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.
Raw horseflesh served as salami in thin slices dipped in soy sauce, often with ginger and onions added. In Japan, Matsumoto is one of the places famous for this dish.
Also know as: Bishamon, Tamonten, Vaiśravaṇa, Kubera
Bishamonten is one of the 12 Deva Guardians, the protector of the North and the most powerful of the Four Heavenly Kings. He is the god of warfare and warriors, sometimes called the "black warrior"; black is his symbolic color, and winter is the season over which he presides. He is often depicted as warrior with a crown on his head, a pagoda in one hand and a trident in the other. He punishes those who do evil and is also the guardian of the places where Buddha preaches. He is one who is all-knowing, who hears everything, who is always listening, and is completely versed in Buddha's teachings. He is one of Japan's Seven Deities of Fortune. The soldiers of his army are the powerful earth deities called Yaksha.
Bishamonten is also called "Tobatsu Bishamonten" (刀八毘沙門天), or "Eight-Sword Bishamonten", because of an error in translation passed down through the centuries. The original name, "Bishamonten of Tobatsu", pointed to a manifestation of Bishamonten which appeared in the Central Asian kingdom of Tou-po or Tobatsu (兜跋) to protect the capital city against invaders. Bishamonten in this form is depicted with a diadem on his head, four hands holding a key, a gem, a pagoda, and a halbert before him and eight arms holding eight swords around him.
Also known as: choubukuryoku (調伏力)
The special power given to the Yasha-shuu to banish onryou to the Underworld using the dharani of Uesugi Kenshin's guardian deity, Bishamonten. The types of choubuku include "kouhou-choubuku", "ressa-choubuku", "kekkai-choubuku", etc. Each choubuku is begun with the incantation "bai" and the ritual hand gesture of Bishamonten's symbol.
Choubuku does not work against kanshousha, who have bodies of their own.
Also known as: Mara, Devil King of the Sixth Heaven
Lit.: "Demon King of the Sixth Heaven". In Buddhist theology, the Dairokuten Maou is the Demon King who is the personification of delusion and evil, but is also a god who lives in Ten Dou, the highest of the Six Realms. From there he is able to manipulate and exploit beings in all the Realms of Desire, which include the lower five of the Six Realms, as well as the first six out of the twenty-eight heavens into which the the Realm of the Gods is divided. His primary purpose is to ensure that no one escapes the cycle of life and death by tricking them into believing that true happiness lies within the Six Realms.
Oda Nobunaga adopts this title for himself.
The Edo period in Japanese history, which lasted from 1603 until 1867, was established by Tokugawa Ieyasu and was the period in which Japan was ruled by the Tokugawa Shogunate. It is seen as the beginning of modern Japan. During this period, the Shogunate perceived Christianity as a threat to the stability of Japan and actively persecuted adherents of the religion until it was almost completely eradicated. During this period Japan also isolated itself from the rest of the world, an isolation ending only with the appearance of Commodore Matthew Perry's ships in Edo Bay in 1853.
Also known as: gebakuhou (外縛法), gaibaku
Lit.: "outer bind"; a method of tying a spirit body or physical body to one place such that they cannot move, also commonly called "paralysis". Kagetora and company use gebakuhou when they wish to perform «choubuku» on especially powerful spirits or a large host of spirits during "kouhou-choubuku" or "kekkai-choubuku", etc.
Japanese-style wooden clogs
Lit.: "Mound of the Selfless"
The mound which holds the remains of those executed in the Kasuke Ikki, built to honor them after those remains turned up during construction in 1950. Located in Miyabuchi, Matsumoto.
Lit. "wave of self-protection"; the goshinha is a protective mesh spun from fine strands of spiritual energy which surrounds the caster and protects from an opponent's spiritual as well as physical attacks. The mesh gains strength and stability when it is multi-layered and becomes the goshinheki. The goshinha is Naoe's forte.
