Relations: In Related to Sesshoumaru » His Family
I've always found Sesshoumaru's background to be fascinating, especially when it comes to his relationship with his family, and I thought it was about time I give it some space of its own. The pictures illustrated below may be clicked upon for a larger version.
Sesshoumaru's half-brother is of course none other than the series' main character, Inuyasha. They somewhat resemble each other in appearance, with their long silver hair, amberish golden eyes, and claws- but that's probably as far as their similarities go. Unlike Sesshoumaru's calm and controlled personality, Inuyasha is better described as brash, temperamental, loud, reckless, and even immature. In fact, these characteristics are often what invites Sesshoumaru's criticisms.
As is obvious right from the beginning of the series, the two brothers do not get along- rather, they appear to despise each other quite a bit. However, as the series progresses, we sometimes see moments that suggest they may not actually "hate" each other as much as they appear to. Although Sesshoumaru always speak of "killing" Inuyasha, he never really went through with it even when he can easily do so. Curiously, Sesshoumaru has even shown some hints of actually caring about his brother's well-being. He certainly takes note of the danger of Inuyasha's youkai blood and has even advised Kagome to keep him sane with the Tessaiga. Inuyasha's "need" of the Tessaiga to seal his youkai blood may in fact also be a primary reason that Sesshoumaru no longer tries to take the sword away from him.
It's a known bit of info that Sesshoumaru looks down upon Inuyasha for being a hanyou (half-demon) as it's something that he never fails to mention. However, I believe that his feelings towards Inuyasha may be more "disappointment" in Inuyasha's choices rather than his contempt of Inuyasha's tainted blood. It seems Sesshoumaru often feel that Inuyasha isn't living up to his full potential, especially when he carries their father's powerful blood- and he instead often express it by criticizing the side of him that contains the human blood. We can also see that when Sesshoumaru fights with Inuyasha, he always seem to push Inuyasha further, saying something along the lines of "Is that all you have to show for..?" sort of thing. Although Sesshoumaru may often seem to be out for Inuyasha's blood, the battles they actually have never seem all that serious. More often than not, the fights will consist of Sesshoumaru taunting Inuyasha and perhaps it may be his indirect way of making Inuyasha become stronger.
There have also been evidences that showed Sesshoumaru's relationship with Inuyasha may not be all that bad in the past. This particular piece of revelation came during the episodes that talked about the leopard/cat youkai clan's old grudge with the dog youkai clan. During a flashback revealed by Jaken, we were taken back to a time some 50 years ago when the cat youkai were at war with the dog clan. At the time, Sesshoumaru was leading the side of the dog clan and it seems they needed more man power on their side. Jaken actually went in search of Inuyasha, in hopes that he may assist them in the war being that he's actually also from the dog clan and that he may be able to help with the legendary Tessaiga. When Jaken returned, he informed Sesshoumaru that Inuyasha had been sealed by a miko and would not be able to join them in the war.
That particular scene actually suggests several things about their relationship. One, Sesshoumaru didn't seem to be hunting his brother down for the Tessaiga at the time so obviously he must've accepted the fact that Inuyasha inherited the sword. Two, Sesshoumaru must've not thought his brother was all that useless if he willingly allowed Jaken to go in search of Inuyasha for his help. Three, his reaction to Inuyasha being sealed almost seem to be the birth of his contempt for his brother. The way Jaken had recounted that memory seems to suggest that Inuyasha had let his own clan down by not fighting for their people along with Sesshoumaru. This then makes me think that Sesshoumaru and Inuyasha may not have always not gotten along- but perhaps they just didn't associate with each other all that much. Basically, they probably didn't know each other well...but after that incident, Sesshoumaru may have become disappointed in Inuyasha.
I think that episode explains a lot because the fact that Sesshoumaru doesn't believe Inuyasha to be worthy of wielding the Tessaiga could be spawned from that. Sesshoumaru has been heard to say that Inuyasha is selfish, unworthy, and ungrateful when the cat youkai were seeking another war with the dog youkai. It shows that Sesshoumaru holds a grudge against Inuyasha and has since cast him off as someone who is not worthy of being a part of his family business. Perhaps this also spawned Sesshoumaru's determination in taking the Tessaiga away from Inuyasha. In the later episodes of the series, however, it seems that Sesshoumaru has taken to observing Inuyasha's growth of power. It may be that he's still watching and assessing how Inuyasha will continue to grow...and waiting to see if Inuyasha may be "worthy" after all.
Side Note: Isn't the picture of Sesshoumaru and Inuyasha eating dinner together just hilarious? I've gotten many emails in the past about this picture- and I must make it clear that this didn't actually "happen" in the series. It was just an "imagined" picture when Inuyasha & Co. were speculating about how it would be like if Inuyasha and Sesshoumaru actually ate together.
Often referred to as Inutaisho or Inu Taiyoukai, Sesshoumaru's father was apparently a legendary great youkai who ruled and protected the Western Lands when he was still alive. He was highly revered and feared by many though unlike most youkai, it seems he also shows great compassion for the human kind, as was described by Myouga. In fact, he also had a human bride who was of course Inuyasha's mother. Additionally, the Tessaiga was said to have been forged in order to protect his human wife.
