No, master! I can never accept this! Why did you entrust the Sacred Jewel to Kikyō and not to me? Why couldn't you choose me instead? I refuse to take second place to Kikyō.


Tsubaki (椿つばき, "Camellia") was a dark priestess, an enemy of Kikyō. Not wanting to get old, she desired beauty and made a deal with a demon, making her appear young. Unsurprisingly, since his new incarnations are still in three jars, she was manipulated by Naraku in order to kill Inuyasha, who has grown much stronger after Ryūkotsusei's defeat.


Young Tsubaki

Tsubaki fifty years ago.

In her youth, Tsubaki was a gifted priestess: her talents were magnificent and she progressed quickly in her training. She was seen as a high class priestess who was shown to have gained respect from other priestesses, even Kikyō. However, she saw Kikyō as a rival, as Kikyō's spiritual powers competed with hers, and she took many of the awards for slaying demons Kikyō had slain.

One day after Kikyō and Tsubaki helped out a village in slaying demons, she subtly cursed Kikyō before she left, in which the Three-Eyed Spider has been merged and also cursed Kikyō too. Disguising the curse as advice from one priestess to another, she tells Kikyō that a priestess' true power comes alive when she abandons all human feelings, but if one is a woman, it's only natural to fall in love. Kikyō had scoffed at the idea of herself falling in love, but she continued. Her eyes flashed red as she told Kikyō to not forget, and to never fall in love. If a man desired her and she desired him, she would die a violent death. Kikyō knewshe had placed a curse on her, but wasn't worried as she continued home. She was triumphant, as Kikyō's powers begin to fade as she falls in love with Inuyasha.[1]

She feared that, with the passage of time her beauty would be gone, making her wish to keep the Shikon no Tama to prevent her own aging, which may be stated as the reason her master chose to give Kikyō the task to guard the jewel instead of her, because he knew Kikyō would never use the jewel for her own benefits.

When Kikyō was given the Sacred Jewel to guard, she was jealous of Kikyō at having been given such an important task. She confronted her master to inquire as to why Kikyō was given the Sacred Jewel to protect and not her, but her master didn't say anything. She stormed off, leaving her master behind feeling sad for his disciple. It can be assumed that the reason why her master didn't tell her why she was given the jewel is because he didn't want to upset her, due to her heart not being pure enough.

During the season of spring, she later confronted Kikyō in a forest and attempted to cast a curse on her using her shikigami and then taking the Sacred Jewel for herself, thinking Kikyō's powers would be weakened after hearing of her infatuation with a half-demon. However, Kikyō used her bow to reflect the curse and sent it flying back at her, which gave her a scar on her right eye. This caused her to hunger for revenge on Kikyō, seeing her as a mortal enemy ever since.[2][3] After that, it had witnessed by the three-eyed spider that would lead to get Onigumo in the cave.[3] Somewhere between the past events and current events, she made a deal with a demon and sold her soul to retain her youth and beauty.[2]

During the story[]

Old Tsubaki

An elderly Tsubaki speaks with Naraku.

She is summoned by Naraku who knows of the dark priestess' powers. He recounts her tale of how she fought Kikyō fifty years prior and that she now holds a grudge against her. Naraku asks her if she will help him in return for the, now nearly complete, Shikon Jewel. She accepts his proposal, as long as she gets the Sacred Jewel.

She places a curse on Kagome with her shikigami upon her return from the Bone-Eater's Well, needing some of her blood in order to achieve the curse. She forces Kagome to try to kill Inuyasha which causes Naraku to be amused with the irony of it. Inuyasha refuses to run away from Kagome.[2] Kikyō appears before her. She warns her that not only is Kagome more powerful than she appears, but if she did kill Inuyasha, she would avenge his death. Then Kikyō leaves. At the time, Kagome was snapped out of her trance and Inuyasha carries her to find the others who were trying to find the source of Kagome's curse. They all gather and confront Tsubaki after her barrier was destroyed. During her battle with him, she threatens Inuyasha with Kagome's life, until Kagome attacks her with her sacred arrow. Because of this, she begins to focus her attack on Kagome.[4]

During battle, she underestimated Kagome's skill and taunted her with the fact that her skills did not compare to those of Kikyō. Kagome, angered at always being compared to Kikyō and firmly stating that she is Kagome, uses her determined rage to withstand her painful curse and forces herself to move and attack her. In the end, she was defeated by Kagome's spiritual power. Because she underestimated Kagome's abilities, her curse was thrown back at her just like it was fifty years ago by Kikyō. With that, her control over Kagome was broken. In the manga, after Naraku takes the jewel causing her to lose her immortality, she isn't seen again.[5]

In the anime, however, she managed to retrieve the Sacred Jewel used to control Kagome and made her escape. She appears later on and was able to escape to the shrine where she used to train. Tsubaki tricked the two priestess trainees, Momiji and Botan, into helping her fight Inuyasha, while she plans to awaken the sealed demon within a pagoda. She was told long ago by her master, never to unseal the demon. Kagura then appears to take back the Sacred Jewel, but she refused to part with it. Kagura sticks around anyways, curious to see what would happen and to take back the jewel if she fails.[6]

