years of age

In Character Information

Character Name: Chizuru Yukimura
Canon: Hakuouki
Timeline: End of common route.
Character's Age: 19-20

Powers, Skills, Pets and Equipment:
Chizuru harbors a dark secret - she is a full-blooded oni, or, in Japanese, a "demon." In the particular universe she hails from, this means she's inherited some supernatural abilities. Most of them are not awakened, as she has been raised as a normal human girl for the duration of her young life, but she has always been aware since a very young age that she has a special ability. She has a miraculous healing factor. Minor cuts and scrapes vanish within seconds, deeper injuries, overnight. She has gone to great lengths to keep this ability a secret however, in order to keep herself and her loved ones safe. She adamantly avoids combat for this reason.

While she does carry a kodachi, or short-sword, she is loathe to use it. It is entirely for self-defense...and probably even more for show, than anything. She dresses up as a boy in both her kimono and hakama. It seems only fitting that she carry her prized family heirloom both for safe-keeping and to drive off possible rabble-rousers.

Having grown up with a doctor as a father, Chizuru has spent much of her childhood serving as an extra pair of hands in her father's clinic. As such, she has rudimentary skill in first-aid and basic medicine. She is also a highly capable at most domestic duties, and took up the majority of cooking an cleaning responsibilities once she was old enough.

There isn't a great deal that Chizuru had upon her arrival to Kyoto. There is one item, though, that she would've had on her that she never would let out of her sight: her kodachi. This weapon (though she never uses it) has been passed down through her mother's side of the family, and is the mate to her twin brother's katana...though she's not exactly aware of it. This kodachi is an heirloom of the Yukimura clan's, a powerful, yet mostly extinct Oni clan which held dominion over the east region of Japan. Canon implies that it maintains some special qualities to it, though it is never explicitly stated what, nor is it ever demonstrated.

Chizuru also kept around some family funds, though most of her money and items were confiscated upon her apprehension by the Shinsengumi.

Canon History:
Chizuru Yukimura grew up an only child in Edo, daughter to a well-regarded doctor named Koudou Yukimura, who specialized in Western medicine. She often isolated herself as a child, afraid to go out and play with her peers due to a habored secret - she healed remarkably fast. Shallow cuts would heal within moments, deeper injuries hours, or overnight. As such, she imposed upon herself a very sheltered childhood out of fear that upon discovery of her ability, she would be regarded as a monster and would have her family chased out of town. This developed into a deeply-rooted fear of blades and battle. Therefore, she spent most of her life at home with her father, assisting in minor medical procedures and keeping up the house occupied by just the two of them until he was summoned to Kyoto.

Disguising herself as a boy, Chizuru Yukimura traveled to Kyoto to search for her missing father, Koudou Yukimura. Shortly after being called to Kyoto on assignment, his daily letters vanished, and she knew something must have gone horribly wrong. She makes her way into Kyoto with little incident, until, once night falls, she is affronted by a group of ronin. She successfully manages to hide away from the ronin, but little does she know that it is at this moment when the true danger surfaces. Moments before being found by the ronins, they are slaughtered and devoured by white-haired demonic creatures in blue cloaks. As they close in on Chizuru, the Shinsengumi members Hajime Saitou, Souji Okita, and Toshizo Hijikata appear and slay the demons.

Fearing that Chizuru saw too much, they apprehend her and take her to the Shinsengumi headquarters to decide how to cover up the scene. Initially resigned to killing her, and ultimately silencing her, Chizuru attempts to escape, only for her efforts to be instantly thwarted by Hijikata. Impressed that Chizuru would attempt to escape after being told under no uncertain terms she would be killed for doing so, Hijikata allows her to explain herself in front of the inner circle of Shinsengumi officers. Left with no other choice, Chizuru comes forth with the truth of her identity as the daughter of Dr. Yukimura Koudou, and her reasons for being in Kyoto. Once the truth came out and her identity was verified, the Shinsengumi reveal that they, too, are looking for Chizuru's father, and offer her shelter and aid in finding him...though they were not forthcoming as to why.

