Little Plum Blossom (小梅, Koume)
"N/A" is not in the list of possible values (O, A, B, AB, Unknown) for this property.N/A
"Geisha-nin" is not in the list of possible values (ANBU, Cooking-nin, Daimyō, Hunter-nin, Jinchūriki, Medical-nin, Missing-nin, Ninja monk, S-rank, Sage, Samurai, Sannin, Sensor, Summon, Tailed beast) for this property.Geisha-nin
Lily of the Graveyard
When Higanbana was born in to the world, it was not under the most pleasant of circumstances. Her parents were filthy little creatures that scurried about under the cover of darkness and robbed the dead of their belongings. Young, old, cat, or dog, this man and woman cared only about the possessions. Higanbana was a complete accident and her mother never knew she was pregnant until she began having labor pains within an open grave she had been digging in. Unfortunately, this seemed to be an ominous warning of what was to come. Being born in a grave was bad enough, but then she was dropped off by her parents on the front door of the hospital, where she was cleaned up and returned to the home of her parents. It was not hard to tell whose child she was, for she looked just like her mother, but with the dark hair of her father. Her parents did not want her, for they claimed they could barely tend to themselves, thus she was bounced around in foster homes for a while before she finally grew fed up with the system and began to take care of herself on the streets. Her parents did give her the name of “Koume,” as this was one of the mother’s favorite trees due to the sweet fruit it produced; however, the name was never really used, thus never put on paper and Higanbana is unaware this was her ‘real’ name. The village as a whole began to care for her, seeing as a good portion of them had housed her at one point or another.
Collectively, the town began to call her "Higanbana," which stands for 'Red Spider Lily.' This is a flower that is known for growing in and around graveyards, therefore it was seen as a suitable name for the girl. At one point during her life, Higanbana supposedly ‘died’ after accidentally eating a poisonous meat from a puffer fish, but instead of actually becoming deceased, she was merely paralyzed and nearly buried alive. She managed to speak out during the burial ceremony, though almost went unheard, but was kept from being buried by some attentive villagers. This was one of a few close calls for her. Before becoming a Geisha, she was actually killed in an unfortunate accident, but revived with the help of diligent medical ninja that managed to get her heart pumping again. She can’t remember exactly what happened that day, but she does know that she was laid up in the hospital for several weeks following it. At 10, a stranger approached her and told her that her beauty could be put to good use, but that she needed training to become any use. Considering she was homeless and had very little luck with working jobs around the village, she found the opportunity had come at an appropriate time and took accepted the woman’s offer. Higanbana was hence named “Sayaka” by the woman, who claimed a Geisha should be rid of their old selves to improve; albeit she saw this unreasonable and quite odd, she did not argue with the older woman’s rules. She was put through training to become a Geisha and she met another trainee by the name of Hisazuru, who was a Minarai at the time, like herself. An unspoken rivalry had begun in spite of their friendship, thus the two would soon be adopted by their “Onee-san,” who would teach them by example. The main Geisha of the okiya, who watched over the new inductees, would soon have to pick one of the girls that joined recently and become their “Okaa-san” and teach them personally. Hisazuru and Sayaka were both good prospects, but in the end the better of the two ‘won’ and became a Maiko shortly after. Sayaka was left behind for a short time, though soon joined the same rank. She was always in the shadow of Hisazuru and lashed out frequently at her, thus the two would eventually go their separate ways after becoming independent Geisha and paying off their dues. Sayaka, donning the name of “Kikuyu” after leaving her okiya, never saw her parents again and only used her real name when in her street attire.
