Yoh Asakura (麻倉 葉 Asakura Yō) is the main character in the anime and manga Shaman King. In the original Japanese anime, his name has been inconsistently romanized as Yoh, You or Yō; while in the English adaptations, his name is always romanized as Yoh. Yoh is 15, and his spirit partner is Amidamaru. In Sins Of Our Demons, Yoh is a member of The Chosen, and is one of their recruiters. Yoh was the second member of The Chosen that was introduced in the comic, excluding Kenshin Himura, who joined an arc earlier.
Yoh was born on May 12, 1985 and has a bloodtype of A. He hails from Izumo, Shimane Prefecture, Japan, is a slacker, and wants to become Shaman King so that he can lead an easy life, as well as to fulfill his promise to his fiancée. His fiancée, Anna Kyōyama, is pushing him into being the Shaman King. Yoh's grandparents paired them up in an arranged marriage in order to keep the family bloodline going (In the English anime, Anna saved Yoh's life and Yoh promised her that she would be Shaman Queen if he was Shaman King). Yoh is also the reincarnation of the immensely powerful shaman, and the series' main antagonist, Asakura Hao, who reincarnated himself in order to be able to participate in the Shaman Fight. Yoh and Hao used to be the same person, and Yoh came into existence only when Hao's soul somehow split into two during his second reincarnation.
Yoh's best friend is the panicky Manta Oyamada (Mortimer "Morty" in the English Anime). As the story progresses, Yoh's adversaries are often won over by his good nature and become his allies in the Shaman Tournament. Yoh attends Shinra Private Academy along with Anna and Manta in Class C in the 7th grade.
Yoh is part of the Team Funbari Onsen (Team Asakura in the English anime). It is stated in the first volume of the manga that the kanji for Yoh's name means "Leaf" in Japanese. His favourite musician, "SOUL BOB", is a reference to Bob Marley. In episode 30 of Shaman King Dub it is also revealed that another favorite musician is Fabulo when he and his team were helping Millie track down a shaman that stole her oracle bell.
Jeanne has described his furyoku as, "soothing, calm and crystal clear." Jeanne then asks Yoh if he would consider becoming an X-Law, an offer he politely declines, stating that he "doesn't like how they do things".
Yoh also goes to Hell to train, an honor given to him by Lady Sati, and is granted the power of purification (furyoku nullification, seen of all members of Gandhara). This training was shown to have helped him phenomenally, because he is even able to beat out two of the 5 legendary warriors. In the manga, he becomes one of the Five Elemental Warriors and gains the Spirit of Earth.
Amidamaru was training to be a samurai when he was still very young in order to drive away bandits and protect the orphans he was living with. He always used to break his sword (katana) when he was young, so his very good friend Mosuke would always made a new sword after scolding him for breaking another one of his swords as they were too poor to afford good strong steel. Amidamaru was an honorable samurai who refused to steal swords from the corpses and skeletons that were found scattered across the land at the time.
Mosuke, being a very skilled swordsmith, was able to make a sword using his father's knife. The sword cut very well and Amidamaru was grateful for the sacrifice that Mosuke made, so touched in fact that he cried. Mosuke asked if he was crying, but Amidamaru pretends that some raindrops splashed on his face, therefore he names the katana "Harusame" (春雨), which means "Spring Rain"
When both Amidamaru and Mosuke grew older, they were employed by a daimyo who was impressed with Amidamaru's skills as a samurai and Mosuke's skills as a swordsmith.
They worked for him happily, but it did not last long. Amidamaru found out about their daimyo's greed when he asked him to kill Mosuke so that he won't make a sword which would be better than Harusame. Amidamaru was at a dilemma because he owes unrequited loyalty to both the daimyo and his friend.
Amidamaru and Mosuke met at the tree on Monument Hill where Amidamaru told Mosuke what the damiyo told him. At first Mosuke asked Amidamaru to just kill him because an order from a damiyo was an absolute order for a samurai. Amidamaru, being loyal to Mosuke, told him to run away and that he would accept the crime. Mosuke asked him to give him the Harusame so he could fix it up and give it to him later that night (the English anime changes this; Mosuke instead forged the finest sword he could create for Amidamaru, which was named the Sword of Light). Amidamaru agreed and he gave Mosuke his oath that he would wait for him at that very spot. Sadly, someone spied on their conversation and informed the damiyo who ordered his men to kill Mosuke (which was done after they went to the hill). The men then went up the hill hoping to kill Amidamaru, but Amidamaru killed them all. He died of exhaustion because he did not have the Harusame. Mosuke was killed not long after, arriving at the hill too late to present the sword because he had chosen to spend more time perfecting the blade.
