Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Origin of Naraku
There was a man named Onigumo (鬼蜘蛛, demon-spider), who was full of deceit and hatred for others. He tricked his bandit leader into approaching Kikyo and attempt to obtain the Shikon Jewel, however he did not warn him that with Kikyo, there was a half-demon named InuYasha. His chieftain survived the encounter with InuYasha, and stumbled back to the village they were partying at. Onigumo was a bit surprised that the bandit survived. Fortunately for the bandit, his followers were still loyal to him.
By the order of the bandit, Onigumo was severly beaten and burned with the building, then they dug out his "body" and threw him down a cliff. By either chance or fate, Onigumo barely survived and was found by Kikyo who slowly nursed him back to the point of being able to speak. Onigumo secretly lusted after Kikyo, but knowing that he cannot move for the rest of his life, he sold his corrupted soul to countless demons who hated Kikyo for her spiritual powers. In return Onigumo will get a strong body that is not human.
Naraku, born of Onigumo
In the meantime, he did not forget about his ultimate goal of obtaining the corrupted Shikon Jewel. He disguised as both InuYasha and Kikyo and appeared to be very aggressive in front of the other to trick them into hating each other, as he describes that "the Shikon Jewel is the most beautiful when it's tainted by the hatred Kikyo and InuYasha have toward each other".
He mortally wounded Kikyo while disguised as InuYasha, took the the Shikon Jewel and returned it to the village, then disguised as Kikyo and attacked InuYasha. InuYasha, sensing something was wrong, instinctively went back to the village to retrieve the Jewel. However, disguised as Kikyo, Naraku told the villagers that InuYasha will come for the Jewel at any cost, thereby forcing InuYasha to use force to obtain the Jewel. As he was getting away with the Jewel, Kikyo, with her remaining strength, sealed InuYasha to the Time Tree. She then requested Kaede to cremate the Jewel along with her body, so that no one can use it for malicious purposes.
For 50 years after Kikyo's death, Naraku secretly plotted and waited for the Jewel to appear again. After the appearance of Kagome as the present-day re-incarnation of Kikyo and InuYasha's awakening, he moved forward with his plan of gathering the shattered shards of the sacred Jewel. Knowing his weaknesses as a half-demon, he relied mostly on dirty tricks and traps while gathering information on his potential enemies that would stand before his "insidious plots".
Being a hanyō like InuYasha, Naraku also experiences a recurring period of weakness once a month. During those times, he would lose all his demonic powers and become the human he came from. However, Naraku has the freedom of choosing this time, and since he is made up of thousands of yōkai, each time he "experiments" and "re-constructs" his body, he gets rid of weak and useless parts while keeping the vital ones to get stronger.
Naraku, the full yōkai
After InuYasha was able to defeat his barrier with the Red Tessaiga (Red Tessaiga), Naraku retreats to Mount Hakurei for a long time, resurrecting the Shichinintai in the meantime to keep his enemies busy. To better protect himself from powerful demon enemies like InuYasha, Sesshomaru and Koga, he deceived a living buddha into creating a barrier so holy, that it will purify and cleanse any demons that come close to it.
As soon as InuYasha and his group manage to penetrate the barrier, Naraku reveals his new, full yōkai form and strikes down Kikyo. His powers increased dramatically as he challenged Sesshomaru and proclaimed that "I cannot die". He now can create an even stronger barrier that cannot be pierced through by anything but the Kongōsōha (diamond shard) technique of the Tessaiga acquired from Hōsenki.
To get rid of unnecessary parts as well as keeping a better eye on his surrounding situations, Naraku was constantly releasing detachments of himself to carry out his biddings, however only a few of the detachments truely live up to their purposes as most betrayed him or were quickly disposed of by the people going after him:
- Kanna (神無) - She is a demon of nothingness. Old word meaning "godless world". Although she appears younger than Kagura, she is in fact Naraku's first detachment, and remains utterly loyal to him while knowing that they are just used as tools in his schemes.
- Kagura (神楽) - She is a wind sorceress (Japanese: "wind user", also refers to the sacred dances of miko) and appears first in the anime and manga, though she is his second detachment. She wanted freedom from Naraku's control but is eventually tricked and poisoned to her death.
- Goshinki - He was a telepathic demon. His fangs were strong enough to grip the Tessaiga and shatter it. After he died his fangs were used to forge the sword Tōkijin, wielded by Sesshomaru.
