Tamako (魂子) is Rinne Rokudō's eternally youthful grandmother. Though she may look human, she is actually a full-blooded Shinigami, a goddess of death charged with helping and guiding spirits from the world of the living to the Wheel of Reincarnation. Her Black Cat is Kuroboshi.
Tamako is a beautiful lady with a young appearance. She has silver chin-length hair, with a pink flower hair clip on the left side, and is always seen wearing a black uchikake with a red obi and an orange juban.
Tamako has a solemn, but teasing kind of nature which she shows often with Rinne. She becomes upset when referred to as "grandmother", instead insisting on being called "young lady", and usually rubs the temples of those who call her "Granny", or even "Aunty". The victim usually comes out shown with smoke from their temples and in quite a lot of pain. However, she shows pure dislike toward Rinne's father, who is a Damashigami and goes as far as to slap him. She also has a more loving side, as she often attempts to aid Rinne with his Shinigami duties, entering Sankai High School students' dreams and forcing them to give offerings with a death threat. Apparently, she also sometimes seems a bit absent minded, as she bought young Sakura candy of the otherworld without thinking, causing her to see spirits.
100 years ago, Tamako hunted down a Nine-Tailed Fox and sent it to the spirit cleansing room at the Mortal Census Bureau. It swore to take revenge on her a century later by cursing her descendants.
50 years ago, she came to claim the soul of a young man in agony, with whom she quickly fell in love. She made a deal with the death priest who married them, promising to do ten times the usual Shinigami chores in exchange for extending his life for fifty years. Should she fail, her descendants would take on her burden. She had the right to live in the human world as long as he was alive. They had a son Sabato, and a grandson Rinne. Since Sabato was not much of a father, and their daughter-in-law Otome mysteriously disappeared, they raised Rinne themselves in the human world.
Around 10 years ago, she stopped a Damashigami Rabbit who led a little girl named Sakura Mamiya to Kyoukai, and led the girl back to the living world, but not before carelessly allowing her to have some candy, which caused her to become able to see spirits.
When the time came for her husband to go to the wheel of reincarnation, she lost her right to live in the human world, and so had to return to her home in Kyoukai without her grandson, who wished to stay in the living world. She took all the furniture from her human home, and her black cat contractor Kuroboshi ended up stuck in a closet as all those furniture were put in there.
It was said that she failed to stick to her job and Rinne found himself on duty, taking on Shinigami chores, however, it is later revealed that her debt was paid off, but Sabato has left Rinne in debt due to taking excessive loans out with him as co-signer.
She tried to get her grandson to live with her, and helped him get offers at the instrument shelter of Sankai High, by donning a scary mask and appearing in Rinne's classmates' dreams, threatening them, much to Rinne's dismay, and she meets Sakura again. After Rinne denied leaving the human world, she fired Rokumon, and advised him to make a contract with Rinne.
She served as instructor for the Shinigami Tool Workshop, although Rinne had to be absent to solve why Sakura’s house suddenly got filled of spirits. She provided a new Exorcism Hourglass for Sakura, although Rinne sadly had to pay 20000 yen for it.
She gives Sakura a prototype candy that would reverse her ability to see ghosts and spirits for 3 days. Sakura was quite content at first, but she grew bored, as she was not able to see Rinne for a while, because he was too busy having to protect her from 5000 evil spirits who targeted her as part of A-1 Grand Prix, so she gives the other candies back saying she doesn’t need them, meaning that it's okay to see ghosts and to see Rinne.
When she decided to do housecleaning after 50 years, and managed to organize all the furniture from her human home in a tidy way along with Rinne and Sakura, Kuroboshi was finally able to get out, surprising everyone. He wished to retire, and his grandson would follow his footsteps as Tamako’s new black cat contractor. But she would not form a contract until he overcome his ghost phobia and would train him at her house.
Upon learning about a Black Fox evil spirit with a 50000 bounty, she decided to use a special scythe named Oihagizuki which registers the first one to touch as its owner to make some extra, and she finds Sabato trying to steal it. Fortunately, she put a security barrier on it that electrocutes any male, but as the Scythe falls into the living world after Sabato gets electrocuted by it, it ends up being touched by Sakura, making her the owner of the Scythe, and it won’t leave her hands until she purifies at least 7 spirits. So she leaves Rinne to coach Sakura, until she can retrieve the scythe.
