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Saga-shi (佐賀市)

Saga City is the capital city of Saga Prefecture, located on Kyushu, the most southwesterly of Japan's four main islands.

Sagami no Umi (相模の海)

Also known as: Sagami Gulf, Sagami Bay

A bay with a temperate climate located south of Kanagawa Prefecture, around 25 southwest of Tokyo.

Sagami-no-kuni (相模国)

An ancient province in south-central Japan which was ruled by the Later Houjou Clan during the Sengoku Period. Now a part of Kanagawa Prefecture.

Sahei (左平)

Tooyama Yasuhide's subordinate, who was formerly one of his mounted guards and possesses a young woman in the current era. Appears to be Yasuhide's second-in-command. Likely fictional.

Saiga-shuu (雑賀衆)

Also known as: Saiga-ikki (雑賀一揆)

The Saiga Sect (or Saiga Revolt) was a band of various locals, clans, and landowners concentrated in the north-western part of Kii Province (now Wakayama City in Wakayama Prefecture). They owned thousands of arquebuses, presenting a considerable military force, and sometimes fought as mercenaries.

Suzuki Magoichi, leader of the Saiga Sect, commanded them in the siege of Ishiyama Hongan Temple against Oda Nobunaga. The Oda army suffered heavy casualties against the Saiga Sect, and even Nobunaga himself was said to have been injured.

In 1580, when Kennyo was driven from Ishiyama Hongan Temple, he took shelter with the Saiga Sect, but the sect split apart into those who wanted to follow Nobunaga and those who wanted to fight him to the bitter end.

After Nobunaga's death, the sect fought Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu, but was eventually crushed, and its members scattered and sought service with various daimyo.

Saijo-yama (妻女山)

A mountain used by Uesugi Kenshin during the Battle of Kawanakajima as one of his camps.

saimin-kekkai (催眠結界)

Lit.: "hypnotic barrier"; a barrier erected for the purpose of hypnotizing or brainwashing all living beings and spirits within its radius; a jike-kekkai can be used for this purpose.

Saitama Seibu Lions (埼玉西武ライオンズ)

The Saitama Seibu Lions are a professional baseball team based in Tokorozawa, Saitama. It was established in 1950 and was a founding member of Japan's Pacific League. Its ballpark is the Seibu Prince Dome, and its team colors are navy-blue, white, and red.

Several Seibu Lions team members also played in Major League Baseball, including Daisuke Matsuzaka (Boston Red Sox, New York Mets and Cleveland Indians) and Kazuo Matsui (New York Mets).

Saitama-ken (埼玉県)

A prefecture located in the Kantou Region of Japan on the main island of Honshuu which borders Tokyo. It was formerly part of the ancient province of Musashi, which was the largest province in the Kantou and also produced much of the food that fed the region. Its capital is the city of Saitama.

The prefecture is part of the Greater Tokyo Area, and a large number of its residents commute to Tokyo each day from Saitama's cities, which can be described as suburbs of Tokyo.

Saito Toshimitsu (斎藤利三)
1534 - 1582

A vassal of Inaba Ittetsu who later defected to join Akechi Mitsuhide. He played a large part at the Honnou-ji and the ambush of Oda Nobunaga.

Saitou (斉藤)

Leader of a delegation from Sankou Foods who visits CEO Hazama at Hazama Confectionery's headquarters in Osaka to conclude negotiations for one of their factories.

Saitou Tomonobu (斎藤朝信)
1527? - 1592?

Title: Shimotsuke no Kami

Master of Akada Castle, a courageous and honorable vassal of Uesugi Kenshin. He fought in many of Kenshin's battles, including the fourth Battle of Kawanakajima, the capture of Ecchuu, etc.

He supported Uesugi Kagekatsu in the Otate no Ran after Kenshin's death and participated in the negotiations with Takeda Katsuyori. He defended Kaidu Castle from Oda Nobunaga's invasion. In addition to his war merits, he also served as a magistrate for the clan.

Sakamoto Castle (坂本城)

A castle built by Akechi Mitsuhide in 1571 after he received Shiga-gun in Oumi from Oda Nobunaga. It fell to the army of Toyotomi Hideyoshi after the defeat of Mitsuhide in the Battle of Yamazaki. It was rebuilt by Niwa Nagahide, but was demolished 1586 to fortify Ootsu Castle.

