Horai hanyo

A group of hanyō children.

A hanyō (はんよう, "half-demon") are supernatural beings that are a hybrid between human and yōkai. Hanyō are usually the child of a yōkai and a human, though humans can be transformed into hanyō. Due to their dual nature, hanyō are often subject to prejudice from both human and yōkai societies because of the mutual hatred between both respective species.


There are two different ways to become a hanyō:

  • Hanyō natural birth: When a yōkai and a human breed, it results in a hybrid offspring of a yōkai and a human. Apparently, in most cases, the father is yōkai and the mother is human.
  • Demonic fusion: Humans can transform into hanyō, merging their physical forms as one or more than one yōkai. The most prominent example of a hanyō is the spider hanyō Naraku.

It is more common for someone to be born hanyō than to be artificially transformed into one.


Hanyō are shunned both by humans and by yōkai. The miko Kanade built a Cauldron of Resonance with a magical barrier around Hōraijima, because she knew that the hanyō children would only undergo suffering from both humans and yōkai.

Humans often believe that yōkai are dangerous and bloodthirsty monsters that kill humans without provocation. Sometimes the mere sight of a demon is enough to make humans flee in fear. Also, humans generally believe that hanyō are just as bad. For this reason, a hanyō is not welcome in a human village, and is often beaten and abused, as was the case with Shiori and Jinenji, who suffered numerous scars from the abuse. Even the fact that the hanyō is being raised by a human parent, who would teach them to never harm humans unless to protect their own lives. Sometimes a hanyō, however, also manages to be accepted by a human village, like Inuyasha and later Jinenji.

Yōkai despise hanyō, however. They also despise humans, and see a hanyō as an insult and weakening of their power. Yōkai even despise hanyō that are related to them, as Sesshōmaru did with Inuyasha, and Taigokumaru with Shiori. Sometimes they even want to kill hanyō for the very reason that they are hanyō. So Inuyasha was repeatedly attacked by low-tier yōkai, which resemble huge worms and beetles, whereas the Shitōshin have attacked Hōrai Island. Nevertheless, hanyō can make friends with benign yōkai, like Inuyasha and Shippō, or win the respect of evil yōkai, as was the case with Izumo and Orochidayū.

For this reason, the Shikon Jewel is interesting for many hanyō, because it can turn them into pure yōkai or pure humans. Some hanyō want to become demons, like Inuyasha at the beginning of the plot, and Naraku, because they get stronger and are respected by other yōkai. Others, like Izumo, want to be pure humans so that they can live in peace among other humans. But there are those who are content to be hanyō, like Jinenji, or Inuyasha at the end of the plot.

Setsuna and Towa have not had to deal with this bigotry however. Setsuna was accepted by Kohaku's demons slayers and Kaede due to her being Sesshōmaru's daughter while Towa was raised in the modern era of the Heisei era, where odd traits are quite common, since Kirinmaru's sister Zero found them when they were 4 years old and ordered Homura to set the forest on fire, which caused the twins to be separated. Kaede's village is also accepting due to the fact Inuyasha lived there. As for Moroha, she was raised by the Wolf Demon Tribe since Hachiemon took her away from Kaede's village because Kirinmaru tried to kill her. All three are unique due to their connections to Inuyasha's group.

In order for hanyō children can grow up safely, Shiori founded the Hanyō Hidden Village as an adult, where she takes them in as children, teaches them to do arithmetic, write and read, and let them grow up until they are strong enough to survive on their own and even allow humans to accept them.

Physiology and psychological characteristics[]

Even at birth, hanyō show physical signs of their yōkai roots (e.g. unusual eye or hair colors, abnormal skin tones, and even physical abnormalities). For example, Inuyasha had silver hair and dog ears, a trademark of his inu-yōkai heritage, and the hanyō children of Hōraijima had unusual hair colors and physical peculiarities (i.e. pointed ears or horns). While hanyō can be born with rather human-like features, there are some like Jinenji who are far more "monstrous" in appearance. In some, rare cases, there are also hanyō, which look purely human during the day, and become pure demon at night. Certain hanyō can even display unusual mannerisms and characteristics that pertain to their demonic heritage; for example, Inuyasha was known to perform dog-like actions (i.e. getting down on his hands and knees with his nose to the ground, using his foot to scratch his ear, playing fetch, shaking himself dry, and even growling).

