Kaede Domyoji (道明寺 楓,Dōmyōji Kaede) was the chairwoman of Domyoji Group. She was the mother of Tsubaki and Tsukasa Domyoji. Kaede lived with her husband in New York and rarely returned home to Japan. She opposed her son's relationship with Tsukushi Makino and became a major opponent in keeping the couple apart.
Kaede married into the wealthy Domyoji family. She gave birth to two children, Tsubaki and Tsukasa. Before her father-in-law passed away, he had Kaede and her husband promise to take care of Tama until her own death. For most of time, Kaede lived in New York City with her husband. They were usually busy operating Domyoji Group. Kaede primarily managed the company's hotel chain, The Maple Hotel, which were also named after her. She and her husband rarely saw their children, visiting Japan once a year at most.
When Tsubaki was of age, Kaede arranged for her marriage to hotel magnate's son. She was looking to expand her own hotel business. Despite Tsubaki's initial opposition, the marriage proceeded anyway. A few years later, Tsukasa was going to move to New York but never showed up at their house. His parents were worried that he had been kidnapped. He actually just went back to Japan without telling anyone.
"It's clear what we have to do. Crush the insect, before the Domyoji family name suffers. It's sooner than I intended, but the plan must be put into action."
For Tsukasa's eighteenth birthday, Kaede came to Japan to attend his party. A girl, Tsukushi Makino, caused a scene by falling onto the buffet table. Kaede ordered her son to send Tsukushi home. He refused telling her "This girl is precious to me." Kaede began grilling Tsukushi about her name, family, and background. Rui interrupted to say she was the daughter of a company president. Testing her, Kaede asked Tsukushi to play the piano. She instead banged loudly on it. Kaede asked Tsukasa "What's the meaning of this?" He declared that he loved Tsukushi, leading Kaede to slap him. She then told Tsukushi to leave. However, Tsubaki gave Tsukasa some car keys, allowing him to escape. Kaede shouted angrily after them. That same night, her secretary Nishida reported to her the information he gathered on Tsukushi and her family. Kaede then decided to implement her plan.
The next morning, Tsubaki confronted her mother about her plans for Tsukasa and Tsukushi, adding "You're not planning to be as to them as you were to me?! Kaede became indignant, feeling that Tsubaki should be thankful. Later that morning, she went to the Makinos' house. Kaede offered them fifty million yen in exchange for Tsukushi giving up Tsukasa. Her mother responded by pouring salt on Kaede. She left after confirming that that was their "final answer." That night, Kaede arranged for Tsukasa and Tsukushi to be brought to her hotel. There she announced his fiancée Shigeru Okawahara. Kaede greeted Shigeru's mother and father. They talked about the engagement, ignoring their angry children. Kaede then turned to Tsukushi to ask "Do you understand now, how matters stand?" She answered "Yes." Tsukasa then stormed out, taking Shigeru with him by accident.
Some days later, Kaede received a report from Nishida that Tsukasa and Shigeru were meeting several times a week. She said "I guess Tsukasa has finally come to his senses," before asking about Tsukushi. He informed her that Tsukushi was not seeing Tsukasa outside of school, but that Shigeru was regularly meeting Tsukushi. Kaede subsequently informed Shigeru's mother about the meetings. Sometime later, Tsukasa and the Okawahara family both requested that the engagement be called off. Kaede went to visit Tsukushi, asking her "Just how far do you intend to go to interfere with the Domyoji family?" Tsukushi claimed innocence, but Kaede did not believe her. She eventually shouted at Kaede and forced her to leave. Kaede was left in a state of shock, not believing someone would speak to her like that. She later went to London for a business trip.
Return to Japan
"The members of the Domyoji family aren't ordinary young people. They have great futures ahead of them, isn't that right? While the master was gone, this girl came sneaking in like a sewer rat. I'm asking you why in heaven you allowed her to enter!"
After finishing her business in London, Kaede went on an inspection tour of The Maple Hotels in Europe. She eventually returned to Japan and went straight to her Tokyo hotel. There she was informed that her son had checked into the hotel earlier. Later that night, Kaede went home and first asked a servant about Tsubaki, whom had returned to Los Angeles. She then saw Tsukushi hiding under a table and requested for the police to be called. Tama interrupted saying "She is Master Tsukasa's personal maid." Tama revealed that Tsukushi and Tsukasa were dating and called Kaede "boorish" for interfering. She lost her temper and shouted at Tama until she reminded Kaede of her promise to her father-in-law. Kaede was confused, saying "I'm not talking about doing something to you." Tama then told her that she would be dead by morning if she forced Tsukushi to leave.
The following day, Kaede had Nishida investigate Tsukushi's friends, Kazuya Aoike and Yuki Matsuoka. Since she was unable to go after her family, Kaede decided to target Tsukushi's friends instead. She arranged for a job transfer for Yuki's father and nearly had Kazuya's family's business go bankrupt. Within a short amount of time, she was visited by Tsukushi. She accepted all of Kaede's conditions, asking her to fix her friends' situations first. After Kaede made a couple phone calls, Tsukushi agreed to stay away from the Domyoji family. Tsukushi told her that "there [were] more important things [than money]." Kaede laughed saying "You don't mean love or friendship, do you?" Tsukushi then threw her drink at her and told her to keep away from her friends. Kaede was offended, but chose not to retaliate. Immediately after the confrontation, Kaede went back to New York.
At some point, Kaede set up a contingency plan to keep Tsukasa and Tsukushi apart. She sent Nishida as a proxy to hire Amon Kunisawa, who had a striking resemblance to Tsukasa. She offered him five million yen to "seduce" Tsukushi. Some time later, Amon called Nishida to inform him that he was dating Tsukushi but did not want a reward. Despite this, the Domyoji Secret Police was sent to keep an eye on Tsukasa and Tsukushi. Nishida later brought Kaede the investigation report from the secret police. She deemed the report unreliable and order the secret police to "step up [their] vigilance."
In her middle-age, Kaede was a graceful, put-together woman. Her beauty, however, was usually hampered by the severe expression that she often had on her face.
Personality and traits
Described as a "woman of steel," Kaede rarely, if ever, showed emotion. Her highest priority was increasing the success of Domyoji Group, sometimes at the expense of her own children. Kaede, however, cared for her children in a way and believed that they had "great futures ahead of them." For this reason, she kept Tsubaki away from her high school sweetheart and was against Tsukasa dating Tsukushi.
Mika Doi is the voice of Kaede in the Boys Over Flowers anime (1997). She serves as the main antagonist for the latter part of the series following her first appearance in "The Woman in My Life!" Prior, she is mentioned by Tsukasa, usually to point out how absent his parents are from his life. Like in the manga, Kaede serves as the biggest obstacle in Tsukasa's relationship with Tsukushi. Her personality is also retained, such as her callousness and general disregard towards her children. In "Neverending," Kaede appears to have finally given in to her son's wishes.