THE SILVER CASE: What Is Uehara Kamui?

Screenshot showing Rits talking to Sumio. Rits is on the left, facing the camera, and Sumio is on the left, in the foreground. Rits is an old woman wearing a gray-purple shawl. She sits in a wheelchair. Rits says, "The man who attacked us!"

In the request/level simply titled “Kill the Past,” Rits, another of the last Sundance survivors, tells Sumio her people were “herders, ranchers” who lived in a state of war with other tribes, explaining Kamui’s martial ability. This ended when “[t]he man who attacked us” appeared “long, long ago.” Despite the implied time scale, the attacker Rits refers to Uminosuke. She says this man’s son is on the island, referring to Tokio, indicating she, like everyone but Kusabi and Akira, is unaware of the “facts” behind Hachisuka Kaoru. Based on what Tokio and Edo tell Sumio in “Kill the Past” and “An American in Paris,” the facility hidden underneath Lospass Island used to be a “factory” for manufacturing hyenas, an operation ELBOW has abandoned by the time of Flower, Sun, and Rain.

(Rits also hilariously says, “Back then I belonged to a small ethnic group,” like being in an ethnic group is like a gig you can start and stop.)

Uminosuke is apparently responsible for the genocide of the Sundance tribe and the destruction of the island’s ecosystem, which is why the environment requires the Flower, Sun, and Rain staff to care for it. The Guidebook mentions that a company from Kanto is responsible for constructing the highway to Lospass Island fifteen years earlier, i.e. 1986, also implying ELBOW and/or Uminosuke’s involvement. He destroys the original people’s ancestral land and way of life to instead generate profit from the resort, the generation of silver eyes, and the Euro Maspro. The name of the Maspro is conspicuously that of a currency—the mass production of money. Instead of or in addition to being a wandering immortal who has no legal papers because he is a supernatural being, Uehara is reframed as an indigenous undocumented immigrant.

Screenshot of Yoshimitsu and Remy standing near a bridge on Lospass Island. Remy says, "I feel it. The history of this island."

The TRO/CCO old men killing Uehara to steal his silver eyes mirrors their destruction of his people to colonize their land. Similarly, paving over Lospass Island with roads and resort attractions and artificially preserving its “destroyed ecosystem,” denying its own lost past, both resembles real colonial projects in the Pacific (consider Hawaii or the real estate projects Klein describes in Sri Lanka) and the way Uminosuke’s administration tries to pave over the history of violence in Hinashiro City in Moonlight Syndrome, as well as its own history in The Silver Case, with luxury apartments and commerce. Hence Remy is able to recognize that Lospass Island is “cursed” like Kamui.

However, the precise political role of the Sundance tribe remains unclear. Did Uminosuke kill them only to steal their animals, or did ELBOW put them to work farming hyenas? What is their relationship to Edo? Sue works for him and temporarily replaces him, but she remains loyal to him to the end. Sundance Shot, another surviving Sundance tribe member, is the chairman of the FSO and presumably involved in the Kamui Maspro. But his character is too undeveloped to determine the extent to which he is a collaborator. Meanwhile, Edo Macalister, a member of ELBOW and a white man, claims to have discovered the sinister “facts” of the organization and so seeks to blow up Lospass Island (and presumably the nearby Eleki Island where the proto-shelters are located) to destroy the Euro Maspro. But this would just complete the Sundance genocide. Or would it? Sumio and Step apparently leave the island, while Shot chooses to stay and die out of “the pride of we island dwellers.” Meanwhile the fates of Rits and Sue are unclear.

Screenshot of Sundance Shot. He says, "Genes that carry on memories. The chosen seed was selected by Mondo."
Sundance Shot says, "We are the original natives of this island, all born with special genes."

The Euro Maspro involved cloning different children from the Sundance tribe because they possess what Shot calls “special genes” that allow their memories to transfer to another “stock body.” As a result, these special individuals are effectively the same person (though it seems impossible that Sundance Shot has the same personality or memories as the various Sumio Mondos). From a narrative “lore” perspective, assuming that Munakata is correct at the end of “LifeCut,” the existence of this power among Sundance islanders may explain how Uehara eventually returns from the Silver Case massacre, reincarnated into the nameless criminal Natsume Daigo recruits into Republic.