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The player named Shiro was a new one on me. He was tall -- taller than I remember Sheila’s brother Kishi being -- and he looked thoroughly annoyed. Like, you drowned my puppy and now I’m going to kick the bejesus out of you, kind of annoyed. At that moment his anger filled brown eyes flashed more brightly than his red hair! Yeah, this was probably one guy you wouldn’t want to mess with in the real world, never mind the world of Sword Art Online, where he had a sword sheathed at his waist and a shield strapped to his back. There was also the minor fact he was built like an Olympian!
~ Excerpt from SAOK: Inbetweeners I, were Fujimaru describes Yoshiro, after he punched Loki.
Yoshiro Kazuki
Personal Info
Real Name Yoshiro Kazuki
Kanji 森一樹
Gender Male
Height 188 cm (6'2")
Weight 78 kg (172 lbs.)
Family Unnamed wife
Two unnamed daughters
Player Profile
Display Name Shirozuki
Kanji (Display) 白心緒
VR Played «Sword Art Online»
Occupation Clearer
Affiliation «Brightscale»
Status Alive
Appears In «Sword Art Online (Kenji)»

Yoshiro Kazuki (森一樹), known by the username Shirozuki (白心緒) but preferring the shorthand Shiro (白), was one of the 10,000 players trapped in «Sword Art Online». He was a founding member of a Clearer guild called «Brightscale». In the real world Yoshiro was a carpenter who specialized in garden patios. He has a wife and two daughters and his best friend is Sojiro Kori.

Yoshiro served as one of two main supporting characters, the other being Airi Natsume, in the author's work, and has on occasion served as a POV character.


Yoshiro was the tallest initial member of «Brightscale»,[Notes 1] has brown-coloured eyes,[1] and sports unusually long red-coloured hair which is usually styled in a tight braid that rests on his right-shoulder.[2] Fujimaru Nakamura noted that Yoshiro was physically well-built and compared him to an Olympian.[3] Yoshiro has stated that he works out regularly and eats the right kind of foods which, when combined with his physical job, has given him an impressive physique.[4]

Casual wear


Yoshiro's casual guild uniform.

Yoshiro and Kusaka were the first combative members of «Brightscale» to adopt casual attire. When he dropped Akiye off to meet up with Fujimaru, Yoshiro wore a black and gold bandanna wrapped around his head with a tribal design, rather than wear his Tanking helmet.[5] Like Kusaka, he found the weight of the Tanking armour, specifically the «Heavy Metal Armour» suits, impractical.[6] In addition, Momoko created a casual uniform rather than a strict battle uniform, allowing for the members of «Brightscale» to exhibit their own unique appearance when questing. The uniform she settled on was distinctly Eastern in design and consisted of a black-coloured kimono, white shitagi, black hakama, white ōbi, white tabi, waraji, and a simple armband with the «Brightscale» insignia emblazoned on its surface.[7] These uniforms were in use by the members of «Brightscale» by the 22nd of December 2022.[8]

Early equipment

As a Tank, Yoshiro predominantly wore suits of armour with limited mobility and high defensive strength.[9] Unlike Kusaka, who initially wore «Heavy Metal Armour», Yoshiro initially sported «Medium Metal Armour». This suit was simple «Bronze Armour» but was eventually replaced by Kusaka's old "tin soldier" «Iron Armour».[2]

Suit of the Exile


Yoshiro wearing his «Swordsman Long Cape».

Yoshiro's first unique set of armour was classified as «Heavy Metal Armour» but the «Suit of the Exile» was actually constructed from «bones» and various leather drops, rather than alloys.[10] It was lighter than contemporary metal armours and was a form-fitting design allowing for ease of movement, with a skeletal appearance. The helmet was the most visually unique piece of the entire set: it featured two forward-pointing horns and a T-visor slit.[11] He only wore the helmet when questing however and would replace it with a bandanna whilst in-town.[5] By the time his team completed the first chapter of the «Elf War» campaign quest Yoshiro had adopted a long sandy-coloured cape that extended to roughly his knees, which he received as a drop from the «Fallen Elf Commander».[1]


What was supposed to be an hour or two of leisure time with my best friend odd evenings before bed had turned into a prison cell. The scenery was breathtaking, sure, and at times the varied company you inevitably met was welcome, but a gilded cage is still a cage regardless of how comfortable it is. You know what? If I was going to say anything to Kayaba Akihiko, it would be that.
~ Excerpt from SAOK: Inbetweeners II, were Yoshiro expresses his view on SAO.

