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We all must have faith in something.
~ Nobusuke Tagomi


Nobusuke Tagomi was the Trade Minister of the Japanese Pacific States. He was assassinated by a radical faction within the Imperial Japanese Army.

Biography

Early Life

He is originally from Kyoto, Japan, the original capital until 1867 when it was relocated to Tokyo. It is also revealed that he had a son who died in the line of duty, serving as a pilot of the Imperial Japanese Air Service during World War II, and a wife who died long before the start of the series. Their deaths left Tagomi devastated, and he still grieves about his loss.

Season One

As the series progresses, Tagomi decides to arrange a trip to the Japanese Pacific States for Rudolph Wegener, creating his cover as a Swedish businessman. This allowed the German official to provide detailed information about the Heisenberg Device to the Director of the Japanese Scientific Research. Tagomi knew that the development of the device was the key to the Pacific States' (and by extension Japan's) survival. He believed the device could possibly avoid the start of a Nuclear War; Tagomi revealed his character's high moral fiber when he was unwilling to sacrifice the life of Rudolph Wegener in order to achieve their goal.

The mission proves to be a success overall, though a failed attempt on the life of the Japanese Crown Prince, and the increased security that follows it, nearly causes the failure of their mission, risking the lives of both Rudolph Wegener and Tagomi. It also arouses the suspicion of Inspector Kido (although ultimately this was not an issue as Inspector Kido later reveals that he knew and agreed with Tagomi's objectives all along, believing it was best for the protection of the Japanese Empire, keeping quiet and promising to take the secret with him to the grave, which Tagomi sincerely is grateful for).

Tagomi begins to secretly work with Rudolph Wegener.

Tagomi is later shocked to discover his actions could also lead to nuclear war. Contrary to his expectations, the Japanese military plans a preemptive nuclear attack against the Reich.

In the end, as he is growing tired of his attempts, Tagomi admits to Kotomichi that he is dismayed and was delusional when he believed that he could change the future. He thinks he has become an old fool. Kotomichi's emotional response towards Tagomi's statement is "[you are] a good man, perhaps too good for this world", which surprises Tagomi, but he continues to feel tired and decides to cancel the appointment of the day to go to San Francisco's Union Square (renamed San Francisco Unity Square) to try to rest. While there, Tagomi, clinching Juliana's necklace in his hand, tries to meditate, but the moment he opens his eyes, he finds out that he is now in San Francisco's Union Square of a world where the United States of America and the Allies have won World War II. He even reads a newspaper about the Cuban Missile Crisis and US President John F. Kennedy imposing an embargo onto Cuba, which deeply confuses him.

Season Two

Tagomi, who somehow found himself seeing an alternate world-line through meditation during the season one finale, continues to become more and more intrigued by the things he witnessed and begins his quest to seek answers on the mysteries of this alternate world-line. He discovers that Juliana Crain is the wife of his son and mother of his grandchild. She is a part of the "Ban the Bomb" club his son is a part of. She is kind to her father-in-law and seems to believe in him when the rest of his family doesn't.

Tagomi however is disturbed by the fact the his relationship with the other members of his family have become complicated due to the fact that his alter ego, apparently was deeply opposed to the integration of his family in the American society, possibly due to the fact that Tagomi's alter ego was recruited in World War II and lived through the defeat of Japan. Eventually, his alter ego started to have violent outbreaks due to his cultural crisis, which resulted in him slightly injuring his grandchild. Deeply ashamed by his actions, it seems most likely Tagomi's alter ego decided to commit suicide by throwing himself from the Golden Gate Bridge. Tagomi, as a result, tries to reconcile with his family. However, after seeing the World War II photos of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and the footage of the hydrogen bomb detonation at Bikini Atoll, shown by the protest club "Ban the Bomb," Tagomi decides to return to his world to prevent the unleashing of World War III in his own universe. After managing to reconcile with his wife and son, Tagomi thanks Juliana for all she has done for him, before returning to his own reality with the hydrogen bomb test newsreel.

Finding himself back in his own office in the Trade building, Tagomi realizes that Kotomichi knows of his departure and that Tagomi is a "traveler," who is able to travel between alternate realities. Kotomichi confirms, revealing his own personal history to Tagomi. Tagomi and Kotomichi visit the Nippon Building to meet with Inspector Kido, but are unable to reach Kido as the American Resistance bombs the building as they watch from their car outside.