The unnatural type of hanyō, formed by the merging of humans and demons, have almost completely human forms due to being originally human. However, their true form is primarily an amalgamation of demons fused together because they are essentially a colony of demons inhabiting a human body.

Powers and abilities[]

The strength of hanyō is remarkably varied, though they are normally stronger than ordinary mortals and more powerful hanyō can even stand on equal ground with full-fledged demons. Apparently the extent of a hanyō's power is a reflection of the power of their demonic parent. For example, the hanyō Inuyasha was exceptionally powerful, being the son of a powerful daiyōkai, and as an adult could dispatch most low-tier demonic foes with ease. It is noteworthy that hanyō as children are already very strong and resilient. So Dai could effortlessly break a branch that was as thick as a human arm, while Shiori fell from a great height and remained completely unharmed.

  • Enhanced condition: A common ability amongst hanyō is inhuman strength, speed, endurance, resilience and/or recuperation. A hanyō can display any combination of these physical enhancements or the lack thereof. While Inuyasha had enhanced strength and could rapidly recover from injuries sustained on his body with no scarring, Jinenji, while having inhuman strength in proportion to his size, did not seem to be able to heal rapidly and retained multiple scars caused by ordinary iron or steel implements. As Towa demonstrates, this makes them excellent athletes in the modern era.
  • Unique powers: Many hanyō also have special powers that are rare or unique, depending on what kind of yōkai their parent is. For instance, Inuyasha has sharp claws and can use his yōkai powers to solidify his blood for offensive attacks. Shiori can also create powerful barriers whereas Ai was implied to have some type of underwater adaption, given how she apparently swam the distance from the Hōrai Island to the mainland in a relatively short span of time.
  • Longevity: Hanyō can be supernaturally long-lived. Before being sealed to the Tree of Ages, Inuyasha was over a century old, but he maintained the vitality of a 17-year-old. The children of Hōrai Island have barely grown older in fifty years (though this may be due to the Cauldron of Life's time barrier), and it is implied that they are much older. Hanyō age at the same rate as humans, but that rate steadily decreases once they reach adolescence.
  • Sharper senses: Hanyō and yōkai unite the senses of animal and human, analogous to the respective animal, but without the weaker senses of the animal. That's how Inuyasha can hear and smell as well as a dog, but his sense of sight is better than that of a dog, and it's the same as a human's.
  • Demonic weapons usage: When humans use yōkai weapons, it does not take long for this weapon to dominate humans simply because they are not strong enough to withstand the yōkai who is part of that weapon, with the possible exception of Bankotsu. But hanyō can master such weapons effortlessly, even if particularly powerful weapons like Sō'unga can be too strong for them. It is also noteworthy that they can overcome barriers that should ward off yōkai. So Naraku and Sara Asano could touch the sword Tessaiga without being warded off, even though they had evil intentions.


  • Yōkai blood: In times of great fear or when their life is in danger, a hanyō can be overwhelmed by their yokai blood, becoming a pure-blooded yokai. In this form, they benefit from increased yokai powers and the extent of this enhancement is dependent on the yōkai from which they are descended from. Inuyasha was the first hanyō that has ever experienced this transformation, and as a yōkai he is wild, cruel, and consumed by a violent blood lust. In addition, he can not distinguish friend and foe from each other, and attacks everything and everyone; though he could recognize everyone during his first transformation, implying his rational mind had yet to be overwhelmed. This condition can apparently also be caused by magical items, such as the Mirror of Life of Kaguya, or Sō'unga. Setsuna was also shown to have entered this phase when she was in a bind.
  • Power loss: All hanyō are subject to certain times when they lose their yokai powers and are rendered no stronger than any ordinary human. For example, Inuyasha and Towa Higurashi lose their yōkai powers during the night of the new moon, which occurs once a month. Both Kōga and Inuyasha said that most hanyō hide in fear at the time. It was a great character development for Inuyasha to trust his friends and not to hide on the new moon night. Hanyō who were born in the modern era do not lose their powers on their given night, such as with Towa Higurashi. Due to the curse of the Dream Butterfly whom one has a strong and close family connection with to protect Towa and Setsuna's mother Rin to slow the Silver-Scale Curse for ten years, Setsuna didn't experience it either until after Sesshōmaru cut the Dream Butterfly with the Tenseiga, therefore causing Setsuna to lose her demonic powers for the first time. Jinenji hides under a blanket at home while transformed, which occurs on a day while the sun is up, although he probably would not be a weakling because of his size and mass. Even spiritual places like Mount Hakurei seem to weaken a hanyō to such an extent that it turns them into a human being for a short time. Shiori loses her powers on the day of the solar eclipse as she loses her barrier and the moth yōkai Gaga Gozen will try to invade the Hanyō Hidden Village. Hanyō formed by the amalgamation of demons and humans can apparently choose this period of weakness. Naraku was known to choose when he experienced a loss of power and would expel weaker portions of his physical form in order to grow in strength.
  • Spiritual powers: Hanyō are susceptible to the effects of spiritual power. This is inclusive of mystical objects such as sacred arrows, arrows of sealing, sutras, and the beads of subjugation. In unique cases, spiritual power can affect hanyō to such an extent that it seals their yōkai half rendering them fully mortal for an unprecedented time.