Lit.: "wall of self-protection"; the goshinheki is a barrier constructed for an instant using spiritual energy. The goshinha is effective when maintained, but the goshinheki takes shape in the instant the caster is attacked and is a basic method of self-protection. However, its weakness is that it cannot protect the caster against 100% of the damage caused by the attack.
The northern-most prefecture of the Kanto region of Japan's main island of Honshuu.
Possessed by: Mori Ranmaru
A first-year junior high student at Takaya's school who appears to look up to Yuzuru. He is in the same band as Yuzuru. He is described as having a short, delicate figure with fine chestnut hair and hazel eyes so light they appear gold. He is half-Japanese and half-British.
He disappears after the fight at Jouhoku High.
Also known as: 北条菊寿丸, Houjou Nagatsuna (北条長綱)
Historically: A warlord of the Houjou clan in the Sengoku province of Sagami, the fourth and youngest son of Houjou Souun and a concubine from the influential Katsurayama Clan. He entered Kongouou Temple, the bettou-ji (administrative temple) of Hakone Shrine, at a young age and later became its head. He took the name of Gen'an (lit. Phantom hermitage) upon his retirement.
He had three sons, all of whom died before him, and two daughters. He adopted Houjou Saburou (Uesugi Kagetora) as his heir, but the adoption was annulled when Kagetora was sent to Echigo. His grandson Ujitaka (son of his second son) later became his heir.
Houjou Genan was described as a master of horsemanship and archery who led armies, but also a man of culture who was skilled with his hands. He became elder statesman and trusted adviser to Ujiyasu and Ujimasa. He was 97 when he died (though opinions differ); eight months later, the Houjou clan was attacked by Toyotomi Hideyoshi and destroyed.
Son of Houjou Ujitsuna and third head of the Late Houjou Clan, one of the greatest daimyo of the Sengoku in both military and political arenas. He expanded the Houjou holdings to five territories and battled both Takeda Shingen and Uesugi Kenshin over the Kantou and Suruga regions.
He retired in 1560 and handed over the clan to his eldest son Houjou Ujimasa, but continued to guide the clan until his death of palsey or stomach cancer in 1571. He made an alliance with the Takeda Clan in 1562 and gave over his 7th son, Houjou Saburou, to Takeda Shingen for adoption.
Houjou Ujiyasu was a great admirer of poetry, culture and learning as well as a outstanding administrator who created unique bureaucratic organizations such as litigation processes for the ruling of his lands. He was much beloved of his people and widely mourned at his death.
Historically: The warlord of Suruga who invaded the Houjou of Sagami and the Oda of Owari. Later, allied with the Houjou and Takeda clans, he brought about the golden days of the Imagawa clan. In 1560 he marched on Kyoto with 27,000 men but was defeated by Oda Nobunaga in the battle of Okehazama and killed. The Imagawa clan fell apart and lost all of its holdings to the Takeda and Tokugawa clans.
Historically: In the Sengoku era, he served three generations of the Nagao Clan: Nagao Tamekage, Nagao Harukage, and Uesugi Kenshin and was master of Hirabayashi Castle. He was one of Kenshin's most respected generals and Kenshin's military chief of staff. He was killed at the siege of the rebellious Honjou Shigenaga's castle.
In Mirage of Blaze: One of the Yasha-shuu under Uesugi Kagetora's command. He is the only one out of the five Yasha-shuu who survives the battle with Oda Nobunaga thirty years before the start of Volume 1, and carries on the mission alone while the others are reborn. He is a baby when Naoe finds Kagetora again thirty years later, having only performed kanshou two years previously.
Lit. "earth-bound spirit"; a spirit who has a strong attachment to the place of its death and is therefore bound to it as a spirit. The attachment is usually an intense hatred towards someone or something. This bound is not easily broken, and requires the use of very strong powers in a ceremony such as reidouhou.
