|Appears in||Manga only|
|Tailed Beast||Shukaku (Forms)|
Bunpuku was feared and despised by the villagers of Sunagakure and was kept locked up inside a dungeon under constant guard. In fact, the villagers believed him to be Shukaku itself and have all but forgotten his true name. During a conversation with Shukaku, the tanuki asked its host if he was upset at the fact that all the villagers shunned him and that he can only talk with it. The priest noted that if he were to be separated from Shukaku, he would be dead because he was a jinchūriki. Shukaku told the priest that he reminded it of the Sage of the Six Paths, bringing the elderly priest to tears. He thanked the tanuki and noted that they were the kindest words he's received so far. He also said to Shukaku that there will be someone who will save and guide it in the future. Eventually, Shukaku was extracted from him, resulting in his death.
Over the years, the people of Sunagakure came to believe Shukaku was this priest's living incarnation.
Bunpuku was a kind-hearted and wise man. Though shunned by the villagers because of the tailed beast inside of him, he still thought of Shukaku as his friend, and bore no ill-will towards the beast. He believed that people could accept and understand each other, even if one of them is a beast. Because he treated a tailed beast with respect, he reminded Shukaku of the Sage of the Six Paths.
Bunpuku was an elderly man and like most priests, his head was bald. He had a long, bushy moustache and beard and also had black rings around his eyes. His attire was one generally worn by priests with over-long sleeves and a dark-coloured kimono-vest over it. In his palms, he had the kanji for "accept" (受, ukeru) and "heart" (心, kokoro) encarved by his master.
As Shukaku's jinchūriki, Bunpuku was blessed with the immense reserves of especially strong chakra and access to Shukaku's abilities such as Magnet Release and sand manipulation. Bunpuku was able to keep the beast under control for a long period of time without extra support such as a cage to contain the beast.
- His name is a reference to Bunbuku Chagama, a Japanese folktale about a tanuki that uses its shape-shifting powers to reward an old man who rescued it for his kindness.
- Gaara, Shukaku's latest jinchūriki, has the kanji for "love" (愛, ai) engraved on his forehead. The two kanji in the priest's hands combine to make the word "love".
- (To Shukaku) "The human heart is like the reflection on the water's surface… The mouth says things opposite to what the heart really feels… But in truth, the hidden heart wants people to accept each other. Even when one of them is a beast…"
- (To Shukaku) "Humans and beasts… There is no need to make a distinction."