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  • The Kami Revision

    Hello everyone! We have completed another rewritten Pantheon for our Scion 2.0 project. We have done a massive amount of research, and compiled it all together here.

    We would like to personally thank Sacerdos for all of his exceptional help here. Without his incredibly patient efforts to lead me through a millennium of history and religious structures, I do not doubt that this would not be completed. Or, if completed without his help, it would be in no way as detailed, and beautiful.

    But, with that, I present the Kami for your enjoyment. (If you prefer Google Docs, it can be found right here)

    The Kami - Scion 2.0 Fan Project
    This work is part of the Scion 2.0 Fan Project, and should not be confused with with the upcoming Scion 2nd Edition. However, feel free to take anything fun or interesting you find here and use it for your own games of either edition!

    Myth and Culture
    The Beginning
    Women
    Homosexuality
    Bushido
    Japanese Exceptionalism
    Suicide
    Chinese Culture
    Complexities of Authority
    Correct Behavior

    The Kami
    Virtues
    Pantheon Relationships
    Greater Gods
    Lesser Gods
    Enemies and Allies
    Birthrights

    Cosmology
    Underworld - Yomi
    Underworld - Ne-no-Kuni
    Underworld - Jigoku
    Overworld - Takamagahara
    Terra Incognita
    Titans
    Last edited by Watcher; 11-07-2016, 05:19 PM.

  • #2
    The Beginning

    In The Beginning there was a chaos of light and heavy matter. In time, this settled and calmed, with the light matter rising to form heaven, and the heavy matter falling to form the earth.

    Then came the Kami.

    The first to spring from that primordial chaos were Ame-no-Minakanushi, Takamimusuhi, and Kamimusuhi. They immediately vanished, becoming Hidden Kami, though two of them would later appear again. They were, however, the first of the Seven Divine Generations of creator gods, the seventh and last being the pair of Izanagi and Izanami.

    These final two Kami were the first to have sexes, and were tasked by their elders to create the world. They were given a grand spear, the Heavenly Jeweled Spear, in order to stir the ocean and bring forth the islands of the world. When they had done this, they descended and constructed a palace to dwell within. It was here the two Kami with sexes noticed their anatomies and how they might function together.

    The first attempt at copulation had both Kami walk around the heavenly pillar, and when they met Izanami declared what a lovely man Izanagi was. Thereupon the pair copulated, but something went wrong. Their first child was a leech-child, born boneless. The two parents constructed a small reed raft and sent the leech-child to drift in the ocean. Their second child was an island called Froth Isle.

    Worried about the offspring they were producing, the pair decided not to count their first two attempts as their children, and departed to heaven to ask the elder Kami what was going wrong. The Kami deliberated, and told the pair that because Izanami spoke first their copulation failed as it was improper for a woman to speak first. With this, the pair returned to earth and recreated the ceremony, with Izanagi speaking first this time.

    Now, the ceremony correct, the children Izanami bore forth were suitable. First came the eight primary islands of Japan, and a true horde of brothers and sisters followed after them until the birth of Kagutsuchi, the Kami of Fire. Izanami’s genitals were badly burned by the birth of the Fire Kami, and in her death throes she birthed several more Kami.

    Seeing his wife dead, Izanagi flew into a rage and slaughtered Kagutsuchi with his grand sword, butchering the Fire Kami. From his blood, and body more Kami appeared from the act, fathered by the sword of Izanagi and the blood of Kagutsuchi.

    Izanagi grieved for his slain wife, and so he set off to the Underworld to attempt to persuade her to return to the world. When he reached her, it was utter darkness, and she begged him not to look upon her visage, but she was willing to beseech the Kami that ruled the Underworld to ask for their permission to leave. But, Izanagi would fail at this task, and he lit a torch to see his wife, but was horrified by what he found.

    His wife was a rotting and fetid corpse, riddled with maggots and other carrion eating insects. In terror, he fled from the Underworld, which enraged Izanami with this slight. She sent servants chasing her husband to kill him. Izanagi escaped only by lifting a colossal boulder and sealing the entrance to the Underworld, whereupon the couple shouted through the boulder. Izanami swore that she would slay one thousand per day, and Izanagi countered declaring he would see that one thousand five hundred were born every day.

    Fleeing the now sealed Underworld, Izanagi found that he was impure, covered in gore, and other impurifying things that had touched him in the Underworld. So, Izanagi purified himself in a stream and his attire each became a Kami, and from his washed body came even more.

    However, the most important of these came when he washed his eyes and nose. From his left eye came Amaterasu, who he tasked with ruling the high plains of heaven. From his right eye came Tsukuyomi, who he tasked with ruling the realm of night. And lastly, from his nose came Susano-O, who he tasked with ruling the sea.

    However, Susano-O would ignore his duty and not rule over the Sea as he had been commanded. Instead, he wept for his mother Izanami until his beard was eight hand lengths long. Izanagi came to him and demanded to know why his son was not ruling the sea as tasked, and when Susano-O explained he wished to live instead in the Underworld, Izanami banished him from the land.

    Susano-O went to tell Amatarasu that he had been banished, but Amaterasu looked upon her brother coming to her lands and thought he planned to attack her to attempt to seize her land. So, Amaterasu put her hair up in two loops as a man wears their hair. She slung a quiver of one thousand arrows over her back, and a quiver of five hundred on her hip. Then, she stomped on the ground in a war dance much like the small dance sumo wrestlers perform. Her stomps were so forceful they kicked up heavy clods of earth into the air as if they were light snow.
    Walking into this scene, Susano-O was frightened, and explained to his sister why he had came. To sate his sister’s suspicion, the two swore an oath together and made children in a contest. Not in the normal way, but by taking up the accessories of the other and breaking them into pieces, creating Kami from these segments.

    Deciding that he had won this contest, Susano-O exploded into a celebratory frenzy, hurling his feces around heaven and destroying the rice paddies there. Amaterasu looked upon this, and insisted that he must only be vomiting from drink, and withdrew to a weaving tent. Susano-O continued his rampant celebration by breaking a hole in the roof and tossing the carcass of a flayed foal into his sister’s weaving tent, frightening Amaterasu. She fled and sealed herself within a cave by dragging a colossal boulder in front of the entrance. As she did this, the world was plunged into darkness.

    The Kami gathered on the riverbed in heaven to discuss what to do about this disaster. Eventually, they crafted a giant mirror (which would go on to be part of the Imperial Japanese Regalia called the Yata-no-Kagami, which is draped with another part of the regalia, the jewel Yasakani-no-Magatama on a string) and hung it from a tree they uprooted and placed by the boulder. Then, Ame-no-Uzume undressed and performed a lurid dance and became possessed, causing the gathered Kami to burst into laughter. Hearing this, Amatarasu moved the boulder slightly to see out, wondering why the Kami were laughing when the world was darkened without her presence. Ame-no-Uzume told Amaterasu it was because they had found a Kami greater than Amaterasu herself, and then the Queen of the Gods saw her reflection in the mirror.

    Slowly, Amaterasu moved the boulder to cautiously approach the mirror, unsure who the Kami she saw in the mirror was. It was as soon as she had stepped out of the cave that the other Kami lept into action and pulled a rope across the entrance to the cave, preventing Amaterasu from retreating back into the cave and thus returning light to the world.

    Now, away from Heaven, Susano-O’s banishment from the world would lead him to a place named Bird Head. Here, Susano-O would find a family weeping because a great eight headed dragon was about to carry away their last daughter. In return for the daughter's hand in marriage, Susano-O agreed to slay the beast, devising a trap to leave the eight headed dragon blindingly drunk. When the dragon had fallen asleep from sake brewed eight times, Susano-O hacked the dragon apart, and claimed the Grass Scyther, a magnificent blade, from its tail. He would give this sword, Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi, to Amaterasu in apology for his previous deeds. Amaterasu would later give this blade to the Heavenly Grandson and it would become part of the Imperial Regalia of Japan.

    Now that the dragon was defeated, Susano-O constructed a great hall for himself in Izumo, and with his new wife, Kushinada-hime he had a son, Ya-shima-zhi-nu-mi. With another wife, Kamu-oho-ichi-hime, he bore two children, Oho-tochi, and Uka-no-mi-tama. From here, his descendants multiplied, and began to populate the world.

    One of Susano-O’s Great-great-great grandsons (or sometimes simply his son), Okuninushi, lived in the Reed Plains, or what is called Earth. He had eighty brothers, but he was the least important of them all. All of the brothers were vying for the hand of Yagami-hime, the Princess of Inaba, so they set off together to travel to her home, forcing Okuninushi to carry their baggage. On the way, the eighty brothers found a rabbit that had been flayed alive, and tricked it into swimming in the sea and then drying out on the land to cure itself. In the heat of the sun, the rabbit’s body cracked, and the salt from the sea sept in and put the rabbit in great pain. Okuninushi, who was slower, dragging his brother’s supplies with him, found the rabbit and showed it how to truly regain its skin. The rabbit was so happy, it prophesied that Okuninushi would win the hand of Yagami-hime, rather than his brothers.

    When this happened, Okuninushi’s brothers were infuriated, and plotted to kill him. They heated a great rock so much that it glowed brightly with heat, and rolled it down the mountain of Tema at him, killing Okuninushi. However, here is not where his story ends.

    Okuninushi’s mother beseeched Kamimusuhi to save her son, and the elder Kami agreed, restoring Okuninushi back to life. When his brothers saw this, they split a tree, and propped both sides of it apart. They grabbed Okuninushi and put him inside before ripping the prop out causing the tree to slam together, killing Okuninushi again. This time, Okuninushi’s mother was able to restore him to life, and begged him to flee. Once again, his brothers saw him, and only just did Okuninushi manage to escape from them.

    Okuninushi was told to travel to the land of Susano-O, which lay somewhere beneath the earth’s roots, for he would surely know what to do. When Okuninushi arrived here, he was met by Suseri-hime, Susano-O’s daughter, who Okuninushi instantly fell in love with. The couple married, and then went to meet her father. Susano-O told Okuninushi to stay in one chamber, which was filled with snakes. Suseri-hime gave Okuninushi a scarf which would safeguard him from the serpents. And then, Susano-O sent him to a room of centipedes and wasps, whereupon Suseri-hime produced another scarf for Okuninushi to keep him safe.

    Taking his bow, Susano-O shot a whistling arrow out into a marsh, telling Okuninushi to fetch it. While searching for the arrow, Okuninushi realised that Susano-O had lit the field all around him ablaze, and was saved by a mouse bringing him into a cave to hide in. Returning with the arrow which the mouse’s family had fetched, Susano-O was finally impressed and allowed his son-in-law to pick the lice from his head.

    They were not lice, but instead centipedes since Susano-O was was dwelling below the ground. With Suseri-hime’s help, Okuninushi managed to convince Susano-O that he was cleaning his hair and biting the centipedes in half. So pleased by this, Susano-O fell asleep, whereupon Okuninushi carefully tied Susano-O’s hair to the room they had been sitting in, stealing Susano-O’s sword, bow, and harp, and fleeing with Suseri-hime.

    However, during his escape, the sword of Susano-O brushed against a tree, and Susano-O awoke at the sound, and freed himself by tearing the house down around himself. Chasing the couple to the border of his lands, Susano-O stopped, and blessed the pair, impressed by Okuninushi’s guile, and told Okuninushi to use the great weapons to slay his brothers.

    Slaying his brothers, Okuninushi took control of the land, called the Realm of Plentiful Reeds, becoming the chief ruler of the earth, and finishing Izanami and Izanagi’s work in creating the world.
    Eventually, Amaterasu would decide that the realm of plentiful reeds, otherwise known as Earth, should be ruled by her heir. And so, she sent out Ame-no-Oshihomimi, her son born in the contest with Susano-O, to conquer the land. He reached the Heavenly Bridge and looked down upon the world and was shocked. The world was filled with hundreds of Kami, distant family who had multiplied into a disorderly mess. He fled back to heaven and the Kami were assembled to decide what to do.

    Several Kami were sent to pacify the earth, but none of them returned (all of them betraying heaven for the Kunitsukami). Finally, mighty Takemikazuchi was sent, accompanied by Futsunushi.
    Takemikazuchi set off and went to Okuninushi who was ruling the land and told him that the land was to be annexed for rule by Amaterasu’s line. Okuninushi first told Takemikazuchi that he should go discuss this with his son Kotoshironushi, and when the Kami spoke to him, the son said his father should relinquish control to the Amatsukami.

