Okina Matara in Hidden Star in Four Seasons
More Character Titles
Creating doors on the back of anything
Older than Gensokyo itself
Sage; maintains Gensokyo's balance
- 1 General Information
- 2 Background Information
- 3 Story
- 4 Relationships
- 5 Gallery
- 6 Spell Cards
- 7 Additional Information
- 8 Fandom
- 9 Official Profiles
- 10 Official Sources
- 11 References
Okina first appears as both the final boss and extra stage boss in Hidden Star in Four Seasons.
A hidden god of multiple faces and roles, she has remained out of sight for some time until the events of Hidden Star in Four Seasons. As one of the Sages, she has helped to create the Gensokyo of today. Currently, she maintains its balance and protects it from the Outside World.
She is said to be the spitting image of a classic god, having no mercy for those who disrespect her and graciously blessing those who revere her. Though described as "hidden", her true form is the same as the face she shows publicly, a chaotic mashup of the aspects of several gods. During and after the Four Seasons Incident, her personality is shown to be that of an ostentatious, confident, and prideful person, making magnificent displays of her power in order to bring attention to herself. Okina seems to somewhat pity her servants, wishing to release them from their position (although it's unknown whether she actually feels this way, as it's revealed in Hidden Star in Four Seasons that she may not have even intended to replace them at all).
Creating doors on the backs of anything
Okina can create doors on the back of anything, even living beings. The back doors act like portals and allow her to travel wherever she wishes, or to send something to somewhere else. Creating a back door on a living being allows her access to the energy of said living being. The Four Seasons Incident started when Okina powered up the denizens of Gensokyo by pouring life energy into the doors on their back. The effect was particularly pronounced when Okina powered up fairies, beings who are intrinsically tied to nature. Those with Okina's back doors on their bodies are able to further power themselves up by collecting seasonal energy. Okina can take away the seasonal energy from those using her doors and expel them from the Land of the Back Door. She is unable to collect the energy of doyou, the period between seasons, as it would harm her. Each being in Gensokyo has a corresponding seasonal door. For example, fairies like Cirno and Eternity Larva should have summer doors (though, in the case of Eternity, her door actually corresponded to doyou, implying that she may not be a fairy at all). It may be that seasonal doors are interpersonal even within species, however, as Reimu and Marisa (both human), have different seasonal doors in the forms of spring and winter respectively.
The doors can act as portals and connect to the extradimensional Land of the Back Door, through which a number of other doors of Okina's creation are accessible. These doors all connect to various places in Gensokyo and it seems anyone can go through them. It's currently unknown if Okina can control who can go through her doors, however it's implied that she can as she is able to cut off access to them at any point according to Aya Shameimaru's Extra Scenario in Hidden Star in Four Seasons.
Manipulating life energy and mental energy
Okina possesses the ability to manipulate both life energy and mental energy. She lends this power to her servants Satono Nishida (mental energy) and Mai Teireida (life energy). The two are described as "extensions" of Okina's power. Okina's profile states that she suddenly gained these abilities at some point in the past, likely before the creation of Gensokyo.
Life energy is primarily used by Okina to tamper with nature. In Hidden Star in Four Seasons, she poured life energy into the backs of Gensokyo's residents, powering them up temporarily. When Gensokyo's fairies were powered up, the seasons began to wildly fluctuate throughout the land. The seasonal energy that this created can also be manipulated by Okina. In Chapter 42 of Wild and Horned Hermit, Okina was revealed to be able to create youkai by using life energy. She created Aunn by opening a back door on a komainu statue and pouring life energy into it, turning the divine spirit of the statue into an actual living being. In the same chapter she offers to make it spring so that the flowers could bloom, affirming that she has direct control over the seasons. She also boastfully states that she can recreate the entirety of Gensokyo if she so pleases. In this light, it appears Okina's manipulation of life energy allows her to create life or take life at will.
Okina's manipulation of mental energy has never been demonstrated or mentioned so far, so its mechanics are unknown. It may, however, have to do with the slave-like devotion her servants have for her as well as the protagonists having slight amnesia about what happened during their first battle with Okina.
Her full name is Okina Matara (摩多羅 隠岐奈). The first kanji in Okina, 隠 (o), means "hidden". 岐 (ki) could mean either "crossroads" or "theatre". 奈 (na) can refer to Naraka (Naraku 奈落), the Hindu and Buddhist version of hell (also known as Jigoku 地獄 in Japan), or to "the basement of a theatre". Altogether, Okina (隠岐奈) translates to something like "hidden hell theatre" or "hidden crossroads [in] hell/a theatre's basement". Of note is that 隠岐 (oki) sounds similar to 奥 (oku lit. "backside"). Additionally, Okina (隠岐奈) is homophonous to Okina (翁 lit. "old man"), the name of a mask, used in Noh, Kyogen, and Sarugaku performance. In Japanese Buddhist religious performances the mask represents a god of the same name often conflated with Matarajin. Matara (摩多羅) comes from the first three kanji of Matarajin (摩多羅神 lit. "god of matara") and is the Japanese transcription of the Sanskrit plural for "mother", "mā́taraḥ" (मातर). Thus, the kanji in Matara/Matarajin have no real meaning besides to mimic the sounds of the foreign "mā́taraḥ". Matarajin contains the Sanskrit plural for mother in his name due to his association with several female deities including, but not limited to: the dakini, Dakiniten, Benzaiten, Ena-Tenjin, Hariti (Kishimojin), Mahakali, Kenro Jijin/Kenro Jiten (Prithvi), and, mainly, the Saptamatara/Saptamatrika (Shichimoten).