She had been traveling around for a time performing and getting jobs. During her time traveling, she picked up various skills, including poison creation, the usage of chakra, and some ninjutsu. She is, by no means, to be considered a ninja, but she would like to believe she is competent enough to protect her ‘creator.’ Things took a turn when she was kidnapped by a man known as Conker, who wasted no time taking her away from the small village she was in at the time after knocking her unconscious with some type of poison. When she woke from her slumber, she found herself in a small closet within a General Store, though made no attempts to escape; she was both curious and frightened to see what the odd meeting may hold. Eventually, he told her about becoming a Human Puppet, though she would be more like Sasori in the sense that she would be able to freely walk and talk, yet be called back to her creator when the time comes for her to defend him. So, the process began, but it was fairly simple considering she was once again made to be unconscious so that she would not scream, according to Conker's explanation. When she, for the second time, came to, she was a living, somewhat breathing, soul in a puppet body, though could have once again be considered ‘dead.’ She was no longer her old self and now served a different purpose than before, though this new form allowed her more freedom with her day that the previous one. Now not being required to eat, or sleep, she was able to perfect a few things and travel more often. She was marked, however, so that she could be summoned to the side of Conker should she be needed. Higanbana is currently in Uzushiogakure and has taken up residence with an elderly woman and is also working in a flower shop.
Higanbana was never a very religious woman, believing for the longest time that she had been abandoned even spiritually. She is a jealous woman ruled by spite and bitterness, but she saw the error of her ways when she walked in on the elderly woman, who she lived with, praying. She seemed so concerned for Higanbana, praying that she had good health and was mindful of her limitations. Though that alone did not completely turn the woman's world on its head, a series of events that followed would certainly begin to make her wonder about the religious factor now worming its way in her life. Before long, the woman would find herself assisting one of the shrines near the place she called home, and began to feel a sense of peace. The former geisha knew well that her life was, perhaps, tainted with ill intent, which was likely why nothing had ever gone her way to begin with. This was a conclusion she reached only when speaking to one of the shrine maidens there at the site that day. Ever since, she has been donning their attire in her free time to assist in cleaning, cleansings, and various other rituals, but she primarily performs mundane tasks similar to the ones in the flower shop.
The woman also appears to have garnered some knowledge over Fuuinjutsu, though the extent is clearly limited by her own uses for it, though one particular use was installed with Conker's assistance, who she has not seen in nearly a year; she wouldn't be able to tell you if he was a living or deceased.
Higanbana has since departed from Uzushiogakure in favor of traveling to Otogakure. Within a day of arrival, she has employed herself in the village's academy, teaching children or assisting in various other chores necessary for the establishment's activity. Employment was sought due to a lack of funds that would allow her to stay in a small home- a display of permanence in residence. She seeks to start planting flowers to sell and other plants to help with the shortage of food. Higanbana has also considered joining another okiya, or establishing her own; without the limitations of a human body (e.g. fatigue or hunger), there is not much she cannot do if given time. With that said, she has also been approach by a man named Vex, rumored by villagers to be part of an "organization," for a position he has in mind. Options have been opened up to her, but she has yet to decide which path she should take. Although this is not an occupation she shares openly, Higanbana has been performing music at some venues in Otogakure; she maintains anonymity by playing behind the scenes while others dance, or behind a curtain in which her silhouette reflects on. Because of her anonymity, some patrons have taken to calling her "Nōhime" in place of "that woman" and other vague references.
During an attack on the village, Higanbana evacuated alongside other civilians and is unaware, presently, what the attack entailed.
Higanbana has been described as a "bewitching doll" by men and women alike; given her innocent features that manage to both charm and captivate others' attention by merely striding into a room, it is no question why she is so highly held upon a pedestal. Due to the fact she is a ‘puppet’, her complexion can remain flawless and she needs no make-up to hide blemishes, scars, or unsightly marks. The downside, however, is that there are some visible lines on her body that allow the body parts to rotate, such as on her neck, arms, and shoulders. She is very self-conscious of these points and covers them thoroughly. Given her more dainty appearance than most other Geisha, who are more beautiful in a mysterious way, Higanbana has more often been requested for companionship on outings that show off a man's wealth rather than being requested at parties for group entertainment. Contrary to popular belief, Geisha are not simply meant for appeasing the more animalistic desires of people, and Higanbana falls in the category of one that simply accompanies others, or entertains them. Her "street" attire accentuates her girlish features. It leans toward housewife-esque attire, adding more evidence to her civilian status while also making her very attractive visually, but not necessarily as a companion one can buy. She finds this attire makes her more able to blend with the people around her and is comfortable enough to travel in when not performing geisha duties. Higanbana's hair is quite long and black as night while her eyes are a brilliant amber color. She has a fair, flawless complexion with girlish features that make her more 'cute' or 'pretty' rather than alluring.
