InuYasha
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Midoriko (みどり, "Green Child") was an extremely powerful miko who created the Shikon Jewel in order to eliminate the wicked demon-of-demons. Once in doing so, she had forced out not only the demon spirit, but her own spirit as well, which is the Shikon Jewel. She represents the purity of the jewel called Naohi.

History

Origins

Midoriko lived centuries before the events of the series, during the Heian period,[1] a time when the nobility were still in control of Japan.[2]

As a priestess, Midoriko was well known for her vastly strong spiritual abilities, more specifically her ability to purify demon's spirits, rendering them completely powerless. It was because of this ability that she was both hated and feared by demons. At some point of her life, a mortal man secretly desired Midoriko and many vengeful yōkai possessed him.

Death

Midoriko in her final battle.

In her final battle, Midoriko was ambushed by many yōkai. The battle lasted for a whole week and eventually, a dragon yōkai captured her in its jaws. In one final attempt to defeat the demon, she pulled his spirit into her body, fusing it with her own spirit, and then expelled them both simultaneously along with her heart.

Both the demon and Midoriko died, but their spirits combined to give birth to the Shikon Jewel. The two remained imprisoned within the jewel and continued to battle ever since. Being the light of the jewel, she can move freely even in the evil part, while her great enemy can't do the same in the good part, as he would be purified instantly as he was no longer protected by the darkness.

During the story

Midoriko's mummified corpse inside the cave.

Although many years have passed, her body exists (in crystallized form in the anime, as a mummy in the manga) in the yōkai taijiya village. She was first seen when Sango explained to the group how the jewel was created. She made a cameo, in which she saved Myōga, though it could just have been Myōga seeing things.

Midoriko's spirit is later called upon by Kikyō to help purify her wounds from Naraku after they had re-opened. Kikyō figured that since they were alike spirits in the sense that they were both miko who fought yōkai and wanted the jewel to be purified that she would help Kikyō. After Kikyō's wounds were successfully healed by Midoriko's power, Midoriko herself was able to erect powerful barriers to prevent Inuyasha's group from following Kikyō and Kohaku, who through his jewel shard she ordered to go after Naraku.

Midoriko attempts to purify Naraku through Kōga's shards.

Midoriko begins to enact her will in Kōga's shards and regularly stops his legs from moving in order to allow him to be captured by his enemies like Mōryōmaru and Naraku in an attempt to purify them. In Kikyō's final battle with Naraku, Midoriko remotely purifies Kōga's shards so that when Naraku captures him in the battle Naraku would take the purified shards in and then Kikyō could do her part and purify the jewel and Naraku at once.

However, Naraku noticing the effect the purity of Kōga's shards had on his body even when he slightly touched him gave him enough reason to hide his jewel in Kikyō so that when he fully took the shards once he captured him he wouldn't be purified which unfortunately worked. Once Kikyō's final plan was defeated and she died at Naraku's hands it seemed that the plan had failed, except for the small light in the jewel and Kohaku's shard which still remained.

At the end

The everlasting battle has ended (anime only).

When Inuyasha entered the jewel, he finally saw Midoriko herself and witnessed her to help him fighting and defeating a huge amount of demons that form the demon of the Shikon Jewel. Then, she disappeared in a huge light flash and never returned.

In the manga, although it is not directly explained, the yōkai's wish made by Naraku dissolved forever her spirit in order to prepare the new place for Kagome. Indeed, immediately after her disappearance, the demons tell very clearly to Inuyasha that her battle with them has lasted for the hundreds of years since the Shikon Jewel was born and Kagome will continue it from here. Furthermore, as soon as the light dies, the huge spider web with Naraku's dead spirit instantly appears. Then, with her final death, Inuyasha became her true successor in the ancient fight against the demon, though Kagome was still essential to destroy the Shikon Jewel through her wish.

Instead, in the anime version, after Kagome makes her wish to destroy the jewel and also stop its plan to replace the demon and Midoriko with Naraku and herself, Midoriko ceased her fighting and disappeared along with the demons she fought, implying that her battle had finally ended and she was allowed to move on to the afterlife.

Physical description

Midoriko's appearance differs in the manga and anime adaptation.

In the manga, Midoriko's face is always hidden in shadows, preventing the reader from seeing what she looked like in life. Her corpse was mummified and in an advanced state of decay; her face shrunken and the right of her abdomen torn open by her opponent revealing her ribcage.

In the anime, Midoriko's full face is shown to the audience, revealing her to be a beautiful young woman with determined eyes, she is also shown speaking. Her corpse in the anime appears to be a crystalized statue retaining the beauty she had in life.

Powers & Abilities

The appearance of Midoriko.

  • Immense Spiritual Power: Midoriko is probably the most powerful priestess shown in the entire series. She was said to be greater than any priest/priestess and generals in her time. As the representation of the purity in the Shikon no Tama, Midoriko possessed extremely high levels of spiritual power, strength and energy. Even a priestess like Kikyō had specifically sought to obtain Midoriko's spirit in order to completely destroy Naraku due to the strong powers she has over the Shikon Jewel.
    • Immense Purification: Her purification abilities are said to be capable of purifying hundreds to thousands of demons all at once. This is shown when her powers were able to completely purify Naraku's miasma when Kikyō fused Midoriko's spirit unto her body to heal the miasma inflicted wounds that Naraku inflicted upon her body, even though Kagome's purification could only temporarily heal Kikyō's injuries.