Amidamaru's numerous killing earned him a bad reputation which was carried all the way to the present time. In the English manga he is called a demon for killing so many people.
Yoh was an immensely powerful shaman, Asakura Hao, in his past life. Asakura Hao founded the house of Asakura as an onmyouji 1000 years ago.
When the present Hao and Yoh first meet, many of the characters remark on how similar Yoh looks to Hao. It is initially revealed that Hao was actually Yoh's ancestor, who reincarnated himself. Eventually, Yoh learns the full truth; that the two are actually twins- and that Yoh is actually Hao's reincarnation, and is the other half of Hao who was reincarnated as Yoh's twin. In the manga, it is Yoh himself who reveals that he is Hao's reincarnation to his friends.
Hao had been defeated by the members of the Asakura family one thousand years ago, but he managed to reincarnate himself 500 years later as a member of the Patch Village Tribe (Dobi Village in English anime). In his first reincarnation, he was defeated by Yohken Asakura (an ancestor of Yoh's) and the spirit Matamune. Not one to give up so easily, Hao reincarnates himself back into the Asakura family 500 years later, this time, however, his soul splits and Hao is reincarnated as a pair of identical twins. Hao and Yoh used to be one and the same person, Hao had the larger portion of his soul with all his memories, while Yoh had the smaller portion, as the original Hao's soul somehow split when he got reborn. In other words, Yoh was Hao in his previous life, and they used to be one. This is the reason why throughout the series, Hao seemed to show a rather unusual interest in Yoh's strength and repeatedly stated that he needed Yoh to help him. After he was born, Hao had told Asakura Keiko, his mother, "Please take care of my other half of my body well. I'll eventually come back to claim it." In the manga, Hao has stated that he intends to take back his whole soul by "eating" Yoh, and in the anime, he actually does so, although Yoh is later able to break free.
The Asakura family is notable for its spiritual prowess and only those with the strongest spiritual abilities marry into the family. Anna, because of her unusually strong itako powers, is one of the select few who may become a member of the family through marriage. Yoh, in particular, possesses a rare potential seen in few members of the family. In the manga Yoh has become one of the five elemental warriors, shamans with super amounts of furyoku and can use attacks powered by the elements. Yoh is the earth elemental warrior. He is second weakest in terms of furyoku but still maintains the ability to match both Horohoro and Ren at the same time.
Yoh's father, Mikihisa Asakura, is an ascetic monk and commands two spirits of nature, a kitsune (fox) and a tanuki (raccoon-dog). Keiko Asakura, his mother, is a miko whose most distinguished ability is hearing spirits telling of impending disaster. Yoh's grandfather, Yohmei Asakura, is an onmyōji known for his divining abilities. His grandmother, Kino Asakura, is a master itako who trains young girls in the art at Osorezan.
Shamanic Spells & Techniques
- 小鬼ストライク Ko-Oni Strike
- This is one of the Asakura clan's onmyôji magic. With this particular technique, an onmyôji can summon shikigami -- familiar spirits -- from leaves or bits of paper to do their bidding. They are most useful, from anything from household chores to assassinations. Yoh never truly mastered Shikigami magic, but displayed the capacity to use it at age 10, under tutelage of his grandfather, Yohmei Asakura. At best, he could only invoke three Shikigami from the leaves. Overall, however, this is a minuscule technique compared to Yoh's more advanced shamanic abilities.
- 御経 Okyō
- A sutra taught to him by Anna. It is a Buddhist exorcism chant of the Sankiraimon, or the Three Jewels that would send any spirit with knowledge of Buddhism who hears it to the hereafter. However, as it is a written language media, the sutra mainly works on spirit whom identify with the culture of eastern shamanism, which Yoh eventually discovered during his entry exam against Silva; almost sending Amidamaru to heaven. This was omitted in the English dub.
- 憑依合体 Hyōi Gattai
- Translation: VIZ "Spirit Integration", literally "Spirit Unity"
- This shamanic technique enables the shaman to integrate spirits into their body, forming a "unity" of both, their spirit and that of the ghost. The shaman would enter a special trance which enables them to synchronize their spirit with that of the ghost; allowing the ghost to possess their body and enabling the ghost to interact with the physical world. Furthermore, once integrated, the shaman takes on the knowledge & wisdom of the ghost as well as their personality. Though it is unknown when Yoh learned this technique.
