|Also Known As
|19 (pretends to be 16)
That's right, I'm furniture! Furniture!! Why... why didn't you let me die back then?!!—Sayo Yasuda, Requiem of the Golden Witch
Umineko no Naku Koro ni hinges on the mysteries surrounding Sayo. Despite playing such a large role in the story, Sayo never makes a direct appearance in the original visual novels.
Kinzo Ushiromiya, after the death of his lover, Beatrice Castiglioni, became infatuated with his daughter, Beatrice Ushiromiya. Beatrice Ushiromiya strongly resembled her mother and Kinzo, in a state of madness, believed her to be the reincarnation of his dead lover. He forced himself on her and impregnated her. Beatrice Ushiromiya gave birth to Sayo Yasuda. In order to hide Kinzo's sin from the world, Kinzo and Genji Ronoue offered the child to Natsuhi Ushiromiya, who had been having trouble conceiving a child of her own. Natsuhi, distressed and angry at the offer, pushed the servant carrying the child, resulting in both the servant and the infant Sayo falling off of a cliff. The servant died upon impact with the rocky bottom, however Sayo miraculously survived. Sayo was found by Genji, who contacted Terumasa Nanjo to ensure Sayo's survival. Unfortunately, Sayo sustained heavy injury to the abdominal and genital regions, resulting in severe mutilation. Following this, Sayo was taken into the Fukuin House and was given the name Shannon. Fearing that Kinzo would eventually assault Sayo as he did Beatrice Ushiromiya, Genji decided to avoid telling Kinzo the truth of the accident, leading Kinzo to believe that Sayo had died in the fall.
After several years, Sayo began working as a servant on Rokkenjima. Sayo was initially nervous about life on the island, which was completely different from the life in the Fukuin House. As the youngest servant to work for the Ushiromiya family, Sayo was the only one who simultaneously worked and attended school. Though Natsuhi and Krauss Ushiromiya always thought there was something odd about this, neither the Fukuin House nor Genji would shed any light on the subject. Other servants similarly did not welcome Sayo's special treatment and frequently complained about it. The servants eventually gave Sayo the nickname "Yasu", which Sayo despised. Because of Sayo's age and sloppiness, the other servants grew to dislike Sayo even more. Older servants were annoyed by how often they had to help Sayo with chores as Sayo had difficulty doing many things independently. However, these problems were viewed by Sayo as tests from God to help one day grow into a wonderful person.
Sayo seemed to have a good relationship with the House Director, who played with and taught Sayo about things that cannot be seen with one's eyes, but with the eyes of the heart. Through this, Sayo learned how to recognize beings not of this world at the Fukuin House and often spent free time in isolated rooms dreaming.
Basing on Kumasawa's stories of evil spirits of Rokkenjima, Sayo created the first incarnation of the witch Beatrice in the form of a demon that would later be known as Gaap. When Sayo's sloppiness resulted in incidents such as losing keys or cleaning implements, Sayo blamed it on Gaap's magic. Sayo and this Gaap-Beatrice eventually became friends.
To help avoid the witch's pranks, Kumasawa gave Sayo a spiderweb charm and taught Sayo a method to avoid losing things. Kumasawa's charms helped Sayo deal with forgetfulness and eventually regain confidence. As time progressed, the young servant formed a relationship with Kumasawa and started borrowing mystery novels from her. Sayo found discussions and theorizing as the most entertaining part of mystery novels. While Sayo is reading And Then There Were None Gaap-Beatrice posits that closed-room murders straddle the line between mystery and fantasy; once you read the answer, it becomes a mystery but if you remove that reveal, the story becomes a fantasy tale of witches. This idea sticks with Sayo, who begins to view mystery novels as fights between humans and witches.