Chizuru spent the next two years chasing dead-end leads and serving as a page for the Shinsengumi. She carries out the housekeeping duties usually done at home at the headquarters with dutiful compliance, grateful for the hospitality and, at times, protection they offered. As she befriends the captains and soldiers, however, she begins to wish she could somehow be more useful. In haphazard attempts to prove herself and help the captains, she often made rash decisions such as throwing herself between several ronin harassing a beautiful young woman named Senhime. Her confrontation was without teeth, however, as she was still terrified of blades and fighting. While she carried a kodachi with her, her aim was to protect it--as it was a precious family heirloom from her long since deceased mother--rather than the other way around. Luckily, she was on patrol with a Shinsengumi captain, and he was able to back her up...but not without subsequent scolding for carelessly putting herself in danger. As often as Chizuru meant well, she often did find herself running into the heat of battle with little more than the kodachi that she was unable--or unwilling--to wield.

She is witness to many of the Shinsengumi's secrets, and her usefulness begins to outweigh her liability. Easily able to blend in with everyday citizens of the city, and unrecognizable as an associate of the warrior corps, Chizuru begins acting as a messenger between squads during battles. Trusted with the secret of the rasetsu - men transformed into vampiric-like creatures after consuming ochimizu formulated by Chizuru's father - Chizuru becomes the target of a group of "oni" working for an opposing imperialist clan. After several confrontations with the oni, light is shed on Chizuru's true past. She is an heir to an ancient oni bloodline. The oni who had been targeting her are working for the opposing Satsuma clan with the intention of repopulating the oni population, who are dwindling in numbers. Aiding the oni in their designs (unbeknownst to Chizuru herself) is Chizuru's father, a servant of the almost-extinct Yukimura demon clan, by creating the ochimizu to create hordes of mindless demonic soldiers.

With words of war escalating, Sen-hime, pureblood oni like Chizuru, comes to the Shinsengumi to take Chizuru off their hands, in order to better guard her from the oni aligned with the Satsuma clan. Chizuru declines their request, pledging loyalty to the Shinsengumi who have over the past few years have sheltered and protected her. Senhime respects Chizuru's wishes and charges the Shinsengumi with protecting Chizuru, lest she fall into the Satsuma and Yukimura's hands.

Shortly after, the Shinsengumi learn of a plot to assassinate their Commander Isami Kondou. Assassinating the conspirators in hopes of thwarting the attempt, it was all for naught when Kondou was critically shot while en route to headquarters. The conflict escalated to what is known in history as the Boshin War. While being escorted to safety during the Battle of Toba-Fushimi, Gen Inoue, one of the elderly members of the Shinengumi, was brutally murdered before her eyes. Just as they were about to kill Chizuru, the head of the Satsuma-allied oni, Chikage Kazama, arrived on the scene and killed her assailants.

Vice-Commander Hijikata arrived on the scene. Believing Kazama to be the killer of Chizuru's escort, he engages in battle with Kazama and drinks ochimizu, becoming a rasetsu to better his odds of victory. One of the Shinsengumi members Yamazaki steps in knowing that Hijikata has no chance of winning and is grievously wounded when trying to stop Hijikata. The fierce battle ends abruptly when one of the oni comes to collect Kazama. In the aftermath, the Shinsengumi bury Inoue before departing by ship for Edo. En route, Yamazaki succumbs to his wounds and is buried at sea.

When compared to the legendary heroes of the Shinsengumi, Chizuru started out her life remarkably plain and void of personal ambition. Like most girls of her era, her self-perceived purpose in life was to be a dutiful daughter, well-liked member of her community, and, when the time comes, an ideal wife for a husband. This ideal was further imposed upon Chizuru as she grew up in a motherless family, and took on the entirety of household duties starting at a very young age. Her father was always very gentle with her, and therefore she found delight in completing a job well-done.

