Katsuhito Masaki (柾木 勝仁, Masaki Katsuhito) is the grandfather of main protagonist Tenchi Masaki in the Tenchi Muyo! metaseries.
In most of the continuities, Katsuhito's original name is Yosho (柾木 遙照 樹雷, Masaki Yōshō Jurai) and he is the First Prince of Jurai.
Life as Yosho
Because his mother was from Earth and was under a lot of heat from the people of Jurai because of her heritage, Yosho stood in a very difficult position since birth. Though half of the members of the Jurai palace were benevolent to her, others took the position of being neutral or critical to her. Yosho was always apprehensive of Funaho and if he found any chance, he tried to stay with her as much as he could. He believed that was the only way to help and protect her in his father's place as he was busy with his official work.
Yosho is not first in line for the throne solely because of his lineage. When Yosho was eight years old, he was bonded to a first-generation Royal Tree like his father, which made him second in line for the throne. He named his tree, Funaho. He named his ship after his mother in an attempt to help strengthen his mother's standing on Jurai.
His father's second wife, Empress Misaki, would visit Yosho's room every morning in a very cheerful and loving manner. Yosho was already mortified to be cheerfully greeted by an elder woman in the early morning as a 12 year old, but things only got worse when he realized that he had begun to fall in love with Misaki.
After Misaki's mother, Jurai's political advisor known as "the Devil Princess of Jurai," Seto Kamiki Jurai, discovered Misaki's daily visits and the potential for scandalous behavior to happen, she visited Yosho and suggested that he attend the Galaxy Academy. Noticing the reason for her suggestion, Yosho took her advice and decided to go. During his stay at the Academy, he met an older student named Airi. Life there changed him exponentially. Living in the palace and trying to protect his mother made him sharp but he seldom showed his emotions. But here, by the effort of Airi and others, he gradually began to express his feelings outwards.
Several months after Yosho told Airi who he really was, he became more mild than before. Though it wasn't that extreme, his characteristics which made everyone awe him had been softened; the days living with Airi made him know the life of a normal boy. However, one day, Seto, guessing that the days in the academy would be a good experience for Yosho yet would make him soft, sent him a message and suggested that he stay half a year on Jurai and the other half at the academy. Unfortunately, much to Airi's chagrin, every time Yosho would return from Jurai, he would be the same as he was before. Airi was from the planet Airai whose people despised Jurai, and she was forced to go back home despite knowing that she was pregnant with Yosho's child who eventually became Minaho Masaki.
Yōshō had a marriage arranged with his half-sister Ayeka, but at the time, not all Juraians liked the idea of mixed blood heritages as he is part Earthling on his mother's side. So, when Yosho took on the space pirate Ryoko during her massive attack on Jurai, he used it as a perfect excuse to slip away. Yosho used his Master Key called "Tenchi-ken (Sword Tenchi)" to do battle with Ryoko and lured her to Earth. There, he subdued her, took away her power source (her three gems), and sealed her away in a cave near the Masaki Shrine.
The excuse that Yosho uses for leaving Jurai and his engagement to Ayeka is a false one. The real reason, his love for Airi, wouldn't have been the best reason to give at the moment as Airi's people despised Jurai. Even his old love for Ayeka's mother Misaki, wouldn't have been a suitable excuse. His tertiary reason, the fact that he loved Ayeka only as a sister, would only have been reason enough to not marry Ayeka. It would not have justified his running away. The fact that if he had not married Ayeka, and Jurai would have had to choose between the two as heads of the throne, is a major factor in why Yosho left.
