It has been 50 years since Inuyasha was sealed to the Sacred Tree. He looks exactly the same as he did then. 50 years ago, my sister knew that she was going to die. So why did she choose to use the arrow of sealing rather than a Sacred Arrow to destroy him? Why did she seal Inuyasha to the Sacred Tree-- a tree of ages said to be able to transcend time? And if Inuyasha was filled with hatred with my sister, who took back the Sacred Jewel and sealed him to the Sacred Tree, then why does he wear such a peaceful expression? It seems I understand very little after all. I wonder sometimes if I ever will.
—Kaede contemplating her confusion on her sister and Inuyasha's circumstances.[src]
As Kikyō's younger sister, Kaede would assist her with various tasks such as gathering herbs or holding her arrows. Her parents died when she was very young and Kikyō was her only family. Kaede also travels with Kikyō to a priest's shrine to learn to be a priestess, and there she and Kikyō met the dark priestess Tsubaki for the first time.
Sometime after this, Mistress Centipede tried to kidnap Kaede as a bargaining chip to get the Shikon no Tama from Kikyō, but Inuyasha saved her. He brushed off his heroic deed by saying he wanted the Shikon no Tama for himself, but in reality, he had grown to care for Kikyō. After Kikyō fell in love with Inuyasha, Kaede and Inuyasha were hinted to have gotten close, as Kikyō instructed Kaede not to tell Inuyasha about Onigumi because he would get jealous.
Kaede loses her right eye after an attack on Kaede's Village. Kaede had tried to shoot a demon that was about to attack Kikyō, but missed. The demon then went to attack Kaede, but Kikyō shot it in time. The arrow failed to purify the demon's jaki, resulting in an explosion that rendered Kaede permanently blind in the right eye. In the manga, her eye appears to be freshly bandaged and bleeding shortly before Kikyō's death, suggesting that the wound occurs when Inuyasha attacks the village to steal the Shikon no Tama; supplementary information states that she "lost her elder sister and her eye in an incident fifty years ago." The anime shows the incident occurring when Kikyō shot an arrow at a demon near Kaede—the attack wounded Kaede's right eye and left it blind.
During the Story
After Kikyō's death, Kaede becomes a strong priestess in her own right and defends the village against demons. When Kagome Higurashi arrives, Kaede recognizes her as the reincarnation of her sister. When Kagome frees Inuyasha, Kaede places the "Beads of Subjugation" onto him to give Kagome the power to control him with a spoken word. Kaede is well-respected and held in high regard by the villagers and the members of Inuyasha's group, whom she often advises about demons and other spiritual anomalies. Though Inuyasha is easily annoyed with her, he listens to her when necessary and doesn't hesitate to protect her from a threat. Later on in the series, Kaede took on a running gag where people would usually mistake her as a demon and not a priestess, due to her old age.
The Final Act
During Kikyō's final death, Kaede sees soul collectors flying through her village as she sees the spirit of Kikyō who came to bid her a farewell; using the last of her strength, Kikyō finally bids her sister a farewell saying sorry for causing her pain.
Three years later after the death of Naraku and destruction of the Shikon Jewel, Rin began to live with her in the village to become accustomed to living alongside other humans; Kaede is also training Kagome to become a topmost priestess, even stronger than Kikyō ever was.
Hanyō no Yashahime
Kaede continues to teach Kagome to strengthen her spiritual powers from time to time, as well as her skills in healing. She had witnessed Sesshōmaru suddenly return and leave with his newborn half-demon twin daughters because of Kirinmaru and Zero. One of Sesshōmaru's daughters, a ten year old Setsuna returned to her village to live with her four years ago, but didn't stay long as she returned to the Hanyō Hidden Village after almost killing two bandits who attacked the village. Setsuna would return for good shortly thereafter, and Kaede would explain Setsuna's heritage to Hisui while the girl was briefly in Tokyo during the Reiwa Era.
Kaede was shocked to see Kagome and Inuyasha are back and still alive, but she said no they're not as Kagome tells Kaede to evacuate the villagers to a safe location, Kaede thinks there's another war but Kagome said no which means that Kirinmaru is coming as he's planning for the Degenerate Age. As hordes of demons attacked, she was finally able to fire one sacred arrow after another to exterminate them, a greater feat she said was the extent of her very limited powers.
As seen, Kaede is a kind priestess who tends to people all over the village. Although a patient person, Kaede can sometimes be very serious and aggressive. Being the sister of a priestess, Kaede adopts many similar personalities and characteristics from her sister, often calling Kikyō her idol.
As Kaede states in Hanyō no Yashahime, she has seen so much death in the Sengoku jidai, that she no longer has any great emotional concern if someone is alive; though she still cares for others who need her care. Though this may have to do with her age, as she has reached her 8th decade of life, a rarity for her era. Still, she seems to wish the world were more peaceful; she was distressed when she saw the ten-year-old Setsuna almost kill two fleeing bandits who had attacked the village, expressing dismay that Setsuna would go to such lengths at such a young age.