    Okuninushi then said he should convene with Takeminakata, who carried a colossal boulder in one hand. Takeminakatai challenged Takemikazuchi to wrestle, and grabbed his hand, but Takemikazuchi changed his arm to an icicle, and then a sword which frightened his foe. Takemikazuchi then grabbed the challenger’s hand and crushed it with ease, whereupon Takeminakata fled and Takemikazuchi had to chase him down. Catching the fleeing earthly Kami, the earthly Kami pled for his life, which was granted as long as he agreed to the demands of the Amatsukami.
    Then, Takemikazuchi returned to Okuninushi who agreed to the demands of the Amatsukami on the grounds they build him a grand palace with easy access to Heaven, allowed him to retain his lands, and made Kotoshironushi the vanguard and the rearguard of the Kami to prevent any rebellions. This was agreed to, and Takemikazuchi returned to heaven to bring the news.

    With this, after some argument and discussion, Amaterasu decided to send Ninigi, her grandson, to the realm of plentiful reeds to found the rule of her heirs there. On the way down, they found a colossal and frightening Kami waiting for them on the road called Sarutahiko, and the party quickly deliberated what to do. Ame-no-Uzume, who had been sent along with the heavenly grandson, once again removed her clothes and danced to the ugly Kami who found this amusing, and he guided the Kami down the rest of the way to the realm of plentiful reeds.

    After the palace of the divine grandson had been created on mount Takachio, two brides were sent to him by Oyamatsumi, Konohana-Sakuya-hime, who was beautiful and young, and Iwanaga-hime who was older and ugly. The heavenly grandson sent Iwanaga-hime back to her father, refusing her, but marrying her sister, a terrible choice on his part. These sisters were more than just wives, but a blessing by Oyamatsumi to ensure that he and his line would live as long as the rocks and be as flourishing as the blossoms on the trees. The heavenly grandson had kept the flourishing live, but refused immortality for him and his line. Explaining why the Imperial Family of Japan was mortal, despite their descent from Amaterasu herself.

    After this, these mortal emperors reigned over Japan protected by their divine ancestors for centuries, until finally a new group of gods came to settle in the land of the rising sun. When Buddhism was originally introduced in Japan from Korea, it met with stiff resistance and the first temple was burned. However, the Buddha was seemingly so set on introducing his religion to that country (possibly, as the Japanese long liked to imagine, because it is where the world was created and the first incarnation of the Buddha was born) that he sent a miracle: A trunk of camphor tree shining with light and resounding with music was washed ashore, and the astounded Japanese carved a new statue of the Buddha from it. When the religion had finally established itself in Japan against all odds (and with some help from the Buddhist deities themselves), the Bodhisattvas are said to have found the faith of the Japanese people in Buddhism to be so profound that they carried the very mountains of India where the Buddha had preached over to Japan, to make it the new centre of their creed.
    Last edited by Watcher; 11-07-2016, 05:21 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Cultural Notes

      Women
      Women have a complicated role in ancient Japan to say the very least, mostly due to large shifts that occurred at various points. During the earliest periods we know of (3rd Century CE), China reports that Japan was being ruled by a woman named Himiko, a Shaman-Queen. From what we know, Himiko ruled through her regent younger brother, and on her death the population insisted that the new ruler be another woman from her kin group. This is likely the origin of Amaterasu. As time moved, there was no issue with a woman inheriting the throne of the Empire, however it was only resorted to when there were no men available at all. Polygamy was commonplace until the Samurai asserted dominance over the Emperors. There are even mentions of women warriors, the family of Samurai, but how commonplace they were is hotly contested; still, several of them are quite famous. Divorce did exist, but it did require the husband’s consent to end the marriage. Though, there are several instances of a woman’s family pushing a husband to agree to a divorce when initially unwilling.

      Unfortunately, women were pushed to the edge even in the household when guests were present, required to serve all of the courses, sit apart from men by the door (an inferior position), and only eat when no other tasks existed. Pregnancy was impressively made to have little to do with the woman giving birth, with the husband (or the family) having the authority to force infanticide or abortion on the woman, and in a later period there were laws enacted to limit the amount of time a woman could grieve for a lost child before they could be forced back to work. In the early period, traveling women artists (poetry, dancing, playing the biwa), and shamans (a female only group) were influential and highly seen individuals, but that dreadful however raises its head again. Over time, and the arrival of Buddhism, the shamans lost their influence and importance. The traveling artists slowly reduced in number over several centuries as they began to be expected to also perform sexual favors, which would create the interesting situation where prostitutes were in turn expected to have artistic skills. Furthermore, as blood was seen as a corrupting force, menstruation was not seen in a positive light in Shinto tradition, a women being corrupted for the duration. Obviously, Amaterasu, an echo of these early Shaman-Queens, likely would have a degree of dissonance with these later ideas, but if she sees herself the exemption of these standards, or would rail against these cruelties put on other women is unknown.

      Comment


      • #4
        Homosexuality
        Where many Pantheons have poor perceptions of homosexuality, the Kami are possibly one of the most accepting. In fact, they are so accepting, it ceases to be acceptance and more expectation. Where a gay Netjer Scion may have issues with their Pantheon, both a straight or gay Kami Scion will likely be seen as a bit of a prude. Modern Japanese sentiment towards homosexuality and sex in general is a result of Emperor Meiji attempting to make Japanese culture more ‘palatable’ to the Western powers in his reign. The Kami almost undoubtedly will not share his views as they are substantial shifts away from tradition. While public displays of sexual desire was seen as inappropriate, including kisses, if something was happening behind closed doors, it was entirely reasonable. Sex manuals and philosophical debate between if men or women were more enjoyable partners were not uncommon. At large, society did not care about an individual’s sex life, and withholding one’s self from sexual acts was seen as a feat worthy of only the greatest ascetics to be able to withstand.

        A simple rule to use is, as long as a woman is not committing adultery (or in some cases, as long as she has permission to commit adultery), the Kami will not particularly care. The only instances where virginity was important was with the nobility where it was used as a guarantee for legitimacy in heirs. Traditional Japanese society would fall into what the modern western world would deem to be bisexually focused, with both exclusively homo or heterosexual men being seen as a bit strange (though still not as ridiculed as they would have been in other cultures). Men were expected to have both male and female sexual relationships, with homosexual relationships normally falling into one of the following systems; monastic, samurai, or prostitution.

        Monastic homosexuality proves interesting in Japan, with Japanese Buddhism deciding the rules for celibacy were specifically referring to women, thus allowing homosexual relationships. This system of monastic homosexuality is based upon the Chigo, young male attendants sent by their noble or samurai families to get an education at a Buddhist temple. Chigo would have a specific monk they took as a lover and mentor, and were expected to stay faithful to this individual partner up until their coming of age ceremony, which was occasionally delayed well into the twenties to keep the relationship going. This pederasty was seen as a positive force, and idealised in Buddhist thought. Modernly raised Scions may be totally and utterly against such relationships, just as they would be against child marriages. It is advisable for this historic reality to not be touched upon at the colossal majority of game tables without serious prior discussion and boundary setting. Even then, it’s something that likely would be minimally relevant in a Scion game.

        The second major form of societal homosexuality, that of the Samurai, was largely focused on pederastic relationships. However, helpfully for game tables, there are also many examples of non-pederastic homosexual relationships present which can provide Storytellers ways to use Kami homosexuality in their games without touching pederasty. The Samurai were exceptional wielders of both of their swords. Samurai had sexual relationships with their underlings, with the ‘active’ partner being the social superior in a relationship, thus leading many Warlords to have their Generals as lovers without any social issue past that such relationships, leaving broken hearts in their wake, could lead to various tantalising court intrigues.

        More interesting than these hierarchical homosexual relationships however were “Brotherhood Contracts”, a formal binding oath of total fidelity between two male lovers of relatively equal social status. Occasionally, these contracts would even forbid relationships with women, and were protected by Hachiman as Patron of the Samurai. While these were not gay marriages, they are conceptually similar and many modern Scions could use the entirely socially acceptable tradition to their own benefit. The only issue these contracts caused were that the Samurai, being a warrior class, were exceptionally prone to bouts of violence while trying to be possessive or protective of their lovers. Furthermore, these contracts were always superceded by the loyalty one ought to owe their feudal lord, a situation easily rectified by taking one’s lord as a lover.

        The final type of male homosexuality was urban prostitution, with the most desirable male lovers being the young male actors from the Kabuki theatre plays, playing both men and women on stage. These were exceptionally expensive prostitutes, and thus the majority of the population did not have access to them. Male and female prostitutes were often in brothels or similar venues with tea shops, bath houses, and incense sellers on the street among these. A premium on youthful appearance led to a wide range of makeup, hairstyles, and clothes to make one appear to be a teenager even if they were actually far into their thirties. A key part of these prostitute’s service was also to be an exceptional artist, with only the least appealing having no such talent (though there is mention of one nineteen year old boy who was utterly talentless but so good looking no one cared). It must be noted however that this was far less glamorous than it may appear. The esteemed Kabuki actors were constantly in danger of being the target of jealousy fueled violence, or sexually transmitted disease (in addition to the exhaustion caused by being an actor all day and a prostitute all night). The more common prostitutes were even worse off, normally only being in the business due to abject poverty, and having undergone unspeakable treatment in childhood to ‘prepare’ their bodies.

        Departing from male homosexuality, in Japan we actually have historic record of female homosexuality which is normally unspoken of. We have textual accounts of women visiting female brothels, and even purely lesbian brothels existing with no stigma attached. However, unfortunately we do not have the same glut of almost codified relationships as there are in male homosexual relationships. For modern Kami Scions, they will likely be in a Pantheon that has sexual attitudes drastically different from their own, with an expectation against male monogamy even in marriage, with bisexuality being the standard. Modern Scions may be seen as a bit dull, having such narrow tastes. Male Scions may have to deal with their Divine Parent finding a lover for them of an older wiser Kami such as Tenjin (who was another patron of homosexuality). Female Scions will likely still be expected to marry a man, but homosexual relationships would not be seen as strange. They could likely escape the marriage by declaring a traditionally unmarried social role, such as a Shaman or nun however.

        Comment


        • #5
          Bushido
          The Way of the Warrior has a complex history which is oft misunderstood, or misrepresented, occasionally intentionally. As Japan’s social structure shifted, as new religions and philosophies were introduced, the idea moved too and fro. Initially, when the Samurai were formed and sent out to quell rebellious areas of Japan, personal honor and glory ruled supreme, with individual combats being favored over massed troop movements. These early Samurai valued their independence greatly even after attaching to local feudal rulers, with accusations of rebellion against their lord (if proven false) being worn with a badge of honor. Not for the proof of one’s innocence, but for the fact one’s feudal lord was afraid of them. In this early period, the protection of family, friends, and community ruled, with the lord not necessarily fitting into the equation.

          With the introduction of Zen Buddhism in the Muromachi Era, this rebellious nature in the samurai would continue, even as the Zen Buddhist self-discipline teachings were introduced to the samurai. In this context, the Samurai change and evolve to leading intentionally simple, and severe lives. Writings of Hojo Soun explain that a Samurai’s lord ought to have as little sleep as possible, rise and wash before the rest of his household, with only simple signs of religious veneration, and caring the least about one’s own needs. This is the rise of the idea of discipline, with suggestions that one ought to remember the Way of the Warrior daily, be honest (even in the context of military strategy. This was oft ignored), and respect for one’s elders, lord, and enemy. In the 16th Century, education would also go on to become an important part of Samurai identity, which leads to many philosophical musings by the Samurai attempting to codify Bushido and make it into a organised ideology.

          Additionally, ideas of self-sacrifice and boundless courage in the face of pain and death reach their peak at this point. Bushido became increasingly focused around death, not only in the killing of others, but finding the right time and place for oneself to perish. To perish at a height of honor was the aim. Furthermore, death became a societal escape from shame, which ties into ideas of Suicide (see below). The ideals of this period (which should be noted, these are ideals, not necessarily standard practice) can be summarized by Takeda Nobushige referencing a Chinese classical work, writing, “Who wants to keep his life shall lose it, who wants to sacrifice his shall save it.” However, Bushido suffered a similar fate to many historic ideologies, one of Romanticism. With the onset of peace in the Edo Era, those who write on Bushido increasingly fail to have been involved in military combats. The idea that the Samurai were warriors of true justice, who speak their mind and will fight against any odds for the preservation of truth, arrives in this period.

          Obviously, looking at the roots of the Samurai as fighting machines embroiled in near constant warfare, this romantic view can be quelled to a great degree. These ideas of romanticism however refused to die, and were introduced to the English speaking world in the work by Nitobe Inazo named “Bushido: The Soul of Japan” where he claims courage, benevolence, politeness, sincerity, honor, loyalty, and self-control were the eight chief virtues of the Samurai. Written after the disappearance of the Samurai in the wake of the modernisation reforms of Emperor Meiji, the ideas of Nitobe Inazo were used by these modernizing forces to draw connections with European chivalry, and further attempts to be accepted as an equal to the West. These romanticised ideas live even to this day, but just what the Kami think of them is unclear. Do the Kami evoke the truth of the historic origins, or were they capable of achieving the impossible ideals beyond mere mortals? Likely, the eight million Kami are too numerous to solidly fall into one camp or the other.

