Natsume Yuujinchou Wiki
Natsume Yuujinchou Wiki

Reiko Natsume (夏目 玲子, Natsume Reiko) is one of the supporting characters from Natsume's Book of Friends series. It was she whom Takashi inherited his ever-developing and drastically stronger spiritual powers associated with the extrasensory perceptive abilities that Reiko, and now, Takashi, alone had possessed as opposed to other exorcists; such as the Matoba clan ) from. The circumstances of her premature demise remain a mystery, as is the man she had chosen as her lover.

Having died decades before the events of the series as a young adult, she appears only in flashbacks throughout the story; and a few dreams or visions seen by her only grandchild, the title character.


Natsume Reiko 1

Reiko with a bruise on her cheek from being bullied by humans for being "creepy"

Throughout her young life, Reiko physically resembled Takashi Natsume's (her one and only grandchild and descendant) characteristics through her long, dusty-blonde hair, amber eyes and usually wearing a slight smile, just like Takashi. It is because of their similar appearances that most yokai and ayakashi often mistake Takashi for Reiko. She has been noted to be quite beautiful by both youkai and humans; be they ordinary or exorcists such as her. [1][2][3][4][5] Her ash-blonde hair was shoulder-length, and usually, it was seen to be unkempt.

She's usually seen only in flashbacks wearing her school uniform, which is sometimes torn. She once had a bruise on her cheek because fearful human children threw rocks at her for being "creepy' and a well-known "harbinger of misfortune and curses."


Reiko was despised by both humans and youkai.[6] She was a bully towards humans and youkai alike, resulting in her being socially isolated. She defeated many yokai and made them write out their names in the Book of Friends, making them "servants" to her. However, there are times she was kind to certain normal humans, but they don't return the gesture. For instance, she had taken a doll from a pot youkai, Kayatsubo to return to a human child, but they told her that she could keep it, believing she stole it.

Initially, her actions were presented as a desire to have control over youkai, but over the course of the series, it's revealed that they were done more out of loneliness and longing for companionship. Despite generally acting apathetic to what other people think of her and, as noted by certain youkai, her expression rarely ever changing from her usual smile, it is indicated that Reiko was actually somewhat bothered by other people's tendency to assume the worst about her, and that in turn, her usual demeanor was something she assumed as a sort of coping mechanism. However, as noted above, she has shown herself to be surprisingly empathetic and kind on numerous occasions where she would help a youkai or another person despite there not being anything for her to gain from doing so. Despite this, most people would still treat her with wariness or disdain, so she often avoided getting involved with them and their problems when she could. Conversely, some of the youkai genuinely appreciated the things she did for them, and on the occasions when she let her guard down, she is shown having genuinely happy interactions with them. This probably strengthened her conviction that she was better at making bonds with them compared to other people, but due to a combination of a lack of social skills as a result of her not having any friends and poor experiences with others, she often went about it the wrong way.

Due to the varying circumstances of her encounters with them, some of the youkai she "enslaved" or made plans with grew to despise or even fear her, while some youkai (like Santo, Gomochi and Hidika) continued to wait for her return. Regardless of the specifics, she never ended up following up and returning to them like she said she would, indicating she was either forgetful or simply never got the chance to due to dying at a young age.


Zoku reiko2

Reiko on a pathway upon first meeting Hinoe.

Reiko had supreme spiritual powers of practically infinitely high power levels, enabling her to see and hear ayakashi and yokai. Due to these otherworldly abilities, she was shunned by humans, thus, she found partial comfort amongst youkai. She would take out her frustration on the youkai by bullying, teasing, and challenging them to duels.

From then on, until her death, she would be with youkai more often than humans. She would challenge youkai to a duel each time she encountered one and then have them write their name down in the Book of Friends if they had lost.

Zoku reiko4

Reiko getting Hinoe's hair clip back from the crows.

She had a good relationship with some youkai but others were forgotten. She would constantly forget about the youkai whose names were in the Book of Friends or the plans she made with youkai. One definite exception is that she returned to an Acorn-Eating Youkai to give him mochi.

This led to her one and only grandson having to tie up all the loose ends that she left for him. She was well-known for her creation of the forbidden Book of Friends, which led to dozens of yokai wanting the book's great powers for themselves, even attacking Natsume to steal it.

It was revealed that she never married and she had an illegitimate child (Takashi's late mother who had died giving birth to him) without marrying her lover.[7]

Reiko talks about a man who lives in the other city, who worries about her and keeps on nagging her about wandering alone at night, and how it's dangerous to climb trees. He also sometimes brings her manjus to eat. Natsume gets to know this from a youkai whom Reiko talked.[8]

The details of her death are unknown and haven't been mentioned yet in the ongoing series. However, Takashi said in his first conversation with Nanase that Reiko died quite young in either her twenties or early thirties; in the manga it is revealed that she suddenly died underneath a tree.



Reiko's relationship with Madara is not yet revealed, but it's hinted as intimate. Madara can imitate Reiko in terms of her appearance, her habits and manners. He personally states that other than Takashi Natsume, she was the only person Madara had "taken a good look upon", which indicates that they had a close relationship up to her premature demise.


