The Night Circus

A mysterious and very skilled contortionist, Tsukiko arrives unannounced at the home of Chandresh Lefevre to perform for the theater producer, and is immediately hired to join his new project, Le Cirque des Rêves. She befriends both Celia and Marco, seeming to discern the relationship between them without needing to ask. Eventually, Tsukiko reveals to Marco that she was Mr. A.H.’s previous apprentice, and that she won the last competition for him. She warns him, however, that one of the competitors must die to end the competition, and tries to get Marco to end his life to save Celia’s.

Tsukiko Quotes in The Night Circus

The The Night Circus quotes below are all either spoken by Tsukiko or refer to Tsukiko. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Rivalry and Competition Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Anchor edition of The Night Circus published in 2012.
Part 2: Illumination Quotes

“We are fish in a bowl, dear. Very carefully monitored fish. Watched from all angles. If one of us floats to the top, it was not accidental. And if it was an accident, I worry that the watchers are not as careful as they should be.”

Related Characters: Tsukiko (speaker), Isobel Martin, Tara Burgess
Page Number: 246
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation long mobile

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other The Night Circus quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!
Part 4: Incendiary Quotes

“Do you love him?”

“I do.”

“Do you believe he loves you? Love is fickle and fleeting. It is rarely a solid foundation for decisions to be made upon, in any game.”

Related Characters: Celia Bowen (speaker), Tsukiko (speaker), Marco Alisdair
Page Number: 406
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

“Our instructors do not understand how it is. To be bound to someone in such a way. They are too old, too out of touch with their emotions. They no longer remember what it is to live and breathe within the world. They think it simple to pit any two people against each other. It is never simple. The other person becomes how you define your life, how you define yourself.”

Page Number: 458
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

“You told me love was fickle and fleeting.”

“I lied. I thought it might be easier if you doubted him. And I gave you a year to find a way for the circus to continue without you. You have not. I am stepping in.”

Related Characters: Celia Bowen (speaker), Tsukiko (speaker), Marco Alisdair
Page Number: 461
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Get the entire The Night Circus LitChart as a printable PDF.
The night circus.pdf.medium

