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  • Mikaboshi

    Does anyone know where I can find a clear and accurate depiction of Mikaboshi? I'm having a very hard to finding anything about him, even whether or not he's actually an evil entity or if the connection between darkness and villainy is just Christian projection. I don't necessarily trust 1E's depiction of him to be accurate, as a lot of the so-called Titans were vilified in 1E. Thanks!

  • #2
    Try here. It seems to sync with what I remember reading in sources outside of Scion. Grain of salt and all that but it should be a good starting point.
    https://aminoapps.com/c/mythology/pa...dPl2j77b4Z7ZK4

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    • #3
      Oh wow. It looks like he is a very nasty Titan then if this source is to be believed. Cool!

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      • #4
        Glad to help.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Wannabe Demon Lord View Post
          Does anyone know where I can find a clear and accurate depiction of Mikaboshi? I'm having a very hard to finding anything about him, even whether or not he's actually an evil entity or if the connection between darkness and villainy is just Christian projection. I don't necessarily trust 1E's depiction of him to be accurate, as a lot of the so-called Titans were vilified in 1E. Thanks!
          Heyah. Not to be annoying, but the under that link is completely made-up/taken from Marvel Comics (no offense to you, omenseer, the internet is full of nonsense about Ama-tsu-Mikaboshi thanks to those comics, and it's easy to get the wrong idea because of that). The thing with Ama-tsu-Mikaboshi is a bit thorny, because he only shows up once in the Nihongi, one of the mytho-historical chronicles that are among the first written documents from ancient Japan, and everyone inside and outside of Japan has tried to associate him with a more prominent figure since. What I can say for sure is that darkness is not a prominent theme in Japanese religion, that at no point does Ama-tsu-Mikaboshi get linked to darkness or "Hell", and in fact, Hell as a concept doesn't become attested in Japan until a good while after the writing of the ancient chronicles.

          What the Nihongi actually has to say about Ama-tsu-Mikaboshi is exactly this: "The two Gods [Takemikazuchi and Futsunishi] at length put to death the malignant deities and the tribes of herbs, trees and rocks. When all had been subdued, the only one who refused submission was the Star-God [i.e. Ama-tsu-Mikaboshi liberally translated, his name meaning "(Unclear Adjective) Star of Heaven"] Kagase[oo]" (Translation W.G. Aston, Nihongi Vol. 1, London 1896, p. 69 heehee). This puts Ama-tsu-Mikaboshi in the context of the conquest of the Kunitsukami by the Amatsukami in preparation for Ninigi's descent to earth. But all we actually know about him is that: That he opposed Takemikazuchi and possibly has a star connection.

          So one area of speculation has been which star he represents - the most commonly suggested candidates are Venus and the Pole Star. The other area of speculation, of course, is who he really is. The most likely candidate there is Takeminakata, the son of Okuninushi who indeed is the only one still opposing Takemikazuchi when all the other Kunitsukami have agreed to submission. He's the one who faces Takemikazuchi in the wrestling match where the Thunder God turns his arms into swords. Even as the names are different (not unusual for the more ancient Japanese mythology) and the star connection (which could, I guess, be merely poetic or even a false etymology for these very ancient and obscure words) remains unexplained, the narrative role there matches up perfectly. The other identification attempt is far more flimsy and ultimately misguided. It's the one John and Anne went for back in the day, associating Ama-tsu-Mikaboshi because of his starry name with Ame-no-Minakanushi, the androgynous first Kami in existence. AnM is usually likened to a reed rising out of the primordial waters, but the ever-imaginative scholars of Early Modern Japanese nativism-nationalism suggested they might be a personification of the constallation Big Dipper. Such an interpretation is however nowhere stated in the actual ancient sources and is a scholarly musing, not a mytho-religious belief. Linking Ama-tsu-Mikaboshi, the rebel, whose star connection is itself based on uncertain etymology, with Ame-no-Minakanushi, who from their scant appearance in the sources seems like an entirely inoffensive Primordial in terms of Scion, based solely on that is not a good idea, in my opinion.

          What to do with Ama-tsu-Mikaboshi, then? My suggestion would be to ignore him. He's one line in one chronicle. He's most likely just a synonym for Takeminakata. And if not, he's a synonym for someone else. Ame-no-Minakanushi, if you wanna go weird. Myoken, if you wanna go Buddhist. What he certainly isn't is a lord of darkness fallen into Hell. That's all Marvel talking. And they also believe that Thor is blonde

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          • #6
            Whoops. Could have sworn that is linked with something I had read, but memory is a fuzzy thing at times. Oh well.

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            • #7
              Thanks, Sacerdos. I suspected something was up with him, given that I get suspicious whenever I see a straight-up evil overlord in mythology, particularly one tied with some kind of hell. They do exist (looking at you, Erlik Khan) but so often they seem to come from the desire to pick a Satan-figure for every pantheon, even when it comes down to trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. I wonder why such an obscure figure was chosen by Marvel though. You'd think someone like Emma-O or Izanami would make more sense from that perspective (not that either of them are truly Satan analogs in the actual lore.)

