...To live is to die. To die is to live. My name is Kikyō. I am a priestess who is unable to leave this world and reach the sacred place. No, that is not entirely the truth. Once I was a priestess. Now I am but a corpse with a cursed, false existence. No matter how much I desire to do good and help others, the truth is I live off the souls of the dead. Pure is impure. Impure is pure. Good is evil. Evil is good. Or is it?
—Kikyō contemplating her existence.[src]
Kikyō (桔梗, "Chinese Bellflower") was a shrine priestess who lived 50 years prior to the main events of the series. She was responsible for purifying the Shikon Jewel and was the former lover of Inuyasha. After being deceived and fatally injured by the half-demon Naraku, Kikyō bound Inuyasha to the Sacred Tree with a sacred arrow and sacrificed her own life to keep the Jewel from returning to the realm of the living. Shortly after the Jewel was brought back to the Feudal Era, Kikyō was resurrected by the demon ogress Urasue. After learning of the circumstances of her death, she resolved to destroy Naraku and to purge the Shikon Jewel from the world.
- 1 History
- 2 Personality
- 3 Physical description
- 4 Powers and Abilities
- 5 Weaknesses
- 6 Relationships
- 7 Quotes
- 8 Trivia
- 9 Media appearances
- 10 References
- 11 See also
Little has been revealed about Kikyō's childhood, aside from the fact she was born in Japan during the Feudal Era. Her parents died sometime after her younger sister Kaede was born. At some point in her youth, Kikyō decided to pursue an occupational role as a priestess and looked upon Kaede who also trained to become a priestess. As part of their training to become priestesses, Kikyō and Kaede wandered the countryside and slew many demons. During their travels, Kikyō and Kaede encountered Tsubaki, a woman who would later become a dark priestess, and briefly fought against demons together. When they parted ways, Tsubaki put a curse on Kikyō so that should she ever fall in love, she would inevitably die a violent death. While Kikyō was well aware of Tsubaki's curse, she was not unsettled by it because she believed she would never fall in love.
Upon returning to their village, one of the villagers revealed to Kikyō that a demon slayer had come in search of her that morning. The demon slayer returned that night with his fellow slayers and entrusted her with the task of purifying the Jewel of Four Souls, much to Tsubaki's dismay. After Kikyō took custody of the Sacred Jewel, she dedicated her life to guarding and protecting it from the wicked humans and demons who sought it for their own selfish means. However, her duty as the Jewel's protector also meant that she could not show any signs of weakness, lest demons or evil men should take advantage of her, thus she was unable to enjoy the ordinary pleasures of her youth (e.g. burning perfume incense, coloring her lips and cheeks, etc.).
One night during a new moon, Kikyō unknowingly encountered Inuyasha shortly after a strenuous battle to protect the Jewel. Soon after passing out from exhaustion, she was aided by her sister and several villagers. She was pleased that Inuyasha, who remained unseen, did not kill her. Eventually, Inuyasha made himself known to Kikyō and attempted to steal the Shikon Jewel. Kikyō sensed that Inuyasha was just a half-demon, deduced he wanted the Jewel to become a full-blooded demon, and ultimately decided to spare his life. Inuyasha noted Kikyō reeked of the stench of demon blood before they parted company, thus she began to cleanse herself daily to rid herself of this odor. Later, Inuyasha made a second attempt on the Sacred Jewel and Kikyō easily subdued him again, but not before learning his name. Kikyō, feeling a great sense of empathy towards Inuyasha, spared his life once more and warned him against his pursuit for the Sacred Jewel.
After Inuyasha slew Mistress Centipede to save Kaede, Kikyō sensed that Mistress Centipede's corpse still contained demonic power and chose to place her remains in the Bone Eaters Well as a precaution. During their first non-violent encounter following Mistress Centipede's demise, Kikyō thanked Inuyasha for saving Kaede's life and confided in him her personal feelings of loneliness and similarities towards Inuyasha. Inuyasha sympathized with her and asked Kikyō to meet him again the next day to receive a gift. That night, Kikyō enchanted beads to help her subjugate Inuyasha to her whims and prevent him from doing any more wrong. They next day, after Inuyasha gifted her with his deceased mother's rouge, Kikyō decided against placing the beads of subjugation on him. Around this time, she secretly harbored and tended to Onigumo, a paralyzed bandit with burn scars all over his body. Believing Inuyasha would overreact from jealousy, Kikyō asked Kaede to not tell him about treating the wounded Onigumo.
Kikyō was later asked to slay a demon from another country and approached Inuyasha for help. The two succeeded in defeating this demon and returned home afterwards. Kaede later revealed to Kikyō the disturbing things Onigumo voiced regarding Kikyō during her mission with Inuyasha, but Kikyō pitted him and brushed off the incident. Sometime after this, Tsubaki sensed Kikyō's spiritual powers waning after she fell in love with Inuyasha and tried to steal the Sacred Jewel. However, Kikyō reflected Tsubaki's curse back at her and then spared a humiliated Tsubaki's life. Meanwhile, Onigumo is met by a spider demon who offered to fulfill his dreams of mobility, obtaining the Sacred Jewel, and attaining the lovely Kikyō herself. Agreeing with the terms, Onigumo offered his body to a horde of demons, and thus, the demon shape-shifter Naraku was born.
At some unknown point, Kikyō and Inuyasha sailed to an island that only appeared every fifty years. The pair encountered a band of half-demons but were attacked by the Shitōshin. During the fight, the demon Gōra used Kikyō's blood to create a doppelgänger of her, unbeknownst to her, and Inuyasha received the Mark of the Four War Gods. With the island hidden once more and out of reach, Kikyō and Inuyasha decide to return home.
