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"I have been the head of housekeeping in this mansion for 60 years. You remember the final words of your father-in-law, don't you? You were to take care of me until the day I breathe my last breath."
—Tama stands up to Kaede[src]

Tama (タマ () ) was the head housekeeper at the Domyoji family's residence in Tokyo, Japan, though she had authority in their other homes as well. She was extremely loyal to the family, which later extended to Tsukushi Makino. Tama fully supported her relationship with Tsukasa Domyoji, despite his mother's fierce opposition to it.

Biography[]

Early life[]

Young-Tama

Young Tama with her husband

As a young woman, Tama married her husband who worked at city hall. He died in war when Tama was nineteen. Sometime after his death, her house burned down and the rest of her family died. Tama began "wandering aimlessly" until she was found by Domyoji. He brought her to work at his home. Feeling grateful, Tama decided to dedicate her life to working for the Domyoji family. Domyoji's dying words were for his family to take care of Tama until her death.[1]

Old age[]

Tama watched the Domyoji family grow as the current head was born and eventually married Kaede. The house became more lively when Tsubaki and Tsukasa were born.[1] When Tsukasa was a child, Tama took special care of him as his parents were usually away. One day, while he was sick, Tsukasa asked if his parents cared about him. Though she insisted they did, Tsukasa pointed out that she was the only one there for him. To comfort him, Tama presented him with a stuffed rabbit bought by Kaede.[2] Gradually, Tama felt that the home "lost all its warmth." Tsukasa became violent and was unable to be stopped. His parents simply hushed up the incidents.[1]

Meeting Tsukushi[]

Tama-Kaede-and-Tsukushi

Tama stands up to Kaede for Tsukushi

"This house has changed completely since I retired a year ago. Mrs. Domyoji has become much more irritable. The biggest change, though, is in Master Tsukasa. When I worked here, he never smiled when he was at home. It's the first time I've seen him so happy since he was in elementary school. It's because of you, isn't it?"
—Tama to Tsukushi[src]

Tama had retired from her duties as head maid for nearly a year when Kaede made a request for her to return. Her reasons being that "discipline was poor." Tama dutifully returned to her old job and was as strict as ever, firing five servants in a single month. Tsukushi Makino was invited to stay at the house by Tsubaki. She only wanted to stay if she could work for her keep. Overhearing this, Tama declared "I think that's a fine idea, Miss" and agreed to train her. She later decided to make Tsukushi Tsukasa's personal maid.[3] Tsukushi was not happy with the appointment and asked to do "anything else." Tama refused to change her mind and declared "I am the law here." In the morning, Tama stopped three servants from waking Tsukasa up and ordered Tsukushi to do it instead.[4]

That afternoon, she supervised Tsukushi doing her job and became cross with her for being distracted. For dinner, Tama picked out a dress for Tsukushi to wear since she was going to eat with Tsukasa. Afterwards, she asked Tama to play cards with her but she declined.[5] The next morning, Tama thought that Tsukushi was sleeping in and went to go wake her. She was surprised to find her awake and finished with her work. Tama said "Has she finally decided to put her mind to it?"[6] A couple days later, Tsukushi did not show up for work after school. In the morning, Tama went to her room to check on her though she did not voice her worries. Tsukushi apologized to her, to which Tama responded "So long as you know." She then asked Tama to wake up Tsukasa instead of her, earning a glare in response.[7]

Sometime later, Kaede returned home and discovered Tsukushi there. Tama revealed that Tsukushi was Tsukasa's personal maid.[8] Kaede became angry, demanding to know why Tama allowed Tsukushi to live there. She stopped Kaede from forcing Tsukushi to leave by reminding her of her promise to her father-in-law. Afterwards, she brought Tsukushi to her room. Tama talked about the past and credited her with changing Tsukasa. She then told her of her plan for Tsukushi to have Tsukasa's baby.[1] The next night, she noticed that Tsukushi had not come home and learned that Kaede had left. Tama then discovered a goodbye note in Tsukushi's room. Outside, she watched her break up with Tsukasa. When Tama saw Tsukushi crying, she said "Such a lie you told the young master" as she also shed tears.[9]

Tsukushi's departure[]

Tama-cries-as-Tsukushi-leaves

Tama devastated when Tsukushi leaves

Tsubaki: "If we continue to involve Tsukushi in this household, I have a feeling her whole life will be ruined."
Tama: "Yes, I wish that, instead of a love like this, she would find someone she can truly love."
— Tama and Tsubaki accept Tsukushi's decision[src]

