|“||Had the rules changed or not, she'd still be the ace.||”|
—Alexandra Windheim, about recruiting Satoha for the Rinkai team
|Japanese name:||辻垣内 智葉|
|School:||Rinkai Girls' High School|
|Grade:||Third-year high school|
|Debut:|| Saki (manga), Chapter 3 (Unnamed)
Round 56 (Named)
|Voiced by:||Yoko Hikasa|
|Style:||Analytical / Unconventional|
|Main skill/ability:||Fast damaten wins|
Satoha Tsujigaito is a third year at Rinkai All-Girls School and is the president of the mahjong club. In the 70th Inter High School Mahjong Championships, she managed to finish 3rd in the individual tournament making her the third best high school mahjong player in Japan. In the 71st Inter High School Mahjong Championships, the tournament rules require a Japanese player to be the vanguard of every team, making her Rinkai's vanguard.
She has dark hair and brown eyes. While she is offically playing, Satoha wears the standard Rinkai uniform, her hair tied in a ponytail, wears glasses, and uses a bind for her breasts. Outside of matches, she looks strikingly different. Satoha lets her hair down and doesn't wear glasses nor the bind.
From her initial apperances, she seems like a strict, no nonsense type of person. She is also very smart, having figured out the reasons why Yuuki Kataoka had switched her playing style as well as the fact she changed styles within two hands. She has developed a good relationship with overseas student Megan Davin.
Playing Style / Abilities
Satoha is a highly skilled player, placing third in the individual tournament last year. According to Rinkai's coach, Satoha was not placed as Rinkai's vanguard and ace just because she is Japanese, despite others speculating that was the case, but because of her world-class skill. However, unlike other players, she doesn't have any particular special ability, as noted by Megan. However, it should also be noted that Satoha was the only player in the side-B semifinals to get a win during the first East wind besides Yuuki.
Satoha is very analytical when playing, such as when she was able to figure out Yuuki completely switched styles after just two hands, and countering it almost immediately. She tries not to underestimate her opponents, such as when she says she would crush Yuuki with all her might, despite Yuuki being a first year from an unknown school. Satoha often uses unconventional tactics to stop her opponents, for example calling tiles to skip the dealer's turn and give turns to another player. In Sumire Hirose's words, Satoha can measure how much firepower and speed an opponent has and can sense the path to a winning hand; Satoha herself describes it as knowing exactly how far to distance herself from her opponents for defense as well as offense, keeping enemies in striking distance while also giving herself enough time to react to their attacks.
Satoha switched to the offensive in the south round. When winning or near it, her abilities and strength are represented by the unsheathing of a iaidō katana. Iaidō is often shown in media as the swift drawing, attacking and sheathing of a katana and this reflects Satoha's abilities. As pointed out by Suzu Ueshige, Satoha has skill forming hands much quicker than others. Not only that, she has been shown to often go for a stealth tenpai and thus surprise opponents by winning suddenly, just like one would be surprised by the quick attack of a iaidō practitioner. This is shown when she cuts Suzu's fuse and Suzu remarks "I didn't feel that coming at all!!" As the dealer in the South round, Satoha was able to go on a fearsome renchan, using powerful hands with wide waits.
Knowing that both Yuuki and Teru Miyanaga were fearsome opponents in the finals for her to face, she is not above working with others (including the very two she's trying to beat) in order to move away from their respective dealer repeats or avoid their special abilities. Notably, she played into Yuuki's hand during Teru's dealership and called several times to skip Yuuki's draws during Yuuki's dealership.
Combined Training Camp Arc
Satoha appeared at the end of the East Tokyo final when Kouko Fukuyo and Sukoya Kokaji were giving their run down on the Rinkai team. She later appeared to inform Megan Davin that Ryuumonbuchi were defeated by Kiyosumi this year. After hearing what Megan had to say about last year's tournament, Satoha told her that she ran away from Touka Ryuumonbuchi.
Final Eight Arc
Satoha is standing on top of some stairs with her hair down and glasses off when was approached by Megan. She is shocked by Megan's love of ramen before asking where the others were. After Megan says they're at the playing hall, they began to walk toward the hall while being greeted by people passing by. Megan then asks her "if she can go like that" and Satoha acts surprised before putting her glasses on, tying her hair up, and then saying "let's go." She later appears with the rest of Rinkai at the tournament hall. She is next shown leaving for her match.
While playing Yuuki in the semi-finals, she is reminded of Kei Arakawa. In the Inter-High individuals section last year, Kei, a first year, was up against two second-years and one third-year; despite this, she kept her smile throughout the entire game, and even came in second. This prompts Satoha to remark that she won't underestimate Yuuki.
