Empress Hitomi is the wife of the Emperor of Japan, Yasuhito. She was born Hitomi Shiawase and is a member of the family that controls the Shiawase Corporation. The empress is a major shareholder in the megacorporation and at one point chaired the board. Known only to a few Hitomi is also a secret technomancer. In the past she used the Matrix alias of Lady Death.
Hitomi has had a long standing feud with her father, the former CEO of Shiawase, Tadashi Shiawase, who tested a vaccine for HMHVV on her. As a young woman she interacted with the artificial intelligence Mirage. The AI changed her to develop Otaku-like abilities despite her age. After becoming empress she was part of a group of Shiawase insiders that staged an internal takeover during the Crash 2.0. The successful coup gave her considerable stock in the company and the chair of the board of directors.
In 2060 Hitomi falls in love with a elf vampire aidoru, Shinanai of the manga music band, Black Magic Orchestra. They met in Seoul, where they had sex and Shinanai drained Hitomi of her blood and infected her with HMHVV. A shadowrun team hired by Tadashi Shiawase attempted to apprehend the vampire idol (who got away) and saved Hitomi and returned her to the Shiawase arcology in Osaka.
A month later on March 19th still in the Shiawase family clinic in Osaka, Hitomi was looking for clues to Shinani's location in a Seattle manga music underground host, she became trapped in the Seattle RTG with several other deckers. There she met the AI Mirage who turned her and several other deckers into otaku.
In 2062, to win favor with the new Emperor of Japan, Tadashi promises Hitomi will marry him on his 16th birthday. Originally Hitomi was not happy about this arrangement as she had no interest in men, he was almost six years younger then herself, and she no longer trusted her father after he turned her in to an unwitting test subject for a vaccine for HMHVV.
In November 2063 Hitomi is kidnapped by members of Deus's Whites as a warning to Mirage to stop it from liberating nodes in the Network. Deus uses this to frame Ex Pacis and put more pressure on Pax for the kidnapping.
In April 2064, Hitomi marries Emperor Yasuhito at Ise Jingu. There she was able to get Akane Ishino, Ryumyo's voice to perform to the couple's guests. After becoming Empress of Japan, Hitomi sabotaged some deals that would have won Shiawase government contracts as a way to get back at her father.
November 2064, after the Matrix Crash 2.0, Hitomi along with Korin Yamana, Emperor Yasuhito, Mitsuko Shiawase-Yamana, and Nigel Coltrane are able to pull off a hostile takeover of Shiawase. Hitomi ends up getting 13% shareholdings in Shiawase, making her the third largest shareholder in the company, even surpassing her father. Yamana replaces Tadashi as CEO and Hitomi becomes Chair of the Board replacing her grandfather Sadato, who suffered a stroke shortly after the takeover.
In 2070 Hitomi sets up a number of public support programs for AIPS suffers before the Hong Kong incident. Later that year in December she pushes for testing in public schools for technomantic abilities and government institutions to train young and latent technomancers.
In 2075 Hitomi goes in to labor during a Shiawase shareholder meeting. It is said to have been a difficult birth. She steps down as Chairwoman of the Board, publicly, to focus on her family. However, after this she goes back to sabotaging a number of deals with the Japanese government which would have gone to Shiawase, implying that she was forced to step down. Hitomi gives birth to Sakura, her second child and daughter.
Around that time Soko Shiawase dies, Yamana sells his shares in Shiawase, and Tadashi becomes majority shareholder and the CEO of Shiawase again. Reiko Shiawase becomes Chairwoman of the Board replacing Hitomi.
As of 2075, Empress Hitomi owns 11% of Shiawase Corporation.
Hitomi's father is Tadashi Shiawase, former and again current CEO of Shiawase. Before the Seattle blackout and meeting Mirage, Hitomi was very affectionate towards her father. But after Mirage was able to help Hitomi remember a memory that Tadashi had had magically suppressed she found out her father had paid Shinanai to seduce and infect her to test a HMHVV vaccine. From there they've had a very hostile rivalry since.
Hitomi had had a fascination with vampires as seen by her posting in Shadowland's Threats download and her romantic relationship with Shinanai.
Hitomi was a talented decker but later became a otaku after encountering Mirage.
Hitomi was a part of a faction inside of Shiawase called "Three Orchids." Which was made up of Empress Hitomi, Mitsuko Shiawase-Yamana, and Reiko Shiawase-Shimada. Together they were able to take over Shiawase in 2064 after the Matrix Crash 2.0.
Hitomi has married Emperor Yasuhito and became Empress of Japan. It is debated in the shadow communities who's controlling and manipulating who in the relationship. But considering both have very similar goals, it's likely neither is manipulating the other. The couple has two children.
The Empress Hitomi Air Base is a Japanese military installation in Osaka.
Shiawase bought out John F. Kennedy International Airport and renamed it to Hitomi International Airport in 2070.
- 2042-2044 is possible based on Corporate Download p.95 or Ghost Cartels p.15. See Inconsistencies for more information.
- Threats p.34, 35
- Psychotrope ?
- Corporate Download p.95
- Year of the Comet p.104
- System Failure p.25
- Shadows of Asia p.80
- System Failure p.100
- Corporate Enclaves p.62
- Emergence p.116
- Ghost Cartels p.15
- Sixth World Almanac p.98
- Cutting Aces p.93
- Market Panic p.184
- System Failure p.145
- Stolen Souls p.72
- Jet Set p.53
- Stolen Souls p.110
There is contradictory information on Hitomi's age: The Corporate Download article that mentions she is 18 (p.95) was published on February 27th, 2061 (see p.31 for date). While Ghost Cartels has a news article dated April 2nd, 2071 (p.15) that mentions she is 27. If Hitomi turned 18 in or before February she can't be still 27 in April ten years later. Further, in a discussion in Year of the Comet on March 11th, 2062 she is said to be "almost six years older than Yasuhito" (p.104), who is either 14 or 15 at that point (p.102). Depending on which of the sources is correct and her date of birth she could have been born in 2042 (date of birth after February 27th, turned 18 in 2060), 2043 or 2044 (date of birth before April 2nd, turned 27 in 2071).
Contradicting times in which the Seattle RTG blackout happens where Mirage and Hitomi first met. The novel Psychotrope very specifically says the events happen on March 19, 2060. System Failure says the events happened sometime in 2059.
- Blood in the Boardroom, 28
- Corporate Download, 95
- Corporate Enclaves, 62, 70, 78, 111
- Corporate Guide
- Corporate Intrigue
- Cutting Aces, 93
- Emergence, 75, 116
- Ghost Cartels, 15, 108, 110
- Jet Set, 53
- Market Panic, 184
- Runner Havens, 39
- Shadows of Asia, 78, 79, 80
- Sixth World Almanac, 90, 92, 97, 98
- Stolen Souls, 72, 110
- Storm Front, 144-146
- System Failure, 25, 46, 63, 100, 105
- Vice, 49
- Year of the Comet, 104
- Threats, 34, 35