Tsujioka In ‘House Of Ninjas,’ Explained: Is The Fuma Clan Leader Dead?


Takayuki Yamada is known for his work in Crows Zero, Crows Zero II, The Naked Director, and Socrates in Love. Now, he has added another jewel to his crown with his portrayal of Tsujioka in House of Ninjas. It’s a deeply demented performance where he is the leader of a cult called the Gentenkai by day and the 19th leader of the Fuma clan by night. Yamada shows how his character switches between his two personalities in a scene as Tsujioka prepares to address his “followers,” and as the camera goes into a hyper-close-up of his eyes, you see his expression subtly shift from that of aggression to a faux, sage-like calmness. It’s so beautiful. On top of these eerie little moments, Yamada gets into a lot of fights, and they are equally amazing. So, let’s talk about Tsujioka, how he came to be this godlike leader, what his plans were, and if he is dead or alive.

Spoiler Alert

Who was Tsujioka?

The exact origins of Tsujioka are unknown. Apparently, he was abandoned as a child in the forest while his parents died by suicide because of some kind of injustice they had faced. He refused to die though, and kept crying until someone rescued him. At some point in his life, he must’ve joined the Fuma clan, and he went on the mission where Mukai was kidnapped, and the Fuma had to fight the Tawaras. He got into a brutal battle with Haru, and when he was defeated, he begged in front of Haru. Since Haru was a kind soul, he actually allowed him to walk away with a leg injury. Moments later, Tsujioka repaid this gesture by impaling Gaku through the chest. He apparently killed the 18th too, and became the 19th Fuma Kotaro. On that day, he announced that the Fuma clan would go underground and work from the shadows. Then, over the course of six years, he established the cult called Gentenkai and normalized his presence in the public eye as an environmentalist and peace-lover. As people from all walks of life gravitated towards it, he started recruiting them according to their positions in law enforcement agencies, the judiciary, politics, and more. During these six years, Tsujioka also mentored Gaku. Yes, after Gaku fell into the water, he was rescued by Ayame, and then he was brainwashed by Tsujioka into thinking that the shinobis were the enemy and the Fuma was the liberator of Japan. He even appointed Gaku as the officer of the Fuma clan just so that he’d never think about siding with his family, i.e., the Tawaras.

What Exactly Was The Purpose Of The Yellow Flower?

Well, the yellow flower apparently produced a deadly toxin that didn’t have a cure. Even breathing in its pollen led to death. The Fuma mass produced it for their assassination missions. But then, Tsujioka used it to demonstrate his power to differentiate between the members of the Gentenkai who could join the Fuma clan and those who couldn’t make the cut. He served it in the form of tea and had a cup of it himself, and some of them died, and some of them survived it, including Tsujioka, of course. Now, it was obvious that, apart from Tsujioka’s cup, the rest was distributed randomly. Those who got the ones with the poisonous flower blend died, and those who didn’t get it remained alive. However, Tsujioka claimed that it was his divine ability to choose between the weak and the powerful that had yielded such results, thereby pushing the theory that he was some kind of God. He wanted to do the same thing on a wider level by sending all those packets of the yellow flower powder out into the wild. That would’ve led to a genocide (it was referred to as an eclipse), and he probably would’ve said that his divine power made that happen, and the ones who have survived the ordeal were telepathically handpicked by him. That would’ve convinced everyone that he was a god, and people would’ve made him the leader of Japan. However, that didn’t happen. Instead, the powder was used by Gaku to wipe out all those who were opposing Mukai, and she was propped up as the leader of the new Japan.

Why Was The Scroll So Important?

Tsujioka was definitely carrying on the rivalry between the Fuma clan and Hattori Hanzo’s ancestors, i.e., the Tawaras. He ensured Gaku’s survival by partaking in some psychological warfare with Haru and his family. But, eventually, it was revealed that he wanted a very specific thing from the Tawaras: a scroll. Apparently, it belonged to the Fuma clan, and it was taken away by Hattori Hanzo. So, Tsujioka wanted it back. His first attempt at retrieving it was a long-winded one where he got Ayame to pretend that she was Gaku, and she chatted with Nagi. That process didn’t work out because Nagi unknowingly gave her the fake. The real one was in Taki’s possession. So, the Fuma clan invaded the Tawara household, and they still failed to get it. However, when Gaku showed up and asked for the scroll, Taki had no option but to give it up. Now, what was in that scroll? Apparently, it had the details of the Hojo family tree and linked the origins of the Hojo clan with Mukai Sakaki. In feudal Japan, the Fuma and the Hojo clans were allies. The Hojo clan was one of the most prominent samurai families. So, it’s possible that the Fuma clan convinced Mukai to join their cause of “changing Japan” by citing this historical fact. I have a theory that the yet-to-be-announced Season 2 of House of Ninjas will feature shinobis as well as samurai, but that’s just a theory. For now, we have to settle for the speculation that Tsujioka wanted the scroll to get Mukai to work for the Fuma clan permanently. Of course, he couldn’t do it; Gaku did it.

Is Tsujioka dead or alive?

Yes, Tsujioka is very dead. He got his hand sliced off by Haru. Then he got impaled by Gaku. And since Gaku had survived an impalement and a limb getting cut off, he made sure that Tsujioka couldn’t be resurrected by putting what seemed to be a kunai through his forehead. That whole scene was fabulous, and there was a lot of deception going on. So, unless Gaku has played some kind of trick, Tsujioka is officially dead. But what a way to go out, right? I would’ve loved to see Takayuki Yamada play this character over the course of multiple seasons. I mean, he can still do that because there are so many gaps in his story, and given how influential he was to the creation of the Fuma clan and the brainwashing of its members, especially Gaku, Yamada could show up as Tsujioka in a bunch of flashback sequences. Also, it’s possible that, even though his mortal shell is gone, maybe his soul will live on amongst the mindless disciples of the Gentenkai.

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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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