Kenji has repeatedly described Yoshiro as a dependable man; the first time he said this was after only knowing Yoshiro for a few hours,[2] though the second was declared after having spent a number of days relying on him as the groups primary Tank.[12] Kenji's initial faith was justified however; Yoshiro proved himself a disciplined man who rarely bowed to pressure, and worked exceptionally well in raid-settings with Kusaka.[13] He is tolerant of others, shows genuine concern for other peoples well-fare, and doesn't hesitate to interpose himself between his allies and dangerous opponents.[1]

Kenji suspected that Yoshiro either had younger sisters or young daughters in real life based on how easily he interacted with Momoko and Akiye.[2] Not only could he calm them down when they were scared, but he was also fit to keep them entertained by telling them stories of their various adventures.[14] It transpired that Yoshiro was married and was the father of two daughters, one aged 10 and the other aged 8, as of the beginning of the SAO Incident. He constantly worried about how "his girls" were coping without having him around.[4] Yoshiro told Fujimaru that he was a father of two, had essentially adopted two more (referring to the twins), and said he might as well adopt a third (referring to Fujimaru), and encouraged the young teen to message him if he ever needed anything.[5] He continued to encourage Fujimaru when he officially joined «Brightscale»,[15] but ended up on the receiving end when Fujimaru convinced him to slot «Carpentry».[16]

Although laid-back by nature, Yoshiro is fully capable of being serious given the proper situation. He puts his remarkable patience down to his being a parent and even when sufficiently angered, he is capable of keeping his temper reigned in.[4] Even still, Fujimaru described Yoshiro as someone you did not want to cross after the young man saw him scare Loki away.[3] Of the male members of «Brightscale» it was Yoshiro whom Fujimaru got on with the best.[15]

Yoshiro is a highly sociable person who is quick to offer support and advice whenever needed.[5] The only reason he actually played Sword Art Online was because it provided an easy means of Sojiro, and he, staying in communication with one another as their careers and Yoshiro's family life placed restrictions on his free time.[4] He became something of a confident to the younger members of the «Brightscale» guild and was quick to help with any number of tasks. This included helping Fujimaru and Momoko prepare a picnic for Akiye by gathering the requisite materials,[5] helping Momoko gather materials to cook with,[17] to helping Ino with her various moneymaking schemes.[18]

His closest and best friend is Sojiro.[4] Even when grouped together with the other members of «Brightscale», Yoshiro and Sojiro demonstrate their friendship with humorous banter and witty conversation, often at the expense of their allies.[12]


In the real world Yoshiro made his living as a carpenter specializing in the making of and fitting of garden patios. Once trapped in Sword Art Online he sought to bring these real-life skills to Aincrad, but acknowledged the fact that survival in the virtual world boiled down to one's in-game Skills and equipment.[4] Through encouragement from his friends, specifically Fujimaru, Yoshiro took «Carpentry» as his fifth Skill slot upon reaching Level 20, which fulfilled his long-held ambition.[16]


Yoshiro and Sojiro have been close friends for a long time, at least since their school-days.[4]

Yoshiro was married to an unnamed woman by the time he was 18 years old.[4] He had become a father to two girls at the age of 19 and 21 respectively.[Notes 2]


Main article -- Sword Art Online (Kenji).