Lit: "castle-north"; the name of the high school at which Narita Yuzuru and Ougi Takaya are 2nd-year students, located in Matsumoto City. Likely fictional. However, the manga implies that the real-life equivalent is Fukashi High (深志高) , which is indeed "north of the (Matsumoto) Castle".
School begins in May. Some of the classes Takaya takes are: Classical Literature, Modern Japanese, English, Math, Physics, P.E. and an art elective with choices of Fine Arts, Music, and Calligraphy. Takaya and Yuzuru both take Fine Arts. Their day is divided into Periods, with one class per Period. It sounds like classes rotate into different Periods as the week progresses; for example, in Volume 2 chapter 4, Chiaki tells Takaya that the Math teacher assigned him a problem for Second Period today, because he wasn't there for First Period yesterday.
Also called: Jouyama
Lit.: "Castle Mountain", located in the north-west of Matsumoto City.
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.
Historically: A general of Uesugi Kenshin who also served Kenshin's father, Nagao Tamekage. His son, Kakizaki Haruie, was sent to Odawara Castle as hostage to the Houjou Clan when an alliance was formed between the Uesugi and Houjou Clans. He was famous for his bold assault strategies in battle. However, he was accused of plotting treason against Kenshin with Oda Nobunaga and was made to commit suicide. (Though there are also theories that he died a natural death).
Those who possess others by driving out the soul from a body and making it theirs.
Unlike normal spirits, kanshousha cannot exchange bodies at will; they can only switch to another host body when their current body dies. Because kanshousha become the owners of their bodies, choubuku does not work on them. It is, however, still possible to exorcise kanshousha when they are in spirit-form (i.e. between possessions).
Lit.:"East of the Gate", the easternmost of five regions located on Honshuu Island which comprises of the seven prefectures of Gunma, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Saitama, Tokyo, Chiba, and Kanagawa. This is the most highly developed and industrialized region of Japan and was the heart of feudal power during the Edo Period.
Historically: Lady Kasuga, born Ofuku, was the daughter of Saito Toshimitsu and was raised by her mother's relatives when her father died in 1582. She married Inaba Masanari. She was later employed by Tokugawa Ieyasu as the wet nurse of his grandson, Takechiyo. When Takechiyo became Tokugawa Iemitsu, the third Tokugawa shogun, in 1623, Ofuku was promoted to the title of "Tsubone", or "Court Lady", and controlled the shogun's harem of Edo Castle. She became the power behind the shogun and a major influence on his policies of Isolationalism and anti-Christianity.
In Mirage of Blaze: When Yuzuru says that he is feeling unwell, Takaya jokes that he's been possessed by the spirit of Kasuga no Tsubone.
The Kasuke Ikki, or Kasuke Uprising, was a revolt led by farmers in Matsumoto-han against an increase of taxes. Matsumoto-han was already charging its farmers a higher tax than its neighboring domains. In 1686, during the early part of the Edo Period, the tax in Matsumoto was raised to 3 to 5 shou (around 63 liters) from 3 shou (around 54 liters) due to financial difficulties, versus the standard 2 to 5 shou (around 45 liters) in surrounding areas.
This meant that farmers in Matsumoto were paying almost half again what farmers in other areas were paying, a considerable difference. The harvest had been poor that year, and the farmers rose in revolt. Tada Kasuke, the headman of Nakagaya village in Matsumoto-han, submitted a petition to have the tax lowered to 2 to 5 shou, and around 10,000 peasants marched on Matsumoto Castle on Oct. 14, 1686 in support of the petition.
The daimyo of Matsumoto, Mizuno Tadanao, who was at his Edo residence at the time, promised that he would lower taxes to placate the farmers. However, he later went back on his promise and on Nov. 22, 1686 executed 28 farmers as the ringleaders of the uprising, including Kasuke, his 12- and 10-year-old sons, and his younger brother.
