|Anime||Naruto Shippūden Episode #410|
|Tailed Beast||Shukaku, Chōmei (Forms)|
When he was a child, Hōichi studied Bunpuku's fūinjutsu and power to mould currents. Two years after Gaara, the current host of Shukaku, was made Kazekage, he met with Fugi. The two discussed their plan to seal Shukaku.
Hōichi is a bald young man with brown eyes and a long, horizontal scar from his left ear across to his face. He wears what appears to be a dark blue monk attire, albeit without sleeves, with a white collar and garb at the end. He also dons a dark blue sash and carries a biwa around with him, tied to a white cloth. Hōichi wears a pair of red rosary beads on his wrists. He also has a Suna forehead protector attached to the centre of his attire.
When he was a child, Hōichi noted that he had studied Bunpuku's power to mould currents. He also learned Bunpuku's fūinjutsu including the Dharma Power Sealing Technique: Sen no Rikyū, allowing him to forcibly extract multiple tailed beasts at once. He is also capable of using sand, hardening it to either provide an additional form of defence or to conceal his presence in a similar terrain. Hōichi is shown to be proficient in playing a biwa, using its tones in the same way as shinobi regularly use hand seals to perform his techniques. Using the tones of the instrument, he can also erect barriers and take control over shadows.
In Naruto's Footsteps: The Friends' Paths
During the chūnin exams in the Demon Desert, Hōichi notices Team Matsuri as they head towards the central tower. He later becomes caught in the sandstorm that Fugi caused, and hides underneath the sand. After Gaara arrives to assist Team Matsuri, Hōichi emerges from the sand and prepares to attack the Kazekage. After Gaara's departure, Hōichi targets Team Matsuri by using their own shadows against them, in order to lure out Gaara, knowing that he will come to rescue the genin. As the Kazekage approaches, the priest uses his seal, which creates chains and pierces Gaara, and begins to extract Shukaku's chakra. As the two shinobi stand against each other, Fū arrives and attempts to save Gaara, which she was unsuccessful. Noticing that the kunoichi was also a jinchūriki, Hōichi decides to test the power of his seal and begins to extract her tailed beast at the same time as Gaara's.
As the extraction continued, Fū used her Cocoon to slow down the extraction process. While Hōichi continued his efforts, Team Guy along with Fū's team-mates arrived to save the jinchūriki. As Neji Hyūga got close enough, he blocked the chakra points in Gaara and Fū from which the extraction was taking place, ultimately cancelling it and rejecting the chakra chains. This came at Hōichi's expense as because the process was interrupted, the chains went wild in pursuit. As the chains quickly bound Hōichi, Gaara took pity on the man and asked for Neji to save him. To which, Neji blocked Hōichi's chakra points and cancelled the technique. Hōichi was then taken away for treatment.
- Hōichi's name and abilities may have been inspired by Miminashi Hōichi, the tale of blind Buddhist monk Hōichi, who was so skilled at playing the biwa that it even brought ghosts and demons to tears. One night, after he was asked to perform for the ghosts of nobles who had perished during the Battle of Dan no ura, a high priest painted Hōichi's body with the Heart Sutra to render him invisible. The high priest, however, had forgotten to paint Hōichi's ears, leaving them visible to the ghosts. The ghosts pulled off Hōichi's ears, thus his nickname miminashi Hōichi ("earless Hōichi").
- Naruto: Shippūden episode 411
- Naruto: Shippūden episode 410
- Naruto: Shippūden episode 412