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Kaguya

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She stops time without care or remorse, and destroys all living beings.

—Miroku[src]

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Kaguya

Kaguya 001

Kaguya

Nihongo

神久夜

Name meaning

Goddess of Eternal Night

Biographical information

Age

50+

Status

Deceased

Occupation

Princess of the Heavens

Physical information

Species

Daiyōkai

Gender

Female

Eye color

Teal

Hair color

Black (teal tint)

Skills information

Weapons

Mirror of Life, Hairpin sword, Armor coils

Affiliation

Team

Kanna (former), Kagura (former)

Debut

Movie Debut

Castle Beyond the Looking Glass

Voice Actors

Japanese Seiyū

Mieko Harada

English VA

Nicole Oliver

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Kaguya (神久夜, かぐや, "Goddess of Eternal Night") was a yōkai who absorbed a celestial being, known from the popular Japanese classic The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter as Princess Kaguya (かぐや姫, "Kaguya-hime"). Kaguya took on both the maiden's name and her physical appearance and even began referring to herself as a celestial being, even though she was technically still a demon. She also gained the celestial maiden's powers, increasing Kaguya's own strength greatly. However, the cornerstone of her power, the Celestial Robe, was stolen by a passerby while she was bathing in a spring. Enraged, Kaguya began to revenge herself by killing nearby villagers. This attracted the attention of the monk Miyatsu. Miyatsu sealed Kaguya within her own mirror and placed it in a shrine in the Forest of Illusion.

Kaguya remained sealed for 50 years until she was discovered by two yōkai, Kagura and Kanna. Kaguya enlisted the duo in setting her free and sent them to find all the requisite objects for the ritual. Eventually, however, this quest and her search for the Celestial Robe set Kaguya on a collision course with the hanyō Inuyasha. She eventually succeeded in obtaining all of the objects, but when Kaguya kidnapped Kagome Higurashi, Inuyasha set out to find and defeat Kaguya, with the help of his allies, monk Miyatsu's grandson, Miroku, and a yōkai taijiya named Sango.

HistoryEdit

Legend of the Celestial MaidenEdit

Over one thousand years ago, a tale entered the Japanese folk culture of a beautiful woman who had descended from the moon and lived among mortal humans for a period as the daughter of a bamboo cutter and his wife. In this, The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, was described the celestial maiden's radiant beauty; so legendary did her appearance become, that men came from all over Japan just to try and gaze at her. Eventually, the maiden, whose name was Kaguya, was asked by her father, out of politeness, to choose one of the many suitors who came to call on her daily. Unwilling to wed, Kaguya came up with five clever tasks to test each of the men. If one of her potential suitors truly loved her, she argued, than they would be both willing and able to obtain the object she requested. Each of the quests, however, was so impossible that Kaguya hoped all of her suitors would fail and she would be free. The tests prescribed that each of the men find a very specific, rare item: the begging bowl of Buddha, a jeweled sprig from Hōraijima, the Robe of the Fire-Rat, a jewel from the neck of a dragon, and a swallow's cowrie shell. Whosoever found the requisite item she assigned would be able to marry Kaguya. Fortunately, Kaguya was correct in evaluating the difficulty of her tasks, and none of her potential suitors were able to succeed in their quests. Though some either were publicly humiliated, lost all their wealth, or even died in the process.[1] Nevertheless, these objects would play a much more important role several centuries later and would be successfully obtained by two yōkai.[2]

Eventually, Kaguya's true family from the moon returned for her, and though the Emperor had sent troops to protect her, they were unable to impede the moon delegation. Kaguya reluctantly paid her respects and bid farewell to all of her friends and two lunar attendants put a feathered robe around her body which caused her to forget her troubles and be at ease.[1]

Kaguya, the Ruler of Eternal NightEdit

However, Kaguya would have had to have returned to the Earth once more, at which point she was attacked and absorbed by a female demon.[2] This event, certainly, was never mentioned in the fairy tale.[1] The demon took on the maiden's beautiful appearance and even her identity, coming to call herself an "immortal heavenly being" and the "Princess of the Heavens, Kaguya". Kaguya also retained the princess' association with the moon. Whenever Kaguya was active in the world, a full moon would shine continuously, never waxing or waning. The moon would also give off a pale purple light the longer she exerted her power. More important than her appearance or her effect on the moon, though, was the feathered Celestial Robe she acquired from the celestial maiden. More than simply making its wearer forget their troubles and only experience happiness, the demon Kaguya was able to use the garment's untapped powers with profound and disastrous effects. In addition to increasing her own powers, Kaguya was able to use the Celestial Robe to stop the flow of time. Kaguya intended to use this ability to freeze the world in "eternal night" and reign uncontested as its queen. It is unclear as to why Kaguya was so intent on freezing time and ruling this "eternal night", though she claims that only mortals would find the passage of time an attractive prospect. So, perhaps, by contrast, only immortals could truly understand her motivation.[2]

At some point, Kaguya encountered the half-demon Naraku. It is unclear what transpired between the two, but Naraku was of a like nature to Kaguya; namely, he absorbed other demons just like she did, in order to gain their powers. It is likely that Naraku either attempted to do so, or made plain his intention to do so. Either way, Kaguya knew of Naraku's existence and hated him; her fears of being absorbed would play a role in her captivity later in life.[2]

Despite her intention to stop the flow of time, Kaguya did not act on her plans immediately, and ultimately was prevented from doing so altogether. While bathing in a spring, Kaguya's Celestial Robe was stolen by a passerby. When Kaguya realized this she became consumed by an unspeakable rage. In her fury, she attacked a nearby village, blaming them for the theft of her robe, killing one villager after another to satiate her anger. Luckily for the villagers, a monk by the name of Miyatsu happened to be passing by and confronted Kaguya. As this man, like his son and grandson after him, was a notorious womanizer, he could not bear to destroy Kaguya outright with his kazaana. So, instead, the monk sealed Kaguya to her own mirror, the Mirror of Life, and hid her in the Shrine of the Mirror of Life in the Forest of Illusion, so that she could not be easily located and unsealed. The only way to break the seal was to find each of the five items from the earlier tale of Princess Kaguya, and drop them each in one of five separate lakes in the vicinity of Mount Fuji.[2]

Kaguya's Celestial Robe eventually fell into the possession of the Hōjō Clan; knowing this, monk Miyatsu warned the family that if a full moon persisted for many nights (a sign of Kaguya's influence in the world), to throw the robe into Mount Fuji without delay. Miyatsu knew that if Kaguya were ever freed and reacquired her robe that it would be the end of mankind.[2]

Obtaining FreedomEdit

Forging an AllianceEdit

Kaguya talks to Kagura

Kaguya convinces Kagura to help her.

While trapped in the Mirror of Life, Kaguya was not rendered completely dormant. She was still able to speak and look out of the mirror like a window. Kaguya might have been able to influence a passerby into helping her, yet even so, she did not. This was most likely because Kaguya feared being confronted by Naraku. Without the powers of her Celestial Robe, she risked being absorbed. Therefore, Kaguya bided her time for 50 years waiting for the most opportune moment to rise again.

That time came after the death of Naraku. Two of Naraku's incarnations, Kagura and Kanna, arrived at her altar in the Forest of Illusion. Kanna used her own mirror to reflect moonlight onto Kaguya's mirror. This awakened Kaguya and also caused a reaction in the moon itself, which immediately waxed to fullness, and remained so for the rest of Kaguya's campaign against the mortal realm. However, since she was still trapped in the mirror, the moon still shown white and not purple. As time went by, though, the moon began to change into a pale green and finally yellow, before Kaguya reemerged.[2]

Sensing that Naraku had died, Kaguya proclaimed that the time had come for all life to be eliminated. She introduced herself to Kagura and Kanna, and raised her Dream Castle of the Pentacle Mirror from the depths of Lake Motosu. Despite the fact that these two demons were the former servants of her most hated enemy, Kaguya was eager to obtain their help and bore no ill-will towards them. Kaguya was even able to discern Kagura's wish for freedom, and she told her that the freedom she had gained from Naraku's death was only an illusion. Kaguya tempted Kagura with the promise of showing her true and everlasting freedom; if she helped free Kaguya from the mirror, then Kaguya would grant this burning wish. Intrigued, Kagura acquiesced; however, she explained that she was only doing it to "pass the time."[2]

Obtaining the Five ItemsEdit

Kaguya confronts Inuyasha

Kaguya confronts Inuyasha.