- オーバーソウル Over Soul
- Initially, Yoh learns how to create his Over Soul indirectly during his battle with the Shaman Fight officiant, Silva. By integrating Amidamaru's spirit with that of his sword, Harusame, and subsequently, the heirloom antiquity, the Futsu-no-Mitama no Tsurugi, Yoh summons a new Over Soul. This shamanic technique quickly becomes Yoh's quintessential mode of shamanic combat and his most versatile tool.
- 超占事略決 - 巫門遁甲 Chō Senji Ryakketsu - Fumon Tonkou
- One of many spells Yoh learned from the contents of the Chō Senji Ryakketsu that Anna brought to him from his grandfather Yohmei. Using this spell enables one to read the flow of furyoku and determine its course. Used correctly this technique will allow you to dodge most furyoku induced attacks
- 超占事略決 - 三日月ノ祓 Cho Senji Ryakketsu - Mikazuka no Harae
- This was an exorcising technique left to Yoh by Matamune, to help vanquish the Oni that Anna created. However this hyoi gattai and over soul depleted the reserve furyoku within Matamune, and as a result, sent him to the afterlife.
- 阿弥陀流 真空仏陀切り Amida-ryū: Shinkuu Buddha-giri
- Translation: VIZ "Amida-Style: Shockwave Buddha-Giri", literally "Vacuous Buddha-Slash"
- Amidamaru's signature technique developed when he was still alive. Its principal use is to strike at adversaries outside of his sword's range. Essentially, it breaks the air with a slash and forces out a powerful shockwave at the adversary. Through constant "Spirit Integration" Yoh learns this technique, albeit through muscle memory. With the introduction of the Over Soul, this technique has been somewhat modified, instead expanding the Over Soul over a distance, rather than a shockwave slash. The name of this technique was changed to "Celestial Slash" in the English dub.
- 阿弥陀流 後光刃 Amida-ryū: Gokōjin
- Translation: literally "Amida-Style: Halo Blade"
- Amidamaru's most revolutionary technique. It is a dual-sword battō-jutsu technique executed from his unique and legendary fighting stance, called Tathagata. During execution, both swords are unsheathed at incredible speed at dead-range of the adversary, unleashing a strike with enough power to bust an adversary to shreds. Since then this technique has been modified for use in Over Soul mode; instead using the magical power of the Over Soul to cut the enemy to pieces in one swift sword-draw.
- 阿弥陀流 大後光刃 Amidaryū: Dai Gokōjin
- Translation: literally "Amida-Style: Grand Halo Blade"
- The advanced form of the normal Gokōjin. Using the normal, 'Over Soul'-ed Gokōjin as a primer, and powered by Amidamaru's newly-acquired seirei-class powers, this high-level technique focuses furyoku and destroys anything with a decisive strike of cutting furyoku waves using his Over Soul "Spirit of Sword".
- 阿弥陀流 無無明亦無 Amidaryū: Mu-Mu-Myō-Yaku-Mu
- Translation: directly "Amida-Style: The Absence of Ignorance"
- Yoh's strongest sorcery which he developed during his journey through the underworld. The technique itself is rooted in the power of purification, which dissolves a person's spiritual power into nothing. The technique employs Amidamaru (in Byakkou OS mode) to generate magical forces which polarizes the furyoku of another shaman, thus neutralizing it. Yoh is the only shaman known to employ purification magic in an offensive manner.
- Over Soul Manipulation
- Not necessarily an ability, but rather creative use of currently-existing ability. Before Amidamaru evolved into a seirei-class spirit, it fell upon Yoh's talent of a shaman to fully utilize Amidamaru's abilities as an Over Soul. To that end, on various occasions, Yoh has altered the shape and formation of his Amidamaru Over Soul. Such formations include a defensive Amidamaru Shield (阿弥陀丸シールド), which makes use of the Over Soul's armor for protection. As the Over Soul evolved, the Amidamaru Shield was incorporated thusly, eliminating the need to alter its shape for protection.
- Also, though canon only in the anime, was the 'Over Soul Missile', which induces an explosive thrust of his Over Soul to launch himself at his target. He makes use of this method during his final battle with Hao in the anime.
Funbari no Uta
Following the conclusion to Shaman King, it is revealed in Takei's shorts, Funbari no Uta, that Yoh and Anna have a son named Hana. He travels around (while wielding Yoh's Futsunomitama blade (the Antiquity) with Ryu looking for five legendary warriors (meaning the legendary warriors are Tao Ren, Chocolove, Horohoro, Lyserg Diethel and his father, Asakura Yoh) while his parents are away. It appears that Tamao Tamamura is responsible for looking after him while Yoh and Anna are away.