Aincard arc

Part I: Companionship



Part II: Determination


Stat Value Time
Level 9.[2] Morning of December 7th, 2022.[2]
Level 10.[2] Evening of December 7th, 2022.[2]
Level 12.[14] In the week between December 8th and December 14th, 2022.[14]
Level 14.[1] Achieved as of December 24th, 2022.[1]
Level 26.[16] Achieved as of January 27th 2023.[16]



Name Type Acquisition Notes
«Small Sword» One-Handed Sword Initial Equipment Upgraded to +1 prior to December 7th 2022.[2]
Replaced by Kenji's Anneal Blade on the morning of December 7th 2022.[2]
«Anneal Blade» One-Handed Sword Given to Yoshiro on the morning of December 7th 2022, by Kenji.[2] No enhancements made as of December 7th 2022.[2]
Upgraded to +5 (4D1S) between the 15th and 17th of December 2022.[19]
Replaced -- but retained in his inventory -- by the «Elven Stout Sword» either on the 28th or 29th of December 2022.[19]
«Elven Stout Sword» One-Handed Sword Carried by «Forest Elven Inferior Knights» on the 4th Floor.[20] Base stats comparable to those of an «Anneal Blade» +8.[20]
Used by Yoshiro during his exploration of the «Dead Woods Mausoleum».[12]
«Beast Slayer» One-Handed Sword Found as a «Worn Sword» on the 2nd floor of the «Dead Woods Mausoleum» on the 30th of December 2022.[12] Base stats surpassing those of an «Anneal Blade» +8.[12]
Inflicts critical damage against «Beast»-type monsters.[12]


Name Type Acquisition Notes
«Bronze Armour» Medium Metal Armour Initial Equipment Replaced by Kusaka's old «Iron Armour» on the morning of December 7th 2022.[2]
«Iron Armour» Heavy Metal Armour Given to Yoshiro on the morning of December 7th 2022, by Kusaka.[2] Included gloves and boots and worn by Yoshiro as of December 7th 2022.[2] Replaced between the 15th and 17th of December 2022.[19]
«Iron Shield» Shield Already in Yoshiro's possession as of December 7th, 2022.[2] Not enhanced.[2]
Replaced by the «Bull Hoplon» on December 14th 2022.[14]
«Bull Hoplon» Shield Received as the «LA Bonus» from Zagan the Exile on December 14th 2022.[14] Provides +4 to Strength.[14]
Enhances the effectiveness of the «Howl» Skill.[14]
«Suit of the Exile» Heavy Metal Armour Player-made for Yoshiro by Akiye using materials from «Zagan the Exile» and various other rare materials.[19] The «Suit of the Exile» was the name of the entire set and comprised the «Body of the Exile», «Arms of the Exile», «Feet of the Exile» and «Helm of the Exile».[19]
+14 Strength.[19]
+22 Vitality.[19]
Resistance to Paralysis.[19]
«Swordsman Long Cape» Cape Drop from the «Fallen Elf Commander» on the 3rd Floor.[1] Increased «One-handed Sword» proficiency gain.[1]


Name Type Acquisition Notes
«Unnamed Strength ring» Ring Received December 19th 2022,[19] as a reward for the «Jade Key» quest.[21] Grants +1 to Strength.[21]
«Sigil of Lyusula» Ring Received between December 26th and December 29th 2022,[19] from Yofilis, after the completion of the «Shipwright of Yore» quest.[22] Allows access to «Dark Elf» areas.[22]
Increases Skill proficiency gain.[21]
Grants +1 to Agility.[22]


Yoshiro is a sword and shield Tank.[9] Whilst Arashi's defence is focused on counter-strokes, evasion, and outright cancellation of an opponents attacks,[14] Yoshiro's defence is focused primarily on interposing himself between his opponents and allies and blunting their attacks with his shield.[1] In full party situations he and Kusaka have showed the necessary discipline to pull off flawless aggro switches for potion rotation.[13] Although his style was simplistic it was certainly effective. Kenji noted that Yoshiro was an effective Tank even without slotting a combat-Skill upon reaching Level 20.[16]

