|This article is about a character in Umineko When They Cry.|
This article or section contains untagged major spoilers for all of Umineko When They Cry, possibly including the manga. Readers who have not completed the story are advised not to proceed further.
Sayo Yasuda (安田 紗代 Yasuda Sayo), also known as simply Sayo (紗代) or Yasu (ヤス), is a servant for the Ushiromiya family. She is the true form of the witch Beatrice and the servants Shannon and Kanon, the true identity of The Man From 19 Years Ago, and the true writer of the message bottles. Due to her belief that she is furniture, amongst other things, Sayo plans out the Rokkenjima Massacre.
Sayo initially takes on the appearance of Clair and wears a knee length dress with a collar and cravat along with long pale hair. While telling her story, her appearance is not described, and it could only be assumed that she looks like her other counterpart, Lion.
When she appears in the manga adaptation of Requiem of the Golden Witch under just the name of "Yasu", she is portrayed as having long pale hair that covers her eyes and goes down to her mid back until she creates her Beatrice persona. After that, she takes on the appearance of Shannon.
In the Twilight of the Golden Witch manga, Sayo is depicted with a similar appearance to Shannon due to Confession of the Golden Witch taking place after the creation of Beatrice. Sayo is usually dressed in the traditional Ushiromiya maid outfit and, as she grows older, begins to wear pads to simulate breasts. While dressed as Kanon, she wears a wig and the male servant uniform. When dressed as Beatrice, she wears the witch's dress and occasionally a blonde wig.
Sayo was born with polydactyly similar to Kinzo, and there is a small scar on her foot from the operation she underwent shortly after her birth to remove the extra toe, which was performed at the same time as the one that damaged her body and turned her into "furniture".
A large portion of Sayo's character struggles stem from two contrasting things: the desire for romantic love, and the belief that such love is impossible for her. Several other factors, such as her entire life being manipulated to help Kinzo make reparations for raping his daughter, are also present.
When Sayo first started working for the Ushiromiya family in 1976, she was largely a lonely child whose only friend is Shannon, who is imaginary. As Sayo ages, she begins to get bold and attempts to 'punish' the servants who step out of line with pranks, such as stealing their keys. After meeting Battler however, Sayo's personality starts breeding a shred of bitterness, anger, and sadness that continued to grow over time. Sayo continues to grow and become more content even in her loneliness.
As time went on, Sayo grew extreme issues with self-worth, body image, and gender identity. The Confession of the Golden Witch chapters in the Twilight of the Golden Witch manga go more into detail about Sayo's gender identity issues. While Sayo was raised as a woman, she experienced heavy gender dysphoria due to her body not experiencing typical signs of female puberty such as menstruation or growing a chest. Due to this, she eventually created Kanon as a persona and began acting as him. This brought her some mental stability. Genji and Kumasawa strongly supported this.
When she solves the epitaph, the issues become much more prevalent. Genji, Kumasawa and Nanjo reveal to Sayo that every aspect of her life and agency had essentially been set up primarily for the purpose of making Kinzo feel better about what he did to the second Beatrice who lived in Kuwadorian. During this, they reveal to her that her body is incapable of bearing children, a revelation that drives her to eventually perform the Rokkenjima Massacre. She doubts that anybody could ever love her due to her body's condition, and begins calling herself "furniture", due to the belief that furniture are incapable of love.
Sayo's full personality is littered throughout her various personas. Shannon draws heavily from the Japanese concept of an ideal woman and an ideal servant, and because of this, has the least amount of Sayo's 'true' personality. Kanon and Beatrice, on the other hand, more closely represent her. Kanon represents a number of aspects, such as the negative traits she is unable to express as Shannon, but his personality is also the one who struggles the most against the idea of killing everybody. Beatrice is most similar to a power fantasy as a powerful and perfect witch, but also embodies her childish, joyful, naive, and mischievous traits.
Sayo is shown to hold contempt for the Ushiromiya family except for the cousins, which pushed her more into wanting to kill them all. When Sayo appears in 1986, she fully formulated her plan to kill everybody on the island, even if she has personal misgivings about it. This doubt, combined with the idea of the catbox (where multiple versions of the story can exist), formulates the premise of the demon's roulette, and is why she hosts an elaborate murder mystery instead of simply blowing up the island.
Sayo has proficiency in wielding firearms and Winchester Rifles due to Kinzo teaching her how to use them at several points. She is even capable of dual-wielding them. Sayo's transformation of Rokkenjima into an infinite catbox is what allows her to be blessed by Lambdadelta and ascended to the rank of witch. Sayo is also able to manipulate her voice, as she has played the roles of Shannon, Kanon, and Beatrice and created distinct voices for each.