          Comment


          • #6
            Japanese Exceptionalism
            The first claim of Japanese Exceptionalism comes from a Medieval intellectual loyal to the Emperor Go-Daigo in the Era of the Northern and Southern Courts. They write, “Great Japan is the divine land. The heavenly progenitor founded it, and the sun goddess bequeathed it to her descendants to rule eternally. Only in our country is this true; there are no similar examples in other countries. This is why our country is called the divine land.” This author’s idea of Japan being the “Divine Land” (Shinkoku) would stick, and grow to become a key part of Japanese rhetoric, including the idea that Japan was under special protection from the Gods due to being ruled by a living Kami (sort of). The idea continued that the Gods would go to great means to protect Japan, such as the idea of Hachiman and the Kamikaze, a wind sent to save Japan in the eleventh hour from destruction (interestingly similar to the English conception of The Tempest which shattered the Spanish Armada).

            In the wake of these ideas, others rose, such as the insistence that Buddhism found its origin in Japan, not India, and thus China, Korea, and the other Buddhist influenced kingdoms and empires were under their influence. A large part of this narrative is the association of Amaterasu with Buddha Dainichi, the Sun Buddha (Vairochana in India) which proved an interesting feat due to Amaterasu’s taboos against even mentioning Buddhism. This idea would find a sibling in the idea from the Late Middle Ages that Shintoism was not a subtype, divergent or commingling branch of Buddhism, but an independent religion. Not only this, but Shintoism was the genesis of Buddhism, that it traveled to China and degenerated into Confucianism, which was in turn brought to India and degenerated into Buddhism, which made its way back to Japan. These ideas formed the basis of the nativist movement of intellectuals in the Early Modern Period who formulated a revised, and “purified” version of Shintoism which was picked as the State Religion by Emperor Meiji later.

            All of these ideas would compound into the Imperialist Ideologies of World War Era Japan. Based off these ideas of divine protection, the emperor being a living Kami (again, sort of), and being the “Divine Land”, Japan not only housed superior people, but had the right of conquest to all others. Ideas stretching all the way back to the Era of Northern and Southern Courts mingled with later religious and secular ideas, twentieth century ideologies and concepts of inferior races to an explosive result. Interestingly however, while these ideas were developing, a different idea appeared, equally strange. This second line of thought was unsure about Japanese superiority, but was sure that the Japanese were distinctly different from all others partly due to isolation and vegetarian diets, showing features like physical homogeneity, or increased gut length. These ideas have long since ceased being mainstream, falling into the same depths that white supremacy has been cast into with varying degrees of success.

            Just what the Kami think of this is uncertain, and a mess left to individual Storytellers. It should be kept in mind though, Pantheons tend to think themselves to be the greatest and best. Not necessarily their mortals since mortals are varying degrees of useless, but the Gods and Goddesses tend to view themselves as the greatest. The Theoi will brazenly claim superiority to barbarous Gods; they crushed the Nemetondevos, didn’t they? The Teotl will shout that they are the only responsible Pantheon on the planet, the Bogovi the same but for different reasons. The Tuatha will arbitrarily start pissing matches with anyone to prove their vague ‘awesome-ness’.

            Comment


            • #7
              Suicide
              Japan has a noteworthy relationship with suicide, having the seventeenth highest suicide rate by the World Health Organization. Though suicide does not appear in the higher cosmological myths of the Kami, the understanding and role of suicide is so divergently different from many other parts of the world. It is believed that suicide in Japan has roots in social obligation more so than mental illness as it is in the West, with these social obligations finding their genesis in both Buddhist and Samurai practice influencing popular culture. Buddhism brought to Japan self-immolation, a suicide which could benefit the karma of one’s community, self-mummification practiced by specific sects to achieve enlightenment, and self-abandonment, where one goes adrift at sea for rescue by Kannon. The Samurai on the other hand had a more famed and ritualised version of self-disembowelment, and though this practice (named Seppuku) is ancient, it was initially uncommon.

              During the Middle Ages, rife with war, suicide amongst the Samurai became more common, though not ritualised, instead quick battlefield suicides were employed to avoid capture. As time moved on, this chaotic period ended, but suicide remained a part of the culture to the point that the Tokugawa shogunate classified Seppuku as a honorable form of execution of Samurai. This is the point where Seppuku takes a form more recognised in modernity, ritualised self-disembowelment, though the exact details of this complex practice will not be detailed here, only partly for concerns of length. The reasons for these suicides however is the important part, and fall into two large categories, willingly preformed ones, and forced ones.

              In addition to defeat in battle (to avoid dishonorable treatment by an enemy force), voluntary reasons included self-punishment (on account of a personal failure), to protect one’s family (collective punishments for criminals was the norm, though the Samurai were able to save one’s family if they were to commit seppuku), to shame one’s lord, as proof of one’s innocence (or, more aptly, in indignation of a false accusation), or to follow one’s lord into death. Situations in which this could be forced upon a Samurai is both by an enemy (with the famed case of Oda Nobunaga trapped in a burning building with his loyal retainers), or as legal punishment.

              While these notions may be seen as relics of the past, they survive into the modern era, though without the intense ritualisation. Salarymen burning out or cracking under insane pressure are often driven to it, which likely leaves the Kami with a somewhat unique outlook on suicide. To ancient Japan, suicide was an action of bravery, which may lead to a large degree of confusion with other Pantheons.

              Comment


              • #8
                Chinese Culture
                China has had a deep influence upon Japan, even during periods that Japan and China were separated by isolationist policies or explosive civil war. Though Japan was excluded from the Chinese Tributary Trade System, sometimes by themselves, or by China. Initially, submitting to the authority of the Chinese Emperor was too much of a blow to the legitimacy of rule which the Japanese Imperial Family held dear, so the tributary relationship was refused. When this perspective slowly changed, the Chinese Tributary System was in the midst of breaking down. In the late Middle Ages, Japan formally submitted to China and became a part of this trade system, only to quickly be excluded as Japan fell into the chaotic Warring States Period (a name which they borrowed from Chinese history). When the Tokugawa Shogunate seized control, their isolationist policies prevented rejoining the trade system.

                However, what is official and state practice is not the sum of all things. While formal contact was sporadic, unofficial contact was common to the point that the earliest Japanese Myths are drawing upon Chinese concepts, drawing upon ideas of Yin and Yang (with the beginning of things in the ordering of Heavy and Light matter, and the first couple), and written in Chinese script. In addition to these concepts, Buddhism flowed out of China and into Japan, which creates an interesting chain of reinterpretations of the original concepts, with the Underworld of Jigoku being a prime example, or the development of Kannon from Guanyin. From these Buddhist monks we see waves of Chinese culture moving to Japan during periods where both areas were stable enough for large scale transit.

                The first wave is the simple introduction of Buddhism to Japan, followed by a second in the tenth century (Heian Era) where the capital of Kyoto was constructed in a mirror image of the Chinese capital of Chang’an, Esoteric and Exoteric Buddhism were imported, becoming primary religious traditions, and Chinese laws were introduced in a failed attempt of developing a similar bureaucratic system. The third wave came with the Shoguns of the Muromachi Era (14th through 15th centuries) submitted to the Tribute System, and Zen Buddhism, Chinese medicine, ink paintings, and what would eventually evolve into the Japanese tea ceremony would arrive.

                However, unlike Korea for example, Japan was uneasy about subsuming the foreign culture and put an intriguing tone on the relationship, one of Japanese exceptionalism, with such claims as Japan holding wiser men than Confucius, or more stalwart warriors than Guan Yu. Imported laws were ‘improved’ upon, and the exceptionally strange claims in the Middle Ages that Buddhism had originated in Japan.

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                • #9
                  Complexities of Authority
                  The islands of Japan have an exceptionally complex history of authority over the one and a half millennium it has held some sort of organised government. Between the sixth and ninth centuries, Emperors held both secular and religious authority as the islands of Japan were slowly brought under control of the single ruling family claiming descent from Amaterasu. Buddhism weaving its way into high ranking positions of governance, was a challenge to Imperial Rule, and coupled with nobles gaining power in court, the Capital was moved to Kyoto with the intent of keeping those two groups out and weakened. It did not work. The Fujiwara family enacted a scheme which resulted in the formation of a tradition that the Emperor would always take his primary wife from a rotating sub-group of the Fujiwara family. As well as this, the Fujiwara subsumed control of the highest offices in the land, primarily the rank of Kampaku (chancellor) and Sessho (regent for a child Emperor).

                  Over time, this led to the Emperors losing most of their secular power to the Fujiwara family who were contested by the Retired Emperors who had passed their rank to their heir and withdrawn from the capital. This did not last for long however, as in the wake of uprisings by upstart noble families, as branches of noble families and the Imperial line who were sent out to settle in the distant eastern and western reaches of the empire. Over time, these branches would form into the samurai, nobility focused on martial exploits, and rewarded with both titles and offices for defeating the enemies of the Court. One man, Taira no Kiyomori amassed a colossal number of these titles and offices through military success, rendering both the Emperors and the Regents all but powerless. This prompted a response from the Taira family’s traditional rivals, the Minamoto and broke into a civil war with the Minamoto under Minamoto no Yoritomo emerging victorious and being granted a new title, the Barbarian-Quelling General, or Shogun.

                  With the creation of this new rank, the Emperors and the Regents continued to be powerless until Minamoto no Yoritomo died and his heirs, ruling as Shoguns, were made puppets by his wife’s family through Shogunal Regents, Kanrei. In the wake of Mongolian Invasions, the Shogunal rulers were weakened to the extent that the Emperor, along with Ashikaga Takauji (a distant relative of the Minamoto) rose up and ended rule of the Shogun (or in truth, the rule of the Shogunal Regents). However, the Emperor was almost instantly betrayed and Ashikaga Takauji emerged as a new Shogun. The Emperor fled south, and created a schism in Japan, with the Imperial Court ruling in the South, and a puppet emperor placed by Ashikaga holding Court in the North. In time, the original Emperor’s line reneged and accepted to be the puppets of Ashikaga Shogunal line in return for becoming the true (albeit powerless) Emperors of Japan.

                  This, as one might guess seeing the pattern thus far, would not last. A inheritance dispute inside the Ashikaga line of Shoguns led to one hundred and thirty years of civil war named the Warring States Period. A total collapse of centralised authority, Japan was broken into shards each ruled by a powerful warlord called a Daimyo, some of whom were high ranking samurai, provincial samurai, local bureaucratic administrators, or even peasants. During this period, both the Emperor and the Shogun were practically powerless, with the Shogun being captured time and time again to be held as a puppet by a local Daimyo, and the Emperor simply being ignored due to holding so little authority that the material pomp of Imperiality was fading to tattered robes due to no taxation.

                  However, in rapid succession (in the context of unifying militaristic authorities) three different Daimyo seized control of and unified Japan. Firstly, Oda Nobunaga unified a medium-sized state in Eastern Japan and went on to conquer most of the remainder until he was betrayed and murdered by a treacherous samurai of his. His most trusted general, Toyotomi Hideyoshi took over, and completed the reunification of Japan, and then decided that they would conquer Korea and the rest of mainland Asia, including China. Battered back by Admiral Yi Sun-Shin and his personal armada of Turtle Ships defending Korea, Japan was plunged once again into civil war when Toyotomi Hideyoshi died without an adult heir. Tokugawa Ieyasu rose against the young heir, and emerging victorious and consolidating his power in 1603. Under the Tokugawa family’s rule, assuming the title of Shogun, the Daimyo were changed into a status of provincial governors, and the Emperor was returned to holding some vague spiritual authority, though even many of the traditional Imperial rituals were stripped and simply left unperformed in a blow to Imperial authority.

                  Ruling with an iron fist and a secret police, Japan settled into a peaceful, if terrified, state. But, the pattern continues, and when the Europeans forced Japanese ports open, Emperor Meiji seized the opportunity and toppled the Tokugawa Shogunate, reinstating Imperial rule. As one would guess, this too did not last long. In the wake of the Second World War, the Emperor was forced to renounce his family’s descent from Amaterasu and Japan became a Parliamentary Monarchy with the Emperor only holding symbolic power. What this shows us is that while authority and rule changes over the centuries of Japan’s history, roles and ranks are always built upon, never entirely removed. The world may change, but it is built upon the bones of the old.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Courteousness, Beauty, and Correct Behavior
                    Social relationships and interactions in Feudal Japan were complex things, so complex that books would be compiled about the proper performance of various tasks, from bowing to poetry. Social interactions were riddled with so many intricate rules that it would be almost impossible to explain them all here, so instead we will discuss a possible scenario for a Scion, and then a list of rules as presented within a pre-modern etiquette manual.

