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Kanako Yasaka

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八坂 (やさか)  神奈子 (かなこ)
Kanako Yasaka
jasaka kanako (♫)
Kanako Yasaka
Kanako Yasaka in Mountain of Faith
The Avatar of Mountains and Lakes
More Character Titles
Species

Goddess of wind and rain (not native to Gensokyo)

Abilities

Creating sky

Occupation

Moriya Shrine's Goddess

Location

Wind God's Lake at Moriya Shrine on top of Youkai Mountain, Underground Geyser Center[1]; Originally from the Outside World

Relationships
Music Themes
Appearances
Official Games
Print Works

Kanako Yasaka (八坂 神奈子 Yasaka Kanako) is the current goddess of the Moriya Shrine after defeating its previous resident goddess Suwako Moriya in the Great Suwa War. She desires to collect large amounts of faith, but since the humans of the Outside World no longer place much importance on gods, she has transported the shrine to Gensokyo. She currently lives on top of the Youkai Mountain, where she has an uneasy relationship with the leaders of the tengu.

General Information

Kanako first appeared as the Final boss of Mountain of Faith, as well as being the Extra stage midboss. She was a target on stage 11 of Double Spoiler, one of Sanae Kochiya's spell cards in Touhou Hisoutensoku and was shown in Hopeless Masquerade. She was indirectly responsible for the events of Subterranean Animism, Undefined Fantastic Object, Touhou Hisoutensoku and Ten Desires.

As the deity of the Moriya Shrine, Kanako herself is considered a god, but she also possesses a human form. She is considered to be a divine spirit in this respect. Though she is currently considered a goddess of wind and rain, she currently has plans under way to transition into a goddess of technological innovation, as divine spirits can apparently change their own natures by using myths.

Personality

Kanako is an ambitious woman who treats religion like a business, using whatever means bring her the most "profit" - that profit being instead faith. She has a natural presence that can seem intimidating or suspicious at times, but also reliable. Unusually for a god she has little respect for tradition - she demands little formality in her worship, and encourages scientific progress. It is somewhat strange for a deity to be knowledgeable and interested about science.

She has no hostility towards humans, though as is the case with all deities, she may curse them if they are disrespectful. She also seems to be rather short-tempered, but she is vulnerable to gifts.

Ability

Ability to create sky

Kanako's ability specifically refers to the element of Qian (), the "sky" of Bagua in Taoist philosophy. Qian is associated with creation, leadership, overtness, reliability, and acting first rather than reacting to others. Suwako Moriya's ability to create Kun (, earth), refers to the opposite element.

She is at least called "wind god", so it may be a power to manipulate wind, rain, and weather. For Kanako to be a god of agriculture, to manipulate the wind and rain and make the soil plentiful would definitely be the quickest and easiest way to quickly and easily gather faith.

In Symposium of Post-mysticism, it's stated that this ability of hers is still very much a mystery. Concerning what kind of power this is, since there is nothing that seems like a portrayal of this, it is not definite, but it is probably a power unimaginable to humans. After all, perhaps wind god→climate→air=sky. She has been seen altering the terrain with Suwako's help, opening holes to the underground, and even creating large structures. She helped build the Myouren Temple, as well.

Occupation

Kanako is currently the deity of the Moriya Shrine, and lives with Suwako Moriya, the de facto ruler of the shrine, and Sanae Kochiya, a wind priestess. She generally seems to spend her time implementing new ways to gain faith from those who live outside the Youkai Mountain.

Possessions

Kanako's shimenawa represents the figure of an entwined snake, which in turn represents resurrection, rebirth, and eternity through the repeated shedding of its own skin. She also possesses onbashira, which she apparently uses in traditional festivals to toss off of cliffs.

Backstory

Illustration of Kanako from Grimoire of Marisa

A god of the invading Yamato (the modern Japanese people), Kanako took over the Moriya Shrine after defeating its native goddess, Suwako Moriya, by holding out a thin vine that immediately rusted all of Suwako's iron weaponry. However, the original people of Moriya found it difficult to accept their new deity. In order to consolidate her newfound kingdom, she borrowed Suwako's powers. In reality, Suwako still ruled over the Moriya, but Kanako was their deity in name only.

After doing this, though, the Yamato began to disbelieve in the concept of eternity, which Kanako in part represented. They grew stronger and invented ways of getting around the agricultural problems posed by harsh rain and wind. As their belief in science and information grew, their faith in Kanako waned, and thus did her power.

