of Yoneda Kou’s Don’t Stay Gold, et al.
He bleeds. Yashiro is a multi-faceted character of the highest order. He is a primary and side character in three of Yoneda Kou-sensei’s titles. A very complex character that’s worth a few hundred words, at least. I believe that he is twisted, however, I also believe that he is not completely damaged in the way most would think he is. Here I’ll explore the beauty and the sacrifice that is Yashiro.
“Tadayoedo Shizumazu, Saredo Naki mo Sezu” starts off with “People are full of contradictions.” I think this line is as much about himself as it is about his partners. Here is a guy who had no problem with having sex with his step father and his realization that his stepfather was probably disappointed when he outgrew his tastes seemed to be tinged with regret. While others would see it as rape, which may have been the case initially, he didn’t seem to hold a grudge, at all. It was more like, if given the chance, he might have initiated it, but the guy beat him to it.
What we call pain, he sees as euphoria and whether by himself or by someone else, it’s what he craves. He wore long sleeves not to hide his shame, but because he was used to the solitude and didn’t want to give anyone cause to invite themselves into his world. He knew it was different from what everyone else would call normal and since it wasn’t as if they would understand it, it was like, what’s the point of even offering it as a topic to be discussed. His love epiphany at the end of “Tadayoedo…” is what brings things into perspective for him. I think all the time before the end, the emotional aspect of his activities never crossed his mind. Up to that point he’d been so numbed by carnal pleasures that feelings never came into play. He didn’t even realize exactly how pathetic he was until it was pointed out and was even further blind to the fact that Kageyama was somewhat of a kindred spirit. Not two sides of the same coin, but rather an alternate version of each other.
YK likes to juxtapose comparable demons, but in disguise. It’s never obvious that the characters are fighting the same fight, even more so when she chooses completely different ways for the characters to cope with them.
In “Don’t Stay Gold,” we see his epiphany has turned into a secret badge of honor. Still friends with Kageyama, but admittedly staying close to him (in strange ways) in order to keep the pain close as well.
Yashiro seems kind and executes quiet gestures out of love for those close to him, but he’s not honest with them–not to be deceitful, but because he actually doesn’t know how. Kuga sees right through him, because like Togawa said, they smell of the same kind. However, Kageyama’s own honesty blinds him to some of Yashiro’s truths, which only helps to maintain the distance Yashiro has so craftily instituted.
Kageyama’s just an honest kind of guy, but is deliberately honest with Yashiro because he does see some of the contradictions and conflicts with in him and honestly wants Yashiro to realize them so that he can address them properly–not necessarily to get over them, but perhaps, just to know.
I think Yashiro sees Kuga as another version of himself; a version that doesn’t have a internal device that is broken and is unable to translate his feelings into spoken truths.
Saezuru Tori wa Habatakanai… Yashiro has learned to worry and somewhere along the way he discovered loss. Enter Doumeki. When his former lover invites him back, he is concerned about what he would be giving up if he resigned himself to the life of a kept man. In the aftermath of his experience with Kageyama he managed to fix that internal device and, at the very least, he can now convey his feelings in a more direct way. Unfortunately, he also arrived at the conclusion that what he longed for (knowingly and unknowingly) is just not possible for “someone like me.”
I think Yashiro has not only come to believe that it will never happen for him, but it is so much so that he has a certain kind of fondness for tempting himself. Thus it has become natural for him to deeply desire something that he believes is out of his reach or even within his reach, but will not reciprocate. Both Kageyama and Doumeki were down for the count, so to speak.
Kageyama’s libido could only be accessed through another person’s trauma–a sexual fetish is merely a person’s heightened mental stimulation that triggers sexual arousal. On the other hand, Doumeki’s lack of libido was caused by another person’s trauma. Yashiro offers to both a possible way out of their stalled sex lives, really it’s their love lives (self love, familial love, physical love as well as intimate love which encompasses all love, because love is, by nature, intimate). To Kageyama, his first love, he offers him what he sees as another version of himself, hoping to return to his love something that was somehow lost. And to Doumeki, he offers an opportunity to reconcile himself with what happened to his sister and at the same time the path to reconciliation with her as well. By meddling in their lives in the way that he does, while throwing himself under the bus, he is somewhat satisfied that he’s had a hand in their recovery, especially since he believes that he can only be a vehicle and never the actual device.
Yashiro is definitely lonely and by most standards, damaged, but I don’t think he’s sad–I think that’s still to come and I think Doumeki will be the one to open that door for him. Whether it be another case of realizing just how ignorant he was after finally learning something new or just how loved he was and how much he loved when he loses Doumeki (this loss is only speculation).
This began as a response to mortkero’s (macabow) [of the YK LJ] Let’s Talk about Yashiro! post. This only became a post when I exceeded the character count limit with my response. Keyboard surfeit.
Notes: Though recent developments dhow that the potential loss was Yashiro’s life, much of my opinion remains the same.