                    If you are a Scion who is invited to a Kami event or party, you must respond in profusely flattering thanks, though veiled and concealed to hide the direct emotion of the thanks, genuine or not. Then, a Scion must consider what to wear, though truth be told, if they consider anything except Heian Era court robes, they are surely doomed as these are the only actual option. Makeup would come next, for women, noblemen, and children. A white powdered face with red lips, eyebrows plucked and replaced with black dots, and blackened teeth, a feature most important for women. Unblackened teeth were considered not only ugly, but also bad luck.

                    When accompanying another who has been invited to an event, one must remember that they are only present as entertainment on behalf of the main invitee, thereby they mustn’t be late, should not scold the servers, and should not leave before the main guest does.

                    Upon arrival, one will engage in a sea of bows, except this too is exceptionally complex as this has direct ties to hierarchy. The deeper the bow, the greater the divide in hierarchy between yourself and the other. Too deep a bow, and you display yourself of little importance, but too small a bow, and you display yourself as of high rank compared to the other. Groveling is only acceptable when you are fundamentally in debt to the other, such as having one’s entire family saved by them.

                    Now, still in the process of introductions, you must present a gift to your host, which will then be reciprocated in giving a gift of equal value. This is exceptionally complex, as if one gives too grand a gift, the other would be embarrassed and possibly may impoverish themselves trying to avoid the embarrassment of being unable to return equal value. This, of course, can be done intentionally in the dangerous world of divine politics. Afterwards, you will be seated in a specific spot which denotes the importance of yourself. Rooms are set up with a raised platform where the host and other high value visitors sit on the opposite end of the room to the door. The more favored one is, the closer to the host and the raised platform. The more disliked, the closer to the door.

                    The rules for eating are once again monumentally complex, so instead a brief list of familiar points. Do not dirty your clothing, do not eat with your fingers, do not touch things with cutlery that has touched your mouth. The meal will be structured in several courses with each consisting of a soup, a bowl of unseasoned rice, and at least a single side dish, primarily pickled fish or vegetables. The more side dishes, the more lavish a meal. The most refined form, and thus the one most likely to be experienced when interacting with the Kami, was the Honzenryori codified in the Muromachi Era (14th - 16th centuries) which was composed of three courses with seven, five, and then three side dishes. Sauces would be provided for dipping, and fruit for dessert. Sushi would never be served in this environment, as it is effectively urban fast food from the Edo Era, and grossly inappropriate for such an event as a formal feudal party.

                    Large amounts of warm sake would be provided to drink. If the party is not a feast or banquet, patience may be strained, so the pastimes will begin. If any of these pastimes are contests (such as if the Tuatha were invited, a, exceptionally bad idea), it would be decided on beauty and correctness in style rather than effectiveness. Kemari, a game somewhat like hacky-sack, a game played with a light ball where the objective is to as gracefully pass it to others using feet, knees, and elbows in set figures. Dancing, cherry blossom viewing, autumn moon viewing, and maple leaf collecting are other possibilities.

                    The tea ceremony, based off Zen Buddhist traditions from the Muromachi Era may be used, depending on how large a divide exists between the host Kami and the Buddhists. Guests would approach the tea-hut along a embellished garden path, washing their hands and mouths in a stone basin before entering through a doorway so low all would have to duck to enter, breaking social hierarchies to a degree. In this way, all participants were theoretically equal within the hut, though one would not want to push their luck. The host would serve a simple, light meal, and some sweet fruit. Guests would then go into a back garden, which would be intentionally disheveled, while the host decorated the interior with a seasonally appropriate scroll. The guests would then return, and would be shown the tea set, always simple, to appreciate and praise. Finally, an assortment of green teas would be prepared, served, and drunk with great care. This is the famed Japanese tea ceremony.

                    As there have been many different schools of this art, only a rough idea of its most important elements can be given. In the tea ceremony, Japanese green tea is prepared in front of guests and then communally drunk in a strictly set order. The instruments used for cooking the tea are seen as noble, even sacred, and treated as such by all present, although they are traditionally of a rough, rustic quality. A set of instruments consists of a pot of water, a heated pot, a pot of powdered tea, a ladle for scooping water, a spoon for scooping tea powder, a whisk, and a bowl. First, the guests bow before these instruments and formally appreciate them. Then, the host washes the cups out with water and dries them off. Water is scooped into the heated pot and boiled, then scooped into the cup. Tea powder is added, and the mixture prepared with the whisk.

                    Meanwhile, the guests partake of simple sweets. Then, the host puts the finished cup on their palm, turns it a number of times, and gives it to the guest, who then does the same before drinking the tea and returning the cup. One cup is prepared, drunk, and given back after another, no two people hold cups at the same time! Whenever the cup changes hands, there is a bow. With its meditative atmosphere, the tea ceremony is as much a spiritual event as a social one.

                    Now for some fun details about social behavior at such events, especially those that might conflict with other Pantheons, and modern Western Scions: Large emotional displays are entirely inappropriate. Laughter is to be hidden behind a hand over the mouth, love whispered or written in a poem, and anger bottled up and concealed. Breaking these rules is simply exceptionally embarrassing, and would only make a Scion a laughing stock, not put them in physical danger. Though, being mocked for laughing out loud, or awkwardly declaring love may lead a Scion to putting themselves in danger. Shouting in anger is bad, drawing a weapon is flat out dangerous. In Samurai culture (which, it should be noted, not all of the Kami will prescribe to), drawing a weapon without reason or permission is a death sentence. Doing so in an Imperial presence likely would not lead to this, but permanent banishment such as suffered by several members of the Kami would likely be the result. However, it should be noted, weapons were flat out banned in the presence of the emperor, even to the highest ranking samurai.

                    The most interesting way for a Scion to slip up and cause gross social problem is by using the name of an important person in a way that is seen to lack respect. Not be disrespectful, that would be worse, but simply lacking in respect. An example would be when Toyotomi Hideyoshi died, and his under-aged son took over the throne of Japan. Tokugawa Ieyasu, who had served the previous two rulers loyally, was finished and was looking for an excuse to rebel and establish a Shogunate. The young hegemon carelessly donated a bell to a Buddhist temple which contained two characters from Tokugawa Ieyasu’s name in it, divided by another character. An excuse found, Tokugawa Ieyasu declared this to be a grave insult, and rebelled, crushing the hegemon and establishing his own Shogunate.

                    A few more bits and bobs for those eager to know about courtesy.

                    When encountering a member of the nobility, one greets them by lowering your hands to touch the back of your feet, and bowing the head. When offering someone something resting atop a fan, you must present it so that the offering’s end is facing the subject’s right hand. Fans should not be used before the nobility, and when it is hot, one should open the fan halfway to fan one’s bosom. When moving through a sliding paper door, one must kneel down, touch the tatami mat with one’s left hand, and gently open the door with one’s right hand, performing the same action to close it behind one's self. When appreciating a hanging scroll, or arrangement of flowers, one must leave one tatami mat in distance between one’s self and the object admired. When doing this, one should place one’s hands on the floor, and look upon the object with admiration. Drinking tea served in a tea-tray, one must take the tray and place it on the floor. Then, only drink from the tea-bowl holding nothing else.

                    When holding a cup of wine one has not finished, one should look to their neighbor and announce that you would like to give them the cup before draining it and placing it upon a tray. A wine cup should never be placed on the floor. When a cup of wine is being passed around, one must take it alongside the tray, which is to be held in the left hand, take the wine cup in the right, before placing the tray on the floor, Thereupon, place one's left hand on the bottom of the cup, and raise it. When holding relish, often served with wine, one ought to hold at the end of chopsticks, raised slightly if the one being served is a superior, or declined if they are a subordinate. When enjoying incense, one mustn't hold the burner to the edge of one’s nose, or to waft the scent towards oneself. Instead, one must take the burner and smell it unobtrusively. Passing a small knife to a member of the nobility must be done by offering them the handle by holding the hilt of the knife. When admiring swords on display, one ought to praise the workmanship, and if prompted to examine the blade itself, one must turn the edge upward, and draw the sword slowly with the scabbard pressed to one’s breast. The blade mustn't be drawn fully.

                    When blowing one’s nose while in an antechamber, if a guest, you must withdraw from the room and blow your nose in the next room. If in a gathering where such is impossible, one must turn towards the lower seat and blow one’s nose first softly, then slightly louder, and then softly again. When dressing one in a small-sleeved-kimono, you must allow them to put their left arm on first, then their right, and then fasten the sash around their waist. When accepting a small-sleeve-kimono, one must raise it to their face, then drawing away the right hand to allow it to unfurl, before taking the kimono by the collar and skirt with your right hand and rising. When sitting at a dining table and eating rice, one ought to take the chopsticks first, take the cover off the rice, then the soup, then the side dishes. Then, eat slightly from the rice and drink from the soup.

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                    • #11
                      The Kami

                      Virtues
                      Duty: The Kami place much value in a special brand of loyalty: unbudging loyalty to their family, and one’s feudal superiors (who were originally family as well). To these select few, the Kami hold them in the highest esteem and place their desires above all things. Refusing to listen to the order of an elder, for example, would be a gross violation of this Duty, but so would making the family look poorly, such as by breaking one of the other Virtues due to the nature of familial honor being affected by all family members.

                      Valor: The Kami are a wealth of valor, with strong ideals about fair combat, and never taking undue advantage of one’s opponent. But, valor exists in forms beyond this. The Buddhist members of the Pantheon espouse kindness and defending the weak, while the native Kami hold ideals of just rule by the greatest. On top of this are their ideals of honor, including images of single combat between worthy challengers, and punishing those who speak ill of one’s family due to one’s own honor being irrevocably intertwined with familial honor.

                      Expression: There is beauty in almost everything to the Kami. From something as simple as drinking tea, exceptionally exact and pristine arts were created, and something as lethal as sword fighting encouraged artistic styles to blossom. When the Kami speak through their oracles, they more often than not speak in beautiful poems, meaning Scions may want to brush up on their skills before their apotheosis least they appear uncouth.

                      Harmony: Everything that exists is in balance. A perfect state. For the Kami, this perfect state is disrupted by many things which can make someone, or something ‘impure’ or imbalanced. Death, sickness, and pestilence are all functions against the harmony of the Kami. To restore this balance, the Kami have many rituals to help purify someone or something when tainted, ranging from the simple, to the complex. But all are important. Proper performance of these rituals is paramount to the harmony of the world of the Kami, in addition to their complex hierarchy which also part of this great balance.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Pantheon Relationships
                        A Note: The Kami are an exceptionally insular Pantheon, they care little for the world outside of their own, with some degree of uncertainty about the existence of other land masses which they have no record of being actually birthed by them. What this means is that the Pantheon has only really had contact with Pantheons who are physically close to Japan, or other Pantheons who have Buddhist members. Furthermore, to the Kami, most of these other Pantheons are horrifically corrupted in one way or another and they will avoid contact with them for this reason.

                        Aesir: The Aesir and the Kami have had the most limited of contact, with the only interaction coming from the wandering All-Father, who it really must be said does not make a good first impression with a Pantheon run by a Goddess. If the two Pantheons were to find themselves interacting more closely, the Pantheon’s traditions of hospitality and politics vary so wildly the relationship could be nothing but exceptionally strained.

                        Anunna: The Anunna and the Kami have never truly ‘met’ each other, with both Pantheons being exceptionally insular. If they were to interact, the Amatsukami would likely be nothing but offended by the way the Anunna to treat other Pantheons as long distant descendants from their powerful loins.

                        Bogovi: Both insular Pantheons, the Bogovi and the Kami have only met when observing their mortals clashing on the far shores and seas of the Pacific. The Pantheons absolutely and utterly do not get along, but their disagreements have nothing to do with the relationships between Russia and Japan. The Kami are totally and utterly involved in the world, making up the mountains, the sun, but also more everyday objects, and constantly recruiting new members from the mortal realm. The Bogovi see this utter entwinement with the mortal world as terrifying, and both Pantheons avoid contact due to this.

                        Deva: The Kami and the Deva have a shared connection through Buddhism and the Deities from that religion, though it has been a while since Buddhism was so influential and powerful in India. The Kami hold a somewhat romanticized view of the Deva, having heard stories of wonder and happiness. In Brahma and Indra in particular they see a familiar face, those Gods sharing much imagery with certain Buddhist Deities. In return, the Deva find the Kami somewhat interesting from the stories told to them by Buddhist Deities that have journeyed to Japan. In reality, both Pantheons likely would not live up to their expectations of the other.

                        Netjer: Both the Netjer and the Kami are focused on geographic scope, which is somewhat of a good thing. The travel of some of the most powerful Netjer through Duat every night horrifies the Kami, who have issues with Underworlds. If the Pantheons were to be forced to interact, the understandings on the nature of death and the afterlife might actually bring the Netjer into a unified voice against the foreign Kami. The Kami also have a somewhat warped perspective of darker skinned people, but for the Netjer, the fundamental disagreement over death overshadows it all.

