InuYasha
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Burn in Hell, Onigumo!

—Kansuke[src]

Kansuke (勘助), also known as Rasetsu (羅刹), was a bandit leader responsible for the near-fatal injury of Onigumo, setting in motion the tragic events that surrounded the birth of Naraku. 50 years later, Naraku used the dying Kansuke to lure Kikyō to Mount Hakurei.

History

Kansuke, who was originally known as "Rasetsu no Kansuke" (羅刹の勘助), committed many evil acts in his youth. He lead a group of bandits, which included a man named Onigumo. After being tricked by Onigumo into attacking the priestess Kikyō in an attempt to acquire the Shikon no Tama (which ended in Kansuke's defeat at the hands of Inuyasha who Onigumo didn't tell him about.) Kansuke was spared but lost his right eye, as he returned to his camp, only to find his men gone.

Kansuke then sought to make the man who had tricked him and stolen his men pay. As the rest of the bandits who had declared Onigumo their new leader celebrated at a local inn, Kansuke tracked them down. He spared his surprised and scared men after they agreed to serve him again and set off to find Onigumo. Upon confronting Onigumo, he planted and set off a bomb, which left Onigumo severely injured; all of his body was badly burned except for the spider-shaped scar that was already on his back.

To finish the traitor off, Kansuke had the men threw Onigumo off a cliff, while mockingly telling him to find the shard and greet Kikyō for him. This act set a chain of events in motion, making Kansuke the sole perpetrator of not only the creation of Naraku, but the shattering of the Shikon no Tama.[1]

During the story

Fifty years later, Kansuke was still alive. He came in possession of a Shikon Jewel shard that he stole from a dying yōkai. He had hoped that it would grant his wishes as Onigumo had originally promised, but it was only capable of prolonging his life. He became a target for many other yōkai who were also after the jewel, though he managed to ward them off with its power.[1]

Near his death, he met the revived Kikyō, not realizing that she was the same Kikyō he had tried to kill decades earlier. Kikyō could sense that he was very ill and near death. Kansuke attempted to rob her while she was passing by. He became wary of her since she had no possessions and there were no temples near them. He began to collapse over a tree due to his illness and decided to let her pass. Kikyō sensed that he was carrying a shard of the Shikon no Tama, and that it was the only thing that was keeping him alive. He resolved to keep on living until he could find the right place to die. He then completely collapsed on the ground after coughing heavily.[1]

Kikyō took him to an abandoned temple and tended to him. She wished to listen to his tale before he died. Kansuke told her about his past, including his history with Onigumo (much to her surprise). The two of them were suddenly attacked by a yōkai that was after Kansuke's jewel shard in order to obtain a new body for itself. He became deformed as a result of it being severed from Naraku. It trapped Kikyō while demanding the jewel shard. Kansuke tried to destroy it with a bow and arrow, but the yōkai was able to easily repel it. It angrily grabbed Kansuke with its hair while once again demanding the jewel. Kansuke attached his jewel shard to an arrow and strikes one of the yōkai's large eyes. This hurt it long enough for Kansuke and Kikyō to be freed. It was destroyed after Kikyō shot her sacred arrow at it. Kansuke found it pitiful that he had to be saved by a woman, but acknowledged that Kikyō was no ordinary woman.[1]

Kansuke was placed next to a tree outside of the temple while it was raining. Kikyō returned after she recovered his jewel shard. He decided to let her keep it after confessing that he had no more use for it, though he asked her to grant his last request in exchange. Kansuke cut off a lock of his hair and asked Kikyō to take it to the sacred land of Mount Hakurei, so that his soul may be saved from eternal damnation for his past transgressions. Just before he passed away, he learned of Kikyō's name.[1]

After Kikyō helped Hakushin move on to the afterlife, Kansuke's soul finally found peace as the lock of hair he gave Kikyō to bury dissipated into orbs of light and ascended into the sky.[2]

When Naraku confronted Kikyō at Mount Hakurei, he revealed that he used Kansuke in order to lure Kikyō to Mount Hakurei by planting rumors in him about his soul finding salvation there.[3]

Personality

As a young man, Rasetsu was a violent, impulsive, and vengeful man who did whatever he pleased. He committed every crime known to man, believing that he would die at a young age. He had no tolerance for treachery, the perfect example being when he did not hesitate to try and kill Onigumo when he set him up to be killed by Inuyasha as part of a plan to steal the Shikon Jewel from Kikyō. As Rasetsu aged, he became more frustrated, as he lived a longer life than he originally expected to. His growing age fostered a fear of dying in Rasetsu, knowing he was going to Hell for his past crimes. As an old man, he wished for salvation when he heard about Mount Hakurei, a place where villains such as himself could have their souls purified and saved. Before he died, he cut off a lock of his hair and gives it to Kikyō, asking her to bury it there so that he can be forgiven for the life that he lived.[1]

