Karakisawa Hanami is one of the geishas working under the daimyo, Itsuku Shinju.
Hanami came from the far south of Japan, Kyushu. She lived peacefully with her parents, her siblings and her grandparents. She was supposed to be married to her childhood sweetheart, but due to an incident, Hanami was forced to leave for Kyoto.
Her father worked for a rich politician, he was the right hand man. Kyushu was in a state of stability and prosperity, not a single person starved. However, Hanami's father discovered that the politician was smuggling drugs to China and Europe. Her father was forced to hide, and her family were treated as hostages. Her fiance was forced to work for the politician, because the politician said that he would keep the Karakisawa safe if he will become the liason in the illegal trade. Thus, Hanami's fiance had to leave the country often, and their marriage was delayed. In reality, the politician's son wanted to make Hanami his concubine, and they plotted to kill Hanami's fiance, but failed many times. Hanami's mother realized what the politician was planning, so she sent an urgent letter to Aoi Omaru, saying that her daughter needs a place to hide. Hanami, though reluctant to leave her family in the hands of the politician, was forced to board a ship going to Kyoto that night. She vowed to return and to return the life of her family.
Before she left, her mother told her that Aoi is an oiran, and told her that she must undergo training to become a geisha. Since then, Hanami plotted her revenge against the politician.
When she landed on Kyoto, she met with Kuroshika Natzumi, who came from the north, Hokkaido. Natzumi told her that she left home in order to continue on with her life. Hanami sympathized with Natzumi, stating that both of them went to Kyoto in order to continue living their lives. Hanami soon found Aoi Omaru waiting for her at the pier. She decided to keep quiet about Natzumi, but when Aoi stated that there was a dire need of geishas and also because her conscience couldn't bear the fact that a woman was travelling alone in Kyoto. She told Aoi of a girl she met at the pier who is also testing life in Kyoto. They waited for Natzumi and saw her utterly lost in the big city. Hanami introduced Natzumi to Aoi saying that Aoi can help her through her journey in Kyoto. Aoi requested to go to the dojo for a private discussion of the matter.
After their conversation, they were able to summarize the situation: Aoi can guarantee a damsel's safety in exchange, they must train to become fully-fledged geishas. Although at first Natzumi was reluctant to accept the bargain, but since Hanami and Aoi emphasized her helpless situation, Natzumi finally agreed. Haruka announced there and then, that both Hanami and Natzumi will become her subordinates, but Aoi interrupted sayign that she will train Natzumi herself. Therefore, Hanami was trained personally by Haruka.
The senior geishas didn't like Hanami and Natzumi, stating that Aoi took them in out of pity. At first, Natzumi looked down at herself, and Hanami would have to cheer her up. Hanami and Natzumi became good friends along with Iruzawa Azune, MIkenda Itsuru and even Nokumada Ritsu.
After her training, she was immediately presented to Horordo Tatsumaki. Tatsumaki was impressed by the dance that Hanami performed for him, stating that she was like a mixed product of Haruka (who was his lover at the time) and Sakaki. Therefore, Hanami passed with flying colors. Though she passed, and is officially a geisha, Shizikumo Takana and Yukumaru Ikedea didn't fully accept her.
When Aoi died, she was one of the first ones to see Aoi's dead body the next morning. She informed Natzumi about it, and defended Natzumi when the other geishas accused her of killing Aoi. She separated from Natzumi when Tatsumaki sent her (Natzumi) to the dojo in the east. She and all the other geishas became extremely cautious towards Tatsumaki, after they realized the danger he poses to all of them.
Soon, Itsuki Shinju, the daimyo himself intervened. He evacuated all geishas to his private dojo where he lived. There, Itsuki Sakaki trained her, claiming that she needed an exercise. Hanami momentarily lost her worries of Natzumi, but suddenly remembered her family back in Kyushu. She was saddened like all the other geishas when they found out that Natzumi died, though they were also relieved to know that Tatsumaki was dead. When Shinju presented them with a choice: to stay or to leave, she was one of the few who decided to leave. She left her friends and her masters crying, apologizing for using them for her own selfish purposes, she expected them to disown her, but they said that they completely understood Hanami.
Hanami went back to Kyushu, and when she did, she was broken. Her family was treated like trash by the politician. Her fiance was imprisoned due to the crime of smuggling drugs and was to be executed for that. She found her family when one of her siblings attempted to take her wallet. She followed her siblings, who were now pick pockets, to the small place where her family currently found shelter. Her mother told her that the politician soon found her father and sentenced him to death for treason. Her mother also explained that since Hanami was nowhere to be found in Kyushu, the politician decided to throw them away. Her fiance supported all the needs of her family while she was gone. It was only until recently that the politician found out of her fiance's actions. Her fiance was sentenced to death, three days from then. Hanami devised her plot against the politician, making him feel so useless and miserable.
That very night, Hanami went to the bar where the politician would always go to. She kept a close watch on him, and she successfully caught his interest. It seemed that the politician didn't notice her. She decided to keep him company and expose his smuggling business to the higher ranks of the authority. The politician invited her to spend the night at his house. Hanami, seeing the chance to kill him, accepted the invitation. The politician brought her to his room and invited her to go to bed with him. Hanami was so disgusted with him, she took the knife she always his inside her belt and stabbed the politician's heart. She was arrested for this, and was sentenced to death.Her family seemed to be helpless, but she showed them the documents she stole from the politician's cabinet. Her sentence was postponed, her fiance was released and her family lived their normal lives once again.
She lived in peace in Kyushu with her husband and her family. Her name was changed into Ryoko Hanami, she became the mother of the granddaughter of Sakaki.
She died alongside her husband, full of years, but satisfied.
Hanami wore a traditional indigo yukata when she was in Kyushu. Her hair was neatly kept in a bun and had a golden hair ornament. When she moved to Kyoto, she wore a more elegant kimono. She still stuck to the color indigo, as it compliments her dark complexion. She wore a black belt to keep the kimono closed and she kept a knife hidden in it. Her hair was still kept in a bun, she had bangs at the time to prevent anyone from noticing her. She also exchanged her golden hair ornament with a silver one. Like her mentor, she is a fan geisha, and used that to pass her presentation to Tatsumaki
Hanami is a very sensible and responsible person. She tends to take all of the responsibility to herself, due to the circumstances with her family. She can also be manipulative especially when her family is involved in the problem. She would have easily accepted the offer of the politician, if her mother didn't send her to Kyoto. However, there are times when she can also set her family aside and act according to her whims. Her marriage with her fiance was her own desicion and she did it because she loved him. She can easily get attatched to someone, and when she does she will do whatever it takes to keep them safe. She is also a fast learner and can pick up quite easily. One of her notable characteristics is her decieving demeanor. Although she seems to be very gentle, she is very brave and harsh deep within.
Kuroshika Natzumi - Hanami easily sympathized with Natzumi when they met. Hanami saw that they were the same in the sense that they were both stuggling in order to survive. She also saw Natzumi to be inexperienced and immature. She became a sisterly figure to Natzumi, and they became good friends.
Miyamoto Haruka - She became Hanami's mentor. They spent a lot of time together. Haruka taught Hanami everything she knew about being a geisha, and she also taught her how to prioritize her survival at all costs.
This page is dedicated to the one who portrayed Karakisawa Hanami beautifully. I dedicate this page to Mykee Regine Suniga.