Yamada Asaemon Isuzu (山田浅ェ門
Isuzu was a very tall, dark-skinned woman with long, unruly hair. She wore the standard attire of an Asaemon, which was a white robe, a hakama, a red waist cord that held her two swords at her left hip, a bell tied to her left collar, and sandals. Like her brother, Isuzu also wore chains to act as her tasuki. She also previously wore a dark haori on top of her robe during her departure to Kotaku.
After taking on the task of destroying the Banko's tandens, Isuzu procured shinobi equipment such as gauntlets, a pair of gaiters, and a metal plate headband with four spikes. She also started to wear her brother's tasuki chains as a necklace.
Isuzu was very respectful towards her allies and wished to avoid any conflict between them. In battle, or when one of her allies were to step out of line, such as Kiyomaru, Isuzu behavior changed and became more serious and fierce. Isuzu was also capable of self restraint, which was greatly expressed on face, when dealing with a troublesome situation, such as when she tried to hold back her anger and reason with Sagiri as she continued to defend Yuzuriha from her. Like Kiyomaru, Isuzu was greatly loyal to Shugen and did whatever she could if it was all for his sake. She followed his view of justice in believing that all criminals should not be given mercy, or to those that protect them as well, and also believed that he was never in the wrong. To this point, she was not willing to cooperate with criminals even if dire circumstances arise. However, Isuzu was willing to temporarily set aside her morals just once by working together with the criminals of the vanguard to destroy the Banko and reunite with Shugen.
Like her brother Genji, Isuzu followed the samurai code of honor known as bushidō. After Gantetsusai brought Fuchi's dead body, Isuzu was prepared to commit seppuku for the death of her fallen Asaemon comrades on the island and hoped that her death would appeased the shogun.
As a child, Isuzu was sensitive about her stature and would often be referred to her as a gorilla. However, after receiving words of encouragement from her brother about gorillas being strong animals, Isuzu no longer took it as an insult and believed that gorillas embody the concept of bushidō.
Isuzu and her older brother Genji joined the Yamada clan when they were young and eventually earned their names as Yamada Asaemons. At times, Isuzu was mocked because of her appearance and had to cope with the harsh insults. During one of her duties, Yamada Asaemon Shugen came to her defence after she received discrimination from the castle women she came to instruct and felt grateful to him. Isuzu then went on to pledge her loyalty towards him in hoping she can repay the kindness he showed her.
Lord Tensen Arc
- Main article: Lord Tensen Arc
During their time sailing, Isuzu tries to calm Kiyomaru down after he becomes annoyed with Aoki concern about them being unranked. She then see him boasts about his superiority by cutting one of the ninjas mask. Isuzu draws her sword and strictly demands that he behaves himself. She then apologies to one of the ninjas for his behavior but the ninja says that there was no problem since they are absolutely loyal, causing Kiyomaru to order the ninja to kill himself to prove his statement. Isuzu shockingly watches as the ninja follows his orders by stabbing his neck with a sword and becomes impress with the man's resolve. The group then arrives on Kotaku.
After finally making landfall on the island, Isuzu holds Shugen's sword as he is about to fight a group of Sōshin that approaches the group. She and Kiyomaru watches in amazement as he defeats them and comes to his aid to see if he is injured. They are then reassured that as their senior he will take on the responsibility of handling lesser matters that do not involve their purpose as executioners, causing them to feel delighted. As the group moves forward they stumble upon Eizen's corpse, causing Shugen to cry over his death and takes the time to lay his soul to rest. However, they are met with conflict by a horde of Mōnshin commanded by a Dōshi. As one is about to attack Shugen, Isuzu and Kiyomaru protects him as he continues to grieve over Eizen's death. However, one Mōnshin slips past them and charges at Shugen. They are then relieved after Shugen notices the monster and cuts its legs but are shocked to see him chipping away at his sword and declaring vengeance for the death of Eizen.
- Main article: Hōrai Arc
While traveling to Hōrai, Isuzu breaks down in anguish after the ninja presented her evidence of Genji's death. Having found out more of his comrades have died, Shugen takes drastic measures by using the Dōshi's whistle to summon the Mōnshin from their nest and uses them to quickly transport him and the Asaemon to Hōrai.
After arriving in Hōrai, Isuzu and Kiyomaru follow Shugen as he makes his way forward. Isuzu arrives in the Rentan Temple where she reunites with Yamada Asaemon Sagiri but becomes displeased to see that she has chosen to cooperate with the criminal, Yuzuriha. Though she had her reasons, Isuzu asks that Sagiri join her side as she fights Yuzuriha. Shortly after, Isuzu hears the Iwagakure shinobi signaling that they have captured the Elixir of Life, meaning that the mission is complete. Sagiri begs her to stop from fighting Yuzuriha but is furiously told by Isuzu that once the elixir has been captured the lives of the criminals should be of no concern and sees no other way of settling matters with them.