Kinzo had sexual relations with his daughter Beatrice, and Sayo was the resulting child. Sayo was given to Natsuhi Ushiromiya to raise as her own in attempt by Kinzo to atone for his sin by making the child a proper member of the Ushiromiya family and giving it a happy life. However, Natsuhi rejected the child and was left guilt-ridden when the child fell off of a cliff along with another servant nineteen years ago. Unknown to Natsuhi and Kinzo, the child survived the incident thanks to Genji and Nanjo. According to Nanjo, the child was gravely injured, with their sexual organs badly mutilated.
After the accident, Genji decided to keep the child's survival a secret and sent them to the Fukuin House to raise, giving her the fake name Sayo Yasuda, later being given the blessed name of "Shannon". To ensure that child wouldn't be found out about easily, Genji lied about Sayo age, lowering it by three years; this was easy to fake because of Sayo's feebleness and underdevelopment. Genji personally arranged Sayo's hiring, hoping to reveal the truth if a good opportunity presented itself. He believed that if Kinzo truly felt affection as a parent, he would notice traces of the deceased mother and daughter in the child, and Kinzo and Sayo would be able to develop a parent-child relationship without knowledge of the truth.
Sayo was initially nervous with life on Rokkenjima, which was completely different from the life in the Fukuin House as everything was new and unfamiliar. As the youngest servant to work for the Ushiromiya family, Sayo was the only one who missed work in order to go to school. Though Natsuhi and Krauss always thought there was something odd about it and questioned Kinzo and the orphanage, Genji never shed any light on this. Some servants did not welcome the special treatment Sayo was given and often complained about it and even gave her the nickname "Yasu", which she despised. Because of Sayo's age and sloppiness, they grew to dislike Sayo even more, while Sayo continued to put effort into whatever work was given. However, older servants were annoyed by how often they had to help Sayo with chores because her young age didn't allow the young servant to do most things independently. However, these problems were viewed by Sayo as tests from God to help grow into a wonderful person someday.
It is mentioned that aside from Shannon, Sayo seemed to be in good relationship with the House Director, who played with and taught Sayo about things that cannot be seen with one's eyes, but with eyes of the heart. This way Sayo learned how to recognize beings not of this world at the Fukuin House and often spent free time in isolated rooms dreaming. Later it is revealed by several monologues that Shannon is Sayo's imaginary friend.
Basing on Kumasawa's stories of Beatrice's ghost and evil spirits of Rokkenjima, the young servant created the first Beatrice (later known as the demon Gaap). When Sayo's sloppiness resulted in incidents like losing keys or cleaning implements, the servant blamed it on Gaap's magic. Sayo and the prototype Beatrice became friends over the small broom which Beatrice hid in order to prank Sayo. Yet even after getting used to life on Rokkenjima, Sayo didn't manage to make a single human friend.
To help avoid the witch's pranks, Kumasawa gave Sayo a spiderweb charm (the kite strings) and taught Sayo a method to avoid losing things ('take them home' charm). Kumasawa's charms helped Sayo deal with forgetfulness and regain confidence. As time progressed, the young servant formed a relationship with Kumasawa and started borrowing mystery novels from her. Sayo found discussions and theorizing as the most entertaining part of mystery novels. While reading And Then There Were None, Sayo ended up seeing mystery novels as a game between humans and witches.
After previous servants left, Sayo decided to make a good impression on new servants and teach them the ropes, being the more experienced one. However, the new servants were already warned about Sayo's carelessness and they didn't take Sayo seriously. Because of that Sayo played a prank on the new servants, claiming that the behavior was the result of being possessed by Beatrice, in hopes that they would begin listening to Sayo. Initially they didn't believe but after some time they started admitting that something inhuman existed on this island, as pranks became harder to explain. The day Beatrice pranked servant for the first time Sayo represented a desire to become a witch rather than a perfect servant, claiming to be done playing the part of the servant. Sayo's world was modified and she took on the name of the Golden Witch, the ruler of Rokkenjima's night, leaving previous Beatrice nameless for a while. Sayo's own self was erased from Shannon's memories, making the supposed two-person into single-person room and Beato took the form of a witch in white dress in accordance with rumors of Beatrice's ghost, the opposite of Gaap's appearance.
As time progressed Shannon gained respect from the newer servants. Due to a relationship with Battler and other children, Sayo began to pay more attention to the real world, giving up magic. Few times a year, Shannon and Battler met to discuss mystery novels they read and the motive behind them. Both of them strongly believed that only a heart can move people to commit a murder. At some point these discussions became an excuse for them meeting alone. On the conference of 1980 Battler made a careless promise, which Shannon took seriously. This promise made Sayo think carefully about the future and consider not just quitting work as a servant on Rokkenjima, but also confessing to Battler and sharing a life with him.