She unlocked the seal that trapped the ogre demon in the forbidden tower, and to increase her power, absorbs the giant ogre. When Inuyasha and his group arrived, she transformed into a half-ogre form and attacked Inuyasha and the rest. However, in the end, she was defeated by Inuyasha's Backlash Wave. During her attempt to use the Sacred Jewel before she died, a Saimyōshō emerges from her eye and takes the Sacred Jewel, thus taking her spiritual powers along with it. She wonders in despair about where she went wrong. Her appearance begins to turn into her actual age. With her last breath, she regrets trusting Naraku and underestimating Inuyasha and Kagome, and then she turns into dust as she shouts that she was the most powerful priestess.[7]


She was shown to have a very biased personality, hating Kagome purely for being Kikyō's reincarnation, despite her saying that she was Kagome and no-one else. She was exceedingly sadistic, placing a curse on Kagome meant to cause an extremely slow and painful death while delighting in every moment of her suffering. She was also incredibly smug and arrogant, being amused by Kagome missing her arrows, in spite of the curse getting in the way, and gloating that she was just "an imitation Kikyō", despite Naraku's warning not to underestimate her. Her arrogance was further shown by her firm belief that there was nothing the group could do to stop Kagome dying, which was proven completely wrong when she deflected her shikigami right back at her, just like Kikyō had done fifty years before. This caused her pride to shatter completely, replaced with great shock and embarrassment over being beaten the same way twice.

Physical description[]

In her youth, she had black hair and blue eyes. She wore a shell beading on her forehead, pale lavender eyeshadow and wore crimson lipstick. As a priestess in training, she sports a white kimono outfit and a green beaded necklace. As a priestess, she wears a purple kimono with a white collar and red stitching on the sleeves held by a red tassel. She still wears a shell beading on her forehead, crimson lipstick, and a green beaded necklace. As she grows older, her hair becomes white and her skin becomes wrinkled.

Powers and abilities[]

  • Immense spiritual power: As a priestess, she had a range of spiritual powers and she was shown to be quite a powerful priestess in her youth. Her spiritual powers had once made her on par with her rival, Kikyō. However it had been diminished significantly when her shikigami was reflected back at her. Despite this she still has enough power to easily break the number of seals that were placed to trap the ogre demon created by sages before her.
  • Curses: She is known for her skills in utilizing her spiritual powers to inflict curses on any certain individuals. Naraku having heard of her skills, specifically enlisted her services to manipulate Kagome, Kikyō's reincarnation, so that he may be able to kill Inuyasha.
  • Shikigami: She is sometimes seen carrying a shikigami serpent around that she uses to inflict snakebites that curse its victim. The serpent appears as a scaled, white reptilian, with red eyes, a pair of horns protruded from its forehead, a long, slender body that can slither along the ground at a remarkable speed, and sharp fangs, both to suck out blood from and, as she once stated, tear the victim's head off.
    • Sutra magic: She was seen to be able to use sutras. She first used it when she encountered Kagura. She threw it airborne and it immediately transformed into her shikigami serpent and was about to attack Kagura. Kagura obliterated it into shreds, using her Dance of Blades, before it could reach her. Not only can it transform into a serpent, she can also use it to create a large number of demons.
    • Barrier: She could construct a spiritual barrier, often shape like a large dome around her temple, for its surface is solid and misty, used to keep out intruders and enemies.[4] It gives off an electric shock whenever someone comes too close to the barrier. However, both Kikyō and Kagome are able to pass through her barrier unimpeded.
    • Demon summoning: At the height of her black priestess power, she had the ability to harbor a slew of demons in her cursed eye, all bound by her whims. To preserve her youth, she absorbed yōkai through her right eye into her body. This prolonged her lifespan and allowed her to remain forever young. Should she expel the demons, she would quickly grow old.
    • Wind blast: She use the power wind from right eye to blast Inuyasha similar to Ryūra's wind blast from Fūjinga. Later, when she transformed to an oni, she sucked it similar to Miroku's and his family's Kazaana.
  • Transformation (変化, へんげ, "Henge"): She absorbed the oni that was trapped in the forbidden tower and thus gained a number of new abilities. Later, she says that through the Sacred Jewel she can absorb other yōkai and hanyō.
    • Enhanced strength: After absorbing the oni, she was strong enough to destroy and break the pagoda where she was trapped.
    • Enhanced speed: She could react fast enough to ward off Sango's Hiraikotsu. She was also able to hit Inuyasha in mid-air while he leaped to attack her.
    • Enhanced durability: A direct hit with the Kaze no Kizu could not injure her.
    • High-speed regeneration: When Kagome shoots her with a sacred arrow she is able to instantly heal her wounds.
    • Electrokinesis: As an hanyō, she could attack her opponents with lightning. She held a hand in the sky, let a lightning strike her hand, then thrown it at her opponents. But she could also throw the lightnings out of the sky directly at her opponents.
    • Pyrokinesis: When Inuyasha attacked her, she spat fire from her muzzle.


