Tale of the Yokai
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012 TV Series) episode
Season Code: 320
Episode: 72
Original airdate August 9, 2015
Written by Brandon Auman
Producers: Brandon Auman
Directed by Sebastian Montes
Voice Direction Andrea Romano
Supervising Director  Ciro Nieli
Episode chronology
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"Turtles in Time" "Attack of the Mega Shredder!"

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Season 3
October 3, 2014 - September 27,2015
List of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episodes


  1. Within the Woods
  2. A Foot Too Big
  3. Buried Secrets
  4. The Croaking
  5. In Dreams
  6. Race with the Demon
  7. Eyes of the Chimera
  8. Vision Quest
  9. Return to New York
  10. Serpent Hunt
  11. The Pig and The Rhino
  12. Battle for New York, Part 1
  13. Battle for New York, Part 2
  14. Casey Jones VS. The Underworld
  15. The Noxious Avenger
  16. Clash of the Mutanimals
  17. Meet Mondo Gecko
  18. The Deadly Venom
  19. Turtles in Time
  20. Tale of the Yokai
  21. Attack of the Mega Shredder!
  22. The Creeping Doom
  23. The Fourfold Trap
  24. Dinosaur Seen in Sewers!
  25. Annihilation: Earth! Part 1
  26. Annihilation: Earth! Part 2

Season 1Season 2 - Season 3 - Season 4 - Season 5

"Tale of the Yokai" is the twentieth episode of the third season of the 2012 TV series, and is the seventy-second episode overall in the series. It first aired on August 9th, 2015.


The Turtles are accidentally transported to the past, and they cross paths with a familiar ninja clan. They must act fast to return home before their lives are erased from existence.


Major Characters

Minor Characters


Picking up where the last episode left off, the turtles run away from ninjas that have recently discovered them. Having no choice, they were forced to fight this band of ninjas, whom are quickly identified by Leo as belonging to The Hamato Clan, Splinter's clan. Suddenly, before the ninjas can continue their attack, a familiar voice is heard and the ninjas part to reveal a younger Shredder, who locks eyes with the Turtles and refers to them as yōkai; mythical Japanese monsters. Mikey instinctively throws down a smoke bomb, giving the Turtles a chance to escape from Saki.

After their escape, the Turtles discuss the predicament that they're in, concluding that they are at the very least 16 years in the past due to the Hamato Clan still being in existence. Before long, the brothers come across a dōjō which Mikey believes is the one that Splinter trained in. In the dōjō, Saki reports back to his sensei (Splinter's biological father), telling him about the creatures that he saw, claiming that their appearance fits the description of the legendary yōkai. From the outside of the dōjō, the Turtles observe this scene, watching as their human Master Splinter emerges from a room and pokes fun at Saki, remarking that his head has always been in the clouds. However, Splinter's father is quick to point out to him that many dimensions and beings permeate reality, and that some legends say that when the yōkai arrive, tragedy is sure to follow. Splinter and Saki are then left alone in the room, in which they begin to duel, Saki bringing up the topic of Tang Shen and asserting that Splinter cares nothing for her and only for himself. Splinter, knocking Saki to the floor, denies this and offers him a hand up, but has it swatted away before both he and Saki spot the silhouettes of the Turtles, forcing the four to flee.

Later, around a campfire at night, the Turtles continue to ponder their conundrum of being stuck in the past and why they were sent to this time and place out of all. Leo believes that it was more than sheer coincidence that they were sent here, to which Donnie agrees, noting how unlikely it would be to end up where and when they are simply by accident, but also wonders what a reason would be for sending them here. Nearby, on a bridge, Yoshi is accompanied by Tang Shen and their daughter Miwa. Tang Shen voices her desire for them to leave Japan and visit America, but Yoshi tells her that he has numerous responsibilities here in Japan, with an aging father to take care of and a clan to remain loyal to. Shen proclaims that ninjas have no more place in this world and that the Hamato Clan is the last clan of its kind, which is Yoshi's reasoning that it must endure. Tang Shen then leaves with Miwa, turning down Yoshi's offer to walk her home.