As previous servants left, Sayo decided to make a good impression on new servants by teaching them the ropes since Sayo was the more experienced one. However, the new servants had already been warned about Sayo's carelessness and they didn't listen to Sayo. Because of this, Sayo played pranks on the new servants, claiming that the behavior was the result of being possessed by Beatrice, in hopes that they would begin to take Sayo seriously. Initially the other sevants didn't believe this but, after some time, they began to admit that something inhuman existed on the island, as the pranks became harder to explain. Sayo's desires quickly shifted from wanting to be the perfect servant to wanting to be a witch. Sayo later took on the title of Golden Witch, ruler of Rokkenjima's night.
As time progressed, Shannon gained respect from the newer servants. Years later, Sayo met Battler Ushiromiya and fell in love with him. Sayo began to pay more attention to the real world and gave up magic. A few times a year, Sayo and Battler would meet to discuss mystery novels they had recently read. Eventually, these discussions became an excuse for the two to meet alone. At the family conference of 1980, Battler made a careless promise that Sayo took seriously. Specifically the two promised to marry each other when they grew up. This promise made Sayo consider not just quitting work as a servant on Rokkenjima, but also confessing to Battler and sharing a life with him. Unfortunately, Battler left the Ushiromiya family shortly after the meeting and did not return to Rokkenjima until 1986. Notably, Battler sent a number of letters to Rokkenjima for the 1983 family conference but did not include a letter for Sayo. The loss of first love caused Sayo a great deal of strife and played a large role in Sayo's damaged mental state.
In April 1984, the portrait of the Golden Witch was displayed in the Ushiromiya Main Building alongside a mysterious epitaph. The epitaph contained an encoded message that only Genji Ronoue could understand: it implied that Kinzo already realized his child who fell from the cliff was still alive. Genji relays some of this information to the other servants, which leads Sayo to figure out the truth of the epitaph as well as the location of Kinzo's gold. Even though Sayo was the rightful successor to the family, Sayo maintained that Krauss Ushiromiya should become the successor and nothing had to change. Despite this, Sayo kept the location of Kinzo's gold a secret.After learning the truth of Kinzo's actions and the cliff incident, Sayo begins to break down. Hatred for the Ushiromiya family slowly consumes Sayo, culminating in the decision to massacre the family and commit suicide by destroying Rokkenjima. Sayo crafts a multitude of possible scenarios on how to go about murdering the family with each scenario culminating in using the warheads hidden under Rokkenjima to destroy the island.
Originally, Sayo's appearance was left unknown to the reader as Sayo does not appear in any of the original visual novels. It could only be assumed that Sayo likely looked like the miracle fragment counterpart Lion Ushiromiya.Sayo's appearance was revealed in the manga adaptation of Requiem of the Golden Witch. Sayo is shown to have long hair covering Sayo's eyes and back. Similar to Kinzo Ushiromiya, Sayo was born with a polydactyl toe. However, Sayo underwent surgery to remove the toe, resulting in a small but visible foot scar. When dressed as Shannon, Sayo uses padding to give the illusion of large breasts as Sayo never developed any during puberty.