                        Orisha: While the Kami could definitely find something of themselves in the Orisha, due to their shared heritage of divine possession and ritual divination, that actually seems rather out of question to them. They first encountered Africans as slaves doing hard labour for the Europeans. This created the obviously incorrect perception of dark skinned people as large, strong, and manly, but also mentally slow and somewhat inferior. This conception hasn't changed much for Kami (as so many things) and thus they have a hard time respecting the African pantheons. The Orisha for their part are not only offended by this view, but also can't grasp how someone as stiff and formal as the Kami could conduct rituals to the same effect as they do in colorful ecstasy. Should the two Pantheons ever interact more closely, this could lead to quite the controversy on “proper ritual” between them.

                        Shen: The Shen are one of the only Pantheons the Kami have had frequent and involved interaction with. More on the same page as each other in regards to political interaction than with the European Pantheons, there are still issues between the two Pantheons. As both Pantheons are heavily connected to their mortals still, the second Sino-Japanese war has caused colossal problems between the Pantheons, with the Shen pleased to have seen the end of the reign of Amaterasu's descendents a decade later. What makes this relationship even more confusing is that the Kami see the Shen in a strange light, where the Imperial Japanese state was always vying for the attention of China for favor. Several of the Kami still see the Shen in this manner, where the Shen only see pupils who betrayed them in ways abominable.

                        Teotl: The Kami view the Teotl as totally and utterly corrupt. The notion that the Teotl wield blood as power, and hold many houses for the dead, only adds to the horror that the Teotl have destroyed the world four times. The Teotl ignore the Kami for the most part, and just write the Japanese Gods off as being irresponsible, but at least they can both agree that the moon needed to be banished.

                        Theoi: The Theoi and the Kami both are Pantheons of Empires, and ones who value political relationships. Unfortunately, several members of the Dodekatheon do not treat Amaterasu as an equal, and have suggested that maybe she should marry, or recall Tsukuyomi so they can treat with him instead. This rarely goes over well with Amaterasu, or the Kami who have to deal with the consequences of her disdain.

                        Tuatha: While the Tuatha do not have the slightest problem with a woman leading a Pantheon, the Tuatha and the Kami nevertheless don’t invite each other to parties. The Kami find the Tuatha to be brutish idiots who managed to get themselves almost all killed, while the Tuatha find the restraint and exacting nature of politics with the Kami a sign of poor rulership. The Kami are also confused about the capacity of several of the Tuatha to just... well, walk home from the Underworld when they feel like it. They are probably willing to allow the Tuatha to entertain them with the joys of poetry and sex, but the chance of someone getting offended is pretty high. Especially since the Tuatha have an exceptionally low bar for deciding violence is the best option.
                        Last edited by Watcher; 11-08-2016, 03:19 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          We have included greater and lesser gods below, along with a very brief explanation for how they earned their purviews and associations. In rare cases we have also listed a purview that has been struck out. This is to talk about a purview that is widely considered to be part of a god, but for whatever reason has been disqualified.
                          Greater Gods


                          Amaterasu
                          The Empress of the Amatsukami, and the conquered Kunitsukami, Amaterasu is the regal and almost unquestionable Queen of Heaven. Born from the left eye of Izanagi when he washed the corruption from his body after fleeing Yomi. When faced with the perceived insurrection and invasion of her realm by Susano-O, she gathered up a great bow with fifteen hundred arrows and, wearing her hair like a man, performed a war dance sending large clods of earth flying into the air her strength was so great. When Susano-O frightened her by throwing a flayed pony into her weaving tent, she fled from the world into a cave, hauling a boulder no other Kami could move in front of it, causing the world to be plunged into darkness. She further banished her brother Tsukuyomi, the Moon, to the night so that she never never need look upon him after he killed the Food Kami, Uke-Mochi.

                          Amaterasu leads the yearly gathering of the Kami and any meetings called of the Pantheon on the Divine Riverbed. Though her role in myth is limited, the hand of the Goddess is not far from the world, as through her the Japanese Imperial line drew their authority similar to other Divine Kingship concepts. She has been connected with the Buddha Dainichi, and plays a key role in pre-modern claims of Japanese superiority since Japan is where the Sun was born.

                          Now, Amaterasu continues to rule her Pantheon high in heaven, and still calls the yearly meeting of the Kami. Exactly how she sees the Imperial Family renouncing their descent from her is anyone’s guess.
                          • Powers
                            • Epic Strength: War dance, biting up a sword similar to her father’s during the contest with her brother, sealed cave with a boulder that no other God could move
                            • Epic Appearance: Only her own reflection managed to lure her out of the cave
                            • Justice: Ruler of Heaven, Mortal authority draws their legal legitimacy through descent from her family
                            • Sun: Without her radiant presence, the world was plunged into darkness
                          • Abilities
                            • Presence: Managing to lure herself out of a cave sheerly through her own reflection
                            • Athletics: Moving a boulder that none of the other Kami could to cover the entrance of her cave
                            • Politics: Organized the takeover of Earth, proper behavior even when Susano-O was running around hurling his own feces, ect
                            • Occult: Serves as a religious figurehead for her Pantheon and the Imperial family, is associated with the Esoteric Buddha Dainichi
                            • Command: Ordering the Kami around during the takeover of Earth
                            • Art: Both her War dance, but also weaving
                          Susano-O
                          One of Izanagi’s children created during his purification after fleeing Yomi, Susano-O is a turbulent figure. Tasked by Izanagi to rule the sea, Susano-O refused, wishing to visit his mother Izanami instead. So incensed by this insolence from his child, Izanagi banished him. Susano-O traveled to his sister Amaterasu’s realm to tell her of this, and after defeating his sister in a contest of divination to prove his good intentions, he ran amuck destroying Heaven’s fields and hurling his feces. His antics came to an end after flaying a pony and hurling it into his sister’s weaving tent, frightening her so much she withdrew from the world and plunged it into darkness.

                          Traveling to the world below, Susano-O encountered a couple and their daughter crying. They revealed to the God that a many headed dragon had eaten all of their other daughters, and was now coming for the last remaining one. In a flourish of thought, Susano-O offered to save her if she would marry him, and had the others construct a trap to lure each of the dragon’s heads into a separate door and have them drink exceptionally strong sake. When the dragon had fallen asleep, Susano-O burst forth and hacked the monster to death, taking from its tail (or possibly making from its tail) a wondrous sword which would go on to being part of the Imperial Japanese Regalia.

                          Susano-O is a complicated God, a being of exceptional chaos and disorder evidenced in his banishment from heaven and sending his sister fleeing into the cave. However, he also plays a role as a culture hero for the province of Izumo in which he settled, bringing to them the secrets of metallurgy, poetry, and sword smithing from Korea. Further, he ended up as the Ruler of the Underworld of Ne-no-Kuni after being banished from the world by Izanagi for his insolence. Interestingly, in his shrine in Kyoto, he is venerated aside his wife Kushinada-hime and their Eight Royal Children, who are disease spirits.
                          • Powers
                            • Chaos: The absolute chaos / counter-societal behavior he sews after ‘defeating’ Amaterasu in their contest
                            • Epic Wits: Works out an incredibly complicated plan to kill the dragon in a split second
                            • Artistry: Invention of poetry, introduction of metallurgy to Japan, sword-smithing shrine themes in Izumo. Shrine dedicated to him named the Shrine of the Korean Forge. Builds a clay boat to sail to Japan from Korea
                            • S̶t̶o̶r̶m̶s̶: A̶ ̶V̶i̶c̶t̶o̶r̶i̶a̶n̶ ̶m̶i̶s̶t̶r̶a̶n̶s̶l̶a̶t̶i̶o̶n̶.̶ ̶S̶u̶s̶a̶n̶o̶-O ̶h̶a̶s̶ ̶n̶o̶ ̶c̶o̶n̶n̶e̶c̶t̶i̶o̶n̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶s̶t̶o̶r̶m̶s̶,̶ ̶o̶u̶t̶r̶i̶g̶h̶t̶ ̶r̶e̶j̶e̶c̶t̶e̶d̶ ̶h̶i̶s̶ ̶a̶s̶s̶o̶c̶i̶a̶t̶i̶o̶n̶ ̶w̶i̶t̶h̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶s̶e̶a̶,̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶i̶s̶ ̶n̶e̶v̶e̶r̶ ̶w̶o̶r̶s̶h̶i̶p̶p̶e̶d̶ ̶a̶s̶ ̶a̶ ̶s̶t̶o̶r̶m̶ ̶g̶o̶d̶
                          • Abilities
                            • Melee: Chopping up the dragon
                            • Awareness: Hearing Okuninushi booking it when he brushed up against a tree
                            • Marksmanship: Humming-Bulb arrow scene with Okuninushi
                            • Athletics: Named the Running Man, but also when he runs all around Heaven messing things up for everyone
                            • Art: Names the province of Izumo with a poem, brings metallurgy to Japan from Korea
                            • Control: Sailing to Japan from Korea in a clay boat
                          Hachiman
                          A prime example of a successful Scion of the Kami, Hachiman was once the Emperor of Japan. While his mother was pregnant with him, she delayed the birth by tying a rock to her belly so her defensive war against Korea did not have to be delayed by something as uninteresting as giving birth. After being born, Hachiman ruled wisely, but abdicated to live a life of a philosophising ascetic. After achieving enlightenment and ascending to Heaven, Hachiman was still a powerful political figure. He was capable of overruling the new Empress’ desire to have a monk made Emperor, and then saving his messenger when this bad news was brought to the Empress.

                          Most impressively, during the Mongol Invasion of Japan, Hachiman, along with Ryujin, held off the Mongol fleet. Ryujin by crushing ships within his coils, and Hachiman by devising the Kamikaze, the Divine Wind to waylay and destroy the invading fleet. Through this, and his act of keeping the Empress from making a monk the Emperor, he formed a strong position as a National Guardian, both in physicality and spirituality.

                          What must be noted about Hachiman however is his rather interesting roles. Firstly, he bridges the gap between Shintoism and Buddhism both being perceived as an Imperial Ancestral Kami, but also a Great Merciful Bodhisattva. Perhaps more complicatedly is his relationship with the idea of warfare. Hachiman is not a warrior himself, and dislikes both war and violence. However, he serves as a patron protector for warriors, and is capable of foretelling the victor of battles with doves. He even offered protection to foreign warriors, insisting that they be treated with respect and given proper funeral rites rather than be allowed rot, willing to refuse his protection to those who are not upright and proper in their deeds. He is a God of Warriors, not a Warrior God.
                          • Powers
                            • War: Patron of Warriors, could oracle victory, prayed to for victory
                            • Guardian: National protector, protector of warriors, protects the entire Pantheon when they’ve been shoved in a bottle
                            • Justice: Once an Emperor, is prayed to to have a grandchild become emperor, holds authority over the Empress who wishes to make a Monk Emperor, grants victory in a legal battle this one time
                            • Prophecy: Gives out portents like nobody’s business in the form of doves, additionally creates an If / Then prophecy to protect from an invading army
                          • Abilities
                            • Politics: Extensive role in imperial politics, and being the Emperor once.
                            • Fortitude: Holding an eternal watch, becoming an ascetic
                            • Integrity: Becoming a monk, giving up power of emperor, refusing later empress, eternal watch
                            • Animal Ken: Managing all of the animals to save the messenger
                            • Brawl: Crushes a prince who has assumed the capacity of a Deity underfoot.
                            • Occult: Explains in a reincarnation to the Japanese populace a specific ritual they must perform so that he can defeat an invading enemy
                            • M̶e̶l̶e̶e̶: W̶h̶i̶l̶e̶ ̶h̶e̶ ̶p̶r̶o̶b̶a̶b̶l̶y̶ ̶h̶a̶s̶ ̶s̶o̶m̶e̶ ̶k̶n̶o̶w̶l̶e̶d̶g̶e̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶h̶o̶w̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶u̶s̶e̶ ̶a̶ ̶s̶w̶o̶r̶d̶,̶ ̶h̶e̶ ̶n̶e̶v̶e̶r̶ ̶f̶i̶g̶h̶t̶s̶ ̶p̶h̶y̶s̶i̶c̶a̶l̶l̶y̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶h̶a̶s̶ ̶n̶o̶ ̶m̶y̶t̶h̶s̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶h̶i̶m̶ ̶u̶s̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶a̶ ̶w̶e̶a̶p̶o̶n̶
                          Inari
                          Inari are an exceptionally complex Agricultural Deity. With minimal myths short of folkloric appearances, Inari are very strange and somewhat confusing to explain, and nobody's quite sure where they came from; even other Kami. With many forms, wandering across lines of sex without much thought, Inari manages much of the Agricultural function of Japan, and in modernity has gained a connection to finances.

