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Note on notes... ^^;

January 15th, 2007 (06:05 pm)

current mood: frozen

As above, a note on the notes for Shoumyou 5. The episode notes were left a bit more scant in order to avoid muddling the issue which, the more you look into it, the more muddled things become. What's included in the episode is information that is reasonably found and verified by multiple sources. What follows is info that is less certain and/or not verified by multiple sources.

The 12 shinshou seem to have originated in the theory of the five elements as it was imported from Ancient China. According to a couple of sites, this theory was lost over the ages in China. The original 12 shinshou started as names of various gods that represented different mansions/constellations used in divination in China and these were then brought to Japan and passed on through various divination methods including rikujin divination. The original depictions of the 12shinshou in China were of animals, beautiful women or great noblemen, but this slowly changed over the ages in Japan as the shinshou changed from being heavenly beings to being the kishin (fierce gods) that became shikigami. (It should be noted that written records of the shinshou being Seimei's shikigami arose after Seimei's death and were not from records of the period).

Interestingly, sites mention that Kijin is a *man* compared to the female characterisation we see in Shoumyou. ^^;

Some century, I'll actually get around to compiling everything and putting it up on the website. It's planned for, but time is elusive. >.


Posted by: Jorsen (jorsen)
Posted at: January 17th, 2007 07:49 pm (UTC)

I owe you a big one for this info. The issue of the shinshou has been driving me crazy for quite some time. You practically blasted the main wall I couldn't get over. Not to mention the fact that you gave me several new leads and a couple of new ideas. Thank you very much!

Posted by: lingkan (lingkan)
Posted at: January 21st, 2007 09:31 pm (UTC)

umm.... a japanese friend actually watched the ep. 5 with me and she said something about the notes. though i cannot really recall. i guess it was about the byakko which suppose to be tiger and the seiryuu = dragon..
well they all in romanji and we both couldn't be so sure. -.-

Posted by: Shadow (kagedreams)
Posted at: January 21st, 2007 10:13 pm (UTC)

You're talking about the names of the shijin (four gods), but the animals indicated in their names don't necessarily (or don't at all) match their associated 12shi animals. IIRC, the shijin that guard the cardinal (and not so cardinal) directions are also known as the four divine / heavenly beasts and are:

Seiryuu--azure dragon, East
Suzaku--crimson (...bird of some sort, usually a phoenix), South
Genbu--black tortoise, North
Byakko--white tiger, West

This is another aspect of the 12shinshou that gets very confusing the more you look into it. Also, the 12shi and the 12shinshou, while associated, are different things. I don't know when or why the shinshou were combined with the 12shi animals although they're both associated with divination. I also don't know if any of that aspect of the 12shinshou *is* particularly clear, or if that information has been lost over the ages. We're talking about something that was created perhaps some 2000 (more?) years ago, of which written records have been lost in China, some of it retained in Japan, and anything else in between.

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