Okina's name in relation to the Oki Islands
The first two kanji in Okina, 隠岐 (oki), make up the name of the Oki Islands (隠岐諸島). The Oki islands is where the story of the White Hare of Inaba supposedly took place. In said story, the god Okuninushi helps direct the hare to heal himself after noticing the hare was flayed. Okuninushi is said to be one in the same with the god Daikokuten, who is the Japanized version of Indian god Shiva's ultimate form, Mahakala. Early on, Mahakala/Daikokuten was associated with a retinue of demonesses including the dakini and the seven mothers (Saptamatara/Shichimoten). The first time the name "Matarajin" appears in Japanese records it was used to describe a demonic three-headed yashajin (夜叉神 lit. "yaksha god") of Toji, who appears to be modeled after Mahakala. Several Buddhist texts identify Mahakala/Daikokuten and Matarajin to be one in the same. Interestingly, Lafcadio Hearn (who is related to another character) wrote part of Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan while visiting the Oki Islands. The islands also contain Myokensan (妙見山 lit. "Myoken Mountain") and two of its places of worship, 妙見神社 (Myoken-jinja lit. "Myoken Shrine") and 妙見堂 (Myoken-ji lit. "Myoken Temple"). Myoken is another deification of the Big Dipper with connections to Matarajin.
Okina's name in relation to Kunado no Kami and Dosojin
The 岐 (ki) in Okina may derive from Kunado no Kami (岐の神 lit. "god[s] of crossroads") and its derivative, Dosojin (道祖神 lit. "ancestral road god[s]"), also called Chimata no Kami (岐の神). Both types of gods are associated and identified with Matarajin because their purpose is to ward off pestilence and to remove hindrances, something that Matarajin is also responsible for. Dosojin also share the title of Shukujin (宿神 lit. "indwelling god", "god of destiny") with Matarajin. Additionally, both Kunado no Kami and Dosojin and are tied in with the Koshin (庚申) ritual, something practiced heavily by the monks of the temples and shrines of Mount Hiei, the center of Tendai Buddhism and birthplace of the modern image of Matarajin.
She is based on Matara-jin (摩多羅神), an esoteric, multifaceted God primarily of the esoteric Tendai Buddhism sect, introduced by Ennin. It should be noted that while small today, historically Tendai was among the most powerful and influential Buddhist schools in Japan.
Matara-jin is a shukujin, a type of formerly commonly worshiped syncretic god of destiny and stars, but also a god of outcast communities, such as traveling performers. Such groups were also associated with holidays taking place in the "backdoor" (後戸) area of Buddhist temples, eg. a space behind the honzon, or main object of worship, where Matara-jin was commonly enshrined as a protector deity.
Additionally, Matara-jin with time acquired the status of a god of noh, which lead to him being conflated with Hata no Kawakatsu. Kawakatsu, head of the immigrant Hata clan, is a culture hero commonly portrayed as a trusted associate of prince Shotoku, a patron of sericulture and as an unspecified god masquerading, or reincarnated, as a human. Additionally, medieval authors such as Konparu Zenchiku associated both Matara-jin and Hata no Kawakatsu with the okinamen mask.
Matara-jin was sometimes also portrayed as capable of repelling diseases and various spirituals hindrances, especially tengu, viewed as the enemies of Buddhist doctrine. In turn, he too was at times presented as a hindrance to be placated with ritual performances.
Modern researchers such as William M. Bodiford consider Matara-jin to be a combination of elements from the Hindu and Buddhist god Mahakala (an aspect of Shiva, also separately introduced to Japanese Buddhism as the god of luck Daikoku) and the Chinese afterlife deity Taizan Fukun (incorporated into Buddhist beliefs as one of the ten kings of hell and often invoked in esoteric contexts as a shukujin himself).
Multiple factors contributed to formerly widely venerated Matara-jin falling into obscurity. First of all, the status of the mt. Hiei temple complex, where he was worshiped, was damaged by Oda Nobunaga's campaigns. Perhaps even more importantly, in various polemics, Matara-jin was condemned as the god invoked during genshi kimyodan (玄旨帰命壇), a secret Tendai ritual which according to the authors of such texts was sexually explicit in nature. Finally, during the Meiji era, syncretic deities existing on the border between kami and buddhas completely fell from grace due to the official policy of separation of Shinto and Buddhism.
Like most deities worshiped in Japan before the implementation of the shinbutsu bunri (神仏分離) policies, Matara-jin was also enshrined alongside, conflated or confused with, and viewed as a manifestation of many other gods, Buddhas and other religious or folkloric figures.