Kaguya was already in possession one of the five items, the jeweled sprig, which was originally placed on the altar with her mirror. Therefore, Kagura and Kanna set out to find the second item, the jewel from the dragon's neck. They located it within a canyon and brought it back so that both items could be dropped in one of the lakes surrounding Mount Fuji. As each was dropped into the water, a poem from the Tale was recited by either Kaguya or Kanna. First, the jewel was dropped into Lake Yamanaka and then the jeweled sprig was dropped into Lake Shōji. Next, Kanna instructed Kagura to head towards the Robe of the Fire-Rat, which the two yōkai knew to be in possession of their old adversary, the half-demon Inuyasha.[2]

The trio soon found Inuyasha and Kagura engaged him in combat. Kagura fought furiously and with a combination of her Dance of Blades and Dance of the Dragon techniques, she sliced off a sleeve of Inuyasha's robe. Elated, Kaguya decided to reveal herself to Inuyasha. The clouds immediately parted to unveil the full light of the moon, which glowed with an eerily beautiful green light. As cherry blossoms began to fall from the sky, Kaguya began to recite a haiku connected with the Robe of the Fire-Rat. Inuyasha demanded an introduction, and Kaguya introduced herself as the "Ruler of Eternal Night." Inuyasha's keen senses picked up on Kaguya's strong demonic aura and later described her as "reek[ing] of disaster." Kaguya's ability to discern the desires of others' hearts allowed her to peer inside Inuyasha's soul, and she discovered his wish to become a full-fledged demon. Kaguya mocked Inuyasha, telling him that at heart he was little more than a "despicable beast." As she did so, she displayed images on her mirror of Inuyasha completely overtaken by his demon instincts, and incoherent monster. This goaded Inuyasha into attacking Kaguya with his Kaze no Kizu. Kanna, the Mirror of Life in hand, was easily able to deflect this.[2]

Kaguya redirects the Backlash Wave

Kaguya redirects the Bakuryūha.

Seeing that his attack had failed, Inuyasha elected for a direct charge to strike at Kaguya herself. Kagura headed him off, unleashing the violent gales of her Dance of the Dragon. Inuyasha countered with his Bakuryūha, reversing the flow of Kagura's demonic energy back at her. Kaguya rebuked Inuyasha, calling him a fool. She then proceeded to summon a warp hole via her mirror which absorbed both Kagura's Dance of the Dragon and Inuyasha's own energies. Adding her own aura to the accumulated energy, Kaguya fired the combined force back at Inuyasha with immense force, effectively augmenting it five-fold. The attack was so destructive that it completely leveled the surrounding landscape. Inuyasha was only saved from annihilation thanks to the timely usage by Kagome of her osuwari command. As Kaguya and her allies ascended on Kagura's feather, Kaguya noticed that the flow of time around Kagome was different than normal, a side effect of her time traveling. Although intrigued, Kaguya's ruminations were interrupted by Kagura, who asked Kaguya if she was okay with letting the duo live. Kaguya replied that she got what she came for—namely, the Robe of the Fire-Rat—and so the fate of Inuyasha and Kagome were no longer her concern. With that, Kaguya and the others flew off, dropping the sleeve of the robe into Lake Motosu, accompanied by a verse.[2] The next two items were the swallow's cowrie shell and the begging bowl of Buddha. Kaguya went to retrieve these items by herself, and succeeded in quickly gaining possession of both. She returned triumphant after confronting several dangerous foes; the objects were summarily dropped into Lakes Sai and Kawaguchi, respectively, accompanied by more verses.[2]

Kaguya is freed from the mirror

Kaguya requires one last item.

With the objects all in place, the five elemental seals within the Mirror of Life shown brightly with color. As Kagura and Kanna looked on, the pentagram on the face of the mirror dissolved and the glass began to glow. Cherry blossoms poured out of the mirror, whirling in a quick, circular fashion. As they did so, Kaguya's form suddenly appeared in the midst of the flower petals. Gazing upon the moon, now turned purple by her release, Kaguya remarked upon its beauty, commenting that it is much better when viewed with a physical body, as opposed from within the confines of her mirror. With her tasks completed, Kagura demanded that Princess Kaguya revealed the "true freedom" she had spoken of earlier. Kaguya, however, said that she had one final task left to complete.[2]

Advent of Eternal NightEdit

Recovering the Celestial RobeEdit

Kaguya uses a spell

Kaguya prepares a spell to counter Inuyasha's Kaze no Kizu.

Kaguya used her powers of clairvoyance to detect the location of the Celestial Robe, and set off by herself to reclaim it. Using th light of the moon, Kaguya teleported, with her mirror appearing first as she recited yet another poetic verse. The tree she had connected with was at first barren, due to the season; yet in Kaguya's presence it bloomed fully and glowed with a brilliant light, petals falling softly on the surface of the adjacent stream. Upon arriving, however, Kaguya noticed that she had run into Inuyasha and Kagome again; the robe was in the possession of a man in their company. Annoyed, Kaguya lamented her poor luck in running across "such fools" a second time.[2]

Putting aside her grief, Kaguya inquired to know where the Celestial Robe could be found. Inuyasha and Kagome claimed not to know what she was talking about; however, Kaguya sensed the Robe in the arms of the man behind them, Akitoki Hōjō. Inuyasha immediately leapt into action, menacing Kaguya with his Tessaiga and telling her that she would not lay her hands on the Robe. Kaguya began chanting and dissipated the Kaze no Kizu with her mirror. Proclaiming that she would not allow the hanyō to interfere, Kaguya raised her mirror and sent out six whip-like beams of light to strike at Inuyasha. Failing to block all of the blows, the hanyō was knocked up against the cherry tree, at which point Kaguya manipulated the roots to envelop him. Upon closer inspection, Kaguya realized that the reason Inuyasha was so "weak" was because he was, in fact, a half-demon.[2]

Kaguya kidnaps Kagome

Kaguya kidnaps Kagome.

At that moment, Hōjō tripped and dropped the bundle in his arms, exposing the Celestial Robe. Excited at having found it, Kaguya began chanting, in preparation for an attack. Moving to stop her, Kagome shot a sacred arrow which badly damaged the sleeve of Kaguya's kimono. Kaguya found this very interesting; since the girl not only had a strange flow of time, but also spiritual powers, she could be quite useful if her powers were absorbed. Kagome prepared a second arrow, demanding that Kaguya release Inuyasha from the tree's hold. In response, however, Kaguya merely scoffed, daring Kagome to attack her. When Kagome fired her arrow in retaliation, Kaguya absorbed the arrow into her mirror and fired it back, but at Inuyasha, not Kagome. This panicked Kagome into jumping into shielding Inuyasha with her body, while Hōjō threw the Celestial Robe in an attempt to stop the arrow. In effect, though, the Robe was caught by the sacred arrow and pinned into Kagome's back. Inuyasha became furious, lashing out at Kaguya. The princess, however, had no intention of allowing Kagome to die (having already made designs to absorb the young priestess' powers into her own being), and tried to allay the hanyō's fears. Nevertheless, he demanded to be released. Kaguya told him that if he agreed to become her servant, she would grant his wish to become a full-fledged demon. Inuyasha blatantly refused, so, with her business concluded, Kaguya took Kagome and the Celestial Robe with her as she departed. As she ascended into the sky, Princess Kaguya told Inuyasha that if he still wished to win back Kagome, then he could come to her Dream Castle, if he so desired.[2]

Power of the Mirror of StillnessEdit

And now let it all begin!

Kaguya unseals her power.

In preparation for putting an end to time, Kaguya returned to Lake Motosu. She then activated each of the five objects which had been placed in each of the lakes surrounding Mount Fuji. From each lake, a beam of light spouted from the water's surface, each beam representing a different object, element, and color. The beams suddenly changed angles, intersecting each other in the sky, forming the shape of a pentagram, mirroring the one which formerly constituted the seal on Kaguya herself. The lights faded, but the pentagram, inscribed within a circle, remained, shining a brilliant pink. As the light showed brighter and brighter, a powerful demonic aura was gathered around Lake Motosu and the Castle of the Pentacle Mirror. The lake's waters began to rise in tumult, as a large rock rose out of its depths to join the one already in place behind Kaguya's castle. At its summit was a vast hall, where Kaguya's true dwelling resided.[2]

Discarding her princess guise, Kaguya assumed her true demon form, as swirling cherry blossoms transported Kaguya to her halls atop the mountain. Here she stood in the midst of her seal, similar to the one which surrounded her when she was trapped inside her mirror. Behind her was another seal, of unknown significance. Having trapped Kagome inside her mirror, Kaguya now released her, but kept her legs bound by root-like growths which merged with the wooden floor of her halls. The rest of her body was suspended by a levitating replica of Kaguya's signature pink pentagram.[2]

Kaguya summons Orochi

Kaguya summons Orochi.

