InuYasha
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Forgive me. I'm so sorry!!

—Hachiemon[src]

Awa no Hachiemon (阿波あわはちもん, "Eighth Gate of Protection"), also known as Hachi (はち)[1] is a tanuki from Awa who aided Miroku on occasion.

History

Not much is known about his past but it seems that at some point, he became the assistant elder of the Mamidaira Clan, a position held his family since his grandfather's generations, and some time later he met the monk Miroku.

Meeting Inuyasha

Miroku discovered the large Shikon Jewel shard that Kagome Higurashi possessed while spying on her while she was bathing. Miroku summoned Hachiemon to create a diversion so he could steal her jewel shard. Hachi was hesitant to help at first, but Miroku hit him with his staff and promised that he would be compensated for his services. They followed Kagome and her friends the next day as they were walking by the side of a cliff. Hachi's role was to separate Inuyasha by creating a diversion. He asked Miroku why he would go to all this trouble when he could just use the power of his right hand, but responded by telling him not to be a fool and that all would die if he used it. Hachi asked Miroku to save him if anything bad happened. He transformed into a giant boulder and came straight down the cliff towards Inuyasha while Miroku went after Kagome. Inuyasha was able to hold off Hachi and caused him to transform back to his original form out off fear as soon as Inuyasha drew Tessaiga. Miroku saved Hachi by using the power of his right hand to create a distraction.

Soon after Miroku joined up with Inuyasha and the others, they are confronted by Inuyasha's older brother Sesshōmaru. The battle left Inuyasha Injured and Miroku weakened from sucking in venom of the saimyōshō with his Kazaana. Hachi flew the group back to Kaede's village in his giant balloon form.

Injured right hand

When Miroku's Kazaana got damaged after battling a giant mantis, he had Hachi take him in secret to the temple of Mushin in order to repair it. When Mushin became possessed by the Tsubo Tsukai and tried to kill him, Hachi helped Miroku escape the temple since he was weakened from Mushin's medication before. He ordered Hachi to escape by himself. He was reluctant to leave at first, but Miroku ordered him to leave and said that he would be able to hold off the approaching yōkai by himself. Hachi knew that Miroku would need help. He was soon attacked by a swarm of saimyōshō, and came crashing down to where Inuyasha and the rest were at. He flew them back to the temple to save Miroku. He stayed by Miroku's side until all of the yōkai at the temple were destroyed.

Naraku's castle

Hachi later flew Miroku and the others to where a castle was rumored to have disappeared. They discovered the remains of Sango's father and comrades that were slain at the castle by Kohaku.

Affections Touching Across Time

When Menōmaru began absorbing the souls of all living things in the area, Hachi took shelter in a cave with Miroku and Sango since Miroku put the Sacred sutras to put up a barrier from the yōkai moths. The two of them were planning to fight, but Hachi told them it was pointless. They decided to go despite Hachi's reservations. As he wished them good luck, they looked at him with sinister faces and forced Hachi to take them. A reluctant Hachi agreed, but the despair of going caused him to accidentally transform in to his giant balloon form inside the small cave. He took them to the Tree of Ages and wished them good luck before he fled. He transported the entire group back after they were successful in destroying Menōmaru.

Yōkai bats

When Inuyasha wanted to strengthen Tessaiga in order to break through Naraku's barrier, Hachi flew them to the area of the yōkai bat cave so Inuyasha could have Tessaiga soak in the blood of the bat yōkai that was capable of creating a strong barrier. He later transported them back after Tessaiga absorbed the power of the Blood Coral Crystal.

Panther tribe

When the Panther tribe was in the area, Hachi hid in Kaede's village. He constantly referred them as cats but warned Inuyasha's group that they were dangerous. He accompanied them when the tribe kidnapped Kagome to use her jewel shards to resurrect the Panther King.

Impersonating Miroku

During the search for Naraku, Hachi disguised himself as Miroku in order to receive food. His antics eventually got the real Miroku in trouble. His deception was eventually discovered after he encountered a weasel yōkai who was plaguing a village. He was about to be eaten, but was saved by the real Miroku. He was punished by Miroku and promised to never do it again (but the rest of the group agreed that he acted the same way Miroku would have). He then approached Hachi and asked him his secret of being popular with women (much to the ire of Sango).