In order to solve this problem, Kanako decided that the most appropriate course of action would be to abandon the human world and gather faith in Gensokyo. It ended up working out quite well, and she started to be worshipped as the deity of the Youkai Mountain. She then realized that, after observing the Hakurei Shrine which, though low on faith, was frequently visited by youkai was the main reason she had been accepted so quickly.

Kanako, however, did not forsee the power of those who lived on the mountain, such as the kappa and tengu, growing greater through their worship of her. Worried about the power balance in Gensokyo, she resolved to rein in more believers from elsewhere, and thus decided to utilize the Hakurei Shrine for her own ends.

Character Design

Kanako, as she appears in Symposium of Post-mysticism‎.

Origin

Kanako might be named after Princess Yasakatome, one of the gods of the Suwa Grand Shrine, which, on the other hand, Suwako Moriya is named after.

Name

Her full name is Kanako Yasaka (八坂 神奈子). The ya () in her surname means "eight" and Saka () mean "hill". Yasaka would therefore mean "Eight hills". It's referenced that because of her name, she might be seen as a mountain god; but she is really a god of wind and rain. The 神 (kan) in her first name means "god", while na () is an abbreviation for Nano (奈良), a city in the Nara prefecture of Japan, and ko () is a common suffix in Japanese that's used in female names which literally means "child".

In the character introduction image of Mountain of Faith (just when her theme starts, and her name and title is revealed), her name was incorrectly spelled as Yasama Kanako, which the "sama" isn't a correct romaji for .

Design

Kanako has an elaborate red shirt with long white sleeves and a round mirror over the center of her chest. She wears a long black skirt with a red flower print hem. Has poofy intense blue hair and dark red eyes. Behind her is a large twisting rope circle shimenawa with shide.

Story

Games

Mountain of Faith

In the main events of Mountain of Faith, Kanako plots to take over the Hakurei Shrine and use it to collect more faith, to gain more power.

Kanako offers to take Reimu and her shrine under her wing so that both would increase in followers and faith. Reimu refuses, on the grounds that she does not want Kanako interfering. Kanako then decides that Reimu is going to accept her help by force and a battle ensues. After she is defeated, she, Sanae, and a few other youkai visit the Hakurei Shrine, where Reimu vouches for them, telling Aya that they're not bad gods.

Kanako gets called out by Marisa for causing strife among the residents of the mountain and the Hakurei Shrine. Kanako scoffs and tells Marisa that she has no need for people who will not give her faith. After Marisa defeats her, the magician creates a little shrine out in the middle of nowhere and, in passing, notes that she should put Kanako in it. It immediately becomes a branch shrine for Kanako, though when she appears, she isn't too happy about it.

Subterranean Animism

Before the events of Subterranean Animism, it is hinted that she was the one who granted Utsuho Reiuji her powers (by telling her that she could swallow a god, Yatagarasu) and inadvertently caused the events of the game.

While Kanako was out on a shopping trip, Suwako explains to the pair about Kanako's quest to find a new energy source as part of their Mountain Industrial Revolution project. Suwako had reservations about the project (such as safety concerns for the kappa they employed). Koishi also hoped to be granted power just as Kanako did for Utsuho in the form of love, but was rebuked by Reimu.

Kanako was out with Suwako and during that time Sanae explains to the duo why Kanako gave Utsuho her powers as a means to produce a new kind of energy in order to bring more followers to the shrine. Reimu realizes that her entire presence during the events of the game helped to advance Kanako's project.

Reimu realizes all the fighting she's done was the cause of Kanako and asks Suwako what she was up to. Suwako explains that Kanako was looking for a high temperature for their kappa workers and decided that the Temple of the High Spirits was a suitable location and gave Utsuho her power.

Kanako catches Marisa going through her house and gave her a scolding.

Sanae tells Marisa of Kanako's plans of a kappa industrial revolution to give her followers a higher standard of living.

Koishi wanted to receive powers from Kanako for her pets as she did for Utsuho, but Marisa informs her that she will only do things that aid in her plans.

Undefined Fantastic Object

Kanako is indirectly involved in the incident for Undefined Fantastic Object, where because she gave Utsuho her nuclear powers, this caused geysers. however, this also caused the Palanquin Ship to pop out of the ground, thus been the scenario of the game.

Spin-offs

Touhou Hisoutensoku

In Touhou Hisoutensoku, Kanako was aiding Sanae Kochiya to attack her opponents. During Sanae's story, Suwako goes behind Kanako's back and helps the kappa build the Hisoutensoku. Afterwards, Kanako suggests that nuclear power is too much for it, and proposes heat or electricity as an alternative power source, but is assured that it only runs on steam. She immediately turns it into an advertising tool to gather more faith.