She tends wear civilian clothing, giving no indication if she is a capable combatant. Her clothing typically consists of attire like that of the miko, which would be a pair of red hakama (long, divided trousers) tied with a bow, a white haori (kimono jacket), and a white hair ribbon to keep her hair from her face. Being accustomed to kimonos and the like, she is not at all hindered in movement with this attire. Her fan, which is a large piece of equipment, generally stays on her person via a scroll, but will occasionally be seen on her back. There is a small hip pouch of a tan color that is also sometimes seen accompanying her, most often due to the absence, or the enclosing, of her fan.
Higanbana is kind, but somehow manages to retain a distant feel about her when she interacts with others, as if she cannot get close. She appears delicate and does not seem to seek out others for conversation. Higanbana appears to be selfless, for her various positions in Otogakure indicate that nature; the miko is striving to establish a shrine in the area and works at the orphanage/academy as a caretaker and instructor. Whether she is altruistic or otherwise is unknown, but at the very least she seems to be a relatively harmless entity due to her affiliation with a neutral village. Higanbana keeps her affairs private and prefers solitude for the most part, despite her occupations. She does not dislike company and yet is more often seen alone than in the presence of others. Some have noted that she can cause an unpleasant feeling of unease, though this can be attributed to a number of factors: a separate line of work for her involves the burial of the deceased in Otogakure; her name has unhappy connotations associated with it; and she is often described as sounding hollow or inauthentic when speaking.
Higanbana is vain, for she will never appear unkempt even in her own home and seems to thrive on the praise of others. She is also self-conscious of the lines on her puppet body that allows her parts to rotate and move easily. This self-consciousness leaks into her interactions with others, as she frequently refrains from physically touching someone and obviously avoids contact with them. The miko fears that one may discover that her fingers are always cold and are harder than flesh, so she actively avoids physical contact with anyone unless it is necessary. A "necessary" moment can occasionally be as simple as helping someone to their feet that she has caused to fall, though she will usually grab their arms rather than their hands to lift them.
Since she enjoys her alone time, Higanbana has talents that involve solitude, such as painting and gardening. She is quite capable at both, having both a green thumb and an eye for detail; generally, the miko will use flowers she has grown to inspire her own paintings. She is adept at arranging flowers, which was part of her femininity training as a geisha. Her talents are also considered to be delicate and creative since she is also capable of playing the Ryuteki. Her creativity extends into ingenuity when examining her choices in weaponry, which includes distributing poison to others via make-up products, such as through lipstick and blush powder.
Higanbana balances between both a realistic and pessimistic outlook on life and death. She does not fear death and often appears apathetic toward those that do. Having passed on more than once, only to return, her perception of death is that it is a true end. She saw nothing, heard nothing, and remembers nothing except the pain of dying. Since Higanbana has a somewhat helpful nature about her, she is sympathetic to the plights of others, but seems incapable of fully empathizing with them. For example, when it was mentioned that she would feel hatred for others if her friends and family were cut down in front of her, she was indifferent and cited that most, if not all, of her friends and family were gone already. She is still, however, considered eloquent- possibly due to her education under Geisha.
Death, no matter how peaceful, is an end. It is what people fear over all else: an inevitable, too-soon departure from this world.