Noticing that some intruders (the yōkai taijiya Sango, her brother Kohaku, the grandson of the monk Miyatsu, Miroku, and other demons) were attempting to approach her castle, Kaguya summoned the aid of the creature at the bottom of Lake Motosu, which performed her bidding: a giant, five-headed dragon. From beneath the waves, this monster fired balls of fire at Kaguya's enemies, forcing them to land. Inuyasha made his appearance however, and began running across the lake. Hearing his cries through the mirror, Kagome regained consciousness. He wound in her back healed and the arrow disappeared, leaving the Celestial Robe unpinned and free to fall to the ground. Kaguya was surprised that Kagome had recovered, and acknowledged that this was due to the power of the Celestial Robe. Kaguya claimed the garment from off of the floor, stating that now her wish would be granted. Kaguya then commanded the creature to breach, confronting Inuyasha directly. While this was happening, Kaguya mused over the Celestial Robe, reflecting on the infinite power she now possessed. Kagura interjected, claiming that the Robe did not suit a "fake" celestial being such as Kaguya. This rebuke would foreshadow Kagura's actions shortly thereafter.[2]

Despite its best efforts, the creature was unable to slay Inuyasha, and was finally destroyed by the hanyō's Kaze no Kizu (with the help of Kikyō, unbeknownst to either Kaguya or Inuyasha) when it collided with the creature's base: a gigantic crystal at which point all five heads of the creature were connected. With this destroyed, the monster was immediately obliterated by the force of the blast. Before she could regroup, Kaguya was accosted by Kagura for the creature's failure to defeat Inuyasha, contemptuously asking if Kaguya had been conquered already. She revealed to Kaguya that she had found out from Kanna that "Princess" Kaguya was little more than a ruse, and that Kaguya was in fact not a celestial being at all. She further drew a comparison between Kaguya and Naraku, claiming that, like him, Kaguya simply absorbed the powers of others to increase their strength, and guessed correctly that Kaguya probably devoured the real celestial maiden to gain immortality. Uncomfortable with the comparison to Naraku, Kaguya proclaimed that she detested "all these half-demons." Kagura conceded that Kaguya's hatred was probably well-founded, but that she, Kagura, was tiring of Kaguya's deception. As a woman "born of Naraku", she claimed that she was tired of Kaguya's "antics."[2]

Amused, Kaguya asked if Kagura planned on confronting her, welcoming it as a source of good entertainment while she waited for Inuyasha's arrival. Kagura announced her intention to have Kanna steal Kaguya's soul. As the white wisps of Kaguya's soul began to flow into Kanna's mirror, Kaguya laughed at the foolish duo, admonishing them for thinking that it would be so easy to take her soul, which was quite safe against Kanna's meager incursion. Kaguya then asked if Kagura wanted to know why she had sought the Celestial Robe. As the aforementioned garment unwrapped itself form around Kaguya, it formed the shape of a circle facing Kagura and Kanna, while Kaguya began to chant the words to another spell. Kagura and Kanna lay helpless as Kaguya's Power of the Mirror of Stillness spell enveloped them, sending them paralyzed to the bottom of Lake Motosu for their betrayal.[2]

Vanish into the void of illusion!

Kaguya uses the Power of the Mirror of Stillness.

By this time, Inuyasha had reached the summit of Kaguya's mountain. To prepare for his arrival, Kaguya finally set her ultimate plan into action. The Celestial Robe once again unwrapped itself from around Kaguya, but this time encircled Kaguya herself, directly overtop the seal at her feet. As Inuyasha ran into her hall to confront her, Kaguya activated the Power of the Mirror of Stillness once again, as a blinding pink light shown out across the entire room, overcoming Inuyasha. The pentagram in the sky began to expand, as Kaguya's spell began to take its effect. As the pentagram's boundaries expanded, so to did the effect of the spell, completely stopping the flow of time in the affected area. With the passage of time thus halted, the Robe returned to Kaguya's body, as she proclaimed with ecstasy that she would never be parted with her "beautiful, everlasting night" ever again. To her shock and chagrin, however, Inuyasha began to rose from where he had been pinned to the floor, steaming. Kaguya demanded to know how he was still free to move, and not frozen in time. Inuyasha answered back, claiming that his ability to move was the least of her worries, attacking her without further delay with the barrier-breaking Kaze no Kizu of the Red Tessaiga. This, however, only served to dispel the illusion Kaguya had cast of her castle into the physical world. Kaguya revealed to a startled Kagome (alarmed that Inuyasha had suddenly vanished) that he had never really been in their presence at all. Inuyasha had never entered her castle, but only a fake one on the surface of the lake.[2]

Kagome and Kaguya were, in actuality, inside a separate dimension within her mirror, connected as it was with Lake Motosu itself. By this understanding, Kaguya believed herself to be completely safe from the interference of outsiders. But this obstacle, too, was soon to be overcome by Inuyasha.[2]

Final ConfrontationEdit

Kaguya spars with Inuyasha

Kaguya spars with Inuyasha.

Inuyasha eventually figured out how to break through to the dimension inside Kaguya's mirror, by using his barrier-breaking Red Tessaiga on the frozen surface of Lake Motosu. Inuyasha and his friends were thereby able to make their way through the breach and into the Realm of the Night, to the Castle Beyond the Looking Glass, Kaguya's true dwelling place. Kaguya thought it was foolish for her foes to confront in her in her own domain, and awaited their ensuing destruction.[2]

Meanwhile, Kagome interrogated Kaguya, demanding to know her motives for stopping time. Kaguya dismissed Kagome's concerns, claiming that only mortals such as herself were enamored with the passage of time. When Kagome claimed that she would rather die than remain in the timeless void of Kaguya's "eternal night," Kaguya announced that Kagome's wish would soon be fulfilled, as it was Kaguya's intention to devour Kagome and take both her spiritual powers and her ability to put up a time barrier. At that moment, though, Inuyasha suddenly made a dramatic entrance, lunging at Kaguya with his Tessaiga. Kaguya removed one of her hair pins, which transformed into a large sword, allowing her to repel Inuyasha's attack. The hanyō set in for a second attack and Kaguya removed her cape, ready to do battle. After parrying his second strike, Kaguya grabbed the Tessaiga with her bare left hand, enveloped by a small barrier, which allowed her to touch the naked blade edge without sustaining any injury. After continuing to repeatedly thrust her sword at Inuyasha, Kaguya then wrested the Tessaiga out of Inuyasha's grip completely and threw it into the wall behind her. Sango and Miroku also tried to enter the fray, but Kaguya was able to effortlessly destroy the monk's sacred sutras. She also blocked Sango's Hiraikotsu with her sword. Miroku, Sango, and her brother, Kohaku, then followed up with a direct attack. But, after chanting a quick spell, the Hiraikotsu was consumed by blue flames, and catapulted back at Sango, slamming her and Kohaku off the platform. Inuyasha, too, tried a direct attack again, using his Iron Reaver, Soul Stealer technique. Two tendrils then unfurled from the armor on either of Kaguya's arms, speeding towards Inuyasha and Miroku. The left tendril pierced Inuyasha's chest, bringing him to his knees. Miroku was only able to temporarily block the attack with his staff, but it was quickly snapped it half and he was struck in the arm.[2]

Kaguya seals away Inuyasha's human blood

Kaguya attempts to seal away Inuyasha's human blood into her mirror.

With all of her enemies thus summarily routed, Kaguya moved onto her next objective: transforming Inuyasha into a full-blooded demon and bending him to her will, effectively making him her servant. To this end, Kaguya turned her mirror on Inuyasha, promising to release the carnage within his heart, giving him the true form he desired. Once she began chanting a new spell, Inuyasha's appearance became savage, while his reflection in the mirror began to slowly morph into his human form. Sango tried to throw her Hiraikotsu at the mirror in order to halt the transformation, but Kaguya sent out her armor's tendrils to stop her, the coils morphing into branch-like formations which bound Sango to a pillar. Kaguya also constrained Kohaku and Sango's demon cat ally Kirara for good measure. With the darkness in his heart amplified and his human blood sealed in Kaguya's mirror, Inuyasha even attacked Miroku, who tried to snap his friend out of the trance. Kagome, however, was able to break out of her seal with the help of Shippō, and ran over to Inuyasha in an attempt to get through to him. As Kagome continued to plea with Inuyasha to go back to normal, Kaguya chided her, proclaiming that it was already too late, and that Inuyasha could never go back to being a hanyō again. Nevertheless, Kagome leaned up and kissed Inuyasha. This proved to be too much, and Inuyasha reverted to normal, breaking free of Kaguya's spell. As a result, the Mirror of Life cracked down the middle. Perhaps because of this, small red particles began to fall from the ceiling, confusing everyone present, even Kaguya. Retracting her armor coils from Sango and the others, Kaguya derided Inuyasha, believing him to be fool for giving up what she perceived as an excellent opportunity to see his wish to be a fully-fledged demon fulfilled.[2]

After sharing a moment with Kagome, Inuyasha retrieved the Tessaiga from the wall, turning on Kaguya. In response, Kaguya indignantly chastised Inuyasha for "bear[ing his] fangs" at her, warning that he had tempted his fate. At that moment, though, the red particles which had been floating in the air coalesced to reform the lost sleeve of Inuyasha's Robe of the Fire-Rat, to the rejoicing of his friends. This served to only enrage Kaguya further, her hair pulsing angrily and shrill noises erupting out of seemingly nowhere.[2]

Inuyasha attacked Kaguya yet again, this time with a point-blank range Kaze no Kizu blast. Kaguya attempted to prevent his attack by striking at him with her armor coils. However, these, along with Kaguya's entire left forearm were destroyed by the blast. Nevertheless, Kaguya's arm was immediately restored, thanks to the power of the Celestial Robe.[2]

Kaguya prepares to destroy Naraku

Kaguya prepares to destroy Naraku.

