- Gender: Female
- Age: 16
- Hair: Blue
- Eyes: Green
- Nationality: Japanese
- From the anime series Blue Seed, property of AD Vision and Yuzo Takada
- First Appearance: Chapter 16
From childhood, Kaede knew that she was burdened with a heavy responsibility. As the Kushinada, it lay upon her to defend Japan from the predations of the aragami which had been awakened from their centuries-long-sleep by her birth of Kaede and her twin sister Momiji… if necessary, by sacrificing her life, an act that would unleash an effect that would put all the aragami back into stasis. Because of her unique worth, she was taken from her family almost at birth, and never knew her sister or parents. Instead, she was raised by Daitetsu Kunikida as his own daughter, and protected by him until it could be decided what was to be done with her.
Kaede grew to be a beautiful, elegant young woman, beloved by those around her. For the most part, her childhood and adolescence were actually fairly normal. She attended school, made friends, and truly loved her adopted father. In addition, she shared a special relationship with a boy of her own age who followed her wherever she went, always protecting her from danger. Ironically, that boy, Kusanagi, had been empowered by humanity’s enemies, the aragami, in order to ensure Kaede remained safe, and the effect that would inconvenience them so never triggered.
From the outside, Kaede seemed happy. However, in truth she grew more and more confused, frustrated and scared over time. While the official Japanese government position was not to do anything so barbaric as sacrificing a Japanese citizen except as a last resort, that sword forever hung over her head, and she could not forget it. It didn’t help that several parties, unwilling to risk a full-out confrontation with the monsters who dwelled beneath Japan, attempted to assassinate her. While Kaede was saved from all such attempts – often by Kusanagi – it did not help her state of mind. Nor did the constant battery of tests taken and samples acquired from her, all so the government could try and figure out how her spiritual powers worked… and could be replicated.
What, precisely, may have been the breaking point for Kaede is not known. What is known is that of her own free will she ran away from her adopted father and protectors, including Kusanagi, and vanished into a dark and twisting labyrinth infested with aragami. Minutes later, a huge explosion made any further search for her impossible, and Kaede was presumed dead.
Again, what happened to her in the interim is unknown. But the Kaede of now is no longer the bright, happy child she was once. Her love for life and her country has been twisted into a dark, brooding hatred for the humans that inhabit it. To Kaede, humanity has lost the way, strayed so far from their natural place, done so much damage to the sacred soil of the country with their machines and wars, that there can be no going back, no forgiveness. The only solution, in her eyes, is to sterilise the entire nation, free it from unclean humanity, and return Japan to its natural, pristine state. To this end she has allied herself with the aragami, and plans to cause an enormous conflux of spiritual energy in order to revive their god, Susano-oh. Kaede is certain that when Susano-oh awakens fully, he shall see what humanity has done and join with her to destroy them all.
Aside from the Kushinada effect, what powers Kaede may possess are unclear. She is certainly spiritually potent, and at times seems nearly prescient. While likely possessing powers beyond those of normal humans, she rarely demonstrates what they might be, preferring to rely on the aragami and her most potent ally, Murakumo.