Sakanoue no Tamuramaro (坂上 田村麻呂)
758 - 811-06-17

Titles: Shogun, Major Counselor, Minister of War

Sakanoue no Tamuramaro was a celebrated general who served Emperor Kammu as his shogun and subjugated the Emishi tribes who lived in northern Honshuu. After Emperor Kammu's death, he was appointed Major Counselor and Minister of War to Emperor Heizei and Emperor Saga.

Sakurai (桜井)

Takaya's neighbors in their apartment complex, who take Miya in when their father becomes violent. They have three children of their own, but seem genuinely concerned about Takaya and Miya, refusing to return Miya when their father demand his children back in his drunken rages.

Samegao-jou (鮫ヶ尾城)

A castle once located in Myoukou City, Niigata Prefecture belonging to vassals of the Uesugi Clan.

The date of its construction is undetermined, but during the 1500s the Uesugi (Nagao) Clan used it as a defensive fortress to protect and service the highway through the northern provinces.

During the Otate no Ran, Horie Munechika welcomed Uesugi Kagetora into the castle, seated on the only viable escape route into the Kantou, after the surrender of Kasugayama Castle to Uesugi Kagekatsu. However, Munechika had already been persuaded to betray Kagetora, and he set fire to the outer citadel before evacuating. Samegao fell to Kagekatsu's general offensive two days later.

Sanbonji Kagenaga (山本寺景長)
? - 1582

Also known as: 宮千代丸、松三、孝長

Son (or possibly younger brother) of Sanbonji Sadanaga, he became head of the Sanbonji Clan and master of Fudousan Castle after Uesugi Kagekatsu become head of the Uesugi Clan. He committed suicide in the Battle of Uozu Castle along with twelve other Uesugi commanders. He was apparently still a young man at the time.

Sanbonji Sadanaga (山本寺定長)
1519 - ?

Title: Iyo no Kami

Head of the Sanbonji-Uesugi Clan (illegitimate offshoot of the Uesugi Clan), master of Fudouzan Castle. He fought as one of Uesugi Kenshin's vassals in the Battle of Kawanakajima and was rewarded for his service.

He was appointed as Uesugi Kagetora's guardian upon Kagetora's adoption as Kenshin's son. He entered the Otate no Ran on Kagetora's side after Kenshin's death. When Kagetora was defeated, he abandoned his castle and disappeared. He was succeeded by his younger brother Sanbonji Kagenaga.

Sangria (サングリア)

Race: Mazoku

Sanjou-no-Kata (三条の方)
1521? - 1570

Historically: Second daughter of Sanjou Kinyori, Minister of the Left and second legal wife of Takeda Shingen, a woman of courtly blood who was mother of his original heir, Takeda Yoshinobu as well as two other sons and two daughters (the older of whom married Houjou Ujimasa). Her name is literally written as "person of Sanjou (Clan)".

She was described as a great beauty and fervent in her devotion to Buddhism. Since Shingen eventually named the grandson of a concubine heir to the clan, it is thought that Sanjou and Shingen did not get along.

In Mirage of Blaze: She and Kousaka Masanobu break the barrier over Takeda Shingen's tomb, the Maenduka, and attempt to resurrect Shingen by using Narita Yuzuru as a vessel for his spirit. She herself takes over the body of Takeda Yuiko but is exorcised by Takaya and Naoe with kouhou-choubuku.

Sanuki-no-kuni (讃岐国)

A ancient province located on Shikoku which bordered on the provinces of Awa and Iyo, now called Kagawa Prefecture. During the Sengoku Period, Sanuki belonged to the Miyoshi Clan before it was taken over by Chousokabe Motochika, then Toyotomi Hideyoshi.

Sanzu no Kawa (三途の川)

Lit.: River of Three Crossings

The Sanzu river is the Japanese Buddhist equivalent of the River Styx, which the Japanese believe the dead must cross on the seventh day after their death. The crossing can be easy or difficult depending on the deeds performed by the deceased during their lifetime.

The riverbed of the Sanzu no Kawa is reserved for unfilial children who die before their parents, thereby causing their parents great sorrow. This place is called the Sai no Kawara (賽の河原), or "Children's Limbo." The child is condemned to remain there to build a tower of stones, pebble by pebble, for the memorial service of his or her parents, but the pagoda is knocked down by a demon before it can completed, and the child must begin again. The cycle continues until the child is finally saved by the Kṣitigarbha bodhisattva.

There are many Sai no Kawara sites located throughout Japan where grieving parents go to pray for the soul of their child and to console their own sorrow, that their child may rest. One of these which goes back to at least 1658 is located on the bank of Lake Ashi in Motohakone, at the foot of the shrine gate of Hakone Shrine.

