The first letter of the Sanskrit alphabet (as well as the Japanese alphabet), pronounced with the mouth open. Represents alpha, beginning, and inhalation. In the Shingon school of Esoteric Buddhism, also represents the basic essence of all things—see Ajikan.
Also known as: Chronicle in Praise of Yoshimune: The Bold Shogun (Yoshimune Hyoubanki: Abarenbou Shogun)
A Japanese historical drama set in the eighteenth century which showed fictious events in the life of Tokugawa Yoshimune (1684-1751), the eighth Tokugawa Shogun. The main series ran from 1978 to 2003, and ranks among the longest-running shows in its genre.
Actor Matsudaira Ken originated the role of Yoshimune, the main character, a nearly invincible samurai warrior who roams freely about his capital punishing evil and rewarding good in the guise of Tokuda Shinnosuke (Shin-san), a freeloader at the Megumi fire company. He played that role for the entirety of the show's run.
The first Mazoku Yuuri meets in Shinma Kingdom, although Adalbert now hates and has renounced all ties with the Mazoku. He sides with the Humans, sometimes inciting them against the Mazoku and other Humans allied with the Mazoku.
The hospital at which Yuiko stays isn't given in the novel, but is implied in the manga to be this hospital, a fairly big institution in the City of Matsumoto.
Ajikan is a form of meditation upon the symble a, which holds that the beginning of all things is in the heart and mind, and one must concentrate on this to understand how any idea one holds can change the shape of the seen and unseen worlds.
The owner of a golf course in Ibaraki Prefecture who seeks Tachibana Yoshiaki's help with a statue which he believes to be possessed. He is described as a bespectacled man around sixty years of age, who has a slightly sun-burnt, long, thin face and looks like he would be more comfortable in farm clothing than in a suit.
Takaya's Physics teacher for Year Two at Jouhoku High.
A large residential and commercial area located in northern Minato, Tokyo.
A talented general and poet who belonged to the inner circle of Oda Nobunaga's vassals. He later ambushed Nobunaga at Honnou Temple in 1582, killing both Nobunaga and his heir, Oda Nobutada. Akechi Mitsuhide then proclaimed himself the new shogun, but soon clashed against Toyotomi Hideyoshi's forces and was defeated in the Battle of Yamazaki only 13 days later. He was killed en route to his stronghold of Sakamoto Castle in the village of Ogurusu by a bandit with a bamboo spear (though an alternate theory states that he was not killed but became a monk instead).
Possessed by: Houjou Ujimasa
Akiba Noriaki is managing director of a large hotel chain as well as a member of the board of directors of a business group involved in the hotel and transportation industries. Due to his connections, he is also an influential voice in the political and financial worlds.
A prefecture located in the Northeast Region of Japan, ruled by the Satake Clan from 1602 to the late 1800s.
A comedy duo formed in 1975 of the team of All-Giant and All-Hanshin. Their name is based on a pun: because of the 9 inches' height difference between them, they are the Giant and a Half ("half" is pronounced "hanshin", which is also homonym to the name of a baseball team, Hanshin, traditional rival of the Giants in the Japanese baseball Central League.)
Also known as: Amakasu Nagashige (甘粕長重)
Title: Oumi no Kami
A vassal of the Uesugi Clan whose valor was on par with that of Kakizaki Kageie. He served as rear guard in the Fourth Battle of Kawanakajima, and his daring in battle was such that even Takeda Shingen praised him, saying, "Is Kenshin in the rear guard?"
Also known as: Amitabha, Buddha of Infinite Light and Life
A celestial buddha described in the scriptures of the Mahayana school of Buddhism who became a buddha after achieving infinite merits from good deeds in countless lives as a monk named Dharmakara. He created the Pure Land, where those who called upon him could go after rebirth and be instructed in the Dharma, thereby becoming bodhisattvas and buddhas in their turn.
A more formal way to address an older sister than "onee-san" or its variants; could be translated as "honorable elder sister".
Also known as: Crimson Anissina
Anissina is one of the three great witches of Shinma Kingdom. She is called 'Crimson Anissina' because of her red hair, which looks like it's on fire.
A more formal way to address an older brother than "onii-san" or its variants; could be translated as "honorable elder brother".
Lit.: "spirit guidance with suggestion": a type of reidouhou in which one hypnotizes the spirit before luring it away, thus allowing the spirit to be controlled.
Yuuri's horse, which is from a rare jet-black line, is shorter, stouter, and has thicker legs than the typical racehorse, and has a warhorse's desposition. She has two hearts, which allows her to continue running even if one heart stops. Ao was personally trained by Conrad.
Also known as: Sendai-jou (仙台城), Gojourou (五城楼)
Lit. 'Fresh Leaves Castle Ruins'
The castle sat on Aoba Hill and was naturally defended by a 400-foot cliff on one side and the Hirose River on the other. Masamune built the Inner Citadel and the Western Wing on Aoba Hill, and Date Tadamune built the Second Wing and Third (Northern) wings at its base. The ruins of the Third Wing is now the Sendai Museum.
