InuYasha
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Sesshōmaru's mother (せっしょうまるはは, "Sesshōmaru's Mother") is an inu daiyōkai who lives in a large mansion in the sky and the first wife of Tōga, who fathered their son. She held the Meidō Stone, which was given to her by Tōga, who instructed that she should use it and not feel fear nor sadness should Sesshōmaru ever approach her seeking information about the Tenseiga, even if testing their son's abilities meant putting his life in danger.

History

On the 500th year in the Heian period, she and Zero waited as Tōga and Kirinmaru are going to destroy the Grim Comet.

During the Story

She had appeared in her true form to meet up with her son after centuries of being apart to help in testing him to perfect Meidō Zangetsuha.

Hanyō no Yashahime

Outside her manor, she was visited by Kirinmaru who told her about his dislike about his elder sister Zero's meddling in Sesshōmaru's affairs. She then said that he did not care what happened to her granddaughters, but was amused at Kirinmaru assuming that her son's ultimate aim was to care for his twin daughters as such sentiment would make him seem more human.

As Towa, Setsuna, Moroha, and Akuru ride on Takechiyo and Jaken holds his tail, she was expecting to see her grandchildren. She showed sorrow at seeing Moroha, the quarter dog-demon daughter of her half dog-demon stepson. Already aware of their desire to travel through time, she told her twin granddaughters and step-granddaughter that they merely had to go to the Windmill of Time and the doorway would open for them. Wanting to test their worth further, she used her Meidō necklace to call form Meidomaru, the embodiment of the wrath of the Underworld, as he was quite amusing.

Personality

In demeanor, she appears to be a slightly haughty woman with a certain playfulness, as she does not recall other individuals' names and states that her son didn't inherit his father's charm. She is open about her opinions and feelings, calmly revealing her thoughts about her family to Jaken, something Sesshōmaru would have never allowed himself to do.

Similar to Sesshōmaru, his mother is a rather graceful individual that acts with apparent indifference, only casually concerned about the possibility of her son's death while observing his trial, and being mildly offended after he refuses the escape route she provides for him. She may have had an influence on Sesshōmaru's initial attitude toward humans, inquiring if he was planning to eat young ​​​​​​Rin and Kohaku after observing they followed him.

Despite these qualities, she is shown to have a good heart, applauding her son for seeking to perfect the Tenseiga as an instrument of healing, rather than a weapon for destruction. She lectures him about the qualities of the wielder of the Tenseiga, emphasizing the need for compassion, love, and a pure heart.

She also cares about Sesshōmaru and protects him in subtle ways; when Kirinmaru told her he suspects Sesshōmaru's true goal is protecting his daughters, Sesshōmaru's mother told Kirinmaru doing so goes against his nature, even though she played a key role in teaching Sesshōmaru compassion years earlier.

Physical description

She appears as a beautiful, slender woman of fair skin. She has pointed ears, slanted golden eyes with slit pupils, and long silver hair that is always tied up into pigtails by pale lilac ornaments, with short bangs. She has a violet crescent moon on her forehead, a small magenta lightning-like stripe on each cheek, a matching stripe on each eyelid, purple lipstick, short fangs in her mouth, and magenta-sharpened nails on each digit. Able to transform into a massive dog, she spent most of her time in humanoid form, similar to her son's.

Outfit

Sesshōmaru's mother sitting on her throne.

She wears a white and purple kimono with green and yellow butterfly designs on it, a turquoise hadajuban and white hadagi under dresses, and a navy outer wrap that had a fur pelt, which is wrapped around her chest and at the end. In addition, she has a bright sky blue pearl necklace with an amulet of the sacred Meidō Stone.

Powers & Abilities

Sesshōmaru and his mother in their true forms.

