Bunpuku (分福, Bunpuku) was an elderly priest of Sunagakure and one of the first two jinchūriki of Shukaku.
As Shukaku's jinchūriki, Bunpuku was blessed with the immense reserves of especially strong chakra and access to Shukaku's abilities such as 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. Also, Bunpuku never succumbed to the mental degradation induced by being Shukaku's jinchūriki, having a better relationship with his tailed beast. In the anime, he was said to be a powerful fūinjutsuuser as well, as he managed to seal Shukaku inside a tea kettle, and, according to Hōichi, had the power to mould currents along with the ability to use Dharma Power Sealing Technique: Sen no Rikyū. Given his unique fūinjutsu, it is highly plausible that he was skilled in playing a biwa.
In the anime, Bunpuku's revered fūinjutsu was mastered by Hōichi. Despite never mastering Shukaku's power himself, Bunpuku's words resonated with Shukaku years later, allowing the tanuki to make peace with its most recent jinchūriki, Gaara.
- 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".
- In the anime, he was referred to as Shukaku's first jinchūriki.
- In order to prevent the jinchūriki from turning traitor, it is tradition for the host to be selected from the family of the village's own Kage. It might be that Bunpuku somehow was connected with one of the Kazekage.
- (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."