Cast List: Book 10
(in order of appearance) :
a.k.a. Koinu; Houjou-kun; in later life, Dr. Inuyasha Houjou. We see him as a small half-daemon child on the title page, and then as a modern human-type teenager and as a 16th-century hanyou child throughout the rest of the book. Born sometime around the turn of the 16th century, Inuyasha was a the halfbreed, or hanyou, child of the great dog-daemon Inutaisho and a woman of the Houjou clan, and the younger half-brother of the fully youkai (translated as "daemon") Sesshoumaru. The Inutaisho died during Inuyasha's infancy. Several years later, Inuyasha and his mother escaped from what was now the court of Sesshoumaru and made their way to his mother's family home in the domain of Musashi, which was controlled by the Houjou clan. Shortly thereafter, Inuyasha's Houjou grandfather died, as did his mother some months later. On the day following her death, Inuyasha was taken from her side by the court huntsman, who attempted to kill him. In the ensuing struggle, the huntsmannamed Higurashiwas seriously injured. Inuyasha escaped; the huntsman was mortally wounded by wolves as he made his way back to the Houjou household. Two years later, Inuyasha was found wandering, wild and naked, by Sesshoumaru, who had recently lost control of the Inutaisho's stronghold on the island of Kyushu. Inuyasha traveled with his brother and a contingent of youkai for several years, scavenging for food on battlefields.
Eventually Inuyasha struck out alone and learned of the existence of the Shikon no Tama, a jewel with the power to make a hanyou fully daemon. While seeking the jewel he fell in love with its guardian, Kikyou, who convinced him to become human rather than daemon. Before he could do so, however, the two were tricked by the evil hanyou Naraku into betraying one another. The mortally wounded Kikyou killed Inuyasha with a purifying arrow through the heart, leaving his magically sealed body pinned to a tree and carrying the jewel with her to her funeral pyre. Fifty years later a 20th-century schoolgirl named Kagome was transported to the past and stumbled upon Inuyasha's body, somehow reanimating him. She removed the sealing arrow so that he could save her from a monster chasing the Shikon no Tama, which had inexplicably reappeared inside a wound in Kagome's torso. The priestess Kaede, younger sister of Kikyou (but now grown to late middle age) forced Inuyasha to wear a string of prayer beads that allowed Kagome to control him with a single word (osuwari, the term used to tell a dog to "sit"). Kagome accidentally shattered the SNT into fragments that scattered throughout the archipelago, and she and Inuyasha joined forces to reassemble the jewel. In the process, the two fell in love, but Inuyasha also inadvertently re-vivified the dead Kikyou, dooming his relationship with Kagome. During the quest the two acquired a group of companions who were with them when Inuyasha finally found himself holding the SNT and facing Naraku, who had gained control of Inuyasha's magic sword, the Tetsusaiga (pronounced "Tessaiga"). Finding his options limited, Inuyasha refused to choose to be either daemon or human, instead commanding the jewel to take from him the life he had promised to Kikyou. Kikyou was returned to genuine life, but ran away, declaring the dying Inuyasha had cursed her. Inuyasha, now in human form, declared his love for Kagome and died in her arms, but not understanding he was dying, promised to come find her in her "realm" as soon as he was able.
On October 26, 1981approximately three weeks before the birth of KagomeInuyasha was reincarnated as the child of a high-level government economist named Yoshi Houjou and his wife, Haruka Inuyasha-Houjou, a social activist who was born on Kyushu in what was once the domain of the Inutaisho. A bicycle accident on his fourth birthday left Inuyasha aware of his previous existencealthough he did not comprehend that he had died, and believed that he had found his way to Kagome's realm but had inexplicably been transformed into the form of a four-year-old child. Wanting to keep his promise to find Kagome, but unable to do so, he spent the next dozen years trying to become the man he believed she wished him to be. The two became schoolmates in middle school, at which time Houjou-kun, known to his family and old friends as Koinu, attempted to date Kagome, but was somehow too confused about his own situation to identify himself as Inuyasha. Kagome, who was then still traveling to the 16th century and in love with the hanyou Inuyasha, repeatedly stood Koinu up or broke dates with him until almost a year after her experience of the death of Inuyasha, at which time Koinu suddenly understood he had died and been reborn, and ran to reveal himself to her. Her initial reaction was shock, disappointment andrepugnance is too strong a word, but it's close. Suddenly, however, she seemed to see something in him that touched her heart; they kissed, then spent a long teenaged evening hanging out with friends and having fun, eventually kissing goodnight.
