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- "Our family bonds are stronger than any shinobi code. Don't ever forget that."
- —Ayame to Ayane in Dead or Alive Dimensions
Ayame is the wife of the former Mugen Tenshin clan leader Shiden and sister-in-law of nukenin ("missing shinobi"), Raidou. She is also the birth mother of Hayate, Kasumi, and Ayane, as well as the aunt of Honoka. She first appeared in Dead or Alive 2 Ultimate.
In her youth, Ayame met and fell in love with Shiden, and together they had two children; Hayate and Kasumi.
Seventeen years before the first tournament, his older brother, Raidou raped Ayame. This resulted in the pregnancy and birth of Ayane. While Hayate and Kasumi were treated as their heirs, Ayane was kept from the truth of her birth and was secluded from the clan due to Ayame's shame. When Ayane was older, Ayame revealed to her that she was her mother. This resulted in Ayane's jealousy towards Kasumi.
Dead or Alive 3
When Ayane was upset, Ayame comforted her daughter. Ayame then told Ayane that the blood in Ayame's veins flowed in Ayane, Kasumi, and Hayate and their family bonds were stronger than any shinobi code. Ayame asked her daughter to save Kasumi rather than be her enemy. After that, Ayane stopped calling Ayame My Lady and began to call her Mother.
Ayame is a slim, pale-skinned woman with a round face with soft features, and large, round eyes, just like her daughters Kasumi and Ayane. Her eyes are dark brown (green in Dimensions), as is her hair, which is worn loose and long with a short front-fringe; it's possible her son Hayate inherited his hair color from her. Although Ayame is shown to have a youthful appearance when her children are very young, later when her children are all adults Ayame appears not to have aged and still looks as young as she did years before, unlike her husband. Her normal attire seems to be a kimono, as she is seen wearing one in all of her appearances.
Although briefly seen, Ayame is shown to be a loving mother; she is seen happily watching Hayate, Kasumi and Ayane play together as children, and reminisces of when Kasumi and Ayane played together by the waterfall. When Kasumi runs away from the clan after Raidou injured Hayate, Ayame worries for her safety and instructs Ayane to save her instead of being enemies.
Ayame is shown to prioritize her children’s safety and well-being, having instructed Ayane to save Kasumi. When Ayane became upset after being scolded by Hayate, Ayame comforted her and apologized to her for giving her up, rekindling their relationship as mother and daughter. Despite the traumatic nature of her youngest daughter's conception, Ayame is shown to love all of her children equally.
Ayame's name in kanji (菖蒲), means "iris." It is also the name that is given to a type of Japanese iris, which acts as a character symbol for her daughter, Ayane in the Ninja Gaiden series. This seems rather odd and slightly ironic, as Ayane was the child she couldn't bear to keep.
Ayame is shown to have great love for her husband. He grew furious after finding out about Raidou raping her. They are shown to care very much for each other and appear to have a good husband/wife relationship.
It appears that Hayate has a good relationship with his mother. As a child, she watched him play with his younger sister, Kasumi. It is heavily implied she wishes Hayate to always look after his sister as he held her hand tightly when at the festival. Though they are rarely seen together, it is obvious that they love and honor one another greatly.
Ayame is shown to be very loving to Kasumi, as shown when she sadly said her name after finding out that her child left. She even asked Ayane to help Kasumi rather than be her enemy, showing her love for her children. The plot summary for Dead or Alive 6 implied that she still maintains contact with Kasumi via letters.
Regardless of the manner that she was conceived, Ayame still loves Ayane as her daughter and feels guilt for abandoning her: In Dead or Alive Dimensions, when telling Ayane the truth, she apologizes while crying for not acknowledging her and years later, tells Ayane not to call her "My Lady" and stops her upset daughter from harming herself after Hayate scolded her. She reminisces of how Ayane and Kasumi would compete to see who would catch the most fish and jokes how the family would have fish for months. She then asks Ayane to help her sister, Kasumi. After the discussion, for the first time in her life, Ayane called Ayame "Mother".
Dead or Alive series
- Dead or Alive 2 Ultimate (non-playable, 2004-05)
- Dead or Alive Dimensions (non-playable, 2011)
- Dead or Alive 6 (non-playable, mentioned, 2019)
- In both Japanese and English, she is voiced by the same voice actress Houko Kuwashima and Kari Wahlgren respectively, who also voiced her daughter Kasumi.