— Higanbana to Minori - Perception of Death
The miko can initially appear flat in personality, as she expresses very little emotional in her face; however, she does nonverbally communicate with gestures, such as head tilting and hand wringing. Despite this, she does seem to have an understanding about others, and will point out that everyone has their own story to tell. Her voice does seem to maintain a calmness or indifference to it, which is often considered off-putting. Some events can result in a loss of composure, in which case she may appear visibly angry with widened eyes and clenched fists, but she has not been known to have outbursts and will retreat to a solitary place. During these times, she will most often be found painting hastily as a means to dispel the rage. Her innate clumsiness is a source for her anger, for she was never inhumanly graceful like her peers in dance lessons. Due to this nature, she is sub-par in fighting, though she has somewhat improved because of her work as a shrine maiden and in flower shops- both of which require some measure of grace.
Higanbana is reserved and formal, having been seen bowing to strangers and using honorifics in all settings. Not many situations can cause her to feel uneasy, even when conversing with the madman of Otogakure. She was pleasant and calm even in his presence, despite him being a figure of authority. The miko also strives to be of use and will leave a village if she feels she is of no help there, but Otogakure seems to hold her interest.
Every creature has its place in this world. Mine is here.
— Higanbana's Home
Higanbana is not a woman of many skills or talents; in fact, she can't even use the Chakra Sensing Technique as so many other men and women, sometimes even children, are capable of doing, but she compensates for the lack of many skills by excelling in a few. Her puppet body is very durable, and can be repaired even if she loses an arm, thus she has high endurance so long as her core remains intact. She is not susceptible to muscle fatigue either since she is a puppet, though human still in emotions and opinions.
Higanbana is no kunoichi and has received no formal training as such, thus her capabilities are inferior to others in regards to combat; however, she is noted to be highly skilled in select areas, despite no formal training. Although she has little skill in combat, she has been shown some expert abilities with a fan that is sometimes used as a prop in performances. Furthermore, her competency with poisonous and venomous substances displays some form of official training, yet her unconventional usage of its forms proves that she could not have learned everything from a teacher that she uses to this day. Blowing poison powder from a compact, carrying venom vials in her bra, and infusing makibishi spikes with poison all are a testament to her skill with the substance. She carries five different poisons and venom: Doll's Eyes, Castor Seed, Wolfsbane, Mamushi Venom and the Suzumebachi Venom. Of these plants, she commonly uses three of them as a means of killing targets that are unaware of her talents, though the Doll's Eyes seems to be her preferred method due to its sweet tasting berry. She is noted to be very capable of slipping poison into drinks and food without being noticed. Though not very coordinated, she has plenty of skill in the art of seduction and charisma, both of which she uses to get what she wants. She cannot dance to save her life, though she can appear quite graceful, but instead she can soothe and hypnotize with music by playing the Ryūteki that she carries around.
The woman also appears to have garnered some knowledge over Fuuinjutsu, though the extent is clearly limited by her own uses for it, though one particular use was installed with Conker's assistance.
She has an eye for detail, as well as a vast imagination, which is a plus considering her pastimes. She is skilled with flower arrangements, which are sometimes sold to flower shops as a means of attracting customers to the establishments. They often hire her on as a part-time employee for her skill at this, but her priorities have changed since moving to Otogakure. Higanbana is also adept at painting, and she uses her own arrangements as inspiration to create colorful art, though she is not limited to them alone. She is also known for her gardening skill, often being described as having a 'green thumb' and sometimes uses the different flowers she has as medicine if civilians have a burn or swollen ankle in need of dealing with. She knows quite a bit about flowers, so is knowledgeable of their healing properties. Her eye for detail also allows her to sew up articles of clothing and make some clothes, such as the white kimono she wears out.
Her new form is more durable than her old body, for the only way to kill her is by destroying her core, which is inside her body rather than showing, but she can still be busted into pieces by strong enough attacks. Normal melee attacks don't really affect her, for without a lot of force behind it, she can merely keep on with her attacks. When smashed apart, she can simply draw the pieces back together with strings that resemble those used by puppeteers, unless they are too damaged and unresponsive.
