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Anime and Manga Back Issue

The essay on Shinto in Anime and Manga that I wrote in January 2018 is now available for purchase on Gumroad. It isn’t systematic or deeply analytical, but I think it is a good introduction to the way Shinto tends to be portrayed, and used, in manga. Most of the examples are from manga; I think I could write an essay of similar length on Shinto in Miyazaki Hayao’s anime, but that has probably been done already.

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6 thoughts on “Anime and Manga Back Issue”

    1. That doesn’t surprise me at all. I know there is a lot of scholarship on it — the only thing I am unsure of is whether someone has specifically looked at the Shinto aspects.

  1. Have heard of the video game “Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice” (I’m unsure of it’s precise Japanese title)? There are some very interesting manifestations of Shinto within, particularly in the final area of the game called “Fountainhead Palace.” Perhaps unrelated, there also seems to a surprisingly detailed reproduction of Kiyomizu-Dera Temple in Kyoto. Though I am a Westerner with only a reader’s knowledge, I learned how to better understand this game and this area from your writing as well as others. In any case, thank you for your work. I’ll be sure to have a look at your other essays.

    1. Thanks for the comment. I wasn’t aware of that game, but you often get a lot of Shinto imagery (at least) in games with a Japanese setting, because of how deeply embedded it is in the culture. I’m glad you found my writings helpful in understanding it. (Probably no help with the boss fights, though…)

  2. I’ve been reading a manga called Touge Oni (峠鬼). It’s a fantasy take on religion and politics during the Nara period when the Kami are slowly losing power and leaving the seen world for the unseen (幽世). Anyway, Ookuninushi-ookami is depicted as an Emishi kami as are several others. Is this artistic license or based on actual theories? I always assumed Ookuninushi-ookami was the tutelary deity/patriarch of a Wa clan who lost to the Yamato court.

    1. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there were a theory about that, but there are lots of theories about the “real origins” of the kami. The myths of Ōkuninushi tend to associate him with western Japan, whereas the references to Emishi that I know of are from the east, which is a strike against it. Still, artistic licence is a reasonable excuse — it is certainly not impossible.

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