Eventually, Kikyō's village is attacked by a horde of demons sent by Naraku. With her spiritual powers weakened, Kikyō didn't sense the collective demon's aura and accidentally injured Kaede during the battle, resulting in the permanent loss of her eye. Following the battle, a guilt-ridden Kikyō suggested using the Shikon Jewel to turn Inuyasha into a human, an offer to which Inuyasha agreed. If this plan had in fact worked, it might have been possible for Kikyō to carry on the life of an ordinary woman alongside Inuyasha, and for him to finally feel like he belonged somewhere as a human. She promised to deliver the Shikon Jewel to Inuyasha on a certain day. However, Naraku desired a corrupted Sacred Jewel and wished for Kikyō to kill Inuyasha herself, and thus resorted to manipulation to set their plan astray. Naraku disguised himself as Inuyasha and struck down Kikyō, and then attacked Inuyasha while disguised as Kikyō, pitting them against each other.
Thinking that Inuyasha had betrayed her, Kikyō summoned the last ounce of her strength and spiritual power to stop Inuyasha, who attacked the village for the Shikon Jewel. However, unable to kill the man she loved with her sacred arrow, Kikyō instead shot a sealing arrow at Inuyasha to pin him to the Goshinboku, where Inuyasha remained in slumber for fifty years. She then instructed Kaede to burn her body along with the Shikon Jewel so that its immeasurable power would never be used for evil again. However, because Kikyō was full of bitter hatred for Inuyasha at the time of her death, the Shikon Jewel became corrupted. Although, because of her love, Kikyō wished to see Inuyasha again and the Shikon Jewel used this desire to return to the world of the living five centuries later through Kagome Higurashi, Kikyō's reincarnation.
During the Story
Fifty years later, an Oni witch named Urasue stole Kikyō's remains and some graveyard soil to create a new body for her out of clay and bones. However, Urasue was disturbed to find out that the body she created would not entirely animate without its spirit and soul. She quickly realized that it was because her spirit and soul had already been reincarnated into another body, and that Kagome's soul, being the reincarnation of Kikyō, was needed in order to completely animate Kikyō's clay body. When the lifeless body was infused with Kagome's soul, Kikyō was revived, immediately turning on Urasue and burning her to death. Having yet to discover what truly happened fifty years before, her immediate priority was to kill Inuyasha. She nearly succeeded in this task until Kagome's body began recalling the soul back to her own body, which effectively stopped Kikyō from completing her goal. Kikyō managed to retain a part of her soul though, and thus was able to escape into the mist, where she was pursued by Inuyasha. Quickly thereafter, Kikyō fell off a nearby cliff, presumed dead by the group.
Kikyō survived the fall and moved to a small village, tending to the wounded and curing the sick. She was loved by the children and the villagers respected her. However, she was faced with an internal struggle with what she had become, not a living woman, nor a dead person, but the walking dead. She wanted to live peacefully in the village, but was troubled by the thought that even such a simple existence may be forbidden. A curious monk sensed something abnormal about the resurrected priestess and intended to find out her true nature. He spotted her absorbing the souls of deceased women as a means to sustain her clay body, using her soul collectors, the shinidamachū. The monk tried to lay her soul to rest by attacking her with one of his spiritual demons called the "Demon binding spell", but Kikyō used her spiritual power to blast the demon to pieces. The monk was killed by a piece of the demon that struck him in the neck. Before he died, the monk asked Kikyō why she continued to wander this earth as the walking dead. He told her that time continues for the living, but it does not continue for the dead, thus the dead do not belong in such a place, and such an existence is tragic. While Kikyō pondered on what the monk had said, she discovered that Sayo, a child who was very fond of Kikyō, had watched the entire scene and was now terrified of her. Saddened, Kikyō gave up on living in the village and left, apologizing to Sayo for scaring her.
After leaving the village, Kikyō tried to spend the night alone in a forest, placing a barrier around her to prevent being noticed. However, Kagome was able to cross Kikyō's barrier. Filled with jealousy towards her living reincarnation, Kikyō paralyzed Kagome with her touch and bound her to a tree so that Inuyasha could neither see nor hear Kagome when he arrived. When Kagome tried to explain to Kikyō the true circumstances of her death, Kikyō dismissed her, saying whoever caused her death is unimportant, as it cannot bring her back to life. A dead person like herself wished only to live again, which cannot be granted, so she instead wished not to be forgotten. This can be achieved through deepening bitterness, enabling the dead to live in the heart of the living. Before Kagome could convince Kikyō otherwise, Inuyasha arrived. Kikyō told Inuyasha he must despise her for collecting souls to drive her vengeance, but Inuyasha told her he could not stop loving her, even if she hates him. Moved, Kikyō kissed him and professed her love in his arms. Sensing that Kikyō's body lacks warmth, Inuyasha realized that he could not help her and wished time stopped, to which Kikyō responded by attempting to take him with her to the Netherworld. However, Kagome was able to reach Inuyasha with her voice in time, and Inuyasha left Kikyō to free Kagome from the tree. Kikyō, heart-broken, asked if Kagome was more important to him than herself, and left with her soul collectors, telling Inuyasha not to forget that her feelings when they kissed were true. Afterwards, she visited Kaede and learned that Naraku was responsible for her death and separation from Inuyasha.
Kikyō then moved to a temple, healing the wounds of soldiers. When men from the palace asked her to heal their master's disease, Kikyō unwillingly accompanied them to the palace, only to discover a dark aura around the castle. Kikyō was disturbed to find that the master of the castle was already dead from the neck and down. As it turned out, the master of the castle was the man who once called himself Onigumo before he was born as Naraku. Kikyō tried to leave the palace, but couldn't and thus, Naraku erected a barrier that prevented her Shikigami from accessing it, which rendered her powerless.
Under the assumption that he could control Kikyō, Naraku attached a corrupted fragment of the Shikon Jewel to a soul and placed it within the priestess before sending her after Kagome. The corrupted shard is not enough to control Kikyō, however, and she destroys Naraku's golem. When Kagome arrives, she is subdued by Kikyō's Shikigami. Kikyō tells Kagome that Naraku fears her and wished to control Kikyō and force her into fighting Kagome, but that she had not fallen so low that she, the keeper of the Jewel of Four Souls, would be controlled by a mere fragment. Kikyō then forcefully takes Kagome's Jewel shards, and pushes her down a hole onto the roots of the trees that reveals a person's darkest fears. Once Inuyasha arrived to save Kagome, she left while laughing at Inuyasha, as he could not fight a woman he still loved. Kikyō returns to Naraku's castle, breaking the barrier he had erected to keep Inuyasha away. She then mocks him, explaining to him that his petty feats of minor sorcery does not work on her, and willingly hands over the shards that she had stolen from Kagome, further mocking him by saying that he needs the power of the jewel shards more than anyone due to being a half demon. Kikyō, now finally feeling the freedom that she did not have in her past life, stated that once Naraku gained all of the shards of the sacred Shikon Jewel, she would purify him along with the Jewel and send his evil and corrupt spirit to the Netherworld.
