Natsume Yuujinchou Wiki
Natsume Yuujinchou Wiki

Kaname Tanuma (田沼 要, Tanuma Kaname) is one of recurring characters of Natsume's Book of Friends.

He is Takashi's friend and classmate. Additionally, he's also one of the few humans that knows Takashi can see youkai.

He, too, can see spirits but much less than Takashi can as he can only see their vague shadows, much less, feel their presence only. He also gets sick easily or has intense headaches whenever youkai are nearby.


Tanuma has short black hair, black eyes and a usually catatonic expression. He was reserved and a loner at the beginning of the series but later warms up to Takashi and his friends, just like Takashi.


Tanuma often worries for Takashi's involvement in youkai but knows that he can't stop him from helping them. He tries to help Takashi when he can and was discouraged by Madara, saying he was "useless" since he can't really see spirits. In the manga, he desires strongly to protect Takashi and is angered quickly when someone (usually Madara or Shuuichi Natori) calls him powerless.

Tanuma is also insightful as he notices when Takashi attempts to hide his feelings or tries to protect him as he often sees the hidden meanings beneath the surface but doesn't understand them. This is supported by his curiosity about 'Reiko' when Madara mentions her and his notice of Takashi's reaction.

In the anime he merely asks because the name was unfamiliar and forgets about it afterwards.




Takashi Natsume

Main article: Takashi Natsume

Tooru Taki

Main article: Tooru Taki


Main article: Madara

Kitamoto Atsushi

Main article: Atsushi Kitamoto

Nishimura Satoru

Main article: Satoru Nishimura

Jun Sasada

Main article: Jun Sasada


Main article: Ito


Main article: Satomi

Powers & Abilities

Being the son of a shrine priest, Tanuma has a small amount of spiritual energy that makes it possible for him to sense the presence of youkai. However, due to only having a small amount of energy, he can't see the actual youkai (for instance, he can see the shadow of the fish pond in temple yard reflected on the ceiling but can't see the literal pond, unlike Takashi Natsume). He easily gets headaches due to the heaviness of most youkai's spiritual aura.

However, as the series progresses, Tanuma no longer has frequent headaches nor sickens as much as he had at the beginning of the series. He claims that it's because of Natsume's influence, which Madara agrees, using the analogy of a pin that's stuck to a magnet will gain magnetic properties.


  • The name Kaname means "pivot; vital point, cornerstone, keystone" (要).
  • Kaname's surname Tanuma means "field, rice paddy" (田) (ta) and "swamp, pond, bog, lake" (沼) (numa).


  • In Chapter 84, Tanuma knows how to play the piano.
  • In the manga, Tanuma shows some interest in becoming an exorcist.