Sapporo-shi (札幌市)

Sapporo is the capital and largest city of Hokkaido, the northernmost of the major Japanese islands. Its name comes from the indigenous Ainu language and means "dry, great river".

Sasaki (佐々木)

Possessed by: Irobe Katsunaga

A doctor who works at a university hospital, he is around twenty-five years older than Tachibana Yoshiaki. He has no relatives and never marries. He dies a short time before Naoe finds Ougi Takaya.

Sassa Narimasa (佐々成政)
Feb. 2, 1536 - July 7, 1588

Also known as: Kuranosuke—nickname (内蔵助)
Titles: Mutsu no Kami, Ecchuu no Kami, Chamberlain

A daimyo of the Sengoku, born in Owari. His father was Sassa Morimasa. His two older brothers, Sassa Masatsugu and Sassa Magosuke, died in battle, so Narimasa became head of the clan and master of Hira Castle in 1560. He distinguished himself in the loyal service of Oda Nobunaga and fought in many of Nobunaga's battles. His name was first on a list for the Kurohoro-gumi, an elite group of Nobunaga's bodyguards.

In 1580, he backed Jinbou Nagazumi against both the Uesugi Clan and the Ikkou-ikki in Ecchuu, and was given half the province. The following year, he was named governor (Kami) of the entire province when Jinbou Nagazumi lost his standing. He made Toyama Castle his main castle and performed extensive repairs and renovations on it.

After Nobunaga's death in 1582, Narimasa continued to engage in fierce battles with Uesugi Kagekatsu. He took the side of Tokugawa Ieyasu and Oda Nobukatsu against Toyotomi Hideyoshi, but later surrendered to him in 1585 when Hideyoshi laid siege to Toyama Castle with 10,000 troops. He lost Ecchuu, but was given a fief in Higo in 1587 for merits in the suppression of Kyuushuu, along with instructions on refraining from hasty reforms. Ignoring those instructions because of illness or perhaps misunderstanding, Narimasa immediately set out on Hideyoshi's nationwide land survey, resulting in rebellion of the province. He was charged with misgovernment and committed ritual suicide.

He wrote the following as his death-poem: "The shell of my begging bowl in which I have placed the evil delusions of these recent days now breaks" (この頃の 厄妄想を 入れ置きし 鉄鉢袋 今破るなり).

Narimasa is said to have brutally killed his concubine, Sayuri, along with her family for a rumor of infidelity. The legend goes that Sayuri cursed him before she died, and the curse was responsible for his death at the hand of Toyotomi Hideyoshi.

In Mirage of Blaze: He is kanshousha who has entered the «Yami-Sengoku» as one of the Oda's commanders, described as a tanned, fearless-looking young man, a "mountain cat in human skin." He and Mori Ranmaru don't appear to be on the best of terms. He later seeks his death at Sayuri's hands in remorse for the way he brutally tortured and killed her in their previous lives.

Satake Yoshishige (佐竹義重)
1547 - 1612

Yoshishige became head of the Satake Clan in Hitachi due to his father's failing health in 1562 and became known as Oni (Demon) Yoshishige due to his aggression and relentless campaigning. He fought many of his neighboring clans, but his main rivals were the Houjou and Date Clans.

The Satake eventually submitted to Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1590 and later, after some hesitation which cost them more than half of their land, Tokugawa Ieyasu.

Satomi Yoshitaka (里見義堯)
1507 - June 19, 1574

Satomi Yoshitaka was the son of Satomi Sanetaka and became head of the Satomi Clan by killing the then-head, his cousin Satomi Yoshitoyo in 1534. The traditional version of the story goes that Yoshitoyo killed Yoshitaka's father, who was in communication with the Houjou, and Yoshitaka killed him in revenge. In recent years, however, historians have theorized that Yoshitaka and Sanetaka, father and son, allied themselves with the Satomi Clan's bitter enemy, the Houjou Clan, in order to take over the clan. They then changed the records to hide the fact that they betrayed the Houjou Clan after their plan succeeded.

As clan head, Yoshitaka fought numerous battles with Houjou Ujitsuna and Houjou Ujiyasu. He pushed into Shimousa and Kazusa, making his stronghold Kuruji Castle in Kazusa, and brought about the golden age of the clan. He battled the Houjou to the last and died at Kuruji Castle at the age of 68.

Sayuri (早百合)
? - 1584? 1585?

Sayuri was a favored concubine of Sassa Narimasa, said to be a peerless beauty, whom he brutally tortured and killed on suspicion of infidelity.