After hearing an explosion from outside, Isuzu checks and witnesses the setting in Hōrai change by Zhu Jin fused with the Banko. She then defends herself against the monsters created. Despite the situation unfolding and Gantetsusai bringing Yamada Asaemon Fuchi's dead body, Isuzu continues to refuse to cooperate with the criminals since she has faith in Shugen's abilities and prepares to commit seppuku to atone for the lives of her deceased comrades. However, Jikka arrives with the convicts and Iwagakure shinobi to tell her that they need everyone to join forces since it is the only way to take down the Banko and return home. Although she swore on the passing of her late brother that she would not conspire with the criminals, Isuzu gives in to the fact that cooperation is essential and temporarily puts off Shugen's orders. Isuzu pairs up with Kiyomaru, in accordance to the Tao restoration match up, and sets out to destroy the tandens of the Banko.
As they make their way to the Shu'itsu Temple, Isuzu feels herself becoming exhausted and overwhelmed by the crisis she is in, which makes her start to realize why she had to cooperate with criminals. Isuzu is then scolded by Kiyomaru for starting to doubt Shugen and tells her to honor her loyalty towards him after reminding her of the time Shugen stood up for her in the past. Isuzu recalls the time Shugen saved her from discrimination and thanks Kiyomaru for reassuring her. After fighting off the Banko's monsters, Isuzu and Kiyomaru arrive at the Shu'itsu Temple where the Banko's Fire tanden is located and are forced to get pass clones of Ju Fa protecting the tanden. After they hear the next signal by Yuzuriha, Isuzu finds herself heavily exerted of her strength but pushes herself to commence her attack on the tanden at the same time as the others. Though everything went as plan, Isuzu sees the tanden slowly regenerating due to the Zhu Jin-fused Banko being replenished by the sun. However, the Zhu Jin-fused Banko is ultimately destroyed after Aza Chōbei's quick thinking of destroying the roots of the tandens to cut off the monster's regeneration link.
- Main article: Departure Arc
With the Banko destroyed, Isuzu and Kiyomaru regroup with the others at the entrance to the Main Temple's floodgates. Sagiri worries about leaving the Aza brothers since they have yet to return but is told by Isuzu that they can return to the island at a later time after stopping Rien. After entering the floodgates, the group finds that only one ship has been spared from the rest that have been burned and witness Mei entering her Kishikai to a clear path for the group to get onboard the ship and sail off.
Shortly after, the survivors ship manages to reach Rien's burning ship after Gantetsusai (who managed to board the ship earlier) slightly damages it. Isuzu and Kiyomaru then climb onboard with the others to confront Rien and reunites with Shugen. While tending to his wounds, Isuzu, Kiyomaru, and Shugen watch as the fighters fall victims to Rien's Tao illusion and witness her entering her Kishikai. Not wanting to allow the monster to take away the Yamada clan's duty of executing the criminals, Kiyomaru and Isuzu receive orders from Shugen to get the criminals to safety on the other boats. However, Rien unleashes her power to dismantle the exterior of the ship, causing the lumber to scattered. As a result, Kiyomaru is killed after his body is crushed under a piece of the wreckage, much to Isuzu's and Sagiri's shock. Isuzu rushes over to their direction, however, she is left open to Rien's Tao manipulation, resulting in her death after her body was crushed by the Tensen.
Abilities and Powers
Despite being unranked, Isuzu was undoubtedly skilled as her skills were vouched by Shugen and became employed by the shogun as a Female Combat instructor. She was capable of defeating a group of Mōnshin, a feat Rien noted was anything but normal for a human, and keep them at bay from attacking Shugen. Isuzu was also able to bring the highly skilled kunoichi Yuzuriha to her knees (though the latter did note that she could not fight at full strength due to not being fully recovered from her earlier battle with Ran). Ultimately, she had became one of the known survivors to escape the dangerous island known as Kotaku that has brought many humans to their death for over 1,000 years.
Isuzu had impressive physical strength, being able block a Mōnshin's attack, causing it to get knocked off balance, and cut off its limbs. She also had enough raw power to shatter the ground to send out rubble towards her opponents as an attack.
- Further information: Tameshi Ittō-ryū
Isuzu was noted by Shugen to be talented with a sword that only a rare few can match. She was able to dual wield a pair of swords and perform instant slashes. Once combined to form a double-bladed sword, Isuzu was able to deflect attacks that were complimented from her strength and cut large targets like the Mōnshin to pieces. She could also use her katanas to fight from mid-range by striking the ground to send out large amounts of rubble aimed at her targets. As an Asaemon, Isuzu was capable of decapitating her victims with a single cut of her sword.
Isuzu possessed Water-attribute Tao and was shown capable of using it to imbue her sword in order to destroy the Banko's Fire tanden.
Isuzu carried two katanas that she could combine to form a double-bladed naginata.
- "I" (威?) means "authority", and "-suzu" (鈴?) means "bell". The name "Isuzu" (威鈴) could roughly translate to "authority of the bell."
- Isuzu ranked 30th place in the manga's 1st Character Popularity Poll. In the second poll, Isuzu rose up to 19th place.
- Jigokuraku Kaitai Shinsho, page 50