Singer Yumi Matsutoya Claims Blood Relation to Famous Swordsman Okita Sōji
posted on by Kim Morrissy
Singer Yumi Matsutoya claimed in a recent television program that she's a descendant of the famous Japanese swordsman Okita Sōji, who was a key historical figure in the Shinsengumi during the final years of the Edo Period.
Matsutoya made the claim in the "Matsutoya Yumi no All Night Nippon GOLD" radio program broadcast on the Nippon Broadcasting System station on Friday. The program discussed the recent announcement that Matsutoya will perform the new theme song "Anata to Watashi to" (You and Me) for the Touken Ranbu browser game for its fifth anniversary. Matsutoya said that the decision to participate in a historical-themed franchise was highly auspicious, and that she feels a connection to the series because she herself is connected to Okita Sōji by blood.
In the Touken Ranbu series, Okita Sōji wielded the swords Kashuu Kiyomitsu and Yamatonokami Yasusada, both of whom appear as pretty boys. They are the main characters of the Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru anime series.
Kashuu Kiyomitsu voice actor Toshiki Masuda reacted with surprise at Matsutoya's claim, so she further explained her connection to Okita: The relation comes from her mother's side several generations back. Her ancestors were peasants who lived deep in the countryside. The men decided to learn swordsmanship to further their standing in life and journeyed to Kyoto, and Okita Sōji was among those ancestors.
Matsuoya is perhaps best known for performing the theme song for the Studio Ghibli film Kiki's Delivery Service (under the name Yumi Arai) and The Wind Rises. She also performed theme songs for the various installments in the Tamayura anime series.
Okita Sōji is a popular historical figure who has been depicted in numerous anime, manga, and video game properties, including Peacemaker Kurogane, Kaze Hikaru, Hakuōki, and Fate/Grand Order. He was considered one of the most skilled swordsmen of the Shinsengumi until his untimely death from tuberculosis in his mid-twenties.