Midoriko creating the Shikon no Tama.

    • Shikon: Midoriko's most fearsome and powerful ability was to excorsice Shikon. One's spirit is made up of four souls in Naohi (直霊): Aramitama (荒魂, Courage), Nigimitama (和魂, Friendship), Kushimitama (奇魂, Wisdom) and Sakimitama (幸魂, Love). She contained these four spirits at their maximum and balanced, giving her the ability to drive out the soul of anything and purify it. Midoriko mainly used it on demons which left them powerless. It was this ability that she used to defeat the Demon of the Shikon no Tama and create the Shikon no Tama.
      • Shikon Jewel Influence: As the good and purity of the Shikon Jewel, Midoriko has some influence and control over the jewel and its shards that can be exerted into the living world even if she has long died. Her influence over the jewel was so great that the collective power of the wolf tribe ancestors was only able to temporarily override her control of Kōga's jewel shards.
    • Barrier: Midoriko has the ability to create very powerful barriers, even though she was within the Shikon no Tama. She could maintain the barrier on the entrance of the cave (anime only) where the Shikon no Tama was created, having enough strength to easily withstand the barrier-breaking Red Tessaiga (manga only). The barrier she has within the cave is capable of physically expelling anyone who displays a selfish desire for the jewel straight out of it, as seen when Inuyasha boasted about obtaining the jewel to become a full demon which cause him to be thrown out of the cave which Shippō likens to being Midoriko's version of the Beads of Subjugation.
  • Master Swordswoman: Due to the endless battles and wars she had experienced, Midoriko was a skilled swordswoman, able to ward off a multitude of demons with a single blow. Her swordsmanship led her to have the strength equal to one hundred samurai according to lore.
  • Immense Endurance: Midoriko had extremely high stamina, fighting many demons, who had all merged into one single demon, for seven days and seven nights without any rest. It was even shown that she had managed to defeat him after losing her left arm and being impaled by his tentacles with little reaction.

Weapons

Midoriko's defeating hordes of demons.

  • Sword: Midoriko carries and uses a large two-edged sword as her main weapon. It doesn't seem to have any special abilities outside of being an excellent medium for her spiritual powers.
    • Purification Slash: Midoriko can imbue her spiritual powers into the sword, purifying hundreds upon hundreds of demons in one sweep.
  • Samurai Armor: Midoriko is shown to wearing samurai armor over her priestess attire when she fought, though she only seems to wear the chest plate, shoulder plates, and skirt portion of the chest plate.

Manga vs. anime

Kirara standing beside Midoriko (anime only).

  • Midoriko's appearance is different in the anime as detailed above.
  • Midoriko's admirer is not adapted into the anime.
  • It is hinted that Kirara fought by Midoriko's side in the anime, while in the manga, no such suggestions were made.
  • In the anime, Inuyasha, Kagome, Shippō, Miroku, and Myōga are unable to enter the cave and they can only get in after Sango tells them how. In the manga, they are able to walk in without her.

Trivia

  • How Midoriko's name pronunciation is changed in the English Dub of InuYasha The Final Act; in the original series, it was pronounced "mee-door-e-ko", now it's pronounced "meed-oh-ree-ko".
  • When the Shikon no Tama is pure being held by miko, exorcist, hōshi or priest it turns a soft pink color by Naohi/Good, whom is represented by Midoriko, means she is winning over Magatsuhi the evil within the Shikon Jewel.
  • In the fourth movie, InuYasha: Fire on the Mystic Island, the clothing that the fake Kikyō is wearing looks pretty similar to Midoriko's clothing.
  • She is the only priestess shown in the story that wields a sword, not counting the Kikyō that appeared in the fourth movie, as she was a clone.
  • Despite being responsible for the whole story of InuYasha (she was responsible for the existence of the Shikon Jewel), she has a really minor role in the actual story.
  • Though the two women are drawn similarly by the anime artists, Izayoi is revealed in the third movie to be the daughter of a feudal lord who fell in love with a demon. She is shown in Inuyasha's memories to have raised him for at least part of his childhood in a feudal court and is presumed to have died of natural causes when he was just a child. By all accounts, she was in no way equipped to fight demons as Midoriko was. The Shikon Jewel is reputed to have existed for centuries before Inuyasha was born and was created by Midoriko's death, while so Izayoi didn't die until after Inuyasha was born, as clearly shown in the third movie. Therefore, any resemblance to Midoriko on a physical level is simply coincidence.

Media appearances

Manga

Anime

Notes

  1. In the anime only.

References

  1. Zusetsutaizan Ōgikaiden, page 179, "The cycle of the Shikon Jewel's arrival"
  2. Several hundred years before the then 'Sengoku jidai' (Age of Wars), there was a strong central government in Japan. However, for various reasons, the government weakened and lost control, and all the local lords started fighting with each other for control, thus beginning the Sengoku jidai.

See also

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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