The people all revered me as a saint, so I was resolved to be one.
Saint Hakushin was a high-level Buddhist priest who used his power to save the humans who lived in the area around Mount Hakurei. He became so revered that the people erected a temple in his honor at the base of Mount Hakurei, which criminals and disillusioned people would travel to in order to save their souls. However years of famine and disease plagued the land and Hakushin eventually fell ill tending to the sick. The people were worried that no one would come to their aid once he passed away. He decided to sacrifice himself to save his people from the pestilence in the area by becoming a living Buddha known as a sokushinbutsu.
He did as much and was buried alive, but as he was waiting to die underground he began to have doubts, fearing death and the darkness as such his soul couldn't move on.
Falling into despair he began to think this was because he hated his followers who prayed for his death in order that they may be saved. With his soul lost in the darkness Naraku then manipulated the emotionally damaged Hakushin into serving him, reviving him so that he could erect a powerful barrier around Mount Hakurei. His body was placed in a temple on Hijiri island until Naraku had his yōkai minions take it. He then sat in his temple inside Mount Hakurei and focused on his barrier.
During the story
He was later confronted by Sango and Miroku in his temple on Mount Hakurei. He explained his past to them, and also why he was willingly aiding Naraku. Unable to reason with him, the duo attacked him in an attempt to lift the purifying barrier around the mountain. After a brief confrontation, Hakushin fled while being surrounded by saimyōshō when Miroku used the Kazaana to destroy his personal barrier.
Hakushin soon after happened upon Kikyō, who wanted to help him pass peacefully into the afterlife and dissolve the barrier around Mount Hakurei. After he let down his barrier so that Kikyō could touch and peer into his soul, she told him that she felt no anger or hatred coming from him, only sorrow. She also helped him to remember the real reason he had not found peace in death. It wasn't because he hated the people who prayed for him to die, it was actually because at the last moment, he realized he did not want to die, the resulting disappointment he had for himself was the actual source of his despair. Kikyō comforted him by saying that there is no shame in wanting more life, and that he had done more than enough good. He then allowed her to assist him in finally crossing over and finding peace.
Saint Hakushin was revered as a caring and virtuous man when he was alive. He did everything in his power to help those in need. In time, however, the pressure of acting as a saint starts to take its toll. He began to resent the fact that he lives for the sake of others and not himself. He resentment grows after realizing the people are praying for him to die so that they can live. He is plagued by fear and regret that leaves his soul trapped in darkness. It is his fear and resentment that lets him be manipulated by Naraku's words. He claims that he aids Naraku because he wants to. After his encounter with Kikyō, Hakushin realizes that all of the negative emotions he felt came from his fear of death. Due to this, he was able to be at peace and could ascend to the afterlife.
Powers & Abilities
- Immense Spiritual Power: Saint Hakushin is one of the strongest priest/priestess in existence. Shintarō and his fellow villagers who live near Hijiri island, close to Mount Hakurei, know of Hakushin's great power, as he said that when Hakushin was alive, he had immensely strong spiritual power that he used to save countless people. Such was his power that even Naraku enlists his help, as he is confident that Hakushin can protect him from his enemies.
- Immense Purification Barrier: Hakushin creates the largest and strongest barrier that surrounds Mount Hakurei. It prevents any yōkai from passing through it, regardless of strength or abilities. It hinders even Sesshōmaru, a very powerful Daiyōkai, and is able to cancel out the demonic powers of the yōkai sword, Tōkijin, and the protective properties of the Robe of the Fire-Rat; even the poison Miroku takes in from the saimyōshō is purified, saving him from certain death. The purification abilities are so great that it forces Inuyasha into his human form as a result of the suppression of his yōkai blood. The barrier also hinders other, non-yōkai entities, as well. As zombies and murderers, the members of the Shichinintai feel more or less ill just from being in its periphery (Bankotsu even coughs and makes retching noises when in the Saint's presence). As Kikyō is not completely human, it became increasingly difficult for her to move the closer she come to the mountain. It also makes her body weaker to the extent that it can't hold onto the souls she absorbed as well as normal, and several (if not all of them) erupts from her body when she suffers strong physical trauma. Her shinidamachū are incapable of entering the barrier altogether, putting her in extreme danger while she is inside of it. Humans can also be negatively affected by the barrier if they are impure in thought or deed. Indeed, Miroku is almost rendered completely immobile (and quite nauseous) when planning/attempting to grope Sango's rear end. Also before going to the mountain, Kikyō is requested to bring the last strand of hair from an aging and dying bandit, who believes that Mount Hakurei can bring salvation to even the most heinous of humans. This is probably due to the purity of Saint Hakushin's purification barrier as he is known for believing in salvation for all whether they are good or evil.
- Protective Barrier: Hakushin can also create a smaller personal barrier around himself if his body was moved in some way.
- Flight: While inside his personal barrier, Hakushin is able to fly, such as when he escapes from his mountain shrine following the fight he has with Miroku and Sango.
- Remote Barriers & Telekinesis: Hakushin erects a barrier over Hijiri island by channeling his power through his vajra. This barrier is considerably weaker, but it is still strong enough to put both Shippō and Kirara out of commission and prevent Inuyasha from using the Kaze no Kizu. After the barrier is dispelled by Miroku and Shintarō, Hakushin uses telekinesis to launch the vajra at the Tessaiga and force it to revert to its old, battered sword form.
