Glossary

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Akai (赤井)

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.

Akasaka (赤坂)

Takaya's Physics teacher for Year Two at Jouhoku High.

Hakkai (八海)

One of the Meikai Uesugi Army who specializes in Nokizaru, described as a man in his mid-thirties with a square, expressionless face.

Kadowaki Ayako (門脇綾子)

Birthday: Dec. 9
Height: 5'5"
Weight: unknown
Blood type: A
Possessed by: Kakizaki Haruie.

Kakizaki Haruie's current incarnation: a female college student about four years older than Takaya who rides a Yamaha FZR400 motorcycle called Ecchan. She is described as a beauty with sauvage-style long hair and long, slim legs. She lives in Yokohama with her parents.

Notes: She appears as 'Ayako' in narration. Naoe and Nagahide call her 'Haruie', and Takaya calls her 'Nee-san'.

Kakizaki Haruie (柿崎晴家)
? - 1578?

Titles: Izumi no Kami

Historically: the son of Kakizaki Kageie. He was sent to Odawara Castle in Sagami when the Kenshin and the Houjou clans struck a peace treaty in an exchange of hostages with Houjou Saburou (Uesugi Kagetora). The fate of Kakizaki Haruie was unknown when his father was accused of treason. There are theories that he either died in 1575 along with his father, or that he was murdered by Uesugi Kagekatsu's faction in 1578 during the Otate no Ran.

In Mirage of Blaze: He was one of Uesugi Kagetora's most loyal followers as well as the leader of his faction in the Otate no Ran, and was killed by Uesugi Kagekatsu's followers. He is now one of the Yasha-shuu under Kagetora's command. Haruie possesses female bodies (the only member of the Yasha-shuu to do so) in search of a lover who died two hundred years ago.

Of the Yasha-shuu, he is the one who excels most at the spiritual sensing ability called reisa.

Kitazato Minako (北里美奈子)

Kagetora's beloved in the age before he became Ougi Takaya.

Matsunaga (松永)

The abbe of Uragami Cathedral, who is described as a man around forty years of age with a calm, gentle countenance. He is introduced to Naoe by Yanase Riho, and accepts the Maria Kwannon for the cathedral.

Matsunaga Hisahide (松永久秀)
1510 - 1577

Also known as: Matsunaga Danjou Hisahide (松永弾正久秀), Matsunaga Soutei (松永霜台)

Initally a vassal of the Miyoshi Clan who served Miyoshi Nagayoshi as his private secretary, Hisahide was both a warrior and a tea master who would be regarded by history as a schemer and something of a villain.

Miyoshi Nagayoshi gave his daughter to Hisahide in marriage, but Hisahide turned against his master. He was rumored to have poisoned Nagayoshi's son and heir, Miyoshi Yoshioki, and Nagayoshi's three brothers died under mysterious circumstances between 1561-1564. In 1564 at Nagayoshi's death, all that stood between Hisahide and the Miyoshi domain was the young Miyoshi Yoshitsugu, whom Nagayoshi had seleted as heir, and his guardians the "Miyoshi Triumvirate", Miyoshi Nagayuki, Miyoshi Masayasu, and Iwanari Tomomichi.

Hisahide briefly joined forces with the Triumvirate against the Shogun, Ashikaga Yoshiteru, who was forced to commit suicide. Thereafter he fought against the Miyoshi Clan and later submitted to Oda Nobunaga and served him for a few years after 1568.

In 1573, however, he was already conspiring against Nobunaga with Miyoshi Yoshitsugu—then turned back to Nobunaga and destroyed the remaining Miyoshi Clan. In 1577, he rebelled against Nobunaga again and in the end committed suicide at Shigisan Castle when besieged by Oda's army (though first smashing a priceless tea kettle, the "Hiragumo", which Nobunaga had coveted).

Mikami (三上)

The Japanese priest to whom the former Jesuit missionary Torabas gives his statue of the Maria Kwannon.

Naitou (内藤)

A dealer of antique art in Nagasaki who buys a Kwannon statue from the Yanase family and sells it to his friend Akai in Ibaraki Prefecture.