The story goes that Narimasa fell in love with Sayuri at first sight and made her his concubine. He lavished affection on her, and was overjoyed when she became pregnant in 1584. His other three concubines were jealous of Sayuri, and when Narimasa left Ecchuu on a trip to meet with Tokugawa Ieyasu in December of that year, spread the rumor that she was in secret communication with one of Narimasa's vassals, a man who had stayed behind at Toyama Castle because of illness, Takezawa Kumashirou (sp?) (竹沢熊四郎). They claimed that the child belonged to Kumashirou, not Narimasa.

Narimasa dismissed the rumors at first, but found a small brocade sachet at the door of Sayuri's bedroom which belonged to Kumashirou (said to have been placed there by the other concubines). He flew into rage and put Kumashirou to the sword on the spot. He then hanged Sayuri by her feet to a tree in the Jintsuu River Basin and slowly cut her to pieces. He also beheaded the 18 members of her family and crucified their bodies at the prison gates.

The scene is described in the Taikouki: at the moment of her death, Sayuri, her lips bitten through, bloody tears flowing down a once-beautiful face now twisted into a malevolent mask, cursed Narimasa: "As Narimasa beheads me here, my enmity shall a demon become, to grow year by year until I have killed all thine issue even unto the extinction of thy family name." Those watching covered their eyes, and those who heard felt their hair rise at those words.

Stories say that a drifting fire would appear on stormy nights at the spot where Sayuri died, and sometimes a freshly-severed head with wild hair waving in the air saying "Sayuri, Sayuri." The fire was called "Sayuri Fire". The story goes that Sayuri became a vengeful ghost whose curse later killed Sassa Narimasa (though not his children). Sightings of the fire occurred as late as the Meiji Era.

The hackberry tree from which Sayuri was said to have been hanged was burned during the air-raid of Toyama City in World War II. Two second-generation hackberry trees now stand on the spot.

Seibu Dome (西武ドーム)

A indoor baseball stadium located in Tokorozawa City, Saitama Prefecture, originally built in 1979 without the roof. It is home field of the Saitama Seibu Lions professional baseball team.

Seienin (清円院)
1556? - 1579

Seienin was the daughter of Nagao Masakage and niece of Uesugi Kenshin, who arranged her marriage to Houjou Saburou (Uesugi Kagetora) when he was adopted into the clan in 1570. She was also older sister to Nagao Akikage (later Uesugi Kagekatsu).

Seienin gave birth to Doumanmaru the year after her marriage.

In the Otate no Ran that arose after Kenshin's death, she followed Kagetora to the Otate. Some records indicate that she may have committed suicide at the Otate when Kagekatsu refused Kagetora surrender; it's more likely, however, that she died at Samegao Castle with Kagetora.

Seishou Bypass (西湘バイパス)

The Seishou Bypass, or West Shounan Bypass, is a toll road in Kanagawa Prefecture owned and managed by Central Nippon Expressway Company. It is designated as a bypass for National Route 1 and closely follows the coastline of Sagami Bay, facilitating access between the Tokyo urban area and the city of Odawara. It was first opened in 1967 and completed in 1972.

Seiza (正座)

Lit.: "proper sitting"

A traditional formal sitting pose with legs folded beneath the thighs and buttocks resting on the heels.

Sekigahara no Tatakai (関ヶ原の戦い)

Also known as: Realm Divide

The Battle of Sekigahara was fought on October 21, 1600 between the forces of those loyal to Toyotomi Hideyoshi's young son and heir, Toyotomi Hideyori (forces of the West) and Tokugawa Ieyasu (forces of the East). The battle took place in Sekigahara in modern Gifu Prefecture and was the decisive battle which led to Tokugawa taking control of all Japan.

Sendai Museum (仙台市博物館)

A history and natural museum founded in Sendai City in 1961, located at the ruins of the Third Wing of Aoba Castle. At the core of its collection is material concerned the history of Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, and the Date Clan

Sendai-eki (仙台駅)

A railroad station located in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, built in 1887.

Sendai-shi (仙台市)

The capital city of Miyagi Prefecture, it is also the largest city in the northeast region of Japan. It is home to one million people, and is aptly nicknamed Mori no Miyako, the Capital of Trees.

Sengoku (戦国)

The "warring states" period, lasting from 1467 to 1615, in which the warlords of Japan battled each other for the rule of the country.