When Naraku confronted Kikyō again and threatened to kill her, she announced that he could not kill her, as Naraku still had the heart of Onigumo and Onigumo loved her with all his wicked heart. Naraku sent a giant soul collector to steal the souls that Kikyō used to sustain herself in order to kill her indirectly, but Kikyō managed to escape, and Inuyasha found and saved her. When Kikyō told Inuyasha that Naraku still harbored feelings for her, a disgusted Inuyasha takes her into his arms and tells her he is the only one who could love and protect her. Though Kikyō pretended to comply, she later wielded a knife to his neck and left after telling Inuyasha that she would use Naraku's weak spot in order to purify him and the Shikon Jewel. Watching Inuyasha call after her, Kikyō thought to herself that the string of fate (with Inuyasha) could not be rejoined since it had already been cut, implying that she could no longer return to him.
Later, Naraku made a second attempt to kill Kikyō by prematurely getting rid of his human heart, but he stopped himself, realizing that he was much weaker without his human heart. Some time afterwards, Naraku left to Mount Hakurei in order to strengthen himself, and succeeded in both completely removing his human heart and becoming much stronger. He confronted Kikyō, and when she asked him what his true objective was, he responded by wounding her chest, belittling her inability to bleed, and pushed her into a river of his poisonous miasma, presumably killing her.
Much later, villagers told Inuyasha's group of a mysterious person known as Saint Hijiri who was rumored to be extremely powerful. Inuyasha encounters her with two Shikigami that had human form: Kochō and Asuka, who told him that Kikyō survived but her body was ravaged by miasma and her voice was lost. Kochō and Asuka assisted Kikyō by bringing Kagome to a waterfall, where Kikyō's severely injured and weakened body lay submerged under the water. They told Kagome that she was the only one able to save Kikyō, and stated that by rubbing some of the soil from Kikyō's grave site into her wounds, she would successfully save Kikyō's life. Kagome agreed to perform this task, and in doing so, witnessed in a dream the events that occurred between Inuyasha and Kikyō fifty years previously. She passed out during the process of purifying the wounds Naraku had inflicted upon Kikyō, but seemingly saved Kikyō by temporarily purifying the wounds in Kikyō's chest. Recovering, Kikyō had Kochō and Asuka bring Inuyasha to her, giving him an arrow covered in Onigumo's cave dirt to be used against Naraku. She would later be forced to create a Mayose spell to kill demon rats released by Hakudōshi to drive her out for Naraku once he realized she survived the attack at Mount Hakurei.
Kikyō gave her shikigami a lock of her hair to find Naraku's heart; they nearly succeeded, only for Kohaku to destroy them before they could reach the Infant. She saw his heart was his own, yet followed Naraku's orders. Questioning him, Kikyō came face-to-face with Naraku, who she couldn't sense approaching thanks to the Fuyōheki. She was nearly decapitated by Kohaku on Naraku's order, but Inuyasha's arrival forced him to retreat. Both she and Inuyasha exchanged intel about Naraku, and she left to find the Infant. She came across it and Kanna, realizing the Fuyōheki was the blue stone the Infant held. However, Mōryōmaru attacked her, and left with her targets. Kikyō would later come across Mōryōmaru again, when he was trying to take Kōga's shards (in the anime), firing an arrow that severed his lower body. When the demon took off, Kikyō noticed two things: Mōryōmaru seemed to have a soul now, and that she was exhausted after firing a single arrow. This meant something was wrong. At night, she was amazed to see two novice monks get past the barrier she had conjured up while recovering. She collapsed, realizing she didn't have much time.
In truth, Kagome's purification powers proved insufficient and Kikyō's wounds reopened. This drove Kikyō to fuse the soul of Midoriko, the all-powerful priestess who created the sacred Shikon jewel, into her own body to close her wounds and hold out the miasma until she could defeat Naraku before she died. Inuyasha arrived to witness the wounds in Kikyō's chest healing very quickly, and she explained to him that since Midoriko was also a priestess who died fighting yōkai, she would understand Kikyō's desire to defeat Naraku. She also told Inuyasha that Naraku could not be killed with the Tessaiga; the only way to completely destroy Naraku was by purifying both his soul and the Shikon Jewel the instant Naraku completes the entire jewel. Kohaku, arriving at the scene by Midoriko's will, overheard what Kikyō told Inuyasha and decided to follow Kikyō in order to aid Kikyō's plan to defeat Naraku. She left promptly saying she had no time hesitate, leaving Inuyasha to think to himself that Kikyō's plan involved removing Kohaku's life-sustaining shard, and that Kikyō could not be capable of doing such a thing.
Kohaku later offered Kikyō his shard to use against Naraku, and Kikyō allowed him to travel by her side, but wished to herself that they had met on different terms so that she could have nurtured his scarred soul and encouraged him to live. While traveling with Kohaku, she kept the Shikon Shard in Kohaku's neck extremely pure, rendering it untouchable to Naraku. During her journey, she saved Kōga and asked that he hand over his shards to her, telling him her plan to purify the Shikon Jewel once it is complete, but Kōga refused. She later encountered Sango and Kagome, who begged Kikyō not to take Kohaku's life and trust in Inuyasha, who was continually working to strengthen his sword, to defeat Naraku.
Naraku tried capturing her in spider webs, resorting to capturing an innocent child in them to force Kikyō to touch them. She sent Kohaku away with her shikigami to keep Naraku's contamination from defiling his shard. She attempted purifying the webs, but found herself unable to while being shown the day she died repeatedly. Meanwhile, Miroku and Inuyasha battled Naraku, during which Miroku opened his Wind tunnel and sucked in an enormous amount of miasma. Miroku was near death, but Kikyō saved him by absorbing and purifying the miasma in her body, although this greatly worsened her own body's condition.
