- "And at least the rain was back. But I say fuck the rain. I'm finished with Enra and his world of obedience. Of slavery. You choose solitude, I'll give you solitude, and poor Xing will seal this wretched bargain. My heart splits but there is no other way. I will always remember the day that led me to you, and that is why I must bury your memory. I will not be ruled by pain. I will die free."
- —Hoji in his memories of his sister.
Hoji was a grand inventor living in the Shadow Realm, who was hired by Enra to make battle armour for his brothers in order for them to defeat their enemies. After managing to drive them into the void. By possessing Itsuse no Mikoto's body, Hoji forged a blade that could hurt and even kill the Ancients, known as Nobitsura Kage. With the help of the blade, the Ancients sealed their eternal enemies behind a set of gates made by his brother Mezu with a soul of their own and thus letting them to use a stream of their enemies power for their own use through Ameonna. After the ritual was done, Ituse no Mikoto kept the sword in case Ancients broke their promise to never attack the mortal world.
As a side effect, the power going through Ameonna would manifest as tears, that would cause rain in Shadow Realm. If let unchecked, the rain would eventually drown the realm and kill everyone in it. To prevent this, Hoji created a special sleeping potion, that would put Ameonna to sleep for short periods of time. Under order of Enra, Hoji would bring the potion personally to Ameonna.
Over the course of years, bringing a sleep potion to his sister, Hoji and Ameonna had an incestuous affair, which made her happy and stopped the rain. This caused a disastrous drought, and when the affair was discovered by Enra, the ruler of the Shadow Realm, Hoji's other brothers, Gozu, Mezu, and Xing, separated the pair and skinned Hoji's face as punishment, forcing him to wear a mask. Ameonna accepted her responsibility to the Shadow Realm, which embittered Hoji against both her for her abandonment and Enra for his tyranny over the Ancients.
He conspired to poison his sister and take revenge upon Enra, tricking Xing into delivering a tainted potion that put her into an eternal slumber and causing another drought, using this to draw Enra to the temple so that Xing could overthrow him and rule the Shadow Realm in his stead. After giving the poison to Xing, Hoji created a clay golem in the image of Ameonna called Whisperer so he could erase the memory of his sisters betrayal from his mind. But the plot was stopped by Mezu, the most loyal of the brothers to Enra. Xing was beheaded by Gozu on Enra's orders for his role in the plot, which did not kill him, and Hoji was banished to the mortal realm for his treachery. After wandering the mortal realm for two hundred years, he found out about that Enra started searching for Nobitsura Kage. He reached out to Mizayaki, the holder of one of the parts of the Nobitsura Kage, and allied with him, helping hm develop ki abilities.
Shadow Warrior (2013)
When Lo Wang comes to take the sword from Mizayaki, Mizayaki overpowers him with his ki powers and learns from Hoji that he's been sent by Orochi Zilla, who unknown to Hoji has made a deal with Enra to assemble the pieces of the Nobitsura Kage. It isn't long before demons assail Mizayaki's temple, and Mizayaki is killed in the attack. Lo Wang allies himself with Hoji in hopes of surviving the demon attack and retrieving the sword. Hoji explains that the Nobitsura Kage, is capable of slaying immortals and is anathema to demons. He also mentions that the Nobitsura Kage is actually three swords, and so Lo Wang seeks them out to merge them into one.
Over the course of the game, Lo Wang manages to find and merge two parts of the Nobitsura Kage. When Enra teleports Hoji back to the shadow realm, Lo Wang uses the last Whisperer on earth to travel to the Shadow Realm and learns that Hoji, who originally created the Whisperers, regrets his role in plunging the Shadow Realm into misery and seeks to undo his wrong by creating another Whisperer, taking away his memory of Lo Wang. Lo Wang convinces him that Enra needs to be stopped, and so the two join forces once more, with Hoji seeking to redeem himself by killing Enra and using his blood to revive Ameonna.