Double Spoiler

In Double Spoiler, Kanako appeared as a stage 11 target, where she uses a few spell cards and had Aya Shameimaru and Hatate Himekaidou take photos of her and her danmaku.

Hopeless Masquerade
Kanako in HM

Kanako made a background cameo appearance in Hopeless Masquerade on the Genbu Ravine stage. She is seen sitting on a rock making some sort of laugh.

Impossible Spell Card

After apparently reading the newspaper by the tengu about a mischief-making amanojaku, she becomes one of the many strong youkai and humans to try and stop Seija Kijin on day 9. She uses spell cards that are considered impossible to dodge.

Literature

Wild and Horned Hermit

Kanako and Suwako's "experiment" to produce nuclear energy using Utsuho Reiuji has only been creating energy inefficiently, so Sanae asks Reimu to help them out; the shrine maiden produces some palladium alloy, and Kanako hosts a public experiment, which ends in great success. Later on, Kanako orders the kappa to create a dam on a river on the Youkai Mountain for the purpose of gathering more faith.

Symposium of Post-mysticism

Kanako is one of the main speakers at the symposium, along with Byakuren Hijiri and Toyosatomimi no Miko. During it, she explains the details of why she moved the Moriya Shrine into Gensokyo.

Relationships

Sanae Kochiya

Sanae is a wind priestess that worships Kanako, and was part of the shrine's move to Gensokyo. Kanako mentioned in Symposium of Post-mysticism that Sanae herself can be referred to as one of the "gods" of the Moriya Shrine.

Suwako Moriya

Kanako and Suwako are the opposing gods of Moriya, but their profiles state that they share quite a few common interests and are actually pretty good friends. They do argue a lot, though, and Kanako still wears the snake-representing shimenawa to boast about the fact that she beat her.

Utsuho Reiuji

Kanako is the one who originally gave Utsuho her powers for her own end. At the moment it seems she is keeping Utsuho working to produce nuclear energy underground in Former Hell.

Gallery

Spell Cards

Additional Information

  • The silhouette of Kanako occupies the front of Mountain of Faith's jewel case.
  • It is revealed in chapter 19 of Silent Sinner in Blue that the Lunarians created and use shimenawa rope to seal away those that are a threat to them. Kanako's shimenawa at her back is confirmed to be the actual shimenawa in her Mountain of Faith profile. In addition, in Suwako's profile, it is stated that Kanako was one of several gods fighting to unify Japan, and it was implied in Silent Sinner in Blue that it was the Lunarians who were behind those wars (assuming taking away Lord Daikoku's lands referred to the actual time that happened in Shinto mythology by Amaterasu's family, whom are implied to be the Lunar Capital's founders). The Lunarians even used shimenawa to seal another god at the Moriya shrine. However, it is unknown if Kanako was connected to, in league with, or aware of any of this.
  • The shrine pictured in the background image of Kanako's spellcards is The Autumn Court of the Lower Shrine (下社秋宮 Shimosha), one of the four shrines that make up the Suwa Grand Shrine.
  • Oddly, Kanako's sprite changes colors in rainbow order during the time between when her theme begins and when she starts to battle. It also happens to Yumeko in the PC-98 era.

Fandom

  • In humorous fanart, Kanako is often depicted as a robot, or an RX-77-2 Guncannon from Mobile Suit Gundam due to the Faith Pillars that attach to her back during the final encounter in Mountain of Faith.
  • Kanako is sometimes called by the other nickname: "Misae" (みさえ), which comes from Misae Nohara in Crayon Shin-chan. This is mostly due to the fact that Kanako's hair style resembles the notable and common style of Misae's, often called as "Misae Hair" (みさえヘアー), which gave her the strong impression of it in her first appearance. There was also a specific scene seen in canon in this relation: in Marisa B's ending in Mountain of Faith, Kanako drills Marisa's head with her fists (the commonly known Misae's head drill in Japan) because she built a small shrine in the Forest of Magic, which is rarely visited by people.
  • Kanako is also depicted with Yukari Yakumo and Eirin Yagokoro, whom have the same character in their name. This is due to their characteristics and personalities often regarded by some fans as a sign of "elders". In this sense, they're occasionally called the "old hags" in harsh cases.
  • Due to how Mountain of Faith's events appear, fans first assumed Kanako as a scheming mastermind, but as time went on (and more of Kanako's plans were shown to fail), this interpretation became less popular. Ironically, recent events have revealed her to be fond of various projects (such as the dam or the sky trolley) meant to gather faith, most of which encountering some sort of trouble.

Official Profiles

Official Sources

References

  1. Symposium of Post-mysticism: Kanako