Tomie Kawakami (川上 富江, Kawakami Tomie) is the main antagonist and titular character in the manga series of the same name. She has the ability to regenerate herself into multiple clones, which is a recurring theme in stories featuring Tomie.
Tomie Kawakami is a young woman frequently described as almost impossibly beautiful by those she meets. The specifics of her appearance vary depending on the story, but she always has long (often straight) dark hair and a small mole underneath her left eye.
Tomie is a manipulative, hedonistic, and extremely selfish woman, seducing men to do her bidding. She is one of Junji Ito's most recurring characters, appearing for a grand total of 3 series: Tomie, Tomie: Part 2 and Tomie Again.
There have been numerous live-action adaptations of Tomie's stories, with the character herself portrayed by a wide variety of actresses.
Source of Obsession
Tomie's mere presence seems to drive people to become fixated on her, either positively or negatively. People thus enthralled tend to feel a mixture of intense love and hatred towards her, often beginning as the former and shifting towards the latter over time.
Tomie is able to regenerate herself from the smallest living piece of herself, including hairs, skin, and drops of blood. Each separate piece can grow into a full clone of herself, with its own independent mind. The only way to prevent Tomie's regeneration is to burn every part of her, leaving nothing for her to grow from.
Tomie's regeneration takes time but can be expedited by bringing her food or striking her with concentrated radiation. "Little Finger" implies that she can either control her regeneration if she wishes or that her regeneration works faster if she can manipulate someone into bonding with her.
It is also apparent that if her organs are implanted into someone, even if her organs are removed later from the host, her biology will take over the recipient.
- Tomie's last name, Kawakami, means skin, (Kawa) god (Kami), possibly inference to her flawless appearance and ability to seemingly live forever and recover from any damage done to her.
- Tomie shares many similarities to a succubus:
- She draws men of all ages towards her.
- She uses men for her own amusement.
- She retains her youthful appearance.
- Throughout the entire run of her stories, Tomie has never killed a single person by her own hands, always having the men she seduced do it for her.
- Tomie shares many similarities to the concept of death:
- Where ever Tomie goes, people die; whether by their own hands or by others.
- Tomie has been alive long before the earliest events of the manga, which involved meeting her future high school teacher when he was a child.
- No matter how many times Tomie gets killed by the people she encounters, she comes back with almost no method to completely take her out for good.
- The ways in which Tomie's victims die range from being murdered, committed suicide, driven mad, being left for dead in the middle of nowhere, and aging.
- Each Tomie believes herself to be the most beautiful being, and even see other Tomies as inferior copies of her and seek to kill any they come across. They do this by invoking men to hunt down the other Tomie and kill them with fire.