- "That's right, I'm furniture! Furniture!! Why... why didn't you let me die back then?!!"
- — Sayo to Nanjo and Genji
The true form of Beatrice, and writer of the message bottles. Her true name is Lion Ushiromiya, and was given the fake name Sayo Yasuda (安田 紗代) after the cliff incident. When she was taken into the Fukuin House, she was given the "blessed name" Shannon. After Kinzo's death, she succeeded the headship and became the true head of the Ushiromiya family.
Sayo is the child of Kinzo Ushiromiya and Beatrice Ushiromiya, and thus was born due to the result of incest. Sayo is, at the same time, Kinzo's child and grandchild. The series hinges on the mysteries surrounding Sayo.
- Beatrice - character/role
- Shannon - character/role/imaginary friend (originally)
- Kanon - character/role/imaginary friend (originally)
- Battler Ushiromiya - rival/love interest/nephew/cousin
- George Ushiromiya - fiancée/nephew/cousin
- Jessica Ushiromiya - love interest/niece/cousin
- Maria Ushiromiya - best friend/niece/cousin
- Natsuhi Ushiromiya - step-mother (before cliff incident)/attempted killer/half sister-in-law/aunt
- Krauss Ushiromiya - step-father (before cliff incident)/half-brother/uncle
- Eva Ushiromiya - half-sister/aunt/successor of the Ushiromiya's legacy
- Rudolf Ushiromiya - half-brother/uncle/attempted killer
- Rosa Ushiromiya - half-sister/aunt
- Chiyo Kumasawa - mother figure
- Genji Ronoue - father figure
- Kyrie Ushiromiya - attempted killer
- Beatrice Ushiromiya - mother/half-sister
- Kinzo Ushiromiya - father/grandfather
- Beatrice Castiglioni - grandmother
- Clair Vaux Bernardus - original Beatrice appearance/vessel (during Requiem)
- Lion Ushiromiya - alternative existence
Originally, Sayo's appearance was left unknown to the reader in the sound novels, and it could only be assumed that she looks like her other counterpart, Lion.
When she appears in the manga adaption of Requiem of the Golden Witch under just the name of "Yasu", she is portrayed as having long pale hair that covers her eyes and goes down to her mid back until she creates her Beatrice persona. After that, she takes on the appearance of Shannon. When she briefly appears as the culprit in Requiem, she is shown wearing a knee length dress with a collar and cravat along with long pale hair.
In EP8 Sayo is given her post-Beatrice appearance due to Confession of the Golden Witch taking place after the creation of Beatrice. Early on she shown as a frail, young trans girl with short, slightly wavy brown hair. She is usually dressed in the traditional Fukuin maid outfit. As she grows older, she begins to wear pads to simulate breasts. While dressed as Kanon, she wears a wig and the male servant uniform. When dressed as Beatrice, she wears the witch's dress and occasionally a blonde wig.
She has a small scar on her foot from the operation she underwent shortly after birth in order to remove her polydactyly, which was performed at the same time as the one that damaged her body and turned her into "furniture".
A large portion of Sayo's character struggles stem from two contrasting things: the desire for romantic love, and the belief that such love is impossible for her. Several other factors, such as her entire life being manipulated to make Kinzo feel bad about raping his daughter, are also present.
When Sayo first starts working for the Ushiromiya family in 1976, she is largely a lonely child whose only friend is Shannon, who is imaginary. As Sayo ages, she begins to get bold and attempts to 'punish' the servants who step out of line with pranks, such as stealing their keys. After meeting Battler however, Sayo's personality starts breeding a shred of bittnerness, anger, and sadness that will continue to grow over time. Sayo continues to grow and become more content even in the loneliness.
As the time went Sayo grows extreme self-worth, body image, and gender identity issues. The manga adaption goes more into detail about Sayo's gender identity issues. While Sayo was born a male, the cliff incident left her body mutilated, and she was raised as a woman. Even before solving the epitaph, she experienced heavy gender dysphoria due to her body not experiencing typical signs of female puberty such as menstruation or growing a chest. Due to this, she eventually created Kanon and began acting as him. This brought her some mental stability. Genji and Kumasawa strongly supported this.
When she solves the epitaph, the issues become much more prevalent. Genji, Kumasawa and Nanjo reveal to her that every aspect of her life and agency had essentially been set up primarily for the purpose of making Kinzo feel better about what he did to the second Beatrice who lived in Kuwadorian.
