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This article is about a character in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni.
Overview
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Kaoru Yamaoki (山沖 薫 Yamaoki Kaoru) is the chief of police at the Kakiuchi City police department. He first appears in Kageboushi-hen.

Profile

He is the chief of the Kakiuchi Police Department, with the rank of superintendent. An aloof old man who proclaims himself "useless", his words and actions are so inconsistent that nobody can tell when he's joking and being serious. He is currently engaged to Madoka, who is young enough to be his daughter. Her sister Tomoe has a scorpion-like hatred of him. ...but he doesn't care.

(Translated from Entergram's Higurashi Hou website.)

Appearance

Yamaoki is an old man with black hair. He is always seen wearing a police uniform.

Personality

Yamaoki is very easygoing and often jokes around. He's a frequent customer at Angel Mort, enough to earn him the nickname of Grand Duke of Rochefort.

Yamaoki drops his silly demeanor and gets serious whenever it concerns police work or the well-being of others. He proves that he has a realistic side to him and can be heartfelt.

Background

Yamaoki was good friends with Tomoe and Madoka's father Yuusuke Minai, back when Yamaoki was just a police captain. They were involved in the Shirakaba mountain villa incident in 1970, where extremist student activists raided a resort and took hostage the people living inside. Yamaoki took charge of the rescue operation when the riot police captain was killed and managed to rescue the hostages while subduing the criminals. However, Yuusuke shot and killed one of the criminals and was to face punishment afterwards since the police had no-fire orders. Yamaoki avoided that by having Yuusuke transferred under him to tackle a certain case. In the meantime, as part of his original role with media correspondence, Yamaoki organized with the mass media to put out a live TV report about the families of the officers who were killed during the incident; deflecting some of the criticism the police were given because of they way they handled the incident.

After the deaths of the Minai sisters' parents in an arson incident, Yamaoki helped Tomoe get back on her feet and told her that Yuusuke may have been killed because of a conspiracy surrounding the case he took. Tomoe was inspired to become a police officer.

Yamaoki later met Madoka when he visited the cabaret club she worked at. Madoka thought he was just another middle-aged customer at first but Yamaoki thought she looked familiar and brought up Tomoe. Seeing how happy yet saddened Madoka was to hear her sister works for the police, Yamaoki began visiting the club every week and requested Madoka every time, giving her updates on Tomoe. Their relationship progressed to where they began meeting up regularly outside of work, and after Yamaoki became police chief in 1981[2], he gave Madoka an opportunity to become a patrol officer in Kakiuchi and work alongside her sister.[3]

Yamaoki also used his influence to recommend Tomoe's transferal to Kakiuchi as Chief Inspector, believing that it would make her investigation into Yuusuke's case easier. Unfortunately, this led to rumors among the other police officers that Tomoe's transferal was all because of her sister dating Yamaoki.

Relationships

Overview

Tomoe Minai

Yamaoki is well-acquainted with Tomoe's father and worked alongside him for years.He was first introduced to Tomoe by Ooishi sometime after her parents died. She sees him as a father figure at times and learned a lot from him after she became a police officer. Yamaoki also sees Yuusuke in her at times ad often wishes for her success.

Their relationship becomes rocky when Yamaoki gets engaged with Madoka, but over time Tomoe learns to accept it.

Madoka Minai

Yamaoki first met Madoka at her cabaret club and steadily visited her every week before they started dating outside of the club. At some point Madoka moved in with him. Their relationship hits a snag in Tokihogushi-hen when Yamaoki transfers Tomoe to the public relations department, stopping her from continuing her investigation. Madoka gets very angry; not only does she temporarily move back in with Tomoe, she throws some things around Yamaoki's office in a rage and even hits his desk with his golf clubs.

Story

Kageboushi-hen

Yamaoki is introduced having lunch with Tomoe, Akasaka, and Ooishi at a Kakiuchi Angel Mort location. He stays silent as the others talk about setting up a group investigation into Hinamizawa families living in Kakiuchi after the Great Hinamizawa Disaster, until their food arrives. Yamaoki and Ooishi's indulging of the Angel Mort atmosphere angers Tomoe.

Madoka and Yamaoki plan a dinner date to introduce her to the chief's parents. Madoka waits at the restaurant for Yamaoki, but when he arrives he tells her to head out immediately, as Tomoe got stabbed and is in critical condition. They go to the hospital and wait outside the operating room, discussing the situation. Yamaoki says Tomoe's cash and wallet were stolen, but she was found holding onto one thing: a bankbook containing money set aside for Madoka.

The surgeon exits and announces that the worst has happened. Everyone else grieves for Tomoe, but Yamaoki believes that her murder had to do with their investigation into the Great Hinamizawa Disaster. He forbids everyone from attending Tomoe's funeral or visiting her grave until they catch her killer.