Physical description

Kansuke is an old man, looking to be in his late 70's. He wears an eyepatch over his right eye, where a scar remains due to his run-in with Inuyasha. As an old man, he has short gray hair that is tied in a traditional Japanese knot.[1]

He is shown to have black hair when he is younger.[1]

Outfit

Kansuke wears a tattered blue short-sleeve kosode with a green large patch along the shoulders. His torso is covered by a green breastplate that is used by samurai with a white sash around his waist. He also has green arm and leg bands. He walks around in waraji sandals.[1]

While in his youth, his kosode fully covers his arms. He also has a gray hakama over his legs. His breastplate is brown, as well as his arm and leg bands.[1]

Powers & Abilities

Weapons

  • Bow and arrow: Kansuke is a fairly skilled archer.
  • Katana: Kansuke is in possession of a katana blade in his youth. The tip of it breaks off and cuts his right eye after engaging Inuyasha with it.
  • Tantō: Kansuke carries a tantō blade with him during his last days alive. He is first seen using it in an attempt to rob Kikyō. He later uses it to cut off a lock of is hair before his dies, so that Kikyō can take it to Mount Hakurei and save his soul.

Relationships

Onigumo

Kansuke originally trusted Onigumo's advice and strategy. After he discovered that Onigumo tricked him so he could steal his men, he despised him and sought revenge. He attempted to kill him after he found him by blowing up the inn he resided in with his subordinates. He threw Onigumo's badly burned body over a cliff and mockingly told him to say hello to Kikyō for him. He was unaware that Onigumo would be found and tended to by said priestess. Kansuke would then be indirectly responsible for the creation of Naraku.

Kikyō

Kansuke first attempted to kill Kikyō in order to steal the Sacred Jewel from her when she was still alive. After 50 years, he confided to Kikyō (unaware that she was the same woman he met 50 years ago) about all of his sins. He asked her, as a final wish, to purify his soul by taking a lock of his hair to Mount Hakurei. Kikyō intended to honor his final request.

Manga vs. Anime

  • In the manga, he was an old and weak bandit without mentioning his name. In his first appearance in the manga, he managed to stop a traveling priestess, Kikyō, and told her that he could feel her divine powers. With his last breath, he cut a lock of his hair and gave it to Kikyō as an ihatsu (遺髪, "hair of the deceased"), hoping that she would honor his request of sending the hair to Mount Hakurei so that his soul could be saved.[4]
  • Kansuke's past with Onigumo and Kikyō is not present in the manga.
  • Apart from the difference of his history, in the anime, Kansuke wears an eye-patch on his right eye, but in the manga, he wears nothing over his missing eye.[4]
  • In the manga, he does not wield any shards of the Shikon no Tama.
  • The battle that he and Kikyō have with the eye monster is not in the manga.
  • In the manga, his hair does not evaporate after Hakushin is able to rest in peace.
  • In the manga, Naraku does not confess luring Kikyō to Mount Hakurei by using the dying bandit.

Quotes

"Since I was young, I have performed all sorts of evil deeds... Murder, theft, arson, I lived doing whatever I felt like. But now I've gotten old, and gotten ill, and gotten scared that I'll fall to hell..."
―Kansuke[src]
"Even for villains like me, I've heard there's a place where you can be saved. Intending that be where I die, I was travelling towards it, but, it seems I can't go any further..."
―Kansuke[src]

Trivia

  • He may be based on the real life samurai Yamamoto Kansuke, who is rumoured to have been blind in one eye.
  • "Rasetsu" (羅刹), Kansuke's bandit name, is composed of the first two characters of the name of a race of malevolent demons in Buddhism and Hinduism, known in Japanese as rasetsuten (羅刹天) and rākṣasa (राक्षस) in Sanskrit.
  • His last words are "A bad joke for a dying man" in response to Kikyō revealing her true name.
  • Given Rasetsu states he is 69 years old and that his attempted execution of Onigumo happened 50 years ago, it can be said that he was 19 years old in the flashback.

Media appearances

Manga

Anime

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 InuYasha anime; Episode 87
  2. InuYasha anime; Episode 120
  3. InuYasha anime; Episode 124
  4. 4.0 4.1 InuYasha manga; Chapter 227
Naraku
Incarnations KannaKaguraGoshinkiJūrōmaruKagerōmaruMusōInfantHakudōshiByakuyaAkagane
Rejected parts Unnamed incarnationHair monsterEye monsterOnigumo (reabsorbed)Kugutsu
Allies SaimyōshōSesshōmaru (formerly)TsubakiHakushinShichinintaiAbiTekkeiMōryōmaruMirror demonMagatsuhi
Enemies KikyōInuyashaKagome HigurashiMiyatsuMiroku's fatherMirokuSangoKiraraKohakuKōgaSesshōmaru (currently)KaguyaMōryōmaruHitomikoKansukeKaedeMidorikoRinJakenA-Un
Miscellaneous Shikon no TamaKazaanaOnigumo's caveNaraku's castleMount Hakurei
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