During this, they reveal to her that her body is unable to bear children. This revelation is one of the major ones she has that drives her to perform the Rokkenjima Massacre. She doubts that anybody could ever love her due to her body's condition, and begins calling herself "furniture", due to the belief that furniture are incapable of love.
Bits and pieces of Sayo's full personality are littered throughout Sayo's three personas. Shannon draws heavily from the concept of the Japanese concept of an ideal woman and an ideal servant, and because of this, has the least amount of Sayo's 'true' personality. Kanon and Beatrice, on the other hand, more closely represent her. Kanon represents a number of aspects, such as the negative traits she is unable to express as Shannon, but his personality is also is the one who struggles the most against the idea of killing everybody. Beatrice is most similar to a power fantasy.
Sayo is shown to hold contempt for the Ushiromiya family except for the cousins, which pushed her more into wanting to kill them all. When Sayo appears in 1986, she fully formulated her plan to kill everybody on the island, even if she has personal misgivings about it. This doubt, combined with the idea of the catbox (where multiple versions of the story can exist), formulates the premise of the demon's roulette, and is why she hosts an elaborate murder mystery instead of simply blowing up the island.
Sayo was the child whom Kinzo gave to Natsuhi Ushiromiya to raise as her own, in attempt to atone for his sin by making a child a proper member of Ushiromiya family and giving it a happy life. However, Natsuhi rejected the child and was left guilt-ridden when the child fell off the cliff along with another servant nineteen years ago. Unknown to Natsuhi and Kinzo, the child survived the incident thanks to Genji and Nanjo. According to Nanjo the child was gravely injured, with their sexual organs badly mutilated.
After the accident, Genji decided to keep the child's survival in secret and left them to Fukuin House to raise. To ensure that child wouldn't be found out easily, Genji lied about Sayo's age, lowering it by three years. Because of Sayo's feebleness and underdevelopment it was easy to fake. Genji personally arranged Sayo's hiring, hoping to reveal the truth if a good opportunity presented itself. He believed that if Kinzo truly felt affection as a parent, he would notice traces of the deceased mother and daughter in the child and Kinzo and Sayo would be able to develop a parent-child relationship without knowledge of truth.
Sayo was initially nervous with life on Rokkenjima, which was completely different from the life in Fukuin House and everything was new and unfamiliar. As the youngest servant to work for the Ushiromiya family, Sayo was the only one who missed work in order to go to school. Though Natsuhi and Krauss always thought there was something odd about it, questioning Kinzo, Fukuin House and Genji didn't shed any light on this. Servants also did not welcome the special treatment Sayo was given and often complained about it and even gave her the nickname "Yasu", which she despised. Because of Sayo's age and sloppiness, they grew to dislike Sayo even more, while Sayo continued to put effort into whatever work was given. However, older servants were annoyed by how often they had to help Sayo with chores because her young age didn't allow the young servant to do most things independently. However, these problems were viewed by Sayo as tests from God to help grow into a wonderful person someday.
It is mentioned that aside from Shannon, Sayo seemed to be in good relationship with the House Director, who played with and taught Sayo about things that cannot be seen with one's eyes, but with eyes of the heart. This way Sayo learned how to recognise beings not of this world at the Fukuin House and often spent free time in isolated rooms dreaming. Later it is revealed by several monologues that Shannon is Sayo's imaginary friend.
Basing on Kumasawa's stories of Beatrice's ghost and evil spirits of Rokkenjima, the young servant created the first Beatrice (later known as demon Gaap). When Sayo's sloppiness resulted in incidents like losing keys or cleaning implements, the servant blamed it on Gaap's magic. Sayo and the prototype Beatrice became friends over the small broom which Beatrice hid in order to prank Sayo. Yet even after getting used to life on Rokkenjima, Sayo didn't manage to make a single human friend.
To help avoid the witch's pranks, Kumasawa gave Sayo a spiderweb charm (the kite strings) and taught Sayo a method to avoid losing things ('take them home' charm). Kumasawa's charms helped Sayo deal with forgetfulness and 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 reading "And Then There Were None" Sayo ended up seeing mystery novels as a game between humans and witches.