Dog-Demon Physiology

  • Enhanced Senses
  • Superhuman Condition
  • Longevity: As a daiyōkai, she has supernatural longevity. She appears to be physically a young grown woman despite being older than her centuries old son.
  • Transformation (変化, へんげ, "Henge"): Like Sesshōmaru and Tōga, she is able to transform into a giant dog. This gave her an incredible increase in strength, among other abilities.
    • Flight: She is capable of independent flight in her giant dog-demon form, even at extreme altitude.
  • Spiritual Insight: Sesshōmaru's mother has the unique ability to see the ancient and infinitely powerful Windmill of Time, and the Spirit of Time, Akuru.
  • Spiritual Affinity and Awareness: Even though she does not possess any spiritual powers, she does have the ability commune with the recently departed and even guide them through the Underworld if she wishes via her Meidō Stone.

Weapons

Sesshōmaru's mother holding the Meidō Stone, a last memento of her deceased estranged husband

  • Meidō Stone: With the stone linked with the various realms of the dead, she is able to open and close a portal to Hell or to deepest depths of the Netherworld itself. She was also able to summon hellish creatures to do her bidding and snatch souls to revive someone, as seen when she resurrected young Rin for a third and final time. She can also call form entities from the Underworld for assistance or further trials.

Relationships

Family

Tōga

She was the first wife of the Great Dog Demon. Not much was known about their relationship beyond the fact that they had Sesshōmaru together before he met Izayoi. It could be indicated that she still did love her estranged husband deeply and still thought highly of him, mentioning him quite a few times when Sesshōmaru's group met her, apparently being fond of his "charm," and seemed to value the life lessons that he had left her to teach to their son. She pointed out his odd fascination with humans, but respected it nonetheless. Zero also indicated that his death had affected her more than she showed and that she not only felt grief but also hatred at Izayoi for leading him to his death and though she remained dismissive over Izayoi's humanity, she never denied Zero's accusations of her feelings over her estranged husband's death, suggesting there is some truth to it.

Sesshōmaru

She was a powerful demon who gave birth to Sesshōmaru, though she sometimes seemed unconcerned for his actions. Actually, she was shown to be quite the authority figure who wasn't afraid to scold him if she felt that he acted childish and too full of pride, eventually taught him about the value of life. Despite her harsh nature toward him, she truly did love her son and wanted what was best for him, resurrecting Rin a second time to make Sesshōmaru happy. She later on showed her concern for her son's happiness by being clearly displeased when Zero revealed he was likely miserable as her death meant Rin would die as well.

As eighteen years had passed, she had not seen nor communicated with her son for quite some time, being amused at his current situation regarding his desire to ensure the safety of his young human wife and twin half dog-demon daughters by any means necessary. Eventually, she appears to detect that her son's very life is threatened and even that of her eldest twin granddaughter.

Rin

Since Rin was a little girl and a human, Sesshōmaru's mother didn't really like her as a person, but she was curious about why Sesshōmaru allowed this girl to travel with him. She only resurrected Rin in order to make her son happy, informing the young human that she should take care of her life from now on and not die again. She also knew that she and Sesshōmaru got married, just like his father: Although she didn't seem to care much for their children's lives, she was clearly displeased when Zero revealed she had bound her life to Rin's so when she dies Rin would die too (which means she has been cast a fatal spell by Zero and sealed her inside the Sacred Tree of Ages and lay into a deep sleep to put the curse in check over the next fourteen years), showing she does care for her, if only for the humanity and happiness she brought her son, and out of guilt for deeply resenting Izayoi. She also did nothing to Rin when Zero was saved by Sesshōmaru with the Tensaiga despite stating that she would not allow another resurrection to occur for her. When Zero had referred to her as "the human woman Sesshōmaru took as his wife" she had looked slightly sad, fully aware that Zero was referring to the very girl she herself had returned to life for the sake of her son.

Towa, Setsuna, and Moroha

While around Kirinmaru at least, she puts up a facade of thinking quite lowly about her twin granddaughters and step-granddaughter, stating she doesn't care about their lives and deaths, though at the same time she shows disapproval of Zero's fanatical desire to kill them just like Kirinmaru.