The Castle Beyond the Looking Glass

When Naraku was believed to have been defeated, Inuyasha and the others went their separate ways. Miroku returned to Mushin's temple. He learned about how his grandfather sealed Kaguya within the Mirror of Life after reading his last will and testament. Miroku decided to visit his grandfather's grave and asked Hachi to take him there. Hachi initially refused since Miroku no longer had his Kazaana to threaten him with. Miroku was able to change his mind after giving Hachi a thorough beating. They arrived at the grave and came across an elderly man who told them about the story of Kaguya and how Miroku's grandfather sealed her. The two of them ventured to the shrine where the Mirror of Life was supposed to be. They reunited with Sango, Kirara, and Kohaku. They all made it to Kaguya's castle to confront her. Hachi was shot out of the sky by Kagura's dragon Orochi. Hachi did not take part in the fight against Kaguya since he was affected by her spell that froze time throughout the area. He reunited with everyone after Kaguya was destroyed.

Mushin's last request

When Hachi was at Mushin's temple, he saw that the monk had coughed up some blood. He believed that Mushin was dying and brought Miroku and the others to his temple to pay their final respects. Mushin told everyone that he would die soon and had everyone clean up the temple as a way to honor him. His final request was to drink the legendary sake. Miroku and the others traveled to Kasumidake to obtain it from the Sake Sennin. They were surrounded by a mist that caused anyone that inhaled it to get drunk. Hachi became intoxicated by the mist and transformed into Kagome. He started dancing and singing with an equally intoxicated Kagome and Shippō (who also transformed himself to look like Kagome). After they obtained the sake, they later learned that Mushin was not actually dying and the blood that Hachi saw was the result of having a fish bone stuck in his throat.

Realm of Fire

Hachi transported Inuyasha and the others to the Realm of Fire when they discovered that a gateway to the Border of the Afterlife existed there.

Hachi continued to live in Mushin's temple while Miroku and the others resumed their search for Naraku.[2]

Hanyō no Yashahime

Four years after Naraku was killed, he took Miroku to Mamidaira Island that the previous lord has passed away, and holding a funeral that night. During the funeral, the Shōgen Mamiana have took the place and the Full Moon Raccoon Dog gone corrupted. He took Kagome upwards as she have new technique for the Sealing Arrow: Tenkū no Yabusuma. After that, Hachi watch Kagome and Miroku work together to place a powerful seal on the Full Moon Raccoon Dog.

Three years later, when Inuyasha and Kagome were approached by Sesshōmaru and Kirinmaru, Hachiemon was entrusted by Kagome to take their daughter Moroha away from them in order to keep her safe, and he delivered her to the young wolf yōkai couple Kōga and his wife Ayame and their companion Yawaragi at the lair of the wolf demon tribe.

After the Full Moon Raccoon Dog is freed from the seal during the thunderstorm, as Shōgen tried to kill rightful heir, the young tanuki Takechiyo, by placing a curse on him. After Miroku removed the curse, Hachi realized that there's no left in the castle who can protect Takechiyo. Since Inuyasha and Kagome are gone, they have either to seal the Full Moon Raccoon Dog, as long as he remains on the island, Takechiyo won't live for long. So, Miroku sent Takechiyo to live with the corpse dealer Jyūbei at the behest of Hachiemon.

Ten years later, Hachi is present outside Shiori's village for half-demon children with Miroku, watching as Gaga Gozen approaches in anticipation of the full moon and the barrier going down. Believing the moth demon to be too powerful for Miroku to take on, he advises the monk to retreat and get more help; Miroku, however, insists on pressing the offensive. After Gaga Gozen's men are defeated by half-demon children, Miroku engages Gaga Gozen, but is defeated, to Hachi's dismay. After the end of the battle, Hachi is present as Miroku uses the fallen moth demon's naginata as a medium to seal Setsuna's demon blood.

Four years later, Hachi sees to Takechiyo to return with the falcon Takamaru who has been assigned to be his retainer. Hachi was so glad to see Moroha grown up, and was surprised that Inuyasha and Kagome are alive at the Border of the Afterlife.

