The Tao Family (道 (タオ) 家 Tao-ke; Chinese pinyin: Dàojiā) is a fictional family in the manga and anime series of Shaman King.
The Tao family, are an ancient Chinese family known for their shamanic capabilities. They live in a mountain south of Guizhou named Shouzan (醮山, しょうざん). For many years have the family members been raised using the doctrine of Tao. Tao (道, Pinyin: Dào, Cantonese: Dou) is a Chinese character often translated as ‘The way of nature'. The concept of Tao is based upon the understanding that the only constant in the Universe is changing and that one must understand and be in harmony with this change. To the Tao family, the way of Tao also means that one has nature, a way of acting that is natural to them and that it should be followed at all times.
However, Yúan only saw one side of the world. Being forced to carry the ancestors' souls, he did not gain the wisdom as intended, instead, he received their sadness. It is because of this that he lost all trust in humanity and shamans outside the family and he ended up teaching his children the same thing.
The Tao family see the doctrine of Tao in a way where one should not doubt and, should one doubt, they would become weak. "Wu Bi Mu" meaning "I do not doubt", was uttered by Ren as he was finally able to go against his father, who claimed that he was doubting himself and had forgotten his Tao.
As the doctrine of Tao reflects upon the family's nature, they have also used the symbol as their family symbol, even tattooing it onto their backs, while Ren had his tattoo made forcefully.
2000 years in the past they used their skills to assist and guide the people of China and their power spread across the country. In order to govern the entire mainland of China the Tao Family had other shaman clans cooperate and follow them while exiling those who acted unlawfully. As time went on, they become ostracized for their abilities and hunted down, forcing them to retreat to the outskirts of China.
After being forced to live on the frontiers of China for many years, the Tao Family experienced a revival of sorts when Yúan, a member of the branch family, married Tao Ran, heir to the main branch, and became head of the family. He decided it was his responsibility to engrave the Tao Family’s name into history once more. At the same time, Yúan also saw it as his duty to carry the souls of the ancestors with him and therefore took on an armor of memory tablets that would later be used as a medium for his oversoul, Daidouho.
When his two children were born, he merely saw them as tools for the Tao Family to use to regain their lost honor. Because of this, he made his son Tao Ren undergo unusually harsh training to become Shaman King. He also taught Ren about the cruelty of humanity and that he shouldn't trust anyone outside the family. Tao Jun learned how to become a Dàoshì from her mother so that she could support Ren. Yúan believed that by making Ren Shaman King he would be able to restore the former glory of the Tao Family. However, besides giving Ren a strong body and shamanic abilities, the legacy that Yúan passed to Ren was one of hatred of everyone and everything, a conqueror die philosophy. Because of this, Ren never cared for his family and made it his goal to become Shaman King only so that he could kill every person in the world.
|e v||Tao Family Members|
|Tao Ching is the oldest still living member of the Tao Family. During the Second World War he killed many soldiers of the Japanese Imperial Army in order to turn them into his loyal Jiang Shi.
His first appearance was made after Tao Yúan had been defeated twice by his son and he still tried to fight on. Threatening to kill him if he continued, Yúan finally stopped fighting his son and his friends.
|Tao Yúan is the Father of Tao Ren and Tao Jun. He was once a member of the Tao branch family and considered nothing more but a talented Taoist.
After Tao Ran, needed to find herself a husband, Yúan married her and became the new head of the Tao Family.
Due to his family's long history of being shunned he has lost all trust in people outside of his family. He branded the family symbol on his back and would continue to carry the spirits of his ancestors as an armor for his body.
|Tao Ran is the wife of Tao Yúan and the mother of Tao Jun and Tao Ren. She was the only heir to main family and had to find herself a husband. After telling of many suitors, Yúan would finally pass the trials and it was love at first sight. She eventually married him and gave birth to two children.
When she first appeared, alongside Ching, she calmly pleaded her husband to stop the fighting as he would not wish to be killed. Throughout the series she appears quite calm, and even laughed when she told about their family specialty being poisoning people.
|Tao Jun is the first born child of Tao Ran and Tao Yúan. Already as a little child she was trained as a Dàoshì and was given a Jiang Shi as a guardian ghost.
After her little brother, Tao Ren, was born she was raised to support him and in present day she is still heavily devoted to helping him.
|Tao Ren is the second born child of Tao Ran and Tao Yúan. As a little child he was trained to become Shaman King and given the spirit of Bason, a chinese war general who served the Tao Family when he was alive.
