Mononobe no Futo

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物部 (もののべの)  布都 (ふと)
Mononobe no Futo
Futo Mononobe
Mononobe no Futo
Mononobe no Futo in Hopeless Masquerade
Shikaisen from Ancient Japan
More Character Titles

Taoist practitioner claiming to be a shikaisen


Manipulation of feng shui


More than 1400 years old


Hall of Dreams' Great Mausoleum, Human Village[1]

Music Themes
Official Games
Print Works

Mononobe no Futo (物部 布都) is a shikaisen, formerly a hermit practicing Taoism. She possesses the ability to manipulate feng shui, and stands against the player in stage 5 of Ten Desires.

General Information[edit]

Futo is generally thought to be a shikaisen, meaning that she was once a hermit who attempted to surpass the physical lifespan of a human by taking on the qualities of the dead. She essentially abandoned her body and transferred her soul into an object (said to be a plate). As a shikaisen, she is able to take on a great number of forms, but she prefers the traditional look she had when she was alive, as opposed to Toyosatomimi no Miko's decision to go with a more modern form.

In her official profile ZUN lists her as a "Taoist self-identifying as a shikaisen", but it can be inferred from her backstory as well as her article in Symposium of Post-mysticism that she is a bona-fide shikaisen.


Futo is described as being gentle at heart, but unable to adapt to modern times - and modern Gensokyo in general. Hieda no Akyuu points out in Symposium of Post-mysticism that because of it, she has an extremely "hermit-like" personality. Even in ancient times, she clung to Taoism rather than Buddhism, indicating a dislike of change and a favoring of old ways. She is friendly towards humans, even going so far as to save them on occasion, but hostile towards youkai for some reason. Miko describes her as being a scaredy-cat, though her "fear" of Buddhist statues led to her burning them (and temples) down to the ground (as the head of the Mononobe clan).


Futo is apparently able to manipulate feng shui. However, this ability is never mentioned in any official material, aside from a note in Symposium of Post-mysticism.


Futo currently serves Toyosatomimi no Miko and resides in the Hall of Dreams' Great Mausoleum while practicing Taoism.


A plate is mentioned as the object Futo used to transfer her soul into in order to become a shikaisen, and she seems to carry several plates in Hopeless Masquerade. In addition, she is seen riding a boat during two of her spellcards in Ten Desires and in Hopeless Masquerade.


Futo originated in the Mononobe clan, widely known to be a Shinto-worshipping clan. However, she was actually a worshiper of Taoism. She decided to practice her Taoism in secret, as it lacked political power due to the fact that anyone can undergo the training required to become a hermit. Toyosatomimi no Miko eventually approached her and proposed a plan: Miko would pacify the nation under Buddhism, but she and Futo would die and be reborn as shikaisen. Futo agreed, and managed to ally herself with the Soga clan to get them to follow Buddhism blindly.

After the Mononobe clan caught wind of this, a religious war ensued between them and the Soga clan. The Mononobe clan was eventually defeated after numerous harsh battles that left many Buddhist temples and artifacts destroyed; and thus the nation was united under Buddhism.

Once the battles ended, Futo finally attempted the process of becoming a shikaisen by "dying". Miko soon followed suit, and they both ended up in Gensokyo.

Character Design[edit]


The Mononobe clan was a family who waged a fierce political battle with the Soga clan over Buddhism. In particular, Soga no Umako and Mononobe no Moriya were two very influential courtiers to Emperor Bidatsu and his brother, Emperor Youmei, who was the father of Prince Shoutoku. Both Youmei and Shoutoku were proponents of Buddhism, which led to victory for Umako, whose forces killed Moriya and his allies in the Battle of Shigisan in 587.

