Japanese Hero/ine

(fictional)



AMATERASUmythology
There are few people who know 10 or more names of gods although numerous gods appear on the mythology in Japan.
Amaterasu is one of the most famous god among the Japanese pantheon; the goddess that reigned over the heavens. The sun.
When she got angry at violence of Susanoo and hid in the cave (Amenoiwaya), the world was wrapped to darkness. The pantheon unrolled an enjoyable party before the cave to invite her outside, so the light returned in the world once again .

The sentence of a feminist, Hiratsuka Raichou "In the primitive age, the woman was the sun" is famous.
TSUKUYOMImythology
The younger brother of Amaterasu. God of the moon that conducted the night.

In the beginning he lived with Amaterasu. But they had a quarrel because he killed her daughter, Ukemochinokami (goddess keeping foods) . So, they parted to the day and the night.
SUSANOOmythology
The younger brother of Amaterasu. Violent god. He was expelled from the heaven, without complying to a command to control the sea.

He killed the monster serpent with eight heads, and obtained the divine sword (Amanomurakumo no tsurugi) , which he devoted to Amaterasu.

This sword was called "Kusanagi no tsudugi" after. This sword, the mirror (Yatano Kagami) and the ornamental bead (Yasaka no magatama) were made the symbol of Throne called "The Three Sacred Treasures".
YAMATOTAKERUmythology
He was the son of the emperor and was a very excellent combatant. His father feared the ability of this son and always gave him the severe missions to go to the great distance. He was lonely because his father dind't love him.
He killed his older brother by misunderstanding. Taking the shape to a woman, he threw down a strong enemy.

When he was enclosed by fire at the field, he escaped the peril by the sacred sword "Kusanagi no tsurugi". And when he was in stormy sea, the self-sacrifice of his wife "Ototachibana hime" saved him.
However, he didn't have home to go back, so he couldn't do anything but wandering toward the death.

Finally he died on the way of trip. He became a beautiful swan after death and had fluttered to the sky. The beautiful sadness of this loser moves the heart of Japanese.
MOMOTAROfolktale
The hero of the "Momotaro". He was born from the peach that had streamed in a river. An old man and his wife brought up him. A certain day, he went to the "Onigashima( island of ogres)" to conquer ogres. Giving kibidango(millet dumpling) to a dog, a monkey and a pheasant, he made them his servants. They conquered ogres and came home with treasures.
URASHIMATAROfolktale
The hero of the "Urashima Taro". He was a fisherman. He helped the tortoise that children were bullying on the beach. The tortoise took him to the "Ryugujo (castle in the sea)" for gratitude. A beautiful princess, "Otohime" lived in the castle. He forgot time, because every day was enjoyable.
When he was going to come back to the ground at last, the princess gave him the casket called "Tamatebako" as a charm with the message 'Never open it'.
Coming back to the ground, mysteriously, he couldn't find anyone he knew . He felt lonely and opened the casket. Then, smoke stood up from it and he became an old man soon. The time he spent in the Ryugujo was so long.

"Urashima Taro" often means the person who has come back after a long time and can not understand the present situation.
KINTAROfolktale
In the legend, he was the stout baby who was born from a mountain witch. When he was a child, he was almost nude putting on only a red bib and shouldering a broadax. He mimicked warrior by riding on the bear and wrestled with animals.
Such his life has been told in the folktale and children's songs. The doll modeled on him is displayed in house as the symbol of the health of boy.
People says Kintaro is the name in infant of Sakatano Kintoki. Sakata was the brave warrior who exterminated numerous ogres and burglars.
KAGUYAHIMEfolktale
The heroine of "Taketori Monogatari ".

She was born from the shining bamboo that the old bamboo craftsman cut, andsoon grew up to a beautiful lady. Although she was courted by many noble youngmen, she refused them by requiring the impossible conditions. Even the emperor had an interest in her finally.
However, the envoys of the moon came to bring back her in a certain night of the full moon, so she had to go back to the heaven. Even the armed forces of the emperor were not able to impede it because of dazzling light.
Departing from her foster parents, she left them the medicine for immortal (Fushi). The old parents who lost their dearest daughter didn't drink it but burnt it at the summit of the highest mountain. That is the source of the name of Mt. Fuji.
HIKARUGENJInovel
The hero of the long novel "Genjimonogatari (the Story of Genji)" written by Murasaki Shikibu.