After previous servants left, Sayo decided to make a good impression on new servants and teach them the ropes, being the more experienced one. However, the new servants were already warned about Sayo's carelessness and they didn't take Sayo seriously. Because of that Sayo played a prank on the new servants, claiming that the behavior was the result of being possessed by Beatrice, in hopes that they would begin listening to Sayo. Initially they didn't believe but after some time they started admitting that something inhuman existed on this island, as pranks became harder to explain. The day Beatrice pranked servant for the first time Sayo represented a desire to become a witch rather than a perfect servant, claiming to be done playing the part of the servant. Sayo's world was modified and she took on the name of the Golden Witch, the ruler of Rokkenjima's night, leaving previous Beatrice nameless for a while. Sayo's own self was erased from Shannon's memories, making the supposed two-person into single-person room and Beato took the form of a witch in white dress in accordance with rumors of Beatrice's ghost, the opposite of Gaap's appearance.
As time progressed Shannon gained respect from the newer servants. Due to a relationship with Battler and other children, Sayo began to pay more attention to the real world, giving up magic. Few times a year, Shannon and Battler met to discuss mystery novels they read and the motive behind them. Both of them strongly believed that only a heart can move people to commit a murder. At some point these discussions became an excuse for them meeting alone. On the conference of 1980 Battler made a careless promise, which Shannon took seriously. This promise made Sayo think carefully about the future and consider not just quitting work as a servant on Rokkenjima, but also confessing to Battler and sharing a life with him.After Asumu's death and Rudolf's remarriage in 1981 to Kyrie Sumadera, Battler left the family due to a quarrel with his father and didn't participate in the next family meeting. Sayo considered it a trial of love. Battler didn't participate the family meeting in 1982 either, and jokes by the siblings hurt Sayo even more. She started to believe that the trial must be an eternal torture and couldn't believe that Battler may have forgotten Shannon, even after having such a nightmare. The family conference in 1983 became the most influential. Battler gave Kyrie several letters addressed to all the siblings, leaving out Shannon. That event broke Shannon's heart.
Shannon "visited" Beatrice, who believed that "the Root of Love" would kill Shannon. As a result, Sayo transferred Shannon's love for Battler to Beatrice, sealing those feelings deep inside the heart. Beatrice gained a form of Battler's ideal woman and learned love in exchange of pain. Sayo promised to create a little brother for Shannon so that she would not be lonely and will keep Battler off her mind. The next morning Kanon started working as one of the rare servants who serves Kinzo directly, like Genji.
In April of 1984 the portrait of the Golden Witch and the epitaph, that doesn't exist in Lion's world, were displayed. The epitaph was a message, which only Genji could understand. It is implied that Kinzo, who was facing his last years, already realised that his child Lion is still alive. Afterwards Genji told Shannon and Kanon what was Kinzo's 'beloved hometown', giving Sayo a hint. Once the epitaph was solved, the truth about Sayo's birth was revealed to the young servant. Even after being chosen as the successor to the Ushiromiya family, Sayo decided that Krauss should become the successor and nothing has to change. Sayo only kept Beatrice's dress, the key to the VIP Room, and ten tons of gold. On November 29th, 1984 Sayo became the true Golden Witch Beatrice.
Eventually, Shannon and Kanon started relationships with George and Jessica. In last two years Sayo greatly suffered from the conflict of the furniture with incomplete souls. Because of this complex, based on condition of body, Sayo did not believe in having a future, the right to love, and felt less than a human being. To reconcile these feelings, Sayo conceived there was a duel, the result of which was almost decided. During Dawn of the Golden Witch, this duel was assumed to be resolved along with trial of love. In Twilight of the Golden Witch, Shannon and Kanon suggest that the duel can be decided different ways, like coin toss or the quiz tournament.
Throughout the series, Sayo has only been depicted through her personas and once as Clair during the events of Requiem of the Golden Witch where she was referred to as Yasu. The manga-only extra chapter, Confession of the Golden Witch, however, depicts her as Sayo Yasuda herself.
Shortly before the massacre Sayo wrote many message bottles signed under the name Maria Ushiromiya. Each one contained a confession of her sins that she set off to sea on October 3rd. She also sent out money to the people whose families would die on the island (Doctor Nanjo and Kumasawa's families respectively).
On the day of October 4th, 1986, Sayo began the preperations to commence her murder-mystery game, but her plans were foiled by the adults solving the epitaph and discovering the gold. Sayo keeps her promise to stop the murders when the epitaph was solved. She gives the adults the gold card and all 10 tons of gold, along with her cooperation to accept any punishment the adults have for her. Sayo was seemingly killed by Kyrie after she was shot when Kyrie brings about the murders with Rudolf.