Known Hanyō[]

By birth[]

Tōga's bloodline/dog hanyō[]

Various hanyō[]

Hōraijima children[]

By unnatural means[]


  • The term "Half-breed" is used as an offensive term for hanyō.
  • The term "hanyō" is composed of two different words. The first is "han", which means "half" in Japanese, and "yō" is the first syllable of the word "yōkai". Thus the literary translation is "half-yōkai".
  • While most half demons in the series are born naturally from a demon and human parent, some are created artificially through demon magic.
    • Moroha is the only "hanyō" with less than half-blood. Having only a quarter of demon blood, she would more accurately be said to be a shihanyō (四半妖, "quarter demon").
  • Of all the hanyōs, Izumo is the only half-demon known to be born to a human father and a demon mother.
  • In the fourth movie, there is a secret haven known as Hōrai Island where yōkai and humans lived together in peace, raising many hanyō offspring who were accepted by all.
  • According to the miko Kanade in the fourth movie, the spiritual power a human possesses normally clashes with a yōkai's powers, but in hanyō this power merges and produces a unique synergetic energy similar to that of ying and yang.
  • In Hanyō no Yashahime, Myōga implies hanyō of Tōga's bloodline loses their powers on the New Moon by default and not having to due when they are born.
    • That said, Moroha doesn't lose her powers during the New Moon, likely because she's quarter-demon. In the manga she does, but her changes are miminal like having softer hair and losing her claws. It also takes her longer to recover the day after the New Moon.
    • In chapter 20 of the manga, Myōga theozies Towa never had a shift to human form due to the modern era having such little magic, which forced Towa's demonic heritage to surpress itself and make her just above average to humans. Being the the Sengoku jidai allowed her power to properly flow, while Towa had subconsciously trained to fight with barely and demonic power.
    • In the manga, Myōga states a time of power loss is a "resting" period for a hanyō's power.
    • In the game Secret of the Divine Jewel, it has the moon phase in both eras including the modern era, Inuyasha loses his demonic power.
  • Hanyō with a daiyōkai parent are more powerful than normal hanyō.
  • With Towa and Setsuna the daughters of Sesshōmaru, and Moroha the daughter of Inuyasha, they are referred to as the "Half-Demon Princesses".

Yōkai Badger yōkai  •  Bakeitachi  •  Bat yōkai  •  Bear yōkai  •  Bird yōkai (Demon birds)  •  Boar yōkai  •  Bull yōkai  •  Horse yōkai  •  Kappa  •  Kawauso  •  Lizard yōkai  •  Monkey yōkai  •  Oni  •  Oyster yōkai  •  Qilin yōkai  •  Rat yōkai (Fire-rat)  •  Root yōkai  •  Shinidamachū  •  Tree yōkai  •  Turtle yōkai (Meiōjū)
Canines Dog yōkai  •  Kitsune  •  Tanuki  •  Wild dog yōkai  •  Wolf yōkai
Felines Cat yōkai  •  Bakeneko  •  Nekomata  •  Leopard cat yōkai  •  Tiger yōkai  •  Wildcat yōkai
Insects Flea yōkai  •  Mantis yōkai  •  Moth yōkai (Yōkai moth)  •  Ōmukade  •  Parasite  •  Saimyōshō  •  Spider yōkai (Kumogashira)  •  Steel wasps
Other Human  •  Hanyō  •  Ghost  •  Specter  •  Dragon  •  Kami  •  Demigod  •  Shikigami  •  Kugutsu