[NEW] Koinu ran home to do homework, but he in fact spent the first eight of the past twelve sleepless hours being insanely, goofily happy at having finally connected with Kagome (and at last dipped his toe into the great ocean of sex). A morning encounter with his parents sobered him a bit, but not as much as the sight of the terribly thin, terribly fragile Kagome, whose life was shattered by the circumstances of the quest and Inuyasha's death. In the last issue, Kagome fainted in school. After guarding her in the nurse's office, Inuyasha effected their escape by calling his nanny, Auntie Barbra, to take them to his own home in the car, and frightening the principal just by lookingdaemonic, which none of us thought Houjou-kun was capable of, but Houjou-kun's doing a bunch of things we didn't think he was capable of. For that matter, Inuyasha's doing a bunch of things we didn't think he could do, either. Like...apologize. And use a cell phone. In the Japanese room of the Houjou residence, chaperoned by the numerous ladies who make up his mother's Women's International Peace Committee, Koinu is feeding Kagome tea and instant ramen as he steels himself to confess a terrible secret.
The Houjou Hime, Inuyasha's mother
The mother of Inuyasha WSTSNT was a noblewoman of the Houjou clan, a niece of the daimyo of the Musashi domain. As a girl on the brink of puberty, she was given to the dog-daemon Inutaishofor whatever purposes suited himin the interest of cementing an alliance between the Inutaisho and her father's cadet branch of the Houjou. In fact, it was an honorable arrangement on the part of the Inutaisho, and the girl lived safely in the household under his care until she came of age. At that time, she exhibited strong magical powers that were enhanced by her contact with the dog-daemon's youki (magical energy). For that reason, and most likely because of a genuine attraction and affection between the two, the Inutaishoa widower with a grown sontook her to wife. Within a short time, she bore him a son, the hanyou Inuyasha. To prevent having Inuyasha become a rival to the heir apparent, Sesshoumaruand therefore to protect the boy's own lifethe Inutaisho agreed that Inuyasha would remain in the Stronghold during early childhood, and then at the age of seven be sent to his Houjou grandfather to be raised in the human household in preparation for training as a samurai. With this is mind, the hime (loosely translated, princess; her given name is unknown, even to her son, who never heard it used) maintained a human household within the Stronghold, raising her child as a human. Unfortunately the Inutaisho died during Inuyasha's infancy, and the hime was left to raise and protect her child within what was now his half-brother's domain.
Although the hime's powers were weakened by the death of the Inutaisho, she was for several years able to draw sufficiently on her small son's youki and on the free-floating magical energy in the youkai court to discourage Sesshoumaru from attempting to challenge her position in the court. When Inuyasha was nearing the age at which he was to be taken to the Houjou household, Sesshoumaru captured a human spy within the Stronghold and learned that the humans in his domain had gained youkai support for a revolt against his authority. The husband of Inuyasha's youkai nursemaid brought the alarm to the hime's little household, and helped them escape from the Stronghold by contracting with English pirates to carry them to the coast of Honshu, from which the hime and her son walked to her father's home, where they received a cool welcome and lived virtually apart from the rest of the court. The hime's father died shortly after their arrival there. Within days of his death, the hime developed the first symptoms of the wasting disease that would kill her within a year. She was perhaps 22 years old at the time of her death.
Inuyasha's Youkai Nursemaid
A young woman (probably in her teens) of the Inutaisho's youkai court, she was married to a Stronghold guard. She gave birth to a child shortly before the birth of Inuyasha, but when her baby died shortly afterward she was enlisted as a wet nurse to the newborn hanyou. She developed real and mutual affection for her young charge and his mother, and continued to serve as Inuyasha's nursemaid after he had been weaned. When Inuyasha was about six years old, Sesshoumaru captured a human spy in the Stronghold, and the Nursemaid and her husband arranged their escape from the Stronghold to Honshu, where the youkai and the humans parted ways. Authors don't control everything in their stories and I don't know what happened to Nurse and her husband. Koinu hopes they escaped, and so do I. I rather think they did, actuallyand it's my story, dammit!having numerous adventures as they traveled to Honshu, lady and escort, shedding fine kimono on the way to finance their journey. I think they tried to get word to their former companions, but Inuyasha and his mother were at the court of the Houjou for only a short time. Perhaps they lived to hear rumors of the Shikon no Tama and the hanyou who sought it. It's unlikely, but possible, they lived long enough to hear the story of the Quest (remember that it took place about sixty years after they left Inuyasha and his mother on the coast of Honshu). Maybe their grandchildren heard the story, and loved it, and knew it by heart. Maybe some of their descendents heard somewhere the fabulous stories of the great historian Miroku, or stopped at the shrine and bought a keychaina green one, for good luck, or a yellow one, in loving memory of the beloved dead, or a nice blue one for fertility and easy birth. Maybe one of their descendents went to Members' Night at the Field Museum in Chicago in 2007 and was intrigued by a talk on feudal Japan given by Inu Houjou, the engaging young anthropology fellow from UofC, the one with the pretty wife. Maybe some of them fell on hard times, and there's a street kid stealing snacks from the Edo Museum Demonstration Dig, snoozing in the trailer at night, and occasionally wondering what that weird professor carries on his back...
