Shozo Yaginuma

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I've made a grave mistake. I've resurrected a monster from the distant past into the present―
—Shozo Yaginuma, Gleanings of Paradise Chapter 6

Shozo Yaginuma (屋宜沼 猩造(やぎぬま しょうぞう), Yaginuma Shōzō) is a primary character featured in Gleanings of Paradise, a short story that is part of the Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan: Short Story Collection. He is a geneticist who dedicates his research to discovering a new type of wheat that would cure the wheat allergy of his best friend's daughter, Yo Utsurogi.

In doing so, he ends up recreating the legendary ancient wheat called the Gleanings of Paradise, and becomes the chief of a village dedicated to cultivating it.


According to Utsurogi, when Yaginuma was younger, he looked like a slender, beautiful-looking boy and the most stereotypical scholar. After consuming the Gleanings of Paradise, Rohan says he looks like a "macho man".[2]

Yaginuma is a tall man with tanned brown skin. He wears a checkered shirt, jeans, and sturdy work shoes. He also has glasses with thick black rims.[2]


Shozo Yaginuma is a man of deep conviction and dedication. He is a devoted friend; feeling bad for Utsurogi after his wife leaves him due to the burden of managing their daughter's allergy, Yaginuma sets out to develop genetically modified wheat that wouldn't trigger allergies.[3] He is an intelligent man and well-versed in theories related to agriculture's origins, such as the Marginal Zone theory. His interactions with others, such as Utsurogi and Rohan, show a warm and welcoming side.[2]

After reviving the Gleanings of Paradise, Yaginuma regrets what he created, believing he resurrected a monster. The wheat easily controls him and spreads its influence to other humans. With the wheat's consciousness living within him, Yaginuma's ordinary sense of devotion transforms into dangerously worshiping the wheat as a god. He is forced to act as a village chief, luring others to the village to eventually get them to eat the wheat so they can be domesticated into livestock that would continue cultivating the wheat. His faithfulness is excessive, as his village's creed is to live as people did when the ancient wheat was alive, abstaining from modern conveniences like electricity, gas, and machinery.[2] Although he himself harbors no ill intentions, his actions under the wheat's influence are manipulative and coercive.[3] He temporarily manages to exert enough free will to declare that Yo should never eat the wheat, which allows Rohan to suspect that something is wrong. However, the wheat quickly regains control to revert him into a smooth-talker that doesn't care whether his friend or friend's daughter turn into monsters.[3][4]


Yaginuma has a deep knowledge of agriculture, particularly concerning the Gleanings of Paradise wheat.[2] He has expertise in genetic engineering, which he used to revive the ancient variety of wheat.[3] Yaginuma is also skilled in traditional bread-making, using ancient methods to bake bread from the Gleanings of Paradise.[4]



Shozo Yaginuma was a university friend of Toshiya Utsurogi. He once worked at a cutting-edge company conducting research on genetically modified crops. In order to cure Yo Utsurogi's allergy to wheat, he performs repeated genetic engineering experiments on wheat to create a completely new variety not belonging to any existing genetic lineage. He realizes it most likely was one of the first wheat precursors that humans encountered and ends up naming it the Gleanings of Paradise.[2] He learns that it can reconfigure body tissues to absorb all of the wheat's nutrients, which would allow it to rewrite allergies. However, he soon learns of its danger, understanding that rather than only reforming one's constitution, it transforms them into slaves propagating the wheat by taking over their minds.[3]

Yaginuma regrets reviving the wheat, but it is too late. The wheat forces Yaginuma to quit the company he was conducting genetic research for and move to a rocky summit of a mountain in the Kanto region, where he pioneers a village suitable for cultivating the crops. The wheat chooses to make Yaginuma the leader since a community needs someone for administrative purposes and to assimilate outsiders into the village.[3] Over time, the wheat-possessed Yaginuma manages to gather about 30 other humans to the village, with some of them transformed into livestock by the wheat.[2]

Controlled by the Gleanings of Paradise, Yaginuma then invites Toshiya and Yo Utsurogi over to his village so they can try the wheat as well, claiming it would cure Yo's allergies.[1] When Utsurogi mentions Rohan, they decide it would be good to invite him as well so he can draw manga that communicates to the humans on the outside how marvelous the Gleanings of Paradise is.[3]

Gleanings of Paradise

Greeting the Visitors

Yaginuma sees Rohan taking photos of the wheat and is glad to hear Rohan's positive reaction toward the wheat fields. He approaches Rohan from behind, as he claims that the wheat is basically God in his village. Utsurogi catches up and hugs his friend, as the two are happy to see each other again after a long time. Yaginuma introduces himself to Rohan and the group heads into the village. Rohan notices that the ground did not seem suitable for growing wheat. Yaginuma explains about the Marginal Zone theory; it proposes that agriculture originated from people living in lands where the supply of food available for hunting was unstable.

Yaginuma passionately describes how the symbiotic relationship between wheat and humans dates back to the Agricultural Revolution, emphasizing that wheat's encounter with humanity was just as fateful for its own reproduction. He presents two different ears of wheat, highlighting the differences between the ancient Gleanings of Paradise and modern varieties of wheat. He believes that this ancient wheat, which he revived through genetic engineering, will eventually be cultivated by all of humanity.

