This page contains major plot spoilers related to the Fruits Basket manga, not yet revealed in the anime. Read at your own risk!
|Also known as||Shishou|
|Hair Color||Brown (2019 Anime, Manga)|
Grey (2001 Anime)
|Eye Color||Brown (2019 Anime, Manga)|
Greenish-gray (2001 Anime)
|Occupation||Matrial Arts Teacher|
|Children||Kyo Sohma (Adoptive Son)|
|Extended Family||Unnamed Grandfather |
Tohru Honda (Daughter-in-law)
Hajime Sohma (Grandson)
|Anime||Episode 24 (2001)|
Episode 23 (2019)
|Japanese||Norihiro Inoue (2001)|
Miki Machii (2001; Young)
Toshiyuki Morikawa (2019)
Ayaka Nanase (2019; Young)
Heaven Tubbs (2001; Young)
Emily Fajardo (2019; Young)
|“||Just as no matter how hard you try to keep it away, despair will attack you again and again. In the same manner, hope will return to you. Again and again.||”|
Kazuma Sohma (草摩 籍真, Sōma Kazuma, "Kazuma Soma") is one of the recurring characters of the Fruits Basket series. He is the adoptive father of Kyo Sohma who took him in after the death of his mother and after his biological father rejected him.
A master of karate, Kazuma runs a dojo near the Sohma main house, where he has taught several of the younger Sohmas, including Kyo, Kagura, Yuki, and Hatsuharu. His daily routine is taken care of by his assistant at the dojo, Kunimitsu Tomoda.
Kazuma is an adult man with a tall and broad stature who is in his early 40s, though he is mentioned to look much younger than this age. He is also noted to be quite handsome by the people around him.
From an unspecified point to after revealing Kyo's true form, Kazuma kept his straight dark brown hair long - to about middle-back length - tied into a ponytail at the back, secured with a traditional white hair tie. After a while, Kazuma cut his long hair to nape-length and has kept it short ever since. His bangs are long, quite messy, and frame his face. He also has a pair of slightly sharp, but kind and calm, dark brown eyes. Kazuma dresses very traditionally; almost never being seen without his simple dark blue kimono with a black belt.
Kazuma is an incredibly wise and level-headed, yet friendly and polite man who is willing to take risks and make sacrifices to achieve the greater good. However, because of this, Kazuma has a slightly low view om himself; as he deems himself a selfish person who ignores other's will and pushes his one-sided feelings onto people such as Kyo. Despite that, he is an emphasizing and supportive person, especially evident by the fact that he is so well-loved by Kyo. He has also displayed his wisdom to Kyo and the rest of the Sohma family many times; Kyo, in particular, takes Kazuma's words to heart and lets them guide him in life. Kazuma is also shown to be fearless as he was completely determined to keep Kyo from meeting the same lonely fate his grandfather faced and give him a happy life, even if it meant he would defy the rest of the family, including Akito Sohma, who most people in the family fears. On the other hand, even though he is educated, Kazuma is quite clumsy and air-headed, as his day-to-day skills are very weak. He is horrible at cooking, but he somehow gets the idea that he can do it.
Kazuma was allowed to live on the "inside" because his late grandfather was cursed by the spirit of the Cat. Kazuma had never met his grandfather, but he knew that he was estranged from his immediate family and treated terribly by the rest of the Sohmas; Kazuma himself included. When Kazuma met his grandfather for the first time by the Cat's Room, his grandfather offered him candy, but Kazuma rejected it, saying it was "cursed". However, his grandfather simply smiled and forgave him. On his grandfather's deathbed, Kazuma overheard how his grandmother admitted that she had only stayed with the Cat - her husband - out of pity. This left a long-lasting impression on Kazuma.
Years later, when Kyo was born and became the next Cat, Kazuma witnessed for the first time the kind of environment that surrounded him; it was no different from how his grandfather had been treated. This made Kazuma realize how cruel he had been towards his grandfather before. This is why, after Kyo's mother passed away and he was rejected by his father, Kazuma took Kyo in as an act of atonement and to erase his guilty conscience.
The pair began living together, and Kyo was well taken care of by Kazuma. Even when other members of the Sohma family shunned Kazuma for taking in the Cat, Kazuma never once was excessively overprotective or rejecting of Kyo, and showered him in love and care regardless of what others might have thought. At some point, Kyo began calling Kazuma "Shishou" since none of his students referred to him as much. Kazuma also began training Kyo in martial arts to teach him discipline, and to help Kyo become stronger in his life knowing it will be so difficult being cursed by the cat. As they continued living together, Kazuma came to genuinely love Kyo and felt like he had become the boy's father. However, he put a slight distance between them, afraid that his feelings were a burden for Kyo, especially considering how Kazuma had witnessed Kyo exclaim several times that he didn't view Kazuma as his father.