The elder son of the great dog-daemon Inutaisho and a youkai mother, Sesshoumaru is fully youkai. Although he appears to be a young man in his early 20s, Sesshoumaru is more than 200 years older than his younger half-brother. Sesshoumaru's true form is that of a huge white dogapproximately 12 feet (4 meters) tall. Like his hanyou younger brother, Sesshoumaru has fangs and razor-sharp claws, but Sesshoumaru's claws are poisonous. Although Sesshoumaru has a deep and abiding respect for his late father, he strongly resents his father's alliance with Inuyasha's human mother and is angered and humiliated by the existence of his half-human younger brother. After his father's death during Inuyasha's infancy, Sesshoumaru attempted to maintain his father's stronghold on Kyushu against the incursions of both youkai and the increasingly efficient human households in the area. Shortly after Inuyasha and his mother removed from the stronghold for her family home on Honshu, Sesshoumaru was driven from the Inutaisho's castle and began a peripatetic exile accompanied by a small and varying company of youkai supporters, including always his personal retainer, the toad-daemon Jaken. During that exile he apparently sought out the child Inuyasha, who was orphaned and separated from his home. The two traveled together with others for several years before parting for unknown reasons.
As a 20-century Japanese middle-school girl, Kagome was accidentally carried to the Warring States era of Japanese history when, on her fifteenth birthday, a monster pulled her down a magic well. On the Other Side she encountered and revived the half-daemon Inuyasha, becoming his partner in the quest to recover the Shikon no Tama. One year after their meeting, he died in her arms, declaring his love and promising to find her in her "realm"actually modern Tokyo. She had mourned Inuyashaisolating and perhaps starving herselffor almost a year when she learned he had been reincarnated as her schoolmate Houjou-kun. After a rocky start, the two had a happy evening together, which takes us to the next morning of the rest of their life as a couple.
Foreigners, smugglers, and pirates
In her book The Legend of Sesshoumaru and the Loss of the Inutaisho Domain (in press as of February 2009), Dr. Noriko Inuyasha of Hawaii State University offers the fascinating, if controversial, suggestion that the harbor of the Inutaisho Stronghold off Kyushu had been visited by European sailors as early as 1503much, much earlier than the 1543 shipwreck of a Portuguese ship in the same Kyushu archipelago that is considered to be the first contact between Japan and the west. Dr. Inuyasha's nephew and frequent collaborator, archeological anthropologist Dr. Inuyasha Houjou of Edo University, has suggested that Sesshoumaru opened the port as a haven for pirates and smugglers from throughout the globe, in return for a percentage of their ill-gotten gains. Asked in an informal conversation about his source for this intriguing proposition, Dr. Houjou shrugged and said, "I dunno. It just seems like the sort of thing he would do."
A guard in the Stronghold of the Inutaisho, and after the Inutaisho's death, of Sesshoumaru, the husband of Inuyasha's nurse arranged for English pirates to carry his wife, himself, Inuyasha, and Inuyasha's mother from the Stronghold to the coast of Honshu. There, by agreement, he and his wife took possession of the hime's many layers of kimono, which they sold one by one to finance their own escape from Sesshoumaru's wrath.
Inuyasha's Grandfather Houjou
A younger brother of the daimyo of Musashi's domain, Inuyasha gave his daughter to the Inutaisho in return for a trade and mutual aid agreement with the great dog-daemon. At the time of his daughter's eventual return to his household, the elder Houjou was dying of a wasting disease. He passed away a short time later, leaving control of his household to his son, who objected to the mating of his sister with a youkai and considered her offspring to be an abomination.
Two young concubines
Two prepubescent girls attending Inuyasha's grandfather, who is perhaps too weak to take full advantage of their abilities.
A lady in waiting in the Houjou household; may be a housekeeper of some sort, possibly the Mrs. Danvers sort.
A lady in waiting in the Houjou household, assigned as a lady in waiting to Inuyasha's mother.
A woman of the Houjou household, perhaps of lower caste (she is dressed as a peasant, rather than as a lady), assigned to care for the young Inuyasha. She spends most of her time combing his hair, which gives her an excuse to listen to court gossip.