However, when in private, it was shown that she at least didn't wish for their deaths and actually does seem to care for them, as she was visibly pleased when she learnt they had won against Zero and briefly killed her, even expressing some pride over their ability to kill the woman who she had long since disdained. One month later, the three girls head their way to pass through the Windmill of Time to stop the Grim Comet, as she was expecting them. She seemed dismissive of them at first, though did express some displeasure towards her step-granddaughter, apparently as she was Izayoi's grandchild. She told them they must open a doorway from the Windmill of Time for them to succeed in going to the modern era to ensure its salvation. While she did not help or show any concern for them when they struggled against Meidomaru, she did express concern with Towa's wielding of Zanseiken and warned her of the side-effects of the curse. When Towa expresses her determination to master wielding Zanseiken despite the curse, she smiles, implying she's proud of her eldest granddaughter's courage. She also seemed genuinely curious to see what they would be able to do and acknowledged them as the Half-Demon Princesses.

Upon seeing Towa wielding the legendary Zanseiken, she warned her eldest granddaughter that it was cursed and that it would be best if she discarded it.

Others

Izayoi

During her conversation with Zero, Zero pondered if she was angry and bitter at Izayoi for taking Tōga away from her. Zero speculated that she had took her time to meet Izayoi before she passed through the Underworld. She was dismissive, stating she didn't care for humans, but from how she showed a colder demeanor and how Zero stated she saw through it, indicates she did have some resentment towards Izayoi and may have in fact had a negative encounter with her before she passed on, but she eventually felt ashamed of what she had befallen Izayoi, even though she was the human who had captivated Tōga's heart after her relationship with him had ended in failure. That said, when meeting Izayoi's granddaughter, she seemed somewhat displeased, suggesting she may still somewhat dislike her.

Jaken

Though Jaken introduced himself towards her by name, she only referred to Jaken as "little demon" much to his disgrace, though he always kept telling her what his name was, but she never reacted to his attempts to become more familiar. Despite her haughty attitude about not using his name, she did talk in a calm, polite manner towards Jaken and didn't seem to look down on him since he was a normal or low class yōkai as an imp while she is a daiyōkai. While Sesshōmaru was inside the Meidō to rescue Rin's life, Jaken stayed with his master's mother and started to converse with her, as she asked him about Sesshōmaru's relationship with Rin and what she means to him. She seemed to trust Jaken, mentioning her honest thoughts about Sesshōmaru, his father, and her opinions on humans, having no trouble to speak such private thoughts freely to him as they were discussing the matter of Sesshōmaru's return and Rin's young life.

Kohaku

Since Kohaku was a human demon slayer, Sesshōmaru's mother didn't really like him as a person, but she was curious about why Sesshōmaru allowed this boy to travel with him. Kohaku survived in the path to the Underworld because of the final fragment of the Shikon Jewel, it surprised her to say the least. She then reminded him that he could never be revived by Tenseiga restorative abilities, as he was beyond its reach.

Inuyasha

She was the first mate of Tōga, who had a second son (from another wife) - Inuyasha - with the adult human princess. However, it was left unmentioned if she knew any further information about Inuyasha and the two never seemed to meet, since Inuyasha couldn't identify her scent as Sesshōmaru and his mother crossed the skies above where Inuyasha's group was walking.[1] He only stated that the scent of Sesshōmaru and "some other demon" was in the air, that it came from the cloud that had been shaped like a dog, implying that he had no idea about who Sesshōmaru's mother was, and thus never met his stepmother.[2] Since she left her palace and even Jaken did give Kagome the location and when in order to destroy the Grim Comet on the 500th year in the Feudal Era in the evening, Inuyasha felt surprised where Sesshōmaru's mother lived and when he and Kagome arrived to meet his elder half-brother and Jaken, but was not here because she left for her errands.[3]

While it's unclear what she may feel towards Inuyasha, she seemed somewhat displeased upon seeing his daughter, indicating some scorn towards him.