Lit. "barrier exorcism"; a ritual exorcism that first encloses the target and the caster in a spiritual shield, strengthening the caster's power and preventing the target from escaping.
The capital city of Yamanashi Prefecture.
Also called: Kousaka Danjou Masanobu (高坂弾正昌信), Kousaka Danjou Nosuke Masanobu (高坂弾正忠昌信), Kasuga Toratsuna (春日虎綱), Kasuga Gensuke (春日源助)
Title: Danjou Nosuke/Faithful True-Shot (弾正忠)
Kousaka was born in Kai to a wealthy farmer, Kasuga Ookuma (?) (春日大隈). His father died when he was 16, and he lost a lawsuit against his elder sister's husband for ownership of his father's lands. He then enrolled in the service of Takeda Shingen.
Kousaka first served as a messenger for Shingen. He distinguished himself in battle, and rose swiftly through the ranks of Shingen's trusted retainers. He participated in most of Shingen's battles. He did not hesitate to retreat when required, which earned him the nickname of "Escaping Danjou". However, he was calm and logical in the midst of battle, and was perhaps the best of Shingen's generals.
After Shingen's death in 1573, Kousaka continued on to serve Takeda Katsuyori. He sought an alliance between the Takeda clan and their old enemy, the Uesugi clan, in order to unite against the threat of Oda Nobunaga.
Kousaka died in 1578 of illness at the age of 52. He was succeeded by his second son, Kousaka Masamoto (高坂昌元), his first son, Kousaka Masazumi (高坂昌澄) having died in the Battle of Nagashino in 1575.
In Mirage of Blaze: A kanshousha who, along with Sanjou-no-Kata, breaks the barrier over Takeda Shingen's tomb, the Maenduka, in an attempt to resurrect Shingen by using Narita Yuzuru as a vessel for his spirit.
According to Haruie, Kousaka has a high level of spiritual sensing ability (reisa), such that he is able to recognize someone he had met before even after their soul has undergone purification. He warns Naoe that Narita Yuzuru's existence is a threat to the Roku Dou Sekai.
Lit. "power-absorbing barrier": a unique barrier which absorbs the «power» of anyone trapped inside such that they cannot call upon their spiritual abilities. The maker of the barrier must put considerable negative energy, such as anguish and enmity, into its creation, either from him/herself or from other souls.
Also known as: 深志城 (Fukashi-jou), 鴉城 (Karasu-jou)
A castle in Matsumoto which was built by the Ogasawara Clan during the Sengoku Period (then called Fukashi-jou). It was captured by Takeda Shingen in 1550 and recaptured by Ogasawara Sadayoshi in 1582, who changed the castle's name to Matsumoto Castle. Later it came under the rule of Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu.
Hideyoshi appointed Ishikawa Kazumasa the new lord of Matsumoto Castle, and he and his son, Ishikawa Yasunaga, maintained the castle and town. Yasunaga greatly expanded the castle probably around the years 1593-1594, adding the three towers tenshu (danjon tower), inui-kotenshu (small tower in the northwest), and watari-yagura (connecting scaffold), as well as the goten (residence), taikomon (drum gate), kuromon (black gate), yagura (scaffold), hori (trench), honmaru (the main wing), ninomaru (the second wing), and sannomaru (the third wing).
Matsumoto Castle is one of the best-preserved castles in Japan and is one of the designated national treasures. It is also called "Crow Castle (Karasu-jou)" for its black walls.
The largest city in Nagano Prefecture, Matsumoto is surrounded by mountains and is acclaimed for its beautiful views.
Lit. "Underworld Uesugi Army"; the army formed by Uesugi Kenshin to hunt down the onryou so that the peace of modern-day Japan is not threatened by centuries-old conflicts. It is composed of all the spirits who have some connection to the Uesugi and who were called upon by Kenshin. The Yasha-shuu could be called its commanders, though Uesugi Kagetora is the only person with the authority to lead it.