Appointed guardian of the Shikon no Tama at a very young age, she fell in love with the hanyou Inuyasha, from whom she was protecting the jewel. Intensely lonely and weary of her charge, she believed the jewel would be purified out of existence should Inuyasha use it to become human, rather than daemon. She promised that should he destroy the jewel in this way, she would become his wife and they would live out the rest of their human lives together. He consented, but on the appointed morning, Kikyou was attacked and mortally wounded by the shapeshifting hanyou Naraku in Inuyasha's form. Naraku then took Kikyou's form to shot her purifying arrows at Inuyasha. The angry Inuyasha attacked Kikyou's village and stole the Shikon no Tama. With the last of her strength, Kikyou shot him through the heart with a purifying arrow, pinning him to a tree. Kikyou then collapsed and died, first instructing her sister Kaede to burn the Shikon no Tama with her body on her funeral pyre. Her remains were buried in a small shrine near the village. Fifty years passed. Inuyasha was somehow re-animated by the arrival of the girl Kagome from The Realm of the Time That Is To Come, who carried in her body the Shikon no Tama. Kagome removed the arrow and freed Inuyasha from Kikyou's enchantment. Shortly afterward, Kagome inadvertently shattered the arrow, and the two joined together on the quest to recover the Shikon shard. A mysterious spiritual bond developed between the two.
Shortly afterward, Kikyou's remains and grave soil were stolen from her grave by the witch Urasue, who used them to reconstruct a false body in Kikyou's form. Urasue intended to re-vivify Kikyou and make use of her power. However, Kikyou's soul was tied to that of Kagome, who may have been her reincarnation. Urasue kidnapped Kagome and attempted to steal the soul. Inuyasha arrived in time to save Kagome but, shocked to see his former love, he called out her name, rather than Kagome's, allowing the soul to leave Kagome's body and enter that of the false Kikyou. When the reanimated Kikyou attempted to kill Inuyasha, Kagome revived to protect him, pulling back all of the soul except that required to maintain the hatred Kikyou felt for the man she thought had betrayed her. The false Kikyou ran from Kagome, falling from a cliff. When Inuyasha attempted to save her, she pulled him after her. He was able to save himself, but believed Kikyou was again dead. Kikyou survived the fall and began to maintain herself by absorbing the souls of dead virgins. She was determined to win Inuyasha back from Kagome and carry him with her into hell. During the next year, they met on several occasions, and he promised to protect her from their nemesis, and to give his life to her. On those occasions, Inuyasha was silently aware of her scent of bones and gravesoil, and appalled at her use of human souls to maintain her own "life", but never mentioned her scent or his true feelings to her or to Kagome, who chose to stay with him for the remainder of the quest, protect his life, and nurture their own bond despite his bond to Kikyou.
At the end of the quest, as Inuyasha was attacking Naraku with Tetsusaiga, the sword's kenatsu accidentally hit Kikyou, critically injuring her and driving away the dead soul youkai that maintained her sham body. Inuyasha dropped Tetsusaiga, and the sword and Kikyou were taken by Naraku, who threw the Shikon no Tama to Inuyasha, correctly guessing that Inuyasha would try to purify the jewel himself rather than passing it along to Kagome or using its power against his enemy. Because he had resurrected Kikyou, Inuyasha could not become human without hurting one of the two women bound to him. In an attempt to purify the jewel, he asked it to remove what remained the human life he owed Kikyou and give it to her. The jewel disappeared in a blaze of light, changing Inuyasha to human form and mortally wounding him, but giving Kikyou true life. Seeing Inuyasha's lifeless body, she declared he had cursed her and ran away.
Chief huntsman in one of the great households of the domain of Musashi (now metropolitan Tokyo) in what is now Japan during the so-called Warring States era (Sengoku Jidai). All we see of him here is his arm (sticking a dagger into the child Inuyasha) and his eyeball.
Various Houjou mourners, courtiers, and hangers-on
Seen mourning by the body of the dead leader of the Houjou. Not seen here the next morning, talking about what a creep the old guy was and how much better the new guy is, but they were there.
Toad-daemon, assigned to Sesshoumaru as a personal retainer by the dog-daemon Inutaisho. For all of his faults, it should be noted that Jaken has been consistently faithful to his charge (unlike his counterpart, Myouga, who tends to abandon Inuyasha in times of danger), and even displays what seems to be sincere affection for his mercurial master.
A horse-like youkai, part of Sesshomaru's retinue in exile.
A youkai with birdlike features, part of Sesshoumaru's retinue.
wrong man in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Houjou-kun's formidable Kiwi (New Zealander) nanny (and, we can guess, frequent co-conspirator), the beloved of Auntie Terra (his less formidable English co-nanny), Auntie Barbra counts as one of the bevy of women who try to protect Houjou from the world, even though she is, as Koinu puts is, still technically a man. Auntie Barbra and her charge express their considerable love and respect for one another through cheerful mutual rudeness using the most obscene and outrageous language possible.
One of the women on the Women's International Peace Committee.