Together, they manage to retrieve the last part and reassemble the Nobitsura Kage back to it's full power. Then they travel to Shadow Realm to kill Enra but Lo Wang is captured by Enra and stripped of the sword. Enra tries to sacrifice Hoji to revive Ameonna by means of using the original Whisperer that Hoji made, which like the others before, can handle the Nobitsura Kage without harm, but Hoji disarms the Whisperer and hands the sword back to Lo Wang, forcing Enra to retreat. But by touching the Nobitsura Kage, Hoji dooms himself. After Lo Wang kill Enra, Ameonna awakens, and upon seeing the dead body of Hoji, she weeps, bringing rain back to the Shadow Realm.
Shadow Warrior 2
Hoji's grave appears in Ameonna's sanctuary with the Blade of Exile stuck into the center. After Lo Wang is betrayed by Ameonna he retrieves the blade from Hoji's grave and Kamiko uses it to channel her power and break Ameonna's door seals.
Shadow Warrior 3
Some time after Lo Wang released the Evildoing Dragon by accident, global civilization has been almost wiped out due to the presence of the dragon and the demonic beings that overrun the world. Wang himself has become a recluse, wallowing in depression due to his failure to defeat the dragon. Wang's former nemesis, Orochi Zilla, convinces him to continue fighting. The two of them seek out Motoko, a witch who knows of a way to defeat the dragon using the residual energy in Hoji's mask. Amidst Motoko's ritual, Hoji is revived, prompting Wang to disrupt the ritual to save his friend. Hoji first asks Wang to help restore his physical body.
In order to do this, they need to retrieve a dragon egg from a hatchery. Hoji reveals, that the Evildoing Dragon uses the eggs to transport yokai from their realm to ours. Once they locate the hatchery, Wang fights off the guardian of the dragon eggs, the Ancient Cock. After defeating the Ancient Cock, they bring the egg to Hot Springs. Hoji then infuses the egg with his lifeforce and hatches himself a new body. He then guides Lo Wang toward a contraption called a "Chi cannon", which supposedly has enough power to destroy the dragon. Unbeknownst to Wang, Hoji intends to use the cannon to drain the dragon's power and make it his, in order to become an all-powerful God. However, Hoji makes a miscalculation, and the dragon swallows the cannon.
With his plan failed, Hoji runs to the nearby forest and hides from the dragon. When Lo Wang reunites with Motoko and Zilla, Zilla was shown disappoint that the plans did not go as expected. Without the mask, the team come to the conclusion, that the dragon is now unstoppable. Suddenly they're interrupted by Hoji, much to the delight of Tanuki. He shares his plan in defeating the Evildoing Dragon once and for all, alongside the fact, that Zilla and Motoko are a couple, which surprises Tanuki. Hoji tells Motoko to extract all his power into the mask, turning it into a thaumaturgic bomb. They then will deliver it to the mouth of the dragon with the help of Tanuki.
Wang sends Motoko's familiar, toward the dragon, intending to use it as an explosive bait, but it fails to kill the dragon. Seeing no other options, Wang decides to jump into the dragon's mouth himself, where he activates Hoji's Chi cannon from the inside. Wang successfully kills the dragon with the cannon, and manages to escape death with Hoji and Zilla's help. They all share a meal of dragon sashimi together and bicker at each other, up until Hoji mentions to calm down to eat as a "family".
At first glance, Hoji appears only to be annoying. He has a constant snarky and sarcastic nature and seems pretty carefree about his situation. After regaining his lost memories, Hoji regrets his role in plunging the Shadow Realm into misery. He seems to hate his entire family, especially Enra for his tyranny over Shadow Realm and Ameonna for her betrayal.
Over the course of Shadow Warrior, Hoji develops a tight bond to Lo Wang, even going as far as sacrificing his own life to save him. Hoji is highly intelligent and is responsible for creation of sleeping potion for Ameonna, battle armours for his brothers, the Whisperers, and even had a hand in the creation of the Nobitsura Kage itself.
For most of the game, Hoji is clad in a dark, ninja-like outfit, which seems to be repeatedly stitch together with sharp, yellow claws for hands. The most striking part of his design is his white mask with two red horns.
- Hoji is voiced by Alex Dobrenko.
- Hoji's mask appears as an easter egg in other Devolver published game Enter the Gungeon.