Tao Yúan (道円, Dào Yúan, En Tao in the English anime series and video games) is a fictional character in the manga and anime of Shaman King. He is the 42nd head of the Tao Family, and the father of Tao Jun and Tao Ren.
He is an extremely tall and muscular man, with a wide stomach. He wears white pants, black boots, and a purple skirt tied with a black scarf. Outside of battle he wears a black robe, with a golden lining. His head is slightly round and his black hair is formed into five spikes, similar to a crown. He has a black exaggerated mustache and a goatee and blank yellow eyes.
However, this form is, in reality, is an Over Soul. His true appearance is that of a tall and very muscular man, who has tattooed a far elaborate Tao Family symbol onto his back and with a far more firm build body. He still has a long black goatee and a black exaggerated mustache, but his hair is smooth and is tied together in a spike in the upper back of his head, with a royal headpiece. Yúan is commonly seen wearing a black Chinese Hanfu tied together with a red sash and a purple Zhaoshan with golden patterns.
The robes cover the fact that he wears large armor, consisting of the Tao Family Ancestors' memorial tablets. He uses these to generate his large Over Soul Dà Dào Wáng. Beneath his armor, he wears a red shirt, green baggy pants, and a white skirt.
Tao Yúan, when he first appeared is both a sadistic and a malevolent man. He heavily believes in the doctrine of Tao (道, Dào) even raising his children with this doctrine, and instead of showing them love and care. he taught them to be cruel and emotionless. However, it is later revealed that he is a much more deep person and, due to his family's long history of being shunned and betrayed, has lost the ability to trust people outside of his family. Ching calls it the tragedy of a man who only wished to be a good Tao.
Although the meeting with Asakura Yoh and his friends have changed his outlook on life and made him open up, he still tries to protect the family interests, even fighting with and losing to Asakura Mikihisa just to see if he was worthy to train his son Tao Ren.
Abilities and Powers
He is a very talented Taoist and has an extremely high Furyoku level, as he is able to maintain a gigantic Over Soul made of all of his ancestors, for several years.
- See More: Tao Family Ancestors
His guardian ghosts are that of 2000 years of the Tao Family who have been unable to leave to the afterlife because of their treatment of those they saw nearest. He carries these spirits on him, by wearing an armor made out of memory tablets. He can use these tablets to generate an Over Soul shaped like a large-sized version of himself, only far more exaggerated.
He can also gather the souls in the Bâo-Lèi Sword and create a huge, scaled, Shenlong like Chinese dragon to complete with Tao Yúan's head (with his exaggerated mustache & beard) and four sets of sharp claws.
Originating from Guizhou, China and born on November 30, 1956, Yúan was born into a branch family of the Tao Family and thus he was considered nothing more but a talented Taoist. But when Tao Ran, the heir to Main Family needed to find a husband, he was one of her suitors. To become her husband, he would not only have to go through a formal interview, he would also have to defeat her in battle. Yúan won with a single hit while she fell in love instantly. He was officially adopted into the main house through marriage with Ran and thus became the main heir.
At an unknown time, his father-in-law Tao Ching stepped down and Yúan became the head of the Tao Family. He decided that it was time for the Tao Family to once be again recognized by the world, and saw the Shaman Fights as a way to do so.
Over the time he fathered two children, Jun and Ren. They were raised harshly and told that their main duty was to serve the family. Sometime before his children's birth he began wearing his Dà Dào Wáng Over Soul constantly.
Shaman Fights in Tokyo
Yúan first appears when Ren is fighting Asakura Yoh, where Jun confronts her father and asks him to let go of Ren as Ren would otherwise wind up destroying himself. However, Yúan merely laughs at her and proceeds to punish her by sealing her in a dungeon for the ten days it takes Ren to return home after his fight with Yoh.
To meet Ren, Yúan creates an army of Jiang Shi from freshly killed corpses which Ren disposes of with little difficulty. When Ren and Yúan face-off afterward Ren cannot wound his father even with his strongest attack and ends up in the dungeon with his sister.
Bason somehow manages to flee and bring Ren's friends from Tokyo.
Shaman Fight Second Round
When the Patch began transporting the Shaman Fights participants from the village in America to the island in Japan, Ren took a look out the window of the helicopter he was in, only to see his father riding the large Dà Dào Lóng Over Soul, with a banner cheering on Ren.
He was later seen towards the end of Team "The Ren"'s first fight, sitting in his large Dà Dào Wáng Over Soul together with his wife, daughter, and father-in-law alongside several Jiang Shis cheering on Ren. He noted on Ren's provocative words that his team would be the winners with a smile.
He and his wife were visibly upset when Asakura Keiko and Asakura Mikihisa came to deliver a message about Ren and even offered to train him. But even when Ching agreed to take up on the offer, Yúan would still refuse. Reasoning that Ren was hand raised he challenged Mikihisa to prove the strength of the Chō Senji Ryakketsu. Mikihisa agreed and successfully beat him.
Invading the Plants
When the Shaman Fights were moved to the "Continent of Mu", the Asakura Family, the Tao Family and the Usui Family had a barbecue party at the beach, awaiting the results of the fight and hoping that their children would make it. He was last seen helping prepare the food, saying that they had done everything they could before sending them off into the battle.
Yúan later appears on board the Soul Train together with the rest of the Tao Family. In tears, he complained about how the Tao Family was drawn into the mess between Hao and the Asakura Family but believed it to be okay since it had made Ren stronger.
In the English version of the anime series, Yúan is referred to as the uncle to Jun and Ren instead of their father, whose death is the reason for Yúan's hatred towards humans. Also in the English 2001 anime series, instead of following the way of Tao, his creed is instead changed to: "Destroy or be destroyed".
- His name in the English anime uses the on'yomi rendering of "Yúan". However, the actual on'yomi of his name in whole would be "Dou En".
- Shaman King Manga - Kang Zeng Bang Volume 6 Extras; File Nr. 56
- Shaman King Manga - Chapter 119
- Shaman King Manga - Chapter 144
- Shaman King Manga - Chapter 299