Yoichi Asakawa

Yoichi Asakawa

nihongo|Yoichi Asakawa|浅川陽一|"Asakawa Yōichi" (Sometimes called Yoichi Takayama) is a fictional character of the 1998 film adaptation of Koji Suzuki's novel "Ring", published in 1991, portrayed by Rikiya Otaka. He is based on the novel character Yoko Asakawa, daughter of Kazuyuki Asakawa. He also appears in the "official" sequel to the "Ringu cycle", named Ringu 2. He is the son of Reiko Asakawa and Ryuji Takayama, is about seven years of age and like his parents (particularly his father) is gifted from supernatural powers, namely ESP. He, like Sadako, has been considered a monster due to his strange powers and mysterious personality.

To close family members in Ring and Yoichi fans (ringworms) his pet name is "Yo-chan".


Yoichi Asakawa, born 1990, is the seven-year-old son of Reiko Asakawa and Ryuji Takayama. He lives with his mother in a small flat in Tokyo. His parents divorced when he was young (Four-years-old, it is suggested) and he has very little contact with his father, if any. He was very close to his cousin Tomoko Oishi, daughter of his mother's elder sister Ryomi, and was badly affected by her death.

Yoichi is very independent and quiet for a boy of his age. Without a male role-model he has made himself man of the house and takes it in his stride to help look after his mother. He tries to support her by helping her; he lays out a change of clothes for her when she comes home from work, walks to school alone and prepares his own dinner. The only person he seems to have a close relationship with is his maternal grandfather, Koichi Asakawa, with who he acts like a normal seven-year-old.

Yoichi is very similar to his father in looks, behaviour and feelings; both are aloof and suppress their feelings. Despite their estrangement, they appear to have special connection, in which they can sense when they are both in danger. He clearly loves both his parents, as demonstrated in "Ringu 2" but his relationship to both of them is also on a supernatural level too. He is able to see his cousin Tomoko who tells him to watch the cursed vidoetape that his parents are investigating.

After Yoichi watches the videotape his parents begin to force themselves further to try and find a way to save themselves. They leave Yoichi with his grandfather and learn more about the video. They discover its origin and its creator, Sadako Yamamura. Upon finding her body and laying it to rest, Reiko doesn't die and they believe she is saved.

Following the events they have been through, a reconciliation between Yoichi's parents seems likely as Reiko and Ryuji appear ready to try again at being a family. However, the hope amounts to nothing as Ryuji dies the next day at his deadline. Reiko realizes (with the help of Ryuji's spirit) that the way to save yourself is to copy the tape and show it to someone else. She travels to her father's house and Yoichi does the same thing as his mother did, giving his grandfather the tape.

Extra-sensory perception

In the film adaptation of Ring, the Asakawa family (Namely Reiko, Ryuji and Yoichi) seem to each have a certain amount of ESP or clairvoyance. Ryuji and Reiko have both demonstrated signs that they can sense spirits when they are in the same room. Yoichi's powers go beyond this as he can see and even speak to them. This suggests that the abilities ESP can bring are hereditary and the genes carrying the DNA mutate, so the strength of the two parents together becomes the amount of power the child has.

Another interesting point about the family's powers is that they each seem to have a spiritual connection. If one family member is in trouble, the other two family members automatically know it. This unfortunately aides them as well as it possibly could. Whether these feelings are down to clairsentience or simple empathy between Yoichi and his parents is debatable, but due to the nature of Ring and the lack of personal connection there was before the events of Ring, the argument for clairsentience is stronger.


"The evidence for clairsentience, clairvoyance and astral projection in the family is used several times during Ring:"

*Yoichi sees/feels his dead cousin Tomoko's presence in her old bedroom.
*Both Yoichi and Ryuji appear to receive a headache upon entering places with supernatural aura. Reiko just appears to become dizzy.
*Reiko appears to feel a strange aura from the cursed videotape upon spying it on the video shelf.
*Upon Ryuji's arrival, Reiko opens the door instantly as he is about to press the doorbell.
*Ryuji and Reiko are both visited by/see Sadako Yamamura after watching the cursed videotape.
*Ryuji felt Yoichi's danger when he watched the video, and sent out a warning. Reiko felt his warning.
*When Yoichi watches the cursed videotape, he claims that his dead cousin Tomoko Oishi had told him to do so.
*Reiko appears to be physically projected into Ryuji or her own visions, though her body is just physically paralysed.
*When projected into a vision, the people in the vision can touch Reiko as if she were really there.
*Reiko feels Ryuji's danger towards the end of the film and Ryuji knows to call Reiko when he realises he is dying.
*Upon his father's death, Yoichi appears to feel the loss of his father's aura.
*Ryuji's spirit appears to Reiko at the end of the film.

Ring 2

"In Ring 2, as the result of his father's death, Yoichi is rendered unable to speak. The powers he demonstrates are rooted to his feelings for his parents, both deceased by the end of the film. However, his used of powers take a less realistic effect that the first film had:"

*Yoichi feels Sadako's presence, so he often hides in public place near where his father lived.
*Yoichi only speaks once he realises the police are going to take him away from his mother.
*Reiko enters another one of her visions physically, in which she never awake as she is hit by a car and killed.
*Yoichi almost causes the death of Detective Omuta as a result of watching his own mother die.
*At the Yamamura Inn, Yoichi causes a huge paranormal disturbance in which, both Shizuko Yamamura and Sadako Yamamura appear in.
*Yoichi is used a medium to summoned Sadako Yamamura.
*Yoichi at first refuses to cooperate with Dr. Kawajiri, he is coaxed into using his power when Mai Takano is blamed for his mother's death. He looses control of his power as a result and causes the death of three people.

Relationship with Ryuji

Yoichi is saved in Ring 2 when his father appeared and took his fear of Sadako away from him. Yoichi was reluctant to hand over his fear to his father, possibly because he knew Sadako's power might harm his father. Though the reasons for the dissolution of Ryuji and Reiko’s marriage are never explained, Yoichi and Ryuji appear to hold a close aura. Yoichi's bound with his mother, as her feelings for him, while also on a clairsentience level, were mainly maternal.

In comparison, Yoichi appears to also resemble his father in other ways too. His personality is similar as both characters are withdrawn, independent and emotional vacuums most of the time. The nature of his inner powers resemble Ryuji's rather than Reiko's and like his father he received headaches from being close to supernatural sources. The feelings they both have for each other also don't appear tarnished as the problems Yoichi faces in Ring 2 are rooted back to the death of his father. Ryuji is also seems to feel the need to look out for Yoichi. During the first film he asks after him to Reiko and asks if he'll be okay being left alone late, to which Reiko replies sadly, "He's used to it."

Depending on which sequel you're viewing the relationship from (Rasen or Ring 2 many people have different ideas of the feelings Yoichi and Ryuji have for each other. While others say they have little as they rarely see each other, others claim that the likeness between them and concern Ryuji shows for Yoichi proves that he deeply cares for him, if not loves him. Yoichi on the other hand, seems to be devoted to both of his parents regardless of their faults and the lack of emotional connection he has with them.

External links


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