Pop-culture woman of the week - Kagome Higurashi

Name: Kagome Higurashi (日暮 かごめ)
Appearance: InuYasha, manga in 56 volumes, also in the anime with the same name
Creator: Rumiko Takahashi
Weapon/ability: Archery/nursing
Race: Human
Age: 15 years

Kagome is an ordinary girl living in today's Tokyo with her mother, grand-father and younger brother - next to a holy shrine. One day she enters the sealed off well on the premises in search of the family cat. Instead of the cat she finds a demon who drags her into the well and she ends up in Feudal Age Japan - a time full of war, and demons.

In this world she meets the dog-demon InuYasha (who's name literally means 'dog spirit' and who is actually just a half-demon) who has spent the last 50 years nailed to a tree with a holy arrow. He thinks at first that she is the woman that shot him, and a woman he was in love with (but who was tricked into doing this by a demon). He gets released from the tree, but his relationship with Kagome gets a really rocky start. Still they have to work together to find the Jewel of four Souls, a jewel that was lodged in Kagome's body and got split into a lot of shards. The jewel is very powerful and any demon who posses the tiniest shard can at once get extremely powerful. But Kagome has the ability to spot the shards from a long distance and is therefor essential for finding them.

The travels take them all over the landscape and after a while they meet others to help them and they form a little party. Kagome's relationship with InuYasha gets better as the story progresses, and his initial hatred for her turns to protectiveness and caring, feelings that are quite new to him which he attributes to her good influence over him.

But at the same time as Kagome is trying to save Japan of old she is a modern day school-student, working hard to get into high school and she often returns to her own world to study. The family is very understanding of her going between the two worlds and try to make excuses to school and friends for her being so much absent, often attributing to strange illnesses (which she of course does not suffer from).

The manga was written over the course of eight years, in the end numbering to 558 chapters - the last published on June 18, 2008. The manga won the Shoakukan Manga Award for best Shōnen-manga of the year in 2002 (shōnen is manga mostly aimed at teenage boys).

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