Reiko Natsume
Zoku reiko
Kana/Kanji 夏目レイコ
Gender Female
Hair Color Dusty-Blond
Eye Color Amber
Weapons Book of Friends, Baseball Bat
Manga Debut Chapter 01
Anime Debut Episode 01
Voice Actor Sanae Kobayashi
Image Gallery
List of Characters

Reiko Natsume (夏目 玲子, Natsume Reiko) is one of main character of Natsume's Book of Friends.

She is Takashi Natsume's maternal grandmother and the person whom Natsume inherited his strong spiritual power from.


Reiko physically resembled her grandson with long, dusty-blonde hair, amber eyes, and she usually carried a slight smile, just like Takashi. It is because of their similar appearances that youkai often mistake Takashi for Reiko. She has been noted to be quite beautiful by both youkai and humans. [1][2][3][4][5] Her hair goes to her bust-level, and it seems to be usually unkempt.

In the anime and manga, she is usually only seen in flashbacks wearing her school uniform, sometimes torn. She also had a bruise on her cheek at least once because human children have thrown rocks at her.

Natsume Reiko 1

Reiko had a bruise on her cheek


Reiko was despised by both humans and youkai.[6] She was a bully towards humans and youkai alike, resulting in her being socially isolated. She defeated many Youkai and made them write out their names in the Yuujinchou (literally Book of Friends), making them "servants" to her.

Although initially her actions were presented as a desire to have control over the youkai, over the course of the series it is revealed that they were done more out of loneliness and longing for companionship. She died young, with no human willing to remember her and many youkai mistaking her grandson as her.

Reiko had bad table manners; in one case her table manners resulted Tsuyukami's and Susugi's pages stuck to each other in the Book of Friends.[7] She was also very forgetful, seen throughout the series, forgetting to meet up with youkai who were anticipating her return.

Although some of the youkai she "enslaved" or made plans with grew to despise her, some youkai (like Santou) continued to wait for her.


Zoku reiko2

Reiko at the pathway

Reiko had strong spiritual power, enabling her to see youkai. Due to this ability, she was shunned by humans. She found partial comfort amongst youkai. She would take out her frustration on the youkai by bullying, teasing, and challenging them to matches.

From then on until her death, she would be with youkai more often than humans. She would challenge youkai to a fight any time she encountered them, and have them write their name down if they lost.

She had a good relationship with some yokai, but others were forgotten. She would either forget about the youkai whose names were in the Book of Friends, or events she had made plans for.

This led in to her grandson tying up all the loose ends she left for him. She was well known for making the Book of Friends, the book that many powerful youkai wanted for themselves.

Zoku reiko4

She got Hinoe's hairclip back from the crows

In Chapter 57, it was revealed that she was never married, and had a child (Takashi's mother) without marrying. The father of her child has not yet been revealed.

The details on her death is not known, and has not been mentioned yet in the series. However, Takashi said in his conversation with Nanase that Reiko died under a tree somewhere.



Main article: Madara

Her relationship with Madara is not yet revealed, only to be hinted as intimate. Madara can imitate Reiko, not only her physical form, but also her habits and manners. He himself states that other than Takashi Natsume, she is the only person Madara has "taken a good look upon", which indicates that they were at least as close as Nyanko-sensei and Takashi Natsume.


Main article: Souko

Shigeru Fujiwara

Main article: Shigeru Fujiwara

Reiko first met Shigeru (when he was a child), when he was struggling to get a ball out of a tree (due to a youkai, holding there that Shigeru couldn’t see it). Shigeru thanked Reiko, for helping him, some boys came along, they threw a rock at her and Reiko grabbed the stick, Shigeru had and hit the rock back at them (Shigeru was amazed by the feat). Shigeru noticed that whenever, he saw Reiko she was always alone and despite her ‘odd and scary’ behaviour, Shigeru approached her and began to talk to her. Then one day, Shigeru's family was experiencing problems in their home (due to a youkai named Karime), but Shigeru thought it was a coincidence (and not a curse, as everyone else thought). Reiko came to Shigeru's family home (as she asked him, if she could come), when Shigeru went to make refreshments, he heard a noise upstairs and then he went to the room (that Reiko was in) was destroyed. Shigeru woke up, Reiko was gone and Shigeru was scolded (since he took the blame). After that, they never spoke again and Shigeru forgot Reiko.

Powers & Abilities

Reiko had unusually strong spiritual power, which her grandson Takashi inherited. Her strong spiritual powers allowed her to see youkai.

Her great power enabled her to easily beat even the strongest youkai in matches, later forcing them to write their names in the Yuujinchou. By writing their names, the youkai are bound to the Yuujinchou. The Yuujinchou contains the names of both weak and powerful youkai, making it a common target for power-seeking youkai. They would have to obey their master's every word and could be killed easily using the Yuujinchou. It has been mentioned by Natori Shuuichi in Chapter 62 that making a contract using the youkai's real name is forbidden. Therefore, the Yuujinchou is actually deemed forbidden. It is unclear whether or not Reiko was aware of this fact.

Reiko is also often shown to be very knowledgeable of sealing and exorcism techniques, which she probably extracted from the youkais she had beaten.

Reiko is always seen carrying a baseball bat, plastered with talismans, to defend herself against youkai.



  1. Natsume Yuujinchou Anime: Episode 01
  2. Natsume Yuujinchou Anime: Episode 05
  3. Natsume Yuujinchou Anime: Episode 12
  4. Zoku Natsume Yuujinchou: Episode 18
  5. Zoku Natsume Yuujinchou Anime: Episode 23
  6. Natsume Yuujinchou San: Episode 28
  7. Natsume Yuujinchou Anime: Episode 02

Start a Discussion Discussions about Reiko Natsume

  • Grandpa Natsume

    12 messages
    • I really like the "Nyanko-sensei was Natsume's grandfather's familiar" theory. It honestly makes a lot of sense. I had s...
    • Maybe Takashi's grandfather was someone really powerful, not sure if he was an exorcist, maybe he came from an exorcist's family and...
  • natsume grandfather

    • I have this weird theory , like in the first episode of the anime sensi said this about Reiko "she was a beautiful human " and also...