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 crown prince of planet Jurai.
Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki
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.
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 two 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 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 in touch with Seto through whom he was able to send Kiriko, his granddaughter Tennyo, and others, into space via the Galaxy Academy although her collusion in his plans is not known. Seto also assisted Airi and Yosho with their marriage which 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, Tsunami did this in order to make sure that Yosho would be able to live his life on Earth without normal Earthlings and young members of the Masaki family knowing his true heritage.
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 Tsunami 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.
In the Tenchi Universe continuity, Katsuhito is once again revealed to be Yōshō and is apart of Jurai's Royal Family along with being the greatest swordsman who has ever lived. While Ayeka and Sasami are from a distant branch of the imperial family, Yōshō is a lineal descendant of the main line and is the rightful heir to the throne of Jurai. This also makes Tenchi the direct heir to the throne.
In the movie Tenchi Forever! (Tenchi in Love 2), it was revealed that after Yosho defeated his rival Kagato for the first time, he left Jurai along with his lover, Haruna. They left the planet because Haruna was from a lower class than Yosho, and they fled so they could wed. Tragically, she died before arriving to Earth.
Upon arriving on Earth, Yosho met the Masaki family who guarded the shrine which coincidentally housed the great scientist, Washu, and trained in order to take over as its guardian and Shinto priest. He took the name Katsuhito Masaki, and fell in love with a member of the family named Itsuki, who would bare his daughter Achika Masaki, the mother of Tenchi.
Unlike the OVA continuity where Katsuhito had retained his youthful appearance throughout his seven centuries on Earth and simply chooses to appear as an elderly man, Yōshō of the Tenchi Universe continuity truly is as elderly as he appears, but he has not been on Earth for 700 years, and is not semi-immortal.
Tenchi in Tokyo
In Tenchi in Tokyo, Katsuhito is not part of any line to Jurai's Royal Family. He is just the wise guardian of the Masaki Shrine. He also doesn't display any kind of special powers in the series, beside his skills as an exorcist. His personality is also less calm and collected then is previous versions. Near the finale, when Washu needed to go to Tenchi to warn him about Yugi, Katsuhito went with her. It is there that Katsuhito revealed to Tenchi that the Masaki family are Earth's protectors that secretly battle against any enemy that is a threat to the Earth and the gems that Tenchi received from his late mother are in fact the power that had been granted to them by the gods of the Earth and repel all evil.
Later, after Yugi began to freeze time and after Tenchi went to fight her, Katsuhito explained to Washu that Tenchi won't kill Yugi as he had preferred to be a kindhearted person which is why Washu and the other women from space are allowed to live on Earth in the Masaki Shrine. Katsuhito explained that through this method it enables for Tenchi to be true to himself and be able to fulfill his Planet Guardian duties. This proved to be true when Tenchi chose to spare Yugi.
In Magical Project S (Pretty Sammy TV), Katsuhito and Yōshō appear as Genjūrō Hagakure (葉隠 源十郎, Hagakure Genjūrō?) and Binpachi Hagakure (葉隠 敏八, Hagakure Binpachi?), respectively, in episode 10. Genjūrō Hagakure is the leader of the ninja village theme park and is working to prevent Nobuyuki Onijigoku from turning it to a wild west theme park but had become bedridden. Binpachi is Genjūrō's foolish grandson who had chosen to go over Onijigoku's side as he felt that cowboys were cooler than ninja. At the end, Binpachi chose to go back to his family's side after his grandfather protected him from getting shot by Gunman Girl, and Binpachi responded by distracting Gunman Girl with his Ninja skills until Pretty Sammy destroyed her. Genjūrō then was able to convince a depressed Onijigoku that they could convert the theme park into a mixture of the wild west and ninjas. But to help teach Onijigoku a lesson for what he had tried to do, Genjūrō had him and his assistant bound to the entrance of the wild west park as punishment.
- 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).