Back at the campfire, the Turtles fool around a bit and Raph and Mikey end up inadvertently intercepting Tang Shen's walk home. Hearing Miwa's cries, Saki comes to the aid of the two, attacking the Turtles, who eventually manage to escape. Saki then approaches Shen, telling her that he overheard her earlier conversation with Yoshi and that he is willing to do what he isn't (move to New York with her and Miwa). Saki tells her to take him back and that he is a better man than she once knew him to be before kissing her on the forehead. Unbeknownst to Saki, Yoshi has seen the encounter between the two. Meanwhile, up high in a tree, Leo considers the option of taking the Shredder down, but Donnie mentions that if they interfere with history by doing so, then Splinter may never move to New York and purchase four baby turtles (them). However, Leo points out that they have already altered history for the worse, by intercepting Shen and causing her to be saved by Saki. Donnie then pulls out his T-Phone and reveals that, in a picture, Casey is fading away, which means that Leo is indeed right. Now, the Turtles must somehow ensure that Shen sides with Yoshi so that history can stay on course.

Later, back in the dōjō, Yoshi and Saki duel once more, with Yoshi questioning Saki on what he said to Shen last night in the woods. Saki asks Yoshi what concern of it is his, to which Yoshi replies that Shen is his concern. Before the duel can get out of hand, Splinter's father immobilizes the two, telling them that they are brothers and ordering them to act like it. However, it is clear that their rivalry has further deepened.

The next day, the Turtles locate Shen and surround her, introducing themselves as friendly yōkai and telling her that they need to talk to her. At her house, Shen gives the Turtles a julienne of cucumbers to eat, saying that the veggie is the favorite food of the yōkai, according to the legends. She then recalls a story that her grandmother told her of a girl who was fetching water from a river and encountered a kappa (turtle yōkai). The kappa terrified her, but she always carried cucumbers with her to ward off yōkai. Upon being fed, the creature was so thankful that it told her of a great hurricane that would devastate her village and saved her people in doing so. The Turtles liken the intentions of the kappa in the story to their own, saying that they want to save her. They warn her that if she sides with Saki, the world itself could be at risk, and that it is far wiser to side with the more disciplined Yoshi. Shen says that she will decide to do what is right for her daughter, having thoughts that Yoshi is too dedicated to his clan and Ninjutsu to help raise her. Donnie then reveals to his brothers that, in the picture on his phone, April has faded away, so Leo insists that the only noble thing to do now is to take down the Shredder once and for all.

Later that night, Saki briefs his men on how he was adopted by the Hamato Clan as an infant and that he was raised by his enemy in ignorance, then voices his desire to have his revenge on them all. He then torches a Hamato Clan shrine and declares the rebirth of the Foot Clan, as the ninja kneel to him before noticing the turtles watching them. Seeing them, Saki orders his followers to finish them as he heads over to the dojo. Saki's men face off with the Turtles once again and a battle ensues.

At the dojo are Shen and Yoshi who speak of their love for each other, before the arrival of Saki, who is armed with tekkō-kagi in both hands. Saki asks her once more to pick him but she declares she has chosen Yoshi. Saki has bad intentions on his mind as Yoshi realizes his intent and orders Shen to take Miwa and go elsewhere, a fight breaks out between the two brothers.

In the forest, the Turtles continue to fight the Shredder's men and overpower them. After outmatching and scaring the ninjas off, the Turtles pursue Saki to the dojo.

As the fight tears through the dōjō, Yoshi pleads with Saki to stop what he's doing, but Saki refuses due to the amount of dishonor he's received as Yoshi that he did that to himself and continues to attack. During the fight, some burning candles are struck down by Saki and the dōjō is soon set ablaze. Yoshi alerts his brother of the danger, though a crazed Saki is unconcerned and states they will both perish instead. The Turtles arrive on the scene just as Tang Shen enters the burning dōjō, but the turtles are blocked from entering with debris falling down.