Kikyō and Kohaku encountered Naraku's spiderwebs during their travels together. He used these spiderwebs as a way to contaminate and weaken Kikyō. However, Kikyō had already realized Naraku's plan and remained under her own incredibly strong and powerful spiritual barrier. However, she contaminated herself when she attempted to save a child from the webs. She summoned her Shikigami Kochō and Asuka to place a barrier over Kohaku in order to protect him from Naraku's reach, however, due to the fact that she was entangled in Naraku's spiderwebs, she became defiled and the barrier over Kohaku was broken by one of Naraku's incarnations, Byakuya and Kochō and Asuka is destroyed by Byakuya. She told Kagome, who had also been defiled by Naraku's webs, that the only way to save her life was by acquiring the longbow from the sacred Mount Azusa, but only if it was truly what she wished. Kagome traveled to Mount Azusa, where she was tested by an illusion cast upon her by the Spirit Guardian of the sacred mountain. After passing the test, Kagome and Inuyasha returned to find that Naraku had already captured Kikyō.
The strong connection between Kagome and Kikyō was shown when Kagome was successfully able to tell Kikyō's thoughts by shooting her with the longbow and arrow she had obtained from Mount Azusa at the right time. Kikyō, shot by the sacred longbow from Mount Azusa, fired the sacred arrow from her own body at Naraku. The Jewel was purified before it entered Naraku's body, but Naraku won against Kikyō's powers and successfully contaminated the Shikon Jewel, rendering Kikyō completely powerless and on the verge of death.
Though Naraku declared his victory and Kikyō's defeat, Kikyō thinks to herself that Naraku will find out about that after he dies as she had let a sliver of purifying light in the Shikon Jewel. While Kagome grieves that her powers were insufficient to save Kikyō, Kikyō told Kagome in her spirit that she was able to save her soul.
The wounds Kikyō sustained from saving Miroku from Naraku's miasma spread, and she lay in Inuyasha's arms until night fall. They talked about their past, and how Naraku poisoned their love for each other. She then saw something she had never seen before: Inuyasha was crying. Inuyasha told Kikyō she was the first person he ever cared for or loved, making him feel terrible for being unable to save her. However, Kikyō tells him that the fact he came is all that matters. They share a final kiss before she dies as she turns into a luminous sphere of light. Rather than return to Kagome's body, Kikyō's spirit was gathered by her Soul Collectors and ascended to the twinkling stars where she is finally able to rest in peace.
The speck of purity Kikyō had left in the defiled Shikon Jewel remained after her death and this prevented Naraku from taking the last shard out of Kohaku's neck, until Magatsuhi defiled it and sealed Kagome's spiritual powers, preventing her from purifying it again. He was possessed by this demon and left in order to give Naraku the last shard, meanwhile being forced to relive his painful past through an illusion in his sleep. In this illusion, one of Kikyō's soul-collectors lead Kohaku out of his past, to his sister, who asks for his help and encourages him. He was successfully brought out of this illusion and released from Magatsuhi's possession, and Kohaku gained the strength to stop running from his past and continue to live. However, after a struggle with Naraku, Kohaku has his shard removed, killing him. Naraku mocks Inuyasha's inability to prevent the deaths of both Kikyō and Kohaku, and Sango holds him in tears. Had Naraku absorbed the completed Shikon Jewel, Kikyō's light would have purified it and killed Naraku. However, Kikyō decides to leave the task of defeating Naraku to Inuyasha's group and transfers her speck of purity from the complete Shikon Jewel into Kohaku, so that he may live.
- "I must show my weaknesses to no one. I must never have doubts or demons would overtake me. I am human yet I cannot be human. We are quite alike, you and I. You half-demon... That is why I could not kill you."
- ―Kikyō regarding her demeanor.
- "I loathe all things. I despise every living creature who's bound to time."
- ―Kikyō displaying a bitterness towards life after her resurrection.
After her resurrection, Kikyō was not always as kind as she once was. She had developed a new-found hatred that she never had when she was alive. This freedom to hate satisfied her, as she never was granted this when she was alive. At first, she wanted revenge on Inuyasha, believing him to be her murderer. However, she eventually found out the truth and turned her hatred toward Naraku. Slowly, she started to become more like her former self. Despite her compassion, before meeting Inuyasha, she rarely, openly showed any emotions, always maintaining a calm, seemingly apathetic composure, akin to Sesshōmaru. Unlike him however, Kikyō did not hide the fact that she cared for others, especially her younger sister, Kaede.
Kikyō was also a very wise woman for her age, and quite deceptive. Kikyō devised cunning plans to destroy Naraku, although she went about it in strange ways. For a time, Kikyō seemed to be on Naraku's side since she handed him Kagome's Shikon jewel shards, to which this action caused Inuyasha to accuse Kikyō of betrayal. However, she explained that she gave him the shards to cast Naraku toward death and that she would never allow him to take Inuyasha's life. She wanted revenge just as much as he did and desired to end Naraku's life. She figured out that Naraku was a half-demon and that he still possessed Onigumo's heart, whose owner still had feelings for her. Kikyō found his feelings for her ironic and ludicrous, and felt much contempt toward him. As a Specter, Kikyō has shown more of a sadistic side of her than she was alive as she laughs at Naraku and taunting him, in regards to Naraku's possession of Onigumo's heart, whenever she gets the chance as Naraku spies on her. She was never intimidated by Naraku and was bold whenever she faced him.After Kikyō's resurrection, she developed a strong attachment to life that she didn't have when she was alive. Refusing to die alone, she decided she would take Inuyasha with her to hell. However, this goal eventually faded as she learned more about the circumstances behind her death. Kikyō's feelings for Inuyasha were complex and strained. At first, Kikyō's pure love for him turned to deep hatred (although deep down, part of her still had some feelings for him). As the series progressed, Kikyō's hateful feelings toward Inuyasha disappeared and it soon became clear to everyone that Kikyō's love for Inuyasha had returned. Although Kikyō and Inuyasha's feelings were mutual, their relationship was awkward and strained because of Kagome, her 20th century reincarnation. Kikyō was well aware of Kagome's love for Inuyasha (as well as his for Kagome), and the situation did not sit well with her. Due to this, Kikyō was jealous of Kagome, believing that she was replacing her, and as a result, was not very fond of her. Despite her hidden discomfort over this, Kikyō came to accept the fact that Kagome was taking her place in this world and in the anime, would go as far as to protect Kagome since Inuyasha would be heartbroken if she died. She has been surprised by Kagome's unflinching kindness towards her, despite Kikyō's cold demeanor towards her.
