-4. Okami Japanese Myths Guide by ahojed -3. Introduction Okami is a game steeped with references to Japanese Mythology. This guide is meant to point out as many of them as I can figure out. I think it makes a difference in enjoying the game; not understanding the mythological references is like playing through God of War and not knowing anything about Greek Mythology. Sure, it isn't neccessary in enjoying the game, but it gives the game so much depth and adds to the entertainment. In my descripions, I tried to be as brief as possible while still maintaining the relevency to the game; I made sure to include outlinks which (in addition to being my sources) tend to go much more in depth. If you are interested, follow all the out links because they are much, much more interesting than what I wrote. And do more research on your own. Since you're using firefox (you're using firefox, right?), use the linkifcation extension (use google to find it) for an easier time of following links. Also, be sure to read this entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_mythology. Of course, there are many, many versions of legends: in my summaries, I simply choose the ones I like best. Just be clear that this isn't academic or anything; it was for fun and I found pretty much all my information on the internet (sometimes flat out copying text, although I give references.) I did my very best at avoiding spoilers, for better or for worse. The translation for the game seems to have been done very carefully and very well, but in the process of localization the team decided to shorten some of the Japanese names. If that's happened for something important, I put the localized name in "" next to the original name. This ends up slightly spoilerish. If you have anything interesting to add (new mythologocial references, better links, or good stories), please email me at email@example.com. Any feedback, good or bad (as well as suggestions), are very much desired. If you liked this guide, please show your thanks by visiting my friend's web comic http://gw.aswembar.net. Oh visit my blog at http://ahojed.blogspot.com. -2. Revision History 10/03/06 Initial Version 10/06/06 Added Celestial Gods (thanks Damien94 and duskmon12) 10/09/06 Added Hiraga Gennai (thanks to Magnus Gallant) and Okuni 05/16/07 Miscellaneous changes and fixes. I think this guide is done. -1. Table of Contents 0. Primary References 1. Myths () Izanagi [Nagi] and Izanami [Nami] () Sakuya () Amaterasu () Issun Boushi () Kushinada [Kushi] () Susanoo [Susano] () Ushiwaka [Waka] () Princess Fuse, Yatsufusa [Yatsu], and the Satomi Warriors () Oldman/Oldwoman Tongue-Cutter [Mr and Mrs Cutter] () Hanasaka [Mr Flower] () The Bamboo Seller and Kaguya () Queen Himiko () Momotaro () Benkei () Omoyoji Abe-seimei [Abe] () Hiraga Gennai [Gen] () Okuni () Urashima () Otohime () Okikurmi [Oki] 2. Monsters () Yamata no Orochi [Orochi] () Kyubi [Ninetails] () Crimson King () Tengu () Amanojuku 3. Things () Divine Kusanagi () Divine Mirror () Divine Magatama () Mallet of Luck () Eight Purification Sake () Daruma () Tanuki Statue () Teru-teru boozu () Spirit Wards 4. Places () Seiankyou [Sei-An City] () Nekonari Tower [Catcall Tower] () Kusanagi Village [Kusa Village] () Sasabe [Sasa Sanctuary] () Dragon Palace () Onigashima [Oni Island] 5. Other Notes (and Celestial Gods) 0. Primary References () Wikipedia - http://www.wikipedia.com () Encyclopedia Mythica - http://www.pantheon.org/areas/mythology/asia/japanese/articles.html () Japanese Mythology: The Gods of Japan - http://www.godchecker.com/pantheon/japanese-mythology.php?deity=KAMU-YAMATO () Folk Legends of Japan - http://web-japan.org/kidsweb/folk.html 1. Myths () Izanagi [Nagi] and Izanami [Nami] The first gods summoned two divine beings into existence, the male Izanagi ("male who invites") and the female Izanami ("female who invites"), and charged them with creating the first land. They created the first land as well as many, many deities. Izanami died giving birth to Kagu-Tsuchi and went to Yomi ("the shadowy land of the dead".) Izanagi went to retrieve her, but she could not leave. When he saw he new form (a decayed body basically), he was horrified. She became angry and tried to stop him from leaving Yomi, but he was able to escape. When he returned, he started the first cleaning rites. He washed his left eye and thus created the sun goddess Amaterasu. When he washed his right eye, the moon goddess Tsuki-yomi came forth. From his nose he created Susanoo, the god of the seas and the storms. Outlinks http://okami.aswembar.net/mythReference/IzanagiMyth.html (compilation) http://okami.aswembar.net/mythReference/IzanamiMyth.html (compilation) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Izanagi http://www.godchecker.com/pantheon/japanese-mythology.php?deity=izanagi http://www.pantheon.org/articles/i/izanagi.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Izanami http://www.godchecker.com/pantheon/japanese-mythology.php?deity=Izanami http://www.pantheon.org/articles/i/izanami.html () Sakuya There is a myth in which Ninigi (Amaterasu's Grandson) met the Princess Konohana-sakuya (symbol of flowers), the daughter of Yamatumi (master of mountains), and they fell in love. The father was so delighted that he offered both his daughters, Sakuya and Iwanaga (symbol of rocks.) Ninigi refused to marry Iwanaga. Iwanaga represented eternity and Sakuya represented prosperity; by making this choice Ninigi and his descendants became mortal. Outlinks http://okami.aswembar.net/mythReference/Myth.html (compilation) http://www.pantheon.org/articles/k/ko-no-hana.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_mythology () Amaterasu Amaterasu (or Amaterasu-o-mi-kami or Ohiru-menomuchi-no-kami) is a sun goddess, and perhaps the most important Shinto deity. She was born from the left eye of Izanagi as he purified himself in a river, and went on to become the ruler of the Higher Celestial Plane (Takamagahara). She was also considered to be directly linked in lineage to the Imperial Household of Japan and the Emperor, who were considered Descendants of the Kami ("gods") themselves. The most famous myth associated with her is this one: When her brother, the storm-god Susanoo, ravaged the earth she retreated to a cave. She closed the cave with a large boulder. Her disappearance deprived the world of light and life. Demons ruled the earth. The other gods used everything in their power to lure her out, but to no avail. Finally, it was Ama-no-Uzume who succeeded. She hung up a mirror and magatama near the cave, then began performing erotic dances. The laughter of the gods when they watched her comical and obscene dances aroused Amaterasu's curiosity. When she emerged from her cave a streak of light escaped (a streak nowadays people call dawn.) The goddess then saw her own brilliant reflection in a mirror which Uzume had hung in a nearby tree. When she drew closer for a better look, the gods grabbed her and pulled her out of the cave. She returned to the sky, and brought light back into the world. Outlinks http://www.lyricalworks.com/stories/amaterasu/amaterasu.htm (Story) http://okami.aswembar.net/mythReference/AmaterasuMyth.html (compilation) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amaterasu http://www.godchecker.com/pantheon/japanese-mythology.php?deity=amaterasu http://www.pantheon.org/articles/a/amaterasu.html () Issun Boshi There is a folktale in Japan about the One-Inch Boy, Issun Boshi. An old couple prayed for a child, but the child they got was only about 3 centimters tall. He didn't grow at all. Eventually he left home to seek his fortune. His parents gave him a sewing needle sword with a straw sheath and a rice bowl boat with a chopstick oar to start his journey. Through his charm and bravery, he eventually became a princess's attendant. One day, they were attacked by two ogres. He went inside the first one and attacked it. He stabbed the second one in the eye. As they ran away, they dropped their Lucky Mallet. The Princess used the Mallet to turn Issun Boshi into full sized man. She married him and everyone in the story lived happily ever after (umm... maybe not the ogres). Outlinks http://web-japan.org/kidsweb/folk/issun/issun.html (Story) http://okami.aswembar.net/mythReference/IssunMyth.html (compilation) () Kushinada [Kushi] Kushinadahime ("rice paddy princess") was the beautiful eigth of eight daughters of an old couple in the Izumo province. All her sisters had been devoured by the Orochi. Susano promised to save her after her parents promised her in marriage to him. Susano turned her into a comb to protect her while he battled and finally defeated the Orochi. Afterwards they married. Outlinks http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susanoo () Susanoo [Susano] Susanoo is the Shinto god of the sea and storms. He has dominion over the oceans and is the brother of Amaterasu, the goddess of the sun, and of Tsuki- Yomi, the god of the moon. He had a very bad attitude and was prone to fits of rage. The myth of his life goes like this: He got into a dispute with Amaterasu about who could create more people. Susano used Amaterasu's necklace and created more people than Amaterasu, who told him he could only do it because he used her necklace. This sent him in a rage that eventually got him banished from heaven. During his wanderings, he met a couple whose daughters were being eaten by the 8 Headed Orochi. They promised him their last remaining daughter, Kushinada, if he could defeat the beast. He turned Kushinada into a comb (to protect her) and went to battle the Orochi. He got it drunk using 8 Purification Sake and killed the beast while it slept. In its body, he found the Kusanagi sword, which he presented to Amaterasu as a reconciliation gift. Outlinks http://wsu.edu/~dee/ANCJAPAN/CREAT7.HTM (Story) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susanoo http://www.godchecker.com/pantheon/japanese-mythology.php?deity=SUSANOO http://www.interq.or.jp/www-user/fuushi/b-eng/e-myth-5.htm (Story) () Ushiwaka [Waka] Ushiwakamaru was the childhood name of a legendary Japanese figure named Minamoto no Yoshitsune. His parents (Genji) were killed by the powerful Taira (Heike) clan. He and his brother, Yoritomo, were allowed to live, but separated to opposite sides of Japan. Ushiwaka grew up in a temple north of Kyushu and at some point he reunited with his brother. He joined him as a general to defeat the Taira. He did very well, making several very important victories, and eventually the Taira were overthrown. For some unknown reason, after their victory Yorimoto arranged for Yoshitsune's death. Yoshitsune found out the plans and escaped Yorimoto for a while, living like a bandit in the hills with his most loyal retainers, including Benkei. However, he was eventually found and surrounded. When escape was impossible, he committed seppuku (suicide.) Ushiwaka is a legendary figure due to his genius in battle and his tragic stoy. So there are many legends and stories about him, such as how he was taught swordplay by a Tengu and how he was a beautiful, nimble, flute playing warrior. He became a popular kabuki subject and so there are lots of stories of legendary deeds about him. It's also been said that he wasn't killed and escaped Japan, where he became known as Gengis Khan. Outlinks http://www.geocities.co.jp/HeartLand-Gaien/7211/kudos10/yositune.html (Good story about how Benkei met Ushiwaka) http://www.bookrags.com/wiki/Minamoto_no_Yoshitsune (Detailed history of Ushiwaka and his campaigns) http://okami.aswembar.net/mythReference/UshiwakaMyth.html (compilation) http://ddb.libnet.kulib.kyoto-u.ac.jp/exhibit-e/otogi/ebo/ebo.html (Story) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ushiwaka-maru () Princess Fuse, Yatsufusa [Yatsu], and the Satomi Warriors Nanso Satomi Hakkenden is a Japanese 106 volume epic novel by Kyokutei Bakin. Set in the tumultuous Sengoku period, Hakkenden is the story of eight samurai brothers and their adventures, with themes of loyalty and family honor, as well as Confucianism, bushido and Buddhist philosophy. One day, the Satomi clan's castle is encircled by their enemy Anzai's army. At that time Satomi's territory was suffering a food famine. Some days after the siege had begun, the defenders ran out of food. They knew that after seven days without food, they would lose all hope of victory. During the last night, Lord Satomi Yoshizane said jokingly to the family's dog Yatsufusa, "If you kill Anzai Kagetsura, I will give my daughter to you in marriage." The dog believed him and killed the enemy. The opening of Hakkenden follows the tragic marriage of Princess Fuse-hime and the Dog Yatsufusa. The Princess becomes pregnant in a virgin birth, but she is so ashamed of conceiving a dog's child that she kills herself before giving birth. Her sons are then born as Spirits. Princess Fusehime had a Buddhist rosary made up with 108 beads where 100 were small beads and 8 were big beads. The kanji letters on the 8 big crystal beads were the virtues of Confucianism, "Jin Gi Rei Chi Chuu Shin Kou Tei." A hermit, who was actually the founder of Mountain Buddhism "Shugendou", gave this rosary to Fuse-hime. When the string of her Buddhist rosary is cut during her suicide, the hundred small beads fall to the ground. However, the eight big Crystal Beads fly high with the spirits of her sons and disappear. A few years later, the Sons of Fuse-hime are incarnated. They're re-born as Men from human mothers and each have one of the 8 Holy Crystal Beads. The eight men are called Hakkenshi. They fight for Justice and, in the end, make a Utopia in Awa Province. Outlinks http://www.mars.dti.ne.jp/~opaku/shogun/index.html (Detailed Info Page) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nans%C5%8D_Satomi_Hakkenden () Oldman/Oldwoman Tongue-Cutter [Mr and Mrs Cutter] There is a Japanese folktale about a tongue-cut sparrow. An old man brought an injured sparrow to his home so he could bring it back to health. His wife did not like the creature at all, and after it ate some starch paste, she cut off its tongue and released it. The old man was very sad and went to search for it. He soon found the sparrow again, who invited him to its sanctuary. The sparrows in the sanctuary took good care of the old man and offered him one of two baskets, one heavy and one light, to bring home. He chose the light basket, which he later found contained gold and silver. This caused his wife to want to go to the sparrows. The Sparrows obliged her also, and also offered her the two baskets. She chose the heavy basket. The heavy basket contained hobgoblins and elves which tormented her. The old man lived happily ever after. Outlinks http://web-japan.org/kidsweb/folk/suzume/suzume.html (Story) http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/japan.html (Story) http://okami.aswembar.net/mythReference/SparrowMyth.html (compilation) () Hanasaka [Mr Flower] There is a Japanese folktale about the old man Hanasaka and a greedy man who keeps stealing from the old man. The old man rescues a white dog and takes care of it. The dog digs up gold for the old man, but garbage for a greedy man, who promptly kills the dog. The old man buries the dog and a tree sprouts up from it the next day. The old man makes a mortar out of the tree to make rice cakes in honor of the dog. The rice cakes made from the mortar turned into gold for the old man, but into black mud for the greedy man, who promptly burns it. The old man gets the ashes. When he tries to spread them in honor of the dog, he finds it causes dead trees to bloom with beautiful cherry blossoms. The king honors the old man for blooming dead trees and throws the greedy man in jail after he accidentally nearly chokes the king with the ashes. Outlinks http://web-japan.org/kidsweb/folk/hanasaka/hanasaka.html (Story) http://okami.aswembar.net/mythReference/HanasakaMyth.html (compilation) () The Bamboo Seller and Kaguya There is a folktale in Japan about an old man and his wife who find a baby girl in bamboo. She grows up to become very, very beautiful. In the end, she sadly reveals she is from the moon and must return. The old man tries to keep her from going. The emperor, who wishes to marry her, locks her up and puts guards all around her. But despite that, the messengers from the moon arrive and take her back. Outlinks http://web-japan.org/kidsweb/folk/kaguya/kaguya.html (Story) http://okami.aswembar.net/mythReference/KaguyaMyth.html (compilation) () Queen Himiko Himiko was a female ruler of Yamataikoku, an ancient state-like formation thought to have been located either in the Yamato region or in northern Kyushu of present-day Japan. Few records are available and little is known about her. According to an ancient Chinese text, Records of Three Kingdoms, Himiko was a Shaman. A Korean history book describes her as the queen of Japan. Himiko is to have never married and to have never appeared in public. Due to her name, there are assessments that she is the real person upon whom the myth of the sun goddess Amaterasu is built. Others say she is confused with Amaterasu. Outlinks http://okami.aswembar.net/mythReference/HimikoMyth.html (compilation) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Himiko () Momotaro There is a Japanese folktale about Momotaro, or Peach Boy. Momotaro is found by an old man and woman in a giant peach the old woman finds. He grows up to be very strong and decides to drive the oni from Oni Island. He gets a dog, pheasant, and monkey to join him in his quest by offering them Millet Dumplings made by the old woman. The four of them defeat the oni and retrieve the countrymen's stolen treasure. Outlinks http://web-japan.org/kidsweb/folk/momotaro/momotaro.html (Story) http://okami.aswembar.net/mythReference/MomotaroMyth.html (compilation) () Benkei Saito Musashibo Benkei, popularly called Benkei, was a Sohei (warrior monk) who served Minamoto no Yoshitsune (aka Ushiwaka.) He is commonly depicted as a huge man of great strength and loyalty, and is one of the favorite subjects of Japanese folklore. His life has been embellished and distorted by Kabuki and Noh drama, so that truth cannot be distinguished from legend. Benkei is said to have posted himself at Gojo Bridge in Kyoto where he obtained a sword from every passing swordsman. After obtaining 999 swords, he challenged Ushiwaka for his thousandth sword. After losing the battle, he became a retainer for Ushiwaka. Benkei served Ushiwaka very well. He eventually died protecting Ushiwaka when they were surrounded by enemies. Legend recounts how Benkei, pierced by arrows, fought to the bloody end, and died standing on his feet. Outlinks http://okami.aswembar.net/mythReference/BenkeiMyth.html (compilation) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benkei () Omoyoji Abe-seimei [Abe] Seimei worked as an onmyoji for emperors and the Heian government, making calendars and advising on the spiritually correct way to deal with issues. He prayed for the well-being of emperors and the government as well as advising on various issues. He was also an astrologist and predicted astrological events. He enjoyed an extremely long life, free from any major illness, which contributed to the popular belief that he had mystical powers. His life is well recorded, and there is little question about it. But almost immediately after his death arose legends and myths much like those of Merlin. According to most prevailing myths, Abe no Seimei was not entirely human. He was the issue of a human father; and his mother, Kuzunoha, was a kitsune, a fox spirit. At a very early age, no later than five, he was able to command weak oni to do his bidding. His mother entrusted Seimei to Kamo no Tadayuki, a master of onmyodo, so that he would live a proper human life and not become evil himself. The Heian period, especially the time when Seimei lived, was a time of peace. Many of his myths revolve around a series of magical battles with a rival, Ashiya Doman, who often tried to embarrass Seimei so that the former could usurp the latter's position. One noted story involved Doman and the young Seimei in a divination duel to reveal the contents of a particular box. Doman had another person put fifteen mandarin oranges into the box, with Doman "divining" that there were fifteen oranges in the box. Seimei, however, seeing through the ruse, transformed the oranges into rats, then stated that fifteen rats were in the box. When the contents were revealed, Doman was shocked and defeated, if only for the moment. Outlinks http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/seimei () Hiraga Gennai [Gen] (thanks to Magnus Gallant) A Japanese inventor that created the Elekiter, which was a small box that uses the power of friction to generate electricity. He was an Edo period Japanese pharmacologist, student of Western studies, physician, author, and inventor who is well known for his Elekiter, Kandankei and Kakannpu. He also wrote the satirical essay "On Farting." His real name was Kunitomo, but he is most well known by the name "Gennai". () Okuni Izumo no Okuni was the main founder of kabuki theater. She was a miko at the Grand Shrine of Izumo who began a new style of dance in the dry riverbeds of Kyoto. She was known for her beauty and entertaining performances. Outlinks http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okuni () Urashima There is a Japanese Folktale about Urashima Taro. A fisherman named Urashima rescues a turtle who is being bullied by some kids. The turtle comes back to him and brings him to the Dragon Palace under the sea as thanks. He spends up to three years enjoying the palace in happiness, but eventually gets homesick and asks to go home. The queen of the palace allows this and gives him a jeweled box that he shouldn't open. When he returns home, he finds 300 years have passed. Out of sadness and longing, and remembering the queen's warning, he opens the box, which contained his true age and causes him to age and die (or, alternateively, turn into a crane.) Outlinks http://web-japan.org/kidsweb/folk/urashimataro/urashima.html (Story) http://okami.aswembar.net/mythReference/UrashimaMyth.html (compilation) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taro_Urashima () Otohime (Toyotama-hime) There is a legend that goes like this: Hoori, the great grandson of Amaterasu, is sent by his bother Hoderi to retrieve a special fish hook that he lost. While searching for it, he meets Otohime, the daughter of the Ruler of the Sea. Through her contacts, he is able to retrieve the fish hook. He ends up marrying her and she gives birth to his child. Despite her telling him not to, he watches her give birth, and becomes startled to see her change into a water dragon. She in turn is startled to see him see her in this state and she goes away, never to see him again (but she sends a nursemaid to him to take care of the child.) Their child becomes the father of the first emperor of Japan. Outlinks http://wsu.edu/~dee/ANCJAPAN/CREAT10.HTM (Story) http://okami.aswembar.net/mythReference/OtohimeMyth.html (compilation) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otohime http://www.godchecker.com/pantheon/japanese-mythology.php?deity=HOORI () Okikurmi [Oki] Okikurmi of the Saru region is a semidivine hero to the Ainu people who descended from Heaven to help humans. Humans lived in a beautiful land but did not know how to build fire or make bows and arrows. Okikurmi taught them to build fire, to hunt, to catch salmon, to plant millet, to brew millet wine, and to worship the gods. He married and stayed in the village, but eventually returned to the divine land. Outlinks http://www.everyculture.com/wc/Japan-to-Mali/Ainu.html 2. Monsters () Yamata no Orochi [Orochi] Yamata no Orochi is usually described as an eight-headed snake or dragon. Stories told about Orochi all seem to agree that it was truly magnificent and terrible, and that it had multiple heads and a gigantic body that was said to stretch across eight hills and valleys. It is one of the most well-known monsters in Japanese myth. It was slain by the god Susanoo after he was cast out of Heaven. The sinister Orochi is said to have dominated the Izumo province in Japan, and to have demanded virgin sacrifices. When Susano came upon this area, he met an old couple. They told him that their daughter was to be sacrificed to Orochi. Some versions of this story say that they had already sacrificed seven other girls to the creature. The daughter in question here was named Kushinada, and since she was a very beautiful and kind young girl that Susanoo fell deeply in love with, he told the couple that he would rescue Kushinada if he was allowed to marry her. The couple agreed at once. Susanoo turned Kushinada into a comb and put her in his hair. He then put out eight barrels of either pears or sake (depending on the version) which the dragon drank with relish, making it fall asleep, and Susanoo proceeded to cut off all of Orochi's heads. He found the sword, Ame-no-Murakumo (later named Kusanagi), in one of the serpent's many tails. In some versions, Kusanagi is called Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi, 'The Grass-Cutting Sword', and this sword was given to Amaterasu, Susanoo's sister, the Sun Goddess, as a gift of reconciliation. Outlinks http://www.interq.or.jp/www-user/fuushi/b-eng/e-myth-4.htm (Story) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orochi () Kyubi [Ninetails] Foxes are very powerful creatures in Japanese mythology. They tend to be tricksters with many powers, including fox fire and transformation (usually into women it seems.) The number of tails on a fox denotes its power, with a nine tailed fox being the most powerful. Outlinks http://www.chinahistoryforum.com/lofiversion/index.php/t9649.html (Story) () Crimson King (Crimson Helm) There was a Crimson King with flowing red hair who was very fearsome and terrorizing the land. A hero, Raikou, eventually killed him by getting him and his army very drunk before slaying them in their sleep. This information comes from the XBox game 'Otogi' and from "Rhiannon Pearce." More infomation about this would be nice, if you know the legend. () Tengu Tengu are minor kami or yokai found in Japanese folklore. Tengu come in various shapes. Some types of tengu (the high order ones) are tall beings with red skin or red faces. Their most unnatural feature is their extremely long noses and their purpose in tales often is to parody Buddhism. They often carry a staff (bo) or a small mallet. They sometimes have birdlike features as well, such as wings or a feathered cloak. Some legends give them hauchiwa fans made from feathers or the leaves of the Aralia japonica shrub, which they can use either to control the length of their noses or to cause gale-force winds. Tengu are capricious creatures, and legends alternately describe them as benevolent or malicious, but always very proud, vengeful, and easily insulted. In their more mischievous moods, tengu enjoy playing pranks that range from setting fires in forests or in front of temples to more grave offenses, such as eating people (though this is rare). Outlinks http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tengu () Amanojuku Amanojaku ("imp of heaven") are a type of Japanese demon, less common than other breeds of demon, such as the oni or the yokai. The first named amanojaku in Japanese folklore took the form of a demonic face carved into the breastplate of Bishamonten, one of the Seven Gods of Fortune. This original amanojaku was named Kahaku/Kawanu, or "Lord of the River". Outlinks http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amanojaku 3. Things () Divine Kusanagi Kusanagi-no-tsurugi is a legendary Japanese sword as important to Japan's history as Excalibur is to Britain's history. It is actually called Ame no Murakumo no Tsurugi ("Sword of The Gathering Clouds of Heaven"), but it is more popularly called Kusanagi (lit. "grasscutter" or more probably "sword of snake"). The actual Kusanagi, if it exists, is likely to be a sword in the style of the bronze age which is typically double-edged, short and straight; very different from the more recent katana backsword style, which features typical curved single-edged blades. Mythologically, it was obtained from the Orochi. There is another myh that describes how it could control the wind and was used as a grasscutter to save its owner from being burnt in a field. Along with the jewel and the mirror, it is one of the three imperial regalia of Japan. Outlinks http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kusanagi () Divine Mirror Yata No Kagami the sacred mirror, is part of the Imperial Regalia of Japan. It is said to be housed in Ise Shrine in Mie prefecture, Japan, although a lack of public access makes this difficult to verify. The Yata No Kagami represents "wisdom" or "honesty," depending on the source. In Japanese myth this mirror and the Yasakani No Magatama were hung from a tree to lure out Amaterasu from a cave. They were given, with the sword Kusanagi, to Amaterasu's grandson, Ninigi-no-Mikoto, when he went to pacify Japan. From there the treasures passed into the hands of the Imperial House of Japan. Outlinks http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yata_no_kagami () Divine Magatama Magatama are curved beads. They are often found inhumed in mounded tumulus graves as offerings to deities. The most important magatama is the Yasakani no Magatama, which is part of the Imperial Regalia of Japan, added some time around the Heian period. It is believed to be a necklace composed of jade magatama stones instead of a solitary gem as depicted in popular culture. It is believed to be enshrined in Kokyo, the Japanese Imperial Palace. In Japanese mythology, the jewels, along with the mirror, were hung on the tree outside of Amaterasu's cave (where she had hidden) to lure her out. Outlinks http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magatama#Yasakani_no_Magatama () Mallet of Luck The Mallet of Luck was used to change the diminuitive Issun Boshi to full size. Lucky Mallet refers to the same item. () Eight Purification Sake Eight Purification Sake was used to get the Orochi drunk so that Susanoo could slay it. It's also been told that it was eight pears. Or eight bottles of Sake. () Daruma Daruma are big red dolls that represent the father of zen buddhism, Bodhi Dharma. They come in all sizes, and give good luck if you paint in one eye when you start a big task, and paint in the other when you have acheived your goal. () Tanuki Statue Tanuki are racoon like animals in Japan. Mythologically, tanuki are reputed to be mischievous and jolly, a master of disguise and shapeshifting, but somewhat gullible and absent-minded. Statues of tanuki, they look like buddha-mixed-with- a-racoon/bear thing, are placed in front of many Japanese stores for luck. Tanukis are depicted as having huge testicles. Outlinks http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanuki () Teru-teru boozu Teru teru bozu is a little traditional hand-made doll made of white paper or cloth that Japanese farmers began hanging outside of their window by a string. This amulet is supposed to have magical powers to bring good weather and to stop or prevent a rainy day. "Teru" is a japanese verb which describes sunshine, and a "bozu" is a buddhist monk. () Spirit Wards Spirt Wards are scraps of paper usually used by priests to expel and protect against demons. 4. Places () Seiankyou [Sei-An City] - I read that Sei-an city is actually Heian-kyo, the city of Kyoto during the Heian period. () Nekonari Tower [Catcall Tower] - There was a tower very much like this in the manga Dragonball, called the Karin tower. It was also a huge tower with a powerful cat at the top. However, I can not find a mythological story related to it. () Kusanagi Village [Kusa Village] - Kusanagi is the sword found in the Orochi by Susano; it is one of the three divine regalia of Japan. () Sasabe [Sasa Sanctuary] - Related to the story of the tongue cut sparrow, a place where sparrows take care of good people. Greedy people will also be taken care of, but their greed will end up undoing them. () Dragon Palace - The palace under the sea that Urashima Taro travels. The ruler is a woman and she has many female subjects. () Onigashima [Oni Island] - An island full of Oni that Momotaro visits. () Ankoku Temple - Ankoku means darkness 5. Other Notes: - The Imperial Regalia of Japan, also known as the Three Sacred Treasures, consist of the sword, Kusanagi (or possibly a replica of the original), the jewel or necklace of jewels, Yasakani no magatama, and the mirror Yata no kagami. Also known as the Three Sacred Treasures of Japan, the regalia represent the three primary virtues: valor (the sword), wisdom (the mirror), and benevolence (the jewel). These may be connected with Buddhist thought. They are supposedly real artifacts and are used for imperial ascension. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperial_Regalia_of_Japan) - The Oina in the game are actually a refrence to the Ainu people. The Ainu are the indigenous people of Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan. They have their own language and still exist, but are now a small minority. The word Oina is an Ainu word referring to shorter epic poems, chanted principally by women about the gods. In Ainu, the word for god is Kamui. (See http://www.everyculture.com/wc/Japan-to-Mali/Ainu.html) - The "Ponkles" are actually a reference to a race called the "Koropokkur" or "Koro-pok-guru" from Ainu mythology. Koro-pok-guru (men-under-butterbur in Ainu) are little underground dwellers. - In Japanese tradition, rabbits live on the Moon where they make mochi, the popular snack of mashed sticky rice. This comes from interpreting the pattern of dark patches on the moon as a rabbit standing on tiptoes on the left pounding on an usu, a Japanese mortar. The mochi pounding process generally involves two people - one to pound the rice with a mallet and the other to turn and knead the rice between strikes. - Eating mermaid's flesh is said to grant immortality. - Technically, the characters of Okami used for the title of the game Okami means "Great God/Deity." But in Japanese, "Okami" (if written with different characters) also means wolf. Also, Amaterasu's full name is Amaterasu No Oo Mi Kami. - Bokusen [Madame Fawn] is a Shinto word meaning Divination. From ancient times, many means have been used to attempt to determine the good or ill fortune of a thing or undertaking and to ascertain the divine will. Examples include futomani, heating the shoulder plate of a deer and interpreting the resulting cracks, and kiboku, heating the shell of a tortoise. - Onigiri is a food, specifically a Rice Ball, which is often served in a triangular shape. - Ume is a food, specifically a pickled plum. [SLIGHTLY SPOILERISH] () Celestial Gods (thanks to duskmon12 for the names, Damien94 for the meanings) The Chinese Zodiac is rat, ox, tiger, rabbit (or hare), dragon, snake, horse, sheep (or goat), monkey, rooster (or phoenix), dog, pig (or boar). There are many different myths and versions regarding the zodiac animals, but they are all fairly similar. For example, one myth is about how the zodiac animals were chosen by whoever finished a kind of race first. The rat tricked the cat and rode the ox to the finish, so that is why he is first and why the cat is not a zodiac animal. But if you count that cat, we get 13 divine animals. In Okami, these animals make up the 13 Celestial Gods. Kami(God) turns to Gami when compounded. -Yumigami is the rabbit that teaches you the moon technique. In this context, "yumi" means cresent moon. -Bakugami is the pig (or boar) that teaches you to make cherry bombs. "baku" means explode. -Gekigami is the tiger that teahes you the lightning attacks. "geki" means attack or conquer. -Nuregame is the snake who teaches you the water attacks and how to use the mermaid pool things without having to use a coin. "nure" means wet. -Itegami is the ox that teaches you the ice attack. "iteru" means to freeze, so "ite" is derived from that. -The Triumvirate of Hanagami are the monkeys who all count as one technique. They are: -Sakigami who teaches you the bloosom technique. The verb "saku" means "to bloom." (thanks Croik!) -Hasugami who teaches you how to create lilypads. Hasu is a lotus. -Tsutagami who teaches you the vine technique. Tsuta means to spread. -Yomigami is the dragon who teaches you the rejuvination techniques. "Yomi" generally refers to the underworld, or place of the dead. Yomigaeru, however, means to be ressurected. -Kasugami is the sheep who teaches you the mist attacks which slow down time and can warp you. In this context, it prolly stemmed from either Kasumi, which means mist, or kasuka, which means hazy, faint, weak, etc... -Kabegami is the cat who teaches you how to walk up walls. Kabe means "wall". -Moegami is the phoenix who teaches you the fire attacks. Moe is the root of Moeru, which means to burn. -Kazegami it the horse that teaches you the wind attacks. Kaze means "wind". -Tachigami is the mouse that teaches you the power slash. tachi means cut or cutting -Amaterasu is the last one and her power is of course to make the sun rise. - In Japanese, one of the writing scripts is Kanji. Kanji is borrowed pretty much directly from Chinese. Kanji have two readings, a "Japanese" reading and a "Chinese" reading. The characters that make up the word "Kyubi" can alternatively be read as "Tsudzurao." [Rao] - Yama means Mountain, Umi means sea, Neko means cat. This applies to Yamaneko [Yama] and Umineko [Umi], the chefs. - "Ammako" is what Issun called Amaterasu in the Japanese version. He added a "ko" (which gives a kind of a childish, cute feeling) to the prefix of the name. "Ammy" is practically the same idea. - Capcom's Gouki [Akuma] character is referenced by Mrs. Orange (Mikanbaa) in Kamiki village. If you visit her at night, she'll do a Raging Demon. - Capcom's Viewtiful Joe is definitely referenced in Sei-An city, where you must draw a V shape and a character says quotations of his. He is also probably referenced by Onigiri's poses and some of Waka's quotations. - Throughout the game you uncover clovers that give you praise. The team that made this game is Clover. - There is a man looking for his rabbit "Inaba" in Ryoshima Coast. Atsushi Inaba is the Clover CEO. - In the Japanese version, Ushiwaka sprinkles his speech with English. Of course, he sprinkles it with French in the American localization. (thanks Croik!) :: Thanks to Clover and Capcom for the game, my friends and family for being my friends and family, and always to God. :: This guide was made by firstname.lastname@example.org, so don't outright steal it please.