However, the morning of October 6th shows that she somehow survived, she escapes the island with Battler on a motorboat. Sayo however doesn't feel she can go on and jumps off the boat with a bar of gold to pull herself to the depths of the ocean. Battler jumps after her, but Battler floated up. However in his final moments, Battler was last seen hugging her as they both fall together in the depths of the ocean. But since Battler survived, the Battler that was seen with Sayo was most likely a delusion he experienced moments before his death.
Later on after the incident, Sayo's message bottles which pinned herself as the culprit washed up on the shores of Nijima under the name of Maria Ushiromiya which kick started everyone's interest in the tragedy of the island.
Different Identities and Illusions
It is possible that Sayo created the alter ego Shannon (a perfect maid, loved and respected by everyone; the complete opposite of Sayo), as a role model and friend, before arriving at Rokkenjima. As most of her acquaintances call her the rather rude nickname "Yasu" instead of her blessed name "Shannon", she felt that she could never live up to the name Shannon and hence created an imaginary friend who could.
However, a growing interest in magic resulted in Sayo's desire to become a witch rather than remaining human. Abandoning her persona "Shannon" to be her servant facade, Sayo created Clair Vaux Bernardus, the first prototype of the Golden Witch Beatrice, as a self-image. However, a connection still existed between the two identities: Shannon had become the shy and clumsy, but persistent maid, and lover of mystery novels; and Beatrice (the strong side of the two), the ever so powerful and majestic witch. When Shannon's delusional love of Battler winds up causing Sayo too much pain. Beatrice took Shannon's love for Battler and Shannon splintered a part of herself to form Kanon, who would be Shannon's younger brother and will complete her universe. Sayo eventually begins playing the role of Kanon instead of treating him as a mere imaginary friend after realizing that she was born male, in an attempt to discover whether or not acting in a male role would feel more natural to her.
Eventually each character developed their own love story: Beatrice-Battler / Shannon-George / Kanon-Jessica
Sayo-Beatrice also created imaginary friends alone or with the help of Maria:
- Gaap: Sayo's idea of Beatrice before taking the name and the title of a witch. Gaap would be Sayo's first friend on Rokkenjima.
- Ronove: Beatrice's butler. (Reflection of Genji)
- Virgilia: Beatrice's teacher. (Reflection of Kumasawa).
- The Seven Stakes of Purgatory: Beatrice's high class furniture. All the sisters are a reflection of the servants who teased Sayo. (With Maria's help)
- The Chiesters: High class furniture made from Maria's bunny forest band. (Maria's furniture)
- Sakutaro: Maria's best friend and furniture. (Maria's furniture)
- Before her full name was revealed to be Sayo Yasuda the nickname given to her by the servants "Yasu" was widely used by fans.
- Her name "Yasu" is a reference to the "Yasu is the culprit" meme which came from the Famicom game The Portopia Serial Murder Case. The game is infamous for having the detective's partner Yasuhiro "Yasu" Mono being the culprit which created the meme.
- Sayo's note at the end of Legend of the Golden Witch is very similar to the note Keiichi Maebara left at the end of Onikakushi-hen.
- Portraits of Sayo's character/alternate universe self, Beatrice and Lion, have been featured, meaning Sayo is the character with most featured portraits.
- Sayo's appearance is not shown in Episode 7 (manga is an exception). Bernkastel constantly displays Sayo as Clair Vaux Bernardus to confuse Theatergoers. Shannon and Kanon are only played roles.
- Twilight of the Golden Witch manga shows that Sayo reacted to the truth of being Kinzo's child and grandchild incredibly badly. Just the thought of Kinzo's impure blood flowing within her body was too much. As her relationship with George and Jessica grew stronger she couldn't stop thinking about truly being Kinzo's child.
- In the "Answer to the Golden Witch", Ryukishi07 responded to "a body that is unable to love" with "If you take this expression as a basis, you can imagine their sad fate of having some kind of imperfection on a sexual level" implying that the injury had some influence on Sayo's sexual problems/gender. He also states that he had to obscure it, because it was a very adult topic.
- Also Ryukishi said:"How scary must it be, to be told that your partner “wants children”, when you have a body that cannot make love." - referring to Shannon/Sayo, what might imply that Sayo is unable to have sex.