|The Priest of Yatsuhara|
|Manga Debut||Chapter 03|
|Anime Debut||Episode 03|
|Voice Actor||Yasunori Matsumoto|
|List of Characters|
Tanuma's father (田沼, Tanuma) is a Buddhist monk and the current priest at the once-abandoned Yatsuhara Temple. Their family moved there after the old temple was restored.
Tanuma's father wears glasses and is bald with a slight beard on his chin. He is most commonly seen wearing black Buddhist robes with a light brown Origojyou (折五条, Origojyō) around his neck.
As a Buddhist monk, Tanuma's father is very kind and understanding. He is a devoted father to Tanuma, and had exorcised Yatsuhara not out ill-will towards youkai, but in attempt to help his son feel better. When Natsume hesitates when asked if he can see youkai, Tanuma's father wisely chooses not to press the matter any further, and tells him to feel free to come by any time.
Chukyuu One and Two come to Natsume for help having heard of his spiritual power, and request him to "get rid of" a human for them. They explain that someone with a human scent had arrived recently where they lived in the woods of Yatsuhara, and seems to enjoy randomly testing their spiritual powers by exorcising youkai. Natsume at first refuses to help them, explaining that it brushes with the law when a human tries to "get rid of" another human, but is nonetheless intrigued that there may be someone else like him who can see youkai.
The Chukyuu continue to follow him around and beg him to help them, and Natsume finally agrees to hear them out. They take him to Yatsuhara, and Natsume is swamped and harrassed by low-ranked youkai who mistake him for the mysterious exorcist. Suddenly, the mysterious exorcist sends a purification wave that purges all the low-ranked youkai from the area. Natsume begins to suspect Tanuma, a new student at school who recently moved near Yatsuhara, as the one behind the exorcisms. He decides to head to Tanuma's house, and runs into Misuzu, who wants Natsume to return his name. Misuzu agrees to help him, wanting to serve his master at least once, when the Chukyuu blurt that Natsume's enemy lurks in the forest. Misuzu immediately goes to attack the exorcist, but Natsume manages to order him to stop just in time, and sees that the exorcist, to his dismay, is actually a monk who can't see the youkai around him.
The monk explains that he recently moved into the Yatsuhara Temple, and that his son is rather sensitive and often is stricken with illness. Since he heard that Yatsuhara was well-known for its monsters, the monk decided to give the area a thorough purification "for peace of mind, at least", not knowing that he actually attained spiritual powers through his Buddhist training. Natsume tells him that not all the monsters are bad, and asks him to not overdo it. This prompts the monk to ask Natsume if he can see them, but after seeing Natsume hesitate, he decides to not question any further. The monk tells Natsume to feel free to come by anytime if he wants to discuss anything, and says that he might get along well with his son, Tanuma.
Although he can't see youkai, Tanuma's father possesses very strong spiritual abilities. Rather than being born with them, the monk attained his holy powers during his training as a devout Buddhist without realizing it. In the manga, Madara notes that some god somewhere must be protecting him.
Exorcism: Purification Wave
Tanuma's father can gain spiritual energy through prayer and send a wave of purification large enough to cover the area of Yatsuhara. This wave is strong enough to exorcise low-level youkai from the area.
- Yatsuhara (八ツ原) means Eight Fields.
- Since Tanuma's father is a Buddhist monk, it is likely that Tanuma is adopted.