Sensai-bashi (千歳橋)

Lit.: Thousand-Year-Old Bridge; bridge across the Metoba River on Daimyochou Avenue which leads to Matsumoto Castle.

Sentouin (仙桃院)
1524? 1528? - Mar. 20, 1609

Sentouin was the daughter of Nagao Tamekage and older sister of Uesugi Kenshin. She married Nagao Masakage in 1537, and they had two sons and two daughters between them. Their oldest son died at the age of 10, but their second son, Uesugi Kagekatsu, became Kenshin's adopted son and later head of the Uesugi Clan.

It is said that Sentouin was the one who recommended that Naoe Kanetsugu become Kagekatsu's attendant.

seppuku (切腹)

Also known as: harakiri (腹切り)
Lit.: stomach-cutting

Japanese ritual suicide by disembowelment, performed by plunging a short blade into the abdomen and slicing it open from left to right. Seppuku was originally reserved for samurai, the warrior class, in the samurai code (bushido), and was a way to die with honor instead of falling into enemy hands. It was also used as a form of capital punishment, or voluntarily performed by samurai who believed they had brought shame upon themselves.

Seto-gawa (瀬戸川)

A river which flows through Seto City in Aichi Prefecture. It is known for the pottery shops along its banks.


Also known as: Tsu-no-kuni (津国), Sesshuu-no-kuni (摂州)

A province of ancient Japan which is the eastern part of Hyougo Prefecture and the northern part of Osaka Prefecture today. During the Sengoku Era, the Miyoshi Clan ruled the province as well as its bordering provinces Izumi and Kawachi, until they were conquered by Oda Nobunaga.

Shakujii-gawa (石神井川)

Shakujii River is a river 25.2 km in length which flows through the northwest quadrant of central Tokyo and into the Sumida River.

Shakujii-jou (石神井城)

Shakujii castle was built during the Kamakura period (1185-1333) along the Shakujii River in a position which allowed it strategic control of the river valley. It belonged to the Toshima Clan, but fell in 1477 to Oota Doukan.

563 BCE - 483 BCE (approx)

Also known as: Gautama Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama, Sakyamuni

The founder of Buddhism, who was born as a prince in ancient India and became an ascetic and spiritual teacher after encountering a diseased man, a decaying corpse, and an ascetic. He reached enlightenment after rejecting self-indulgence and self-mortification. He traveled and taught for 45 years and died at the age of 80.

Shibata Katsuie (柴田勝家)
1522 - 1583

A fierce commander and brilliant of the Oda Clan, renowned as "Demon Shibata", Shibata Katsuie was born in Owari and served as a vassal of Oda Nobuyuki, Nobunaga's younger brother. He became Oda Nobunaga's vassal after the Battle of Ino, in which Nobunaga executed his younger brother for treason but spared Katsuie.

After Nobunaga's death, Katsuie supported Oda Nobutaka as Nobunaga's successor, but was defeated by Hideyoshi Toyotomi and forced to commit seppuku.

Shibata Kyouhei (柴田恭平)

Japanese singer and actor who debuted on the stage in 1975.

In Mirage of Blaze: Saori calls Chiaki Shibata Kyouhei when she sees him driving a Nissan Leopard.

Shibata Nagaatsu (新発田長敦)
1538 - 1580

Eldest son and heir of Shibata Tsunasada, brother of Shibata Shigeie, vassal of Uesugi Kenshin, and master of Shibata Castle.

Nagaatsu excelled in diplomacy and was one of Kenshin's Seven Generals. He supported Uesugi Kagekatsu in the Otate no Ran after Kenshin's death and demonstrated his diplomatic finesse in the peace negotiations with Takeda Katsuyori. He died of illness after the war.

Shibata Shigeie (新発田重家)
1547? - 1587

Also known as: Ijimino Harunaga (五十公野治長)
Title: Inaba no Kami

Brother of Shibata Nagaatsu, a vassal of Uesugi Kenshin, who served Kenshin during the Battle of Kawanakajima. He was persuaded by Yasuda Akimoto to join Uesugi Kagekatsu in the Otate no Ran after Kenshin's death and took down Kaji Hidetsuna of the same clan (his clan is an illegitimate offshoot of the Kaji Clan) who had joined Kagetora.

Dissatisfied with his reward after the war, Shigeie turned to Oda Nobunaga. About six years later, Kagekatsu's army destroyed his troops, and he committed seppuku.

Shibuya (渋谷)

The district around Shibuya Station in the Ward of Shibuya in Tokyo, located between Ebisu and Harajuku, known as a major commercial and entertainment center.