Like Sesshoumaru, his father is a very large youkai in his true form as can be seen in the illustrated picture. His size is actually much larger than Sesshoumaru, which lends theory to the fact that Sesshoumaru is probably still very young in youkai age. Here's another picture showing how big his father was in his dog form. That picture was also one of the few images we have that showed evidence of Sesshoumaru's interaction with his father.
The picture depicted a time when the Western Lands was at war with the cat youkai clan- showing that Sesshoumaru fought by his father's side. In a way, this gives insight to the theory that Sesshoumaru cares a great deal about his father and his land. As was mentioned in the Sesshoumaru FAQ section, I believe that Sesshoumaru probably had a relatively close relationship with his father. If anything, he obviously has great respect for him as can often be referenced in the way he speaks of his father. It was said that Sesshoumaru has since inherited his father's position as the ruler of the Western Lands after his father was killed by Ryuukossei, and I think he continues to watch out for his land as was shown in episodes 75-77 when the cat youkai was seeking revenge with the dog clan.
There are several other aspects of Sesshoumaru's relationship in regards to his father, such as the swords. However, I do not cover that here as they're already touched upon in both the Sesshoumaru FAQ section and the sections that talks about the swords in specific.
UPDATED NEWS! Scratch everything that was previously speculated about Sesshoumaru's mother (except for the part about her being a youkai and possibly where Sesshoumaru got his crescent moon mark)...because the amazing day has finally arrived. After a bajillion of manga volumes with absolutely no mention of Sesshoumaru's mother, she suddenly makes her first appearance (as of July 2006) in the manga chapter 466! I kid you not- that's her picture on the left. Click to view a larger version where you can see parts of her clothing, etc.
So! What do we make of this? First of all, she's ALIVE! And not just alive- but beautiful, young-looking, and apparently quite healthy as she's prancing about through the sky in her gigantic youkai form. Lookie here- mother and son leaping side by side through the air. Definitely not an image I thought I'd ever see. xD; (Sidenote: I guess Sesshoumaru really does have a stump in his dog form.) In her "human" form, she appears to have long white hair and a crescent moon mark like Sesshoumaru, and she also carries around her own piece of fur- though as you can see from the pic, she wraps it around both of her arms. You can even see traces of it in her youkai form. From the way she dresses, I'd say she's probably "royalty" or a lady of some sort. And finally, she also has markings on her cheeks- though hers come in the form of dainty little swirlies. :D
So far, there are only about 4-5 pages on her in chapter 466...though it ends with a promise for more, and I'm guessing that we'll learn at least a few things about her soon enough. As of now, we still can't confirm anything except for the fact that she's Sesshoumaru's mother and that she's a full youkai (seeing how she can transform and all). We can make a few "likely" deductions though- one being that she's probably also a dog youkai, since her appearance in both "human" and "youkai" form are fairly similar to what we've seen of Sesshoumaru and his father. Another is the fact that Sesshoumaru probably got his crescent moon mark from his mother's side...seeing how she also has one on her forehead (while Inutaisho had none).
In terms of relationships, it didn't sound or look like Sesshoumaru and his mother meet often. She says to him, "So you're saying that you've come to pay your mother a visit?" but then that could really be taken to mean any number of things. She does seem to know some information about Tenseiga though- or at least that's what Sesshoumaru assumes/hopes, because it was the reason he sought her out. Maybe there's even a connection between his mother and Tenseiga- who knows but Rumiko Takahashi? :p Either way, we're sure to find out something soon- at which time, I'll try to update this section again. Btw, I guess she was still alive when Inutaisho met Izayoi and had Inuyasha. Wonder what happened there...
Sesshoumaru's step-mother is of course Inuyasha's mother. Her name was revealed as Izayoi in the third movie, when she makes an appearance, though her name was never mentioned or confirmed in the actual manga. Unlike his father, Inuyasha's mother is actually a full human, hence making Inuyasha a hanyou. She had died long before the start of the series, but we were introduced to her "replica" by Sesshoumaru when he first confronted Inuyasha. At the time, Sesshoumaru had used a youkai called Muonna to create an illusion of Inuyasha's mother in hopes of making Inuyasha reveal the location of their father's hidden tomb. The illustrated picture is actually Muonna in the form of Inuyasha's mother.
Although this was initially Jaken's idea with Sesshoumaru showing his distaste towards such a low method, the fact that Sesshoumaru agreed to it showed that he probably didn't think much of his step-mother to begin with. The "act" he put on with Inuyasha's fake mother was relatively abusive and it was obviously believable to Inuyasha himself. Here's a picture from that scene. In a way, this provides some insight to the fact that Sesshoumaru's relationship with Inuyasha's mother most likely wasn't a very good one. Perhaps he may have resented her for her human heritage or her marriage with his own father, but for all we know, he may have just not bothered with her at all back when she was still alive. We don't know if Sesshoumaru and his step-mother ever interacted at all, but I'm assuming that he's at least met her before when she was still alive. Her "relationship" with Sesshoumaru aside, she seems to be a loving mother who cared a great deal about Inuyasha.
-Content Last Updated: July 25, 2006