Tama offered to accompany Tsukushi, but she refused. Crying, she scolded Tsukushi for "decid[ing] everything by [her]self," despite her and Tsukasa promising to protect her.[10] Tama then tried to give her her salary. Tsukushi refused it as well, saying "You took care of me and fed me. I can't take money on top of that."[11] A few days later, Tama served tea to Tsubaki who had just returned home. They both were thinking of Tsukushi. Tsubaki asked about her brother and if he had returned to "his wild ways." Tama confirmed it, stating "Things have heated up again."[12] Sometime later, Tsukasa asked Tama about his cousin. She was surprised that he knew of him.[13] Tama then told Tsukasa about his cousin being essentially abandoned by his parents. She had no idea of his current circumstances.[14]

A few days later, Tsukasa pestered Tama to tell him where his cousin lived. She agreed to take him after forcing him to try and ask nicely. Tsubaki told her "You're much too soft on Tsukasa," but Tama felt that "[they] should be there for him." At Tsukasa's insistence, they traveled on the train.[15] Tama was overjoyed to see Kiyonaga Narumiya again. She confessed that she had "always worried" about him and was relieved to see him doing fine. Tsukasa then suddenly began pulling Kiyonaga's cheeks. Tama and Tsubaki yelled at him to stop. Tsukasa had evidently thought he was someone else.[16] A couple days later, Tsubaki asked Tama if she knew that Tsukushi loved Tsukasa. They mutually decided not to tell him. He walked in a moment later. When Tsubaki called him a "fool," Tama was surprised by his remaining calm.[17]

Supporting Tsukushi and Tsukasa[]

Tama-stuffed-rabbit

Tama touched that Kaede kept the stuffed rabbit

"I'm amazed you came all this way. You did good. The day I heard from Miss Tsubaki that you two were seeing each other, I was so happy that I couldn't sleep. Were you trying to kill this old woman?"
—Tama to Tsukushi[src]

Several days later, Tsubaki stormed into the house after being away for some time. She demanded to see Tama, who revealed that the secret police were there to prevent Tsukasa from leaving at night. Tama then showed Tsubaki to Tsukasa's current room, which was empty since he had snuck out.[18] Some days later, Tama went to New York City since Tsukasa had vanished. She was not surprised to see Tsukushi outside the Domyojis' gates. When the guards hesitated to let Tama in, she stood up to her full height and demanded for the gates to be opened. Once inside, she and Tsukushi split up momentarily.[19] Just a little later, Tama found Tsukushi and asked about Tsukasa. She said that she saw Tsukasa and was now going to go "sightseeing," leaving Tama confused. Rui walked up shortly after Tsukushi left.[20]

A couple days later, Tama was still unaware about how Kaede had trapped Tsukasa. She confronted him saying "You are about to lose what's most precious to you." Realizing that Tsukushi was leaving, Tsukasa quickly rushed off.[21] A few days later, Tsukasa was hospitalized after being stabbed. Tama said "I'd gladly sacrifice my life if it would save his."[2] Kaede came to the hospital, but did not see her son. As she was leaving, Tama questioned "When did you become like this?" She then said it was "thanks to Tsukushi" that Tsukasa was alive. Kaede then threw something away. Tama looked and found the stuffed rabbit. When Tsukasa pulled through the surgery, Tama said "We must let his mother know." Tsubaki protested, leading Tama to present the rabbit. She told them "Even I didn't realize that she'd kept it all these years."[22]

Tsukasa grows up[]

Tama-and-Tsukushi

Tama asks Tsukushi to come visit her

Tsukasa: "My mind's a fog. I just can't think. Is she the one who can fill the void in my memory? I just don't know..."
Tama: "Master Tsukasa, I would like to tell you everything. But it would mean nothing unless you yourself discovered the answer."
— Tama to Tsukasa after he lost his memory[src]

After recovering in the hospital, Tsukasa, who was also suffering from amnesia, returned home to continue his recovery. When Tsukushi came to visit, all of the servants were glad to see her. She instinctually grabbed a broom when Tama came into the room. Tama told her where Tsukasa was and that he had been like an "empty shell." She also revealed that Umi Nakajima was there and added "Don't lose, Tsukushi."[23] A day or two later, Umi came to visit again and called Tama "Grandma," which she deeply disliked.[24] She left the room briefly and returned, interrupting Umi hugging Tsukasa. Tama immediately shooed Umi out of the room. She glared at Tsukasa, to which he said "It's not my fault." He went on to say "My mind's a fog." Tama wanted to tell him everything, but felt he needed to discover it himself.[25]