Naoe Nobutsuna (直江信綱)
? - Oct. 6, 1581

Also known as: Nagao Kagetaka (長尾景孝), Nagao Toukurou (長尾藤九郎)
Title: Yamato no Kami (大和守)

Historically: Son of Nagao Akikage, he became head of the Sousha-Nagao Clan at a young age. He later (around 1545) passed the position to his younger brother Nagao Kagefusa. When the clan was destroyed by Takeda Shingen and their territory lost, the family escaped into Echigo. There Kagefusa became a monk, and Kagetaka was adopted by Naoe Sanetsuna when he married Sanetsuna's daughter, Osen-no-Kata. He succeeded his adopted father as master of Yoita Castle in 1577 and was a vassal of Uesugi Kenshin. He promptly took the side of Uesugi Kagekatsu during the war for succession after Kenshin's death and mobilized the members of the Naoe Clan at the castle to subdue Kagetora's troops.

After the intra-house war and Kagekatsu's victory, a question of reward was called into question. Yasuda Akimoto, one of Kagekatsu's trusted commanders, had promised rewards to Shibata Shigeie, Mouri Hidehiro, and others to convince them to join Kagekatsu's side. However, Yamazaki Hidenori, Naoe, and others objected, for they had risked life and limb at Kasugayama Castle from the very beginning of the battle, while Shibata Shigeie and the others had been lured by promise of reward from Yasuda Akimoto.

Yasuda Akimoto committed suicide when he could not keep his promise of reward. Later, Mouri Hidehiro, carrying a grudge for his death, murdered Yamazaki Hidenori at Kasugayama Castle; Naoe, who was with him at the time and took up a sword to defend himself, was killed as well. His death ended the Naoe line, which Kagekatsu later resurrected by marrying Naoe's widow, Osen-no-Kata to Higuchi Kanetsugu and commanding him to take the Naoe name.

In Mirage of Blaze: According to Kousaka Danjou, and Houjou Ujiteru he was the ringleader of Uesugi Kagekatsu's forces in the Otate no Ran. He is now Uesugi Kagetora's protector and one of the Yasha-shuu under his command. He alone, as Kagetora's protector, was given the power to perform kanshou on other souls, a power he used to force Kagetora's soul into Minako's body.

Oda Nobunaga (織田信長)
1534 - 1582

Also called: Oda Kippoushi
Title: Kazusa no Suke, Owari no Kami

Historically: The first of the "Three Unifiers"; born in Owari to a samurai, his unbridled, ruthless ambitious and military tactical genius enabled him to gain control of the imperial court in 1573 after having driven the shogun out of Kyoto. His seal read "the realm subjected to military power". Murdered at the age of forty-nine by his vassal Akechi Mitsuhide in the Honnou-ji in Kyoto.

Ougi Takaya (仰木高耶)

Birthday: July 23
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 134 lbs
Blood type: O
Possessed by: Uesugi Kagetora

At the beginning of the story Takaya is a seventeen-year-old high school delinquent with no memory of his past. His parents divorced when he was a first-year junior high school student, probably because his father started drinking when his business failed. His mother remarried and lives in Sendai.

He was born and raised in Matsumoto and lives there with his sister, Miya. He attends Jouhoku High and is in the same class (Year Two Group Three) as his best friend, Narita Yuzuru.

Notes: He appears as 'Takaya' in narration. Nagahide and Haruie call him 'Kagetora', and Naoe calls him 'Kagetora-sama' and 'Takaya-san'. Most of the students at Jouhoku High call him 'Ougi-kun' (Chiaki calls him 'Ougi' at school). Miya calls him 'Onii-chan', and Yuzuru calls him 'Takaya'.

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.

Tachibana Yoshiaki (橘義明)

Birthday: May 3
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 165 lbs
Blood type: AB
Possessed by: Naoe Nobutsuna.

The current incarnation of Naoe, who is the third son of the Tachibana family and a monk of Shingon-shu Buzan-ha at the Kougen Temple in Utsunomiya. He is about twelve years older than Takaya.

Uegusa Souuemon (植草総右衛門)

Also known as: Ernando Torabas (エルナンド・トラバス)

An ancestor of the Yanase merchant house in Nagasaki who was originally a Jesuit missionary. He gives up Christianity due to persecution by the Tokugawa Shogunate. He asks a potter whom he had baptized to make for him a Maria Kwannon, which he gives before his death to Mikami, a Japanese priest. After his death the statue miraculously begins to weep his tears of remorse at forsaking his religion.