Mito Koumon is the longest-running and most famous historical drama series in Japan with over 1000 episodes, which began broadcasting on Aug. 4, 1969, and continues today. Its main character is based on Tokugawa Mitsukuni, the retired (goinkyo) daimyo of Mito, who is one of Tokugawa Ieyasu's grandsons. In the drama he wanders around Ibaraki disguised as Mitsuemon, a retired crêpe merchant from Echigo, with two samurai retainers, Sasaki Sukesaburou (Suke-san) and Atsumi Kakunoshin (Kaku-san), helping the oppressed.
Other regular characters include the food-loving commoner Hachibei, reformed thieves Kazaguruma no Yashichi and his wife Kasumi no Oshin, and ninjas Tsuge no Tobizaru and Kagerou Ogin of the Iga School.
Also called: Mori Nagasada (森長定), possibly Shigetoshi (成利), Nagayasu (長康)
Historically: A vassal of Oda Nobunaga who served as his attendant from
an early age. His father, Mori Yoshinari, was also a vassal of Oda Nobunaga. Favored by Nobunaga for his talent and loyalty, he also followed the tradition of shudo with his liege-lord. He and his three younger brothers died with Nobunaga at the Honnou-ji on June 21, 1582.
A daimyo of Echigo, who became the head of his clan when his father was killed in battle in 1506. Father of Nagao Harukage and Uesugi Kenshin. Nagao Tamekage was a man of cunning who did not hesitate to strike at his lord's clan, the Uesugi, to gain control of Echigo, and was a noted warrior of many battles.
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.
Also: "onii-san (お姉さん)", "onii-sama (お姉さま)", "onii-chan (お姉ちゃん)", "nii-sama (姉さま)", "nii-san (姉さん)", "nii-chan (姉ちゃん)"
"Older sister"—like nii-san, one of those very simple terms which is unfortunately difficult to translate because of the differences in usage between English and Japanese. In Japanese, it is much more natural to call your (older) sister "nee-san" or "onee-san" rather than by their given name. It connotates a degree of respect and at the same time a certain closeness. ("Onee-sama" indicates more formality, "onee-chan" indicates more familiarity.)
One can also use "onee-san" to refer politely to an unrelated slightly older female.
In Mirage of Blaze, Takaya initially calls Ayako "Onee-san" (actually, "おねーさん") and later "Nee-san" ("ねーさん"), which has a somewhat slangy feel to it, and might actually be translated as "Sis" if it had the same rough connotation as "Bro".
Lit.: "waves of will/thought"; a nendouryoku attack using spiritual energy which focuses the will and releases it in a burst to strike at a target.
Also: "onii-san (お兄さん)", "onii-sama (お兄さま)", "onii-chan (お兄ちゃん)", "nii-sama (兄さま)", "nii-san (兄さん)", "nii-chan (兄ちゃん)"
"Older brother"—one of those very simple terms which is unfortunately difficult to translate because of the differences in usage between English and Japanese. In Japanese, it is much more natural to call your (older) brother "nii-san" or "onii-san" rather than by their given name. It connotates a degree of respect and at the same time a certain closeness. ("Onii-sama" indicates more formality, "onii-chan" indicates more familiarity.) This is the same reason most children in both cultures call their parents "Mom" and "Dad" instead of by their given names.
One can also use "onii-san" to refer politely to an unrelated slightly older male.
「のうまくさまんだ ぼだなん ばいしらまんだや そわか」
A mantra of Bishamonten which protects the caster from fatigue and calamity, usually used when starting a long or complex invocation.
"noumakusamanda bodanan" = a devotion to the Buddhas/"homage to all the Buddhas".
"Baishiramandaya" = a reverence to Bishamonten, or "hail Bishamonten!"
In Japanese mythology, the nue is a chimera formed from the head of a monkey, the body of a tanuki, the legs of a tiger, and a snake-tail. The nue can transform into a black cloud and brings illness and misfortune.
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.