After Asumu's death and Rudolf's remarriage in 1981 to Kyrie Sumadera, Battler left the family due to a quarrel with his father and didn't participate in the next family meeting. Sayo considered it a trial of love. Battler didn't participate the family meeting in 1982 either, and jokes by the siblings hurt Sayo even more. She started to believe that the trial must be an eternal torture and couldn't believe that Battler may have forgotten Shannon, even after having such a nightmare. The family conference in 1983 became the most influential. Battler gave Kyrie several letters addressed to all the siblings, leaving out Shannon. That event broke Shannon's heart.
Shannon "visited" Beatrice, who believed that "the Root of Love" would kill Shannon. As a result, Sayo transferred Shannon's love for Battler to Beatrice, sealing those feelings deep inside the heart. Beatrice gained a form of Battler's ideal woman and learned love in exchange of pain. Sayo promised to create a little brother for Shannon so that she would not be lonely and will keep Battler off her mind. The next morning Kanon started working as one of the rare servants who serves Kinzo directly, like Genji.
In April of 1984 the portrait of the Golden Witch and the epitaph, that doesn't exist in Lion's world, were displayed. The epitaph was a message, which only Genji could understand. It is implied that Kinzo, who was facing his last years, already realised that his child Lion is still alive. Afterwards Genji told Shannon and Kanon what was Kinzo's 'beloved hometown', giving Sayo a hint. Once the epitaph was solved, the truth about Sayo's birth was revealed to the young servant. Even after being chosen as the successor to the Ushiromiya family, Sayo decided that Krauss should become the successor and nothing has to change. Sayo only kept Beatrice's dress, the key to the VIP Room, and ten tons of gold. On November 29th, 1984 Sayo became the true Golden Witch Beatrice.
Eventually, Shannon and Kanon started relationships with George and Jessica. In the last two years Sayo greatly suffered from the conflict of the furniture with incomplete souls. Because of this complex, based on condition of body, Sayo did not believe in having a future, the right to love, and felt less than a human being. To reconcile these feelings, Sayo conceived there was a duel, the result of which was almost decided. During Dawn of the Golden Witch, this duel was assumed to be resolved along with trial of love. In Twilight of the Golden Witch, Shannon and Kanon suggest that the duel can be decided different ways, like a coin toss or the quiz tournament.
Ushiromiya Family and Relatives
- Beatrice Castiglioni (grandmother)
- Kinzo Ushiromiya (father/grandfather, predecessor, employer)
- Beatrice Ushiromiya (mother/half-sister)
- Krauss Ushiromiya (half-brother/uncle)
- Eva Ushiromiya (half-sister/aunt)
- Rudolf Ushiromiya (half-brother/uncle)
- Rosa Ushiromiya (half-sister/aunt)
- Natsuhi Ushiromiya (sister-in-law/aunt, foster mother prior to the accident)
- Hideyoshi Ushiromiya (brother-in-law/uncle)
- Asumu Ushiromiya (late sister-in-law/aunt)
- Kyrie Ushiromiya (sister-in-law/aunt)
- Battler Ushiromiya (half-cousin/nephew, love interest/first love)
- Jessica Ushiromiya (half-cousin/niece, friend, love interest)
- George Ushiromiya (half-cousin/nephew, love interest/fiancée)
- Maria Ushiromiya (half-cousin/niece, best friend)
- Ange Ushiromiya (half-cousin/niece)
- Beatrice (alternate persona, witch form/counterpart)
- Shannon (alternate persona, imaginary friend)
- Kanon (alternate persona, imaginary friend)
- Clair Vaux Bernardus (vessel, creation, alternate persona)
- Lion Ushiromiya (alternate self from Miracle fragment)
- Gaap (imaginary friend, creation)
- Ronove (imaginary friend, creation)
- Seven Stakes of Purgatory (imaginary friends, creations)
- Virgilia (imaginary friend, creation)
- Lambdadelta (sponsor of, witch guardian, miko of)
- Chiyo Kumasawa (mother figure, coworker, servant)
- Genji Ronoue (father figure, coworker, servant)
- Toshiro Gohda (coworker, servant)
- Other past coworkers (Lunon, Lenon, Sanon, Leion, Manon, Belne, Asne)
Throughout the series, Yasuda has only been depicted through her personas and once as Clair during the events of Requiem of the Golden Witch, where she was referred to as Yasu. The manga-only extra chapters, Confession of the Golden Witch, however, depicts her as Sayo Yasuda herself.