Having spent her entire young life taking care of her father, Chizuru has always been prone to dote on people. She is used to being around people (or person, really) who worry more about others' well-being than their own, so she sees no problem with taking liberties when it comes to someone's personal well-being and private affairs. For the secretive Shinsengumi, this was a constant point of friction, whereas Chizuru was seeing herself as being useful and helpful, it was easily mistaken for being meddlesome and intrusive. Her time with her father, helping with his medical practice and observing the fragile nature of life invoked a deep respect for the sanctity of all forms of life. While appropriate for her life as a doctor's daughter, this later proved to be quite a pain point when dealing with the battle-hungry Shinsengumi.

While most people viewed her family situation as the primary cause of her homebody inclinations, the truth of the matter was that in spite of her father encouraging her to make friends her own age, Chizuru has always been afraid to venture outside of her own personal boundaries. While her father considered her rapid healing factor to be a "gift from the gods," Chizuru regarded this "gift," with fear and apprehension, and as such avoids any means of physical confrontation so no one has to bear witness to her freak-of-nature secret. Due to that fact, Chizuru is habitually insecure and even a bit cowardly at first, and extremely unaccustomed to the turbulent, war-torn setting she is thrust into when taken into the Shinsegumi's fold. Her frequent second-guessing and moments of insecurity cause her to be a constant liability for whichever captain is unfortunate enough to be tasked with keeping tabs on her at any given time.

As her time with the Shinsengumi continues, several of Chizuru's lesser-known qualities--even to herself--begin to manifest. She began to feel the desire to be accepted into the fold of the Shinsengumi in spite of her gender and position, and not to be the liability her over-thinking and constant state of apprehension caused. Inspired by the dedication of each Shinsengumi to their moral code and the ideals they risked their lives for, Chizuru grows to care greatly for the individual members of the Shinsengumi, befriending them and sharing their struggles. She regards them with both awe and fear, in their ability to stand up against all odds for what they believe in, and prepared to die every day they walk out onto the Kyoto streets.

As Chizuru begins to join them in their rounds, she, too, begins to nurse the same sentiment in her heart. She opens her eyes to the plight of the people in Kyoto suffering under the violent cross-hairs of war, and, as a part of the Shinsengumi (at least in her mind), her sense of duty begins to extend beyond that of her immediate family, and towards the people around her. She sees the opportunity to reduce the suffering of her Shinsengumi comrades and those stuck in the tangled web of revolution. Just as the Shinsengumi make the daily choice to take up their swords, Chizuru makes the daily choice to no longer be afraid of the dangers that await her. At first, she makes this decision much to her own peril - she doesn't entirely know what she's getting herself into, and though her reasons are pure-hearted, often she doesn't think her actions through. The dangers that await any person--man or woman--who wishes to involve themselves in the affairs of turbulent Kyoto are something that Chizuru didn't have a clear picture of until she was already set on doing her part to keep the citizens safe. Blinded by the desire to keep innocents free of harm, she makes sudden, rash decisions that often put herself in danger, and in need of one of the more skilled captains rescue.

In spite of her unusual circumstance, Chizuru is an entirely average girl. She has a habit of mixing up what things she should mull over, and what things she should stop over-thinking and simply act upon. She often finds herself getting up in her head, dwelling on the doubts that so readily plague her at every turn. She has both moments of foolish recklessness and crippling insecurity. When push comes to shove, however, she is often a wild card, serving as a distraction to adversaries and turning the tables so her allies can gain the upper hand. For that reason alone, she is often seen as a good luck charm to the Shinsengumi, and true to her namesake, which literally means "thousand cranes."