Yoshiro's third Skill Slot, «Howl», is the cornerstone of his Tanking strategy. Not only is it his main aggro building Skill during Boss battles,[14] but the «Mods» he has taken also allow him to simultaneously attract the attention of multiple mobs within an unspecified area.[1] Stat wise Yoshiro, as a Tank, possesses heightened Strength and Vitality scores. Even in the safe zone, where his fist was intercepted by the systems purple barrier, the force behind his punch was enough to send Loki sprawling to the floor.[3] His fourth Skill Slot, «Shield», enhances his defences more so than just equipping a shield and increases the percentage likelihood of system-assisted blocking to occur.[23] It likewise opens up access to several shield-based Sword Skills possessing stunning and knock-back effects.[1]

In terms of gameplay, Yoshiro possesses a high level of player skill.[1] On the battlefield he maintains a cool head and is capable of quickly formulating unorthodox strategies in the heat of the moment based on simple instructions and commands.[14]

Sword Art Online

One-handed Sword Heavy Metal Armour Howl Shield Carpentry
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Sword Skills

One-handed Sword
  • «Rage Spike» -- a basic one-handed upward-pointing slash attack from the right.[14] This happens to be one of Yoshiro's preferred Sword Skills due to its quick recovery time.[12]
  • «Sharp Nail» -- a three-hit combination attack.[1]
  • «Serration Wave» -- a one-hit area attack that causes those struck to suffer a movement penalty. Deals damage comparable to a standard attack.[1]
  • «Shield Bash» -- a Sword Skill using the owner's shield which comprises a single blow, akin to a backhand strike, which deals bludgeoning damage. Has an inherent knock-back effect.[1] It is one of Yoshiro's preferred defensive attacks, despite it being an offensive attack.[12]
Tanking Skills
  • «Howl» -- the Tank's bread and butter skill and Yoshiro's main aggro-building Skill.[14] By the time Kenji, Airi, and he challenged the «Fallen Elf Commander» on the 3rd Floor, Yoshiro was fit to target multiple targets with his «Howl» thanks to a Mod.[1]

Supplementary Skills

  • «Shield» -- the art of wielding a shield in Sword Art Online is not gated behind the slotting of a Skill, though a «Shield» Skill does exist to enhance its effectiveness.[24] Although primarily a defensive Skill there are a small handful of offensive Sword Skills designed around the use of attacking with a shield, one being «Shield Bash».[1]

Outside System Skills

  • «Shield Lift» -- an unorthodox action using one's shield and Strength stat in conjunction. Employed by Yoshiro and Kenji to allow for Kenji to reach Zagan the Exile's weak-point at the end of their battle, with Yoshiro providing a platform to jump off and heaving the moment Kenji's foot impacted his shield.[14]
  • «Large Lung Capacity» -- lung capacity is unaffected by the «Swimming» Skill, with it being one of the few player attributes which the system cannot enhance in any way. Having a noticeably large lung capacity, which translates directly to the amount of time one can hold their breath underwater, is a rare and personal trait.[4]

Appearances in other media


Yoshiro has appeared in a number of specials and one-shot chapters, usually as a confused spectator. Whilst considered canon to the rest of Sword Art Online (Kenji), these chapters are designed to be light-hearted and not overly serious, with content that can rightly be called ridiculous.

The specials in question are:

Author's notes

Behind the scenes

  • Yoshiro's height and weight measurements, including physical appearance, is modelled on Renji Abarai from Bleach.
  • Kusaka was initially written as the «Brightscale» member who punched Loki in SAOK: Inbetweeners I. Given Kusaka's explosive temper, however, the resultant scene was very different from what was ultimately written. The decision was made to use the more even-tempered Yoshiro instead. That said, the original scene was later adapted into the events depicted in the «Brightscale Journal».


  • Yoshiro briefly encountered both Fujimaru and Ino before the pair joined «Brightscale».[4] This was referenced briefly at the end of Part I with Yoshiro finally recalling where he first saw Ino.[18]

References & notes



  1. Yoshiro is 188 cm (6'2" (ca. 188 cm) tall whilst the closest to him -- Kenji -- is 183 cm (6'0" (ca. 183 cm).
  2. Yoshiro is stated to be 29 years old in SAOK: Inbetweeners II. This same article cites his daughters as being 10 and 9 respectively. At the earliest he was 19 when his first daughter was born, and 21 when his second daughter was born.
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