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Wannabe Demon Lord View Post
                Thanks, Sacerdos. I suspected something was up with him, given that I get suspicious whenever I see a straight-up evil overlord in mythology, particularly one tied with some kind of hell. They do exist (looking at you, Erlik Khan) but so often they seem to come from the desire to pick a Satan-figure for every pantheon, even when it comes down to trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. I wonder why such an obscure figure was chosen by Marvel though. You'd think someone like Emma-O or Izanami would make more sense from that perspective (not that either of them are truly Satan analogs in the actual lore.)
                Everytime someone portrays hades or Ares as Satan i want to punch them in the face.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Wannabe Demon Lord View Post
                  Thanks, Sacerdos. I suspected something was up with him, given that I get suspicious whenever I see a straight-up evil overlord in mythology, particularly one tied with some kind of hell. They do exist (looking at you, Erlik Khan) but so often they seem to come from the desire to pick a Satan-figure for every pantheon, even when it comes down to trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. I wonder why such an obscure figure was chosen by Marvel though. You'd think someone like Emma-O or Izanami would make more sense from that perspective (not that either of them are truly Satan analogs in the actual lore.)
                  I do not pretend to understand the workings of Marvel But yeah, strong good-evil dualism is rare. The belief that Kronos was freed from Tartarus to rule over Elysium instead already appears in Hesiod. The tzitzimime may be man-eating monsters, but they can heal as well. Asura can be more saintly than the Deva (certainly more saintly than Indra, not that it's hard). Odin has probably done more terrible things than all of the jötnar combined. The TDD are just terrible people, period, they just bully the Fomori because they are disabled and collect taxes. Frankly, out of our core ten, the Netjeru (notably from the same Ancient Near Eastern cultural sphere as Christianity and Zoroastrianism) might be the only ones with an objectively evil antagonist in the form of Apep. Apep wants to destroy the cosmos. That's not very sexy of him. If you want more pure evil, our Enduri provide Yeluri, of course.

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                  • #10
                    It occurs to me that Erlik and Yeluri both come from cultures that had a lot of interaction and were located close to one another. From what I know about Bon mythology (which is honestly not a lot) Tibet seems to have a lot of straight-up malicious demonic entities as well. I wonder if pure evil was a prominent concept in general in Central Asia.

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                    • #11
                      As an aside, Marvel was trying to make a super-villain. They took an obscure Shinto character and had him show up as the bad guy nobody had ever heard of. Mikaboshi worked really well for that.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Wannabe Demon Lord View Post
                        It occurs to me that Erlik and Yeluri both come from cultures that had a lot of interaction and were located close to one another. From what I know about Bon mythology (which is honestly not a lot) Tibet seems to have a lot of straight-up malicious demonic entities as well. I wonder if pure evil was a prominent concept in general in Central Asia.
                        Well, there has been copious Manichaean influence in Central Asia, many Turkic peoples used to profess Manichaeism, and there are theories that it might in fact have spread far enough to even influence the Tungusic peoples in their conception of Yeluri. As for Bön, in spite of it emphasising its rather loose connection to indigenous pre-Buddhist Tibetan religion, most of its content as a fully formed religion comes from outside Tibet. There's a lot that's just straight reactions to and mirroring of Buddhism, but there are also elements that might come from Iran or Central Asia. The prophet of Bön, Shenrab, is in fact supposed to have come from a kingdom of the Far West - sometimes located in Western Tibet, sometimes outside it. I personally imagine that the Yazata do try to make friends in Central Asia via these dualistic parallels, seeing as they have a lot of bad history with their direct neighbours (shattering the Babylonian Empire, leading a very unpopular regime in Egypt, being the bogeyman of the Greeks, not to mention their business with the Deva). The problem there is China - trying to make friends with the Central Asian Pantheons means making friends with traditional opponents of the Shen, and the Yazata kinda owe the Shen one for Tang China hosting the last Sassanian king when he had to flee the Muslim conquest. You can see I enjoy setting up these kinda Pantheon-diplomatic entanglements, they can drive a story well on their own. And now, to get back to your topic, imagine adding a malicious Titan like Angra Mainyu or Yeluri to the mix. That can get deliciously complex.

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                        • #13
                          I too love inter-pantheon political interactions and find them quite interesting. Whenever one of your pantheons comes out the section detailing their relationships to other pantheons is usually one of the first bits that I read. I wonder, if the Yazatas and the Enduri did form an alliance, whether Angra Mainyu and Yeluri would also form a temporary alliance against them both. Such an alliance probably wouldn't last very long, pure evil beings tend not to like each other any more than they like anyone else, but it could be an interesting plot point to explore nonetheless.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Wannabe Demon Lord View Post
                            I too love inter-pantheon political interactions and find them quite interesting. Whenever one of your pantheons comes out the section detailing their relationships to other pantheons is usually one of the first bits that I read. I wonder, if the Yazatas and the Enduri did form an alliance, whether Angra Mainyu and Yeluri would also form a temporary alliance against them both. Such an alliance probably wouldn't last very long, pure evil beings tend not to like each other any more than they like anyone else, but it could be an interesting plot point to explore nonetheless.
                            Ah, and now we are at comicbook themes again after all - the special issue where the villains team up I'll admit my knowledge of Zoroastrianism is somewhat lacking, but I do believe that Angra Mainyu is of the scheming sort, and Yeluri definitely likes to draw those who offended by the Goddesses into their plans. I can imagine the two of them working together quite well, at least on an on again, off again basis, and I'm sure both have made some overtures to the outside enemies of the respective Pantheon - though I think they are also both too obviously chaotic and evil for any normal Pantheon to cooperate with them.

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                            • #15
                              IIRC, the name was used in Kindred of the East as the demon lord of the modern hell known as the Wicked City, which I think makes for an interesting idea for a Kami Titan scion who took the name upon reaching demigod status sometime in the late 19th or 20th century, and whose personal terra incognita connects with most Japanese cities.


                              What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                              Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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