|○ Stage 5 Boss A Shikaisen from Ancient Japan|
Mononobe no Futo
Species: Human? (a taoist who self-identifies as a shikaisen)
Ability: the power to manipulate feng shui
Long ago, indeed, fourteen hundred years ago or so.
Before, in fact, it had been decided that the country would rule over the
people. People, things, technology, religion... Many things were being
introduced from across the sea.
One of those would greatly influence the direction Buddhism would take in
The country was divided into pro- and anti-Buddhist factions, which dug
in more over time. The Mononobe, descendents of the Shinto god, Umashimaji
no Mikoto, was in the anti-Buddhist faction. Her confrontation with the Soga,
descendents of humans, was dreadful, and afterwards this religious conflict
wasn't talked of as a petty political battle, but as a battle between the
lineage of the gods and human dignity.
And so, religious war over Buddhism ended in tragedy.
The battles grew more vicious with each passing day as the Mononobe waged an
anti-Buddhist campaign that invaded and burned temples and threw out their
statues. Perhaps it was simply bad timing, but after that day, an epidemic
began to spread, resulting in the passing of the Emperor.
The Soga proclaimed this to be a curse brought on by despicable acts against
Buddhism. This rallied support in Soga's favor, who was eventually
given permission to bring the Mononobe into submission.
This battle resulted in the destruction of the Mononobe. From then on, the nation's
politics were carried out in a fashion befitting Buddhism.
This is what most people know about the religious war between the Mononobe
and the Soga.
However, there was someone else pulling the strings behind the scenes: Futo
A daughter of the Mononobe, she worshipped at the altar of another faith.
That faith was Taoism, which had been introduced at the same time as
Buddhism. Taoism could grant people superhuman abilities based on their
own actions, eventually resulting in immortality. It was particularly
appealing to those with political power.
However, that appealing faith also had a weakness. It was not well suited
for political control, as anyone could undergo the ascetic training
necessary to become a hermit. As a result, she decided to practice her
Taoism in secret.
Miko, a fellow Taoist practitioner, came to her with a certain plan.
Her plan was to govern the country using Buddhism as a means to keep
the citizenry pacified. Then, they would cast a curse on their own
deaths and be reborn as shikaisen.
Futo became an ally of the Soga and was able to manipulate them.
Thus, the Soga came to be blind followers of Buddhism.
Naturally, as descendents of the gods, the Mononobe (Futo excepted)
weren't particularly pleased about this.
The result was a protracted religious war over Buddhism. It was,
in fact, a war between the Mononobe, ancient gods of Japan, and
Miko, who wished to become a new god through Taoism.
However, it seemed it would take a long time for their resurrection
to take place.
That was probably because a group of Buddhist monks doubted that
Miko had actually died, and constructed a large temple above her
grave to prevent her from resurrecting.
Buddhism had been used for political ends, but it had apparently
been a miscalculation to allow it to become so widely followed
that even in modern Japan it continues to be widely observed.