Kikyō was a beautiful pale-skinned woman with long black hair that was often tied into a low loose ponytail by a white ribbon with bangs hanging above over her forehead and brown eyes. Despite her well-known beauty, she regularly showed gloomy or serious expressions due to her background and tragic past. She was 169 cm (5'6), very tall for a Japanese woman in the Sengoku Jidai, making her a centimeter taller than Inuyasha.
Kikyō wore the traditional dress of a miko, which has remained essentially unchanged to this day except for the lack of the slit-shoulder seam. Kikyō wore a white jacket with sode-kukuri (cords) through the sleeves and open shoulders (similar to Inuyasha's and Jaken's outfits). Strings called muna-himo were attached to each lapel and tied in front to keep the garment closed. Kikyō's kosode would be very much like a modern Kendo or Naginata Keikogi, with the sleeve fitting somewhat closely like a modern loose shirt and extending slightly past the wrist. The slits on the side of her hakama, and the openings at the sleeves and shoulders of her hitoe (jacket) showed the white kosode she sported. This was a deliberate fashion effect. Kikyō wore a bright red nagabakama (a very long hakama), which included the small board on the lower back. Like a majority of other characters, she also was perpetually barefoot throughout the series, however this was changed in the anime where Kikyō wore common tabi (socks) and rice straw sandals. Kikyō sported a red Obi, or belt, over all her other garments.
Powers and Abilities
*Kikyō's spiritual powers manifest as a light lavender glow of light in color, although it is light blue on a few occasions.
- Immense Spiritual Power: Kikyō is a highly respected priestess with innately strong spiritual powers. Kikyō has had formal training as a priestess and the average demon is no match for her. Her sister Kaede has even noted that Kikyō is exceptionally powerful, even for a priestess. So great were her spiritual powers, demon slayers entrusted Kikyō with the task of guarding and purifying the Shikon Jewel. By means of her vast spiritual powers, she is able to perform several powerful mystic spells or enchantments (e.g. the high-level mayose spell). Kikyō can also combine shards of the Sacred Jewel through prayer. Even after her revival, Kikyō retained her immense spiritual powers, and in death her power allowed Kohaku to survive the removal of his piece of the Shikon Jewel.
- Spiritual Energy Projection: Kikyō can perform a technique in which her enemy is touched directly and destroyed with spiritual power. Kikyō can cast away the average demon with a single blow, as seen when Kikyō, who was not even completely aware, quickly defeated Urasue. If she is in close range, she can even attack with spiritual power from her finger. Kikyō demonstrated this when she used her finger to smash wood with her spiritual power, intimidating Kagome. On another occasion, when Kikyō and Kagome were trapped alone in a cave together, Kikyō concentrated spiritual power in her palms in order to destroy demonic insects that were attacking them.
- Spiritual Shields: Kikyō can focus her spiritual power into energy shields or screens. Under a barrier, she creates areas that neither humans nor demons can break into. When a human makes a barrier, even an ascetic monk must concentrate hard, but in Kikyō's case, she can maintain a barrier in her sleep.
- Spiritual Immobilization: Kikyō is able to seal another's will, words and action with her spiritual power. When paralyzing someone, she could also make them invisible to everyone else but her. Kikyō sealed Kagome's movement by just touching her forehead lightly with her fingers.
- Spiritual Reflection: If her opponent is less powerful than her, Kikyō can attack without using her own spiritual power and instead return her enemy's released spiritual power back at them. Kikyō has successfully reflected curses and spells back at Tsubaki, who unleashed a shikigami serpent on Kikyō, and an ascetic monk named Seikai, who attempted to seal her with a "Demon Binding Spell."
- Purification Abilities: As a trained priestess, Kikyō can use her spiritual powers to send the evil or unsaved to heaven, and purify malevolent forces (e.g. demonic energies or miasma). She can even concentrate these purifying effects through tools (i.e. arrows). Despite being imbued with a tainted shard of the Shikon Jewel by Naraku, Kikyō did not fall prey to its negative influence and was able purify the shard with ease. Her purification powers are as such that the purifying light she imbued into Kohaku's Shikon Jewel shard was still effective enough to threaten Naraku even after her death. Although, Magatsuhi, the evil force inside the Shikon Jewel, could overcome this purification and was able to corrupt Kohaku's shard.
- Shikigami Creation: Kikyō can create human-like Shikigami to perform various tasks for her; her most used Shikigami were called Kochō and Asuka. Another Shikigami Kikyō had created was referred to as Saint Hijiri and was specifically empowered by her spiritual energies. She used Hijiri as a distraction so that she could take the time to fully recover from the miasma-filled wounds Naraku had inflicted upon her at Mount Hakurei. Kochō and Asuka originally stayed by Hijiri's side, but after St. Hijiri was destroyed by Kagura, they went on to help Kikyō directly.
- Spiritual Awareness: A result of her innate spiritual powers and training as a priestess, Kikyō can visually feel the presence of humans or demons, and distinguish between the divine or the demonic. She can also see through demonic auras and barriers, as well as perceive or sense the presence of shards of the Shikon Jewel.
- Above-Average Endurance: Despite being fatally injured by Naraku disguised as Inuyasha, Kikyo was able to muster the strength in order to seal Inuyasha before ultimately dying in spite of having to walk a considerable distance with her wounds open and bleeding profusely.
