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This article is about The Sacred Tree. You may be looking for The Tree of Ages from Affections Touching Across Time.

I suppose this is one path as well. Perhaps this is all for the best: To remain unchanged.

Spirit of the Tree of Ages[src]

The Goshinboku (ごしんぼく, "Sacred Tree"), also known as the Jidai-ju[1] (だいじゅ, "Tree of Ages" or "Era Tree"), was where Kikyō first sealed Inuyasha in the Feudal Era with her arrow at the brink of her demise. It also played an important role with another ancient tree of the same name when Inuyasha had to defeat the son of the late Hyōga clan in the first movie.

It is ultimately known to be a sentient being with a mind and will all its own, having revealed its very essence in the spinoff.

Zero had referred to it as "an impossible entity surpassing time" of the contents the second and final prophecy that the Shikon Jewel had foretold about Kirinmaru's inevitable downfall at one or all of the hands of the late Tōga's three granddaughters or another half-demon, half-human that is yet to be revealed.

History

The recently born hanyō Naraku utilized his shapeshifting abilities to pit Inuyasha and Kikyō against each other in order to fill the Shikon Jewel with evil from their hatred. His actions mortally wounded Kikyō. Immediately after Inuyasha stole the jewel, Kikyō sealed him to the Sacred Tree by shooting her arrow at his heart while passing through the tree. Since then, Inuyasha has remained bound to the tree without ever aging. The villagers always guard the area where he slept and even called the area "Inuyasha's Forest".[2]

Modern Era

The Sacred Tree continued to remain for 500 years and was located at Higurashi shrine. It contained a massive groove in it from Inuyasha's seal. Kikyō's reincarnation, Kagome Higurashi, accidentally traveled to the Feudal Era through the Bone-Eater's Well and arrived 50 years after Inuyasha was first sealed. She freed him from the Tree after Mistress Centipede attacked the nearby village in order to possess the Shikon Jewel.[3]

Affections Touching Across Time

Kikyō: "Heed my words...Hyōga is using the formidable Tree of Ages in order to increase his demonic powers."
Kagome: "Tree of Ages?"
Kikyō: "That's correct. This is also a Tree of Ages."
Kagome: "The Sacred Tree is?"
Kikyō: "The Tree of Ages lives through different eras. Hyōga's Tree of Ages, it steals energy various generations and rituals. By now, other generations of time have already frozen over. Your era has likely been plunged into a never-ending winter."
Kagome: "Roots are forming. The wood of this well is ancient."
Kikyō: "This wall was constructed out of wood from the Tree of Ages. It's vital life force lay dormant all these years, and now is being awakened by the Tree of Ages."
―Kikyō described to Kagome as two different types of Tree of Ages.[src]

When Menōmaru uses the Tree of Ages to steal the souls of all living beings in the region, the Sacred Tree is affected as well. As Kikyō said "other generations of time have already frozen over", and tells Kagome that her era likely been plunged into a never-ending winter, as it just like what happened back in the modern era, Grandpa Higurashi saw the clouds and felt cold and shocked to the flowers on the tree in which it started to snow. It seals up the Bone-Eater's Well with its roots and trapped Kagome in her own time after Kikyō forced her back down the well. Kagome was able to communicate with Inuyasha (who was still in the feudal era) by using the power of the Sacred Tree to transcend through time. Using an arrow head was lodged in in the tree from Inuyasha's initial seal, Kagome was able to destroy the roots that blocked up the well, and was able to travel through it once again. The tree returned to normal after Menōmaru has been defeated, even his and his father's Tree of Ages was destroyed.

Hanyō no Yashahime

After the yōkai Root Head was defeated by Inuyasha, it had managed to attach its last remaining root onto the Tree of Ages and would later send Sesshōmaru's daughter Towa into the modern era.

After Kirinmaru's older sister Zero put the silver scale on Rin's neck for refusing to tell her daughters' location, Jaken suggested sealing her inside the Sacred Tree of Ages to make her not age anymore thus stop the curse. But four years later, Zero found the twins and ordered the evil mountain god Homura to burn the forest, causing Towa and Setsuna to be separated as Towa got close to the tree which caused the root head to transport her into the modern era as it wanted to obtain the Rainbow Pearl she had in her eye, and Jaken noticed the scale on Rin was starting to keep spreading. The Spirit of the Tree of Ages told Jaken that Towa has traveled to the "other era" and gives him the Dream Butterfly chrysalis to attach it to Setsuna's neck to grow the Dream Butterfly which would take her sleepiness and dreams to be given to Rin who would continue to sleep and dream and hold the curse.[4][5]

A decade later, Setsuna, Moroha, and Mistress Three-Eyes were also transported to the modern era through the tree due to the root head wanting to obtain the Rainbow Pearls that were in their possessions.

The vital essence of the Sacred Tree of Ages, which has taken on the form and voice of the late priestess Kikyō.

When Towa decided to go back to the Feudal Era with Setsuna and Moroha, they have to stand in front of the Sacred Tree as Moroha tells Root Head is to get back to the Warring Age with the Gold, Silver, and Red Rainbow Pearls, as the paper from tree blew as Root Head said "Fine! We have a deal!" the rainbow beam has came in two eras as Kaede, Hisui, and Kirara saw it which means that the portal in the modern era will open, they were confronted by the Spirit of the Sacred Tree (who had taken the form of Kikyō due to her essence having been imbued with it after she used her Sacred Arrow to imprison Inuyasha). It asked the three of them to kill a powerful qilin daiyōkai named Kirinmaru, as well as Sesshōmaru, by claiming that each of their existences being a threat to the world. Towa and Setsuna, however, refused the tree's request, and they, as well as Moroha, were subsequently sent to face Root-Head as a result of their refusal. Towa and the others managed to kill Ne no Kubi, thus ridding the tree of it for good. Soon afterwards, the spirit of the tree was watching over Rin (who was placed in suspended animation) with the Dream Butterfly flying overhead, and was suddenly approached by Sesshōmaru. It warned him that Rin would never awaken if he decided to forsake her, to which Sesshōmaru said nothing and left.

