Cast List: Prologue

 

Inuyasha Who Seeks the Shikon no Tama (long version)

(a.k.a. Inuyasha of the Shikon no Tama, Inuyasha of the Jewel of Four Souls, or locally, simply Lord Inuyasha) A local Japanese folk hero, reputed by legend to be the son of a human mother and a dog-daemon father; his name can be interpreted as meaning "dog daemon," although the name has been documented as a that of a large extended family currently living in Japan and settled primarily on several islands off the large southwestern island of Kyushu. Inuyasha is almost certainly a historical figure, possibly in reality a ronin (rogue samurai) who broke his association with the Houjou regency. His name has been attached to a number of stories in Japanese folklore, particularly to a quest cycle in which he is the pivotal figure and possibly leader among a band of companions, typical of such story cycles (i.e., a central "hero" figure, a female companion and love interest of the hero, a magic user—in this case, the same as the "lady love," a cleric, a trickster/thief, a mage/ "grandfather" figure, and a warrior—interestingly, a female in this case). Inuyasha is described in the legends as being "doglike," essentially human but with many attributes that are standard "daemonic" features throughout world mythology: fair (in this case, silver) hair, golden eyes, fangs, and claws. Inuyasha is said to have taken fully human form on the night of the new moon; it has been theorized by some that the fiction of a "transformation" was created to reconcile the folkloric "daemonic" description with eyewitness accounts of the actual historical figure. The Inuyasha stories incorporate elements common to quest legends found throughout the world, including many of the wandering hero motifs most famously described by Joseph Campbell and still to be found in such modern-day quest fantasies as, e.g., the Star Wars films. The Inuyasha stories are fascinating in their incorporation of standard sword-mythology elements, many of them reminiscent of those found in, e.g., the Arthurian cycles (i.e., the "Sword in the Stone" and "valuable scabbard" motifs). The Inuyasha quest cycle is a "dangerous/evil object" quest, in which the object to be contained is the Shikon no Tama, a jewel granting virtually unlimited power in the hands of a daemonic entity, such as Inuyasha himself was said to be. According to the legend, Inuyasha's intent in seeking the jewel is to obtain full daemonic powers. In an attempt to win the affection of the jewel's guardian, the priestess (Japanese miko) Kikyou, Inuyasha promises instead to use the jewel to become human; however, the two are tricked into betraying one another by the evil shape-shifter Naraku. Naraku mortally wounds Kikyou, who uses the last of her strength to kill Inuyasha with a magic arrow. Fifty years later, Inuyasha is revived by the Lady Kagome, a traveler from "The Realm of the Time That Is To Come," and his love for and betrayal of the Lady Kagome is an integral part of the quest cycle stories, in which the two gather companions to search for the jewel, which has been stolen and shattered. A grave in a cemetery associated with a Buddhist monastery in what is now Tokyo is traditionally said to be that of the historical Inuyasha. [Description abridged from Houjou I (2006): "The Inuyasha Cycle: Sword Culture and Mythological Themes in a Feudal Japanese Quest Legend," doctoral dissertation. Tokyo: Edo University. Used by permission of the author.]

Inuyasha Who Seeks the Shikon no Tama (short version)

(a.k.a. Inuyasha of the Shikon no Tama, Inuyasha of the Jewel of Four Souls, or locally, simply Lord Inuyasha). Dog-Boy. Half human, half daemon. Killed by Kikyou—arrow through the chest, stuck to a tree. Revived by Kagome, whom he came to love and to whom he was bound as protector and the one protected. 25 manga volumes, 50+ anime episodes, 1 movie, and still going. Read the series, or read the "origin" description in my Books 2 and 3.

Kikyou

Miko (priestess), guardian of the Shikon no Tama, a jewel of evil power. In love with Inuyasha. They were tricked by Naraku into betraying one another. Mortally wounded by Naraku, she killed Inuyasha by shooting him with a magic arrow that impaled his body to a tree. Reanimated by the ogress Urasue, infused with part of Kagome's soul when Inuyasha inadvertently spoke her name, she lay claim to Inuyasha's life and sought to have him join her in death.

Houjou-kun

Teenaged boy living in modern-day Tokyo; schoolmate of Kagome. Kagome's would-be suitor and self-appointed protector. Sensitive, caring, thoughtful, intelligent, kind, good-natured, polite, determined, and faithful, not to mention good-looking—if Kagome would just look at him! But the only guy she can see is Inuyasha . . .

Mr. Houjou

Houjou-kun's dad; distinguished-looking, white hair, glasses, suit 'n' tie.

Mrs. Houjou

Houjou-kun's mom; mom-looking, gray hair, glasses.

Kagome's friends

Coupla nameless middle- school girls. Not to be confused with the nameless high school girls who are Akane's friends in Ranma ½.

Higurashi, Kagome

Middle school girl who lives in an old Shinto shrine in Tokyo. Pulled down an old well by a centipede monster, she emerged from the well 500 years in the past and found Inuyasha pinned to the tree. What with one thing and another, she revived Inuyasha, shattered the Shikon no Tama, learned to shoot a bow and arrow, and joined with him in the quest to regain the fragments of the jewel. Loved and was loved by Inuyasha, bound to him as protector and protected, remained faithful even when he inadvertently helped revive his former love, Kikyou.

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