- Juromaru (Jūrōmaru) - He was a feral detachment and brother of Kagerōmaru, who lived in his stomach.
- Kageromaru (Kagerōmaru) - He was a small, fast and intelligent detachment from Naraku. Lived inside Juromaru.
- Muso (Musō) - He was born as the Man with no Face, a reincarnated Onigumo. He was reabsorbed after a while of independence.
- Akago (赤子) - He is a child that has the ability to corrupt the hearts of people into doing his bidding. He was cut in half by a priest, which led to the creation of Hakudōshi. He later is placed inside the haku (life force) puppet, Moryomaru.
- Hakudoshi (Hakudōshi) - He is a detachment from Akago. Taking the form of a young child, he was able to tame the yōba (yōkai horse) Entei. He continues Akago's quest to get the last Shikon shard. After Naraku is nearly destroyed at the boundary of the afterlife, Hakudoshi is charged with flushing out Kikyo. He eventually is found out as a traitor to Naraku and is sucked in by Miroku's Kazaana.
- Byakuya - Naraku's latest detachment who appears in Chapter 397. He told the Dokumizuchi who had eaten Moryomaru's flesh the location of InuYasha. He seems to be able to create illusions, but not much else is known about him yet.
Attacks and abilities
- Miasma (沼気, shōki) - a poisonous gas that kills anything it touches. More powerful against non-yōkai, but can kill a full blooded yōkai if exposed enough.
- Detachments - Naraku can create enslaved minions from his own body with the aid of the power of the Shikon no Tama.
- Mimicry - he can appear as other people to deceive them.
- Barrier (結界, kekkai) - a magical shield used to prevent his enemies from finding or attacking him.
- Naraku-puppet (傀儡, kugutsu) - puppets that look like Naraku and are under his control that he uses to safely execute plans that might put him at risk.
- Saimyōshō (Japanese: "insects of hell") - Naraku's demon insects that he uses to spy on whomever he is tormenting at the moment and to prevent Miroku from wielding his kazaana curse against him.
- InuYasha - Naraku made a scheme to rob Jewel of Four Souls. Naraku's scheme wasn't successful but because of it InuYasha was sealed by Kikyo's enchanted arrow and Kikyo died of wounds inflicted by Naraku.
- Kagome - All of her friends have been betrayed by Naraku and he has attempted to kill her many times.
- Miroku - When Miroku's grandfather, a Buddhist monk (法師, hōshi), fought against Naraku, Naraku cursed him by placing a Kazāna (風穴, wind void) on the monk's hand. The Kazaana curse was passed down to Miroku, who watched his father being consumed by it. If Naraku is not defeated, Kazaana will cause Miroku to be sucked in as Miroku's grandfather and father. Being the one who caused the curse, Naraku also has a way to prevent Miroku from using it against him; namely, the Saimyōshō.
- Sango - Her entire family was slain in Naraku's trap. Naraku framed InuYasha, but Sango eventually learned who the real culprit was.
- Sesshomaru - Detests Naraku since Naraku attempts to slay Rin, the orphan girl under his protection.
- Kikyo - She is secretly plotting Naraku's downfall.
- Koga - His wolf tribe was decimated by Naraku's plot. Naraku again framed InuYasha, but Koga eventually learned who was the real culprit.
- Kagura - His second detachment whom despises the control Naraku exerts over her, but must obey because her heart and therefore her life is in his hand. Naraku later returns her heart, but poisons her with shōki, which ultimately takes her life.
- Muso - The heart of Onigumo, sought to be free of the evil Naraku who wanted to kill his beloved Kikyo.
- Kohaku - eventually regains his memory and begins to think about how to kill Naraku for what he has done.
- Akago and Hakudoshi - Since Akago is really Naraku's heart, they seek to free themselves from Naraku's control and become independent. Hakudoshi is loyal to Akago and created Moryoumaru as a body to protect Akago. Hakudoshi is found out and Naraku lets Miroku suck him in with Kazaana.
- Japanese Seiyū: Hiroshi Yanaka , then Toshiyuki Morikawa
- English Voice Actor: Paul Dobson (He also did Happosai in the English dub of Ranma 1/2.)
- Naraku means "abyss" or "hell" in old Japanese.
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