Toshio Saeki is a fictional character from the Ju-on series of Japanese-horror movies. He was played by several child actors, being Ryôta Koyama in the original two V-Cinema movies, Yuya Ozeki in the theatrical movies and the first American remake, Ohga Tanaka in The Grudge 2, Shimba Tsuchiya in The Grudge 3, Daiki Sawada in the short movie 4444444444 and Garrett Masuda in the parody Scary Movie 4. He is characterized by his pitch-black eyes, pale skin, and the haunting meowing sounds he makes. He is uselly seen sitting with his legs up near his chest and with his hands on his knees, sometimes drumming his fingers on them. Cause of this position it appears that Toshio is naked and the only time he is seen wearing an article of clothing is in the Ju-On: The Grudge where an old man who was playing peek-a-boo with him waves goodbye to him and through a window in a door Toshi is seen standing up wearing a pair of white underwere.
He can be considered the second main character in the series, behind of Kayako, his mother. His first appearance was in Takashi Shimizu's short movie 4444444444 and his haunting goes all through the Ju-On series in a house in Nerima, Japan. He is one of the fulfillers of the ju-on curse, which states that when someone dies amidst rage and intense wrath, those feelings remain at the death site and kill whoever it touches.
His next appearance will be in the upcoming The Grudge 3, played by Shimba Tsuchiya. He can be considered an icon of modern horror movies, having appeared in 6 films (with 1 more to be released) and 1 short and even being parodied in the 2006 comedy Scary Movie 4.
History and OriginEdit
He has a teacher named Kobayashi in school who happened to be an old flame of his mother's. The old passion rekindles when they meet again. Takeo discovers a journal in which she wrote of her love for Kobayashi. Blind with rage, he obsesses over the idea that Kayako is cheating on him, and that Toshio is not his son. He attacks Kayako when she comes home and kills her. Then he sees that Toshio was watching and drowns him in the bathtub. It is also implied that he killed Toshio's pet cat, Mar, before burying it in the dirt path beside the house.
This begins a curse upon that house, in which the ghosts of Kayako, Toshio and Takeo (who is killed by Kayako soon after her murder) attack people who enter in, re-enacting the murders and following the victims wherever they go.
The idea of Toshio comes from an old legend in Japan. Thre once lived a king with avery violent temper. One day as he plays chess with a servant, the servant won him. In a fit of rage that he lost, he ordered the death of the servant. Not satisfied with it, he ordered his whole family to be killed. He then drown the servant's young son and his cat in the same place. After that, the cat and the boy merged and formed a half-human, half-demon. The boy came back and killed the king due to his violent rule. Toshio is seen making cat-like moans and always carries his cat around. Moreover, he is killed in the bathtub with his cat, Mar. Takashi Shimizu got this idea and Toshio is created.
Differences between interpretationsEdit
- In the American remake, Takeo kills Toshio by drowning him in the bathtub. He even kills the cat with a utility knife. He puts Toshio's body in the closet and seals it with duct tape.
- In the Ju-on novel, Toshio hides in the attic from his father. Instead of coming after him, Takeo slams the cupboard door shut, leaving Toshio to starve to death. However, whilst in the attic, Toshio encounters the body (and the ghost) of his mother, so it is unknown if he did indeed starve, or if Kayako claimed him. Also in the novel, Toshio buries his own cat in the dirt, after both of their deaths.
- In the Ju-on films, Toshio is six years old at the time of his death. In the Grudge films, he was either seven or eight years old (the online newspaper article that Karen reads states Toshio's age as seven, but a link to another online article on the search engine she uses states Toshio's age as eight).