When Tsukasa's father collapsed, Tama went back to New York to help the family.[26] She returned to Japan to help Tsukasa get ready for his move to New York. When Tsukushi came to the Domyojis' home, Tama told her to come visit her occasionally. She then asked if Tsukushi was spending the night in Tsukasa's room, calling her a "slowpoke." Turning serious, Tama said "You don't have that much more time with Master Tsukasa." After Tsukushi and Tsukasa left, Tama and Tsubaki had wine on the terrace. Tsubaki wondered if they would be all right being apart. Tama said "You needn't worry about them."[27] After Tsukasa's graduation, Tama informed Kaede that he had left for New York. Tsubaki asked her about her plans for him. She said "I will leave it entirely up to him," which made Tama and Tsubaki happy."[28]

Meeting Haruto and Oto[]

Tama-meets-Haruto-Oto

Tama meets Haruto and Oto

Tama: "I bet the Young Master was against it when Madame imposed all these conditions."
Tsukushi: "But it's so aggravating. To be told that can't accomplish something before you even try."
Tama: "Sheesh, you're always like that. Can't you just pretend to be cute and helpless?"
— Tama and Tsukushi on the plane to Los Angeles[src]

While Tsukasa was away, Tsukushi visited Tama once a week for tea.[29] One day, Tama discovered Haruto Kaguragi and Oto Edogawa outside the Domyojis' gates. Haruto was rude to Tama until learning she was the head maid. He then introduced himself and Tama let him and Oto inside. While Haruto was taking photos, Tama asked if they were dating. She said "no," leading Tama to say "You two are really similar to them." Oto decided to leave shortly so Tama said goodbye.[30] Tama then witnessed Haruto call Oto "pathetic," when she revealed her circumstances surrounding her fiancé. After Oto left, Tama hit Haruto with her cane and said "Come back after you've apologized to her."[31]

A year later, Tama was preparing to go to America with Tsukushi. Oto and the Correct 5 came to see Tsukushi off. Tama recognized Oto and asked after Haruto, whom Oto said "should be here soon."[32] They waited for Haruto for a bit, before deciding to board the jet. The Correct 5 briefly told her Haruto's history with Tsukasa and asked her to "give [him] our thanks." Tama said "I'll make sure she tells him in person." She and Tsukushi then took to their seats. Tsukushi voiced her relief that Tama was heading to Los Angeles with her as she was feeling stressed about Kaede's lessons. Oto suddenly grabbed Tsukushi and brought her outside. Tama left her seat and witnessed Tsukushi reuniting with Tsukasa.[33] She eventually interrupted to ask "Are you going to stay?" Tsukushi decided to head on to Los Angeles with Tama.[34]

Physical appearance[]

When she was a young woman, Tama was considered pretty. She had short, dark brown hair. Tama's hair turned into a grey, brown color as she got older. She developed wrinkles on her face and was often stooped over, likely meaning she had a bad back. Occasionally, Tama would stand up to her full height.

Personality and traits[]

As the head housekeeper, Tama was generally strict with her subordinates. For example, she fired five servants in quick succession for not being up to her standards. Tama showed kindness mostly towards Tsukasa and Tsubaki, whom she had taken care of since they were children. She became fond of Tsukushi when she worked under her as a maid. Tama supported her and Tsukasa's relationship from the beginning. She was deeply sad when Tsukushi broke things off, but was later supportive of her decision. Tama also was not shy towards the topic of sex and once suggested that Tsukushi get pregnant for Tsukasa's mother to accept her.

Tama was particularly understanding towards Kaede, though she did not agree with her decisions regarding Tsukasa. On one occasion, Tama did question whether Kaede cared for Tsukasa. She received her answer through the stuffed rabbit, which touched Tama when she realized she kept it for so long.

Etymology[]

Tama's given name (タマ) is written in katakana. It is most likely a reference to the kanji (玉; たま), which means "ball" or "jewel."[36] Tsukushi refers to Tama as "Senpai" (先輩; せんぱい), which is a respectful way to refer to someone older or with seniority.[37]

Behind the scenes[]

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Boys Over Flowers Wiki has 12 images related to Tama.