- Master Archer and Marksman: Revered as a master archer by Inuyasha, Kikyō excels in the use of a bow and arrow. Due to her great marksmanship, she is capable of firing multiple arrows in rapid succession, striking a foe's weak points with extreme accuracy and directly hitting small targets at great distances, even precisely piercing Inuyasha near the heart with a single arrow, despite being fatally injured and him moving at high-speed through the air. Kikyō was able to teach her younger sister, Kaede, the skill of archery that led to her being a powerful priestess and archer herself.
- Proficient Healer: Kikyō is an extremely skilled and experienced healer, equipped with an extensive knowledge of medicinal herbs. By using her spiritual powers to dispel pallbearers of the underworld or demons, she can further protect the lives of the sick or injured using her medical knowledge.
- High Intelligence: Acutely perceptive, Kikyo can see right through enemies' aims and calmly analyze their positions or situations. She also has a wealth of knowledge.
As a Specter
Having had strong spiritual power in life, Kikyō was revived by the necromantic arts of the yōkai sorceress Urasue. After her resurrection, Kikyō's body was made of her own bones, which retained their spiritual power, and the soil from her gravesite. Kikyō since gained access to a number of other supernatural powers after her revival, all while retaining her skills as a priestess and spiritual powers.
- Immortality: Upon being resurrected by Urasue, Kikyō gained a caliber of immortality. As she was the specter of a deceased human, Kikyō was immune to natural death (e.g. aging, diseases, mundane poisons, and other ordinary fatalities for humans) as long as she sustained her clay-body with the souls of the dead. For example, after being resurrected by Urasue, Kikyō returned in her injured state but was still able to put up a considerable fight against Inuyasha despite "bleeding" profusely from her open wounds. Kikyō has also survived falling from great heights.
- Shinidamachū Command: Kikyō can summon and command serpent-like demons at will, using them to help sustain her clay body. In particular, she obtains information about the dead and has the shinidamachū deprive them of their souls before they ascend to heaven. Apparently, miserable women's dead souls are especially easier for her to absorb. Kikyō can also use these creatures to ensnare others and obtain information.
- Flight: By allowing her soul collectors to envelop her and carry her throughout the air, Kikyō can achieve a form of flight.
- Puppetry: Kikyō's soul collectors can steal the souls of the living, making them her mindless slave.
- Barrier Against Naraku: Kikyō put some of the soil from Onigumo's cave, which was saturated with the bandit's feelings for her, into her body. Acting as a barrier of earth, this served to nullify Naraku's demonic power by inducing a rush of Onigumo's feelings. Thus while Onigumo's heart still remained inside of Naraku, the latter could not freely harm her without being negatively affected as well.
- Teleportation: Kikyō has, on several occasions, suddenly appeared or vanished from the scene. Whether this is an illusion or the result of her erecting and dispelling her barrier is unknown.
- Psychic Link: Kikyō and Kagome seemed to have the ability to communicate telepathically towards the end of Kikyō's life. They first spoke mentally when Kagome was about to shoot her sacred arrow at a corrupted Sacred Jewel and once more when Kikyō was dying in Inuyasha's arms.
- Bow and Arrows: Kikyō often carries a traditional red Saigu-Yumi and a quiver of Hamaya. Unlike Kagome, who used a hankyū (半弓), Kikyō normally used a daikyū (大弓).
- Sacred Arrows: Kikyō can charge arrows with her spiritual powers, which allows the arrows to pulverize enemies, penetrate barriers, break spells, and purify objects such as the Shikon Jewel. The effectiveness of her sacred arrows varies depending on her emotional state, but at times her spiritual power becomes such that it can destroy buildings. Even if they merely graze her enemies, her sacred arrows can still cause considerable damage. Kikyō can control the extent of her spiritual power at will, and is able to seal enemies without exterminating them; for example, by simply nailing her intended target to a tree. This type of sacred arrow is referred to as the "Arrow of Sealing" and places a demon under a spell of eternal sleep. According to Kikyō, these arrows are meant to seal demons who are otherwise invincible. If a demon is sealed onto the Tree of Ages, the demon's body with remain perfectly intact and preserved. They will only awaken when the one who shot the arrow desperately wishes for the demon to be revived.
- Reflection: By charging her bow with spiritual power, Kikyō can reflect a weaker opponent's spiritual power back at them. She has used her bow to return Tsubaki's released shikigami serpent and damaged Tsubaki's face, leaving a spiritual scar.
- Knife: Kikyō has hidden a knife on her person at least once. When Inuyasha embraced Kikyō, she pulled out a knife from her sleeve to threaten him.
- Emotions: According to Tsubaki, when a priestess abandons all human emotion (e.g. love) her true power emerges. Kikyō's spiritual powers apparently did weaken after she fell in love with Inuyasha.
- Mortality: Despite her spiritual powers, Kikyō was 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.). In fact it was a fatal wound inflicted by Naraku himself that resulted in her death.
- Overexertion: As exemplified by both Kaede and Tsukiyomi, exerting one's spiritual powers beyond a certain point can cause extreme physical exhaustion and, if taken to the extreme, death. While Kikyō seemed to have an infinite well of spiritual power, there is at least one instance in which she suffered from the effects of overexertion.
- Spiritual Powers: Despite having great spiritual power herself, Kikyō still proved susceptible to the effects of spiritual power. For example, Kikyō was cursed by Tsubaki.
- Kagome: Kikyō's reincarnation, Kagome Higurashi, held power over their shared soul; when Kikyō reacted to Kagome's anger, her soul left her. Kagome, having the same soul, was also able to freely pass through Kikyō's barrier unimpeded.
- Shōki: Strong poisons, such as Naraku's improved miasma, can impair her. This is shown when after being blown into a river of Naraku's powerful miasma and having it infect her clay body, she was incapacitated until temporarily purified by Kagome.
- Soul Deficiency: As Kikyō's soul had already been reincarnated in Kagome, only a portion of it remains in her clay body. She therefore suffers from a soul deficiency and must recharge it with dead souls; otherwise she becomes unable to move.