Sayo has an extremely fractured mind as a result of a traumatic childhood and is often characterized by feelings of vast loneliness, want for understanding, and horrible body image. Sayo initially appears as a rather well-behaved child who creates imaginary friends to feel less lonely. With age, Sayo builds up more self-confidence as new servants arrive at the Fukuin House and Sayo's love for pranks and magic tricks grows. After meeting Battler, however, Sayo's personality starts breeding bitterness, anger, and sadness. Sayo eventually becomes consumed in loneliness and creates a variety of elaborate backstories for a multitude of imaginary friends. The first of Sayo's imaginary characters is Shannon, the "perfect maid" who could be everything Sayo wanted to be at the Fukuin House. As Sayo became increasingly interested in magic, Sayo's desires shifted to wanting to become a witch rather than a maid, thus, Sayo created Clair Vaux Bernardus. Later on, Sayo gave Clair Vaux Bernardus the image of the legendary witch Beatrice, based off of the portrait in the Ushiromiya Main Building. Part of Shannon's personality was split and given to Beatrice, leaving Shannon as a shy but persistent maid while Beatrice became a powerful, perfect witch. After Sayo's love towards Battler caused too much pain, Sayo divided all feelings of love among Beatrice, Shannon, and a new personality, Kanon. Thus, Sayo's personalities were split into three relationships:
The nature of these relationships are thoroughly explored in Dawn of the Golden Witch. As time goes on, Sayo develops severe issues with self-worth, body image, and gender identity. While Sayo was born a male, the cliff incident mutilated Sayo's body and Sayo was subsequently was raised as a female. Sayo's lack of menarche, breasts, and other feminine features incite concerns regarding Sayo's own body, which grow worse day by day. After discovering the truth of the cliff incident, Sayo starts identifying as "furniture" that is incapable of love.Sayo appears as somewhat vindictive throughout Umineko no Naku Koro ni, particularly towards Natsuhi Ushiromiya. This is likely because Sayo knows Natsuhi was the one who pushed Sayo off of a cliff. As a result, Sayo creates scenarios crafted specifically to hurt Natsuhi in End of the Golden Witch.
Throughout Umineko no Naku Koro ni, Sayo is primarily portrayed through a variety of roles taken on over the course of the games. Sayo only truly appears in the manga-only extra Confession of the Golden Witch.
The Rokkenjima Massacre
Shortly before the massacre, Sayo wrote several message bottles under the name Maria Ushiromiya. Each one contained a confession of Sayo's sins and was set off to sea on October 3rd, 1986. Sayo also sent money to the families of those who would die on the island (specifically the families of Doctor Nanjo and Chiyo Kumasawa).
On the day of October 4th, 1986, Sayo began the preparations for a murder-mystery game, but Sayo's plans were foiled by the Ushiromiya family solving the epitaph and discovering Kinzo's gold. Sayo keeps the promise to stop the murders if the epitaph was solved. Sayo then gives the adults all 10 tons of gold, along with a promise of cooperation to accept any punishment the adults think of. Sayo is shot and seemingly killed during Kyrie and Rudolf Ushiromiya's subsequent massacre.
However, the morning of October 6th shows that Sayo somehow survived, escaping the island with Battler on a motorboat. Unfortunately, Sayo doesn't have the will to go on and jumps off the boat with a bar of gold, falling to the depths of the ocean. Battler jumps in after Sayo, but is ultimately unable to save Sayo. In Sayo's final moments, Battler is seen hugging Sayo as the two fall together to the depths of the ocean. Since Battler survived in reality, the Battler that was seen with Sayo was most likely a delusion experienced moments before death.
Some time afterwards, Sayo's message bottles wash up on the shores of Niijima, kickstarting a rabid interest in the tragedy of the island.
Confession of the Golden Witch
Sayo's first and only direct appearance in Umineko no Naku Koro ni is in the manga-only side arc Confession of the Golden Witch. Confession focuses on Sayo's adolescence at the Fukuin House and ensuing puberty. Sayo's gender identity issues and struggles with love are highlighted as Sayo's mind becomes increasingly fractured. After Sayo solves the witch's epitaph and discovers Kinzo's gold, Terumasa Nanjo, Genji Ronoue, and Chiyo Kumasawa explain the truth of Sayo's birth. After learning this information, Sayo becomes consumed with hatred for the Ushiromiya family. Shortly after, Sayo plans an elaborate murder mystery scenario as a guise under which to massacre the family. After the massacre, Sayo plans on using the warheads hidden under Rokkenjima to commit suicide and destroy the island.
- The name "Yasu" is a reference to Yasuhiko "Yasu" Mano from the the 1983 game The Portopia Serial Murder Case.
- As a result of the cliff incident, Sayo is unable to have sex. This was confirmed by Ryukishi07 who stated "How scary must it be, to be told that your partner 'wants children,' when you have a body that cannot make love."