Inspector Kido survives and Tagomi shows him the newsreel. While Inspector Kido knows that the Japanese Empire has no such weapon, Tagomi is able to convince him to bring the newsreel to John Smith's attention to convince him to fool the Nazis into believing that the Japanese have already achieved nuclear balance with the Nazis.

At the end of season two, Tagomi is visited by Lemuel Washington, and gives Tagomi a series of newsreels by request of Abendsen. Tagomi realizes he has a destiny in the foreseeable future.

Season Three

To be Added

Appearance & Personality

Tagomi is shown as basically the antithesis of Inspector Kido (whom Tagomi respects, though with whom he's constantly at odds). While Inspector Kido is shown as a cold and ruthless (not necessarily sadistic) official, Tagomi is presented as an emotional and caring human being. He understands the need for violence, though is not fond of it, and he is deeply ashamed of the actions the Kempeitai took to enforce order, even to the point of asking Juliana Crain to forgive them.

Tagomi also has a passion for gardening, which relaxes him. He frequently consults the I Ching, the ancient Chinese text for divination, in order to see the future and the change of times. Tagomi has good relations with the Imperial Family, especially the Imperial Princess, in addition to his collaborators and workers. That includes Kotomichi, who is his trusted aide, and even Juliana Crain who, as the series progresses, briefly works for him. Tagomi believes that she is destined for a greater purpose. After the failed assassination attempt on the Crown Prince, Tagomi finds Juliana's necklace which Frank lost as he ran from the platform, and which Tagomi keeps as a charm.

It's clear Tagomi has achieved the ability of physically phasing into the other universe completely, as the picture frame he is holding of his wife during the first time he did it falls to the ground and shatters, and a wider shot showing him no longer sitting in his seat, but instead vanished is seen. As well as him bringing an entire film back from their world back to his own as proof. Tagomi witnesses what could be the first concrete evidence of the possibility to "access" the other universes. Tagomi is possibly the likeliest person to prove this phenomenon, as he told Rudolph Wegener that he believes that "Fate is fluid. Destiny is in the hands of men". Nevertheless, he probably didn't know how right he was when stating said statement.

Tagomi is also focused on peace and wants to prevent war[1] and deaths of many lives, which implies that Tagomi is also against Japan's fascist dictatorship, who threatens the lives of many innocent people. However, Tagomi could not speak out against the Japanese Government and their atrocious ways, due to Japanese code of honor, and presumably also due to fears that he might get punished, tortured or executed for going against Japan's regime and their discrimination on innocent civilians. He is an advocate for peace.

Relationships

In his timeline, his wife Michiko Tagomi and son Noriyuke Tagomi died during the war but they are alive in ours.

In the parallel universe, his wife is in the process of divorcing him while his son is married to and has a child with Juliana.

Appearances

Season One
"The New World"
Appears
"Sunrise"
Appears
"The Illustrated Woman"
Appears
"Revelations"
Appears
"The New Normal"
Appears
"Three Monkeys"
Appears
"Truth"
Appears
"End of the World"
Appears
"Kindness"
Appears
"A Way Out"
Appears
Season Two
"The Tiger's Cave"
Appears
"The Road Less Traveled"
Appears
"Travelers"
Appears
"Escalation"
Appears
"Duck and Cover"
Appears
"Kintsugi"
Appears
"Land O' Smiles"
Absent
"Loose Lips"
Appears
"Detonation"
Appears
"Fallout"
Appears
Season Three
"Now More Than Ever ..."
Appears
"Imagine Manchuria"
Appears
"Sensô Kôi"
Appears
"Sabra"
Appears
"The New Colossus"
Appears
"History Ends"
Appears
"Excess Animus"
Appears
"Kasumi ..."
Appears
"Baku"
Appears
"Jahr Null"
Appears

Notes & Trivia

  • The family name Tagomi seems strange as this word can't be written in Kanji, the formal Japanese writing based directly on Chinese characters.
    • Also, from his inkban (seal), it seems the original intention was to give him the name Tagami (Kanji: 田上), which means "upper rice field" and matches the way most Japanese family names are constructed.
  • He, Kotomichi, Trudy and Juliana are the only characters who can travel through the worlds through meditation.

References

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