Ken Kaneki's mother raised her son by herself until she died due to overworking when Kaneki was 10 years old.
She was a slender woman with short black hair. She also wore glasses.
She was intelligent and seemed to always be kind. She believed that a kind person finds happiness just by love and becoming the person who gets hurt, rather than hurting others. She would not refuse any request of help and was equal to everybody in her kindness. Kaneki claimed to, and did, love her. But he had a resentment towards her deep inside.
Despite her attempts to be kind and generous, she would sometimes physically abuse Kaneki. Kaneki's description of his mother appears to be somewhat distorted; his memories of her show her actions of being physically abusive, beating her young son and putting others' needs before his emotional health along with her own physical health.
Kaneki's mother appeared multiple times in the illusions monitored by Rize. She was remembered as a hardworking mother; as she worked two jobs and committed herself to being a housewife as well. This, however, caused her to feel sick and tired the majority of the time. She also seemed to be too weak for compromise, as she believed that one must be the person getting hurt, rather than others. An example of this was when she gave her older sister money despite the fact that she was a single mother who had to support herself and her son. Due to the amount of work, Kaneki's mother almost never had time to spend with him, so he was lonely most of the time and stayed in his father's study room. After his mother's death, Kaneki proudly sustained her ideologies throughout his life. Upon being approached by Rize's manifestation, who pointed out how weak his mother really was, Kaneki went into a deep emotional breakdown, berating his mother for not living for him. Kaneki eventually disengaged from his mother's ideologies, and started to make his own decisions.
Tsukiyama Extermination Arc
During another journey into his fractured mind, Sasaki remembered frequently being beaten by his mother. While being beaten, he would apologize for wanting things and blamed himself for the abuse.
After the death of her husband, she raised her son and cared for him as a single mother. While he initially insists that their relationship was purely loving, in reality she sometimes abused him and he held a deeply repressed resentment towards her.
Her older sister always hounded her for money and made excuses about why she was in need. Kaneki's mother financially supported her sister, but the stress contributed to her death. Despite Kaneki's mother's efforts, her sister thought badly of her. After Kaneki's mother's death, he had put up to living with his aunt, and they had been on bad terms for a while.
- To Kaneki: "Instead of a person who hurts others, become the person who gets hurt. It is okay if you lose because of your love and kindness. Ken, a kind person only needs those things in order to be happy."