Book Ten: Passage

Page 1

View of Inuyasha’s mother, and behind her Inuyasha as a small child in the arms of his youkai nursemaid. All three are smiling.

Page 2

Panel 1

Legend: October 1998: In a modern house in Tokyo, the boy called Houjou Koinu—the boy who was once known as Inuyasha Who Seeks the Shikon no Tamais telling his story to the girl who was once the Lady Kagome, protector of the Shikon jewel.

Close-up of Koinu.

Koinu: You know I was born in a youkai household—the Inutaisho’s Stronghold on Kyushu. But I was raised human, not youkai.

Panel 2

Close-up of Inuyasha’s mother, a young woman of the aristocracy dressed in the "12-layer" fashion of an upper-class woman of the feudal era. Behind her is the nursemaid, a young woman with youkai features—pointed ears, light hair and eyes, dressed somewhat more simply; on the nursemaid’s lap is a very small Inuyasha, perhaps two years old. On his shoulder is the tiny figure of Myouga.

Koinu (offscreen): We had our own little household within a household. My mother and me, and Myouga-jijii, of course. And I had a youkai nurse who was kindly disposed to humans.

Panel 3

View of Sesshoumaru, in his usual kimono but without battle armor; he is looking at Inuyasha’s mother, who holds a very young and apprehensive-looking Inuyasha.

Koinu (offscreen): My mother was . . . wary of Sesshoumaru, but not afraid, really. She was very young, Kagome, but very powerful. My Auntie Noriko—my real aunt, my mother’s sister—she’s a historian—she knows all about Sesshoumaru. You’d like her. She’s a lot of fun, except she smokes these little cigars I can’t stand . . .

Panel 4

View of Inuyasha’s mother. In her hands she holds a huge, glowing water lily.

Koinu (offscreen): Well, anyway. . . My Aunt Noriko says my mother was a very powerful sorceress, and Sesshoumaru was afraid of her. She was my father’s wife, Kagome, not a concubine. Myouga always said my father married her for herself, maybe for love and maybe for her power—but not just to forge an alliance with the Houjou, like some people said.

 

Page 3

Panel 1

A surprised Kagome speaks to Koinu.

Kagome: The Houjou?

Koinu: Yes, of course. My mother’s family. I must have told you that!

Kagome: You never told me anything. You mean . . . the same family?

Koinu: Well, yes. She was the sister of my great-great—well, a lot of greats—grandfather.

Panel 2

View of Kagome, leaning on her elbow, holding the cup of tea; the instant ramen container sits untouched in front of her.

Kagome: You know, if you’d told me that, I might have figured out who you were!

Panel 3

Close-up of Koinu.

Koinu: I guess . . . I thought you knew. I guess I didn’t talk much in those days. Eat.

Kagome (offscreen): I’m eating.

Panel 4

Close-up of Koinu.

Koinu: I wish you could have been there, in the stronghold on Kyushu.

Panel 5

View of Inuyasha’s mother, the nursemaid, and the young Inuyasha, all dressed for outdoors and looking suspiciously at something.

Koinu (offscreen): There was a harbor . . .Sesshoumaru had—dealings— with people from all over . . . China and India and Korea, but also other places.

Panel 6

View of two Europeans, one a monk wearing a large crucifix.

Koinu (offscreen): Some Europeans had even found their way there in their tall ships…most of them smugglers and pirates. They were afraid of us—they thought we were devils from their hell.

Panel 7

View of a Renaissance Englishman wearing doublet, hose, frilled collar, sword, and codpiece.

Koinu (offscreen): But some of them . . . the Englishmen, I think—they had big noses—they thought I was . . . funny.

Panel 8

Close-up of young Inuyasha—he’s perhaps six or seven—looking at something with friendly curiosity.

Koinu (offscreen): When I could get away from Nurse, I would listen to them talk in their strange way . . .

Page 4

Panel 1

View of Inuyasha’s mother, her head covered by a kimono, and behind her the nursemaid, dressed as a peasant, carrying a sleepy-looking young Inuyasha, whose kimono is also draped around him.

Koinu (offscreen): One night I woke up in Nurse’s arms. I was little, maybe six or seven…She and my mother were tiptoeing through the Stronghold. They carried a few small packs.

Panel 2

Wide view of the two women with Inuyasha in a darkened courtyard.

Koinu (offscreen): My mother wore only a few layers of kimono—fine ladies in that time wore so many layers of clothing they could hardly move. My mother—my mom—says is was to keep them unable to move, to keep them docile. Nurse was dressed like a peasant woman. I was just in my underclothes, with my outer clothing wrapped around me.

