Cast List: Book 12
(in order of appearance) :
(From the appendiceal notes for The Sesshoumaru Legend: A historical analysis, by Noriko Inuyasha. Honolulu: Hawaii State University, 1994). The renowned Japanese historian Miroku was born near Kyoto in the mid 1540s, the natural son of a noblewoman and an itinerant Buddhist priest, and taken into the care of his father. In early childhood he was given to a Buddhist monastery to be raised. Shortly thereafter his father died as a result of a "curse" affecting the male line of his family. At one point Miroku describes this curse as an all-consuming void in the palm of his right hand, which could be used as an offensive weapon, but the context for that description is a series of fantastical adventure stories in which the author cast himself as a participant. More likely the "curse" was one of the more familiar X-linked genetic diseases, such as one of the milder presentations of hemophilia or Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Given Miroku's own claim to having been cured at approximately twenty years of age, it has been postulated that in fact he was not truly afflicted by his father's illness. (It should be noted that X-linked disorders are generally passed on through the maternal line.)
Although Miroku's writings claim that he spent his youth as a Buddhist monk, his adventure stories cheerfully describe him as a rake, confidence man, and thief, a description belied by the strong spiritual bent that underlies his stories and by the details of his later life. That he traveled in the war party of the ronin adventurer known as Inuyasha of the Shikon no Tama is most likely true, although his stories of traveling with Inuyasha are noteworthy in their omission of rival Houjou factions or of Inuyasha's claim to the territories of his kinsman Sesshoumaru. Miroku's insistence that Inuyasha was a young man during their travels bolsters the contention that the Inuyasha who died in a skirmish near the eastern coast of Honshu ca. 1565 could not have been the man associated with an uprising against the young Sesshoumaru a half century earlier.
What is known for certain about Miroku is that in the late 1560s he was well enough established as a scribe to have been offered employment in the household of the daimyo of what would soon be the Edo region, where he lived with his family and served three generations of the Houjou. Later in his very long life he again took up a monastic existence, founding a monastery that now boasts a noted hospital and research center. He died at approximately one hundred years of age, and is buried in a cemetery on the grounds of the monastery he founded, now within the city of Tokyo.
In January 1995 a catastrophic earthquake devastated the city of Kobe in South Central Japan. Among the buildings destroyed by the quake was one housing an outstanding private collection of scrolls, manuscripts, and artwork, accumulated over a period of more than fifty years, insured but never adequately catalogued by its owner, who survived the earthquake but passed away of unrelated causes some months afterward. In the summer of 2003 funds became available to catalogue and restore the remainder of the collection, much of which was intact. At that time the initial restoration team began its work, headed by noted art historian Sakamoto Yoichi of the Hollingswood Organization. Among the mostly-volunteer crew of students and artists who arrived in Kobe in July 2003 were Sakamoto's fourth wife, Valerie, and his son, Sakamoto Jiro, who had completed his bachelor's degree at Oxford and was pursuing a fellowship in anthropology at the British Museum. It was Sakamoto Jiro who first identified the scrolls that had been found in a lacquer chest buried in rubble. Three kanjithe Chinese characters imported into the Japanese written languagecaught his eye. He knew immediately how they should be pronounced, and knew a moment later what the scrolls were he was examining, and whom he should contact as soon as possible and advise to get his ass down to Kobe and join the restoration team.
The kanji were to be pronounced Inu-ya-sha. He had seen them hundreds of times, illegibly scrawled at the tops of notebook paper, on notebooks, on award lists, on blackboards (as a part of lists with headings like "Talking in Class!"). He knew as soon as he saw the name on the first scroll that it was a story of Inuyasha Who Seeks the Shikon no Tama, and that he had found the Miroku scrolls.
Until that moment there had been only two sources for the stories of Inuyasha-sama, seeker of the Jewel of Four Souls. One was a book of Japanese folk tales, published in England and in English in 1893, the work of a Mrs. Allison who had seen the tantalizingly elusive scrolls and had written the stories in a stunning and laughable faux-Renaissance English, trying to sound like Sir Thomas Malory's Arthurian stories.
The other was Koinu.
Koinu's real name was Houjou Inuyasha. His mother's sister was a historian of some reputation who specialized in feudal Japan, and had published several books about a 16th-century warlord called Sesshoumaru. Sesshoumaru had a brother named Inuyasha who had supposedly gone on a quest for a magic jewel, the Shikon no Tama. At some point, Koinu had become enamored of the stories of his namesake and had announced that he himself was secretly Inuyasha Who Seeks the Shikon no Tama. It was an ill-kept secret; Koinu was not by nature silent, reclusive, or secretive, and he cheerfully announced his claim to all he met until his overwrought parents began to threaten Consequences. After that, Inuyasha Who Seeks the Shikon no Tama went underground, and then disappeared, but the boys had spent happy hours spinning tales of Inuyasha-sama. Koinu had procured a copy of Mrs. Allison's book, but only a few of his stories were to be found there. Koinu was blessed, as his mother would point out, with a fantastic imagination, at least where Inuyasha-sama was concerned; he was otherwise a remarkably literal and straightforward boy who rarely lied and never did anything bad, although in Koinu's mind "against the rules" and "bad" were by no means synonymous.