At this moment, Kohaku began to experience pain in his shoulder, which began to bulge. Perhaps sensing a demonic aura, Kaguya turned with a look of concern, as she joined with her enemies to watch the bizarre scene unfold. The bulging flesh continued to grow, eventually taking the shape of a spider, with eight legs and mandibles, at which point it exploded violently. When the smoke cleared, Naraku, exposed in his true, most grotesque form, lay in wait. He greeted Kaguya, saying that it had been too long since they last met. Kaguya disdainfully told Naraku that she thought he had died. He explained that he had merely faked his own death, long enough to draw Kaguya out of hiding. However, it is unclear how Naraku was able to escape the effects of Kaguya's Mirror of Stillness spell, since he did not possess anything that could put up a time barrier. At any rate, as he sent out his tentacles to ensnare her, Naraku told Kaguya to prepare to become one with his flesh, extending his body out to absorb her. Beside her self with disgust, Kaguya commanded Naraku not to lay his filthy hands on her and began to chant her most powerful spell yet. Her entire palace began to shake, timbers falling from the rafters, a few smashing into Naraku's bulbous body. As he got closer and closer, though, the Mirror of Life began to glow. As the light grew in intensity, Naraku's body was obliterated, except for his head. Finally the light shone out blindingly, and when it was all over, Naraku was nowhere to be seen. Unfortunately, this was not the end of Kaguya's hated half-demon enemy. Naraku had simply retreated into the recesses of Kaguya's halls, waiting for a better opportunity to attack her again.[2]

Inuyasha decided to take this opportunity to go on the offensive yet again, unleashing yet another blast of his Kaze no Kizu. Kaguya easily dispersed it, telling Inuyasha that he did not have the power to defeat her. She and he continued to exchange blows, until finally Kaguya retrieved her mirror, electing to blast Inuyasha away in the same fashion she erased Naraku. Inuyasha stubbornly refused to move, and was only saved from destruction by the timely assistance of Miroku. Meanwhile, Kagome retrieved the broken top half of Miroku's staff, planning to use it as a projectile against Kaguya. The celestial maiden noticed her presence, and nearly killed her with her armor coils, but was thwarted by Sango. Still in attack mode, Kaguya wasted no time in turning her sights back on Inuyasha, slashing violently at him and narrowly missing Miroku, as her blade cut through a thick piece of wood, which had fallen from the ceiling. After exchanging a few last blows with Tessaiga, Inuyasha thrusted Kaguya away from him. She deftly used the momentum to skip back to the platform, where she gathered energy for a final attack. Raising her sword above her head, Kaguya chanted another spell, her sword shining with a brilliant light, finally culminating in a large ball of fiery energy. Inuyasha began charging forward, and just before she threw the attack at him, Kaguya dismissively told him to return to her darkness and vanish forever.[2]

Kaguya's final attack

Kaguya makes her final move against Inuyasha.

Inuyasha used the Bakuryūha to reverse the flow of Kaguya's blast, but she countered by absorbing it in the same fashion she had during his fight with Kagura. The warp hole gathered yōki, amplifying the attack. When the blast was unleashed, Inuyasha countered with the backlash wave yet again, much to Kaguya's disappointment at his unoriginality. Much to her dismay, however, this time Kagome shot the piece of Miroku's staff she had gathered earlier, catching the Celestial Robe and pinning it to the Mirror of Life, which smashed. Without the protection of either object, Kaguya was vaporized by Inuyasha's attack, leaving behind only a handful of falling cherry blossoms. With her body gone, Kaguya's voice still called out, questioning how she could possibly have been defeated by a mortal and a mere half-demon.[2]

This was not the end for Kaguya, though. As her enemies tried to make it out of her palace as it collapsed, the black smoke-like form of Kaguya's aura cut them off, claiming that she could not be slain, since she was an immortal heavenly being. She then proclaimed that she intended to steal Kagome's body and take it as her own. Flowing forward, Kaguya's disembodied aura kidnapped Kagome yet again, dropping her on a fallen wooden beam. As she turned around, preparing to possess Kagome, Naraku emerged from hiding just behind the girl, planning to absorb her aura into his body, as she planned to do the reverse to Kagome. He didn't have the chance, however, as he was blown away, yet again, this time by a blast of Inuyasha's Kaze no Kizu. Kaguya herself did not escape attack, as Miroku opened his Kazaana, sucking Kaguya's aura into the void of his hand and putting an end to her existence in the physical realm forever.[2]

PersonalityEdit

Kaguya's poise

As a princess, Kaguya possesses a distinguished poise.

In her guise as "Princess of the Heavens," Kaguya acts in a very refined manner, like any high-born member of the nobility, as her title would suggest. She is almost always smiling and seems to keep herself in a good mood at all times. She often recites poetry from the original Tale of the Bamboo Cutter,[1] and sometimes waxes philosophical at points, musing on the beauty of the Moon and how it is best viewed with a physical body (a dichotomy that admittedly few are in a position to take a stance on, given her unique circumstances). Building on her natural refinement, Kaguya is typically very calm and calculating; thus, losing her temper would be unthinkable. Her serenity is essentially a tool to accentuate her own beauty and gracefulness. Even when facing off against enemies, Kaguya maintains her poise and graceful bearing, yet she usually treats her foes with arrogant disdain and blatant sarcasm. While trapped in her mirror, Kaguya is completely self-assured in her abilities and does not perceive Inuyasha or any of his friends as potential threats. Even when Kagome fired a sacred arrow at her, pinching off a piece of her kimono in the process, Kaguya merely weighed the advantages of absorbing Kagome's spiritual powers, not even deigning to consider Kagome as a real threat. This was further displayed when Kagome threatened to fire at Kaguya again; Kaguya scoffed haughtily at Kagome, daring her to try it. Because of Kaguya's immense power, she was in fact able to simply redirect the arrow, thus establishing her superior fighting prowess and, to a large extent, justifying her arrogant, aristocratic disposition.[2]

This low estimation of her enemies' abilities also led her to spare Inuyasha and Kagome's lives, even despite Kagura's misgivings and her foes' vulnerability. Kaguya simply did not perceive them as potential threats. This may also derive from Kaguya's single-minded determination. Kaguya is a very goal-oriented person, ruthlessly pursuing her objectives in a careful and methodical manner. Since she had, at the time, only been concerned with obtaining the Robe of the Fire-Rat and using it to free herself, the fact that Inuyasha and Kagome might come back to oppose her likely did not occur to her. Nevertheless, this rather tepid reaction was only due to Kagome and Inuyasha not figuring into her plans. Conversely, in other instances when the same duo actively stood in her way, Kaguya reacted with overwhelming force. In general, due to her intense drive, Kaguya reacts with severe annoyance at the least bit of resistance or interference in the pursuit of her goals. When Inuyasha and Kagome tried to keep Kaguya from obtaining the Celestial Robe, she quickly dispatched them with her mirror; this proves that Kaguya's fierce nature only reveals itself when individuals get in her way, since, as soon as she got what she wanted, she immediately left yet again, ignoring the potential threat posed by Inuyasha. Again, whether this is due to her single-mindedness or her genuine disdain for Inuyasha's fighting ability is difficult to determine.[2]

Kaguya is interested

Even in the midst of a battle, Kaguya sees an opportunity to increase her power.

Kaguya is also extremely vain, given that her entire life has been dedicated to the pursuit of greater beauty and eternal youth. She reacts very negatively to any criticism or skepticism that she is a true celestial being. This vanity is what leads her to be so self-absorbed and narcissistic, only augmented further by her immortality and unlimited power. It is likely this aspect of Kaguya's personality, so oriented towards aesthetics, that causes her to react with such hostility towards half-demons. As a general rule, most demons look upon half-demons with disdain for being weak and part human. Kaguya's feelings are less like disdain and more akin to overt hatred. She calls half-demons "unsightly" and does not consider them beautiful at all, completely unlike herself. Whereas she is the pinnacle of perfection, Kaguya views half-demons as imperfect and of all the creatures that pollute her ideal "Eternal Night," the ones least worthy of existence. These hostile feelings may belie Kaguya's own insecurities, as well. Since Kaguya is not a true celestial being, but technically a "half-demon" herself, Kaguya may be reminded of her own charade in the form of half-demons. This is perhaps why Kaguya, despite her self-proclaimed hatred of half-demons, was willing to take on Inuyasha as her servant and grant him his wish to be a full-fledged demon. It is possible that Kaguya saw reflected in Inuyasha her own desires to pursue perfection and leave her weaker, demon state of being behind. Another factor, though, is likely that Kaguya likes to demonstrate her power to grant wishes and show off before her terrified foes as their best friend was turned into a brutal demon.[2]

Kaguya's distaste for half-demons

Kaguya expresses her distaste for half-demons.

