Ishibashi is an elderly man from Japan, along with Sato and Ito. Due to the magical seaweed they consumed, he is 96 years old. He may have arrived from the 20th century, somewhere during World War II, because his ship had military tanks on it. Ishibashi's full name is Ishibashi Junpei, as mentioned in Island of Shipwrecks and Island of Dragons. He can be very moving. He is introduced in Island of Shipwrecks, and then seen again in Island of Graves. He is frequently referred to as Ishibashi-san, a point to his Japanese heritage, as the suffix -san is used to denote friendship of respect.
Island of Shipwrecks Edit
The group first sees Ishibashi when they crash on the Island of Shipwrecks, but he hides before they can talk to him. The second time they see him is later on the beach, when he is attempting to pull a heavy box of tools into his shelter. Alex and Sky attempt to talk to Ishibashi, learning that the box of tools belongs to him. When the others approach Ishibashi, he mistakes Florence for a robot. When the group explains that Florence is alive thanks to magic, Ishibashi reveals that he knows about magic from his encounters with Mr. Today.
Ishibashi takes the group into the shelter he shares with Sato and Ito when the hurricane returns after the hour of calm. He then introduces the group to Sato and Ito. He tells them that he is the youngest, and 96 years old. Ito is 98, and Sato is 110. He tells them how he and his friends are scientists.
Ishibashi tells them how anyone who tries to leave is killed by the hurricane. He then tells them that a determined-looking girl had escaped the hurricane island after only staying for three days. In Island of Graves, we find out that this girl is Kaylee Jones. He tells the group that the hurricane returns every day.
While everyone is telling stories around a fire, Sky asks Ishibashi about the shipwrecks. When asked where the girl was trying to go, Ishibashi pretended to forget.
Ishibashi works with Henry often in the greenhouse, and soon he introduces him to a glowing seaweed with the power to bring health to even the dead. However, Ishibashi and the other scientists fear that the seaweed may make people immortal, and so they refrain from using it often. He gives some to Henry before they leave the island, making him promise that he will never use it without consent from the person being given the seaweed.
Before leaving the island, Alex uses the transport spell to bring the scientists’ boat onto land for them to explore. When Simber comes to save Alex and Sky, he frightens Ishibashi by flying overhead.
Island of Graves Edit
We see Ishibashi again in Island of Graves. When Aaron washes up dead on the shore of the Island of Shipwrecks, he, Sato, and Ito, mistake Aaron for Alex. In a hurry to save their friend, they use some of the glowing seaweed on Aaron. When Aaron finally wakes up, Ishibashi again mistakes him for Alex, and Aaron tells him that he is not who Ishibashi thinks he is.
Having heard about Aaron’s evil deeds from Alex, Ishibashi warns Sato and Ito and begins attempting to smack some respect into Aaron. Aaron throws many tantrums at first, causing his food and drink to be taken away by Ishibashi multiple times in order to teach him how to be respectful. Soon, Aaron learns some of the ways of how life is with the scientists by watching them. However, he is still very spiteful and often has outbursts.
When Aaron starts learning more about respect towards the three elderly men, they put him to work helping bring things in from the ship that Alex rescued for them. After a couple days, they decide to make Aaron the chef for a day. Aaron makes interesting meals, but he is learning. Eventually he becomes a very good chef, thanks to Ishibashi telling him to watch and to learn by looking through different lenses.
Aaron quickly becomes a much better person thanks to Ishibashi’s efforts, and starts to learn more about what life is like outside of Quill. Aaron soon starts to appreciate and like living on the Island of Shipwrecks, thinking less and less about life on Quill.
In an effort to teach Aaron about how he is unique, Ishibashi uses two different applecorns as a metaphor for Aaron and Alex. He teaches him that on the outside they may look the same, but on the inside they are different. They both have their own strengths and weaknesses. He teaches Aaron to “Be your own strong”, saying that everyone is unique and that Aaron needs to discover what makes him different from Alex, and to stop comparing himself to his brother. When Aaron asks why Ishibashi refers to Alex as Alex-san, but does not refer to Aaron as Aaron-san, Ishibashi explains that Aaron has not quite earned that respect.
At one point Aaron attempts to fix the broken tube left on the island by Mr. Today. However, fearing he is not yet fully ready to return to Quill, Ishibashi puts Aaron to work attempting to fix the telescope they brought in from the boat. When Aaron fixes the telescope, the three scientists are extremely happy, and finally tell him that he has earned the respect to be called Aaron-san. Aaron feels very good about helping them, and feels proud that he has earned the scientists’ respect.
When Alex and Sky come to the island to rescue Aaron, Alex uses magic to stop the hurricane on the island. The scientists rejoice and Ishibashi thanks him. He then tells Alex and Sky about how Aaron is living with them. When they see Aaron, they find that Ishibashi has changed him a lot. Aaron is reluctant to leave, saying how he likes living with the scientists. Ishibashi worries that going back to Quill may change Aaron, but he is confident that Aaron will be able to prove him wrong.
When Aaron expresses his worry about leaving to Ishibashi, he promises that even though the weather is gone, the scientists would not leave without telling Aaron. He then tells Aaron that he will miss him while he is in Artimé.
Ishibashi is short and thin, with olive skin. He is described as wearing ragged clothes, black cat-eye glasses, and a floppy sun hat. He is also said to have no teeth.
Ishibashi is a very kind old man, who is also very clever and smart. However, he can also be stubborn and strict, as seen with his actions towards Aaron at the beginning of Island of Graves.
Ishibashi is shown to have a very strong friendly relationship with Alex, referring to him as Alex-san as a sign of respect. He is grateful to Alex for bringing the scientists’ ship ashore, and considers him a good friend.
When on the island, Henry took a liking to the greenhouse. He and Ishibashi built a friendship bonding over plants and medicines.
At first, his relationship with Aaron is hateful and sour, but over time he comes to like Aaron more. When Alex returns to the island to find Aaron, Ishibashi now refers to Aaron as Aaron-san, and tells him that he will miss Aaron while he is in Artimé. Ishibashi hopes that while he goes to Artimé, he will retain what the scientists have taught him.