Kunishima: Sanctuary character explained

In Sanctuary, Kunishima is the new editor, working alongside Tokitsu as they cover the progress of Ensho’s stable. Kunishima is a forward-thinking woman who is determined to bring the truth to everyone.

After being fired from the political department of her news firm, Kunishima joins Tokitsu to cover Ensho’s stable. Kunishima has little to no knowledge of sumo, but she gets acquainted with it the more time she spends at different sumo wrestling stables.

On her very first day, she makes the grave mistake of entering the dohyo, in which women are not allowed. When Enga, a fellow wrestler from Ensho’s stable, confronts her by calling her a woman, she stands up for herself.

Tokitsu has to remind Kunishima that the world of sumo is built on a different way of thinking. However, Kunishima continues to question the traditions of sumo wrestling, hoping that she will write an article that will help her get back into the political news department.

Why was Kunishima fired from the political department?

At her firm, Kunishima is blamed for talking too much. Due to her being so vocal, some of her colleagues got their salaries cut. During a confrontation between Kunishima and one of her colleagues, the latter reveals that she had an affair with someone at the firm.

Later in the show, Shintani, Kunishima’s senior, calls her to inquire how her sumo article is going. It is then revealed that Shintani had allowed Kunishima to work on an article on illegal donations.

Kunishima: Sanctuary character explained 1
Kunishima promises Shintani that she will be back in the political department

The moment Shintani felt pressure from higher officials, he got rid of her, though he was the one who gave her permission to work on it. It is also hinted that he was the one with whom she had an affair, as she asks him about his child.

Shintani continues to receive promotions and move up to the top. Apparently, his wife is the daughter of an executive, which is benefiting him a lot in his career. The news hurts Kunishima, and though she was still stuck on him, at the end of the show, she decides to move on and not talk to him when he attempts to approach her.

Kunishima grows to love sumo

Kunishima started off working on this sumo article, criticizing the sport itself for accepting hazing as a form of training and forbidding women from entering the dohyo.

Her confrontation with Enga makes her hate him and want him to lose. She had also noticed an oddball like her in the form of Enno, who didn’t care about the sumo wrestling traditions. She rooted for him to defeat Enga someday.

Kunishima witnessed Enno transform, learn from his mistakes, and grow up. She became a fan of sports while doing so and cheered when he finally defeated Enga during a practice session.

Throughout the May Tournament, she looked forward to seeing Enno pass all the hurdles and win. During Enno’s dark times, she even accompanied him and tried to encourage him to get back to work.

Kunishima’s obsession with the sport made her beg Inushima to give Enno a second chance when he got dismissed for attacking one of Umayama’s wrestlers with a foreign object, and when Enno got reinstated, she cried tears of joy.

Kunishima may have started off working on an expose article about Ensho’s table, but it ended up becoming an article about the growth of Ensho’s stable and her appreciation for them.

Also Read: Sanctuary review: A solid sumo wrestling drama

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