When Yuuki goes on the offensive again and declares her riichi, discarding the 2-man. Satoha also goes on the offensive, calling on Suzu Ueshige's tile (the 5-wan) to cancel Yuuki's ippatsu and also leaves her winning tile as the tile that Yuuki previously discarded to declare riichi, which Naruka Motouchi also discards, hoping for a safe tile, giving Satoha the win. This allows her to ruin Yuuki's renchan, take her riichi bon and put the pressure on Yuuki, whose best game is during the East round, in one swift move.
Satoha again proves to be a tough competitor in the second East hand when Yuuki draws her winning tile, and decides to bail, rather than give Satoha the win. However, the following two hands, Yuuki wins with low-value but fast hands, saying she'll control half of the game through speed. However, Suzu soon follows up with a baiman, in the first south hand overtaking Satoha as second place, and soon rockets into first. Hiroe speculates that Suzu's ability activated due to Satoha going on the offensive in the South round. In fact, a katana is seen being drawn and sheathed as Suzu's renchan continues. When Suzu draws her potential yakuman, Satoha calls several tiles, blocking Suzu's draws, and ultimately causes her to play into Naruka's haneman, knocking Himematsu back into third.Satoha cuts Suzu's fuse as she continues to aim at Himematsu: she lands a win off of Suzu, putting Rinkai first, over Kiyosumi. Satoha continues this aggressive style, and wins several more expensive hands, increasing the gap between her and second-place Himematsu. Suzu puts up a valiant fight against Satoha, however, the vanguard match ends with Rinkai having a large lead over the other schools.
In the hallway after the match, Satoha changes her appearance and enters Rinkai's waiting room. She then immediately asks Megan for the match records. After analyzing it, she notes that Kiyosumi's player's change in tatics were for the finals and that someone was behind this tatic that is determined to win the tournament.
During Hao Huiyu's match, Satoha has a flashback to when she first encountered the girl. Here she is shown asking Hao to play Chinese mahjong with her. After her defeat, she tells Hao that she is tough and notices that her style of play isn't flexible. Satoha then says to herself that Hao should show them, her opponents and the world, her power. During halftime, she notes that the shows have some interesting things to say about all of her teammates and when the channel is switched, she says that they are less commercials on the new station.
During Megan's match, she appears in a flashback. She is conversing with Megan and warning her not to take Nodoka Haramura lightly. She also gives her the example of Toki Onjouji and how she not only improved, her luck changed as well.
After the captains match she asks Nelly what is wrong with her and wonders if she is tired from the interviews.
National Championship Arc
The team gathers for the starting ceremony and the finals begin. Satoha remembers that Teru throws away the first hand and decides to focus on Achiga and Kiyosumi. She glances at Yuuki and remembers how she called during the previous round but is surprised at her quicker than usual win. Having been surprised by the win, Satoha says the thought it wouldn't be much of a problem if she went wild a bit but wasn't expecting this. She then focuses on trying to stop Yuuki but to no avail. On the next hand, she begins working with Teru to bring Yuuki down. However, Kuro is the one to stop the win streak with a tsumo. Satoha then notices that Kuro was really fast.
With Yuuki's dealership over, and her dealership beginning, Satoha wants to get come points back and make a play, but ends up playing into Yuuki's hand still. During Teru's dealership, Yuuki declares riichi on the second turn, forcing the others to act. Satoha opens her hand to prevent the ippatsu and continue to call in order to stop Yuuki from drawing tiles; Teru even goes as far as to gift tiles to call and eventually the winning tile, during her own dealership and dropping Shiraitodai to last, just to prevent Yuuki from winning more. With Kuro on a win streak, Satoha finally manages to win with a tsumo and move the game into the south round.With Yuuki as the dealer, Satoha notices that she plays defense from the get-go. She then gathers tiles safe from Teru and waited for Yuuki to deal in and wins for 8000pts. Despite a direct hit on the point leader, Rinkai still trails with Shiraitodai as Teru wins her first hand of the day, continuing to rampage through 8 more wins including a yakuman, dropping Rinkai to last.
Satoha works together with Yuuki and Kuro to end Teru's winning streak and avoid another dealer yakuman. With her intuition running high, Satoha wins a sanbaiman to close the first half of the vanguard match and just barely make it to third place.
After Yuuki's second tenhou win, Satoha begins to mount her attack, quickly winning two hands directly off of Yuuki, bringing Rinkai back into positive numbers. Teru then goes on a small winning streak before Kuro wins off of Teru. Kuro wins another hand before a re-energized Yuuki hits everyone with a tsumo. On her last dealership, Satoha thinks to herself that all her opponents were better than she expected and that she really needs this. Satoha gets two wins in a row and turns her attention to Teru. Teru wins the hand and becomes the last dealer.
- Satoha first appears unnamed at the end of chapter 3 playing mahjong with two other students, one of whom has never appeared again, and the other faceless.
- Of the seeded school's aces (Teru Miyanaga, Toki Onjouji, Komaki Jindai, and herself), Satoha is the only one without a specified supernatural ability.