To her shock, she received a package from Rinne that contained Rokumon and their contract with the 済 mark, which stands for fired. Since she already has two black cats with her, she asked him to go ask Rinne, but later came to check on Rinne and learns that he has taken an exorcism of the highest difficulty, which was what got Rokumon sent to her as the spirit of a distrustful man within a hanging scroll tries to disconnect Rinne of his friends, and so informs Rinne who then proceeds to a forced purification. Later, she learns not only that Rinne paid all his debts to Sakura following a terrible misunderstanding caused by the hanging scroll, but that he had two boundary stones processed into a pair of string bracelets for her, which leaves really surprised. After Rinne and Sakura reunite, she learns that her good-for-nothing son got a bounty of only 5000 yen for his capture, following a case that involved Rinne and Sakura’s boundary stones, but she would have gone after him if the bounty had one more digit.
- Shinigami Powers: As a Shinigami, Tamako can help lost souls to be reincarnated.
- Immortality: Because she is a Shinigami, Tamako does not suffer from old age like humans do. It has never been revealed how old she is but it has been stated in chapter 132 that she is at least over 100 years old.
Eventually she did pay off her debt, and it appears that the two had a happy marriage as shown by her husband in his old age celebrating with her for paying it off. It can be inferred that they were well off enough to buy young Rinne luxuries such as popsicles everyday.
Sabato is Tamako's son. They are not on the best of terms, as Tamako has the habit of beating him up and calls him a good-for-nothing.
Rinne is Tamako's only grandchild, and they definitely have a better relationship than theirs with Sabato. Tamako often helps him whenever she can and wants Rinne to move in with her in the afterlife. She affectionately gives him noogies whenever he calls her "Granny" or "Grandma".
Sakura was spirited away as a child by a Damashigami, but was saved by Tamako, who carelessly accepted to buy a candy from the afterlife for Sakura, granting her the ability to she spirits and ghosts. They are on good terms.
Her daughter-in-law. They got along very well, for they had things in common which included their skills at cooking and they looked young and beautiful despite their age (Otome is 2 years younger than Tamako). After learning she reincarnated in a human girl named Ichigo, she paid a visit at her elementary school and they were both happy to reunite.
- “Don’t call me G-R-A-N-N-Y” (おーばーあーちゃーんと呼ばないで〜〜〜〜) – Whenever she is called Granny
- "Wait, you can see me?" (私が見えるのかっっ！！) - Chapter 4, when Sakura makes a comment about her, although normal humans cannot see her
- "You good-for-nothing." (このろくでなしが〜〜) - Chapter 35, after she slaps Sabato
- "For your information... Rinne is going out with the human girl, Sakura Mamiya-san." (だいたいりんねはね人間の女子真宮桜さんとつきあっていまーす) - Chapter 35, after Sabato tried forcing Rinne to marry a Damashigami girl.
- "A slacker like you... won't have a single thing from me!!" (あんたのようなゴクツブシに。。。渡す物はひとつもないわーーーっ！！) - Chapter 175, when Sabato tries to steal her furniture
- “It was a package of red and white steamed buns that was delivered to me for some reason on the respect for the elderly day last year” (それは去年の敬老の日になぜか届いた紅白まんじゅうだったわ) – Chapter 221
- "My My My. Otome, you have shrunk" (あらあらあら。乙女さん、小さくなっちゃってー。) - Chapter 334, when appearing to Ichigo
- “If there was one more digit, I would have gone but...” (もう一ケタ多かったら私がつき出すんだけど〜〜〜) – Chapter 398, speaking about the bounty for Sabato’s capture being a mere 5000 yen
- Her name Tamako (魂子) means "soul child".
- Though not officially stated, it can be assumed that Tamako has a high status and/or is a very powerful Shinigami.
- Tamako bears a striking resemblance to Gin Ichimaru from Tito Kubo's popular manga series Bleach which is coincidentally also about Shinigamis. They both have silver hair and keep their eyes closed for a majority of the time while only opening them if they are deadly serious.
- She is voiced by Satsuki Yukino who voiced Kagome Higurashi from Inuyasha.