In Ghost of Tsushima, you’ll have to make a number of difficult decisions, though none are quite as harrowing as the one you’re presented with at the end of the game.

You’re asked to either kill Jin’s mentor, Uncle Shimura, or spare him at the expense of honor. Should you spare Shimura as he’s a father figure to Jin, or should you do the “honorable” thing and kill him?

To help you make the choice you’re most comfortable with, we’ll be breaking down what happens when you pick each option in Ghost of Tsushima.

Warning: This guide contains ending spoilers for Ghost of Tsushima. 

Kill or Spare Shimura in Ghost of Tsushima

The option to kill or spare Shimura comes at the end of Ghost of Tsushima.

At this point in the game, Jin is not only fighting a war against the Mongols but is also having to defend himself from his fellow samurai due to his controversial battle tactics at Castle Shimura.

In fact, it's this decision that causes Shimura to fight Jin as the shogun has declared him a traitor.

Throughout the game, Jin seemingly fights an internal war between the honorable path of the samurai as taught to him by Shimura, and having to rely on methods that stray from that path at times.

For example, assassinating enemies from behind rather than battling them face-to-face. Or using poison at Castle Shimura.

This conflict raging within Jin culminates with the two options he’s presented with after beating Shimura in a duel. 

Jin can either kill Shimura and give him an honorable death per his uncle's request, or spare Shimura and save himself from having to kill a beloved family member.

Picking between the two may seem simple enough, but both have complex, nuanced layers to them. 

The outcome isn’t dramatically different between the two options and is primarily there for you, the player.

That said, the more info you have, the more comfortable you’ll feel making a decision. 

What Happens When You Kill Shimura in Ghost of Tsushima?

As difficult as this option is, you get the sense that this is what Shimura wants. Shimura is an old-school samurai, honor and tradition are very important to him.

Shimura asks Jin to kill him so it’s not like Jin is stabbing his uncle without reason. Shimura won’t be angry at Jin for making this decision.

It’s understandably difficult, but in a way it kind of feels like Shimura’s final lesson to Jin when it comes to being a samurai and the meaning of honor.

Even though Jin disagrees with his uncle who he sees as being consumed by honor, Jin still carries a spark of honor within himself. 

If you choose to kill Shimura, Jin will tell his uncle that he’ll forever be remembered as a father, wise leader, and warrior.

Shimura thanks Jin and tells him to look for him in the next life. After the two say their goodbyes, Jin stabs Shimura in the chest killing him. 

Jin then breaks into sobs, overcome with grief at the loss of his uncle before the game’s story comes to an end.

By picking this option, you’ll get a few specific things in the post-game portions of Ghost of Tsushima.

  • Jin will tell Yuna that Clan Sakai is no more, and that he’s been labeled as a traitor. 
  • Jin receives a residence in Dawn Refuge.
  • Jin receives a white Ghost Armor variant called Righteous Punishment.

What Happens When You Spare Shimura in Ghost of Tsushima?

If killing Shimura is simply too much for you to bear, you can opt for the section choice and spare his life.

Unlike his uncle who’s solely focused on upholding tradition and honor, Jin has grown a lot during his journey in Ghost of Tsushima.

He now knows the value in doing things in unconventional ways when it’s necessary to do so.

In this instance, it’s possible that Jin may find it necessary to spare his uncle and give him the opportunity to live out the rest of his life rather than die right then and there. 

If you choose to spare Shimura, Jin will tell his uncle that he’s without honor, and that he will not kill a family member.

Shimura warns Jin that he’ll be hunted for the rest of his days if he makes this decision, but this doesn’t sway Jin. He gives Shimura a deep bow, puts his mask on, and walks away.

Shimura looks either worried or heartbroken as Jin walks off, it’s hard to say exactly what he’s feeling as Jin commits to his decision.

It’s not like Jin can go back and change his mind, or talk things out with Shimura. Sparing Shimura feels like it’s along the lines of Jin’s personal honor.

As Jin tells Shimura, he won’t kill a family member. Shimura may disagree, but he can’t force Jin to kill him.

By picking this option, you’ll get a few specific things in the post-game portions of Ghost of Tsushima. 

  • Jin will tell Yuna about sparring Shimura. Yuna is concerned Shimura will come after them, but Jin doesn’t feel Shimura will bother though he does acknowledge that others may hunt him.
  • Jin receives a residence in Tradition’s End.
  • Jin receives a red Ghost Armor variant called Vow of Vengeance. 

Which Option Should You Choose?

Of the two options, it seems like killing Shimura is more along the lines of the “good” ending even though it's tragic and depressing.

You honor your uncle’s wishes, you get to say a formal goodbye to him and tell him how much he means to you, and Shimura welcomes Jin to find him in the afterlife. 

The items you receive for killing Shimura also have that air of “good choice” to them with the beautiful white Ghost Armor and residence in Dawn Refuge.

If you’d rather have the red Ghost Armor variant called Vow of Vengeance and a residence in Tradition’s End, you’ll need to spare Shimura. 

It sounds like if you do this, you won’t be able to reconnect with Shimura. In a way, you still "lose" Shimura even though he’s still alive.

Instead of parting ways from Shimura on his terms in a way he’s happy with, you part from Shimura on Jin’s terms which upsets Shimura. 

If you feel like Jin is someone who’d rather forge his own path rather than continue to follow the tradition imbued upon him by his uncle, sparing him can certainly feel like the right thing to do.

Ultimately the choice is up to you and what you feel comfortable with though.

The outcome of both options is pretty much the same in that Jin will continue to be hunted whether he’s hunted as a traitor or as a result of his decision to spare Shimura. 

You receive a residence and Ghost Armor variant with both options that differ visually, but are functionally and fundamentally the same.

If you prefer the red Ghost Armor, you’ll need to spare Shimura. If you’d rather have the white Ghost Armor, you’ll need to kill Shimura.

If you’d rather live in Dawn Refuge, you need to kill Shimura. If you’d rather live in Tradition’s End, you need to spare Shimura. 

We hope this helps give you clarity as to whether you should kill Shimura or spare him in Ghost of Tsushima. 

Related: How Many Acts Are In Ghost of Tsushima?

Now that you know whether you should kill Shimura or spare him in Ghost of Tsushima, we have a few other guides you may be interested in including: