Yúan was born into a branch of the Tao Family, so he was never thought of as nothing but a Taoist with some skills. However Tao Ran needed to find a husband since she was the heir to the main Tao family. Yúan became one of her suitors and underwent a traditional interview which ended with him needing to defeat her in combat, which he did with one hit. Ran instantly chose him as her husband and Yúan became the primary heir of the main Tao house, taking over as head when his father-in-law, Tao Ching, stepped down. Yúan decided that the Tao Family should once again make a name for itself in the world and that the Shaman King Tournament was perfect for doing so. Yúan eventually began keeping his Da Dao Wang Oversoul formed around himself constantly to intimidate others. He and Ran would have children, Jun and Ren, who were raised under harsh conditions to make them strong, teaching them that their main goal was to fight for the Tao family.
Facing Down Ren and JunDuring Ren and Yoh Asakura’s second fight, Jun confronted Yúan, saying he should stop controlling Ren or Ren would destroy himself. But the request just amused Yúan, who imprisoned Jun in a dungeon until Ren returned home after his battle with Yoh. Yúan first sent out an army of Jiang Shi to face Ren when he arrived, but he defeated them easily. However when he faced Yúan, none of his attacks worked and he was beaten. Yúan threw Ren in the dungeon with Jun and later, Yoh, Ryu, Horohoro, and Manta came to his rescue. After freeing Ren, they went to confront Yúan who was easily able to fight them all, but the others refused to abandon Ren. Yúan, shocked that they would do this for his son, attacked the group in a rage, but Ren managed to break his Oversoul, revealing what Yúan really looked like. Refusing to surrender, Yúan summoned his Da Dao Long Oversoul, but Ren defeated this Oversoul as well. Yúan realized that he’d been wrong and let Ren go fight the Shaman King Tournament how he wanted to, but not before giving him the Bao-Lei Sword.
Shaman King Tournament
While Ren was being brought to an island in Japan via helicopter for the second round tournament matches, he looked out the window. Outside was Yúan riding on his Da Dao Long Oversoul with a banner supporting Ren. Yúan also attended Ren’s team’s first match in his Da Dao Wong Oversoul along with Ran, Jun, Ching, and a number of the family’s Jiang Shi. Afterwards Asakura Keiko and Mikihisa came to talk to Yúan and Ran about Ren and offered to train him, greatly upsetting the two. Ching was perfectly willing to take Mikihisa up on this offer, but Yúan refused, saying that he had raised Ren as a warrior and challenged Mikihisa to prove the strength of his methods. Yúan and Mikihisa fought and Yúan finally lost. After the third rounds brought the tournament contestants to the continent of Mu, the Asakuras, Taos, and Usuis put together a barbecue on the beach for their children while they waited to see who would emerge victorious. As Yúan helped prepare the meal, he said that they had done everything they could to prepare their children for their battle.
On the surface, Yúan is sadistic, manipulative, heartless, and cruel, as he lets the principles of Tao guide him, teaching his children to be violent, merciless, calculating, and vicious and showing them no kindness or love throughout their childhoods. However it is because the Tao family has been shunned by the world that Yúan acts this way and he doesn’t trust anyone who is not part of the family. When he met Yoh and his friends, seeing how they were willing to fight for Ren, it allowed him to look at the world in a more positive and caring way. Yúan takes his position as head of the Tao seriously, always protecting the family's interests. Despite how he raised Ren and Jun, Yúan has always cared for the two, but keeps this secret from everyone except Ran, even keeping a photo album of his children.
PowersTao Yúan is an extremely powerful shaman and Taoist with the high furyoku level of 20,000, forming a huge Oversoul and keeping it on for years. Like all shaman, he possesses a Guardian Ghost, in his case, the spirits of all the ancestors of Tao Family over the last 2000 years, who were unable to move on because of the way their family had been treated. The Oversoul Yúan most uses is called Da Dao Wang, where he forms the spirits of the Tao Family ancestors into a behemoth body using an armor made of memorial tablets that he wears as a medium. Yúan controls this Oversoul from a capsule hanging from the belt at its waist and it possesses incredible strength given its size. It can also move at great speed and doesn’t seem to take much furyoku, since Yúan can wear it for years at a time and regenerate any damage inflicted on it. His second Oversoul is the Da Dao Long, where Yúan forms all the ancestor spirits into a huge dragon with the head of his Da Dao Wang Oversoul using the Bao-Lei Sword as a medium. This Oversoul can attack with the Dai Chuka Rasen, where it attacks after being granted all of Yúan’s furyoku, but the full extent of the attack has never been seen since Ren destroyed the Oversoul before the attack was completed. Aside from combat, Yúan often uses the Da Dao Long for transport.
- In the English anime, Yúan’s name is changed to En, another translation of his original name, and he is Jun and Ren’s uncle as opposed to their father. He also never mentions the way of Tao, instead constantly instructing the two to follow the principle of “destroy or be destroyed”