After Kyo apparently let Kyoko Honda die, he grew immensely depressed and was overcome with guilt and regret. Kazuma didn't know the details of the incident, but tried his best to release Kyo from the darkness. He assured him that even though despair will continue to approach him, so will hope, and that not everyone he meets will reject him. However, Kyo, who was "barely living" at that point, rejected his words. Noticing this, Kazuma took Kyo to the mountains to recover - though it was said that they went to "train" - for four months. After returning, Kyo had decided to live with his hatred, while Kazuma's only response to the whole ordeal was a sad smile. Kazuma later revealed that he would be away for a sabbatical training for a while, and that when he returned, they could live together again.
Second Year Arc
After returning from his sabbatical training, Kazuma went to check up on Kyo, where he saw Kyo smiling happily while talking to Tohru Honda. This surprised him greatly, as Kyo was completely broken four months prior. Kazuma later goes to Shigure Sohma's home to visit Kyo, where the latter appears after having been on a "date" with Kagura Sohma. Kazuma greets him by saying that he has been looking well.
After settling down, Kyo happily reminds Kazuma of his promise that he can return to the dojo, but Kazuma believes that it would be beneficial for Kyo to continue living at Shigure's house because of Tohru's positive influence. Kyo tells him that he hates at living at Shigure's house and receiving Tohru's kindness, but Kazuma deduces that Kyo is only afraid to face himself and to lose what he has gained, especially in regards to his relationship with Tohru. Kazuma thus confides in Shigure his plan to confront Kyo and expose his true cat form in the belief that Tohru will save him. That night, Kazuma removes the rosary from Kyo's wrist and exposes his true form in front of Tohru. Kyo runs away from the house after transforming, whereupon Kazuma picks up Kyo's rosary and briefly asks Tohru how she feels before she ends up running after him. Kazuma stays outside the whole night, and smiles brightly when Tohru returns with a sleeping, transformed Kyo in her arms, meaning that his plan had succeeded.
Kazuma later leaves the house with Tohru without saying his goodbyes to Kyo. He confesses to her that he initially took Kyo in as atonement for the horrible things he said in his only meeting with his grandfather, though he eventually grew to love Kyo as his son. However, Kazuma confides in Tohru that he still feels bad for what he had done, as he feels like he always apparently pushes him one-sided feelings upon Kyo and imposes his ego on him. He instead gives Tohru his thanks for "saving" Kyo in the circumstances he created, but Tohru says otherwise; that Kazuma truly is a father. Kyo eventually manages to catch up to the pair, and apologizes for all the trouble he has caused for Kazuma. However, he also tells Kazuma that he will grow into a strong man who will be worthy of calling Kazuma his father. This overjoys Kazuma, and he reaffirms that Kyo is his "high maintenance son", and they firmly reconcile their relationship.
After that, Kyo decided to continue living at Shigure's house, but comes to visit Kazuma and train at the dojo three times a week. Kyo also tells Tohru that Kazuma has cut his hair short; he had only had his initial long hair as a form of superstition, and cut it because he felt like it would be okay even if he did cut it (regarding how Kyo's situation has begun looking brighter).
A few weeks later, Kazuma invites Kyo and Tohru over for lunch. However, he has horribly burned the food upon their arrival because he was reading Shigure's new book. Kyo and Tohru offer to cook in his stead which he accepts. After being chased out of the kitchen by Kyo, Kazuma gets a call from Kyo's biological father, and he tells Kyo and Tohru that he needs to go out urgently and will be back soon. He meets with Kyo's father who openly anticipates for Kyo to be locked away in the Cat's Room for the rest of his life, since he had apparently ruined his life and killed his wife. Kazuma notes that the old Kyo and his father are similar in regards to how they push the blame onto others, but unlike him, Kyo is changing for the better. Kyo's father accuses Kazuma of only standing up for Kyo because of the money, but Kazuma reaffirms his vows that he will never let Kyo be imprisoned and says that he doesn't expect a person like him to understand. After returning, Kazuma thinks to himself that if Kyo keeps changing, he will continue to protect him at all costs.
After Rin is hospitalized the second time during the series, he takes her in to recuperate so that she does not have to live inside the family compound, which he has done before.
Third Year Arc
After Kyo's curse broke, he immediately visited Kazuma with Tohru. When Kyo showed him his wrist which didn't require him to wear his rosary, Kazuma pulled him into a hug.
After things had settled down, Kyo and Tohru head to Kazuma's house where he expresses that since Kyo's curse is broken, he is in a loving relationship with Tohru, and he has a bright future ahead of him, it would not matter when he would pass away as he had no regrets. This distresses the couple, and in an attempt to change his mind, Kunimitsu whispers that if Kyo and Tohru marry and have a child, Kazuma would become a grandfather. Upon hearing this, Kazuma tells the couple that he will continue working hard.
