Yuki is a character in Hajime no Ippo. She was a beautiful young woman who befriended and lived with Kamogawa Genji and Nekota Ginpachi in their youth. She died from radiation poisoning presumably within a year of meeting them.
|Death date||ca. 1950|
|Family|| Kamogawa Genji (love interest)|
Nekota Ginpachi (friend "not clearly defined later on")
|Manga Debut||Round 401|
|Anime Debut||Round 22 (Rising)|
|Anime Final||Round 25 (Rising)|
|Voice Actor||Orikasa Fumiko|
Yuki met Kamogawa and Nekota at a boxing match in the 1940s. Smitten, they offered to put her up at Kamogawa's house to protect her from American soldiers. It was soon revealed, however, that Yuki was a victim of radiation poisoning from the American bombing of Hiroshima, and that she had come to Tokyo in hopes of living out her last days in happiness.
During her time in Tokyo, she formed part of a love triangle between Kamogawa, Nekota and herself. While she had strong feelings for Kamogawa, he couldn't answer to them because his best friend, Nekota, had fallen for her, and Kamogawa didn't want to break his heart since he already felt responsible for causing Nekota brain damage. When Nekota left Tokyo to live in the mountains, Yuki went with him, but only because Kamogawa asked her to. Although—or perhaps because—Yuki had fallen in love with Kamogawa, she spent the rest of her life in the mountains with Nekota as per his request, dying peacefully some time later.
After learning of Yuki's ailment, Kamogawa began to admire her Japanese fighting spirit, saying "No matter how hard I train, I'll never be able to match it... I better work harder." Thus, Yuki is covertly the inspiration for his boxing philosophy.
Yuki is a small, slender woman with long black hair. She wears one type of outfit throughout her appearance, which is a plain dress and heels. Occasionally she dons a straw hat with a ribbon around it. There are numerous comparisons of her to a sunflower in the story.
On the surface, Yuki is a jovial young woman without a care in the world, who smiles frequently and bows more often than other Japanese women her age. Her personality suggests a good upbringing. However, under the facade is a deep sadness. She is sickly, weak, and fragile (much like the delicate flowers she adores; a possible allegory), and knows she is not long for the afterlife. Yuki is helpless at defending herself, and though she tries to comfort Kamogawa and Nekota during her tenure, she is also helpless at aiding them with their various physical and mental ailments. Since the story is told following Yuki's death, she infuses most scenes she appears in with a sense of foreboding.
Simultaneously, Yuki has a resilient spirit. While her fellow Japanese countrymen grovel for food thrown at them on the ground, she stands tall and dignified, refusing to give up her Japanese pride, "the only thing she had left". Nekota mentions that it is rare to find a girl her age with such demeanor, suggesting that it is this quality which attract him and Kamogawa to her more than her looks.
Yuki's presence in the Kamogawa arc is one of the most influential. It opposes that of Ralph Anderson's.