Character notes

Portrayals

See also: Category:Tama portrayals
  • In Meteor Garden (2001), Angie Tang plays a version of Tama, called Ms. Yu. Her background is identical to her manga counterpart. She supports Si (Tsukasa) and Shan Cai (Tsukushi) being together.
Tama-drama

Sumie Sasaki as Tama

Appearances[]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Chapter 134, Boys Over Flowers
  2. 2.0 2.1 Chapter 207, Boys Over Flowers
  3. Chapter 118, Boys Over Flowers
  4. Chapter 119, Boys Over Flowers
  5. Chapter 120, Boys Over Flowers
  6. Chapter 122, Boys Over Flowers
  7. Chapter 130, Boys Over Flowers
  8. Chapter 133, Boys Over Flowers
  9. Chapter 139, Boys Over Flowers
  10. Chapter 140, Boys Over Flowers
  11. Chapter 142, Boys Over Flowers
  12. Chapter 146, Boys Over Flowers
  13. Chapter 154, Boys Over Flowers
  14. Chapter 155, Boys Over Flowers
  15. Chapter 158, Boys Over Flowers
  16. Chapter 159, Boys Over Flowers
  17. Chapter 166, Boys Over Flowers
  18. Chapter 184, Boys Over Flowers
  19. Chapter 192, Boys Over Flowers
  20. Chapter 193, Boys Over Flowers
  21. Chapter 198, Boys Over Flowers
  22. Chapter 208, Boys Over Flowers
  23. Chapter 216, Boys Over Flowers
  24. Chapter 217, Boys Over Flowers
  25. Chapter 218, Boys Over Flowers
  26. Chapter 231, Boys Over Flowers
  27. Chapter 235, Boys Over Flowers
  28. Chapter 241, Boys Over Flowers
  29. "Shall I Talk About Myself? Part 1," Boys Over Flowers
  30. Chapter 6, Boys Over Flowers Season 2
  31. Chapter 7, Boys Over Flowers Season 2
  32. Chapter 105, Boys Over Flowers Season 2
  33. Chapter 106, Boys Over Flowers Season 2
  34. Chapter 107, Boys Over Flowers Season 2
  35. 35.0 35.1 Boys Over Flowers Color Edition, Hana Yori Dango (app)
  36. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/たま
  37. https://jisho.org/word/先輩
  38. https://natalie.mu/comic/news/275979 (Japanese)
  39. https://mantan-web.jp/article/20180330dog00m200054000c.html (Japanese)
  40. https://www.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2009/03/10/2009031000541.html (Korean)
  41. https://www.gmm-tv.com/contents/8Qex7 (Thai)

See also[]


Boys Over Flowers characters
Main characters

Tsukasa Domyoji | Rui Hanazawa | Tsukushi Makino | Akira Mimasaka | Sojiro Nishikado

Supporting characters

Seinosuke Amakusa | Kazuya Aoike | Yuriko Asai | Erika Ayuhara | Kaede Domyoji | Tsubaki Domyoji
Ryusuke Hayama | Sara Hinata | Amon Kunisawa | Ayano Kurimaki | Chieko Makino | Haruo Makino
Susumu Makino | Yuki Matsuoka | Umi Nakajima | Nakatsuka | Kiyonaga Narumiya | Nishida
Shigeru Okawahara | Junpei Oribe | Shingo Oribe | Sakurako Sanjo | Tama | Thomas | Shizuka Todo
Minako Yamano | Matsutaro Yoshimatsu

Minor characters

Aki and Chimura | Akira's girlfriend | Akira's father | Akira's mother | Beautician | Bob | Cindy | Makiko Endo
Junko Ekuni | Fortuneteller | Gen | Giuseppe | Jody Grand | Mike Hall | Harumi and Mako | Hatta | Hirayama
Hiroko | Hiromi | Hiromi | Hiroshi | Mayumi Isoda | Iwatsuki | Junpei's friend | Junpei's mother | K University students
Kaede's sister | Kimoto | Kirishima | Kobayashi | Koga | Kazuko Kubo | M | Maekawa | Sonoko Maekawa | Rio Makise
Mako | Makoto | Makoto | Jean P. Mayol | Mayuko | Midori | Miho | Mika | Emu and Memu Mimasaka | Mina
Mikihisa Minami | Misawa | Miya | Eri Miyazawa | Piromichi Nakano | New York enterpriser | Shoichiro Nishikado
Noriko | Hideki Oe | Akira Onagisa | Ozawa | Principal | Proprietress | Rie | Rika | Risako | Rui's father | Rui's mother
Saito | Sakurako's grandmother | Seinosuke's father | Shigeru's father | Shigeru's mother | Shingo's girlfriend
Shiori | Shizuka's parents | Arthur Smith | Sojiro's brother | Sojiro's father | Sojiro's mother | Sugiyama
Tama's husband | Kimiko Tamura | Teacher | Toda | Tome | Tsubaki's ex-boyfriend | Tsubaki's husband
Tsukasa's attacker | Tsukasa's father | Tsukasa's grandfather | Ueno | Umi's friend | Viola | Yatchan
Yoshida | Eisuke Yoshida | Yuki's father | Yuki's mother | Yuki's sister


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