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The stern captain of the Yamato, utterly devoted to his mission to save Earth from the Gamilus threat, even at the cost of his own life. He is in fact dying, and becomes increasingly ill during the course of the first season, but remains convinced that he will live to see his homeworld again. He regards Susumu Kodai almost as a replacement for the son he lost in battle, and sorely regrets his son's death in battle at Pluto, along with the apparent death of Kodai's older brother, Mamoru. Even when his illness leaves him bedridden, he remains a source of advice to the crew, and to Kodai in particular. In the movie Final Yamato, it is revealed that he was kept in cryogenic suspension for some time until the Earth physicians could revive him and cure his sickness. He then went on to lead the EDF again in its fight against the Dingirians.
He is based on Leiji Matsumoto's father, who was a Major in the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force and flew a Nakajima Ki-84 in Battle of Leyte Gulf.