Finally, of course, the most prominent reason behind Kaguya's hatred of half-demons is Naraku. Naraku represents the antithesis of everything Kaguya values; namely, beauty and power. Because Naraku is a haphazard collection of lower-class demons, his true form is extremely ugly. For someone like Kaguya, who values aesthetics above all else, that such a disgusting creature like Naraku exists in the world would be completely anathema to her. Secondly, Naraku's powers prior to his reconstruction at Mount Hakurei (which occurred only after Kaguya was defeated by Inuyasha's group) were negligible in comparison to her own, and Kaguya would have disdained him for that as well. Also, of course, Naraku attempted to absorb Kaguya once in her past. The idea of someone as perfect herself becoming a part of someone as vile as Naraku would have constituted the most revolting idea Kaguya could imagine, and it is something that Kaguya would never get over emotionally. It so disturbed her that she remained dormant in her mirror for 50 years waiting for Naraku to die. The fact that she and Naraku gain power through similar methods (i.e. absorption of others to gain their strength), giving them something in common, could not have helped matters. When Naraku returns after revealing that he had faked his death to lure Kaguya out of hiding, Kaguya's long-held anxiety breaches her well-polished, confident veneer and she experiences a rare moment of concern and fear. With the Celestial Robe in her possession, however, this moment fades when Naraku actually tries to confront her. Kaguya does not even consider her old foe Naraku a threat anymore and defeats him with ease.[2]

Kaguya lusts for power

Kaguya lusts for power.

Perhaps fitting in with her general aristocratic attitude, Kaguya has little regard for the lives of others. In its most extreme form, this aspect of Kaguya's personality is evidenced in the fact that Kaguya's overall goal in life is to freeze time and rule over a world of "Eternal Night." This is an overwhelmingly selfish goal, as Kaguya essentially wants to end the existence of every other living creature and rule over an empty, frozen world, inhabited solely by herself. What stands to be actually gained by this is unclear; in fact, Kaguya's motives are never clearly stated. Kaguya seems very attached and possessive of her "Eternal Night." She proclaims at one point that no one would ever "separate" her from her "Eternal Night" ever again, as if it were a living, tangible thing. It is possible that Kaguya simply believes that she is the epitome of perfection and so self-absorbed in her own existence that she looks at every other living creature with disdain and seeks solitude in an empty void to contemplate her own greatness. The fact that Kaguya also believes she deserves an entire planet just for her own personal enjoyment, albeit one frozen in time and void-like, is also thought-provoking. Ultimately, in contrast to the ambitions of other powerful yōkai such as Naraku, Menōmaru, or Sesshōmaru, all of whom desire personal power and even world-conquest, Kaguya's goals seem rather nihilistic in comparison. It is possible that since Kaguya is an "immortal, heavenly being," her motives are simply beyond mortal comprehension.[2]

Also in keeping with her low disregard for others, Kaguya also wished to make Inuyasha her servant, naturally against his will. Kaguya found Inuyasha's desire, based in his insecurity of being a hanyō, to become a full-fledged demon revolting, due to her universal hatred of half-demons, and yet also interesting at the same time. Inuyasha constituted something akin to a plaything for Kaguya's amusement. Similarly, Kaguya did not hesitate to kidnap Kagome with the intent of absorbing her powers, viewing her, again, as a mere tool to increase her own power.[2]

Surprisingly, however, Kaguya did not seem ill-disposed towards either Kagura or Kanna. While she obviously manipulated Kagura's desire for freedom to secure her assistance in finding all the requisite objects for Kaguya's own freedom, Kaguya seemed to have a genuine desire to fulfill her wish and never treated her or Kanna with any sort of disdain or ill-will, despite her desire to destroy all life on Earth. It seemed likely that Kaguya would have even allowed Kagura and Kanna to live alongside her in her castle. This eventuality may be tempered slightly by the fact that Kagura and Kanna were confined to the illusory Dream Castle, and never allowed into Kaguya's actual domain. Additionally, Kaguya did not seem particularly concerned when Kagura decided to betray Kaguya, and she treated her self-made foes with characteristic disdain. However, Kaguya did seem rather perturbed that Kagura had the audacity to betray her after all she had promised to do for her.[2]

Kaguya is angry

In her demon form, Kaguya is prone to violent outbursts of anger.

When Kaguya unveils her true form, her demeanor changes remarkably from her cheery princess masquerade. Kaguya's manner of dress is not so much refined and ladylike, but she rather wears armor and is very warrior-like. She also freely exposes her skin and attractiveness in a slightly provocative fashion. Her empress-like cape and armor in combination with her intimidating scowl and even her make-up give her the appearance of a conqueror and ruler, and far from her original princess disguise. Despite her villainous appearance, Kaguya's own beauty remains undiminished, though it has far more menacing overtones from its previous semblance of feminine grace and purity.[2]

Kaguya's personality is also clearly changed. She openly submits to impulses of anger and lashes out at her foes. Before she was sealed, and the Celestial Robe was stolen from her, Kaguya slaughtered innocent villagers nearby, despite the fact that she had no idea whether or not they were complicit in the theft, simply to satiate her unfathomable rage. In moments of intense anger, her emotions sometimes even manifest themselves in eerie screeching sounds in the distance, at the same time that her powerful anger causes her hair to ripple. Whereas, before, Kaguya was very precise in her actions and ignored individuals who did not figure into her plans, Kaguya in her true form is brutal and merciless. She attempts to kill Inuyasha, his allies, and especially Kagome, at every turn, completely forgoing her earlier, relative restraint. She completely disregards even her own palace in her attacks, causing extensive damage and leveling entire sections with powerful blasts. Kaguya's demeanor is completely remorseless, and the only happiness she experiences is from relishing in her own personal power or in the pain she inflicts on her enemies. Kaguya also adopts a much more physical style of fighting; whereas previously she had fought from a distance with the Mirror of Life, in her true form she confronts Inuyasha and others directly, preferring to fight primarily with a sword.[2]

Physical descriptionEdit

  • Princess Kaguya
  • Kaguya's true form

Kaguya is widely recognized for her beauty. In fact, it was her attractive features that saved her from being sucked into the monk Miyatsu's Kazaana and led to her being sealed inside the Mirror of Life instead. As Princess of the Heavens, Kaguya has long black hair, with a slight blueish tint, that reaches down to just above her knees. Her hair is parted down the middle and two, long strands of hair that pass in front of her hair reach down to her chest. Both her eyes and eyelids are turquoise, framed by very long eyelashes and dark eyebrows. Her lips are colored a light purple. Kaguya also has very pale, delicate skin, which contrasts greatly with her dark hair.[2]

As the Queen of Eternal Night, her true form, her features change only slightly, as her eyelids shift to magenta and her lips become blue. Her eyelashes become much longer and thicker, the lower lashes gathering together into jutting points, giving her a menacing appearance.[2]

OutfitEdit

Kaguya's princess outfit

Kaguya's princess kimono

As Princess of the Heavens, Kaguya wears a very intricate kimono, befitting a woman of her stature. The colors of her multiple layers are from innermost to outermost: khaki, dark green, off-white, and purple. The only layers exposed at her feet besides her purple outer-kimono is the topmost, off-white inner-kimono. As is the custom with such clothing, Kaguya's sleeves are very long. Curiously, unlike most kimonos worn by women, Kaguya has no obi sash that ties her kimono together. As such, her robes flow loosely when she floats or flies, billowing in some places rather unflatteringly, similar to Miroku. Kaguya also wears pearls around her neck; this piece resembles Inuyasha's Beads of Subjugation, due to the turquoise, tooth-like beads that separate every third pearl from the next three pearls. However, the color scheme is different (Kaguya—turquoise beads with pearls; Inuyasha—grey fangs with black beads) and numbering as well, as Inuyasha's beads are grouped into fives not threes. Kaguya also adorns her hair with two fin-like kanzashi hair-ornaments; both a light purple. It is not clear what sort of footwear Kaguya employs with her kimono, but in keeping with the fashion she wears, it can be assumed that she wears bamboo sandals with tabi socks.[2]

Kaguya

Kaguya's demon armor

As the Queen of Eternal Night, Kaguya's style of dress becomes far more macabre and menacing. Discarding her kimono, Kaguya wears a very distinct set of armor. It is comprised of shell-like pauldrons with red edges on her shoulders and a double-breasted plate on her chest that wraps around her back as well. This central plate connects in the middle of her chest with a large red coil. Similar coils wrap around the vambraces on her forearms (made of the same material as her other armor pieces) as well as the forearms themselves. These can be used as weapons to ensnare or impale her enemies. The center coil that runs from her breastplate almost resembles a segmented worm of some kind; tendril-like pieces jut out above her collar bone. A coiled circle in the middle forms the centerpiece of her armor and is located just above her heart. From her pauldrons drapes a large, red, floor-length cape. Kaguya also wears a black, floor-length skirt; tied around her waist by a red, floor-length sash. She replaces her earlier fin-like ornaments with three hairpins (two on one side of her head, one on the other), which she can enlarge at will and use as swords. Contrasted with her kimono, Kaguya's armor is far from conservative, and is very revealing and provocative. Kaguya also wears a peculiar type of armored legwear that protects her shins and feet, but leaves her toes uncovered. While it is in her possession, the Celestial Robe floats around Kaguya's waist, tied in two knots at the front. The Robe circles her back in a loop and connects to the first knot. Below is another, smaller loop, that connects, by way of the second knot, with the rest of the Robe, which is tied in a bow, with two large loops that hang about Kaguya's legs.[2]