For Yasuda's roles in the first six episodes, see their corresponding Solution subpage.
Banquet of the Golden Witch (manga)
After Beatrice denies witches in red and regains her form, she peers into her dress and looks at her breasts, hinting at her true nature.
Yasuda first meets Willard H. Wright as Kanon. Kanon and Shannon take turns manning the reception desk in the chapel, and when Will asks Shannon to call Kanon so he can interview him, a strange look appears on Shannon's face, and she asks if Will really wants to do that. Because Shannon and Kanon are the same, Will cannot meet them both at the same time. It is not clear what would've happened if Will were to pursue his interview with Kanon.
Later, Bernkastel summons "the culprit" so that Will can ask them about their story. Yasu's appearance is not described, however she soon takes the form of Clair Vaux Bernardus and begins telling the story of her life.
Shortly before the massacre Sayo wrote many message bottles signed under the name Maria Ushiromiya. Each one contained a confession of her sins that she set off to sea on October 3rd. She also sent out money to the people whose families would die on the island (Doctor Nanjo and Kumasawa's families respectively).
On the day of October 4th, 1986, Sayo began the preparations to commence her murder-mystery game, but her plans were foiled by the adults solving the epitaph and discovering the gold. Sayo keeps her promise to stop the murders when the epitaph was solved. She gives the adults the gold card and all 10 tons of gold, along with her cooperation to accept any punishment the adults have for her. Sayo was seemingly killed by Kyrie after she was shot when Kyrie brings about the murders with Rudolf.
Later on after the incident, Sayo's message bottles which pinned herself as the culprit washed up on the shores of Nijima under the name of Maria Ushiromiya which kick started everyone's interest in the tragedy of the island.
It is stated in red in the manga that "this game is set up so that everybody knows about the connection between Shannon and Kanon". Kanon disappears forever and is treated as killed after Shannon dies on the fourth twilight, hinting at the fact that they are both personas of Yasuda. Oddly, they appear at the same time during certain scenes.
At the end of the episode, it is shown that Sayo had actually survived getting shot by Kyrie during Requiem's Tea Party and escapes the island with Battler on a motorboat. Sayo however doesn't feel she can go on and jumps off the boat with a bar of gold in an attempt to drown herself. Battler jumps after her and hugs her tightly as they fall together into the depths of the ocean.
Twilight of the Golden Witch (manga)
It is discovered that Sayo wrote another message bottle titled Confession of the Golden Witch, which is discovered by Ikuko Hachijo. Sayo writes all about her life and her reasons for committing the Rokkenjima Massacre.
A retelling of Requiem's Tea Party is shown, where after Sayo survived getting shot by Kyrie, she wandered the island and searched for Battler, encountering him in the gold room where the adults' corpses lay. After hearing Eva's footsteps behind her and fearing they are Kyrie's, Sayo drags Battler into the tunnel to Kuwadorian. Battler soon realizes that Sayo is actually Shannon since her voice sounds very similar to hers.
The two escape Rokkenjima on a motorboat and wind up drowning when Sayo decides to throw herself overboard holding a gold bar. After they drown, Sayo and Battler soon enter the Golden Land, where Battler loses his memories. Sayo as Beatrice decides to play games with Battler to make him remember who he is.
- Yasu's name is a reference to the Famicom game The Portopia Serial Murder Case, which is infamous for the detective's partner Yasuhiro "Yasu" Mono being the culprit. Ryukishi07 named Yasu such because "I wanted to give [Umineko] a culprit that cannot be copypasted...You can definitely deceive some people, because “The culprit is Yasu” has become such a stereotype."
- Portraits of Sayo's character/alternate universe self, Beatrice and Lion, have been featured, meaning Sayo is the character with most featured portraits.
- In the "Answer to the Golden Witch", Ryukishi07 responded to "a body that is unable to love" with "If you take this expression as a basis, you can imagine their sad fate of having some kind of imperfection on a sexual level" implying that the injury had some influence on Sayo's sexual problems/gender. He also states that he had to obscure it, because it was a very adult topic.
- Also Ryukishi said:"How scary must it be, to be told that your partner “wants children”, when you have a body that cannot make love." - referring to Shannon/Sayo, what might imply that Sayo is unable to have sex.
- When asked about Sayo being transgender and if any LGBT themes went into her creation, Ryukishi responded that "it was a difficult question to answer, but a good one. What did eventually come back was that he desired to keep some parts of Umineko a mystery and to leave it to the fans to come to conclusions of their own regarding the subject."