|Family Heads|| Akito Sohma|
Akira Sohma (formerly)
Shiki Sohma (future heir)
|Anime|| Episode 1 (2001)|
Episode 1 (2019)
The Sohma Family (草摩家, Sōma-ke) is a family which orginates from Japan and consists of over 150 members.
The Sohma Family is a very old, powerful, influential, and wealthy family which values tradition and status. They resemble a Japanese clan. According to Momiji Sohma and Hatori Sohma, the Sohma family does not fit into “today’s customs”. When Tohru Honda goes to first visit the Sohma estate she is astounded by the size and grandeur of the property, without even being aware she has only seen the main household. There are over 150 living members of the family, with about 100 living outside the main estate, at branch households, and around 50 living inside the main estate.
Thousands of years ago, "God" held a banquet and invited all animals, since he wished for him and all animals to share a bond which would last for eternity. However, it was deemed that the Cat betrayed everyone else, and as, the Cat was left behind and cursed. (See The Chinese Zodiac).
Ever since then, 12 members of the Sohma Family have been possessed by the animals of the Chinese Zodiac, as well as "God", and the Cat, which is not included in the Zodiac. (See Sohma Curse).
Inside and Outside
The Sohma household is a wealthy, prominent family, but the reasons they exist as such have a great deal to do with the Sohma Curse, which exists at the center of the family. Within the main estate live only those who know about the curse – those who are possessed, their families, the head of the household and the handlers and maids surrounding them. However, some have made the decision to leave for personal reasons, such as Shigure Sohma and Ayame Sohma.
The reach of influence the Sohma has is used both to protect the curse from being found out by the outside society and so the inside members are coerced to be a part of it. Any outsider, including members of the Sohma Family, are to get their memories "erased" by the Memory-Suppression Technique, which is a psychic ability which has been passed down from generation to generation. The only known Sohma with this ability is Hatori Sohma (and previously, his father).
Those in the family that raise possessed members are given a large sum of financial aid from the main estate, (“enough to generate strong feelings” according to Takaya), as well as the highest-ranking positions in the Sohma owned corporations (for example, Momiji's father is the owner of the business for which Tohru works as a cleaning lady).
The possessed members usually attend schools that are filled with other Sohma and when admitted to hospitals are under the care of Sohma doctors. Additionally, Juunishi who are underage must live inside the main estate of the Sohma family and are only allowed to move “outside”, but still under the entirety of the Sohma ie, when they come of age (graduate high school). Possessed members of the Sohma, at any age, do not leave home or start their adult lives by moving far away, and many of them still end of living within the main estate. Even when it comes to the possible further education of possessed members, they will attend a university chosen by the family that has Sohma ties.
The Sohma curse is carefully guarded at every turn and even more so the lives of the possessed are as insular as possible. They live on the Sohma estate, play in Sohma parks, attend Sohma schools, train at Sohma dojos, are checked into Sohma hospitals, retreat to Sohma vacation homes, work in Sohma businesses, and are buried in Sohma cemetery plots.
The Sohma Family's house consists of a main estate, its property (back in the day usually meaning farmland), businesses owned by the family, and even the family’s own section in the local cemetery. The structure of the family is usually that of a patriarchal head of the household and primogeniture system of inheritance. As the family grows in size other members will possibly create branch households to the main house that are still under the whole family estate.
The Sohma also own a large amount of land, the surrounding property on which Shigure’s home exists being part of this, and various summer homes, lake houses, and hot springs in different locations. Additionally, the Sohma even own and operate a number of their own hospitals and schools, as well as many local businesses (such as the hospital that Isuzu Sohma and Kisa Sohma went to). This is possible as members of the Sohma often hold high ranking management positions in these corporations and ensure that they are passed along through the family line.
While all the Sohma family members are from the same family, they are not literal cousins, or closely related at all. They are either very distantly related or not related in any blood sense. This is because the family is such a large one. Although the children refer to one another as "cousins", there is in fact no word “second cousin twice removed on my mother’s side” in the Japanese language, so they just refer to one another as cousins to avoid confusion and long words. It is the most probable that most of the members just share the same last name.
- The Sohma family as it exists in Fruits Basket is actually in a very unique position - families like it don’t typically exist in Japan anymore. In fact, in many ways which the Sohma family operate, they wouldn’t be able to exist, as the legal ramifications of such a family are not currently allowed under Japanese Family Law, since it was revised under the influence of allied occupation following WWII.
- Natsuki Takaya stated in an interview once that she just “pretend[s] family registers and whatnot don’t exist in the Furuba world”.