He grew up to become a hatefilled person, however after facing Asakura Yoh in the Shaman Tournament he realizes that he must put his hatred aside and becomes an entirely new person. He is the heir to the family, after his father. In Funbari no Uta, Ren is revealed to have had a son, Tao Men, with Iron Maiden Jeanne.
|Tao Iron Maiden Jeanne
Dào Aian Meiden Jannu
|Tao Iron Maiden Jeanne is the wife of Tao Ren and the mother of Tao Men. She met Ren while traveling in Europe. She is killed in the conflict between the Tao Family and Red Crimson and her spirit is made into the guardian ghost of Black Maiden.|
|Tao Men is the son of Tao Ren and Tao Iron Maiden Jeanne. He is the main heir to the Tao Family. He is part of Team Hao and wants to win the Flower of Maize in order to revive his mother.|
Abilities and Powers
The Tao Family has lived for over 2000 years and has had a large number of various abilities, including basic Shaman abilities and Dàoshì (道士 Dōshi) that controls dead bodies with paper talisman, as well some having Itako skills. Jun later trains under Gandhara's leader, Sati Saigan, and learns how to revive the dead.
Even though they have a large variety of skills, the family's specialty lies in creating reanimated corpses, called Jiang Shi (屍 (キョンシー) Kyonshī). A Dàoshi reintegrates a spirit with its dead body and then uses talismans to enslave its mind and to control its body, a technique known as Tiao Shi Song Shi (跳屍送尸術 Chōshisōshijutsu). If a Jiang Shi's talisman is removed and the Dàoshi is unable to replace it in time, the Jiang Shi will enter a mindless rage. At that point, the only ways to stop it are to destroy its body completely or break the spell binding the spirit to the body.
The corpses can be improved in many ways, such as replacing limbs with animal parts or weapons, in order to create even stronger warriors. As long as the bodies are not destroyed too much, they can be repaired and improved over and over again. As later shown with Pyron they can also add mechanical parts to the body to increase power, in his case adding a piston to increase the power of his basic punch. They also create Jiang Shi to use as servants, horses, and other sorts of things useful in the house.
In rare circumstances, a spirit willingly allows a Dàoshì to integrate them back into their corpse. This method enables the Jiang Shi to operate without talismans.
- See More: Gohukuseitai
These are the elite Jiang Shi of the Tao Family. Their leader is Shamon, the master of Pyron, but as their leader, he is known as Ichi-Johtoh. They were made with the corpses of humans who had mastered several fields. As Jiang Shi, their bodies are not only made of human bodies but also animal parts and mechanical components. Tao Yúan trained them to be loyal to the Tao Family and its justice and they soon became great supporters.
- See More: Torture Brothers
They were two brothers, a jail warden and an executioner, of the Qing dynasty. They know all the numerous torture methods in China's whole history. They're part of Tao's army of Jiang Shi now, and they're in the worst category.
Unlike most other Jiang Shi, they are composed of several corpses. They each have special arms to which numerous torture devices and weapons can be attached.
Shu and Kyo
These are the Jiang Shi that belong to Tao Ran, the mother of Jun and Ren. Shu was a military strategist in the northern region of Wu during the later Han Dynasty. Kyo was a general for the Northern Qi Dynasty during the period of Southern and Northern Dynasties. Both were very handsome in life and Ran used special techniques to increase their handsomeness. Tao Yúan was supposedly very jealous when he first saw his wife's spirits but Ran just thought it was cute.
In the anime series, after the defeat of Tao Yúan and their departure, the Tao family excluding Jun and Ren are not seen ever again, even though they in the manga series they follow Ren from the Patch Tribe in America to the Shaman Fight in Tokyo and cheers him on during his first fight. This also creates a large plot hole in why Asakura Mikihisa wanted to train with Ren and it is instead explained by the fact that Yoh's and Ren's teams have an argument about who is stronger. Also in the English version of the anime series, instead of believing in the doctrine of Tao Yúan instead teaches Ren to "Destroy or be Destroyed". also In the anime series after defeating his father, the tattoo on Ren's back seems to disappear.
In the anime series, Ren and Jun have a cousin named Ginny who was in the tournament with her younger siblings. Also, Yúan is referred to as their uncle to Jun and Ren instead of their father, whose death is the reason for Yúan's hatred towards humankind.
- See More: Tao Ginny
Tao Ginny Tao Ginny (Jenny Tao in the English anime) is an assassin of Tao Ren and Tao Jun. She is Tao Yúan's niece in the Japanese version of the anime and his daughter in the English version. Ginny only appears in the anime series.
- See More: Tao Soumei
- See More: Tao Kyou
- In Chinese, "Tao" (literally meaning "path/way") is a common way to romanize the character 道 (often read as "dao" in pinyin), with an example being reading "Daoism" as "Taoism".
- Shaman King Manga - Chapter 75
- Shaman King Manga - Chapter 72
- Shaman King Manga - Red Crimson Chapter 3
- Shaman King Manga - Chapter 12
- Shaman King Manga - Chapter 13
- Shaman King Manga - Chapter 16
- Shaman King Manga - Chapter 17
- Shaman King Manga - Chapter 71
- Shaman King Manga - Chapter 73
- Shaman King Manga - Kang Zeng Bang Volume 14 Extras; Shaman File 196
- Shaman King Manga - Kang Zeng Bang Volume 7 Extras