Powers & AbilitiesEdit

Kaguya possesses a wide range of abilities and is an extremely powerful foe for any opponent. Kaguya largely relies on various forms of magic for both her defense and offense, making it very difficult to fight her using typical means. Her spells range in strength, but some of her fiercest spells are capable of completely eradicating any opponent who faces her. However, Kaguya is not completely reliant on spells, and also demonstrates some skill with a blade. This was shown when she was able to slash Miroku's sacred sutras in midair and also block Sango's Hiraikotsu. While her attacks are strong enough to chop through several feet of wood, her speed is lacking and she often leaves herself open to counterattack. Despite being able to hold her own against Inuyasha for awhile, he was able to exploit this weakness, though Kaguya was merely able to teleport and attack from a different direction whenever her defenses were broken. Still, spells are where Kaguya's true power lies, and she is able to use them to great effect. Most of them, however, are either generated by, or channeled through, her mirror. As such, Kaguya's powers are heavily dependent on the Mirror of Life or the Celestial Robe; without them her own abilities are fairly limited. This is ultimately how she is defeated, as Kagome fires and arrow that nabs the Celestial Robe and destroys the mirror. Otherwise, with both intact, Kaguya could be considered invincible.[2]

AttacksEdit

  • Power of the Mirror of Stillness
  • Momentum reversal
  • Burning sphere
  • Power of the Mirror of Stillness (明鏡止水の法, Meikyōshisui no Hō, "Law of the Mirror of Stilled Water"): Using the power of the Celestial Robe, Kaguya creates a pentagram that arrests the passage of time within its perimeter. It has two variations. The first Kaguya uses against Kanna and Kagura. In this variation, Kaguya begins chanting the spell, while the Celestial Robe unfurls from around her waist and forms a perfect circle in front of her. A beam of pink light generates a pentagram edge by edge, and then fires the circumscribed pentagram towards the opponent. Anything touched by this light is permanently frozen in time, as long as Kaguya's power lasts. However, only movement is stopped, as Kagura was still able to think afterwards. With the larger variation, all functions become frozen, and on a much grander scale. With this version of her attack, the Celestial Robe forms a ring around Kaguya, rather than in front of her, and the pentagram extends outward from there, with an initial blinding flash of light bathing the surroundings. It continues to extend until the entire world is engulfed in a timeless void. Only a time barrier, formed by physical contact with any object (or possibly any person) from another period of time (i.e. from the past or the future) can defend against this attack. Its effects are also permanent as long as Kaguya's power lasts.[2]
  • Momentum reversal: By blocking an incoming object, Kaguya chants a spell, enveloping the projectile in blue flames. The object is then sent ricocheting back into her opponent.[2]
  • Burning sphere: This is Kaguya's most powerful standard attack. Lifting her sword above her head, she chants a spell, causing her sword to generate a bright light. A large sphere of orange energy forms above her sword's point, allowing her to then fire it at her opponents.[2] This attack is similar to energy spheres used by both the human mercenary Bankotsu and the demon ninja Hoshiyomi. Coincidentally, both of these attacks were also thwarted by Inuyasha's Bakuryūha, leading to their deaths.[3][4] While Kaguya was ultimately captured by Miroku's kazaana, the series of events that led to her body's destruction was triggered by the firing of her energy sphere; an admittedly more complicated situation than was the case with either Bankotsu or Hoshiyomi.[2]

PowersEdit

  • Nature manipulation
  • Teleportation
  • Hand barrier
  • Absorption: Kaguya, like her nemesis, Naraku, is able to absorb other beings to increase her own strength and gain their abilities. However, unlike Naraku, Kaguya does not limit herself to demons, and, in fact, her most notable absorption, that of the real Princess Kaguya, was a celestial being and not a demon. This is how Kaguya gained her immortality and youthful appearance. Kaguya was also willing to absorb Kagome to gain her spiritual powers and ability to erect "time barriers." Naraku would never have absorbed a human, as he believes that it would weaken him. Besides, Naraku only gains the yōki of demons he absorbs to increase his demonic aura, whereas Kaguya gains their actual abilities, similar to Mōryōmaru. Therefore, by absorbing a human, Naraku's aura would be undermined, whereas Kaguya would strengthen herself by taking on that human's spiritual powers, similar to the Oni's head. Also similar to the Oni's head, it appears that Kaguya absorbs her victims not by literally absorbing them into her flesh, but rather by consuming them directly.[2]
  • Immortality: After absorbing the celestial maiden, Kaguya gained her immortality and eternal youth. Her body is apparently able to reassemble itself after sustaining any injury, similar to Naraku, however when the Celestial Robe is in her possession, this ability is instantaneous, closer to reborn Naraku's abilities after Mount Hakurei, and Kaguya will regenerate even if her body is completely destroyed. Only when the Robe was taken away from her was Inuyasha able to defeat her. However, not only was Kaguya's body immortal, but her spirit as well. After only a short time following her demise, Kaguya's aura coelesced and attempted to possess Kagome's body. This suggests that Kaguya is truly immortal, and was only able to be dealt away with by Miroku sucking her presence into his kazaana.[2]
  • Nature manipulation: Kaguya has rather diverse and extensive connection with nature. The most obvious connection is that while her powers are in effect, the moon will remain full and change colors as her power increases, ranging from yellow, to green, to purple, to red. Another prominent natural connection that Kaguya possesses is with that of the cherry tree. When Kaguya is present, any and all cherry trees in the area will immediately blossom, regardless of season, even in the winter. They will also glow with a bright, unnatural light. She can also manipulate the tree itself, using the roots to ensnare Inuyasha, channeling her aura through it to shock him, with an electrical-like effect. Kaguya was also able to warp the wood floors of her castle to wrap around Kagome's feet. It is possible that this is because the wood came from the timber of cherry trees. In addition to her effect on actual cherry trees, cherry blossom petals continuously and inexplicably fall from the sky whenever Kaguya is present. After being destroyed, all that was left of Kaguya's body was a swirl of cherry blossom petals.[2]
  • Connection to the Five Lakes of Mount Fuji: As an extension of her connection with nature in general, Kaguya's power seems to be bound to Mount Fuji itself. The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter suggests that one of the sources of Mount Fuji's name comes from the Elixir of Immortality that the real princess Kaguya gave to the Emperor of Japan; the latter, however, throws it into the mountain's volcanic crater, having no wish for eternal life separated from the princess.[1] It is ironic, therefore, assuming that this etymology is correct, that the five lakes surrounding Mount Fuji (the "Immortal Mountain") support the powers of an immortal. Only by throwing in five specific objects connected with The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, can Kaguya's power be truly unleashed. By channeling her power through these lakes, Kaguya forms her massive pentagram in the sky, through which she channels her Power of the Mirror of Stillness ability. Of particular interest is Kaguya's connection to Lake Motosu, by which she has two additional powers. However, these seem to be tied to her use of the Mirror of Life, explained below.[2]
  • Clairvoyance: Kaguya has the ability to sense the inner-most desires of people she encounters. She often uses this ability to try and manipulate others into doing her bidding, with mixed results.[2]
  • Teleportation: Kaguya is able to transport herself to far away destinations instantaneously. This is facilitated by the moon, as Kaguya's image fades into the moon, but rematerializes in an area where its beams touch. Her mirror is the first thing to appear, followed by Kaguya herself. Kaguya is also able to move quickly from place to place by transforming into a swirling gust of cherry blossoms. This process starts by Kaguya enveloping herself in cherry blossoms, then traveling as the stream of petals, finally rematerializing after the petals again swirl around the area she wishes to reappear in.[2]
  • Illusions: In addition to the Mirror Illusions Kaguya is capable of conjuring (explained below), she is also capable of masking her own appearance behind a fair-seeming visage, cloaking her true demon form.[2]
  • Telekinesis: Kaguya has been shown to be able to levitate objects and even people, such as her mirror, the Celestial Robe and Kagome.[2]
  • Levitation: Kaguya has the ability to levitate her body and fly in an upright, standing position, perhaps as an extension of her own telekinetic powers.[2]
  • Hand barrier: Kaguya is able to project small barriers over her hands, which render them invulnerable to physical harm. This allows her to block the Tessaiga's blade with one hand while attempting to cut down Inuyasha with her sword. She eventually simply wrenches the blade from him with her bare hands and throws it into the seal behind her.[2]