                          With special white foxes as their messenger, and occasionally riding upon them, Inari are also one of the most personalized of the Kami, and like Hachiman, cross the boundary between Shintoism and Buddhism. Those that give veneration to Inari hold them as a chief relationship in their life, which Inari are happy to reciprocate. However, Inari are not always kind and gentle, and can snap to rage and vengeance against figures outside their extensive cult, especially if you damage or move one of their shrines, or mistreat foxes.

                          Academically, and in internal Theology, it is known that Inari formed from a composite of localised agricultural Deities, which explains Inari’s million faces, personal relationships, and inconsistency in sex and appearance. However, Scions may wonder more about the exact details of this. Was Inari once a plethora of Minor Kami who were Fatebound together? Did they intentionally come together to form this larger Deity? Did they form together, or is Inari a ‘mantle’ they each can wear reminiscent of Deities like Sovereignty in Ireland. Curiously, this makes Inari functionally impossible to place in the familial organization of the Kami.
                          • Powers
                            • Animal: Foxes used symbolically, foxes as servants, their foxes are special and unique compared to normal foxes
                            • Magic: Prayed to for Success in somewhat abstract concepts
                            • Fertility: Rice deity, name may derive from ‘rice carrier’
                            • Guardian: Invoked for personal protection, used to drive a Dragon Kami out and make it benevolent, protects locations such as a Buddhist temple, twigs from rituals protect from burglary, used to exorcise malignant fox spirits, a protector of Prostitutes in the Early Modern and Modern era
                            • Health: Receives a plethora of prayers for conceptions, for easy birth, to sore throats being cured, and the cure of STDs
                          • Abilities
                            • Animal Ken: Fox messengers
                            • Medicine: Through the promotion of Inari, an emperor was cured from a sickness. Additionally, prayed to for good health
                            • Academics: Patron of finance, and merchants
                            • Survival: Plants, Agriculture, and the like
                            • Occult: Heavily interacting across religious lines, protecting Buddhist temples, being suggested as a figure of veneration by esoteric Buddhist monks
                            • Empathy: Worshipers frequently mentioning how they hold an incredibly personal relationship with Inari, telling them things they wouldn’t dream of telling even an ancestral Kami
                          Takemikazuchi
                          A powerful warrior, Takemikazuchi was sent by Amaterasu and the assembly of the Gods to go forth and have the Kunitsukami of earth agree to cede control of the land to the Heavenly Grandson of Amaterasu. Riding down to the world on his sword, Takemikazuchi, through intimidation and the authority of Amaterasu, brought the Kunitsukami into line and had the Land of Plentiful Reeds brought into the control of the Imperial Family. As a Storm and Sword Kami, he has become one of the military hands of the Kami, and if a Scion of the Kami were to miss the yearly meeting, one could be sure Takemikazuchi would arrive to question them, just as he does with poor deaf Ebisu.

                          On top of having earth annexed for rule by Amaterasu’s descendents, Takemikazuchi also intervened and saved Japan from Namazu, a colossal catfish which was causing earthquakes that threatened to destroy the land, swimming deep under the earth. Takemikazuchi used a colossal stone pillar to pin Namazu down far beneath the earth, and brought the earthquakes to an end, save for the ‘minor’ ones Japan receives now. Horrific, but not threatening to shatter the entire island chain. Now, Namazu only attempts to free himself when the yearly meeting is called and Takemikazuchi is too occupied to immediately intercede again.

                          Takemikazuchi served as one of the Fujiwara family’s ancestral Kami, which may have left a strain between himself and Amaterasu in more recent times as his descendents were responsible for limiting the power of the Emperor until they were overthrown. However, despite his descendant's actions, Takemikazuchi is seen as a figure of Japanese Unity, as he was the first to organise Japan and bring it into the Imperial fold under the Heavenly Grandson. Often associated with deer, occasionally riding them as a mount when not riding on his sword, the Sword God is also a patron of Aikido.
                          • Powers
                            • Epic Strength: Shattering the arm-sword of Takeminakata when offered to shake it (in a wrestling match)
                            • War: Conquering the Kami of the earth who refuse to submit to the new rule.
                            • Storms: Actually worshiped as a thunder god
                          • Abilities
                            • Melee: Epithet: Brave Slasher, Plentiful Slasher, drives a stone pillar through the head of Namazu
                            • Command: Orders the submission of the Kami of Earth
                            • Presence: Intimidating Takeminakata into giving consent to the rule of the land to Amaterasu's descent line
                            • Athletics: Balancing on his sword
                            • Control: Flying on his sword down to earth, riding a deer
                            • Brawl: Crushing Takeminakata’s hand
                          Okuninushi
                          The son of Susano-O, Okuninushi has had a long and storied life. Originally the youngest of eighty one sons, he was bullied and treated poorly by them. Once, the brothers decided they would compete for the hand of a princess, and made Okuninushi carry their baggage. On the way, the brothers mocked and tricked a flayed rabbit into further hurting itself, but Okuninushi told it how to recover its hide. In thanks, the rabbit told him that he would be the one the princess would choose to marry. Infuriated by this, his brothers slew him, whereupon he was resurrected by Kamimushi, was killed again, resurrected again, and then sensibly listened to his mother and slipped off to find his father Susano-O.

                          He traveled to Ne-no-Kuni, his father’s realm, and married his half sister. Susano-O put Okuninushi through a gauntlet of tests until Okuninushi stole his sword, bow, and zither, fleeing from the afterlife with his sister-wife. Entertained, or annoyed, or possibly both at this theft, Susano-O shouted after him to slay his brothers and take up control of the Realm of Plentiful Reeds as Lord of the Land. Which he did, until he agreed to cede his lands to Amaterasu's Grandson.

                          However, despite withdrawing from the world, Okuninushi frequently go takes the form of a snake to seduce women, up to ones as important as an Emperor’s aunt. Whenever he is discovered, Okuninushi quickly explains that he isn’t actually a snake, but just Okuninushi taking the form of a snake. While this may seem strangely simple, the sheer number of times he does this and all the unpleasant endings, suggests that he may have picked up a rather unfortunate Fate.

                          Interestingly, Okuninushi was combined with Daikokuten, the leader of the Seven Lucky Gods, and they are now recognised as the same entity. Once they were two divergent Deities, but they have long since been subsumed into each other which is something that can actually happen to the Kami on a theological level. Daikokuten is the King of Rats, and the protector of kitchens, which may appear mundane, but one should keep in mind that Japanese constructions in the pre-modern period were exceptionally flammable, and a kitchen fire could eat a city. He a bringer of food due to being a kitchen God, and a bringer of luck and wealth like the other Lucky Gods, with his cornucopia-like-hammer and sack of rice.
                          • Powers
                            • Guardian: Oku: Described as the protector of several cities, temples, and at least one individual. Daik: Protector of houses and kitchens
                            • Health: Discoverer of several hot / healing springs, strikes a kingdom with sickness
                            • Earth: Finishes the work of Izanagi and Izanami, expands Japan with earth from Korea, name implies something of a land spirit, has a shrine that is a mountain
                            • Animal: Oku: Turns into a snake to sleep with a women, depicted as a snake, temple has a plethora of snakes cared for by the priests Daik: Patron of mice / rats
                            • Fertility: Oku: Associations with the brewing of sake. Daik: depictions relating to food, owns a cornucopia-like hammer, several plant associations
                            • Magic: Daik: Leader of the Seven lucky Gods and a dispenser of success / wealth
                          • Abilities
                            • Medicine: Oku: Brings sickness and discovers several healing / hot springs. Daik: Discovers several healing herbs
                            • Animal Ken: Oku: Saves the flayed rabbit, and keeps turning into snakes, talks to rabbits and mice. Daik: Saved by rats and mice
                            • Academics: Daik: God of commerce
                            • Control: Daik: Along with the other six lucky Gods, descends to the earth on a boat
                            • Presence: Oku: Seducing everybody
                            • Politics: Oku: Previous ruler of the earth, ruler of unseen things, managed to get a good deal when ceding control of the earth even though he was making the deal with war/storm Gods, host of the assembly of the Gods
                          Ryujin
                          One of the children of Izanagi and Izanami, Owatatsumi is better known by the name Ryujin. The Kami of the sea, a role he must have been assigned after Susano-O so insolently refused the task, Ryujin is the Dragon King, quite literally a large dragon with monarchical rank over the sea. However, Ryujin is far from a large raging animal. When Hoori, the Great-Grandson of Amaterasu arrived in his court searching for a lost fishing hook, Ryujin instantly recognized him to be a descendent of Heaven and promptly married him off to one of his plethora of daughters and aided Hoori in finding the fishhook by calling all of the fish together to inquire about it. A bachelor of important descent who walks into his hall under the sea will not face a dragon to claim a princess, but instead will need to politically dance around the Habsburgian Dragon trying to marry one of his daughters to the visitor. If a visitor arrives in his home, they will almost inevitably meet him as a dignified old man and not a colossal dragon. However, if push comes to shove, he is a colossal dragon.

                          Curiously like some western dragons, Ryujin has a magpie’s eye for treasure. He stole a collection of precious gems from the Fujiwara family, and a sacred temple bell he found particularly interesting. These plethora of treasures the Dragon King has collected make madly extravagant wedding gifts for anyone willing to take up his suggestions to marry a daughter. However, one should never forget that Ryujin is a colossal Dragon who crushed Mongolian ships in his coils during the 1218 invasion, and lashed out in a terrifying rage when his servant, the Jellyfish, failed to keep the monkey who could save Ryujin’s dying wife imprisoned.

                          Ryujin was not one to be left out when Buddhism arrived in Japan, and became a figure invoked for rainfall to an exceptional degree, with his rains being explained as the reason that the earth of Japan wasn’t cracked and too dry to grow anything.
                          • Powers
                            • Animal: Personally a dragon, with his descendants also being dragons. Prayed to for abundance with fishing the sea. Described as the King of Serpents, holds authority over snakes. Is served by jellyfish
                            • Water: Owns and controls the tides. Actually lives underwater.
                            • Sky: Prayed to for rain, dragons cause tornadoes on ascent to heaven
                          • Abilities
                            • Politics: A king in his own right. Intentionally marries his children into the Imperial Line many times
                            • Presence: He impresses others frequently using his grand home and boundless wealth
                            • Brawl: Rises from the sea to help defeat the Mongol invasion of 1218, crushing ships
                            • Larceny: Steals precious gems from the Fujiwara family, and a temple bell. Is also blamed for things falling overboard
                            • Command: Arbitrarily marries his children without any questioning, and orders all sea life around him
                            • Animal Ken: Lord of serpents and King of the fishes
                          Tenjin
                          Tenjin is an impressive member of the Pantheon, rising from mortality to being one of the most popular Deities in Shintoism. Tenjin was originally a mortal named Sugawara no Michizane who rose to the rank of Minister of the Right, rising to this position due to his genius which is modernly remembered through his beautiful poetry which remains to this day. However, when he was mistakenly blamed for a crime, he was demoted and then exiled. Dying in exile, Tenjin made his wrath be known by striking the imperial palace with lightning and bringing torrential rainfall. Panicking, the Imperial Family worked out it was Tenjin, and in rapid order pardoned him, promoted him, brought his family back from exile, and enshrined him as a Kami to have his rage calmed.

                          Enshrined as a Kami, Tenjin orchestrated the construction of a grand shrine by having an ox stop and refuse to move from the spot he desired his shrine to be built at. When the villagers finally fetched a priest, Tenjin was able to convey his desire for a shrine which was promptly built, and then joined by his adored plum tree, which uprooted itself and soared through the sky to the temple from his old residence.

                          Now, Tenjin is one of the most popular Kami, due to being the patron of students. When exam season comes around, his temples are utterly saturated with rather desperate young worshipers praying for his assistance in passing their exams. Those who meet him will often find a rather serious middle aged man, but when angered, he explodes into a tower red Oni who brings Thunder upon his drums. Technically, he is descended from an exceptionally minor Kami who appeared in the Kojiki, and has another ancestor who was a famed wrestler centuries before Tenjin.
                          • Powers
                            • Storms: Strikes the palace with lightning to show his rage, really rather angry, recognised internally as a Thunder God
                            • Epic Intelligence: Patron of learning, God of wisdom
                            • Epic Appearance: Becomes a horrible ogre-like version of himself when enraged
                          • Abilities
                            • Politics: Became the Minister of the Right
                            • Academics: Patron of students / learning
                            • Presence: Becomes a rather intimidating red ogre entity when enraged, managed to put the imperial clan off by striking the palace with lightning
                            • Art: Gives his favorite plum tree a farewell poem when banished. This tree will go on to uproot and fly to his new home
                            • Animal Ken: Stops a bull to mark the location he wants a temple constructed at
                            • Survival: Horticulturalist with a favored plum tree that uprooted and flew to his new temple his love for it was so great
                          Jizo
                          One of the Japanese Bodhisattvas, Jizo appears to be a kindly traveling monk with a bald head and a staff interwoven with rings to drive away evil spirits with the noise. The patron protector of dead children, and their savior from Sai-no-Kawara, Jizo is widely worshiped. Technically the Japanese interpretation of the Bodhisattva Kshitigarbha, Jizo has diverged to a degree and appears somewhat unique in his Japanese interpretation. While he is not seen as powerful a Bodhisattva as Kannon, Jizo is far more personal, and close to individual humans than she is. Most disturbing to the Kami, Jizo is a companion to the dead, serving as a Psychopomp, and interjecting himself into the brutal punishments in Jigoku to save a soul, even going as far as taking the punishments upon himself.