In spite of her apparent high-maintenance, Chizuru has several redeeming qualities that make her presence at Shinsengumi headquarters as much a pleasure as a duty. Her friendliness and nurturing nature are a welcome change in a building full of loud, fierce warriors. Though slow to learn, Chizuru eventually tries her best to stay out of their way when duty calls, and frequently volunteers herself to carry out the less glorious errands, such as running across town to deliver messages inconspicuously. She is free of judgement, willing to put up with each of the captain's eccentricities and shenanigans--from Okita's constant death threats, to Saitou's stoicism, to Harada and Nakagura's red-light district misadventures. While initally withdrawn, once Chizuru is shown a little bit of warmth, she easily opens up and is often approachable.

One of her best qualities, especially in the eyes of the Shinsengumi, is her ability to keep secrets. Just as she kept her healing capabilities a secret for her entire life, she keeps the secrets of the Shinsengumi--namely, that of the rasetsu. Spawned by an elixir formed by her father called ochimizu, rasetsu are vampire-like monsters with supernatural regenerative capabilities. In exchange for this super-human power, however, is the cost of the person's sanity. Plagued with bloodlust for the duration of their unlives, rasetsu are driven to madness unless they are able to satiate their need. The Shinsengumi maintain a unit of these creatures, originally fallen comrades in battle. Outside of the Shinsengumi, Chizuru is one of the only people to know of its existence. It's possible her merit at secret-keeping is due to a quality that she is often chided for: her stubbornness. Often Chizuru is attributed to being an "Edo girl," meaning they are strong-willed, independent, forward-thinkers. Initially Chizuru may not have regarded herself as such, but once she had been given a reason to believe in - that reason being the Shinsengumi - she found her resolve unwavering, and a constant source of inner strength.

Why do you feel this character would be appropriate to the setting?
She was quite active during her previous stay here, and Chizuru comes from a historical Tokugawa/Meiji era canon-point with distinct horror over-tones. In addition to being an oni herself, her castmates (depending on their canon-points) are rasetsu, who require blood in order to sustain their life force. The fact that she has canonically offered her blood in order to ease their bloodlust and other adverse effects of the ochimizu makes her a suitable addition to this game's cast. Her supernatural qualities will make her a viable addition to plots, and her caring nature and desire to nurture will make her willing to involve herself in other characters cross-canon.

Previously Played Information

Previous Game: [community profile] scorched
Length of time there: Six months (May - October, I think?)

Important development and/or events in your previous game: Chizuru was already an adaptable, resilient individual, but her time in Scorched increased that ten-fold. She had several of the Shinsengumi that had arrived with her, though having them from different points in their lives. They were every bit as shaken by the spiriting away from their homes as she was, and as a result, Chizuru took it upon herself to be a bastion of strength and stability, especially in the absence of Isami Kondou, their chief and figurehead.

Chizuru's experiences in Anatole during her previous stay were a mixed bag. She made several new friends, several of which, much to her delight, were female. Though she never managed to shake her bouts of shyness, she did become a great deal more outgoing, if only out of necessity. This was best exhibited through her developing tendency to meddle - a hybrid of her wanting to help her new friends and wanting to be included in their daily lives. She worked a great deal, taking on three or four jobs at a time, in order to give the other Shinsengumi their space to adjust to their new settings. This allowed her to be involved in several parties and social events, though one would argue that she was more of a cog in the wheels of the city than much of a power player. That is how Chizuru preferred things, though. She avoided most conflict, instead choosing to play a support role for those who stuck their necks out for the safety of others.

Which isn't to say Chizuru's triumphs weren't without struggles. Having been pulled here a mere night after Yamazaki's death, wounds were still fresh, and she was plagued with dreams and visions of her fallen comrade. This was made worse with the medic's arrival - still wounded, clinging to life. At first she couldn't believe to be anything more than another one of her hallucinations, but unwilling to forsake her one chance at saving him, she acted quickly, and spent much of her latter weeks during her last stay tending to his wounds and nursing him back to health.

Writing Samples

Network Post Sample:
Ah, Memories...

Third Person Sample:
...don't you want more of this?



cannotcrossdress: (Default)
雪村千鶴 (Yukimura Chizuru)

March 2013

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