All that remains of the original castle today are old stone walls; the rest were dismantled or destroyed in fire, earthquakes, and bombings.
A man in his thirties, Shiohara Kouzou's private driver and an eyewitness to his death.
Kousaka Danjou's current incarnation, who is apparently a university student (ref: Takaya Baito Jigoku Meguri Hen track 5) when he's not traipsing around the country by Shingen's order.
He's described as a handsome youth (early 20s) with bewitching full red lips, glossy black hair, and a slender figure.
A vassal of Oda Nobunaga, born in what is now Ikeda City in Osaka as eldest son and heir to Araki Yoshimura (some say Araki Takamura). He served as vassal to Ikeda Katsumasa and married the daughter of Ikeda Nagamasa. He later served the Miyoshi Clan when they took over the Ikeda Clan, but was noticed by Nobunaga and allowed to become a vassal of the Oda Clan.
In October of 1578, Murashige suddenly revolted against Nobunaga. (Opinions differ on why he did so; Nobunaga apparently held Murashige in high esteem, and his betrayal came as a shock.) Oda's army besieged Murashige at Itami Castle, and he resisted bitterly for the space of a year. However, when his attendants Nakagawa Kiyohide and Takayama Ukon betrayed him, he was left at a severe disadvantage. Thereafter he fled alone to the Mouri Clan. His wife and children as well as soldiers and everyone else left behind at Itami Castle (some 600 people) were executed at Kyoto.
In 1582, after Oda's death and Toyotomi Hideyoshi came to power, Murashige returned to Sakai City in Osaka as a master of the tea ceremony. In the beginning he called himself Araki Douhun (荒木道糞), formed of the characters for "road" and "excrement" in remorse for abandoning his wife and children. Later, Hideyoshi forgive him his past errors and gave him the name Doukun (道薫), with "excrement" changed to "fragrance".
He died in Sakai at the age of 52.
A Japanese-style inn owned by Asaoka Maiko's family located on the banks Lake Chuuzenji. It has two stories, with the second affording a gorgeous view of the lake.
A woman who, though skeptical of psychic phenomenon, seeks Naoe's help for her comatose brother, Asaoka Shinya, who appears in her dreams begging for her to save him.
Her family owns Asaoka Inn on the banks of Lake Chuuzenji, and she is known as a local beauty.
Title: Koga Kubou (1535 - 1552)
Haruuji was born eldest son to Ashikaga Takamoto. He formed an alliance with Houjou Ujitsuna in 1538 and married his daughter Houjunin. However, he was hostile towards Ujitsuna's successor Houjou Ujiyasu, and formed an alliance with Ougigayatsu-Uesugi Tomosada and Yamanouchi-Uesugi Norimasa. He joined them in a attack on the Houjou in the Battle of Kawagoe Castle in 1546, the loss of which deprived him of the power of Koga Kubou. He was forced to confer that title on his second son Ashikaga Yoshiuji (whose mother was Houjunin) in 1552. Two years later, his castle at Koga was attacked by Ujiyasu, and he was confined to Hatano in Sagami. He was allowed to return to Koga Castle in 1557, but was confined to Kurihashi Castle when the coup he was planning to bring his eldest son Ashikaga Fujiuji back to power came to light.
He died in 1560 at the age of 53.
Also known as: Muromachi shogunate (室町幕府)
A military dictatorship which ruled Japan from 1336 to 1573, following the three-year Kenmu Restoration during which the Emperor Go-Daigo attempted to restore the Imperial House to power after almost a century and a half of military rule under the Kamakura Shogunate. The Kamakura bakufu ordered Ashikaga Takauji to quash the emperor's revolt, but Ashikaga betrayed the bakufu and fought for the emperor, successfully overthrowing the Kamakura bakufu in 1336. Ashikaga Takauji then set up his own dynastic shogunate based in Kyoto, with 15 Ashikaga shoguns ruling the country until the last Ashikaga shogun, Ashikaga Yoshiaki, was driven out of Kyoto by Oda Nobunaga in 1573.
Ashikaga Yoshiaki was installed by Oda Nobunaga as the 15th shogun of the Ashikaga shogunate after the death of his brother Ashikaga Yoshiteru, the 13th shogun in 1565 followed by the death of their cousin, Ashikaga Yoshihide, in 1568.
At first Yoshiaki was grateful towards Nobunaga, but began to chafe at remaining a puppet to him. He secretly communicated with Kennyo of Hongan Temple and Takeda Shingen about the formation of an anti-Nobunaga coalition. The coalition was later joined by such generals as Azai Nagamasa, Matsunaga Hisahide, and Miyoshi Yoshitsugu.
However, Yoshiaki was driven out of Kyoto in 1573 by Nobunaga after the death of Shingen, effectively ending the Ashikaga Shogunate.