"Kibune, you're free now. If there's any place you want to go, go."

Reiko had decided to release her the contract of marriage between two fierce, arrogant yokai in a game of gathering the most nuts in the forest. Upon her freedom, Reiko assured Kibune that she was free to go wherever she wanted.


"Get out. You aren't welcome. You picked the wrong house to wreck havoc in cuz' I'm protecting it."

He was an adversary who was causing disaster in the household during Sigeru's boyhood in elementary school. She had concerned and trapped in within a sealing circle she had made, displaying quite strong spiritual prowess that banished him from the residence for decades to come.


"I'll give you back your hairpin if lead me safety out of this forest."

Reiko had met the lovely and cunning yokai in a forest she had "gotten lost" in after wanting to hide until things had cooled down after beating up three boys who bullied her. She had asked the yokai to lead her out of the forest, knowing full well that she was just messing with her.


The very first spirit whose name she had taken and added to her Book of Friends, all due to her interactions with the sickly human girl Soko, who had given her to idea to kill time by having "duels" and playing games with various spirits who happened to cross her path.

Sōko Morinaga[]

It was she who had given Reiko the idea to further kill time by having playful duels with the various spirits who happened to cross her path, which led to her making the immensely powerful and equally dangerous Book of Friends. She was hesitant at telling her who she was, as the rumors of her being "violent" and "creepy" had reached even Soko's ears. She did enjoy passing the time with her by having different challenge of a game each time they met. When she had stopped coming due to her illness, Reiko still waited for her return.

Shigeru Fujiwara[]

Decades ago, Reiko had asked a young Shigeru if she should come to his house and he accepted, which led to her going to young Shigeru's home one day. When Shigeru went to make refreshments, he heard a noise upstairs and then he went to the room that Reiko was in to discover that it was destroyed. She apologized and then left.

Shigeru fell asleep at one point and when he woke up, Reiko was gone and Shigeru was scolded. After that, they never spoke again and Shigeru forgot about Reiko, only remembering her actions, the sight of the destroyed room and not realizing she was the grandmother of his adopted son.

Unknown Male Lover (?)[]

"I met someone strange recently. He nags a lot for a man. He always buys me manju. I think he's from another town, but he always shows up form time to time."

At one point her young life, Reiko had met a strange man who would often give her her favorite manju food whenever they met. It is implied that they had made love, which had gotten her pregnant to their illegitimate daughter who grew up to die after giving birth to Takashi some decades later. Those fearful and distrustful humans who gossiped about her believed that "her man" had abandoned her because of her "creepiness."

Upon encountering the blue dragon yokai who was a familiar of a late renowned exorcist, said being implied to Natsume that he had once met a man who resembled him as opposed to Reiko, which further piqued Natsume's curiosity about his deceased maternal grandparents.

Powers & Abilities[]

Reiko had unusually strong spiritual power, which her grandson Takashi inherited. Her strong spiritual powers allowed her to see yokai.

Natsume Yuujinchou Reiko and her baseball bat

A teenage Reiko wielding her baseball bat while surrounded by sacred sutras

Her great power enabled her to easily beat even the strongest yokai in matches. She had forced them to write their names in the Yuujinchou after their defeat. By writing their names, the yokai are bound to the Yuujinchou. The Yuujinchou contains the names of both weak and powerful yokai, making it a common target for power-seeking yokai. This is because the youkai in the Yuujinchou have to obey their master, regardless of what it is and could also be killed easily using the Yuujinchou.

Reiko is often shown to be very knowledgeable of sealing and exorcism techniques which she probably extracted from the spirits she had beaten. She also often wielded a baseball bat plastered with mystical talismans to defend herself against them.


  • Her given name is spelled phonetically using katakana, レイコ, and has no particular meaning.
  • Reiko's surname Natsume contains the Kanji for "summer" (夏) (natsu) and "eye, ogle" (目) (me).


Season One[]

  • "Are you listening, Tsuikami?"
  • (To Tsuyukami): "People aren't going to keep giving you offerings forever. You should go find a home while you still have the means for your own sake."[9]
  • "Got into a little bit of a squabble?"[10]
  • "Depends if you know where Mikuri is."
  • "Kiriganuma, like the next station?"
  • "I believe I can draw my own conclusion as to why your friend got so upset with you."
  • "One station's not too far. Just leave it to me! We'll find Mikuri, and make things right again."
  • "It's getting late; let's meet up here tomorrow."
  • "Santo, your fur tickles! Okay, enough."

Season Two[]

  • "Give it back!"
  • "If you want to play, I'm more than happy to oblige."
  • "It would be sad if there was something devastating this house. It really would."
  • "Get out. You're not welcome here. You picked the wrong house to wreck havoc in, because I'm protecting it. My favorite kid happens to live here."
  • "It must be wonderful to live in a home like this."