Towards the end of the series, it is revealed that Saki has landed a job at Kazuma's dojo where she will be working as a cook, which he warmly accepts. As they overhear the Sohmas discussing their lives outside of the dojo door, Kazuma and Saki reminisce about their time with Tohru and how it has helped them.
Kazuma's grandson, Hajime Sohma, mentions that even though Kyo hasn't taken over the dojo yet, Kazuma is in good health and still runs his dojo as usual. Hajime also loves Kazuma and states that he is his one and only grandfather.
|“||I grew to love him. Every time I saw him smile, my heart swelled. I cherished him, worried about him, and wanted him to be the happiest boy in the world. I felt like I had become his father.||”|
—Kazuma, about his adoptive son, Kyo.
Despite taking Kyo in as a way to atone for his treatment of his father, Kazuma gradually came to genuinely love Kyo like his own son. However, Kazuma initially felt like his parental feelings towards Kyo may have been a burden for him and therefore put a slight distance between. But after going through life-changing experiences with Kyo, they came able to understand each other and form a proper father and son duo. After this, Kazuma began to actively try to pursue a happier future for Kyo where he doesn't have to suffer just because he is cursed by the Cat; he refuses to let him get imprisoned, defies Kyo's biological father, the entire Sohma family, and Akito, and doesn't care who his enemy is because he will protect Kyo. He also shares his words of wisdom, is always there for him; even at his lowest points, and trains him in martial arts in hopes of that it will make Kyo strong and open his eyes to what is truly important.
Although they sometimes bicker as a typical father-son duo, Kazuma loves Kyo more than anything and always puts Kyo's happiness above his own even if he doesn't always agree with his reasoning or mindset. He lets him take his time to develop as a person and realize new things about himself while being supportive, affectionate, and loving. He is also one of the few people who can genuinely understand Kyo's struggles and empathize with him, something that Kyo appreciates. His love for Kyo is so great that he once even mentioned that he didn't care when his end came since a happy future for Kyo had already been secured; meaning that Kyo is Kazuma's whole world and that his life's biggest wish was to secure Kyo with a happy life.
In Fruits Basket Another, it is mentioned that Kyo will be inheriting Kazuma's dojo, and Hajime also mentions that Kazuma is his one and only grandfather, strongly implying that father and son are as close as ever.
Kazuma thinks very well of Tohru considering how her influence has helped Kyo grow into a happier person. He believes that her love for Kyo is sincere, and not based on pity like his grandmother's was towards his grandfather; to test Tohru's feelings and wanting her to "save" Kyo's heart, as well as to show Kyo he can be accepted despite his curse, Kazuma forces Kyo to show Tohru his true form. After Tohru accepted Kyo and he didn't reject her love, Kazuma was very happy and his strong opinion of Tohru amplified. They get along very well and Tohru assures Kazuma that he is Kyo's real father despite everything that has happened between them. Kazuma also has a soft spot for Tohru and is supportive of their relationship.
Kunimitsu is Kazuma's number one student and his assistant. He caused a lot of mischief in the past, but now he has reformed completely and Kazuma has complete trust in him and gets along with him very well.
Kazuma and Saki get along well. While Kazuma only views Saki as Kyo's classmate and is grateful to her for being friends with Kyo, Saki has a crush on Kazuma which she acts on. Saki regularly converses with Kazuma, teases Kyo regarding her crush on Kazuma, and on a few occasions she even visit his home without Kyo, which Kazuma particularly doesn't mind. Kyo deduces that they are not only friends but good friends. Towards the end of the series, Saki lands a job at Kazuma's dojo which he happily accepts, but a romantic relationship between them does not ensue.
- In Japanese culture, cutting one's hair symbolizes change and a rite of passage. In Kazuma's case, he grew out his hair as a form of superstition to gather luck for Kyo. When he finally succeeded in finding another person who accepts Kyo and who could "saves" his heart, he cut his hair, symbolizing the culmination of the change.
- In an author's note, Natsuki Takaya said that although she draws Kazuma young, his age is "almost 40."
- Kazuma's appearance differs between the manga and the anime adaptions:
- The manga and 2019 anime depict Kazuma with brown eyes and hair. The 2001 anime depicts his with greenish-gray eyes and grey hair.
- Takaya has claimed he is "clumsy with his hands and has no sense of flavor," and he is depicted as being so bad at cooking, he does not know how to prepare tea.
- Although Kyo calls him "Shishou" (meaning "Master"), Kazuma states that he doesn't want to make his students address him by such. Instead, most of his students call him "Shihan", (meaning "Teacher").
- He is a morning person.
- Kazuma likely had backup plans to keep Kyo away from the Sohma family after high school, not only to ensure Kyo's freedom, but give him the chance to someone who accepted him.