                          As a protector of children, Jizo plays an important role. As children (including aborted, and stillborn children) are predominantly without any wrongdoings (save for some groups which believe the grief they cause their families to be a sin) or good deeds, they wait in a purgatory like state trying to make towers from a shore of round rocks. Jizo often appears on this shore, and leads the dead away into the Pure Lands, saving them from this eternal purgatory. Due to this, and his wanderings, he further became a patron of roads, and his statues are often seen standing in crossroads as a mark of his favor.

                          Since he is both a Buddhist Deity, which subverts Amaterasu's authority, and a guide of the dead, rendering him almost constantly totally corrupted, Jizo has a... complicated relationship with the Kami. Because most of the Japanese dead end up in Jigoku these days, the Kami mostly chose to simply ignore him, which Jizo does not mind.
                          • Powers
                            • Guardian: Protector of dead children and roads
                            • Travel: Patron of the roads, serves as a Psychopomp to some
                            • Justice: Forgiveness and possible judge of the dead with Enma-O
                            • Death: Cares for the souls of dead children / aborted children / ect
                            • Epic Charisma: Is capable of interceding with the implacable rulers of the Underworld in a compassionate manner
                          • Abilities
                            • Occult: Interaction with the dead, and capacity to intervene in the underworld
                            • Fortitude: Sometimes personally takes the punishments of the dead to save them from the tortures
                            • Integrity: A paragon in his virtuosity and benevolence towards others
                            • Survival: Tills an old woman’s field for her when prayed to for assistance, helps in the running and brewing of a Sake store
                            • Medicine: Role in protection from sickness and involvement with childbirth
                            • Empathy: Able to beseech the rulers of the Underworld to intercede and take the punishments of others
                          Kannon
                          Where Jizo is a personal guiding Bodhisattva, Kannon is a distant, but exceptionally potent one. The Bodhisattva of Compassion, Kannon is the Japanese form of Avalokiteshvara, possibly a familiar face in their Chinese counterpart of Guanyin. They are androgynous, though if someone was looking for notable features they would see a person with eleven faces wearing a crown, and occasionally one thousand arms. Without any doubt, Kannon surpasses every other Buddhist God in popularity in Japan. Through nearly countless incarnations, they are able to be almost everywhere at once, and many suspect Kannon of interceding in mortal affairs in the forms of Shotoku Taishi, and Kukai, two of Japan’s great reformers.

                          Unlike many other Bodhisattvas, Kannon has an interesting perception of morality, sometimes allowing the ends to justify the means, though not taking it to the extremes that philosophers do. This means that Kannon is more than willing to guide a poor woman to commit theft, if it means orchestrating an exceptionally complex series of events which result in a wondrous end for everyone involved. They bring about many worldly benefits, helping those suffering and unable to achieve enlightenment, bringing healing, saving those in need, and the assisting the dead.
                          Kannon’s ultimate goal is for all beings to be reborn within the Pure Land of the Buddha Amida. This land is not the end of the journey of a soul, but instead the perfect staging location for one to achieve enlightenment, as the Pure Land has no negative influences. From here, beings have the best chance to achieve Nirvana. However, the general Buddhist insistence that even Gods must eventually go here by accepting their powerlessness and spend their existence in devotion tends to go over... poorly with pretty much every Pantheon.

                          In modernity, their association with the dead has lead to interesting places. Patron of pet cemeteries due to a strong role as a hose-headed guardian of animals, Kannon also has begun to receive prayers for a timely and gentle death before dementia or alzheimer's sets in. They has also taken up a role of calming the suffering dead from war.
                          • Powers
                            • Epic Perception: Depicted with multiple heads and as All Seeing
                            • Guardian: Role as a protector and benevolent savior of those in need, protector of animals
                            • Health: Prayers for Health and Progeny
                            • Death: Caretaker of the dead, and in recent times has become a patron of pet cemeteries and has become a figure of worship for a quick and gentle death for those beginning to be touched by dementia
                            • Epic Manipulation: Orchestrating complex series of causes and effects to lead to graceful and beneficial endings, even when the first task is committing a sin
                          • Abilities
                            • Awareness: Aware of all calls for their intervention
                            • Investigation: Is aware of everything everywhere and has therefore investigated everything. Is in a state of constant investigation
                            • Integrity: Always watching for those in need, figure of ultimate benevolence and forgiveness
                            • Empathy: Exemplar of Compassion
                            • Occult: Is mentioned to be capable of interceding to alter people's Karma
                            • Animal Ken: Has a dominant aspect which is the savior of animals
                          Last edited by Watcher; 11-07-2016, 05:42 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Lesser Gods

                            Many lesser gods have considerably fewer associated purviews, simply because they have very few myths. This also causes us to make some large stretches on their associated abilities. But we have included them below for those who would like to give them a shot.

                            Sumiyoshi
                            A curious god of medicine, sex, and poetry, Sumiyoshi is a little known figure today, but has turned up various times in the past to help mankind. Most importantly, he aided the Empress Jingu in her invasion of Korea, appearing before her as an old man and performing feats of strength to prove his divinity to her. Then, his gentle aspect advised the Empress while his wrathful aspect became a general to lead her armies. In a similar way, he appeared to the legendary hero Minamoto Raiko and gave him the magical sake with which the hero would defeat the terrible demon Shuten-doji. Generally, however, Sumiyoshi's main function has always been to grant pregnancy, heal sickness, and protect poets and fishermen.
                            • Legend: 10
                            • Powers
                              • Epic Strength: Hurling the giant bull, splitting the boulder blocking the path of the army with an arrow
                              • Health: Lust and Pregnancy Deity, but also plays a role in healing
                            • Abilities
                              • Athletics: Throwing the massive bull
                              • Art: Patron of artists
                              • Marksmanship: Splitting the boulder with an arrow
                              • Medicine: Patronal role with medicine
                              • Survival: Patron of seafarers
                              • Command: Leads the army of Jingu
                            Tsukuyomi
                            The second of Izanagi’s three children, tasked with ruling the night, Tsukuyomi butchered the Food Kami Uke-Mochi when he saw she was pulling the food she was feeding him from her orifices. Banished by Amaterasu, Tsukuyomi became the Moon so that his heavenly sister never had to look upon him again. This banishment has left Tsukuyomi no less stern, possessing the Water of Immortality but seemingly refusing to allow others access to it, especially humanity.
                            • Legend: 11
                            • Powers
                              • D̶a̶r̶k̶n̶e̶s̶s̶: W̶h̶i̶l̶e̶ ̶h̶e̶ ̶w̶a̶s̶ ̶a̶p̶p̶o̶i̶n̶t̶e̶d̶ ̶R̶u̶l̶e̶r̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶N̶i̶g̶h̶t̶,̶ ̶h̶e̶ ̶n̶e̶v̶e̶r̶ ̶w̶a̶n̶t̶e̶d̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶b̶e̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶c̶h̶a̶r̶g̶e̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶n̶i̶g̶h̶t̶,̶ ̶d̶o̶e̶s̶ ̶n̶o̶t̶h̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶r̶e̶l̶a̶t̶e̶d̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶d̶a̶r̶k̶n̶e̶s̶s̶ ̶w̶h̶i̶l̶e̶ ̶h̶e̶ ̶i̶s̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶c̶h̶a̶r̶g̶e̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶n̶i̶g̶h̶t̶,̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶b̶r̶i̶n̶g̶s̶ ̶l̶i̶g̶h̶t̶ ̶a̶s̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶m̶o̶o̶n̶ ̶
                              • Moon: Banished to be the Kami of the moon so Amaterasu never had to look at him again
                            • Abilities
                              • Melee: Kills Uke-Mochi, sometimes said to be done with a sword
                              • Medicine: Possesses the water of immortality
                              • Integrity: When presented with the disgusting image of Uke-Mochi producing food, he upheld his ideals despite the social consequences
                              • Occult: Sends his will through oracles
                              • Survival: Vague connections to agriculture
                              • Presence: Banished to be the moon so Amaterasu need not look upon his visage, which implies a visage worth noting. Also the moon
                            Ame-no-Uzume
                            A skilled dancer, Ame-no-Uzume was the Kami who stripped naked and danced luridly to cause the Pantheon to laugh uproariously, luring Amaterasu from her cave. Then, when tasked with accompanying the Heavenly Grandson from Heaven, she danced again for Sarutahiko startling him, but ultimately winning him to their side. Although she has be known to cruelly punish those who disrespect the gods, Ame-no-Uzume is generally seen as a goddess of luck, comically ugly but happy and generous, and was sometimes depicted as one of the Seven Lucky Gods before that troupe reached their canonical set-up.
                            • Legend: 10
                            • Powers
                              • Epic Appearance: Brings Amaterasu out of hiding by making the Pantheon laugh at her naked dance, defuses a situation with Sarutahiko during the descent from heaven by undressing
                              • Magic: Was one of the Seven Lucky Gods before they were popular
                            • Abilities
                              • Art: Lurid dancing is her thing
                              • Presence: Naked dancing, also described in exaggerated physical terms
                              • Occult: Role on the Seven Lucky Gods before she didn’t make the cut
                              • Politics: Advisor to Ninigi
                              • Melee: Fucking slits the Sea Cucumber’s throat for not supporting The Heavenly Grandson making it eternally mute
                              • Integrity: Considered “A Woman of Great Character”
                            Sarutahiko
                            A giant Kami with a comically large nose, but an otherwise terrifying visage in stature and bright light, Sarutahiko is far from what his visage may suggest. A patron of roads, he often resides by the Eightfold Crossroad of Heaven guiding others to their destination just as he did with the Heavenly Grandson after Ame-no-Uzume danced for him, which eventually led to the pair marrying. The Lesser Road Gods serving under him are just like that; comically phallic, but ultimately paragons of harmonious marriage, and gentle protectors of mankind.
                            • Legend: 10
                            • Powers
                              • Travel: Patron of Roads
                              • Epic Appearance: Accidentally frightens the Gods coming down from heaven by his unseemly appearance. Over seven feet tall, with a nose seven hands long, a glowing mouth, and posterior
                            • Abilities
                              • Presence: Accidentally frightens an arriving troop of Gods
                              • Animal Ken: Has three monkeys accompanying himself
                              • Politics: Sent by the earthly Kami to help the heavenly Kami on their way down to earth
                              • Athletics: Often walking the long road from heaven with the heavenly Kami
                              • Survival: Guided the heavenly Kami down to earth along the roads
                              • Awareness: Stood guard over the Eightfold Crossroad of Heaven
                            Toyouke
                            Daughter of Wakumushi, who was born from Izanami’s death throes, Toyouke is a minor Kami of grain and a handmaiden to Amaterasu. She is... a strange figure, not for behavior, but due to some sort of divine politics that we are not privy to as mortals. Amaterasu insisted that Toyouke be included in the heart of her grand shrine, and during the 13th century, her mortal descendents started claiming she was an incarnation of Ame-no-Minakanushi, the first entity to ever exist. These claims are mostly seen as nonsense, but... why did Amaterasu favor her so greatly?
                            • Legend: 9
                            • Powers
                              • Fertility: Food Deity, name translates to “Plentiful food princess”
                            • Abilities
                              • Survival: Intrinsic to role as a food Deity
                              • Politics: As personal servant to Amaterasu, Toyouke would have a hand in politics
                              • Presence: Her personal cult claimed that she was actually Ame-no-Minakanushi, and Amaterasu singled her out to be a handmaiden
                              • Empathy: As a food Deity, Toyouke interacts with humanity on a more frequent level. Additionally, as an aide to Amaterasu, understanding people is a key tool
                              • Fortitude: Walked the long road down to earth along with the Heavenly Grandson and other Kami
                              • Integrity: As aide to Amaterasu, the role necessitates a capacity for loyalty
                            Fudo Myoo
                            An esoteric Japanese Buddhist figure, Fudo Myoo is an intimidating figure. A man burning with an aura of flame, with black skin, red hair, and tusks, Fudo Myoo wields a golden rope and sword. With these, he catches and slays demons and other opponents of Buddhism. His worshipers would perform acts of endurance to emulate him, including walking over coals, and meditating under waterfalls.
                            • Legend: 10
                            • Powers
                              • Fire: The Deity is a large burning figure, invoked during Buddhist fire ceremonies
                              • Epic Stamina: Described as “The Immovable” in many ways. Immovable to that which would break the tenants of buddhism, but also in such ways as climbing ladders made from swords or sitting unflinching under waterfalls
                            • Abilities
                              • Integrity: An unstoppable and immovable force resisting that which would oppose the tenants of Buddhism
                              • Fortitude: Grants followers a capacity to endure great pain, and involved in his title of, “The Immovable”
                              • Presence: Depicted in intimidating manners, surrounded by fire, with fangs, and a glower
                              • Melee: His shrine in Narita City bares a magical sword that wards off madness and possession by foxes
                              • Occult: Important in various esoteric sub sects of Buddhism, and plays a role in intensive meditation under waterfalls and the like
                              • Athletics: Ties up those who work against the tenets of Buddhism with a special rope
                            The Seven Lucky Gods
                            The Seven Lucky Gods are popular folk Deities worshiped in Japan, bringing good luck to others in this life. On the final day of every year, they descend to earth aboard their ship, Takarabune, to dispense wealth. From a Buddhist perspective, the Seven Lucky Gods were sent by a Buddhist monk representing the seven virtues of Tokugawa Ieyasu. They are led by Daikokuten who is also Okuninushi.

