In this edition of Who’s Who, we’re asking “Who Is Yuna?” Yuna is one of the secondary characters you’ll interact with quite heavily throughout Ghost of Tsushima. She is an honourable thief who comes to Jin Sakai’s aid when he needs her the most.
Ghost of Tsushima is a fantastically broad game with an amazing cast of characters. Each character plays a vital role in Jin Sakai’s journey throughout Ghost of Tsushima‘s main storyline, while also offering the player the opportunity to explore Tsushima further through character-specific tales.
Yuna’s Tale follows her struggles to free Tsushima from the Mongol Invaders, all-the-while dealing with self-doubt about her place in the fight… And besides Jin.
Who Is Yuna?
Yuna is a major secondary character in Ghost of Tsushima, appearing throughout Jin Sakai’s journey throughout. She is a thief who uses her skill with a bow to help Jin Sakai fight against the Mongol Invaders on Tsushima. Throughout her appearances, she finds herself facing a duality of responsibilities. She wants to protect her brother, Taka, and spends every waking effort in this pursuit. However, despite the fact she is a thief, she knows that she needs to fight for the greater good of ridding Tsushima of Mongols.
Rather than the player meeting Yuna, it is Yuna who meets the player. Following the opening sequences, the Battle of Komoda Beach, Yuna finds an injured Jin Sakai post-battle. Gradually, she nurses him back to health and helps him to reclaim the Clan Sakai Katana. The two soon enter an agreement, escaping Komoda Town. Yuna’s brother, Taka, is a Mongol prisoner and she asks for Jin’s aid. He agrees, but only after he has freed his uncle from Castle Kaneda. This initial attempt ultimately fails and the two soon begin to search for Taka, who Yuna promises can smith any tool Jin Sakai might need.
Throughout the rest of Jin Sakai’s story, Yuna and Taka join Jin in his attempts to rid Tsushima of Mongol control. We learn that Yuna grew up with an abusive mother and found herself protecting Taka from a young age. This over-arching theme of loyal protection is juxtaposed with a desperation for escape. Jin Sakai and Yuna both share their musings on the idea of “walking away from it all”, however a Mongol attack soon cuts this discussion short.
Main Storyline Spoilers Ahead
As Jin and Yuna continue to fight for the people of Tsushima, we uncover more information about Yuna’s youth. Encountering the Black Wolf raises painful memories for Yuna as we discover that her and her brother were sold into the Mamushi Slave Farm by him in the past. Yuna finds it difficult to be involved with these parts of their journey, however she soon reveals to Jin that she wants to be the one to kill the Black Wolf.
The death of the Black Wolf is just the beginning for Yuna’s journey dealing with her past. She confronts Ichi, a former slave who failed to escape with Yuna and Taka, and defeats Altan, a Mongol Warlord, alongside Jin. With this happening alongside the main storyline, Lord Shimura finally gives Yuna and Taka leave to head to Mainland Japan. Throughout, this is Yuna’s primary goal and is symbolic of her on the cusp of satiating one half of her conflicting responsibilities.
As Lord Shimura attacks Castle Shimura head-on, Jin attempts to cull a flanking manoeuvre from Mongol forces led by Ryuzo. Jin reluctantly agrees to Yuna’s pleas that the fight his his, not hers. However, he is surprised to find Taka as he scouts the fort. Taka’s enthusiasm has led him to sneak away from Yuna to help Jin and he proposes a plan where he will act as a distraction for Jin.
Ryuzo sees the plan plainly and soon Jin and Taka end up captured, with it ultimately ending with Taka being beheaded for his naïve bravery and Jin blacking out in his restraints. Yuna soon finds Jin in his fight to escape and is devastated at the loss of her brother. She initially blames Jin, as Taka wanted to be like him, but soon realises that it is not his fault.
She admits that she has nothing to live for, other than fighting the Mongols to exact revenge for Taka’s death. Jin and Yuna have both suffered and despite this rift, find themselves trusting of one another and somewhat equal reflections on one another. Jin reveals that he would die for Tsushima, and for Yuna, and the two continue to fight against the Mongols and proceed with Lord Shimura’s plans.
However, they both begin to become disillusioned with the Samurai Lord as his strategies are carelessly aggressive and they are suffering heavy losses. This results in Jin and Yuna splitting from Shimura’s forces and poisoning the Mongols from within. Although this plan succeeds, it draws fire from Lord Shimura who knows the Shogun will want someone executed as a punishment for their actions.
Lord Shimura calls on Jin to blame Yuna, but he refuses and he is imprisoned. He urges Yuna to continue their fight against the Mongols and offers her his equipment. Yuna’s faultless loyalty, despite her intentions to protect Taka, continue and soon finds himself being saved by her once again. In their final meeting, they look back at their journey together and come to the sad realisation that they cannot be together and simultaneously vow to do everything they can to fight the Mongols. The two plan to start a new life with one another after they have dealt with the Mongols but find this an impossible dream.
Yuna has spent her life ultimately in the service of others and this continues throughout the story of Ghost of Tsushima and beyond. She has a strong moral compass and a logical outlook on the situation. She is vital to Jin Sakai’s journey and reflects his own tortured existence. Both Yuna and Jin Sakai realise that their lives are more than their own, by the end of Ghost of Tsushima. She, like Jin, must do everything she can to help others. After failing her brother, Taka, she turns to put her efforts into helping the people of Tsushima.
Yuna is portrayed by Sumalee Montano, also known for her work as Mother in Star Trek: Picard and Admiral Sanda in Voltron: Legendary Defender.