Grew up… with her mother, in Japan. Though being a single mother wasn’t easy, Kyoko Honda always was a loving mother, and her daughter idolized Kyoko for her cheerful disposition and work ethic. When Kyoko died in a car accident, Tohru was devastated.
Living… with her classmates Yuki and Kyo. After her mother died, Tohru lived with relatives for a little while. But they didn’t have room for her, so she decided to live on her own – in a tent, in what she thought was an unowned forest. It turns out that the land actually belongs to the Sohma family, and Yuki and Shigure Sohma discover her tent. They invite her to live in their house in return for her help with household chores.
Profession… student and custodian. Tohru isn’t very good at school, although she tries. She’s much better at her after-school job, where she cleans a large office building. She also cooks and cleans for the Sohmas in exchange for room and board.
Interests… making friends and learning about the Sohma family secret. As it turns out, the Sohma family is very unusual – when certain members of the Sohma family are hugged by the opposite sex, they turn into the animals from the Chinese zodiac! This sounds fun, but causes a lot of stress for Tohru’s new friends, so she decides to find out as much as she can to help break the curse.
Challenge… trying to get through school without being a burden to anyone and staying cheerful despite her difficulties. As Tohru says, “Sometimes living can be hard, but it's only because we're alive that we can make each other...laugh, cry...be happy.” She also has to tread carefully to avoid the wrath of the mysterious Akito, the head of the Sohma family who doesn't seem to appreciate Tohru digging into his family's secrets.
Personality… cheerful, warm, and empathetic. Tohru’s optimism is one of her primary traits, and it draws other people to her. Her friends worry that she pays too much attention to others and not to herself, but for Tohru, “my happiness comes from the kindness of those around me.” She's also a little ditzy and clumsy and isn’t a great student. But she definitely tries hard at everything she does, and her heart is always in the right place.
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