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The King of Kou, known also as Chou (張), has ruled his country for fifty years and has believed himself to be unqualified to be king. Before becoming the king, he had been a provincial guard and has tried his best to improve the state of Kou. However, he comes to feel that he will never be able to bring Kou the prosperity seen by the neighboring kingdoms of Sou and En, whose rulers have ruled for six hundred and five hundred years respectively.

When Jokaku (舒覚), the ruler of Kei, dies after a reign of six years, the King of Kou comes to fear Youko's ascension to the throne of Kei, believing that as a taika like the King of En, she will be able to bring the ruined country the same prosperity as En and Kou will continue to fall behind. As such, the King of Kou secretly supports the false queen Joei (舒栄), the younger sister of Jokaku who seized the throne without being chosen by Keiki, and makes various efforts to capture and kill Youko. In the anime, these efforts include manipulating Yuka Sugimoto so that Youko will be unable to attain the throne of Kei.

After his eventual death as a result of Kourin's death from shitsudou, the King of Kou is posthumously known as Saku-ou (the Foolish King, the Wrong King). Though most kings manage to live at most a year following the death of their kirin, King Kou's death occured quickly after Kourin's death, which was regarded as highly unusual[1]. His son and daughter, the prince and princess of Kou, elect to remove themselves from the Divine Registry after their father passes away and volunteered themselves into work brigades to help maintain the kingdom until the next king ascends.



  1. Kasho no Yume - Kizan, Eugene Woodbury's translation
    The Royal Kou died soon after Kourin succumbed to the shitsudou. That by itself is not unusual. But that it occurred in such quick fashion is almost unprecedented.