After Shōgen Mamiana beats Moroha with the World Reversal, she makes a hang glider to infiltrate the island once more while Hachi tells the story of how her parents, Sango and Miroku initially defeated the rogue tanuki. After she retrieves her bow and arrows and get Kikunosuke away to create a diversion, Hachi and Takechiyo expose Shōgen Mamiana's embezzlement of the Mamidaira clan's taxes, rallying the tanuki to overthrow him. After Moroha destroy the tower of the Full Moon Raccoon Dog's core with the Sacred Arrow, he catches her and saved her. When they exit, they find a furious Shōgen, who wants revenge on Moroha. He and Kikunosuke watch on, terrified that she will be defeated again, until she and Takechiyo master the technique Miroku passed on, shouting "World Reversal Reversal" to defeat Shōgen once and for all. The two are relieved it's over.

Later, Hachi meet Miroku and Sango's older twin daughters Kin'u and Gyokuto as they ride so Miroku has finished 1000-day training since he sense that Kirinmaru is planning to do the Degenerate Age.

On Mamidaira Island, Hachi is with his lord and clan as the Grim Butterfly approaches, panicking at their imminent doom. They are saved when Kagome fires a spiritual arrow at the butterfly and it changes course, narrowly averting the island. Hachi and the other tanuki are ecstatic to see that Inuyasha and Kagome are alive. Hachi then assists in the battle against the Grim Butterfly at Takechiyo's behest, letting Sango ride him and helping contain it the barrier created by Kagome and Miroku.

Personality

Hachi complains whenever ordered to complete a difficult task, and would even get beaten on the head. Even though he is treated brutally, however, he makes every effort for Miroku. He is nobly sworn a bond between master and servant.

Interestingly, Hachi, while disguised as Miroku, has demonstrated himself to be quite the lady's man, wooing almost every woman he encounters with high success. While Miroku is initially upset over the deception, he actually asked Hachi for advice on how he did it, much to Sango's anger. He would then transform back into Miroku, switch places back and forth with his Master, and proceed to almost taunt Sango into chasing them, each declaring the other was Miroku, much to her fury.[3]

Physical description

Hachi is a brown-furred tanuki of short stature with a slightly bigger build. He has black eyes, a cream muzzle and stomach, a small back nose, and black ears. He also has black rings around her rounded tail, and black markings around her eyes. He wears a white happi coat with red lines, a purple haori with white and red circles, and cyan baggy pants.

Powers and Abilities

Hachi's basic abilities are low and he has no weapons or skills for battle. Since he is a tanuki, he has the ability to transform. If he puts a leaf on his head and transforms, he can assume the form of a giant yellow gourd. He can fly in this state. When he runs away, he can lay down a smoke screen to deceive enemies.

Trivia

  • Hachi means 'eight' in Japanese, though it is also a name.
    • The tanuki has eight special traits that bring good fortune, possibly created to coincide to the "Hachi" symbol (meaning eight) often found on the sake bottles the statues hold. The eight traits are: a hat to be ready to protect against trouble or bad weather; big eyes to perceive the environment and help make good decisions; a sake bottle that represents virtue; a big tail that provides steadiness and strength until success is achieved; oversized testicles that symbolize financial luck; a promissory note that represents trust or confidence; a big belly that symbolizes bold and calm decisiveness; and a friendly smile.
  • His seiyū, Toshihiko Nakajima, voiced several characters from Rumiko Takahashi's previous series Ranma ½. They include Farmer Brown, Wonton, and Yamato no Orochi. He also voiced a doctor from Takahashi's anthology series Rumic Theater.
  • Hachiemon has an uncanny resemblance to Mujina, only Hachiemon is a raccoon dog and Mujina is a badger. Both tanuki and mujina are shapeshifters in Japanese mythology. Interestingly, tanuki and mujina are sometimes interchangeable. In some regions of Japan, raccoon dogs are called mujina and badgers are called tanuki.
  • Hachiemon is the only one of Inuyasha's recurring allies that did not appear in InuYasha The Final Act.

Media appearances

Manga

Anime

References

  1. Zusetsutaizan Ōgikaiden, page 87
  2. InuYasha anime; Episode 167
  3. InuYasha anime; Episode 93
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