He was the beautiful and wise boy whose parents were the emperor and one of his wives in lower position.
The emperor removed him from the Imperial family previously and made him a vassal, so that this son should not grieve in successor dispute.
He missed his mother who died when he was a baby yet, and loved many women with anything like his mother. He lived elegantly, while taking care of all the sweethearts. Some of his secret sweethearts were wives of his father and someone else.
Finally, it was revealed that he loved the daughter of his political rival who was going to marry with the emperor, and he was shut out from the metropolis.
However, natural calamity extraordinary broke out in the metropolis that lost him , and the emperor should call back him. He succeeded after that, and obtained the highest power in the Imperial Court.
In his late year, he noticed certain young man was making love with his youngest wife, and he looked back his own previous demeanor.

This story continues also after his death.
TETSUWAN ATOMU
(ATOMIC BOY)
comic/animarion
The hero of "Tetsuwan Atomu (Atomic Boy)" written and painted by Tezuka Osamu.

A robot by atomic power that was taken and was brought up by the Dr. Ochanomizu .
He endeavored for the peace of earth with artless heart.

This program was telecasted when television began to diffuse to general homes in Japan. Atomu was the character that impressed the dream of "science" to children strongly.
ULTRAMANJuvenile TV drama
The hero of the TV program for children; "Ultraman". The giant from M78 nebula unifies with Hayata who is one of the science special army, and fights with various monsters. Ultraman can continue to fight on the earth between only three minutes. The color timer of his chest flickers busily when the limit will get close. In front of the televisions, being afraid, children used to cheer Ultraman and fight together with gesture of kicks and chops.
This series is the long life program that continues for about 30 years increasing the variation of heroes. The contemporary children also love the Ultra family as much as grow-ups who were children at one time.

The setting that Ultraman is relying on solar energy was born from the consideration to ecology and to the feeling of the bombed country Japan; the human should not to admit atomic power.
In many episodes in this series, the monsters were drawn as lonely minority discriminated, not as ones should be hated simply.
It was not the recreation work of simple poetic justice but one caused children to think about the contradiction of the world.
HOSHI HYUMAcomic/animarion
The hero of the "Kyojin no hoshi (the star of the Giants) "written and painted by Kajiwara Ikki .

He was living with his father and elder sister in the poor home lacking mother.
His father, thinking only baseball, gave Spartan education for becoming a great pitcher to Hyuma. It is famous that his father turned over rudely the small dining table angrily.
When he was an elementary schoolboy, his chest and arms were covered with "the training cast for major league" that was made with hard springs to build up the muscle.
When grown Hyuma joined the Giants, his father became the coach of his rival team to give ordeals to Hyuma.
Hyuma thought out one after another the miracle ball called "the major league ball" to supplement his physical disadvantage .
The 1st miracle ball followed the bat unnaturally.
The 2nd one became unvisible before the batter .
And the 3rd one was so light as to escape with the wind pressure of the bat.
Throwing these miracle ball was too severe for his body to continue pitcher life long.

A typical work of extreme effortism.
YABUKI JOcomic/animarion
The hero of the "Joe in tomorrow" written by Takamori Asao and painted by Chiba Tetsuya.

He was the blackguard who grew up in the orphanage and met boxing in reformatory. He stood up laughing even if he was beaten and falled any times.
It does not seem that he wanted the glory as a professional boxer. He was feeling satisfaction at the exchange of pain without trick and reservation.
He said. "And after, only pure white ash remains. No embers...... pure white ash only".
At the match with Rikiishi Toru who was his eternal rival, Joe was defeated although Rikiishi had died in the ring. At the last title match with the world champion, he was defeated and died. In the ring, his dead face looked like the child who sleeps in peace.

His existence contains the complicated mentality of Japanese; the aesthetics of loser, masochism, idealism and pessimism, and the yearning to death. He is different from Rocky.
NAUSIKAAcomic/animarion
The heroine of "Nausikaa in the valley of wind" written and painted by Miyazaki Hayao.

The industrial civilization progressed exceeded limit and declined at last. The final war called "the seven days in the fire" scattered poisonous substance all over the world, so most surface of the earth turned to the barren ground.
She is the princess who was born at "the valley of wind" in such an era.
Getting on the kite, she flies in the sky like a bird. She is brave, wise and gentle.
Gazing at the ugly insects and loving them, she solved the mystery of spoiled woods and found out the possibility that the earth would reborn.

Her name was derived from the daughter who helped Odysseus in the Greek myths. The character of "a lady who loves insects" in Japanese old story was influencing on her.









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