It would be difficult to find a more interesting friend.
Sakamoto telephoned, rather than e-mailing. Koinu's voice was a pleasant, articulate, but otherwise unextraordinary baritone. "Koinu," said Sakamoto, "throw a few clothes in a duffel and get down here. We'll feed and house you. Make your folks give you some money."
"Sure," said Koinu. "They're only totally pissed at me and probably not going to speak to me again in my lifetime for becoming an archeologist. Which at least gives them something in common with my girlfriend," he added. "Sorry," he said, "I can't come. Think of me while you're digging in the rubble. Is there still any rubble?"
"I'm going to say two words," said Sakamoto. "Scroll" and "Inuyasha-sama."
There was silence on the other end of the telephone. Then Koinu said, "Shit. Shit. You found the Miroku scrolls. You bastard," he added, "you found them. I'm coming," he said. "Wait for me. Don't let anybody take them away."
That evening, after his mother had screamed at him and his father had reasoned with him and then given him money anyway, and his girlfriend had told him she wished she could still tell him to sit because he'd never be able to stand up again, Koinu found his way to a graveyard outside a Buddhist monastery. He crouched before a grave, lit the end of a stick of incense, held his breath, and quickly clapped his hands before covering his nose and mouth with a bandanna that helped only a little. "Miroku," he said. "Miroku, guess what. I think they found your scrolls. Miroku, I'm claiming them, as a scholar. I'll write about them, I promise. Thank you for writing them down. Thank you for not forgetting me after I died." He clapped his hands and stood, his long red hair blowing in the breeze. He was going to Kobe and leaving behind his beloved Kagome, who right now was probably stomping around furious at him. She couldn't come with him. At long last, she had to start living her life, instead of following after Inuyasha Who Seeks the Shikon no Tama. Koinu turned to where he could just make out a battered tombstone. If he wanted the Shikon no Tama, there it was, its molecules dissolved in the dust of Koinu's own body, the last earthly remains of the hero Inuyasha.
Koinu was no hero. He was simply one of the ones who remembered.
Pretty 16-year-old daemon exterminator whose younger brother, Kohaku, was possessed by Naraku and killed their father and comrades, while wounding Sango and himself. Wants revenge on Naraku. Close friend and confidant of Kagome, friend and companion of Inuyasha, enamored of Miroku. Accompanied by her pet two-tailed whatchamacallit, Kirara.
Two-tailed cat-like daemon that transforms from a tiny pet to a gigantic anima with fiery paws.
In this book, she starts out as the young girl in the sailor-suit school uniform. After that, we see her more than ten years later, as a slightly pregnant young wife. As a young girl, she was a companion of Inuyasha Who Seeks the Shikon no Tama, his partner in the quest to restore and purify the jewel.
Orphaned fox daemon and trickster who became one of Inuyasha and Kagome's companions, treating the two almost as parents.
Daemon swordsmith who forged the evil sword Toukijin from the fang of Goshinki, the creature who broke Inuyasha's sword Tetsusaiga.
Masahito, age 7
Takahito, not quite 3
Junpei, almost 11
Akira, about 9
Rei, about four
The Higurashi shrine cats. This is why college professors should never be allowed to name pets.
American of Irish origin, younger brother to Mona Hanlon and half-brother of Auley DeDannan. Researcher and transportation expert, if you want to call it that, for the Hibernating Bats agency, although he thinks of himself as a playwright.
Younger sister of Mona and Matt, and half-sister of Auley DeDannan. Researcher for the Hibernating Bats agency, waitress extraordinaire. Imagine Gracie Allen with a photographic memory and an overload of pheromones.
A shoe salesman, just for starters.
Aspects of the Goddess. Wrote a PC children's book.
Kagome's brother: computer geek, chemistry whiz, Shinto priest, and he still finds time to dye his hair.
Young (13) cousin of Souta and Kagome; works as a miko at the Higurashi shrine
A cousin of Houjou Inuyasha; works; grudgingly, at the shrine.
Shinto priest, although not the most effective one even among the current inhabitants of the Higurashi shrine. Grandfather to Kagome, Souta, and Kasumi.
Kagome and Souta's extraordinarily understanding mother.
A neighbor of the Higurashi family who works, if you want to call it that, as a miko for the shrine.
It's Mrs. Rosenbaum over at Beth Jacob, Mrs. Flaherty at Saint Patrick's, Mrs. Arneson at Immanuel Lutheran, Mrs. Hajj down at the mosqueevery religious organization has one. Member of the shrine committee for Higurashi Shrine, cheerful busybody. Don't try to have a bake sale without her.
American of Irish background, paranormal investigator for a family-run agency called Hibernating Bats, Auley has been hired by a man named Jaken to find Inuyasha of the Shikon no Tama and convince him to inform his brother, Sesshoumaru, that Sessh's evil sword Toukijin has been stolen from the "museum" where it is stored. Auley is still trying to get Houjou to admit to being Inuyashabut he seems to be getting sidetracked...
Graduate student in anthropology at Edo University, Houjou's teaching assistant. One more in the bevy of women protecting Houjou from the world.