The 13th shogun of the Ashikaga Shogunate, Ashikaga Yoshiteru became shogun at the age of 11 and reigned from 1546 to 1565. During a period when the shogun was a puppet to the powerful daimyo around him, Yoshiteru was nevertheless respected for his displomacy, and many famous daimyo such as Oda Nobunaga and Uesugi Kenshin traveled to the capital to pay their respects.
Yoshiteru committed suicide in Kyoto when Matsunaga Hisahide invaded with Miyoshi Yoshitsugu and overran his few personal troops.
17th head of the Ashina Clan, Ashina Moriuji's son and heir. His wife was the daughter of Date Harumune.
Morioki became the head of the clan in 1561 upon his father's retirement, but he died early (possible causes were illness, alcohol poisoning, and defeat in battle) and left the clan without an heir.
Also known as: Heitarou (平太郎), Nikaidou Moritaka (二階堂盛隆)
18th generation lord of the Ashina Clan who was adopted by Ashina Moriuji to continue the family line. He was originally the son of Nikaidou Moriyoshi and a hostage of the Ashina Clan, but was adopted into the clan when Ashina Morioki's early death left the clan without an heir.
However, he was very unpopular with the Ashina retainers after his succession, and was assassinated at the age of 24.
Afterwards, his widow took the clan in hand. He had two daughters, one of whom became the wife of the next clan head, Ashina Yoshihiro
Also known as: Shishisai (止々斎)
Son of Ashina Morikiyo and 16th generation lord of the Ashina Clan who probably became head of the clan around 1537, which is around the time that he married a daughter of the Date Clan and formed an alliance with Tamura Takaaki.
He expanded the domain of the Ashina and did much to improve the clan's economic condition, thereby bringing about the golden age of the Ashina.
Moriuji turned over the rule of the clan to his heir Ashina Morioki in 1561 and retired to Iwasaki Castle, shaving off his hair and taking the name of Shishisai. However, he retained power over political and military affairs.
In 1575 when Ashina Morioki died without an heir, and because Moriuji had no other heirs, he adopted a hostage of the clan: Nikaidou Moritaka, the son of Nikaidou Moriyoshi, and married him to Morioki's widow. Moritaka then became Ashina Moritaka and the next clan head.
Moriuji died in 1580 at the age of 60. With him ended the golden age of the Ashina; a mere 9 years later, the clan would be destroyed by Date Masamune.
Also known as: 盛重, 義勝
Second son of the daimyo Satake Yoshishige, he became the 20th head of the Ashina Clan when he married Ashina Moritaka's daughter. However, he lost the Ashina lands to Date Masamune after the betrayal of one of the Ashina's key vassals at the Battle of Suriagehara in 1589. He then fled to Hitachi and was later given land there by Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
Also known as: Hakone Lake, Ashinoko Lake, Manji Pond
Legend has it that during the Nara Period, when the lake was still called Manji Pond, it was home to a poisonous nine-headed dragon. In order to appease the dragon's anger, the villagers would offer maidens to it as sacrifices. Holy Priest Mangan, who had come to Mt. Hakone to practice asceticism, heard the tale and bound the evil dragon to a rock at the bottom of the lake in order to save the villagers. The dragon promised to protect the mountains and villages, and thus reformed, became a dragon god. Thereafter the villagers fed the dragon red rice instead of their daughters.
Also known as: Shura Dou—The Path of Fighting (修羅道)
Lit. "Path of Ashura"; the third highest realm of the Six Realms of Buddhism: the Ashura are semi-gods: powerful, fierce, quarrelsome, both good and evil. The beings of this realm lead a more pleasurable life than humans, but are also plagued with envy of the gods.
Also known as: Hakuhou-jidai (白鳳時代), lit. "White Phoenix Period"
A period in Japanese history which saw significant artistic, social, and political transformations, including the arrival of Buddhism from Korea. Prince Regent Shoutoku, recognized as a great intellectual of the era, was a devout Buddhist, and built many temples, including the Shitennou Temple.
The Japanese equivalent of the Buddhist sound "Om", which represents the cosmic order of creation, sustenance, and destruction; male, female, and neuter; past, present, and future; waking state, sleep state and dream state; inhalation and exhalation. 'Aun' is composed from the characters 'a' and 'un'.
Son of Ayukawa Kiyonaga, master of Oobasawa Castle, vassal of Uesugi Kenshin. Though descended from the same family as the Honjou Clan, the Ayukawa Clan took the side of the Uesugi family and fought the Honjou Clan when it repeatedly rose against Uesugi, though the Ayukawa Clan usually lost its battles.
In the Otate no Ran, when the Honjou Clan supported Uesugi Kagekatsu, Morinaga turned to Uesugi Kagetora, though the Ayukawa Clan lost again to the Honjou Clan. Morinaga was immediately allowed to return to serve Kagekatsu.
An upscale residential district located in Minato Ward, Tokyo.
A city located in Nagano Prefecture.