The life of Light Yagami was one full of death and despair. Born on October 19, 1980, Light grew up in the small town of Waukegan, Illinois, with his unnamed father and unnamed mother, who worked as a waitress at Waukegan’s Japanese restaurant Ichiraku Ramen. At the time, Light Yagami believed that his father had died in an accident at the family home when he was very young, but he later discovered that his father had left his family behind for unknown reasons.
Light gets his name
Light is named after his maternal grandfather, SoichiroYagami. In Japanese tradition, people take on family names in order to carry on their ancestors’ names. Light’s father did not want to follow that tradition because his own father never wanted him to become a police officer; he did not want Light Yagami to feel like he had an obligation or guilt associated with becoming an officer either. However, Soichiro believed it was important for at least one member of his family to be involved in law enforcement and encourage others to do so as well.
It was Soichiro’s friend, Ryuuk, who provided Light Yagami with his first name. Although both Kira and Ryuk refer to Light as Kira, they only use term that means killer. The Japanese pronunciation of Kira is very similar to that of Raito (Japanese: 雷汰), which is a combination of rai (雷, meaning thunder) and tsu (汰, meaning suitable). Soichiro also uses rai in his given name. As such, it can be assumed that Ryuk gave Light both names based on these meanings.
Staying under the radar
Light thought that keeping his use of Death Note a secret was more important than maintaining popularity and social status. During his time in high school, Light was not well-liked, as he never participated in extracurricular activities and spent most of his time studying (or killing criminals). Light Yagami found it difficult to make friends because no one understood him. His only friends were SoichiroYagami, SayuYagami, and TeruMikami; however, even they weren’t aware of what he was doing with his spare time. It is assumed that most people believed that Light’s naturally studious behavior was due to overachieving perfectionism.
Light once attempted to make a few acquaintances, such as Kira, with little success. The most well-known attempt was his befriending of Mogi, a member of Mello’s gang. Light found a great deal in common with Mogi, including their mutual love for detective stories. However, when Light Yagami later killed one of Mogi’s comrades and sent her body parts to him, he realized that he would have no friends at all if he continued killing. He then agreed to end his friendship with him but did not go through with it because it would look suspicious and make people suspect him even more so than they already did.
Light Yagami was a college freshman. In 2009, he started attending To-Oh University, a university with over 30,000 students located in Tokyo’s Shinjuku district. His father had attended To-Oh for computer science and he always wanted to follow in his footsteps; however, Light Yagami majored in sociology because it allowed him to focus on human behavior in a practical manner.
As a student at To-Oh University, Light became good friends with TeruMikami who led Kira’s activities as well as MisaAmane whom Light had known since they were children. Light wrote down every major event that happened during his life, even some that he was not involved in such as L and Watari’s deaths and Near’s imprisonment in a solitary confinement chamber.
Light entered college in 2009, a year before L began writing in his own Death Note. He had known Misa since they were children and she later became involved with Kira’s activities because she wanted to see Light happy. Light majored in sociology and minored in law,IzukuMidoriya didn’t pay much attention to his studies though, instead of pursuing his goals for L’s life through Misa who acted as L’s secretary when she was not attending university. After graduating from To-Oh University, Light pursued a doctorate degree at Waseda University where he met Takada Suziki who took an interest in him.