Tsuyu (梅雨) is the spirit of a plum tree who has stayed with Tenjin for over 1,000 years due to her lasting love and dedication. Although she is Tenjin's guidepost, she is not a shinki and was never a human.
As a spirit, Tsuyu takes the appearance of a women in her twenties. Her exact age is unknown; however, she is around the same age or older than Yato since she was present in this form when Yato was a child.
She has long, black hair and straight-cut bangs that are parted in the center, revealing a red forehead decoration, or huadian, that she wears in the shape of a plum blossom. Tsuyu's eyes are colored purple and her lips are colored red.
Despite her unique circumstances and relation to Tenjin, Tsuyu is dressed in a red hakama over a white kimono– the same miko garb that Tenjin's shinki wear.
Because she does not have human emotions, Tsuyu is always calm and level-headed. She is loyal and protective of Tenjin, remaining by his side even during his violent early years. Her manner of speech is very archaic and poetic-sounding. She has also been shown to be a mentoring figure toward characters such as Sakura.
In Japanese Lore
Tsuyu is based on the legend of Tobiume ("The Flying Plum"). It is said that after Sugawara no Michizane was exiled from Kyoto, he yearned so much for his plum tree that it uprooted itself and flew to his shrine at Dazaifu Tenmangu, where it has remained for 1,000 years. It sits at the right hand of the main shrine and is always the first to bloom.
As the spirit of a plum tree, Tsuyu is capable of communication with plants. She was able to use this ability to determine that the Heavens were searching for Ebisu and that Yato had gone into the Underworld with Nora.
- The word Tsuyu (梅雨) as a compound word in Japanese refers to the country's rainy season, taking place from early June till mid-July.
- The kanji characters the word is comprised of are 梅 - "plum", and 雨 - "rain". This refers to how plum trees would ripen with fruit during the rainy season.