Higanbana's cooking is almost legendary, for she can make anything and normally will use only homegrown ingredients. Due to the training received in her first okiya, she was taught to cook, and cook well, as well as entertain, play games, and serve beverages as one properly should. She keeps a cookbook handy most times just to go through old recipes and will often buy new books to further her knowledge in the area.
The woman has a trump card of a technique that may or may not kill her. She has never tested its full potential due to the fear that she may just disintegrate and perish altogether, making this technique only for times when she has no other option; however, she believes that this day will never come. Due to the fact her body is wooden, there are compartments in her form that hold hidden weaponry. In her right hand is a circular opening, closed until ready to use, that allows her to fire a barrage of injection shots, filled with a sleeping agent, at high speeds; this is similar to the Kunai Launchers used in the Land of Sky. In her left hand is a similar opening, but it produces Senbon imbued with poison. Chakra Blades can be revealed to be on the outside of both forearms, which is where her Chakra Flow comes into play. On her chest are three small seals (one one either side of her shoulders above her breasts and the other directly in the middle of her chest, just below the suprasternal notch), one for being recalled to Conker’s side while the other two are basic sealing tags. The first sealing tag allows her to use the Exploding Dragon Strike while the other holds an Exploding Sphere that can be unsealed and dropped on to the battlefield. She is thought to be competent in Fuuinjutsu due to the fact that she also has a seal on her fan, located on the back side where no designs are, that holds senbon. She can activate the seal while simultaneously swinging her fan to launch them at a speed near invisible to the naked eye. Contrary to what may be believed, however, she will rarely, if ever, reveal her body’s various hidden tools. Instead, she opts to utilize her own skills in Wind Release.
Higanbana uses a single giant folding fan that stands at five feet in height. It has iron siding with a metal body and has three red circle that will appear on it vertically to display its power level; the smallest circle will appear near the bottom of the fan while the largest circle appears at the top. Though clumsy and uncoordinated, Higanbana seems very skilled with this fan, but she suffers in Taijutsu. If gotten close to, she tends to close the fan and attempt to bat the individual away, similar to how one would do a baseball, or slam the fan down over their head to bring them to a screeching halt. This proficiency displays her physical might, yet she cannot put much use to it other than wielding that fan. She uses a scroll to carry it around when she chooses to not carry it on her back. Though not graceful in hand-to-hand, nor in daily life, the woman shows a sort of elegance and grace with her fan that has come with several years of use and practice. Her proficiency with the Giant Folding Fan has increased during her time in Uzushiogakure, and she can now wield it effortlessly. This, however, is the only area of shinobi tactics that Higanbana has improved drastically in. With some training, she may be capable of using the concealed Chakra Blades with some adeptness.
- Higanbana essentially has four names, one of which she is unaware of.
- Higanbana is something of a walking summoning, having a seal on her that allows her creator to summon her to his side.
- Higanbana was never really religious, but she picked up the lifestyle of a miko and can sometimes be seen in Otogakure praying at gravesides.
- Though no longer a Geisha, due to restrictions placed by her former okiya, she still performs at times and may, eventually, employ herself.
- Nōhime is an title given to Higanbana by some of the residents of Otogakure, which she uses during her otherwise anonymous performances in taverns or other venues; she is compared to the original holder of the name, who was renowned for both her beauty and cleverness, despite never uttering a word during performances.
- Higanbana means Spider Lily, a species of amaryllis common in Japan, China, and other Asian countries. In Japan, they were frequently planted in graveyards to keep animals from consuming the dead, because they are highly toxic.
- Spider Lilies have a variety of meanings in Japan: Death, Reincarnation, Guide to the Afterlife, and Lost Memories. It is believed that if you meet a person whom you are destined to never meet again, Spider Lilies will grow along your path. The flower is also said to grow in Hell.
- Due to the connotations behind her name, civilians of Otogakure believe that Higanbana is a spiritual guide to a peaceful death. They often recruit her for burial ceremonies as a result.