- Healing: When his power is being channeled through his vajra, everyone in its vicinity is healed. All of Inuyasha's group, excluding Inuyasha, but including Shintarō, were severely wounded by Bankotsu's Ryūraisen. When light and "sparkles" are emanated from the vajra, their wounds fade and they all regained consciousness at the same time. Whether this effect is intended or not is unclear.
- Teleportation: Hakushin is able to teleport Bankotsu to his mountain shrine before he was felled by Inuyasha's group. He is also capable of teleporting himself.
- Dokko (Vajra): This is one of Saint Hakushin's "weapons", which he can control when he is on Mount Hakurei, but is still able to control it while it was on Hijiri island. With it, he can teleport anything, such as objects and people, which he shows when he uses it to teleport Bankotsu from Hijiri island back to his temple on Mount Hakurei. It can also purify demonic energy if it can hit it, similar to a sacred arrow, as seen when it purifies Tessaiga, making it return to its katana form. The dokko can also create a barrier, though not as strong as the one on Mount Hakurei.
- Shakujō: This is one of Saint Hakushin's "weapons", he likely uses it in a manner similar to how Miroku uses his own. It has been passed down Shintarō's family line for several generations.
- "All men, both good and evil, are worthy of salvation."
- "Outside, everyone prayed for my unhindered and magnificent entry into nirvana. They were wishing for my death. For the first time in my life, I was overcome with regret. I had an attachment to life, and a fear of the great darkness."
- "No! I've done everything in my power to help people... so why do I have to die?"
- «It is alright for you to hate them. What did they do? They revered you as a saint and called you holy, and made you promise to become a living Buddha, the fools. Then they buried you alive in solitary darkness. Hate them. Hate them all, the humans of this world.»
- "Do you scorn me? I, a saint who saved people and forgave their sins, became the one who was lost and died suffering. Then, Naraku, a demon, came to me and saved my soul."
- "I wanted to die an admirable death as a saint, but it was not to be. I did not want to admit my own weakness. So I cried in despair over the weakness of my own heart."
The poem sung as he was buried:
To live is to die and to die is to live;
What is Pure is Impure and Impure is Pure;
What is Good is Evil and Evil is Good;
To live is to die and to die is to live;
In the grave of Monk Hakushin;
The saint returns to Mount Hakurei;
To live is to die and to die is to live...
Ikiru wa shinuru, shinuru wa ikiru;
Kirei wa kitanai, kitanai wa kirei;
Ī wa warui, warui wa ī;
Ikiru wa shinuru, shinuru wa ikiru;
Hakushin Shōnin tsuchi no naka;
Hijiri modori no Hakureizan;
Ikiru wa shinuru, shinuru wa ikiru...
To live is to die, to die is to live
Pure has become impure, impure has now become pure
Good now has become bad, bad has become good
To live is to die, to die is to live
Saint Hakushin beneath the earth
Mount Hakurei will return to Hijiri
To live is to die, to die is to live...
The poem is sung a number of times throughout the Band of Seven Arc and Mt Hakurei Arc and is also sung by Kikyō.
Manga vs. Anime
- His staff that is given to the ancestors of Shintarō is not present in the manga.
- The healing properties of his dokko are not shown in the manga.
- The fight that Hakushin has with Miroku and Sango lasts longer in the anime. In the manga, Miroku attempts to break his barrier once with his staff before resorting to using his Kazaana. In the anime, Sango unsuccessfully attempts to use her Hiraikotsu against the barrier twice before Miroku uses his Kazaana (once while it is covered with Miroku's sacred sutras).
- His poem is not in the manga.
- In the English dub of Episode 87, the villagers refer to him as "Hakshin," which is actually a faithful Japanese pronunciation of his name, where the "u" is unvoiced. In all other instances of the English dub, his name is pronounced "Ha-koo-sheen".
- Saint Hakushin's Theme-Music from InuYasha Official Soundtrack, Vol. 3 is entitled Sokushinbutsu Hakushin Shōnin (即身仏 白心上人, "The Living Buddha, Hakushin").
|Incarnations||Kanna • Kagura • Goshinki • Jūrōmaru • Kagerōmaru • Musō • Infant • Hakudōshi • Byakuya • Akagane|
|Rejected parts||Unnamed incarnation • Hair monster • Eye monster • Onigumo (reabsorbed) • Kodoku • Kugutsu|
|Allies||Saimyōshō • Sesshōmaru (formerly) • Tsubaki • Hakushin • Shichinintai (Bankotsu) • Abi • Tekkei • Mōryōmaru • Mirror demon • Gorai • Magatsuhi (Demon of the Shikon no Tama)|
|Enemies||Kikyō • Inuyasha • Kagome Higurashi • Miyatsu • Miroku's father • Miroku • Sango • Kirara • Kohaku • Kōga • Sesshōmaru (currently) • Kaguya • Mōryōmaru • Hitomiko • Hōsenki I • Kansuke • Kaede • Midoriko • Rin • Jaken • A-Un • Janis|
|Miscellaneous||Shikon no Tama • Kazaana • Onigumo's cave • Naraku's castle • Mount Hakurei • Shōki|