Zero

A fellow Great Demon, they were seen together when Tōga and Kirinmaru confronted the Grim Comet 500 years in the past from the Heian period.[4] However, as Zero was in love with the Great Dog Demon, it was natural that she was jealous of her for having his affections once and the dislike between them was clearly mutual. Both of them seem to be aware of the other's feelings over Tōga's death, Zero noting she could tell Sesshōmaru's mother despite her haughty demeanor did feel some sadness and grief over it and felt bitterness towards Izayoi for both taking his heart and causing his death, which she didn't outright deny, and coldly stated she had no regard for humans for the latter's regard, while Sesshōmaru's mother was also aware that Zero hunted down her granddaughters and sought to cause her son pain by linking her life to Rin so when she dies, so does her daughter-in-law, out of irrational jealousy. Clearly displeased with Zero when she revealed her sadistic glee at the idea of her son's suffering and having previously shown disapproval of Zero's relentless desire to kill her granddaughters, she proved to be able to affect Zero more than she affected her, sarcastically stating Zero was almost human-like for her jealousy and making her angry. At the same time, she seemed to have some pity towards Zero, calling her pitiful for being a "women who burns from love".[5]

Kirinmaru

Kirinmaru treated her with the formal title of your ladyship even when she no longer ruled the Western Land. She seems to be on peaceful terms with him as she seems aware of his intentions with the Windmill of Time and when he arrives, she does nothing to stop him.

Quotes

"Sesshōmaru, did you not hate humans in the past? And yet you're with two human children. Do you intend to eat them?"
―Sesshōmaru's mother confused by Sesshōmaru having Kohaku and Rin with him[src]

"That young human girl... What is she to him?"
―Sesshōmaru's mother asking Jaken on Rin’s place in Sesshōmaru’s life[src]

"You've revived this girl with Tenseiga once before, have you not? Tenseiga can only bring a person back from the afterlife once. It’s only natural. Life has a limit, after all. It's not as if life is something you can save time and time again. Sesshōmaru, did you believe you were a god? Did you think that as long as you wielded Tenseiga, you needn't fear death? You had to learn! When your heart longs to save the life of a loved one, it must also feel the sadness and fear of losing them!"
―Sesshōmaru's mother[src]

"He takes after his father in the strangest ways."
―Sesshōmaru's mother[src]

Trivia

  • Although Rumiko Takahashi never officially gave Sesshōmaru's mother a name (Jaken referred to her respectfully as "Gobodō-sama" (御母堂様), translated as "Lady Mother" in the English dub), some English-speaking fans had nicknamed her "Inukimi," which, if represented by the characters "犬" & "君," means "Dog Ruler" or "Dog Monarch." Some Spanish-speaking fans have also given her the nickname of "Irasue," which may be a mispelling of "Urasue." Not to be confused with Urasue, the evil sorceress who resurrected Kikyō.
  • Her seiyū, Yoshiko Sakakibara, also voiced several characters from Takahashi's previous series. They include Otama, Ogin, and Elle de Rosenbach from Urusei Yatsura, and Ayako from Maison Ikkoku.
  • She may take inspiration from the Queen Mother of the West in Chinese mythology.

Media appearances

Manga

Anime

InuYasha

Hanyō no Yashahime

Notes

  1. Based on Sesshōmaru's height

References

  1. InuYasha manga; Chapter 467
  2. InuYasha The Final Act anime; Episode 9
  3. Hanyō no Yashahime: Episode 15
  4. Hanyō no Yashahime: Episode 22
  5. Hanyō no Yashahime: Episode 23
Dog Yōkai
Daiyōkai TōgaSesshōmaruSesshōmaru's mother
Hanyō InuyashaTowa HigurashiSetsunaMoroha (quarter)
Allies BokusenōHōsenki IHigurashi familyJakenKaedeKohakuKujakuMyōgaRōyakanSayaSea GodSeitenTōtōsaiMō-MōMirokuKirinmaru (formerly)Zero (formerly)RikuRionSpirit of the Tree of AgesAkuruNanasukeRokutaHisui
Enemies Hyōga clan (HyōgaMenōmaru) • NarakuPanther tribe (Panther King) • RyūkotsuseiShishinkiShitōshinTakemaruShikyōKirinmaru (currently)Zero (currently)
Locations Kagome and Inuyasha's houseSesshōmaru's mother's manorStone tombTōga's tomb
Unique Items BakusaigaBlack PearlMeidō StoneRobe of the Fire-RatSō'ungaTenseigaTessaigaHoshikiri no FueRainbow PearlKyūyōkon RootKikujūmonjiKurikaramaruKanemitsu no TomoeWindmill of TimePinwheelYukari no TachikiriZanseiken
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