Inu yōkai (犬妖怪), or dog demons in the English dub, were humanoid shape-shifter demons with characteristics of dogs. All known dog demons are incredibly powerful. Although they spend most of their time in human-like forms, they have the ability to revert to their true forms, those of giant dogs.
Dog yōkai are one of the most powerful species of yōkai seen in the series. They possess a wide array of powers and abilities and all pure blooded dog yōkai shown are daiyōkai, the strongest type of demon there is. Inuyasha is a half-demon, but even he possesses great strength beyond those of average yōkai. A dog yōkai's most prominent skill is their ability to take on human forms which allows for easier interaction with humans and smaller demons. They have incredibly long lifespans and are immune to all forms of diseases and strong purification powers which may be fatal to regular demons. They can master a variety of magical and mystical abilities, such as creating acid, generating lightning, flight, teleportation, psychic powers and strong yōki. Like regular dogs, they have heightened senses, most notably scent. They also have superhuman strength, speed, durability and reflexes, making them excellent fighters. Powerful swords can be forged from their fangs which possess incredible power beyond those of any ordinary blade; Sesshōmaru has also shown that he has the ability to create a powerful sword from his own body.
According to Setsuna, their species are able to sniff out demonic energies from great distances.
List of Dog Yōkai
Humans associated with the clan
- It is highly likely that dog demons in the InuYasha series are actually based on the tiāngǒu (天狗, "heavenly dog"), a black dog that lived in the sky and was an enemy of Zhang Xian, a Chinese male deity of child birth. Zhang Xian protected male infants from the tiāngǒu by shooting arrows into the sky. Depictions of Xian and the tiāngǒu strongly resemble an artistic flashback that occurred while Myōga told Kagome about Tōga, depicting the Dog General flying into the sky and archers firing arrows at him from below. Similar to the tiāngǒu, pure-blooded dog demons are able to transform into colossal dogs and fly through the air. Sesshōmaru's mother even lives in a mansion in the sky, enhancing the parallels. In Japan, the kanji for tiāngǒu are read as tengu, and the creature is depicted as a winged priest-like demon with a long nose, rather than a dog. Despite retaining the kanji for "dog" (狗) in their name (although it also translates as "sentinel"), tengu do not have any similarities with dogs, demonstrating bird-like characteristics instead. Therefore, dog demons in the series seem to rest on Chinese, rather than Japanese, myth.
- However, in the Nihon Shoki, an early and semi-mythological history of Japan written in 720, in reference to a comet, the reader is instructed to read the kanji for tengu (天狗) as amatsukitsune ("heavenly fox"), which would normally be written today as 天つ狐. It could be that at this early stage the Japanese conflated two different Chinese mythological creatures (the tiāngǒu and the húli jīng), both of which were imported concepts and possibly initially misinterpreted, before later developing their own unique interpretation of the tengu, distinct from consistently canine creatures in Japanese myth like the tenko (天狐) or bakegitsune (化け狐, "transforming fox"), which more closely resemble the tiāngǒu and húli jīng, respectively.
- The dog yōkai depicted in Inuyasha may also be based on the Inugami, a kind of dog-like yōkai with powerful supernatural abilities, which can be evoked by sorcery to assist the human who summoned and is also dangerous that it will also kill the evoker itself if it lose control reflecting Tōga and Sesshōmaru's relationships with humans, having selflessly helped humans yet merciless towards them when necessary.
- The demons that are descended from Sesshōmaru's mother bare a violet crescent moon marking on their foreheads. Half-demons only display the marking when their demonic blood is active.
- Towa is the only half-demon of the species whose blood doesn't have a seal.
- Inuyasha, Moroha and Towa are the only members of the species to not have a fur accessory on their persons.
- Setsuna is the only half-demon to have a fur accessory on her person, albeit hers not being attached to her body directly.
- Setsuna is the only half-demon of the species to not have silver hair.
|Daiyōkai||Tōga • Sesshōmaru • Sesshōmaru's mother|
|Hanyō||Inuyasha • Towa Higurashi • Setsuna • Moroha (quarter)|
|Allies||Bokusenō • Hōsenki I • Higurashi family • Jaken • Kaede • Kohaku • Kujaku • Myōga • Rōyakan • Saya • Sea God • Seiten • Tōtōsai • Mō-Mō • Miroku • Kirinmaru (formerly) • Zero (formerly) • Riku • Rion • Spirit of the Tree of Ages • Akuru • Nanasuke • Rokuta • Hisui|
|Enemies||Hyōga clan (Hyōga • Menōmaru) • Naraku • Panther tribe (Panther King) • Ryūkotsusei • Shishinki • Shitōshin • Takemaru • Shikyō • Kirinmaru (currently) • Zero (currently)|
|Locations||Kagome and Inuyasha's house • Sesshōmaru's mother's manor • Stone tomb • Tōga's tomb|
|Unique Items||Bakusaiga • Black Pearl • Meidō Stone • Robe of the Fire-Rat • Sō'unga • Tenseiga • Tessaiga • Hoshikiri no Fue • Rainbow Pearl • Kyūyōkon Root • Kikujūmonji • Kurikaramaru • Kanemitsu no Tomoe • Windmill of Time • Pinwheel • Yukari no Tachikiri • Zanseiken|