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Hata no Kokoro
Hata no Kokoro
hata no kokoɽo
Hata no Kokoro in Hopeless Masquerade
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Kokoro naturally has a quiet, child-like personality but also a love of the stage, and relies on her masks to properly communicate her emotions. During the events of Hopeless Masquerade all of her emotions are stored in her masks, causing her behaviour to swing wildly as she switches between them. Eventually, however, she manages to develop a sense of self and become less dependent on them.
- Manipulating emotions
Each of the masks which make up Kokoro embody powerful emotion, and will impress that emotion on the holder and those around them. When all 66 masks are together, their effects complement each other and are under Kokoro's full control. If an individual mask is separated from the group then it retains its properties, but Kokoro will also lose the ability to feel that emotion completely. Losing her Mask of Hope caused Kokoro to become unstable and leech hope from her surroundings, until she was able to compensate by developing emotions separate from her masks'.
Kokoro has a total of 66 masks, each of which depict an emotion. During the events of Hopeless Masquerade, she is unable to express emotions without using these masks. Typically, she just uses the masks that represent joy, anger, pathos, and humor. These masks were created by Prince Shotoku, who later creates a replacement Mask of Hope modelled on her own face.
The masks Kokoro uses at some point in Hopeless Masquerade and their most likely corresponding emotions:
- Young woman (Ko-omote, lit. "small face"): Joy
- Hannya: Anger
- Old woman (Uba): Pathos, melancholy
- God of happiness (Fuku no kami): Humor, laughter
- Hyottoko: Cheerful
- Monkey: Confusion, awkwardness
- Thunder and lightning (Raiden): Surprise
- Fox: Determination, seriousness
Kokoro briefly uses a number of substitute Masks of Hope as part of her attempts to stabilise her emotions, including festival masks (which are not very effective), and a mask specially crafted by Miko herself (which is too effective, and would cause her to stop existing as a youkai).
Hata no Kokoro is a menreiki, a type of tsukumogami, born from 66 masks used by Hata no Kawakatsu in the sixth century. Kawakatsu is known as the father of Sarugaku theatre (a precursor to Noh), and is the centre of a legend which would connect him to Mononobe no Futo, Toyosatomimi no Miko, Myouren Temple, and perhaps even Moriya Shrine.
In the legend, as told in Zeami's Fūshikaden, Kawakatsu was found in a jar as a baby on a river near Oomiwa Shrine during the reign of Emperor Kinmei. He grew up to be a genius, so the court made him a minister and given the surname Hata. When the country was in turmoil, Prince Shoutoku ordered Kawakatsu to perform 66 plays following Shinto and Buddhist traditions, and had 66 masks made for this purpose. These plays became the first Kagura, from which Sarugaku was later derived.
After passing down the secret of his plays, Kawakatsu rode a boat and drifted out to the sea to uphold the tradition that non-human deities and Buddhas mustn't leave physical remains. He next came ashore in monstrous form, and haunted the surrounding area until he was enshrined by the local people as Great Rage Daimyoujin (大荒大明神 Taikou Daimyoujin), who was later regarded as an avatar of Bishamonten.
Her full name is Hata no Kokoro, with Hata as the surname and Kokoro as the given name. Hata (the Japanese reading of Chinese surname 秦) clan was an eminent Chinese immigrant clan mentioned in Nihon Shoki. It's also the surname of the masks' original user — Hata no Kawakatsu, who's said to be the reincarnation of First Emperor of Qin Dynasty in Zeami's Fuushika-den.
Her given name is written entirely in hiragana and means 'Heart' (心 kokoro) in Japanese. 心 is also in the Japanese title of the game about her: Hopeless Masquerade (心綺楼 shinkirou).
Kokoro has waist-length lavender hair, and blank eyes of the same colour. She wears a blue plaid blouse, adorned with buttons of various shapes (from top: red star, yellow circle, green triangle, and purple X). Her salmon skirt is pumpkin-shaped, and lined with holes in the shape of alternating smiling and frowing faces (both are the same pattern, flipped vertically). She always wears one of her 66 masks over some of her face.
The story starts with Kokoro losing her mask of hope, causing the emotions embodied in her remaining masks to go berserk and begin draining the hope from the Human Village. This in turn lead the humans to latch onto religious leaders as sources of hope, as part of the "duelling fad".
Reimu Hakurei and the others participate in the religious popularity contest and are eventually guided by Mamizou Futatsuiwa to the Human Village at night, where Kokoro searches in vain for her lost mask. Most of the characters who try to stop her come up with their own solutions to her hopelessness, including Byakuren Hijiri teaching her Buddhism to control her own emotions and Toyosatomimi no Miko making her a replacement mask of hope, but none of them completely work.
Mamizou notices the contradictory actions Kokoro is taking and offers her own advice, which is to stop relying on the masks and discover her own, true emotions through meeting (and fighting) a variety of people. In the process of doing so she discovers her own anger at the religious leaders who are taking advantage of the situation, and Reimu, Byakuren, and Miko team up to stop her. Byakuren and Miko both claim that their solutions solved the problem, and Kokoro is invited to the Hakurei Shrine to perform Kagura as an offering to the gods.
Some time during the ending of her Hopeless Masquerade route, Kokoro performs Noh at the Hakurei Shrine in an attempt to stabilise her emotions, hiding her identity as a youkai. While popular at first, audiences are unable to understand her "play", which turns out to be based on illustrations from an old tengu parody. Noticing this, Mamizou approaches Kokoro and helps write Shinkirou, a modernised comedy based on the events of the religious war.
While she was still alive, Miko created the 66 masks which Kokoro was born from. Miko later makes Kokoro a new mask of hope to replace her lost one. However, Kokoro discarded this mask, as its stabilising effect was so powerful that it would eventually cause her to turn back into a set of inanimate objects. Her feelings towards Miko over this are unknown.
Kokoro considers Koishi her arch-enemy, for finding her old Mask of Hope and refusing to return it.
- A silhouette of Kokoro occupies the front of Hopeless Masquerade's jewel case.
- It's a popular gag in fanart to replace Kokoro's masks with masks from other franchises, such as Kamen Riders (particularly Wizard, who frequently talks about hope), The Stone Mask, or Majora's Mask.
- She's sometimes seen with Miko's new hope mask on, suggesting the artist is unaware of its full effects.
- Many fanworks play up the role of Toyosatomimi no Miko as Kokoro's "father", sometimes with Byakuren Hijiri appointing herself as Kokoro's mother.
- Kokoro is often depicted alongside Koishi (her "arch-enemy") and/or Mamizou (who helped her find an identity).
- Fans have noticed similarities with expressionless but attractive characters such as Yuki Nagato or Rei Ayamami, though with the liveliness Kokoro shows, she ends up developing her own charm.
- Due to the ambiguous situation with her either talking or the masks doing the talking, various artists have either Kokoro herself talking without masks, the masks doing the talking, or both.
- According to the in-game script, this is how it is represented. The "の" is actually a part of the furigana that make up the "秦" kanji.
- From Koishi's Scenario, Stage 7