Yamaoki speaks with Akasaka and Ooishi in private to discuss the details of Tomoe's murder. He believes there's a traitor at Kakiuchi Station, given that Tomoe was ambushed at the Kakiuchi service area, and the culprit stole all of her case materials from her car but left her handgun. The vehicle scheduling sheet posted at the station is the only way for people to have known where Tomoe would be going beforehand. Yamaoki also presents evidence that an audio recording at the service area's information center proving Tomoe's presence was overwritten. Yamaoki plans to have the tape studied by forensics to see if they can recover the missing audio. He also mentions that an EMT heard Tomoe's final words, "shiro cabinet office", and plans to look into that.

Yamaoki is present with the others when a belated letter sent by Tomoe reaches the station, containing data about a pill found at the Hatakeyama residence and matching it with Natsumi's medication. Akasaka and Ooishi are later given orders from the Tokyo police department ordering them to cease involvement with the case. Yamaoki promises them that they'll continue it.

In the final TIP, three years later, Yamaoki and Madoka have gotten married. Yamaoki still showed regret that he couldn't find Tomoe's killer while he was still a member of the station.

Tokihogushi-hen

TokihogushiCG (1).png

In 1982, Yamaoki presents Tomoe with an opportunity to do an interview in Tokyo about the expansion of women's rights, and she seemed perfect since she's a successful woman police officer. This was by request of the public relations department of the National Police Agency. Tomoe refuses since she dislikes interviews and is busy, but the chief explains that it has already been decided and gives her a business trip permit. Tomoe becomes livid when she hears Yamaoki made this decision without consulting her, and Yamaoki justifies that developing a good relationship with the mass media will be important to their investigations going forward. Tomoe begins to accept his explanation, but she gets even angrier when she sees the chief did it in exchange for a new golf club. Tomoe tries convincing Fujita to do something about Yamaoki's behavior but he threatens to cut Fujita's pay, knowing his wife wouldn't be pleased.

Yamaoki accompanies Tomoe on her Tokyo trip for the interview, and afterwards they stroll around looking for a place to eat. They talk about the interview and how in the past, Yamaoki provided Tomoe with a lot of advice when she struggled with her emotions as a fledgling police officer. They eventually reach Angel Mort, where Yamaoki provides special tickets to the waitresses giving them a special seat. Tomoe is taken aback by Yamaoki's apparent fame within the maid cafe chain and starts to leave, but the Grand Duke tries to make her stay by presenting a dessert menu. Tomoe is tempted and finally gives in when Yamaoki says he'll foot the bill.

After eating, Yamaoki mentions how Tomoe takes after her father Yuusuke and reminisces on the mountain villa incident that they were involved in. He expects Tomoe to discuss the relationship between him and Madoka, but she instead asks if her transferal to Kakiuchi had anything to do with progress on Yuusuke's case. Yamaoki gives her a serious look and suggests that she move on, seeing that she still wants to find her parents' killer and still holds a grudge. Tomoe says the case means everything to her and the chief wonders if she's really convinced of that. Tomoe is saddened at the thought that Yamaoki is invalidating her work, but he soon apologizes for the way he said that and says there's been no progress in the case; he gives a reason for her transferal, that it should make her investigation easier.

Madoka has a panic attack after watching her car explode and is sent to the hospital. Yamaoki rushes over there and confirms with Tomoe that she's fine. Yamaoki says that three people were injured in the explosion: two are unconscious and have burns all over their bodies while the third was injured such that they can't talk right now. Tomoe leaves Madoka in the chief's care and heads out.

Yamaoki receives a letter of complaint from Section Chief Okabe, who Tomoe punched at the scene of Nagisa's murder last night. He knew Okabe was being petulant, but he couldn't ignore it since it would cast suspicion on his recommendation of Tomoe and lead to more trouble for her and Madoka. After hearing from Director Yamaguchi that the public safety division set their sights on Tomoe because of Yuusuke's case, he had to take action. Yamaoki decides to transfer Tomoe to the public relations department to work under Public Relations Director Maeno, believing that keeping her out of the field will protect her.

Yamaoki invites Tomoe to his office and presents her with the notice of transferal, acting on the pretense that it will be good for her career. Tomoe objects and asks for more time, still wanting to investigate Nagisa's case and catch her killer, and Yamaoki accuses her of acting for her own self-satisfaction. In the face of Tomoe's rage, Yamaoki calmly says that Tomoe's desire to catch the culprit, her personal justice, might not match that of the police force, so she needs to think more about what the police do. Yamaoki raises his voice after Tomoe makes another outburst and soon apologizes for it. Tomoe tearfully and begrudgingly accepts her transferal and leaves the office. Yamaoki regrets that he may not be able to avenge Yuusuke.