Matara-jin is sometimes portrayed with two servants (douji), Teireita and Nishita.
She has long, blonde hair and yellow eyes. She wears a yellow tabard adorned with a constellation pattern of stars representing the Big Dipper, a symbol of Matara-jin and other associated deities. She wears a green skirt and black boots, and on her head is a three-point hat.
Her stage 6 portraits depicts her sitting on a "throne" and bearing a mirror-like Tsuzumi drum. The throne has a backdoor installed in it, out of which flames in four colors emerge, each representing one of the four seasons.
Her extra stage portrait no longer has the throne and mirror, but the flames are still present. Instead, she has a wireframe-like door in front of her that she is looking through. Her eyes turn orange, her hair becomes longer and smoother and less pale-colored, as well as having bigger sleeves.
- Hidden Star in Four Seasons
Okina emerges from obscurity, wanting to find new replacements for her servants, Satono and Mai. She orders her servants to plant doors on the backs of others and empower them, with the purpose of bringing out their best to see if they are worthy of being Okina's servant. Empowered fairies cause the seasons to go haywire, which causes the player characters to act. Deeming the player characters unworthy, she defeats them by taking the power they've gathered and expelling them to the beginning using the "door of seasons" planted on their backs. After gathering the lifeless boundary between seasons instead, preventing Okina from ejecting them again, the player returns and manages to defeat her. However, Okina's true goal is simply to stand out and make a show of her power, to engrave herself in the hearts and minds of everyone in Gensokyo once again.
- Violet Detector
Okina confronts Sumireko Usami in the Dream World. She is fascinated by her struggle and decides to help her through her ordeal by lending some power. When the Sumireko she helped finally meet with her other self, the real Sumireko, Okina takes back the power she lent her to make the fight fair.
- Wild and Horned Hermit
Okina makes her manga debut in chapter 42, directly following the events of Hidden Star in Four Seasons. After revealing that she created Aunn, she joins Reimu and Marisa in one of the Hakurei Shrine's regular flower-viewing parties. There, she boasts about her power over life energy, bragging that she could create youkai with a snap of her fingers, make the flowers bloom and seasons change at her will and even recreate Gensokyo if she so pleased.
- Visionary Fairies in Shrine
In chapter 14, Cirno and the other fairies make their way into the Land of the Back Door, having decided that Okina was responsible for turning some other fairies into pure crystallized life force. Okina, nonchalantly sitting in a wheelchair-like seat, neither confirms nor denies the accusation. Rather, she is amused by Cirno and her friends and the prospect of battling them. In the final chapter, she shows her overwhelming superiority to the gang of fairies, and menacingly orders Clownpiece to let the big shots in Hell know that Gensokyo is home to a secret terrifying god.
Loyal servants of Okina. Vessels of her power, they act as extensions of her and unflinchingly obey her orders. They seemingly lack the free will to question otherwise. They are becoming less human due to Okina's influence and have little memory of their past, yet maintain their personalities. Whether because they're no longer useful or she pities them, Okina seeks to replace them, which she has periodically. However, after failing to find any, she says she is fine with retaining them. Satono and Mai do not know they are even searching for their own successors.
Sages of Gensokyo
It's implied in Reimu's extra stage in Hidden Star in Four Seasons that the two are familiar with each other, and that Yukari helped Reimu defeating Okina by suggesting her to use the "boundary between seasons" to fight her. Okina recognized Yukari's modus operandi, while Reimu said she didn't understand the logic behind the countermeasure method she was using. During the fireworks festival that Usami wrote about in The Grimoire of Usami, the two banter about things as equals.
- The silhouette of Okina's Extra Stage appearance, along with Mai Teireida and Satono Nishida, appears on the jewel case for Hidden Star in Four Seasons.
- Okina is one of the four Touhou characters in the entire series to be both a maingame stage boss and the Extra Stage boss, with the other three being Rika in Story of Eastern Wonderland, Alice in Mystic Square and Junko, partially, in Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom.
- Okina in the Extra Stage shares a spell background with Toyosatomimi no Miko.
- The wheel of Dhamma is shown in one of her spell card backgrounds.
-  "闇の摩多羅神/Yami no Matarajin" by Minato Kawamura
-  "Protectors and Predators: Medieval Gods of Japan Volume 2" by Bernard Faure
-  "Daikokuten Iconography" by Mark Schumacher
- Bernard Faure, The Cultic World of the Blind Monks: Benzaiten, Jūzenji, and Shukujin, p. 83: [the area behind the honzon] was visited by various categories of people, such as monks of low rank and lay brothers. During New Year ceremonies for instance, this space was crowded, not only by monks and sarugaku performers, but also by outcasts fulfilling a variety of roles (in particular that of policemen, kebiishi 検非違使). On the one hand, these low-class types were perceived as not very different from the demons which were to be exorcized on such occasions, and which would actually be impersonated by some outcasts. These demons were needed as symbols of the impending chaos, kept at bay by ritual. In other words, they served as scapegoats, whose expulsion reaffirmed social order.
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