Many months later, Moroha tries to get her to emerge before her and her twin cousins, as they have just encountered and fought Kirinmaru per her request, but remains silent. One winter on the night of the new moon, Towa had a same dream of Setsuna, the Sacred Tree, and her mother. She woke up and couldn't sleep, when suddenly, she sensed the Dream Butterfly and follow it that led to the Forest of the Tree of Ages, and it entered inside the Tree which she was too late. A few weeks later, Sesshōmaru and his vassal Jaken can pass through the tree to the other reality inside the tree as Rin awakens from her enchanted sleep, most likely due to the demise of Zero by Setsuna, Rin was choking that she cast a by spell by Zero, because of this, they are connected, and resurrected her by Sesshōmaru's Tenseiga and reverted to her enchanted sleep. After that, Rin had shed a tear, aware of what was about to transpire to her youngest daughter at the ruins of the deceased Lady Izayoi's mansion.

Many weeks later, the Sacred Tree of Ages had detected the presence of Setsuna within its depths, and informed the teenage half-demon girl of her human mother's condition and what Zero had to do with it. It assured Setsuna that the only way for Rin to be saved from Zero's fateful curse was for Setsuna to effectively utilize her supremely powerful Yukari no Tachikiri to its fullest potential, which would then finally cut the intangible bonds linking Rin and Zero's very destinies together.

During a new moon, the silver-scale curse had spread rapidly on Rin's body, Jaken fearing that Setsuna might not make it in time.[6] The following morning, since the thread of fate between Zero and Tōga have been cut by Setsuna, she finally released the young woman from her regrets and their thread of fate undone as well, finally allowing Rin to be released from its care and reunite with her husband.

It then appears to lend its assistance in helping an unconscious Towa and a still gravely weakened Sesshōmaru along with Akuru. She later informs the Half-Demon Princesses, who have been chosen by Akuru himself, that they must annihilate "the foreign body" if they are to save both the past and future from the Degenerate Age. As the Half-Demon Princesses go through the Windmill of Time, Akuru's pinwheel appeared spinning on its trunk to open the portal to lead them back to the modern era. A portal opened in its truck, on which the pinwheel was, and allowed the Half-Demon Princesses through. However, due to the appearance of the Grim Comet in the feudal era, it closed itself off to the Half-Demon Princesses, trapping them in the modern era.

Powers & Abilities

The Sacred Tree brings a special connection between memories and places of the past and present. And serves somewhat a telepathic connection between the sengoku period and the present when Kagome and Inuyasha converse with each other. Its wood was also used to make the Bone-Eater's Well (seeing that if one Tree of Ages fails in survival, the Bone-Eater's Well is sealed and thus the present would be plunged in an everlasting winter). Another connection was the Windmill of Time as the pinwheel appeared on its trunk, spinning to open the portal.

Those who are sealed to or within the tree have their time stopped and are plunged into a slumber. Inuyasha remained in stasis for 50 years (not due to his demon heritage), while Rin appears to be the same as she was at 18, shortly after having Towa and Setsuna.

Manga vs. Anime

In the manga, the Goshinboku is stated to be 500 years old in the modern era.

In the anime, it is stated to be 1,000 years old by then.[3] In Episode 48, it is revealed that Kagome and Sōta's father proposed to their mother in front of the Sacred Tree, which cleared their minds of any doubts they had earlier. It is seen to have two different locations from within its very core that are essential for a certain type of healing process; pale blue, which turned red due the silver-scale curse's gradual influence, and a forest of light green sky for Sesshōmaru's healing process.

Trivia

  • In Shintō religion, a "Shinboku" was a tree that acted as a symbol for land that was considered sacred/spiritual. It was also a place that was believed to contain the presence of a deity. It was common practice in ancient times to worship nature as sacred. A shrine could also be built around it, and in some cases, it would have been built using the tree's timber.[7][8]
  • In Episode 147, Kikyō and Kaede are seen practicing their archery on the tree, despite it being sacred and spiritual, just like their innate spiritual powers as priestesses.
  • The Tree appears to grow even stronger in response to a seal placed on it, as it's roots grew over Inuyasha and the arrow pinning him to its trunk; notably the large roots leftover from the seal withdrew into the ground after the seal was broken.

References

  1. Hanyō no Yashahime: Episode 3
  2. InuYasha anime; Episode 148
  3. 3.0 3.1 InuYasha anime; Episode 1
  4. Hanyō no Yashahime: Episode 27
  5. Hanyō no Yashahime: Episode 37
  6. Hanyō no Yashahime: Episode 35
  7. Shinboku, Shinju. Kokugakuin University. Retrieved on Jun 2, 2005.
  8. WP favicon.png 神木 on Wikipedia
Higurashi (日暮)
Characters GrandpaGrandmaMr. HigurashiMs. HigurashiSōta HigurashiKagome HigurashiBuyoInuyashaMoe HigurashiTowa HigurashiSetsunaMorohaMei Higurashi
Locations Higurashi shrine (Sacred TreeHouseStorehouseWellhouse) • Higurashi family's apartment
Items Mermaid scaleMummified kappa handSacred sutrasShikon Jewel keychainsSō'unga
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