I have traveled far and wide challenging master swordsmen. And 999 swords have I claimed by my own hand. But now that I have defeated all who would dare challenge me, that last sword has eluded me.Benkei
Benkei is a traveling Buddhist monk whose one purpose in life is to collect 1000 swords. It was stated by Benkei that he already had 999 swords at the time Amaterasu and Issun met him in Sei'an City . However, it was not stated whether he was only after legendary swords or any run-of-the-mill sword as used by any random warrior.
In Ōkamiden, when Chibiterasu and Kurow returns to the past, using the Moon Tribe time-space displacement device that Gen recreated (but malfunctioned), it is revealed that just prior to the events of Ōkami, Benkei was on the Goryeo. He blocks the path Chibiterasu and Kurow are taking and challenges Kurow to a duel, thinking he has a sword in his flute, much like Waka's Pillow Talk. However, an old sailor approaches Benkei and tells him to make his 1000th sword the "living sword". Benkei doubts the story he is told is true, but falls for the old sailor's trick, not knowing the "living sword" is actually just a cutlass fish, and allows Chibiterasu and Kurow to continue on their way. When the Water Dragon attacks and sinks the Goryeo, Benkei was revealed to be one of the only survivors and makes it into Sei'an City.
When Benkei is first met in Sei'an, he has control of the bridge connecting the Commoners' Quarter to the Aristocratic Quarter. He is determined to catch the legendary "living sword" to finally complete his collection, and Amaterasu must help him catch it in order to cross. However, to Benkei's surprise, the "living sword" is not a weapon at all but a cutlass fish, revealing the truth of the old sailor's words earlier on the unfortunate Goryeo.
However, Benkei keeps his word and raises the bridge. He then states that sword collecting is a waste of time and now thanks to Amaterasu and Issun he fully devotes himself to a new hobby: fishing.
After Amaterasu restores Sei'an City, Benkei can be found fishing in the Aristocratic Quarter, near the Emperor's Palace. If Amaterasu listens to him, he will invite Amaterasu to fish with him.
Benkei is a man passionate of collecting rare weapons throughout the lands from duels he had won. So far, he had collected 999 swords from 999 respective warriors and swordsmen alike. He need to find the most unusual weapon to be the 1000th, a living blade. Also, he can tell an unusual weapon by simply looking at them; like how he knows that Kurow's flute is part-sword.
- His character was based after the Japanese historical sōhei monk Benkei (弁慶), from the same story Waka's character came from (Yoshitsune and Benkei).
- If his fishing spot from Ōkami is examined in Ōkamiden with Kagu as Chibiterasu's partner, she will say that there used to be a man named Benkei fishing there, and she doesn't know why he stopped.