|Abilities|| Memory-Surpression Technique|
|Family Heads||Akito Sohma|
|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 current head of the family is Akito Sohma.
Thousands of years ago, "God" held a banquet and invited all animals, since he wished for him and all animals to share a bond that 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).
The Sohma family is a very old, powerful, influential, and wealthy family that 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”. 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.
The Sohma family is very traditional and conservative, and most of the finances, conflicts and such are taken by the head of the family and those close to them, and in this case, Akito Sohma. Kureno Sohma, and later Shigure Sohma are Akito's right-hand men and often help her out with papers regarding the affairs of the Sohma family. The Sohma family values tradition, wealth, and status over moral and ethics, as the Cat's confinement and dehumanizing them, has been present in thousands of years. They try to keep quiet about everything, as when Yuki Sohma was getting abused by Akito, when Hatsuharu Sohma was getting ridiculed by his peers for being the Ox, and when Kyo Sohma was ostracized by the whole family, everyone turned a blind eye to it, since it was exactly what Akito, and all the previous "Gods" had wanted. The maids, specifically, are notable for following whatever Akito says, whatever it is morally right or wrong.
The family uses a patriarchal system, evidenced by the fact that Ren Sohma forced her daughter Akito to be raised as a man, because she saw a female head of the family as competition. Additionally, traditions and special abilities are passed down in generations, as Hatori learned a special ability from his father, which has only been passed down in his lineage. The family mainly has a primogeniture system of inheritance, though this can vary when it comes to different cases. For example, Yuki was favored above his older brother Ayame Sohma because he was born as the Rat.
Currently, the family is "divided" in two sides: Akito's side of the family, and her mother, Ren Sohma's side of the family. Since mother and daughter hold absolute hatred towards one another, they are constantly trying to get the other one out of the household. As indicated by the flashback showing Ren's early days with Akira Sohma, the former head of the family and Akito's father, the backbiting and poisoning opinions for influence has been going on for generations, and it is implied that this might have been part of the Sohma family curse as well. Additionally, it is mentioned by the main Sohma Maid that the Sohma family does not want to involve the police in their affairs in order to avoid conflicts. This applies to Ren and Akito's feud, as well as the systematic abuse, isolation, and ostracization.
The Sohma Curse is viewed as one of the biggest secrets in the Sohma family, and the inner family strives to avoid being found out by the outside society as well as the inside members. Any outsiders, including inner-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 (and previously, his father).
The Cursed Sohmas who are underage must live inside the main estate of the Sohma family and are only allowed to move “outside” in special instances. For example, Yuki and Kyo moved out, but to Shigure's house, which is located in the land rented by the Sohmas. 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 up living within the main estate. Shigure also mentions that the Cursed Sohmas have their own bank cards, and receive a monthly financial aid from the main house.
According to Momiji Sohma, the ones affected the most by the Sohma curse are the mothers of the cursed children, as well as the children themselves. He mentions that since it is very traumatizing for mothers to hug their new-born son (and fathers hugging their cursed daughters), there is a high probability that the parents either reject or them or are overprotective and overbearing of them. However, there are some parents that are neither overprotective or rejecting, such as Hiro Sohma's mother and Kagura Sohma's mother.
In connection to this, parents abandoning their cursed children is not a big shock among the family, such as the case with Kyo Sohma and Isuzu Sohma. This is why people that raise possessed members are given a large sum of financial aid from the main estate, (“enough to generate strong feelings”), as well as the highest-ranking positions in the Sohma owned corporations. For instance, Momiji's father is the owner of the business for which Tohru works as a cleaning lady. Yuki Sohma's mother was also instantly given a high-ranking position in the family and a wealthy life since Yuki was born as the Rat.
The schools (that has Sohma ties) that the Cursed Sohmas attend are often chosen by the highest-ranking of the family, or their own parents. They are often enrolled in more expensive schools where education is much better than in other schools. Even when it comes to the possible further education of possessed members, they will attend a prestigious university chosen by the family.
From New Year's Eve to New Year's Day, a banquet is held which only the members of the Zodiac can attend.
At the banquet, the Zodiac members who represent the passing year and the coming year perform a ceremonial dance together.
The Sohma family members all share the same last name, but not all of them are cousins or closely related at all. Yuki calls Shigure his "cousin", though it is nowhere mentioned that they are first cousins, or if they are closely related at all. Since the Sohma family consists of over 150 members, it is implied that they are either very distantly related or not related in any blood sense. Some cases between the Sohmas where the relations are confirmed:
- Ayame Sohma and Yuki Sohma are biological siblings.
- Momiji Sohma and Momo Sohma are biological siblings.
- Hiro Sohma and Hinata Sohma are biological siblings.
- Akira Sohma: The former head before his death.
- Akito Sohma: The current head of the family who became the leader from a young age, after her father's death.
- Shiki Sohma: Designated to be Akito's successor.
- Natsuki Takaya stated in an interview once that she just “pretends family registers and such don’t exist in the Fruits Basket world”.
- The spellings used here are those given in the official Region 1 DVD and English manga releases. Names are given in Western order, with the family name last.