Taking the name Katsuhito
During the battle with Ryoko on Earth, Yosho saved his mother's niece, Kasumi, from the space pirate. Afterwards, Yosho married Kasumi. He took the name Katsuhito Masaki and became the Shinto priest of the Masaki Shrine. With Kasumi, Yosho bore at least three children. His descendants along that line include Nobuyuki Masaki, Kenshi Masaki (also his step-grandson), Kiriko Masaki, and her young brother Kai. After Kasumi died, Katsuhito married Airi in a common law marriage. Together, they became the parents of a second daughter, Kiyone Masaki. Nobuyuki and Kiyone married and gave birth to a daughter, Tennyo, and (many decades later) a son, Tenchi. Early on, Katsuhito sensed enormous potential and power coming from Tenchi and put things in motion for his grandson to go to Jurai in his place.
In the beginning of the series, Katushito is not only training Tenchi to be a Shinto priest but also training him in a style of swordsmanship which, unbeknownst to Tenchi, belongs to planet Jurai. Katsuhito had expected that Ayeka would try to track him down and arranged for Tenchi to find Ryoko in the Masaki Shrine, then release and do battle with her so that he would go in Yosho's place to Jurai.
Although he had dropped contact with his parents, he was still secretly in touch with Seto through whom he was able to send Kiriko, Tennyo, and others, into space via the Galaxy Academy. Seto also assisted Airi and Yosho in continuing their relationship, which is basically a common-law marriage. It is explained in the fifth season of Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki that they have never had a formal wedding, because it could still potentially be a political bomb if anyone other than the Jurai Royal Family and close friends ever found out.
While he appears to be of advanced age, his gray hair and lined face are merely an illusion hiding his true form, which he shows to only a select few (such as his mother). The goddess, and mother of the Royal Trees. This is a common practice of the Masaki family on Earth to make sure that Yosho and other family members would be able to live his life on Earth without arousing suspicion among normal Earthlings about their apparently always youthful appearance. Others like his granddaughter, Tennyo, and her father, Nobuyuki (born at some point in the 19th century), have also used this technique.
Fans incorrectly assumed that Yosho could generate one Light Hawk Wing during the battle with Kagato and the possessed Ryoko in OVA 1 Episode 5 but series creator Masaki Kajishima confirmed that it was not a Light Hawk Wing but in fact a simple shield generated by his connection to his Royal Tree, Funaho. Funaho is a rare first-generation tree spawned directly from Tenju and thus one of the most powerful Juraian tree ships. It is currently rooted on Earth and so, at present, cannot take ship form. However, the tree has not lost its power. This was because during his battle with Ryoko, Yōshō stole the three gems originally forged by Washu to hold her godly power, owned by Ryoko, and embedded them to the pommel of Tenchi-ken, the Master Key. As a result, the gems supplied power to the tree for over 700 years, sustaining his youth.
Although Funaho could conceivably also grant a long life of thousands of years to all of Katsuhito's descendants, his wife Kasumi convinced him that their children should not be forced to live such an extended life if they are confined on Earth. Kasumi had been assisted in such a way for a time but became disturbed with her extended life, outliving all of her fellow Earthlings, and so she requested for this assistance to be halted and eventually died at the age of 138. Katsuhito has honored this request but has also given his descendants the choice to take advantage of the technologies of the Galaxy Federation if they desire and receive bio-enhancement that can extend their lives according to their own wishes. As the Misakis are still descended from Yosho, who is not only a recipient of long life through Funaho, but also bio-enhanced (as all Juraians are), they still typically live much longer lives than normal Earthlings due to their inherited genetics. For instance, Yosho and Airi's second daughter, Kiyone, never received any bio-enhancement augmentations and died at the age of 248.
- The name Katsuhito means "victory" (勝) (katsu) and "compassionate" (仁) (hito).
- Katsuhito's surname Masaki means "straight grain, spindle tree, (kokuji)" (柾) (masa) and "tree, wood" (木) (ki).
- Yosho is often called the Crown Prince of Jurai in translations, but as the title of Crown Prince is usually strictly given to the heir apparent of the throne through birthright, and the emperor is chosen by the Royal Council, this could be a inaccurate translation. However, he is the First Prince of Jurai, and also incidentally the presumed heir apparent through being the partner of the only other known First Generation Treeship.