A powerful young miko in Japan's Sengoku era. Though she died moments after sealing Inuyasha, she is resurrected in a visually identical clay body about fifty years later, not long after Kagome revives Inuyasha. Kikyou isn't close to anyone, seldom speaks, and nearly always acts unpredictably and on her own, so it's extremely diffcult to tell what she's thinking and what her motives and goals are.
Kikyou is revived in a clay body baked from her bones and burial soil by the demon-woman 裏陶 (うらすえ), who hopes to use her powers to assemble the Shikon shards. The process initially fails, because Kikyou's soul was unavailable, but Urasue stumbles across Kagome, realizes that she's the reincarnation, and forcibly extracts her soul, with much difficulty. Ironically, the first thing Kikyou does upon being revived is to kill Urasue. After that, she yells at Inuyasha for a while, and tries to kill him, too. However, Kagome's will overpowers hers, and Kagome takes back all but a few scraps of her soul, severely weakening Kikyou and saving Inuyasha. Kikyou stumbles away and falls off a cliff, and is presumed dead (again). However, Kikyou survives, and when she appears again, she's keeping her strength up by using the souls of the recently dead, collecting them with creatures called 死魂虫 (しにだまちゅう).
Kikyou generally travels and acts alone. She had joined with the remnants of Midoriko's soul, with the apparent intention of letting Naraku reassemble the Shikon no Tama so that she can purify it and destroy him all at once, but was fatally wounded while attempting, but not quite succeeding, the purification. However, Inuyasha was there for her, and after telling Kagome to finish the job, she was able to die in peace this time. And while Naraku may think he's won, we won't, as Kikyou reflected, know whether or not she really lost until Naraku dies (ch.464).
Special powers, etc.
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