- Spiritual Powers: Despite having great spiritual power herself, Kikyō still proved susceptible to the effects of spiritual power. For example, Kikyō was momentarily subdued by Seikai's demon-binding spell; however, Kikyō's own strength of will and power was able to overpower the monk's spell. Additionally, the purifying barrier around Mount Hakurei was so powerful that it took Kikyō all her strength just to remain at the base of the mountain.
- "Inuyasha, after meeting you I renounced my position as a shrine priestess. I became an ordinary woman. I longed to embrace you like this when I was alive. We are unable to turn back the hands of time. So please, allow me to embrace you a little longer."
- ―Kikyō regarding her feelings towards Inuyasha.
Kikyō and Inuyasha met when she first started guarding the jewel. At first they battled each other, but as time went on they both fell in love. Wanting to be a normal human, Kikyō asked Inuyasha if he would use the Shikon no Tama to become a human and to be with her. Naraku then takes action by causing Inuyasha and Kikyō to turn against other ending in Inuyasha being sealed to the Tree Of Ages and Kikyō's death. However, both Inuyasha and Kikyō would meet again after the demon Urasue brings Kikyō back to life and the seal on Inuyasha is broken by her modern reincarnation, Kagome. All Kikyō wanted in the end was to live together with Inuyasha as a normal woman, but in the end, she was killed yet again by Naraku. However, after a long period of suffering, she said her soul was saved by Kagome, so she shared a final kiss with Inuyasha and died in his arms. Although she died, her light saved Kohaku instead of destroying Naraku after her death. Inuyasha suffered a heartbroken depression of losing Kikyō, as he wanted to protect her forever; he suffered from self-inflicted insomnia for some time because he did not want to constantly see Kikyo in his dreams, which he found too painful.
Kagome is Kikyō's reincarnation, even though their personalities are very different. - While Kikyō has a vengeful, distrustful and stoic personality, Kagome has a kind, cheerful, forgiving and open-hearted personality. At first, Kagome's body is used by a witch to revive Kikyō. However, not much later after Kikyō is reanimated, Kagome begins to call back her soul. Kikyō eventually escapes the scene with a small fragment of her soul intact. Early into the series, Kikyō has a confrontation with Kagome. Kikyō tried to kill Kagome (which she tells to Inuyasha afterwards). Both of them care and are in love with Inuyasha and several times they've work together and helped each other out and both have saved one another on numerous occasions throughout the series. Kagome and Kikyō are jealous of each other, as both share a special bond with Inuyasha, although Kikyō has shown her envy to be greater. Right before Kikyō's death, Kikyō gives Kagome her own bow and wishes Kagome well, asking her not to cry as Inuyasha takes her off. Kikyō also entrusts Kagome with the duty of destroying Naraku and the jewel, as well as keeping the "light" in Kohaku's shard. Unable to save Kikyō from Naraku's spiderweb's wounds, Kagome sheds tears and wishes she could have somehow done more to save her; Kikyō consoles her that she did manage to purify her soul, ensuring her a peaceful afterlife. Kikyō also has a high opinion of Kagome, telling Tsubaki her curse would not affect Kagome and would not interfere with Tsubaki's attempt to kill Kagome, apparently wanting her to get stronger from the experience.
- "His eyes show no fear. Not even the slightest hesitation. Is life so painful for you that you welcome death? It saddens me greatly that if we had met under different circumstances, my only instinct would have been to heal this child's broken soul and encouraged him to live his life. But my duty now forbids me from doing that for him. Forgive me, Kohaku."
- ―Kikyō's thoughts about Kohaku.
Kohaku was found sometime later that year by Kikyō who felt pity for the boy. During her journey, Kikyō would try purifying Kohaku. During the last season, Kohaku would be Kikyō's travel companion after being freed from Naraku's corruption. Kohaku, believing that his shard would help in destroying Naraku, decides to sacrifice his shard and dies. As her last act of compassion for Kohaku, Kikyō withdrew her spirit and power from the now-contaminated Shikon Jewel and instead use it in resurrecting Kohaku.
The two have a brief relationship with one another. The two would meet right before Moryōmaru would fight Naraku, and detecting that Kōga is in possession of two of the three remaining jewel shards, Kikyō warns him not to recklessly chase after Naraku or his incarnations, in fear that the shards may end up in Naraku's hands. Unlike Inuyasha, Kōga was not interested in Kikyō at all and even started disliking her when she tried to force him to give up his jewel shards. He was present when Naraku grabbed her to preclude her from having the miasma within her being purified by Kagome and during her final moments.
Sesshōmaru is Inuyasha's older half-brother as they had a first met on Affections Touching Across Time. Both know each other's relation with Inuyasha, and meet twice while pursuing Naraku but do not speak to each other (in Mount Hakurei and when Moryōmaru acquired Meiōjū's shell).
Suikotsu was a good man and a doctor and his other personality that became the Band of Seven.
Kansuke was a bandit...
Kikyō was fond of her younger sister Kaede. The two were very close at the time that Kikyō was alive. Not long before she died, Kikyō accidentally shot a demon within close proximity of Kaede and a part of the demon flew at Kaede, blinding her in one eye. At the time of Kikyō's resurrection, Kikyō could not recognize Kaede since fifty years had passed since her demise, but Kikyō visited Kaede occasionally. At Kikyō's final death, Kikyō's soul visits Kaede and bids her last apologies and farewell, showing her great love for her younger sister.
- "Naraku, I will not die now. Do you expect me to die in your filthy arms!?"
- ―Kikyō displaying her contempt for Naraku.
Naraku is the man who tricked Kikyō into betraying Inuyasha. While Kikyō harbors an obvious hatred and disgust for him, Naraku is mixed between hatred and love for Kikyō due to his human heart that once belonged to a bandit named Onigumo. Onigumo had once been in love with Kikyō when she tended to him out of pity. Throughout the series, Kikyō and Naraku interact on several occasions. At one point, Kikyō gives Naraku sacred jewel shards. It is misunderstood at the time that Kikyō had formed an alliance with Naraku, however in truth, she had been planning to purify the Shikon jewel along with Naraku once it was completed. Naraku also attempts to kill Kikyō on many occasions because she is one of his largest weaknesses, eventually succeeding. At the end of the series, it is revealed that Naraku's true wish on the Sacred Jewel had been to have Kikyō's love but it was not granted.
