Long ago, there was a mushi unlike any other, a forbidden mushi that destroyed all things indiscriminately. But a mushishi of the Karibusa family sealed this forbidden mushi inside herself, turning her skin the color of ink and eventually killing her. But not before she had a child. Since then, one in every other generation of the Karibusa family has carried the forbidden mushi inside them, rendering part of their bodies ink black and useless. But they have learned how to bind it. By listening to stories of the death of other mushi, they can subdue the forbidden mushi and use its mark like ink to write these stories down and seal the forbidden mushi away on paper. Those who do this are the Recorders. They live in an isolated house with their records, visited only by the family and mushishi.
Karibusa Tanyuu is the fourth Recorder. The curse is located on her right leg, and she has learned to be skillful at moving on crutches and hopping on one foot. And in spite of the pain that this forbidden mushi constantly causes her, she loves and respects mushi, all forms of life. She is proud but kind, and there is no one who could do her job more effectively. Tanyuu's deepest desire is to complete the sealing away of the forbidden mushi, and to be freed to travel with Ginko.