Takae Nagai is Kasumi Shimizu's mother and the grandmother of Yumi and Miwako Shimizu.

Biography Edit

Takae adored her family's ryokan more than anyone she ever met and anywhere she has ever been. Traditionally, the ryokan was passed down from eldest daughter to eldest daughter, and Takae saw no reason to break tradition. She happily passed ownership to her daughter Kasumi when she was ready, as generations of their family has done for centuries. Although Kasumi's pen pal Maryanne encouraged her to explore the world -getting her excited to leave the ryokan and lead her own life- Takae was strongly opposed to the idea and convinced Kasumi to settle down into her traditional role as innkeeper of the Ryokan Hiei.

Takae's granddaughters on the other hand were a different story. The eldest, Yumi, was meant to take over the ryokan when she was old enough, but she was bored to tears at the ryokan and craved a more exciting life in the city. Takae, however, was convinced such dreams were just a phase. She ignored Yumi's wishes and continued to suggest that Yumi should start learning how to run the the ryokan, sparking heated fights among the whole family.

Some time after Yumi's fifteenth birthday, Kasumi's friend Maryanne was visiting Kyoto. Kasumi was very excited to see her, but Takae disapproved. She didn't like how Maryanne inspired her daughter to leave her beloved ryokan because she was afraid that if Kasumi left, she wouldn't come back. In order to force Kasumi to stay home, Takae pretended to be sick which obligated Kasumi to perform her duties, including cleaning the older of the ryokan's baths. Takae had never before allowed her daughter to clean the old baths because they are very slippery, requiring knowledge of precisely where to walk. Tragically, Kasumi's inexperience caused her to slip, possibly hit her head on the rock bed, and drown.

Takae was horrified when her daughter's body was discovered, knowing that if she had just let Kasumi visit her friend, she would never have drowned. When the ryokan started showing signs of being haunted, Takae was overwhelmed with guilt and was convinced that her daughter became a scared, angry yurei, a vengeful spirit. To confirm her suspicions, Takae asked the paranormal investigator Savannah Woodham to examine the ryokan. When even Savannah grew too spooked to finish her investigation, Takae's fears were vindicated.

Takae was heartbroken to see the Ryokan Hiei -her home- turned into a place of great sadness, death, and anger. Before Kasumi died, she had written a will stating that her girls shouldn't feel obligated to inherit the ryokan if they would rather do something else. Although Takae was aware of the will, she refused to acknowledge its validity because she was terrified that she would lose both the ryokan and her granddaughters if they ever read it. Nevertheless, as soon as Yumi could sign a lease, she ran off to live in a small apartment in the city, forcing her younger sister Miwako to run the ryokan in her absence. Although Miwako enjoyed working at the ryokan and would like to inherit it instead, Takae refused to even notice her hard work, choosing instead to focus on her granddaughters' birth order and Yumi's appalling lack of reverence for tradition.

Shadow at the Water's Edge Edit

As the ryokan's newest guest, Nancy Drew, prepares to check in, Takae's favorite portrait of Kasumi falls and smashes to the floor. Takae is startled, believing it to be a sign that Kasumi's spirit does not want Nancy to stay. She orders Miwako to make Nancy leave, deaf to Miwako's insistence that the portrait breaking was only a coincidence. Before Miwako checks in Nancy anyway, Takae returns to the room where she teaches classes on the traditional arts.

When Nancy visits her after checking in, Takae apologizes for her rude behavior and offers to teach Nancy calligraphy, origami, and the basics of the tea ceremony, proudly praising her when she completes each lesson. Takae greatly respects tradition, and insists that her eldest granddaughter, Yumi, must return to run the ryokan, as per the tradition of passing down ownership of the ryokan from mother to eldest daughter.

George informs Nancy that Yumi says Takae didn't believe in the supernatural until recently, but now truly believes that her daughter Kasumi is still at the ryokan as a scared, angry yurei. But like everyone else at ryokan, Takae refuses to speak about her daughter's death or the hauntings. As Nancy continues to explore the ryokan, she eventually discovers a secret passageway that leads to the hidden baths. After Nancy is attacked by a robotic yurei, she asks Takae to tell her what really happened to Kasumi. At first, Nancy thinks that Takae must be behind the hauntings, but although Takae can't bear the thought of her granddaughters leaving the ryokan -and therefor, her- she could never resort to scaring them with fake Kasumi hauntings.

Nancy then realizes that the robotic yurei contained machine parts that Rentaro was working on. Rentaro had wanted to force Miwako to leave the ryokan and move to the city with him. It can be assumed that when Takae learned about Rentaro's treachery, she gave him quite an earful.

Trivia Edit

  • If Nancy enters Takae's classroom but doesn't speak to her, Takae will soon start nodding off and snoring.
  • Takae is very strict. Rentaro informs Nancy that she can dish out some pretty intense lectures, and that he's been on the receiving end of quite a few of them.
  • Takae loves Ryokan Hiei more than anywhere she's ever been and anyone she's ever met. Her favorite place at the ryokan is its gardens.

Quotes Edit

  • "It is a pleasure to meet you properly. I am very sorry for the way I behaved when you first arrived. It was very impolite. Please forgive me."
  • "There is a grave danger, Nancy-san, in forgetting. If the whole world forgets a thing, or a person, then it is gone forever."
  • "Find a small piece of earth that begs to be made perfect, and do whatever it asks of you."
  • "Tradition is very often made fun of or ignored, but tradition is how we know ourselves, Nancy-san. The traditions of your family is how you know yourself. Tradition is a burden in many ways, I understand this. But imagine not knowing who you are, or where you come from. It would be very lonely, I think."
  • "Kasumi- she's still here, I can feel it. She's trapped, and she's scared, and she's angry."

Gallery Edit