As Saki overpowers Yoshi, Shen puts herself in between Saki and Yoshi, which proves to be a fatal mistake, as her life is accidentally taken by Saki. Yoshi is struck with horror as Saki rushes toward Shen, but is intercepted by debris and hit in the face with a piece of flaming wood, burning his face in the process. Afterwards, he runs out of the dōjō and finds Miwa (who was left unattended), renaming her Karai.

The Turtles manage to enter the dojo, where they uncover an unconscious Splinter and the deceased Tang Shen. The turtles save their future father's life, before sadly watching in hiding as he breaks down at his loss. They retreat into the shadows and leave history to unfold.

The next morning, Donnie looks at his T-Phone and notes that the picture has returned to normal but with a sad expression from last night. Raph still complains that they're stuck thousands of miles away from home and at least sixteen years in the past. Just then, Renet finally arrives, claiming that she's spent the last six months hunting them down. Leo angrily asks why they were sent to Japan in the past, to which Renet responds that the time scepter sent them there to make sure that Splinter survived. Donnie then realizes that it's always been this way they were always the ones to save Splinter. The turtles are surprised at this as Raphael asks Renet to bring them all back to their time and she agrees.

Once they back in New York, Renet said their goodbye to the Turtles before disappearing into a portal. The Turtles then return home, eager to see their Master Splinter.


  • This episode's title is similar to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Legend of the Yokai, a short film and fan-art compendium website that was made to promote the 2014 film.
  • This episode marks several first appearances outside of pictures and flashbacks.
    • Hamato Yoshi in his human form, Oroku Saki without his scars, Tang Shen alive, Miwa/Karai as a baby and the debut of Hamato Yuuta, Splinter's father.
  • Both Minae Noji and Hoon Lee voiced the parents of characters they had already played. Minae Noji, known for playing Karai in the 2014 film, voiced Karai's mother, Tang Shen. And Hoon Lee, the voice of Hamato Yoshi, also voiced his father Hamato Yuuta.
  • The way Casey and April fade away in the picture on Donatello's T-Phone was an homage to the Back to the Future films, where after changing the course of history, Marty Mcfly sees his siblings disappearing from a picture with him.
    • Michelangelo even states that "It's just like in that movie!", implying that they have seen the Back to the Future film, or something very similar.
  • When appearing for the first time Hamato Yoshi is holding the tessen would one day give to Miwa, but as she was presumed dead he gave it to April. The tessen and two family photographs are some of the only possessions he was able to save from Saki's attack and the destruction of their home.
  • When trying to convince Tang Shen that they're "friendly Yōkai" Michelangelo dances and humming the 1987 TV series' theme song.
  • The sword Saki uses when training with Yoshi is the same 400 year-old katana blade Chris Bradford's had on his shelf in the episode New Friend, Old Enemy.
  • Leonardo's "We yōkai will steal all of your souls… THROUGH YOUR BUTT!" actually refers to a Japanese legend. Read more about it here.
    • Although modern kappa are often portrayed as cute and mostly harmless, during the Edo period they were monsters who killed their victims by taking something from their inside, the shirikodama (尻子玉), which translates literally as “small anus ball.” The ball is nestled either immediately inside the anus, or deeper inside the intestines or the stomach.
      • Folklorist/manga artist Mizuki Shigeru wrote: “Ever since I was a child I heard that I had to be careful in the water because the kappa would try and take my shirikodama. It was said that in the water, a kappa would come from below, extend an arm upwards and stick a hand up your anus to extract the ball.”
    • It's unknown what the shirikodama really was. Some say it's the human soul, hardened into physical form. Others that the shirikodama in pictures resembles the Buddhist Hojo, or wish-granting jewel, as the usual depiction of the shirikodama does indeed resemble the Hojo's shape. Many associate the shirikodama with the liver. Kappa were known to love human livers, and some say that the shirikodama was the liver, or that the ball was blocking access to the liver with the liver being the actual target for the kappa.
  • A Mighty Super Robo Mecha action figure can be seen on Tang Shen's window when Mikey tries the cucumber.
  • When Leo asked "what's a Kappa?" The same question was used in Teenage mutant Ninja Turtles III when Mikey asked what a kappa was after being called a "Kappa" by kenshin



Tale of the Yokai/Transcript

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