Funaho Masaki Jurai (柾木 船穂 樹雷, Masaki Funaho Jurai) is an empress of the planet Jurai. She is canon to the official continuity as she appears in the Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki OVAs, also appearing in its television spinoff Tenchi Muyo! GXP and in the True Tenchi Muyo! novels. She also appears in the Okuda's manga No Need For Tenchi, although it's a non-canon continuation of the OVAs. Being a member of the Royal Family of Jurai, she possess great power and authority. She is the great-grandmother of main protagonist Tenchi Masaki.
Funaho is Emperor Azusa Masaki Jurai's first wife, and the mother of Prince Yosho. She serves as Jurai's Minister of Intelligence and acts as Head of House Masaki as her husband sits on the throne of all of Jurai. She is a distant descendant of Masaki, the sister of the first emperor of Jurai, but considers herself to be an earthling since she was born on Earth.
Years ago, Emperor Azusa and his Royal Tree, Kirito endured a battle with the ruthless Kagato and the battleship Ryo-Ohki. Defeated, Kirito was then transported away and put near Earth by the goddess Tsunami. While there in Japan, Azusa saves a young Funaho from bandits and she helps him recoup from his injuries received from Kagato. Azusa would later court Funaho and take her back to Jurai to be his first wife.
Azusa took Funaho to be his bride despite the prejudice that came with mixed blood marriages at that time on Jurai as well as his arranged marriage with the daughter of the Lady Seto, the Devil Princess of Jurai -- Misaki Kamiki Jurai. However, most of the problems seem to have been stirred up because of a political opponent of Azusa's, Shuzan Amaki, who hoped to depose Azusa and take the throne himself. Funaho would have been satisfied being the Second Empress, but due to Azusa insisting she be First Empress the stress wore on her early on. Funaho is a typically quiet and dignified queen. Though some on her planet criticize her because she is an Earthling, her subjects adore her. Funaho gave birth to Azusa's son and first heir to throne, Prince Yosho, though he would later leave his inheritance and family on Jurai for a life on Earth, using space pirate Ryoko's attack on the planet as an excuse to slip away.
In the True Tenchi novels, it is revealed that when Funaho moved to Jurai, she was often homesick and brought to sadness because she was a stranger in a strange world. That changed when she met a young Misaki and the two became fast friends, even referring to each other as sisters, and finally wives married to the same husband. Funaho is bonded to the second-generation Royal Tree, Mizuho. A twin of 2nd Empress Misaki Jurai's Karin, the ships have the ability to join together as well and become more powerful than maybe even a first-generation tree. The relationship being a parallel to Funaho and Misaki, married to the same husband and powerful in their own right but much more powerful together.
After Yosho left Jurai, Shuzan Amaki, backed by a small faction of the royal family, made disparaging remarks about him, which caused Funaho to start drinking, leading her to return his insults. Shuzan, believing her to be weak, wished for this behavior and seemingly forced her to accept a duel with him. Unbeknownst to the rest of Jurai, Funaho is one of the few who can spar with Misaki (Jurai's greatest martial artist), though only when using a staff, making her one of the fiercest combatants on Jurai. She then displayed her fierce skills with the staff against Shuzan and thrashed him repeatedly as she kept drinking and becoming more and more belligerent. She also took on and defeated Utsutsumi Kamiki Jurai (jealous that Funaho took the "first empress" position from his daughter, Misaki) and any others that tried to face her. Once her skill and fierce battle persona were so widely displayed to all of Jurai she became even more revered and no challenges to her fitness as First Empress were ever raised again. An utterly defeated Shuzan also gave up his position as head of the house to his son and stopped his scheming (and also became quite fat). Also thanks to the fight, no one dares to let Funaho get drunk again.
When she arrives at the Masaki Home on Earth, she sees right through Yosho's elderly "Katsuhito" disguise. Her main reason for coming to Earth, in OVA Episode 13 other than to see Yosho, and to check up on her step-daughters, Ayeka and Sasami, was to ask Professor Washu if she would assist Jurai by mass producing Ryoko and Ryo-Ohki for their defenses. However, Washu already knew about this reason and refused because, to Washu, not only would she not betray Tenchi's trust by accepting the offer, she also felt there should only be one Ryoko. Washu then assured a worried Funaho that she won't mass produce Ryoko or Ryo-Ohki for any of Jurai's enemies, because she has no interest in helping anyone (Washu does eventually create a "sister" of Ryo-Ohki named Fuku, who is, however, not as powerful).
- Funaho is a master of the staff, to the point where she can even defeat Misaki.
- She can also wield chain weapons to the point where even a length of thread can be used to cause a person to dance in the air.