Uesugi Kagetora (上杉景虎)
1552? 1554? - Apr. 19, 1579

Also known as: possibly Houjou Ujihide (北条氏秀), Houjou Saburou (北条三郎), Saburou Kagetora (三郎景虎)

Historically: Uesugi Kagetora was the seventh son (sixth to survive to adulthood) of Houjou Ujiyasu, younger brother of Houjou Ujimasa, Houjou Ujiteru, Houjou Ujikuni, Houjou Ujinori, Houjou Ujitada, and older brother of Houjou Ujimitsu. His mother was the sister-in-law of Tooyama Yasumitsu, a vassal of the Houjou Clan (other sources say Zuikeiin, Ujiyasu's principle wife). It's likely that he and Houjou Ujihide were two different people and that Ujihide was the son of Houjou Tsunashige and living in Edo while Saburou was living in Echigo, so most historians refer to him as Houjou Saburou when describing his early life.

As a child, he was sent into the priesthood at Souun Temple in Hakone, then sent as hostage to Takeda Shingen of the Takeda Clan in the three-way alliance between Houjou, Takeda, and Imagawa formed in 1554 (though this last point is now in dispute, as it is told only in the Records of Ancient Battles of the Eight Kanto Provinces and recorded in none of the Takeda Clan records.)

He was adopted by his uncle Houjou Genan in 1569 and married Genan's daughter.

When the Houjou and Uesugi clans formed an alliance in 1569, Saburou was sent to Uesugi Kenshin in an exchange of hostages with Kakizaki Haruie. (At first, the hostage was set to be Houjou Ujimasa's third son Kunimasumaru, but Ujimasa could not bring himself to send off his son, who was then still a baby.) Saburou was sent to the Uesugi clan in early 1570. Kenshin, who never married, developed a liking for the handsome and intelligent Saburou. He married his niece Seienin, the daughter of Nagao Masakage and older sister of Nagao Akikage (Uesugi Kagekatsu) to Saburou, gave him the name Kagetora (a name that had once belonged to Kenshin himself), and adopted him into the Uesugi Clan.

When Kenshin died suddenly in 1578 without naming an heir, Kagetora and Kagekatsu, similarly adopted by Kenshin, fought for succession to the position of clan head (the Otate no Ran). Though Kagetora held the early advantage with the backing of Uesugi vassals such as Uesugi Kagenobu, Honjou Hidetsuna, Kitajou Takahiro, and the Houjou Clan, the tide of the battle turned with Takeda Katsuyori's betrayal to Kagekatsu's side.

When the Otate fell in 1579, Kagetora attempted to escape to Odawara Castle, but was betrayed at Samegao Castle by Horie Munechika and committed suicide. His wife committed suicide along with him (though there are also accounts that she remained behind at the Otate and committed suicide there when her brother Kagekatsu refused Kagetora's surrender.) His oldest son Doumanmaru died at the hands of Kagekatsu's troops along with Uesugi Norimasa, and the rest of his children were believed to have died along with their parents.

In Mirage of Blaze: He was born to Houjou Ujiyasu and Zuikeiin as their eighth (seventh to survive to adulthood) and youngest son. After his death in the Otate no Ran, he was charged by Uesugi Kenshin to become kanshousha in order to ensure that the peace of Japan is not disrupted by the onshou as the leader of the Yasha-shuu and the commander of the Meikai Uesugi Army.

Yanase Ichirou (柳瀬一郎)

Head of the Yanase family, a merchant house dealing in silk threads in Nagasaki. Son of Yanase Taizou.

Yanase Taizou (柳瀬泰造)

Patriarch of the Yanase family, a merchant house dealing in silk threads in Nagasaki. Father of Yanase Ichirou. He speaks with Naoe about the history of the weeping Kwannon statue.

Yasuda Nagahide (安田長秀)
1516 - May 8, 1582? 1585? 1592?

Title: Jibu Shousuke (治部少輔)

Historically: Master of Yasuda Castle. The Yasuda family had served the Nagao Clan from the time of Nagao Tamekage (late 1400s). Nagahide supported Nagao Kagetora (Uesugi Kenshin) in the coup d'etat against Nagao Harukage, so was a close aide of Kenshin from early on. He fought in many of Kenshin's wars against Takeda Shingen, Oda Nobunaga, and Houjou Ujiyasu.

He received a commendation for bravery at the 4th battle of Kawanakajima along with six other commanders, including Irobe Katsunaga.

He supported Uesugi Kagekatsu in the Otate no Ran after Kenshin's death. He died in 1582 of illness in the midst of Shibata Shigeie's rebellion. (Other accounts mention 1585, 1592.)

Though he shared the same family name as Yasuda Kagemoto and Yasuda Akimoto, also vassals of the Uesugi Clan, he was descended from a different family.

In Mirage of Blaze: he was summoned by Uesugi Kenshin to become one of the Yasha-shuu and is second in power only to Uesugi Kagetora.