‘Golden Kamuy’ 2024 Ending Explained: Did Noppera-Bo Utter Asirpa’s Name?


Golden Kamuy followed the immortal soldier Saichi Sugimoto, who fought in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904 at 203 Meter Hill, China. Two years later, while searching for gold, he learned from a drunken vagabond about a rumored treasure in Hokkaido. The old man told him about the Ainu tribe (which is a tribe that exists in real life, by the way) secretly collecting gold in preparation for a revolt against the Japanese Imperial army and to protect their sacred land. But, on one fateful night, all of the Ainu revolutionaries were murdered by a single crazy dude, Noppera-Bo, who stole the gold (it was apparently worth eight billion yen) and then hid it somewhere in Hokkaido. 

Soon after that, Noppera-Bo was arrested by the Imperial Army and locked up in Abashiri Prison to rot till the end of his days. Inside the prison, he was endlessly tortured so that he’d spill the truth about the location of the gold, but he didn’t. He was unable to write letters to his friends and inform them about the gold because the guards wouldn’t let him. So, he tattooed the coordinates on the bodies of a select few inmates (which, when seen in unison, would direct the seeker to the gold) and then ordered them to break out of the prison. Noppera-Bo promised them that the one who found it would get half of the treasure. Since then, everyone who has learned about this story, and knows that it’s authentic, has been going after the tattooed convicts so that they can get rich and fulfill their dreams. By the way, you can check out the detailed recap of Golden Kamuy here. 

Spoiler Alert

Why does Saichi Sugimoto want the gold?

Early on, Sugimoto said that he is after this fabled gold because his post-war life has been atrocious. He doesn’t get any pension because of his disorderly conduct, and he is barely making ends meet. So, he wants to find the gold and live a better life. After making a miraculous escape from Tokushiro Tsurumi’s clutches, with the help of Asirpa and Yoshitake Shiraishi, at the end of Golden Kamuy, Sugimoto gives a different reasoning behind his search for gold. Growing up, Sugimoto had two friends: Toraji and Ume. Sugimoto and his family apparently contracted some kind of lung disease, which caused everyone to treat him like an outcast, but it was probably the reason why Sugimoto became immortal. Sugimoto burned down his house and left the village. When he returned several years later, Ume and Toraji were married to each other, and Sugimoto was happy for them. During the Russo-Japanese War, Toraji ended up sacrificing his life to save Sugimoto. While taking his last breath, Toraji said that there’s gold in Hokkaido, and he ordered Sugimoto to find it and use it to heal Ume’s blindness. Yes, that sounds very “filmy,” but that is the reason why Sugimoto has been looking for the gold.

Who is helping Tokushiro Tsurumi?

Initially, it seems like Tsurumi is just evil for the sake of being evil, and he wants the gold because he is greedy as hell. Well, he is evil, but, at the end of Golden Kamuy, Tsurumi reveals that he is angry about the way the Japanese government handled the war with the Russians. He thinks that he and his army were ordered to charge at the Russians without making sure that the enemy soldiers didn’t have anything to defend themselves with. Since the Russians still had Maxim guns in their arsenal, a lot of the Japanese soldiers ended up biting the dust. To make it worse, when they returned home, they didn’t get any rewards or basic help from the government. In order to take revenge against the authorities, Tsurumi intends to find the gold to fund his army. Then, he wants to use it to establish the Seventh Division as the ruling regime in Hokkaido and help the families of all those who have lost their loved ones on the battlefield. Furthermore, he wants to establish his own opium empire in order to create a stable source of income for everyone. Therefore, Tsurumi’s anti-establishment sentiment is justified. However, his methods are wrong, immoral, and unethical. By the way, it’s unclear who Tsurumi is working with to get arms and ammunition and fund his search for gold. It could either be the British or the Russians.

What Does Hijikata Plan To Do With The Gold?

Toshizo Hijikata is one of the 24 inmates with tattoos made by Noppera-Bo. He is the vice commander of the Shinsengumi and an ex-samurai who fought in the Battle of Hakodate for the Shogunate. He is the one who ordered the jailbreak and sliced up all the guards who were probably transferring them from Abashiri Prison. He spends the majority of Golden Kamuy assembling all the inmates who have been blessed by Noppera-Bo. It seems like he wants the gold to get rich. But, at the end of Golden Kamuy, Hijikata reveals that he is getting money and guns (from a Russian merchant) via Nagakura (who is also from the Shinsengumi) to recreate the Republic of Ezo. He wants to use all the gold (20,000 kan) to establish a nation along the lines of the feudal era of Japan. The movie doesn’t really reveal anything other than that, but based on Hijikata’s attitude, it is evident that he isn’t happy with modernization, bureaucracy, and democracy. He wants to be an autocrat and rule over Hokkaido (and maybe the rest of Japan) with an iron fist because that’s what he has seen as a young soldier of the Shogunate.

Why Did Noppera-Bo Utter Asirpa’s name?

In Golden Kamuy’s post credits scene, Noppera-Bo is seen uttering Asirpa’s name. At no point in the film has Asirpa come across Noppera-Bo, or vice versa. She said that her father, Aca, was killed when Noppera-Bo stole the gold from the Ainu tribe. It’s possible that Asirpa is one of the only people that Noppera-Bo didn’t kill. Maybe something about her stopped Noppera-Bo from spilling any more blood, and he decided to just take the gold and go away. That said, since the movie is so dramatic, I’ll float the theory that Noppera-Bo is actually Asirpa’s father. Maybe Aca got greedy and betrayed the tribe. If that’s the case, it makes sense why Asirpa was spared, and that’s why the feared Noppera-Bo knows Asirpa’s name. Director Shigeaki Kubo and writer Tsutomu Kuroiwa clearly want to make multiple sequels in order to cover Satoru Noda’s manga series. The movie has apparently done well at the box office. So, we’ll hopefully learn the truth about the connection between Noppera-Bo and Asirpa in the subsequent installments in the Golden Kamuy franchise.

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Pramit Chatterjee
Pramit Chatterjee
Pramit loves to write about movies, television shows, short films, and basically anything that emerges from the world of entertainment. He occasionally talks to people, and judges them on the basis of their love for Edgar Wright, Ryan Gosling, Keanu Reeves, and the best television series ever made, Dark.

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