Youko Kuzuryu (九頭竜 葉子 Kuzuryū Yōko) is one of the seven professional karuta readers. She is also the rarest to make an appearance, since she has not read in any tournament for ten years.
Not much is revealed about Youko Kuzuryu so far. She is known only by her reputation.
He is the current reigning Meijin. He said he has a voice sample of her reading.
After graduating high school, Youko found a job at a telegram company and started playing karuta. She also began the process of arranged marriage at this time. Youko was sensitive to the cold and uncomfortable in the light clothing necessary to play karuta; Kyoko recommended that she become a reader to participate in the game while wearing warm clothing. Kyoko also declared "I love your reading". These words motivated Youko as she pursued this path for the next forty years, even though nobody else ever praised her "odd", "hard to understand" reading. Youko got married, had a daughter, and continued to work as well as be a reader.
Ten years before the present day, Youko was about to leave for a karuta match reading when her husband had a stroke. She dedicated himself to his rehabilitation and could not leave his side long enough to read at any more tournaments. Her husband expressed exhaustion at Youko's sarcastic demeanor, so she changed in that respect also. Formally quitting, Youko was surprised when Hisashi Suo came to record her reading. By this time, Youko's daughter had been married over ten years and had a child of her own. In the tenth year, Youko's husband finally passed away.
In the present day, as Youko reads for the third queen match between Shinobu and Chihaya, she is at least 68 years old.