Of the Mononobe, there existed Futsuhime (布都姫), who was the little sister of Mononobe no Moriya. In the Nihon Shoki, she was Soga no Umako's wife, although her name was never mentioned there. But according to the book, Umako "gratuitously killed Moriya by carrying out his wife's plot". So, according to this account, Futsuhime was a collaborator to Soga clan and a traitor to the Mononobe, despite her lineage. Furthermore, Umako and his wife are thought to have given birth to Tojiko no Iratsume, who as it turns out, is the possible basis of Soga no Tojiko. Other historical documents tell different accounts. For example, in the Sendai Kuji Hongi, she was married to Emperor Sushun and later to Mononobe no Nieko no Muraji, who was Mononobe no Moriya's little brother and Futsuhime's half brother.


She takes the name 物部 Mononobe as a member of the Mononobe clan. Her given name, Futo (布都, lit. "cloth city/capital/metropolis"), is derived from the name 布都姫 Futsuhime, who she was based off of.


In Ten Desires's official art, Momonobe no Futo has grey eyes, grey hair and is dressed in a uniform which resembles Heian Era clothing such as a kariginu (狩衣, lit. "hunting dress") or a suikan (水干, lit. "dried with water"), modified with the addition of a purple skirt, with an eboshi (烏帽子) atop her head. Kariginu or suikan were worn for everyday clothes by the male Kuge (公家, "people of the Imperial Court") in the Heian Era.



Ten Desires

When the heroine reaches the Hall of Dreams' Great Mausoleum in stage 5, Futo appears to them, having been reborn as a shikaisen. She challenges the heroine, thinking that she is the final trial to be overcome in her resurrection. After she is defeated, however, she realizes that the spirits of desire are actually flooding into the mausoleum in anticipation of Toyosatomimi no Miko's own resurrection.


Toyosatomimi no Miko[edit]

Futo has been Miko's faithful servant since before the religious war between Shinto and Buddhism. After they died to become shikaisen together and reappeared in Gensokyo, they remain together. Symposium of Post-mysticism says that they usually act in unison.

Soga no Tojiko[edit]

Their official profiles state that Futo and Tojiko get along with each other for the most part, despite their origins as enemies in the religious war. They seem to be united under the fact that they both hate Buddhism. However, in Symposium of Post-mysticism, it's revealed that the reason Soga is a ghost is because Futo tricked her when they became shikaisen, having held a grudge against her during the religious wars. Soga, however, does not seem to have a problem with being a ghost, so it's possible they are still on good terms.


Spell Cards[edit]

Additional Information[edit]

  • Her clothing - a kariginu-like outfit with the upper part in white - resembles typical Heian Era clothing, or a stereotypical onmyouji uniform in Japanese pop culture. SinGyoku's "male" form wears similar clothing.
  • While not canonically stated, if Futo is Futsuhime then she would be one of a few characters known to have been married (the others being Seiga Kaku, Watatsuki no Toyohime, and Watatsuki no Yorihime).


  • For a short period after she was introduced, many fans seemed to mistake her for a boy for some reason, seriously or jokingly (maybe because her clothes resemble a uniform usually worn by men).
  • Due to her unusual pose in her portrait, fanart often depicts her in this pose or in similar ones.
  • Because many fans think her expression looks smug, Futo is often depicted in fan works with a doyagao (ドヤ顔, best described as a "smugface" in English).
  • Her archaic speaking patterns in Japanese are often translated by Western fans as Shakespearean/Early Modern English.
    • This has been turned into a moe point with some fans as various artists play up her naive curious aspects, making her a sort of 'Hermit Moe'.
    • Even her temple/statue burning tendencies hasn't lessened this effect, though a few pictures focus on this aspect of her.
  • In some fanart Futo is depicted wrapped in rice and seaweed like a Makizushi, a pun on "Futo" and "futo-maki" (太巻き, "large rolled-sushi").

Official Profiles[edit]

Official Sources[edit]


  1. Symposium of Post-mysticism: Mononobe no Futo
  2. Academically, the ancestor is thought to be Takenouchi no Sukune (武内宿禰).