WeaponsEdit

  • Mirror of Life
  • Dream of the Pentacle Mirror
  • Castle Beyond the Looking Glass
  • Scrying
  • Orochi
  • Black Hole
  • Barrier
  • Energy dispersal
  • Whips of light
  • Unknown spell
  • Reversing mirror
  • Light blast
  • Seal of the Pentacle Mirror
  • Pocket dimension
  • Hairpin sword
  • Armor coils
  • Mirror of Life (命鏡, Mikagami): The Mirror of Life is Kaguya's chief offensive and defensive tool, and acts as a medium for most of her spells. Kaguya sometimes holds up the index and middle finger of her left hand (or right hand in the Realm of the Night) when chanting a spell or else holds her sword vertically with her other hand on the sword's edge near the top of the blade.[2]
    • Connection to Lake Motosu: As mentioned above, Kaguya's power is intrinsically tied to the Five Lakes of Mount Fuji. Of special note is her particular connection to Lake Motosu. This connection seems to be mostly facilitated by the Mirror of Life.[2]
      • Dream of the Pentacle Mirror: When Kaguya first awakens after Naraku's "death," she raises the Dream Castle of the Pentacle Mirror from the bottom of Lake Motosu. However, this castle is only an illusion. The real castle lies within another dimension inside the "Realm of the Night." This realm is connected in a parallel fashion to the surface of the lake. Only Kaguya can traverse the dimensions at will. Inuyasha was able to break through to the other side of the dimensional barrier with his Red Tessaiga. Kaguya did not allow either Kagura or Kanna to enter this realm, leaving them behind in the false castle in the real world. Despite this, Kaguya was still able to use her Mirror of Stillness spell from the other realm. Even after the illusion was dispelled, the castle's reflection in the Lake's surface is still visible.[2]
      • Castle Beyond the Looking Glass: This is the aforementioned castle of Kaguya's that lies within its own dimension. Kaguya's mirror appears to be connected with Lake Motosu, and by which she accesses and controls it. Before finding the Five Lakes objects, only the lower levels are visible, but after her powers are unsealed, the rock behind the castle extends into a small mountain, ontop of which is Kaguya's main halls. Within this "Realm of the Night," Kaguya's powers over the dark desires of the heart are amplified, and she is apparently able to grant wishes to a certain extent, sealing Inuyasha's human blood inside her mirror, allowing him to become a full-blooded demon. However, Kagome broke the spell, resulting in the Mirror of Life being fractured. The Mirror apparently also acts as a portal from the "Realm of the Night" and the Castle Beyond the Looking Glass to the real world. Inuyasha and his friends, as well as Naraku and Kohaku, are able to use the Mirror to escape Kaguya's collapsing castle and get back to Earth.[2]
      • Scrying: Kaguya is able to look into her mirror and see things that are far away, similar to Kanna. However, Kaguya's sight appears to be limited to the periphery of her castle and Lake Motosu.[2]
      • Orochi: A large six-headed dragon resides permanently at the bottom of the lake, and Kaguya uses it to guard her castle. She is able to control it telepathically. It is extremely large and can shoot blasts of fire from each of its six mouths. All six heads are connected at the base to a large crystalline structure, from which the creature draws its power. It is its only vulnerable spot, and apparently is otherwise invulnerable, as the Kaze no Kizu had no affect on it. Once destroyed by Kikyō and Inuyasha, Orochi dies.[2]
    • Black hole: Arguably Kaguya's greatest defensive and offensive spell. It summons a large black sphere that resembles a black hole. It absorbs any attack that is thrown at her, provided it is powered by yōki. Once absorbed, Kaguya amplifies the attack with her own energy and then fires the enhanced blast back at her opponent, in five directions. It is triggered when the Mirror of Life's glass darkens suddenly, the releases flash of bright light. This causes a reverse reaction in the area in front of Kaguya, where a white circle appears, which then shifts to black, revealing the "black hole." After the Mirror is fractured, small black spheres emerge from the cracks, which then coalesce into the "black hole."[2]
    • Barrier: This is Kaguya's most basic defensive move. Any yōki-powered attack is merely blocked, sometimes causing its course to be split, going around the circular perimeter of the defensive barrier. When an attack comes into contact with the barrier, it releases a stream of light in a cylindrical shape around Kaguya. Otherwise it is invisible. Unlike Kanna, her barrier does not reflect the enemies attack; for this effect, she would require the "black hole" technique mentioned above.[2]
    • Energy dispersal: After chanting a spell, Kaguya was able to disperse the Wind Scar, causing its energy to dissipate gradually until it disappeared completely before it could reach her. Kaguya can also use this technique in conjunction with her hairpin sword to achieve the same effect.[2]
    • Whips of light: The Mirror's glass flashes pink, the light spiraling beyond the Mirror's surface itself, forming five whip-like tendrils of light. Kaguya uses this to easily neutralize Inuyasha during their second encounter, the first where she takes physical form.[2]
    • Unknown spell: When Kaguya was about to confront Akitoki Hōjō to reclaim the Celestial Robe, she chanted a spell that generated a butterfly-like halo around her body. It is unknown what sort of effect this spell would have had, since it was interrupted by Kagome.[2]
    • Reversing mirror: The Mirror of Life emits a beam of purple light and then absorbs a projectile into the mirror's glass. Kaguya was able to do this to Kagome's sacred arrow and fire it at Inuyasha.[2]
    • Light blast: Arguably Kaguya's strongest stand-alone spell, in this technique, the Mirror of Life begins to glow extremely brightly with a blinding light. Any caught near this blast of light will be instantly incinerated. Even Naraku's body, which can withstand even the extremely hot flames of Jaken's Nintōjō, was almost completely obliterated.[2]
    • Wish granting: Kaguya is apparently able to grant wishes. She promises that she can grant Kagura "true freedom" in return for her cooperation in obtaining Kaguya's freedom and also promises Inuyasha to transform him into a fully-fledged demon. While it is uncertain how Kaguya might have granted the first wish, she is able to chant a spell that seals Inuyasha's human blood into her mirror, which allows Inuyasha to be a pure-blooded demon, though this only lasts a short time before Kagome breaks the spell, resulting in the Mirror of Life becoming fractured.[2]
    • Seal of the Pentacle Mirror: Reminiscent of the seal on her Mirror which kept her confined to its pocket dimension, Kaguya's power is represented in a pink pentagram, evoking the Wu Xing of Chinese philosophy, representing a union of the five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. She unites the elements in some way by drawing on the power of the Five Lakes of Mount Fuji, mentioned above, combining them into her seal. By channeling her own power and that of the Celestial Robe into the seal, Kaguya is able to enact her Power of the Mirror of Stillness spell. Kaguya is also able to create a miniature of this seal to bind Kagome.[2]
    • Pocket dimension: In addition to the "Realm of the Night" connected to Lake Motosu, Kaguya also has a small pocket dimension inside her Mirror. This is where she remained sealed for fifty years, but was also able to store Kagome's body for ease of transport following her kidnapping of the young miko.[2]
  • Hairpin sword: Kaguya is able to enlarge her hairpins into large swords. Similar to the Celestial Robe, Kaguya's hairpin swords have no innate abilities of their own, but merely act as a medium for Kaguya's power, allowing her to deflect attacks and fire her energy blast technique.[2]
  • Armor coils: The two red coils on Kaguya forearms can be extended to impale her enemies. She can also use them to bind her enemies. When this happens, their color changes from red to brown, forming branch-like structures which then pin her opponents to various nearby surfaces.[2]

ItemsEdit

Celestial RobeEdit

Kaguya with the Celestial Robe

Kaguya holds the Celestial Robe.

The Celestial Robe (天女の羽衣, Ten'nyo no hagoromo, "Feathered Robe of the Celestial Maiden") is the most powerful and essential of Kaguya's paraphernalia. Originally belonging to the real celestial maiden, the robe acts as a source of infinite power for Kaguya and greatly strengthens her abilities. In addition to giving her unlimited power, its healing abilities also allow Kaguya to instantly recuperate from any injury. Kaguya's primary purpose for the Celestial Robe, however is in its function as an energy source, for which she uses to power her Mirror of Stillness spell and put a permanent halt to flow of time.[2]

While originally in Kaguya's possession following her absorption of the real celestial maiden, it was stolen by an unknown passerby while Kaguya was bathing in a spring. Without its power, Kaguya became vulnerable and was sealed away by the monk Miyatsu. The Robe eventually fell into the hands of the Hōjō clan, who were warned by Miyatsu that if ever a full moon should appear for several consecutive nights (indicating Kaguya's awakening) that they should throw the Celestial Robe into the crater of Mount Fuji. This would essentially prevent Kaguya from initiating her plan to stop the flow of time. While a young samurai from the Hōjō clan, Akitoki Hōjō, attempted to destroy the Celestial Robe, he was waylaid en route to Mount Fuji by Kaguya, who then took possession of the Robe. After Kaguya's defeat, however, Akitoki threw the Robe into the crater of Mount Fuji to ensure that its power could never be used for evil purposes again.[2]

Five Lakes objectsEdit

The five items

Representation of the items (clockwise from top): Jewelled Branch of Hōrai, Swallow's Cowrie Shell, Jewel of the Dragon's Neck, The Stone Cup of Buddha and The Robe of the Fire Rat.