                            Benzaiten
                            A Goddess with an apparent origin in Sarasvati, and intermingled in the Dragon Princesses, Benzaiten is a Goddess of Music, Love, patron of artful prostitutes (Geishas) and champion of arranged marriages. When a fierce dragon was rampaging, it was Benzaiten who calmed him with her music and married the Dragon, becoming the mother of many Sea Goddesses and fifteen loyal sons. This has not stopped her from having many affairs, and being one of the Kami who may actually have Scions directly with a mortal. Interestingly, she is often depicted naked which is an exceptional oddity for Japanese Goddesses. Those in her favor should be careful, however, since she's just as wont to help you as to turn you into a snake - which she does see as helping, in her own inscrutable ways.
                            • Legend: 10
                            • Powers
                              • Epic Charisma: Calming dragons, proposing to a dragon, many lovers, beautiful music
                              • Epic Appearance: Specifically labeled as beautiful and frequent nakedness
                              • Magic: One of the Seven Lucky Gods
                              • Water: She is the protector of lake Biwa, functions as a personification of rivers in Buddhist cosmology, and her significant cult shrines are built on islands. Further, fish are her messengers.
                            • Abilities
                              • Art: Patron of music
                              • Empathy: Calming dragons, sensing passions
                              • Animal Ken: Turns people into snakes, and has catfish as her emissaries
                              • Presence: Calming dragons. Naked epithet
                              • Control: Navigates with a heavenly boat
                              • Medicine: The Golden-Egg-Sons, and prayed to for fertility
                            Bishamonten
                            Once, Bishamonten was one of the Four Heavenly Kings who guard Buddhist Temples, Bishamonten far exceeded his fellows in popularity and thus importance. He is a mighty armed warrior with a trident, and occasionally riding a tiger or lion in a war form with eleven heads and twelve arms, armed to the teeth. One of the patrons of the Samurai, he leads an army of demons he converted into battle. He is, however, also a foremost protector of the Buddhist clergy, and dispenses wealth from the bowls full of gold and diamonds he carries.
                            • Legend: 10
                            • Powers
                              • War: Leading armies, patron of warriors, depiction as warrior
                              • Guardian: Protecting the ruling buddhist class against an insurrection
                              • Magic: One of the Seven Lucky Gods
                            • Abilities
                              • Animal Ken: Riding a variety of abnormal animals
                              • Control: Riding abnormal animals and Heavenly Boat
                              • Melee: Trident
                              • Academics: Figure of boundless knowledge
                              • Command: Leads an army
                              • Presence: Possesses a frightening ten armed eleven headed form
                            Hotei
                            Being the Japanese incarnation of the Chinese Laughing Buddha, Hotei is a grotesquely comical figure, impressively fat and covered in body hair, yet bald and beardless, and always with a laugh on his broad face. His defining features are his kindness and his love for children, so that he is constantly filling the bag he carries with him with the alms he's begging for, only to pass them out to needy children. While nothing but a paragon of goodness, shamelessness, and amiability on the outside, there are hints at something deeper with Hotei, as he is sometimes said to be an incarnation of the messianic Buddha of the future, Miroku.
                            • Legend: 9
                            • Powers
                              • Magic: Member of the Seven Lucky Gods, dispenser of blessings to children
                            • Abilities
                              • Control: Like the other Seven Lucky Gods, sails a special boat down to earth
                              • Empathy: Always laughing and smiling, spreading joy, and making children happy
                              • Integrity: A paragon of kindness, said to have “a heart as big as his belly” and always giving the alms he collects to needy children
                              • Occult: There are hints that he may be more than he appears to be, possibly an incarnation of Buddha Miroku
                              • Presence: Wears an open jacket to proudly display his large hairy belly
                              • Fortitude: Has children climb upon his big body without noticing, doesn’t care what he eats, and is not encumbered by his great bulk and clumsiness
                            Ebisu
                            The reborn Hiruko, the first child of Izanagi and Izanami who was deformed, born without bones. Set out to sea in a small reed boat, Hiruko reincarnated at sea into Ebisu. Now, a patron of fishermen, Ebisu is the King of the Whales, and once a year reverts to his original deformed shape, cursing any who see him in this state. Interestingly, Ebisu is almost deaf, leading to his cult being exceptionally loud, but also causing him to always miss out on the yearly assembly of the Gods, meaning he is the only God to respond to prayers during that time of year. Additionally, of all of the Seven Lucky Gods, Ebisu is the most intertwined with concepts of material wealth instead of more abstract luck and success.
                            • Legend: 10
                            • Powers
                              • Animal: Patron of Fishermen. King of Whales
                              • Magic: One of the Seven Lucky Gods
                              • Epic Stamina: Reincarnates as another deity
                            • Abilities
                              • Fortitude: Surviving on that boat for so long, especially if he has been just barely holding to life the whole time
                              • Animal Ken: Patron of fisherman, King of the whales
                              • Presence: Not a pretty sight, people have to stay away on a specific day each year
                              • Academics: One of the primary Deities of commerce
                              • Control: Heavenly boat
                              • Survival: Role in fishing
                            Fukurokuju
                            A minimally described being, Fukurokuju appears to be a stereotypical Chinese sage with a head shaped like a gourd, distended from thinking too much. He dispenses Immortality, though he is best known for being an exceptional thinker. This one is a huge stretch because almost nothing is mentioned besides being on the roster of the Seven Lucky Gods.
                            • Legend: 9
                            • Powers
                              • ​Epic Intelligence: So wise he has distorted his head
                              • Health: A dispenser of Immortality
                              • Magic: Fukurokuju has no myths where he is ever shown to be creating success or good luck, but he is so widely considered to be a luck god that we have included it here to be thorough
                            • Abilities
                              • Academics: Wisdom.
                              • Medicine: Wisdom?
                              • Occult: Wisdom!
                              • Control: Descends from heaven in the heavenly boat
                              • Politics: Wisdom~
                              • Fortitude: Longevity / Immortality
                            Jurojin
                            Another minimally described figure, Jurojin is another Chinese sage who touts with himself a cavalcade of various symbols for longevity and immortality. Deer, peaches, gourds, turtles, scrolls, mushrooms, and the like. Luckily, this means we have to stretch less than Fukurokuju.
                            • Powers
                              • Health: A dispenser of immortality
                              • Magic: One of the Seven Lucky Gods
                            • Abilities
                              • ​Animal Ken: Represented through Deer, and Turtles
                              • Survival: Gourds, Mushrooms, Peaches
                              • Academics: Scrolls
                              • Fortitude: Longevity / Immortality
                              • Control: Descends from heaven in the Heavenly Boat
                              • Medicine: A dispenser of immortality, along with having medicinal connections through plants
                            Yama-no-Kami (Collective)
                            The Mountain Kami of Japan are important local figures to wherever they sit. These Mountain Kami are almost always women, though some men do exist within their ranks. Every year, they are enticed down from the mountains to local villages through extensive rituals to secure for those villages bountiful harvests. The chief among the Yama-no-Kami is Konohana-Sakuya-hime, Kami of Mount Fuji and wife of the Heavenly Grandchild Ninigi.
                            • Legend: 5-9
                            • Powers
                              • Earth: Mountain Deities, the mountains themselves, and residing on them
                              • Fertility: Are enticed down from their mountain homes by mortals who want them to secure for them a bountiful harvest
                            • Abilities
                              • Survival: Agricultural role
                              • Presence: Shifting appearances between beautiful women and cannibal hags
                              • Medicine: Role in childbirth
                              • Fortitude: Mountains, you know, mountains
                              • Occult: Must be lured down from their mountain homes by extensive rituals by humans
                              • Animal Ken: During the winter, the Deities change to patron hunters and provide good hunts from the animals on their slopes
                            The Dragon Princesses (Collective)
                            Ryujin has a plethora of daughters, or so it seems. The Dragon King marries his daughters off in a snap when presented with an intriguing batchelor. The Dragon Princesses themselves are poorly described, but appear as women unless they have to give birth, in which case they revert to their serpentine form. Though, it has been shown that they find it shameful to be seen in this state, and have fled from a husband before when they violated their wife’s terms of not sneaking a look.
                            • Legend: 5-9
                            • Powers
                              • Animal: Transformations, but, you know, also dragons like Ryujin
                              • Water: Live under the sea along with Ryujin
                            • Abilities
                              • Animal Ken: Transformative acts, and also are rather large animals themselves. Sometimes
                              • Larceny: Capacity to pass as human when transforming as long as they hide their tail
                              • Politics: As princesses, political tutelage would be part of their upbringing
                              • Presence: Both large dragons, but capable of turning into attractive women with dragon tails
                              • Occult: Protected Urashima Taro from his true age until he foolishly broke the spell by opening the box
                              • Medicine: Capable of preventing the aging of Urashima Taro
                            Last edited by Watcher; 11-07-2016, 05:25 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Enemies and Allies of the Pantheon

                              Enemies
                              Kunitsukami
                              The Earthly Kami were subjugated by the Amatsukami, the Heavenly Kami, when Amaterasu decided their lands should be ruled by her heir. While they have somewhat formed ranks, initially the Kunitsukami were host to many resisting figures who were put to death. While other Pantheons face ancient Titanic enemies, the Kami’s greatest risk is a civil war between the Kunitsukami and the Amatsukami.

                              Izanami
                              The Amatsukami, as the heirs to Izanagi, are set in eternal opposition to Izanami. The mere idea of treating with her is beyond consideration, since merely doing so is corruption, and she would happily murder any Scion to further her ancient grudge. Even the Kunitsukami with their relation to Susano-O who famously favored Izanami over Izanagi find themselves in opposition to the primordially corrupted mother, though nobody can guess what Izanami might do if they sided with her in a full rebellion. Perhaps she would forgive them, or maybe she would kill them regardless for being reminders of her abandonment by a faithless husband.

                              Fujin and Raijin
                              The two Storm Oni were once a threat to Japan as they raged across the skies with their thunder and tempest winds. They were, thankfully, tamed by Kannon and their chaotic force brought to calm, but if the two Oni were to ever convinced to bring destruction again the Kami would find formidable opponents. So powerful were they that even a dozen gods might fail against them, unless they are befuddled by social or mental wiles.

                              Namazu
                              The Earthquake causing Catfish Namazu was imprisoned by Takemikazuchi, but still the creature struggles against its bonds to cause earthquakes, especially during the yearly gathering of the Kami when Takemikazuchi is too busy to go deal with Namazu. If the Catfish were to ever be freed, the Kami would be in a panic, because even if Namazu had no desire to destroy the islands he might still thrash up devastating tidal waves that could sweep the world. And if someone convinced him to put effort towards intentionally destroying Japan, the gods would win but the empire might fall.

                              Allies
                              The Marebito
                              The residents of far-off Tokoyo are Kami foreign to the Kunitsukami and the Amatsukami. At times, the distant Marebito have lent some assistance to the Kami of Japan, but just who the Marebito are and from whom they are descended is somewhat of a mystery.

                              Kunitsukami
                              The Earthly Kami were subjugated and brought into the Pantheon by force on the third attempt by the Amatsukami to conquer the realm of plentiful reeds. Since this time, they have been all but assimilated into the Pantheon and have worked together with their heavenly cousins. The appointing of Kotoshironushi went a long way towards ensuring peace, and they have been socializing with the Heavenly Kami for so long they would require great motivation to give up their current prosperity.

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