Burning Silver Soul
|Ship||The Winding Way|
Two things come to mind when one first sees Sakata Gintoki: a slacker and an idiot. Gintoki blames it on his eyes. They're rarely enthusiastic. He was sadly born with it much like his natural perm. But the man is quite lazy, frankly speaking. If he had a luxury (and 60% of the time he feels he has such luxury), Gintoki would rather lie down to read or walk around, watch people, pick his nose, or listen to radio shows.
The man lazes around a lot (Gintoki calls it "Taking it easy")because he believes that dedicating a portion of time listening to radio shows and reading dime novels enriches his mind. He's a very imaginative man and at times, he tends to be philosophical, mostly brutally honest to the people he talks to. Some people find this sarcastic though. Most people find him funny (even when he's serious), but straight laced people will definitely find him annoying.
In spite of this visible lethargy, he is a man of the times and recognizes that if he wants to have a tall glass of strawberry parfait, he's got to work for it. Gintoki does break a sweat and gets his job the done. If you are his employer or his crewmate, you could get pissed at him (he does look lazy!), but in the end you can't find anyone else better to work with.
Beyond one's first impression, one would realize that Gintoki is quite a spirited, enigmatic, honest, and funny guy. A man who continues to weigh his actions, Gintoki will always follow what his heart compels him to do. He's very sympathetic. His heart was built on the spirit of heroism and chivalry. It's because of this that Gintoki, despite his lazy demeanor, can never turn down a person in need. And it's because of this that you would find him trustworthy. To those whom he's helped, they describe him as unconventional, erratic, extraordinary, and fantastic. No one really understands Gintoki and he's not asking them to. At his core, Gintoki's just trying to make the world a better place -- one brave act after another.
Physically, Gintoki shows his weakness when he hasn't had his serving of sugar in a day. A sugar a day does keep the doctor away after all. The man becomes more lethargic when he doesn't have his sugar. Sometimes, he can push himself to work even if he hasn't had his dose of sweets, but expect him to collapse afterwards.
Gintoki is unshakeable in terms of principle but expect him have some bit of temperament when his person is attacked. If you call him on his permed hair or his sugar, Gintoki will put up his defenses and tell you that it wasn't his sin to be born with permed hair.
He also has a weakness to sob stories. Once you've earned Gintoki's sympathy, expect him to move mountains just to help you.
Early Days in Bydan The earliest memory Gintoki ever had was the warm hand of a man, gently stroking his curled hair as he was put to sleep. Shouyou Yoshida found the infant Gintoki in a basket in front of his home on the outskirts of Bydan. On the basket was a note saying "Please, raise my Gintoki well."
Without a word, Yoshida raised Gintoki like his own. He changed his diapers, brushed his teeth, and taught him how to use the toilet while standing up. The man tried to give everything to the boy except his own name. Yoshida didn't want Gintoki to be associated with the likes of him. He wanted the boy to stray from his revolutionary past.
Shouyou Yoshida was once an officer for the Ivonan army who got caught in a small coup d'etat and fled to Vohemar to escape jurisdiction from the Ivonan government. After seeing his comrades fall into corruption, Yoshida felt no connection towards his mother country and decided to start anew in Vohemar’s Bydan. In Bydan, Yoshida built a school, teaching children lessons on swordsmanship, sciences, literature, ship building, and philosophy. Yoshida believes that if he wasn’t able to bring change to Ivona, maybe these children in Vohemar can bring a change towards Ivona.
This comfortably close yet distant 'filial' relationship continued even as Gintoki enrolled in Yoshida's school. The young boy learned everything the man has taught him and took it to heart. However, there were days when he wondered what his teacher meant by "wielding his sword for change." In all the things he's read and heard, men only drew their swords to protect people. Hence, he found himself confused over Yoshida's lectures. What kind of change will his sword bring?
The Bydan Revolts
Gintoki was fifteen when strange forest fires happened around Bydan. People in the area often dismissed it, thinking that it was due to the monsters that lurked around the forest. However, Yoshida felt that there was something more to the fires. It was too calculated for it to be done randomly by monsters. Upon investigation, he realized that the corrupt Bydan government used these fires to cover their illegal logging activities.
Bydan has been known for their forests and their shipbuilding industry. With their forests as their pride, the government laid out rules to regulate and protect logging within the area. However, as Yoshida realized, the government would occasionally stage forest fires to cover illegal logging activities they do in order to cater to pirate ships.
Yoshida decided to put a stop to these fires by gathering a significant amount of people in the area to protect the forest. His students willingly joined his cause. This became an opportunity for them to be instigators of change.
Gintoki found himself grappling for his sword, finding the strength to protect the man who has taught him everything. A fierce battle in the Bydan forests fatally injured the man he recognized as his father. Gintoki witnessed his teacher fall amidst the chaos. It was then he realized that his sword was not strong enough.
Swept with hate, disappointment, confusion, and a strong desire to carve a path for himself, Gintoki continued to serve this ragtag crew of revolutionaries, fighting the government in order to protect Bydan’s forests. The revolution was harsh for Gintoki. Every night, his sword slew more than thirty people. There were nights when Gintoki would lose count. The savagery of his sword earned him the nickname "Shiroyasha", the white demon. Gintoki never really cared about the nickname at first. It wasn't until he saw the sea of dead people around him that he questioned if he truly was a demon.
As the Bydan military pushed their troops to the corner, Gintoki finally realized that this change, one that sinks comrades and enemies in a pool of violence, was not what his sword wanted. Suddenly, the name Shiroyasha became his shame. As his battle comes to a close, Gintoki swore never to carve this road again.
The Shiroyasha disappeared when the revolution came to an end.
The Birth of Yorozuya
Gintoki's life after the revolution didn't come any easier. With no one to vouch for him and no one to turn to, the man walked in and around Reial, finding little bits and pieces of himself as he tried to find the meaning of his sword. He'd go from one town to another, finding a job to put at least something in his stomach. Yet in the coldest of winters he found himself in Bellcius, near the grave of an old friend, starving for his life as he asked his friend's wife if he could take her offerings and eat it. The old woman told him to ask her husband. It didn't take him a second to eat the offerings and answered "How the hell do I talk to a dead guy?"
Indebted to the woman who saved him from hunger, Gintoki swore to protect everything and everyone important to her. He also set up his own "manpower" business, the Yorozuya. With a couple of friends, the Yorozuya would take odd jobs here and there to pay for his rent, maybe get himself a friend or two, run-in with the police, then eat a luscious strawberry parfait.
The old woman wasn't entirely fond of the arrangement though. She liked Gintoki but she knew that he was still young and felt that he was wasting his potential protecting her and the neighborhood. The old lady knew the world has more to teach this young man. It'd be a waste not to let him grow.
Knowing Gintoki's stubbornness, she showed him THE LIST of his debts and told him that if he doesn't get a stable job, she'll lose her home altogether. Although he knew the old woman's house was already her own, Gintoki still went around the docks to find a job.
Eventually, he found himself a well-paying job. Little did he know that it was a job on a ship. Little did he know that it was for the Winding Way.
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