  • Jewelled Branch of Hōrai
  • Jewel of the Dragon's Neck
  • Robe of the Fire-rat
  • Swallow's Cowrie Shell
  • Stone bowl of Buddha

Five items are required to break Kaguya's seal and grant her the power to summon "Eternal Night".[2] The items come from the original legend of The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, where they are assigned each to five men, who desire to marry the original Princess Kaguya. They are nearly impossible for ordinary people to find, due to their quasi-mystical status, and their recovery is necessary for the potential candidate to marry the princess. However, they are chosen specifically for their difficulty, as Kaguya did not want to be married and so gave her suitors impossible tasks. Each of the men who go after them usually face extreme misfortune, ranging from public disgrace, impoverishment, and even death.[1] The items are nevertheless quickly found by Kagura and Kanna.[2]

Each of the items has a special connection to one of the five lakes that surround Mount Fuji, necessary for unlocking a portion of Kaguya's power. When all five objects, with the help of Kagura and Kanna, are dropped into their respective lakes, Kaguya is released from the Mirror of Life. Each item also represents a specific element and after recovering the Celestial Robe, Kaguya triggers a process that draws elemental energy corresponding to each of the objects from the five lakes, uniting them to form her Wu Xing seal. When an item is dropped into its respective lake, a tanka poem is recited by either Kaguya or Kanna. It is unclear if these tanka are needed as a part of the ritual that releases the seal. Since Kaguya and Kanna always recite them while dropping an object into one of the lakes, it may be that there is a connection. However, there are also other times when they recite poems, apparently to no effect; therefore, the question remains up in the air.[2]

  • Jewelled Branch of Hōrai (蓬莱の玉の枝, Hōrai no tama no eda): This branch is made entirely of gemstones and is allegedly from the legendary Hōraijima. However, in the Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, it was a fake manufactured at great expense by a ranking official of the imperial court, as a gift for the real Princess Kaguya.[1] It was enshrined along with the Mirror of Life in the cave inside the Forest of Illusion. It signifies the element wood, even though it is made up of minerals. On Kaguya's seal, it is represented by the color green. The Jewelled Branch of Hōrai was cast in Lake Shōji with the verse: "I ventured to see if what I had heard was true, with this jeweled branch with leaves so real. T'was nothing more than an empty promise."[2]
  • Jewel of the Dragon's Neck (竜の首の珠, Ryū no kubi no tama): This item is a strange metal sphere with an exposed, yellow, glowing core. The jewel was found by Kanna in the basin of a shallow stream, surrounded by large bones, possibly belonging to a dragon. It signifies the element metal and is represented on Kaguya's seal by the color yellow. It was cast into Lake Yamanaka with the verse: "Oh arrow of mine with power pure and immense to slay the dragon, do your good deed fast and swift; grasp the crystal in its neck."[2]
  • Robe of the Fire-Rat (火鼠の裘, Hinezumi no kawagoromo): This item is a robe worn by Inuyasha for most of his life that is, as its name suggests, woven from the fur of a fire-rat. Naturally, it corresponds to the element fire and is represented by the color red.[2] It is immune to fire, though in the Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, the merchant who obtained one at great expense from China was shocked when it was engulfed in flames, as expressed by the verse that Kaguya recites when it is tossed into Lake Motosu: "Could you have but known that it would burn so swiftly this raiment of fur, you would not then have sat with such little show of concern."[1][Note 1] Unlike the rest of the items, the Robe of the Fire-Rat is accompanied by two verses, as Kaguya also recites another one when she confronts Inuyasha: "The white-hot flames of my love for you cannot burn this cloth of fur. My raiment, sleeves dried of tears, now on this day I dawn."[2]
  • Swallow's Cowrie Shell (燕の産んだ子安貝, Tsubame no unda koyasu kai): This item is a necklace made with a swallow's cowrie shell: a special shell that is said to be a charm used by a swallow when giving birth.[1] For some reason, Kohaku possessed this object, probably given to him by Naraku in order to lure out Kaguya. Naraku then compelled Kohaku to follow Kaguya back to her lair so that Naraku could attempt to absorb her into his body, though this ultimately failed. Therefore, the Swallow's Cowrie Shell was a piece that factored in both Kaguya and Naraku's plans. However, Naraku's plan was a bit of a gamble, as there was no guarantee that Kohaku would find Kaguya before she put a stop to time, though it is unknown if Naraku knew what Kaguya was capable of, and he probably underestimated her. At any rate, despite his orders to protect the shell from falling into Kaguya's hands, it was taken from following an ambush by Kagura. It signifies the element water and is represented on Kaguya's seal by the color blue. As it was tossed into Lake Sai, Kanna recited the following words: "Time has passed swiftly as I've waited to see the shell you promised: they say I wait in vain, could this be so?"[2]
  • Stone Begging Bowl of Buddha (仏の御石の鉢, Hotoke no oishi no hachi): The last of the five items, this object was the Buddha's stone begging bowl. In the Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, it was believed to be located in India,[1] however Kagura tracked it down to a village in Japan. She manipulated a swarm of demons to attack the village and retrieve the bowl, but they were unsuccessful. She later confronted Kikyō, who had visited the village after it was attacked and obtained the bowl from a dying young girl. To Kagura's surprise, Kikyō surrendered the bowl freely without a fight, claiming that she had no need of it. However, Kikyō, for reasons similar to Naraku and the Swallow's Cowrie Shell, namely to draw out Kaguya. Kikyō's designs differed from Naraku's, though, in that Kikyō wanted to draw Kaguya out so that she could be destroyed by Inuyasha. The bowl signifies the element earth and is represented by the color purple. As it was cast into Lake Kawaguchi, Kanna recited these words: "I had hoped to find the gleam of the fallen dew but nothing can I see, why did you go yonder to Mount Ogura?"[2]

QuotesEdit

"So...Naraku has died. Now all living creatures in this world must be eliminated, and Eternal Night shall be mine."
―Kaguya[src]
"I shall show you...everlasting freedom. I know your true wish, and I can grant it."
―Kaguya[src]
"I can see your desires; your very deepest desires. Your true self, where your dark heart rules: you are but a despicable beast!"
―Kaguya[src]
"The moon is truly beautiful when seen through the eyes of a physical body."
―Kaguya[src]
"Time and the full moon are fully aligned once more: an eternal dream, a celebration this night! And now let it all begin."
―Kaguya[src]
"My wish shall be realized..."
―Kaguya[src]
"Hmph. I detest all these half-demons."
―Kaguya[src]
"Now, you beings who exist in the realm of time, vanish into the void of illusion. Power of the Mirror of Stillness!"
―Kaguya[src]
"Oh my beautiful everlasting night, no one shall disrupt us again."
―Kaguya[src]
"A half-demon? Bearing his fangs at me? You have tempted your fate."
―Kaguya[src]
"Return to my darkness and vanish forever!"
―Kaguya[src]

TriviaEdit

  • Kaguya was created as the primary antagonist of the second InuYasha movie, InuYasha the Movie: The Castle Beyond the Looking Glass. She is the only antagonist from the movies to not have some connection to Inuyasha's father, the Inu no Taishō.
  • Besides Naraku, Kaguya is the only shared adversary of both Miyatsu and his grandson, Miroku.[2]
  • Kaguya is the second seemingly invincible foe Inuyasha faces to be defeated by a combination of Kagome exploiting a critical weakness and Inuyasha's Bakuryūha.[2] The first was Menōmaru.[5]
  • She is also part of a long line of powerful foes who are ultimately defeated by a combination of a sacred arrow and the Backlash Wave, though most other foes are defeated through a simple combination of the attack power of both of these powers, rather than the more strategic way in which they were actually used against Kaguya and Menōmaru.
  • Along this same line, Kaguya is one of three antagonists whose defeats are triggered by the firing of a spherical energy blast, as explained above. The other two were Bankotsu and Hoshiyomi. However, Bankotsu was defeated by the Backlash Wave alone,[3] whereas Hoshiyomi was defeated by a combination of both the Backlash Wave and a sacred arrow,[4] while Kaguya proved immune to two consecutive Backlash Waves until Kagome shatters the Mirror of Life.[2]
  • Kaguya is the first character to thwart the Backlash Wave.[2] She was soon followed by Sesshōmaru in Swords of an Honorable Ruler.[6] In Kaguya's case, however, Inuyasha used the Backlash Wave a second time to redirect the augmented version of his original attack; this would be the first of two times the Backlash Wave would be used on the Backlash Wave.[2] The second time was also later achieved by Sesshōmaru, during the Final Act.[7]
  • The number five is a recurring motif for Kaguya. Her powers are represented by a five-pointed symbol, her power is connected with five lakes and five elements, she requires five objects to be released from her seal, and the Mirror of Life can generate five whips of light.[2]
  • After using the Parallel Mirrors Illusion, Kaguya's appearance undergoes a "reflection effect". When she changes to her armored outfit, Kaguya originally wears two golden hairpins on her head's right side and one on the left side. After using the spell, she appears wearing them the other way around. Even Kaguya's laterality changes; in the world of the mirror she used her left hand to cast spells (previously, she had used her right hand).[2]
  • Kaguya's name in kanji is 神久夜, meaning "Goddess of Eternal Night," reflecting her own self-proclaimed title as the "Ruler of Eternal Night." However, the name of the original Princess Kaguya from The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter is spelled 赫映, meaning "Radiant light." Both are read as "Kaguya" (hiragana: かぐや) and are therefore homophones, but do not mean the same thing.

NotesEdit

  1. In the English dub version of The Castle beyond the Looking Glass this verse is mistranslated as "Could you have but known that it would burn so swiftly, this raiment of fur, you would not then have sat with such little show of concern." The real Princess Kaguya actually laments putting it into the fire to test its authenticity, as it is was very beautiful. No mention is made to the merchant who purchased it. Naturally, the correct verse is used in the Japanese audio track of the movie. While all verses in the English version deviate somewhat from the original Japanese due to variances in translation, this is the only verse in the movie which is completely mistranslated.

ReferencesEdit

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