Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees


Yoshitsune Senbonzakura


Minamoto Yoshitsune

General of the Genji clan. Because he was in charge of the capital, he was made a judge and is thus sometimes known as Honorable Judge. He was the central figure in ending the reign of the Heike clan, but is suspected by his elder brother Yoritomo, now the nation’s supreme leader, of plotting a coup. Along with careless behavior by Benkei, he was forced to leave the capital.

Shizuka Gozen

Yoshitsune’s favorite mistress. She asks permission to accompany Yoshitsune when he flees Kyoto, but he asks her to wait there, giving her a drum as a keepsake. Hearing that he is hiding in nearby Mt Yoshino, she cannot wait and goes to find him accompanied by the retainer Tadanobu.

Kyo no Kimi

Yoshitune’s wife. Though her real father is a Genji soldier, she had been brought up by someone on the Heike side. She commits suicide when her stepfather and husband are put in a tough situation.

Kawagoe Taro

Yoritomo’s retainer and real father of Kyo no Kimi. He is sent by Yoritomo to check out rumors that Yoshitsune may be planning a rebellion. He witnesses his daughter’s suicide and takes her head back to Yoritomo.

Musashibo Benkei

Yoshitsune’s retainer. Unrivaled in physical strength, he kills an envoy from Yoritomo, creating serious trouble for Yoshitsune. In this drama, he is presented as straightforward and careless.

Sato Tadanobu

Yoshitsune’s retainer. After the Heike clan is exterminated, he returns to his hometown of Dewa to visit his sick mother. When he returns, Yoshitsune has gone into hiding, and he learns to his surprise that he was supposedly ordered to guard Shizuka Gozen.

Fox Tadanobu (Genkuro)

A man presenting himself as Tadanobu rescues Shizuka Gozen and is rewarded with armor and a title. He is ordered to protect and accompany Shizuka to Mt Yoshino, though his behavior is somewhat odd. He is later revealed to be a fox who has taken human form.

Tokaiya Ginpei, actually Taira Tomomori

Runs a boathouse, where he is sheltering the fleeing Yoshitsune. He is actually the fourth son of the Heike clan’s leader. Thought to have died, he is disguised and waiting his chance to take his revenge on the Genji side. When Yoshitsune sails out, Tomomori attacks but loses the battle. With this, he ties an anchor around himself and dives into the sea.

O-ryu, actually Chief Lady-in-Waiting Suke

Supposedly the wife of Ginpei, but actually the head lady-in-waiting who was supposed to have died with the child emperor. When Ginpei’s attack on Yoshitsune fails, she tries to drown herself in the sea with the emperor, but was stopped by Yoshitsune’s retainer. Asking Yoshitsune to take care of the child, she kills herself.

O-yasu, actually Emperor Antoku

Supposedly Ginpei’s daughter, but actually the child emperor. He was thought to have died in battle, but is actually hidden at the boathouse and disguised as a girl. After Tomomori loses to Yoshitsune, he asks the former not to resent Yoshitsune since he saved his life.

Shume Kokingo

Retainer of Taira Koremori, a young soldier. When he visits Nakaba Naishi, he saves her from trouble, then continues to serve her and her son, who are looking for her husband Koremori. He is attacked by Gonta, who steals his money. He is then attacked by Fujiwara soldiers. He manages to defend Naishi but is killed.

Wakaba no Naishi

Koremori’s wife and mother of their son. After Heike clan was exterminated, she hides in Kita Saga. She is nearly discovered by the enemy but is rescued by Kokingo. When she hears that her husband is hiding in Mt Koya, she heads there to find him.

Igami no Gonta

Son of sushi shop owner Yazaemon. “Igami” is a nickname meaning scoundrel. He is a well known villain and was disowned by his parents. After finding that the man known as Yasuke is actually the Heike soldier Koremori, he uses his wife and son as substitutes in hopes of showing his transformation to a good person. In the end, he suffers a tragic death.


Gonta’s wife, originally a courtesan. They have a son. She is a hard-working lady running a tea shop single-handedly at a town at the base of Mt Yoshino.


Master of the Tsurube Sushi shop, father of Gonta and Osato. In the past, he received a significant favor from Koremori’s father, and is now sheltering Koremori by employing him as a servant in his shop under the name Yasuke.


Yazaemon’s daughter, Gonta’s sister. She is a popular girl working in the sushi shop. She falls in love with Yasuke at first sight and is determined to marry him, but her dream changes dramatically when his wife and son happen upon the shop.

Yasuke, actually Taira Koremori

Employed at a sushi shop, but in fact the oldest son of the main successor to the Heike clan. When he was nearly discovered by the enemy, he was rescued by Gonta, causing him to realize the transience of life. He becomes a monk and goes to Mt Koya.

Kajiwara Heizo

Key retainer of Yoritomo, searching for Koremori. He notices that the head presented by Gonta was not Koremori, but receives it anyway, signaling that he had planned from the beginning to save Koremori’s life.

Kawatsura Hogen

Head of the monks at Mt Yoshino. Because his master used to train Yoshitsune as a boy, he hides Yoshitsune and risks his life to protect him.

Yokawa Kakuhan, actually Taira Noritsune

A mountain priest who learns that Yoshitsune is hiding in Mt Yoshino and tries to capture him. He is actually a nephew of a Heike leader and one of the clan’s greatest warriors. He killed Tadanobu’s brother in battle, so Tadanobu views him with great hostility.