Tsukiko Character Timeline in The Night Circus

The timeline below shows where the character Tsukiko appears in The Night Circus. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1: Primordium
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
...to coordinate the details of his circus project. One evening, a heavily tattooed contortionist named Tsukiko arrives without warning and begins to perform for those in attendance. Chandresh hires her immediately,... (full context)
Part 2: Illumination
Rivalry and Competition Theme Icon
Family, Community, and Belonging Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
...the lighting before she hears the applause; it nearly knocks her off her feet, and Tsukiko has to keep her steady. Celia knows that her competitor has made a move, and... (full context)
Family, Community, and Belonging Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
...apple orchard, he finds that nothing has ever tasted this good. He watches the contortionist (Tsukiko), even though it is almost painful to see, as she folds herself into a small... (full context)
Family, Community, and Belonging Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
Tsukiko stops by and invites Celia to join her in a social engagement. Celia agrees, and... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Family, Community, and Belonging Theme Icon
...corset, and even the usually reserved Marco chimes in this time. As Celia leaves with Tsukiko, Marco watches her through the window. He then finishes cleaning up and checks on Chandresh,... (full context)
Time and Mortality Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
Freedom and Agency Theme Icon
As Tsukiko and Isobel stand in the rain near the gravesite, Tsukiko asks Isobel how Tara died.... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Time and Mortality Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
Isobel asks Tsukiko if she has ever been in love, to which she replies that she has had... (full context)
Part 3: Intersections
Family, Community, and Belonging Theme Icon
Time and Mortality Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
...the sidelines, except when he meets Herr Thiessen and speaks with him briefly, and when Tsukiko forces him to dance. (full context)
Part 4: Incendiary
Rivalry and Competition Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
Freedom and Agency Theme Icon
...the student who won the previous challenge, and he tells her that the winner is Tsukiko, the circus contortionist. (full context)
Rivalry and Competition Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
Freedom and Agency Theme Icon
...Wearing a gown that she knows was one of Thiessen’s favorites, she walks over to Tsukiko’s train compartment and knocks. Tsukiko invites her in, and she is sitting in the middle... (full context)
Rivalry and Competition Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
Freedom and Agency Theme Icon
Once Isobel is gone, Tsukiko offers Celia tea and tells her that the past hours have been difficult for everyone.... (full context)
Rivalry and Competition Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
Freedom and Agency Theme Icon
Celia asks to see Tsukiko’s scar, and the contortionist lowers the neckline of her kimono to reveal a faded ring-shaped... (full context)
Rivalry and Competition Theme Icon
Family, Community, and Belonging Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
Freedom and Agency Theme Icon
Celia then asks why Tsukiko came to the circus in the first place, and she responds that she was curious,... (full context)
Rivalry and Competition Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
Freedom and Agency Theme Icon
Tsukiko asks Celia if she loves Marco, and Celia says that she does. Tsukiko then asks... (full context)
Rivalry and Competition Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
Freedom and Agency Theme Icon
...means nothing to him and is just a piece on a board, waiting to lose. Tsukiko tells her that it is a fine line between partner and opponent, and it can... (full context)
Rivalry and Competition Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Family, Community, and Belonging Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
Freedom and Agency Theme Icon
Celia wonders if the circus could continue after the challenge has ended, and Tsukiko notes that it would be a good tribute to Herr Thiessen, but it would be... (full context)
Rivalry and Competition Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
Freedom and Agency Theme Icon
Tsukiko tells Celia that there is much work to do if she wants the circus to... (full context)
Family, Community, and Belonging Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
Freedom and Agency Theme Icon
...he is there. He asks her name, and she tells him he may call her Tsukiko. He looks past her and tells her that he thought the bonfire never went out,... (full context)
Family, Community, and Belonging Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
Freedom and Agency Theme Icon
Bailey asks what happened, and Tsukiko tells him it is a long and complicated story that she is not planning on... (full context)
Family, Community, and Belonging Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
Freedom and Agency Theme Icon
Tsukiko tells Bailey she is only the messenger, and she must bring him to meet with... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Time and Mortality Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
Freedom and Agency Theme Icon
...for inclement weather, though the rain is hardly more than a heavy mist. Marco sees Tsukiko standing near the ticket booth, and she comes to greet him. He asks how Isobel... (full context)
Rivalry and Competition Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Time and Mortality Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
Freedom and Agency Theme Icon
Marco asks where everyone is, and Tsukiko tells him they are at an inclement-weather party. He asks why he is there, and... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Time and Mortality Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
Freedom and Agency Theme Icon
Tsukiko tells Marco that their teachers do not understand how it feels to be so intimately... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Time and Mortality Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
Freedom and Agency Theme Icon
Marco tells her he is sorry, and Tsukiko informs him that Celia was planning to do something similar for him to let him... (full context)
Rivalry and Competition Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Time and Mortality Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
Freedom and Agency Theme Icon
At that moment, Celia arrives and asks Tsukiko what she is doing. She tells Celia to return to the party, because she will... (full context)
Rivalry and Competition Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Time and Mortality Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
Freedom and Agency Theme Icon
Tsukiko gave Celia a year to find a way for the circus to continue without her,... (full context)
Rivalry and Competition Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Time and Mortality Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
Freedom and Agency Theme Icon
Marco tells Tsukiko to go ahead with her plan, and she bows to him and flicks her lit... (full context)
Family, Community, and Belonging Theme Icon
Time and Mortality Theme Icon
Freedom and Agency Theme Icon
...what happened, and Marco tells him it is a long story, which is exactly what Tsukiko had told him. (full context)
Family, Community, and Belonging Theme Icon
Time and Mortality Theme Icon
Freedom and Agency Theme Icon
Marco then explains that Tsukiko tried to imprison him in the bonfire, and there was a change of plans that... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Family, Community, and Belonging Theme Icon
Time and Mortality Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
Freedom and Agency Theme Icon
...watch on a silver chain. He crosses back through the circus, and when he passes Tsukiko, he tells her that he needs to use her lighter. She agrees, though she also... (full context)