- "It's possible. It's true that you are half-demon, but you are also half-human. If the Sacred Jewel of the Four Souls fell into the hands of a demon, their powers would undoubtedly increase. However, if it were used to turn you into a human, it would be purified. The Jewel of the Four Souls would probably cease to exist."
- "Liar! I was a fool beyond compare in believing your farfetched tales and wishing to live together with you. I despise you with my last breath. My spirit cannot forget that all-consuming hatred. So as long as you live, my spirit cannot be freed."
- "You are saying you wish for me to die, is that it? For if my soul were to return to the girl, then I would cease to exist forever. You must know that. Is that what you desire, Inuyasha? I refuse to die. My spirit cannot rest in peace until I see you dead!"
- "This is the second time you've asked me to die, Inuyasha. So then why do you look so sad? Is it because you feel the heat from my hand? The heat of anger? The flames of vengeance?"
- "The wheel of destiny is ever in motion. Eternal."
- "Inuyasha, never forget. Remember the feel of my lips against yours, for it was real. Never forget."
- "If I had lived, it would have been I who tended to the wounds in his soul."
- "Go, Naraku... Gather the shards of the Jewel. And once you've found them all, then I will send you to Hell. I am free to hate. My soul is so much freer now than it was then. Free to hate. Free to love."
- "Inuyasha, Naraku will only grow stronger and stronger. You mustn't allow him to kill you. Until I am able to cast both Naraku and the Shikon Jewel from this world, your life belongs to me. No one else will have you."
- "He is reluctant to admit it, but I am certain that he has a lingering desire for me. And in an effort to ease that feeling, he's trying to get rid of me."
- "Tsubaki, do as you please with Kagome, I have no intention of interfering. But if you should ever do any harm to Inuyasha, I will personally see to your demise!"
- "You can never be with Inuyasha again. Nor I, for I am one of the dead and as such... I too don't belong here."
- "I choose to stay here. I want to stay close to those children for a while. Besides, even if I wish to, I cannot go. Inuyasha, you saw them. You saw my soul collectors being repelled by the aura of this land. It took everything I had, just to stand at the base of the mountain."
- "The battle continues. The fact that I walk this path once more only serves to confirm my wretched fate. And what awaits me beyond this darkness. Once more, just once more, I must ascertain the whereabouts of those mortals resurrected from the grave."
- "No! Why are these memories coming back to me now?"
- "Nothing's stopping me. I will put an end to Naraku's life. That's what this means."
- "I'm surprised you allowed yourself to be distracted by that abomination. How pathetic."
- "Don’t cry, Kagome. My soul was saved."
- "I’m sorry, Kaede. You have suffered a lot because of me. I’m really very sorry. "
- Noriko Hidaka who voiced Kikyō also voiced Akane Tendo in Ranma ½, another series by Rumiko Takahashi.
- In the English dub, Willow Johnson also voiced Kasumi Tendo in Ranma ½.
- In the Korean dub, her name was changed to Geumgang.
- Rumiko Takahashi stated in an interview that Kikyō had died around the age of 17, but this wasn't a direct statement. Plus, it seemed to contradict her official character profiles book, which states she was 18.
- Rumiko Takahashi stated that she chose Kikyō's name basing on the language of flowers, as the Chinese Bellflower's meaning is "unchanging love."
- According to Rumiko Takahashi, in the end, Kagome's spiritual power was stronger than Kikyō's; albeit, most of Kagome's powers are currently undeveloped.
- In the manga, Kikyo is much more loving and gentle to Inuyasha once she realizes that Naraku was responsible for her death.
- Also in the manga, she is more expressive, smirking and even goading both InuYasha and Naraku multiple times.
- Even if Kikyo hadn't been killed a second time, it's not likely she could have survived into the Modern Era, as fresh souls to keep her animated would grow increasingly less abundant for obvious reasons.
- Episode 1 (Hanyō no Yashahime) (Appears in a flashback)
- Episode 4 (Hanyō no Yashahime) (Appearance borrowed by the Tree of Ages)
- Episode 5 (Hanyō no Yashahime) (mentioned)
- Episode 7 (Hanyō no Yashahime) (mentioned)
- Episode 8 (Hanyō no Yashahime) (impersonated by the Sacred Tree; voice heard)
- Episode 15 (Hanyō no Yashahime) (Appears in a flashback)
- Zusetsutaizan Ōgikaiden, page 136
- The Art of InuYasha
- In the anime only
- InuYasha anime; Episode 47
- Zusetsutaizan Ōgikaiden, page 140
- InuYasha anime; Episode 23
- InuYasha anime; Episode 98
- InuYasha manga; Chapter 75, page 17
- InuYasha anime; Episode 23
- Zusetsutaizan Ōgikaiden, page 139
- Zusetsutaizan Ōgikaiden, page 142
- InuYasha manga; Chapter 174, page 7
- Zusetsutaizan Ōgikaiden, page 139
- InuYasha anime; Episode 43
- InuYasha anime; Episode 61
- InuYasha The Final Act anime; Episode 8
- InuYasha anime; Episode 147
- Zusetsutaizan Ōgikaiden, page 138
- InuYasha anime; Episode 116
- Rumiko Takahashi Backstage 1
- Zusetsutaizan Ōgikaiden, page 52
- Episode 4 PV
|Incarnations||Kanna • Kagura • Goshinki • Jūrōmaru • Kagerōmaru • Musō • Infant • Hakudōshi • Byakuya • Akagane|
|Rejected parts||Unnamed incarnation • Hair monster • Eye monster • Onigumo (reabsorbed) • Kugutsu|
|Allies||Saimyōshō • Sesshōmaru (formerly) • Tsubaki • Hakushin • Shichinintai (Bankotsu) • Abi • Tekkei • Mōryōmaru • Mirror demon • Magatsuhi|
|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|
|Miscellaneous||Shikon no Tama • Kazaana • Onigumo's cave • Naraku's castle • Mount Hakurei|