  • Spear: She uses a spear when she battles demons alongside Kikyō.[1]


Kagome Higurashi

Due to Kagome being the reincarnation of Kikyō, she despises Kagome and attempts to kill her just like she tried to do with Kikyō. However, despite the hatred she seemed to respect her power as with her dying breath, she said she regretted underestimating Kagome's ability.


She hated Kikyō and saw her as a rival. She found Kikyō to be smug and cold, and hated Kikyō because she thought Kikyō felt she was more superior. She was jealous and desired the Sacred Jewel for herself. She hated her to the point of wanting her to die and this continued even after Kikyō was reborn. This conflict can be seen as one-sided, as Kikyō didn't express any anger toward her and was seen feeling sympathy for her when she died.


Despite being given the almost complete Sacred Jewel by Naraku, she does not trust him that much. At first, she is impressed with his cruelty towards Inuyasha, due to his plot forcing Kagome to try and kill Inuyasha like Kikyō did fifty years ago. But after her failure, she begins to realize she is just another pawn to him, and she begins to loathe him.


She had a very close relationship with her teacher, since he was one of the few people whom she showed affection. However, after her teacher gave the Shikon Jewel to Kikyō, she felt betrayed. She went to confront him demanding an explanation why she was not the chosen one, but her teacher could not answer, causing her to move away from him with a broken and betrayed heart.


"Stubborn woman. I have control of her body but her mind is still resisting me."

"I will do anything to make the complete Shikon Jewel mine."

Kagura: "The old hag transformed herself?!"
Tsubaki: "Watch your tongue, you wench! Because this is my true form!"
―Kagura's shock at witnessing Tsubaki's younger true form.[src]

"Naraku, you are truly evil. To force Kikyō's reincarnation to kill the man she loves once again."

"Ah, this youth and beauty. Some day I shall lose it! Is this the fate of all mortals? No; if I can take possession of the Sacred Jewel that Kikyō guards then my beauty shall be eternal."

"Kikyō, you... you're dead. That body that you are inhabiting is neither mortal nor that of a demon. It's a counterfeit. Kikyō, you walk only by the grace of borrowed spirits yet you dare to lecture me?"

"Hmph. Well you've certainly managed to endure my spell. So it would seem that you truly are Kikyō's reincarnation after all. Although, if you actually were the real Kikyō, that arrow most certainly wouldn't have missed me; meaning you're an imitation Kikyō."

"Oh, exactly where did I go wrong? Did I underestimate that half-demon? Or perhaps Kagome? Or was it because I made a pact with Naraku? Where did I go wrong?"

"I, Tsubaki, am the greatest priestess!"

"You are such a cold woman. No, you are not a woman... You are definitely a priestess."

"Kikyō, here is a piece of advice from one priestess to another. When a priestess abandons all human feelings, her true powers come alive. But if one is a woman, it's only natural to fall in love. Do not forget this. You must not fall in love. Do not let a man desire you. If such a man ever appears before you, you will die a violent death."

"I've heard you've fallen in love with that worthless half-demon."


  • Tsubaki is the first and only dark priestess shown in InuYasha.
  • She places a curse on Kikyō in the anime and Kikyō believes that the curse will be in effect if she fell in love. However, she says "Never let any man desire you or you are sure to die a violent death." This statement can be more attributed to Onigumo implying Tsubaki is the reason he came into Kikyō's life. Yet Tsubaki herself had no knowledge of Naraku nor Onigumo.
  • In the manga, after her defeat, it is not known what becomes of her, only that she is defeated.

Media appearances[]


  1. In the anime only.


  1. 1.0 1.1 InuYasha anime; Episode 147
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 InuYasha anime; Episode 60
  3. 3.0 3.1 InuYasha anime; Episode 148
  4. 4.0 4.1 InuYasha anime; Episode 61
  5. InuYasha anime; Episode 62
  6. InuYasha anime; Episode 63
  7. InuYasha anime; Episode 64
Incarnations KannaKaguraGoshinkiKagerōmaruJūrōmaruMusōInfantHakudōshiByakuyaAkagane
Rejected parts Unnamed incarnationHair monsterEye monsterOnigumo (reabsorbed)KugutsuKodoku
Allies SaimyōshōTsubo TsukaiSesshōmaru (formerly)Jaken (formerly)RyūkotsuseiTsubakiHakushinShichinintaiSalamanderEnteiAbiTekkeiMōryōmaru (formerly)GoraiMirror demonMagatsuhiDemon of the Shikon no Tama
Enemies InuyashaKagome HigurashiKikyōMiyatsuMiroku's fatherMirokuSangoKiraraKohakuKōgaGintaHakkakuKaiShintaSesshōmaru (currently)KaguyaMōryōmaru (currently)Hōsenki IHitomikoKansukeKaedeMidorikoShippōJaken (currently)RinA-UnJanis
Locations Onigumo's caveNaraku's castleMount HakureiNaraku's cave
Miscellaneous Shikon no TamaKazaanaOnigumo's caveNaraku's castleMount Hakurei