Kaede bore a very striking resemblance to her sister Kikyō in her youth. She had long black hair that was tied into a loose ponytail by a white ribbon with bangs hanging above her forehead. In her old age, her long hair has grayed and her facial appearance has altered slightly, as her face dons various aged creases and wrinkles, fair skin, and brown eyes. Kaede is of short stature with a surprisingly slim build for her age, however, has a slightly bigger build that has accumulated with old age.
Kaede's clothing is identical to Kikyō's. She is normally seen wearing the traditional dress of a miko, which has remained essentially unchanged to this day. Kaede wears a white hakui (robe) with red sode-kukuri (cords) through the sleeves and open shoulders similar to Inuyasha's and Jaken's. Strings called muna-himo are attached to each lapel and are tied in front to keep the garment in place. Kaede wears bright red hakama, which includes the small board at the lower back. On her feet, Kaede wears common tabi (socks) and straw sandals. During a battle prior to Kikyō's death, Kaede lost an eye. She now wears an iron tsuba (sword guard) as an eye-patch.
In her youth, Kaede wore an orange kimono with black markings, a brown obi, straw sandals, and usually a green furoshiki which is tied over her shoulders.
Powers and Abilities
- Great Spiritual Power: Kaede is a priestess of considerable power, and she has many spiritual abilities that she uses for combat and healing. Although not nearly as powerful as Kikyō, Kaede possesses very high spiritual powers, being able to sense demonic auras and other supernatural occurrences. Kaede, later on, taught these same skills and abilities to Kagome (Kikyō's reincarnation) who later became powerful in their use herself.
- Sutra Magic: Kaede is capable of using sutra spells to ward off demons; she was once shown doing this in tandem with Miroku.
- Spiritual Barrier: Kaede is shown to be capable of conjuring a large barrier around her village to prevent anything from attacking its inhabitants. Creating the barrier, however, seems to have weakened her considerably and places strain on her elderly body.
- Subjugation Spell: In the manga and the anime series, it was Kaede who cast the subjugation spell on Inuyasha, which is activated by Kagome whenever she tells Inuyasha to "sit."
- Spiritual Awareness: Just like Kikyō and Kagome, Kaede can see things that are normally invisible to normal people, such as the bright light coming out of the Bone-Eater's Well and the supernaturally imperceptible hair of Yura -- something notable as Kaede doesn't have the use of her right eye anymore. She can also identify people she previously knew even after their spirits have taken a new body or after their exterior presentation has otherwise totally changed. For example, upon meeting Kagome for the first time, Kaede correctly identified her as the reincarnation of her late sister Kikyō. And she was able to sense Onigumo's presence when she met Naraku for the first time, calling the half-demon by the name of his human self before Naraku even presented himself; Kikyō would later do the same when meeting Naraku for the first time after her resurrection.
- Peak Human Endurance: When she was but a child, Kaede was able to endure having her right eye lost to a demon and recovered enough to rejoin the battle for the Shikon Jewel. Later on in her advanced age, Kaede would endure an attack that incapacitated her right arm by Yura but still capable of fighting.
- Master Archer and Markswoman: Kaede wields a bow and arrow with much skill and accuracy, being able to shoot a target with precision despite her missing eye. Due to her old age, her accuracy has somewhat decreased. This skill most likely made her very formidable in her prime considering that she was personally tutored by her sister, Kikyō, who is well known for being more powerful than any average priestess.
- High Intellect: Even when Kaede was only ten years old, she displayed great knowledge and insight on life in the feudal era. After aging fifty years, Kaede became heavily experienced and intellectual, and as such many of the villagers and members of Inuyasha's group would often come to her for advice whenever they faced great obstacles. This ranged from matters concerning the quest for the Shikon Jewel shards or emotional problems that their immaturity created.
- Bow and Sacred Arrows: Being trained in the similar ways of the priestess as her older sister, Kikyō, Kaede utilizes a bow and arrow as her main weapons.
- Sealing Arrow: Though not having actually used it herself, Kikyō had taught her the arrow of sealing should there be a demon her spiritual powers can't defeat but only seal away. At one point, se had used the very same one her elder sister had shot to seal Root Head to draw it to the surface.
- Sacred Arrow: Against the increasing hordes of demons attacking her village, she said that firing one was the extent of her spiritual powers. How she finally developed the natural ability to infuse her middle-level spiritual prowess remains to be seen.
- Beads of Subjugation: Kaede was the one who placed the beads of subjugation on Inuyasha when he attempted to take the Shikon Jewel after killing Mistress Centipede. She took the beads from her attire and magically had it transport itself onto Inuyasha's neck and had Kagome utter the words of subjugation.
- Emotions: According to Tsubaki, when a priestess abandons all human emotion (e.g. love) her true power emerges.
- Mortality: Despite her spiritual powers, Kaede is still human and shared many of the same weaknesses as non-supernatural beings (e.g. age, blood loss, decapitation, disease, heart-failure, suffocation, snapped neck, etc.).
- Overexertion: Exerting one's spiritual powers beyond a certain point can cause extreme physical exhaustion and, if taken to the extreme, death.
- Spiritual Powers: Despite having great spiritual power herself, Kaede still proved susceptible to the effects of spiritual power. For example, Kaede could be kept at bay through spirit shields.