Season Three[]

  • "I see. I thought it was strange that someone would actually talk to me. You're a yokai, aren't you?"
  • "What me to introduce myself? Then have a duel with me. If you win, I'll do anything you ask. But if I'm the winner of our match, i get your name."
  • "At least say hello when you steal a hiding spot."
  • "I also hear yokai and they're all talking about you, Mr. Popular."
  • "Not at all. I'm a whole lot stronger than I look."
  • "Let's lighten the mood. Rock, Paper, Scissors!"
  • "Defeated you fair and square. Now, as of this moment, you work for me. Go and write your name here, nice and neat."
  • "Good. Now, when you find the location of your village, come and get me. That's an official order, too. If such a beautiful place really exits, then I'd like to be able to see it with my own eyes."

Season Five[]

  • "I met someone strange recently. He says climbing trees is dangerous; he nags a lot for a man. He buys me manju. I think he's from another town, but he shows up here from time to time."
  • "Then have a match with me. I want to know your name."
  • "If you're alone, then you don't have to protect them, right?"

Season Six[]

  • "To take a nap. Can you be quiet?"
  • "I don't want any trouble."
  • "It looks good, huh?"
  • "I knew it! You're no ordinary owl."
  • "No owl where's something like that in the human world. Are you a protector of some forest?"
  • "Thought so. What's a mighty yokai like you doing in a place like this?"
  • "Say, you don't have to be back right away, right? Wanna play a game with me?"
  • "Huh?"
  • "Here we go!"
  • "Wait up!"
  • "Hey, wanna play a game with me?"
  • "You're good at running; I underestimated you."
  • "Gotcha!"
  • "Looks like I win."
  • (About the preteen Yori's bell) "Here."
  • "I like the sound of that. Nobody remembers you. That's what I want: For anyone not to remember me."

About Reiko Natsume[]


  • "Reiko? Natsume Reiko?"
  • "Reiko did me a favor and I wanted to thank her."
  • "She was a strange child of man who did not fear us."


  • "Reiko. Reiko. Oh, how I've missed those impish eyes. Your hair- Did you cut it becasue those filthy humans got to you? Any human who's caused you mental or physical distress deserves a death curse."
  • "Her grandson? Where's Reiko then?"
  • "You share Reiko's pretty face, but your compassion for others couldn't be more different."
  • "Why must you look like Reiko yet be a man!!?"
  • "He's a lot like Reiko."
  • "You sure you're Reiko's grandson?"


  • "You're Reiko Natsume, right?"
  • "Thus Reiko began to involve herself with yokai, and because of the immense spiritual powers she has born with, the woman won every time."
  • "Reiko was rather sloppy. She probably flipped through it during a meal."
  • "Reiko would boast about it every chance she got."
  • "You give her too much credit. She just forgot. That's the kind of person she was."
  • "I guess you didn't hear, but she's dead."
  • "I guess another thing you have in common with her is that you've both been inside this house."
  • "Reiko did this much damage then split? That woman was a quintessential ner'dewell."
  • "It's also why Reiko didn't care for them. She felt that way about humans and yokai both."
  • "When I heard that Reiko had died, my only thought was taking the Book of Friends for myself. I never even considered the possibility that her offspring would come along with it."


  • "Do you know, Reiko? Reiko Natsume?"
  • "I never met her myself, but I've heard stories. The yokai would talk about her every once and awhile. They say she's quite the looker, and as powerful as she is beautiful. I trust she's doing well."
  • "Was she sick or perhaps...?"
  • "Takashi Natsume, He's Reiko Natsume's grandson."
  • Reiko Natsume.

Seiji Matoba[]

  • "If she's his grandmother, that makes him all the more interesting."

Takashi Natsume[]

  • "Reiko is the name of my grandmother."
  • "Reiko is my grandma! Missed her by a few years!"
  • "That's so not cool, Grandma."
  • Good one, Grams.
  • "I saw how Grandma defeated him the last time."
  • "You know my grandmother?"
  • "She died at a pretty young age."
  • I need to know myself first. And that means learning more about my grandmother.
  • I haven't told Natori about my grandmother or the Book of Friends.
  • There must be a home where Reiko lived, where she kept her memories.


  • Reiko was known for her bad table manners. At one point, they resulted in a piece of rice sticking Tsuyukami's and Susugi's pages together in her mystical Book of Friends enough to cause them pain if tampered with.
  • Reiko was also very forgetful, which is seen throughout the series as she forgot to meet up with youkai who were anticipating her return.
  • It has been mentioned by Shuuichi Natori in Chapter 62 that making a contract using a spirit's real name is forbidden. Therefore, the Book of Friends existence is actually forbidden and it is unclear whether or not Reiko was actually aware of this fact.
  • Reiko continuously challenged Madara to duels, however, he had continuously refused her. This resulted in their relationship being one of friends, but she had suddenly stopped coming at one point.
  • Her grandchild calls her either "Grandma" or "Grams" in the English dubbed.


  1. Episode 01
  2. Episode 05
  3. Episode 12
  4. Episode 18
  5. Episode 23
  6. Episode 28
  7. Volume 14, Chapter 57
  8. Natsume Yuujinchou Go: Episode 1
  9. Natsume's Book of Friends, Episode 2: The Dew-God's Small Shrine
  10. Natsume's Book of Friends, Episode 5: Heart-Colored Ticket