Rohan asks Yaginuma if the Gleanings of Paradise really do change one's constitution once they eat it, to which Yaginuma confirms that it does, but it depends on their own temperament. As they walk through the village, Rohan and Utsurogi observe villagers manually grinding the wheat, wholly engrossed in their task and ignoring their guests. Yaginuma describes the process as a ritualistic act of accepting God. He then offers his visitors a taste of the freshly ground Gleanings of Paradise, which Rohan and Utsurogi naturally accept.[2]

Bullish Transformation

Yaginuma serves Rohan and Utsurogi bread he cooks using the freshly ground wheat at his house. Yaginuma explains how the wheat tastes better when it's simmered in a porridge, which he promises to treat them to the next day. Rohan argues that they should offer it today so he doesn't have to stay another day longer with his busy schedule, but Yaginuma remains steadfast about maintaining the date of their harvest ritual, as it is a strictly observed custom. The bread's allure is so strong that Utsurogi finds it hard to stop eating, consuming loaf after loaf, with his stomach starting to swell up like a balloon. Rohan tries getting him to stop, since Yaginuma wanted to offer the bread to the villagers afterward, but Yaginuma claims that it's fine since they have rations stored. Utsurogi begins acting like a cow, grinding his jaws together and languidly chewing. He praises the food, but the pleasant atmosphere is disrupted when Utsurogi asks whether Yo can eat as well. Yaginuma had previously assured Utsurogi that consuming this special wheat would cure Yo's allergy. However, Yaginuma regains free will over the wheat controlling him and refuses to let Yo eat the bread, causing tension and confusion.

The friends have a heated exchange over his contradictory remarks, but as Yaginuma is about to reveal something, the Gleanings of Paradise forces him to take a loaf of bread from Utsurogi and eat it, taking control of him again. He reassures Utsurogi and promises that Yo will indeed be safe eating the Gleanings of Paradise, which he plans to give her after the harvest on the following day.[4]

The next day, Rohan, Utsurogi, Yo, and Yaginuma, gather around a pot set over a fire as they prepare to cook the wheat into a porridge. Rohan notices the villagers in a peculiar posture, bent over like elderly people, when harvesting wheat. Yaginuma explains that it's more convenient for farm work. Utsurogi's behavior becomes even more erratic, as he tries force-feeding his daughter and starts consuming spilled porridge from the ground, behaving more like a wild animal than a human. Yaginuma starts petting Utsurogi like a cow, casually mentioning that this is a regular occurrence in the village. He tries persuading Yo to eat again, telling Rohan that even though it seems like Utsurogi was forcing her to eat to an outsider, he was just showing love by wanting to feed his child delicious food. Rohan uses Heaven's Door on Yaginuma to determine whether he's a threat or not, but finds that he has no ill intentions toward them.[5]

Later in the middle of the night, Yaginuma secretly takes Utsurogi away from the hut and continues feeding him more kernels of wheat. When he leaves the hut, Rohan and Yo sneak in to try saving Utsurogi, who they discover has transformed into a half-bull hybrid.[6]

End of the Village

Yaginuma returns and orders the transformed Utsurogi to seize Rohan and Yo. Utsurogi manages to grab Yo, and carries her toward Yaginuma. Yaginuma reveals that he wants Rohan to use his manga to extol the virtues of the Gleanings of Paradise wheat. He believes that once Rohan consumes the wheat, he will be compelled to promote it willingly. Suddenly, Yaginuma slaps Utsurogi on his back, making him vomit out a porridge of the Gleanings of Paradise. Yaginuma demands that Rohan should eat it, so Utsurogi lets go of Yo to grab Rohan instead. Feeling nauseous that they were about to force him to eat such a thing, Rohan tries using Heaven's Door again even though he knows it wouldn't help. However, Yo comes between them and desperate to save her father from his transformed state, attempts to eat the wheat herself while crying. Utsurogi, in a fleeting moment of paternal instinct, stops her by scooping up the wheat and consuming it himself. He sends Yaginuma flying with one hit, then turns around and violently vomits all of the Gleanings of Paradise he ate. After expelling all the wheat from his body, he reverts to a slightly more human-like form, albeit with horns.

By using Heaven's Door on Yaginuma again, Rohan learns that it isn't Yaginuma who's controlling the village, but the wheat itself.[3] Rohan, Yo, and Utsurogi run away and find themselves at the edge of a cliff, surrounded by Yaginuma and the villagers again. However, Rohan uses Heaven's Door on the villagers to force them into burning the fields of wheat with their torches. The villagers, torn between their duty to the wheat and Rohan's command, scramble to extinguish the flames. This diversion allows Rohan, Yo, and Utsurogi to slip past Yaginuma and the villagers, making a daring descent down the mountain.[7]

In the aftermath of the village fire, the wheat fields of the Gleanings of Paradise were completely destroyed. The villagers, initially hesitant to leave the mountain, were eventually persuaded by the local government and rescue teams to accept aid. At the hospital, they showed signs of recovery, with many, including Yaginuma, recalling their time under the wheat's influence as a hazy dream.[8]


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