It is a known fact that Yukihira Soma is the son of one of the world's most famous chefs, Yukihira Joichiro, but why is it that the students from Tōtsuki Culinary Academy don't know about Soma?

It's even stranger that Nakiri, who is known as the God's Tongue for her extreme tasting skills, admires Joichiro but fails to realize that Yukihira Soma is the son of Yukihira Joichiro. She had seen Soma's application form, so it must have given her a hint already. One of the few people (or maybe the only one) who seems to know about this fact is the headmaster.

Why is that? Are they trying to hide the fact that Soma is the son of Joichiro, probably for some unknown reason?

I have not read the entire manga, but I read that Soma's father was formerly known as Saiba Jōichirō. It is not the same last name as Yukihira Soma, so this may be a reason why people don't know that they are father and son.

Source: Jōichirō Yukihira on Shokugeki no Souma wiki.

  • 2
    Hmm, possibly. But as fas as I've remembered, they addressed Joichiro by his last name. The monk and the manager(?) called him as Yukihira as seen from Episode 2 or 3. So I think he's known as Yukihira than Saiba. – user8802 Apr 22 '15 at 13:14

A few possible reasons:

  1. Joichiro ran a small shop for years, and faded away from public eye, and especially the younger generation may no longer know about him. The older generation may not care, or they just want to know what is going to happen.
  2. People share names - they may just think it's a coincidence, especially as Soma is a bit troublesome
  3. It's fiction - not knowing the relation makes the manga much more interesting.
  4. As @YLombardi said, Joichiro previously used the last name "Saiba", which may confuse people. This would contribute to 1st option, as well.

We won't really know, unless the author clarifies, but I think it's the 3rd option, with the author explaining it with one (or both) of the two.

BTW, the last name is Yukihira, not Soma.

  • I still can't believe that: 1) The people from the academy, where Joichiro studied and became a known chef, do not know much about him (having a son who attends the same cooking school as his). 2) Even though it could be purely just a coincidence and they aren't really related or anything, wouldn't it be weird that people wouldn't mistake Soma as a relative of Joichiro, knowing that they have same name? 3) Joichiro is more popular as Yukihira not Saiba as can be seen from an episode where the monk calls him as Yukihira. – user8802 May 3 '15 at 14:02

[OFF TOPIC]I think everything goes as headmaster Senzaemon plan. He uses Souma to help Erina free from his father's curse. Erina confessed already, even though she is well talented in cooking, that she never feels any slight of happiness towards her cooking, however not until they become close friends with Souma which was shown in the latest chapters. It seems like everything she do is just to obey his father. Headmaster Senzaemon is just trying to let Erina feel the true essence of cooking, and breaks the fear Erina has towards his father, and he uses Souma for it. Although it was not directly implied by the Author but it seems like Erina's father, Azami Nakiri knew it already when Souma confess that Saibi Jouichirou is his dad. Honestly, I dont know whats the big deal about this plan. But anyway Nakiri Erina later on knew as well that Souma is Saiba's son.

  • Does this answer OP's question? If so, I don't see how. – senshin Oct 28 '16 at 15:50

His father went to the school, but never graduated. It has never been clearly stated why that's the case, though it's implied it's related to him meeting Soma's mother; from this one might guess that "Yukihira" is his mother's last name. The failure to graduate may have hampered his renown, and lessened Tootsuki's desire to associate with him. Recall that the academy is set up as very punishing and almost militaristic, regarding those who fail to graduate as decidedly incapable of being a truly great chef. It runs counter to this belief to give a failure any recognition, and may actively encourage the institution to bury or at least ignore the connection.

Furthermore, Joichiro's professional career was characterized by constantly changing locations, and eventually hiding himself away in a local diner. That's not conducive to maintaining a strong presence in the culture; a few elites will know him, but before they can pass on the stories he simply moves away, leaving children no opportunity to learn except by happenstance (aka, Erina).

His change of last name was probably only known to a few people closest to him. Even Dojima took a long time to connect Soma to Jouichiro, mostly doing so by chance. As for why that monk seemed to know him by the Yukihira last name, and the timeline suggesting he also knew him before the name change, there are a few possible explanations, with my personal preference listed first:

  • The author hadn't thought of this problem ahead of time. It only occurred to them later that a cook with his skills and connections should be well-known. This was at odds with the intent for Soma to be a darkhorse commoner, as the story was very early characterized as "local nobody struggles against the elites to becomes a big somebody, proving that passion and hard work are the keys to success". Ergo once the problem became inescapable, the author pulled the ol' "name change" maneuver, and intentionally drew as little attention as possible to the possible discrepancies with the early story. This is a common writing technique for serialized media. Manga, comics, anime, TV series, cartoons, etc. all tend to employ it of necessity.
  • Essentially nobody knew that Yukihira Joichiro was the same person as Saiba Joichiro until just before the story started, when someone was able to find him and talk him into working for him around the world. Possibly this person was a long time confidant, and so did know these two people were the same, or maybe they just applied enough resources to find out what happened to Joichiro. Afterwards, now that he was back in the limelight he could now be recognized by former admirers, such as the monk, or word could otherwise slowly spread through patrons that connected the two together. Either way the monk can connect the two identities together, but the spread of information would have been too slow and localized to propagate all the way back to high school age students in Japan. Never mind the internet; we rarely even see academy students using smart phones or computers if they're not related to cooking something right then and there, and possibly with such elite and affluent customers even the internet is slow to pass the information along. Plus, as has been mentioned, lots of people have the last names Saiba and Yukihira, so there'd be little more than coincidence to connect Soma to Joichiro. It would actually be more unrealistic for people to assume a familial relation, even if they were aware of Joichiro's name change.

As a relevant sidenote, the headmaster of the academy (at the time the story starts), is later revealed to have been plotting something benevolent and that Jouichiro/Soma were integral to this plot. It was in the best interest of his plot that Soma be a complete unknown to the students, so he would have incentive to hide the Saiba/Yukihira connection.

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