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Kariya Kagetoki is an elite samurai from Samurai Champloo, who works for the Shogunate. He is known as the Divine Hand (or Hand of God).
In the Story
Much of Kariya's past is unknown, but from what can be inferred is that he was working for the Shogunate for quite some time, and had attempted to take over the Mujushin Dojo. He was given the orders to eliminate Kasumi for his role in the Shimabara Rebellion.
While peacefully tending to his garden, he learns of Sara's death from the Shogunate member Goroujuu, and decides to come out of retirement in order to face them (feeling them to be worthy adversaries).
He meets up with Mugen and Jin, and tells them that the Shogunate were aware of their journey to meet Kasumi and that they must die where they stand. He faces off against the two and proved too strong for the pair, he later fights Jin alone (when Denkibou tells Mugen that Fuu had been captured). Him and Jin exchanged their ideals about the world of the samurai before resuming their match, Kariya had emerged victorious and follows in Fuu's pursuit.
Kariya eventually caught up to Kasumi's residence and proceeds to kill him, immediatley after he admits that any relatives and retainers will have to die as well. After the death Kasumi's caregiver, he corners Fuu at a cliff, but Jin had arrived and revealed to have survived. Kariya and Jin faced off one final time, it seemed that Kariya had won, but was wounded and defeated by Jin's suicidal technique taught to him by Mariya.
Kariya is characterized by his calm and collected demeanor, when not fighting he peacefully tends to his garden in his retirement. He also has a sense of honor (giving Seizo Kasumi any final words to his daughter: Fuu), and is willing to give praise when impressed (which was showcased in his battle with both Mugen and Jin, finding the former's unique movements interesting, and compliments the latter's discipline in swordsmanship, as well as Jin surviving a fatal strike that was meant to kill him).
He was very analytical in battle, understanding Mugen's unorthodox style, warning the latter that fighting solely on instinct and reflexes will limit him, and tells Jin that the chances of defeating him will be by a razor thin margin. Kariya acknowledges the fact that a samurai cannot live by his sword skills alone and that the age of the samurai era is ending, displaying worldliness.
However beneath Kariya's composure, hides a cold and manipulative personality. He shares Jin's belief that the Lords of their time value only themselves and not the lives of their employees, and also admits that while working for the shogunate, he claims to be far from being any man's puppet and uses his employers as well. He was the one responsible for ordering Mariya Enishirou to kill Jin, and attempted to take over the Mujushin Dojo.
Powers and Abilities
Known as the Divine Hand, Kariya Kagetoki had proven to be an extremely powerful fighter in the series, as he able to take on both Mugen and Jin simultaneously, easily handing Mugen's fighting style and defeats Jin in a standoff. Similar to Shoryu, he has mastered the ability to use ki, using it both offensively and defensively, and to an almost supernatural level.
Another testament to his might is that Guroujuu stated that he has not drawn his sword in years, and no one in existence could defeat him. Another fact is that it took Jin's secret technique to kill him.
- Kariya had indirectly given Mugen advice on how to make use his intellect in combat and not just act on instinct and reflex, which ultimately helped the latter in his fight with Denkibou, Umanosuke, and lastly Toube.