After Tomoe's transferal, Yamaoki and Madoka's relationship became troublesome in the month that followed, but she eventually cooled off. Tomoe returns to the station and presents Yamaoki with request to do a joint investigation between Kakiuchi Station and the Aichi prefectural police to test profiling analysis techniques. Yamaoki is surprised that Tomoe managed this despite being with public relations now. He also agrees to set up a line between the station and Aichi for the purposes of the investigation. Seeing Tomoe's newfound sense of justice, Yamaoki becomes impressed, thinking she really does take after Yuusuke.

Connecting Fragments

Various Fragments detail Yamaoki's involvement in the Shirakaba mountain villa siege incident, the aftermath where Yuusuke is facing punishment for shooting and killing a criminal despite no-fire orders, and his regret at not being able to find his killer. Yamaoki discovers CIRO's doing their own investigation of Yuusuke's case and tells Maeno that he may meet a similar fate as the late detective. Yamaoki stresses the importance of the mass media, encouraging Maeno to accept his new post as public relations director.

Miotsukushi-hen Ura

Tomoe is busy at work when Yamaoki invites her to his office and presents her with a new project: writing wedding invitations. Tomoe rages over the suddenness of the job and at how close the wedding date is. Yamaoki also asks her to pick out a wedding ring for Madoka and hands her a catalog, then changes his tone and asks how her investigation is going; Tomoe sees he's talking about her secret investigation into Nagisa's murder. He suggests that because Tomoe is conducting an investigation with NRIPS, she could act as an investigator if she explains things to the higher-ups. Tomoe refuses, believing that investigation content is being leaked and presents some evidence proving obstruction by a third party. She shows Yamaoki her notes regarding the Nagisa case and explains that a close friend of Youko Hiranuma who spoke with her before Kouhei's murder had gone missing, supposedly going on a trip.

Tomoe apologizes for keeping the chief in the dark about this, hoping he'd understand why. Yamaoki explains that Fujita came to him earlier and tried to persuade him to stop Tomoe from pursuing the investigation, as he was very worried. The chief tells Tomoe not to worry, as the case can still be carried out by her colleagues, and he stresses that Tomoe herself is still important. Ultimately, he tells Tomoe not to be so selfish in wanting to sacrifice herself for the investigation; and that Maeno is still working to protect Tomoe from the fallout if she doesn't solve it within three months. He encourages Tomoe to do her best and be an inspiration for other police stations.

Tomoe prepares to leave when Yamaoki asks if she knows about the Lowell Incident and recaps it. Tomoe is already aware, but she didn't know that two patients really did die because of it, and that the incident was the result of Lowell Inc. experimenting with drugs for military applications. Yamaoki and Public Security were trying to shut this all down, but they didn't have enough evidence as to the mastermind, and they had no real authority anyway. The chief believed that Yuusuke had discovered info related to this, and that was why he was killed; Yamaoki transferred Tomoe to Kakiuchi because he wanted her to catch the culprit. The chief also explains that Yuusuke had contact with an informant who lived near Kakiuchi Airport and had connections to a certain political group that Public Security later found was connected to CIRO.

After Tomoe is almost killed by Hanada and recovers in the hospital, Maeno secretly pushes out a tabloid article accusing her of being in a scandal with Tsukada and places her on administrative leave, thinking it will protect her from enemies. Yamaoki compliments him on the rapidness with which he did it and wonders if they'll finally be able to take action against Chiba.

When Tomoe organizes the entire Kakiuchi police force to raid Kakiuchi Airport, an enraged Deputy Chief Hata expects someone to take responsibility for the illegal raid. However, he sees that Yamaoki's written a letter of resignation.

At the airport, Hanada corners Tomoe at gunpoint and prepares to kill her when Yamaoki shoots him in the side. The other officers move to cuff the downed suspect but Yamaoki tells them to stop, ordering that Tomoe get up and arrest Hanada herself. With his resounding encouragement, Tomoe is able to stand up and finally avenge her parents. Yamaoki hugs her and congratulates her for her strength.

As a result of the raid, Yamaoki is forced to resign. A worried Fujita talks to Yamaoki as he's cleaning out his office and asks why he's the only who had to resign when everyone else just had pay cuts. Yamaoki says the incident was definitely illegal, and though it was pulled off without the perpetrators' names being made public, someone still had to take the blame. The former chief says there's nothing to worry about: he's still getting some good retirement pay, and he plans to inherit the orchard that his parents own. Fujita offers to visit him with his wife sometime. Just then, Madoka arrives and tells Yamaoki that he's a father now. The old man is last seen running and screaming around the station.

References

  1. Someutsushi-hen All-Cast Review
  2. Tokihogushi-hen Chapter 1. Chief Yamaoki came here from central one year ago, and clearly was on bad terms with Deputy Chief Hata, who was a local rising through the ranks.
  3. Miotsukushi-hen Ura Chapter 13
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