Kikyō was her only family left after her parents and idolized her sister because of her bravery. After Kikyō's death, Kaede became a miko, and held that title for fifty years. After Kikyō's resurrection, she didn't recognize Kaede initially, though they met a few times later. When Kikyō's soul finally passed on, she apologized to Kaede for the mistakes she made.
When Inuyasha was first freed from Kikyō's spell by Kagome, he did not recognize Kaede because she had aged fifty years, though he remembered who she was when she explained everything. Inuyasha was often rude to Kaede, referring to her as an "old hag" on numerous occasions. Despite Inuyasha's rudeness, he did care for Kaede; he rushed over to hear when he smelled her blood after she was attacked by Urasue.
Kaede was the first person that Kagome encountered when she first was dragged into the Feudal Era. Kagome cares deeply for her and vice-versa; Kaede's village was where Kagome and her friends normally were, so Kaede and Kagome spent a lot of time together. At the end of the series, after Kagome decided to live in the Feudal Era permanently, Kaede began teaching her how to become a true priestess.
A flea yōkai and a servant of Inuyasha's and his father's, she learned that someone was searching for his father's tomb. After that, she was surprised that Kagome could pick up the Tessaiga and learned from Myōga that Tōga had it forged for the purpose of protecting Inuyasha's mother. In the movie Affections Touching Across Time, she and Myōga ride on Shippō as they hurried to Kagome, as Myōga knew that Kirara has the same spell, but then they stop as the Bone-Eater's Well has been covered up because of the Tree of Ages had awakened. Myōga sniffed that it was Inuyasha, and Kaede and Shippō followed him to the Sacred Tree of Ages where they saw him unconscious. After the defeat of Menōmaru and the destruction of the Tree of Ages, Myōga and Kaede are having a tea.
At the side of the elderly Kaede, there is often a helper of the village called Rikichi, which helps in matters that concern the welfare of the village, including the extermination of demons of low rank. Rikichi has great respect towards the priestess Kaede and on one occasion defends her to an attack.
Despite the fact that Kaede did not raise Moroha as a baby because of Kirinmaru, Kaede specially cares for her whenever she visits her home. Kaede sees Kagome in Moroha, while she is growing.
Kaede met Naraku as a severely wounded bandit named Onigumo 50 years prior when she was still young. Kikyō had found the wounded bandit and decided to nurse him out of pity inside a cave. Kaede later helps and assist Kikyō in healing Onigumo despite not liking him. Kaede initially wanted to tell Inuyasha about Onigumo but was told not to by Kikyō since she thought Inuyasha would become jealous. After learning that Naraku once was Onigumo, she shared the information to the resurrected Kikyō who was longing for the truth about her death.
- "Inuyasha, ye must be strong...and ye better not forget where ye buried me!"
- "Now that the sacred jewel has appeared again in this world, the evil beings who desire its power will soon be flocking here."
- "That was the first time I'd seen the Sacred Jewel. And after she was given custody of it, sister Kikyō's fate changed drastically. She would watch other girls her age indulge in make-up, paint their faces white, and enjoy their youth."
- "Inuyasha, stupid is as stupid does. Ye need to learn to be more careful with your speech."
- Kikyō: "Forgive me, Kaede."
- Kaede: "(gasps) Big sister!"
- Kikyō: "It must not have been easy. I know you have suffered greatly because of me, sister."
- Kaede: "Th-that's not true. (gasps)"
- Kikyō: "Forgive me, Kaede."
- Kaede: "Kikyō!"
- ―Kikyō and Kaede[src]
- Kaede shares her name with a character from Urusei Yatsura, another series by Rumiko Takahashi.
- Her seiyū, Hisako Kyōda, voiced several characters from Takahashi's previous series. They include Yatsude from Urusei Yatsura, Sawa Kannagi from Mermaid Saga, Yukari Godai from Maison Ikkoku, Sentaro Daimonji's Grandmother from Ranma ½, and Kayoko from the short story Extra-Large Size Happiness as part of the Rumiko Takahashi's anthology series Rumic Theater.
- In the English dub, Kaede speaks with a faux "old English" accent, frequently using "Ye" to refer to other people. She is the only person in the series to speak in such a way.
- In Kagome's dream (when Tsubaki placed a curse on her), Kaede appeared in the modern world buying a gift from Kagome's grandpa for her Grandson Shippō. In the dream sequence, Kaede is shown as having both of her eyes.
- During the early episodes of the English dub, Kaede would speak with a Medieval dialect. This was subsequently dropped as the series continued.
- She is renamed as "Geumsamae" in the Korean dub.
- She was featured as a young woman in The Holy Pearl.
- Kaede long-lived for someone in her Era, having reached 80
- Episode 1 (Appears in a flashback)
- Episode 2
- Episode 3
- Episode 4
- Episode 5
- Episode 7
- Episode 15 (Appears in a flashback)
- Episode 20 (Appears in a flashback)
- Episode 21
- Episode 30
- Episode 41
- Episode 44
- Episode 48
- InuYasha anime; Episode 14