We began to read of Kokusbibo’s backstory in which he talks about him and his twin brother Yoriichi. They are twins and in that day and age, twins were considered an omen that brought more struggle than success. Yoriichi was born with a disturbing mark on his head. When he would have been killed by his own father, his mother stepped in and decided to send Yoriichi to a temple at age 10 to enter priesthood.
Kokushibo describes his upbringing in contrast to his brothers. They dressed different, ate different food and had different educational backgrounds. Kokushibo considered Yoriichi helpless and pitiful. He often thought his brother was deaf, as he never spoke or even cracked a smile. The day he finally did speak was when Kokushibo was practicing with a sword and Yoriichi asks him if he wants to be the strongest samurai.
This shocks Kokushibo, and furthermore his brother claims to also want to become a samurai. Kokushibo believes it impossible for someone like Yoriichi to become a samurai. Someone so weak, someone who always clung to his mother’s side. The twins father’s friend decided to play fight with Yoriichi one day. Yoriichi shocks the man by showing proficiency with the sword. Upon hurting the man he claims he no longer wants to be a samurai.
Kokushibo asks what the secret is to his brothers strength, and Yoriichi essentially explains the breathing technique. Kokushibo realizes that his brother outmatches him greatly. He learns that with this strength, Yoriichi for sure will become the successor of their house. Their mother eventually passes, and Yoriichi claims to be leaving for the temple, says goodbye to his brother, and leaves.
Kokushibo then finds his mother’s diary and learns that his brother knew he would be the successor despite being the younger of the two. Yoriichi knew of his mother’s illness, and clung to her often to give her some stability with walking. Kokushibo is consumed with jealousy of his own twin brother, for him being so smart.
So, that’s part of Kokushibo’s backstory. The rest we learn in the next chapter. It’s honestly not even that sad, and I really don’t understand why he would feel such jealous for his younger brother. Your younger twin brother is stronger than you? So what? You then decide to dedicate your life to becoming the strongest samurai (even stronger than your younger brother), but at the cost of your morality and honor? I don’t feel sorry he died. Anyways on to the next recap!
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