Panel 2

Inuyasha’s mother looks on at the smiling Nurse and her husband, a young youkai man with light hair cut in a mage. He holds Inuyasha, who is now fully awake.

Koinu (offscreen): Nurse’s husband was one of the guards. They’d had a baby but it died. That’s how she’d come to care for me. He let us out a little postern gate, then changed from his uniform into plain clothes, the clothing of a youkai boatman, but with sword and armor.

Panel 3

View of the group in a small boat heading toward a large ship.

Koinu (offscreen): He carried me then, and we went quickly through the dark to a river, where we got into a little boat and floated right out onto the sea. There was a ship—an English ship. Nurse’s husband poled right up to the side.

Panel 4

View of a smiling Inuyasha climbing a rope ladder.

Koinu (offscreen): There was a ladder, a rope ladder. My mother was afraid—I could smell her fear. I felt bad—she was very brave, and never frightened. I wasn’t afraid at all. It was an adventure. I was strong, of course, and a very good climber.

Page 5

Panel 1

The group, backs to us, stand before a group of men dressed in Renaissance English costume.

Koinu (offscreen): There were strange men waiting for us on board. They smelled bad—dirty and sour and smoky. That was the first time I smelled tobacco. . . . They were dressed so oddly . . . They had little ruffled collars like you see in pictures of Shakespeare, and . . . well, their pants were . . . strange. They had swords—not like ours, not katana—but I knew what they were. Nurse’s husband could talk to them a bit—the English words were so mysterious sounding to me . . .

Panel 2

Close-up profile of Koinu.

Koinu: Kagome! I remember this so well now . . . so many things . . . The ship smelled like it was burning—that was the tar. And—yeasty things, and salt. And rope . . . The men had scraggly whiskers. The captain had an earring—I thought that was so cool! And a big hat with a feather, which I thought looked terribly silly . . .

Panel 3

View of the party standing on deck. Inuyasha’s mother is in back, frowning. Inuyasha stands in front, between the two youkai, who have their hands on his shoulders. The Nurse and her husband are snarling, while Inuyasha has a very wide and friendly grin, except for the fangs.

Koinu (offscreen): Nurse and her husband stood before mother, with me between them. I think they didn’t want them to know she belonged to me—she was so obviously the lady there . . . They told me to smile for the men—had me uncover my head. . . As soon as we smiled, I could smell the men become afraid, and I understood we were showing them our fangs, so they would not think we were helpless. We didn’t trust them.

 

Page 6

Panel 1

The nurse kneels before Inuyasha, dressing him. The pirates look on in the background.

Koinu (offscreen): Nurse knelt down to dress me properly. They’d brought my outdoor clothes, not my nice inside clothing, which was all fine silk. Even though the men didn’t seem to know Japanese, she did not call me "milord" or "prince" or "Lord Inuyasha," as she usually did.

Nurse: Inuyasha! Be careful, but don’t be afraid! These are bad men, but they’ll take us where we want to go!

Inuyasha: Bad men? Why are we traveling with bad men?

 

Panel 2

The nurse continues to dress Inuyasha, who grins with childish excitement.

Nurse: Your brother executed a spy yesterday!

Inuyasha: A spy? In our house? There was a spy?

Nurse: Dreadful boy, don’t look happy! This is serious—we’re all in danger! And that man’s head is on a pole at the gate of the Stronghold tonight!

Panel 3

Inuyasha hold his arms out for the Nurse to pull on his jacket; he looks wide-eyed and serious.

Inuyasha: Sesshoumaru cut his head off?

Nurse: With his own claws, and dined on his liver as well.

Inuyasha: That’s . . . not what we had for supper, is it?

Nurse: Goodness, no! Silly child, don’t you know eel from human liver?

Inuyasha: I don’t think so. The spy was a human?

Panel 4

The Nurse fastens Inuyasha’s jacket. Inuyasha looks serious; his mouth is closed and his hands are hidden.

Nurse: Trying to disguise himself as youkai. Can you believe it? As if Sesshoumaru’s nose couldn’t pick out a human in our midst. Keep your hands out so they can see your claws, child. And show your fangs! There’s a rumor that the humans with their cannon will try to take the Stronghold. Your mother is in great danger, and you as well!

Panel 5

Close-up of the two, face to face.

Inuyasha: From the humans?

Nurse: From your brother. He will protect the Stronghold at all cost. You are humans. You and your mother will be prisoners—or dinner for your brother’s retinue! You need to run away to your mother’s people.

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