A Kugutsu (傀儡, くぐつ, "Puppet"), commonly referred to as a demon puppet, or puppet for short, is a golem of sorts used by certain characters to act as an avatar or substitute. The demonic equivalent of shikigami, kugutsu are most often used by Naraku so that he can perform certain tasks without placing himself in any real danger. The anime-exclusive character Sara Asano also conjured a few to trick and trap Inuyasha.
A drawback of kugutsu is that they are relatively easy to defeat for characters with any real skill or power. Once the spell is broken, kugutsu users are instantly cut off from their instruments and are unaware of what is happening in its location thereafter.
A unique kind of demon puppet was a form crafted by Hakudōshi. Unlike Naraku's demon puppets, Hakudōshi's puppets were not made from soil and demonic energy, but were made from the actual flesh of demons, animated by the haku spirits of humans. Because they were made from real demons, they were much stronger than Naraku's puppets but could not be controlled remotely, responding only to vocal commands. The purpose of Hakudōshi's experiments was to create a suit of armor for the Infant that would afford his other, more vulnerable half protection and allow the two to overthrow Naraku. The end result of these experiments was the creation of Mōryōmaru.
By putting the Infant inside Mōryōmaru, the Infant was able to act as the puppet's soul, which made Mōryōmaru much more effective in battle. Because of Mōryōmaru's composite nature, like Naraku he was able to absorb other demons in order to gain their powers and increase his strength. Unlike Naraku, he could even absorb their techniques. Mōryōmaru was able to defeat Naraku in battle and absorb him, but because Mōryōmaru was just a puppet and had no will of his own, outside of that given to him by the Infant's presence, Mōryōmaru was unable to prevent Naraku from taking over his body from the inside, which eventually led to his destruction.
Yet another form of demon puppets used was the Demon Ninja Darkness Puppet technique used by Hoshiyomi's demon ninjas. Genbu was able to use a photograph of Eri, Yuka, and Ayumi to create replicas of them to deceive Kagome into giving up the Ken blade. The technique requires complete concentration, unlike other demon puppets, as the puppets were shown to wobble around when Genbu was distracted by Suzaku.
|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 • Abi • Tekkei • Mōryōmaru • Mirror demon • Magatsuhi|
|Enemies||Kikyō • Inuyasha • Kagome Higurashi • Miyatsu • Miroku's father • Miroku • Sango • Kohaku • Kōga • Sesshōmaru (currently) • Kaguya • Mōryōmaru • Hitomiko • Kansuke • Kaede • Midoriko • Rin • Jaken • A-Un|
|Miscellaneous||Shikon no Tama • Kazaana • Onigumo's cave • Naraku's castle • Mount Hakurei|