Suwako Moriya

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洩矢 (もりや)  諏訪子 (すわこ)
Suwako Moriya
moɽʲija sɯwako (♫)
Suwako
Suwako Moriya in Touhou Hisoutensoku
The Highest of Native Gods
More Character Titles
Species

God of mountains (not native to Gensokyo)

Abilities

Creating earthiness

Age

Unknown, but one of the oldest gods; she far predates the invasion by the Goddess Kanako and the Yamato in the Great Suwa War, approximately 2300 years ago.

Occupation

Moriya Shrine's former god

Location

Moriya Shrine, Youkai Mountain, Underground Geyser Center; Originally from the Outside World

Music Themes
Appearances
Official Games
Print Works

Suwako Moriya (洩矢 諏訪子 Moriya Suwako) is the original god of the Moriya Shrine. Officially the shrine now belongs to Kanako Yasaka, but in Suwako's words she handles most of the divine services while Kanako handles the "sales".

General Information

Suwako first appeared as the extra boss of Mountain of Faith. Unlike Kanako, who is technically a divine spirit who once had a human form, Suwako is one of the myriad gods, and thus consists purely of faith. She also controls the Mishaguji, which is one of her main sources of faith from humans.

When a portion of her spirit is enshrined, she takes on the form of a frog. In this form, she can grant various blessings, such as safe travel, financial upturn, and transfiguration.

Personality

In contrast to Kanako, Suwako is more laid back and mischievous. She enjoys competing against others, and loses gracefully. Though she feigns ignorance, Suwako is just as capable of scheming as Kanako. Combined with her rarely leaving the shrine, her intentions can be hard to read.

Ability

Ability to create earthiness

Suwako's ability specifically refers to the element of Kun (), one of the eight trigrams in Taoist philosophy that means creating Earth. Kun is exactly the pinnacle of the native god and is associated with acceptance, devotion, subtlety, flexibility, and reacting to others rather than acting first. Kanako Yasaka's ability to create the "sky" of Bagua, or Qian (), refers to the opposite element. Although Mountain of Faith offers little insight into the nature of Suwako's abilities, her attack animations in Touhou Hisoutensoku depict her "swimming" through the ground, summoning magma, geysers, various rocks and minerals, growing plants instantly, and bending rivers.[1]

Iron rings

Possibly because of her ability to manipulate minerals, Suwako uses large iron rings as weapons in various attacks. According to Hatate Himekaidou, they are scaringly sharp.[2]

Backstory

It is revealed that during ancient times, Suwako was a ruler of a small kingdom and controlled the Mishaguji, who were curse gods that had obtained enormous amounts of faith, cursing birth, harvests, militaries, and many other things. Only Suwako was able to tame them. However, gods from the Yamato (Ancient Japan) invaded her kingdom, saying that they were going to unify all the kingdoms to create a single country known as Japan. Unwilling to let this happen, Suwako resisted and fought with the finest steel weapons of the time. However, Kanako held out a thin vine, and Suwako's large steel arsenal instantly rusted away. Suwako realized the difference in their divine powers and her defeat; she graciously forfeited and relinquished her kingdom.

It is said that Sanae is her distant descendant, although Sanae didn't even know it until the events of Subterranean Animism.

Character Basis

Name

The name Suwako (諏訪子) is modified from Lake Suwa (諏訪湖 Suwa-ko), the largest lake in Nagano prefecture. The area also features one of the world's largest geysers. Suwako's family name is probably derived from Moreyashin (洩矢神, the god Moriya), who is said to be the first ancestor of Sanae Moriya (守矢早苗), the real person who inspired Sanae Kochiya. (Moreya is an archaic, alternate pronunciation of Moriya.)

Design

Suwako wears a short simple purplish-blue dress with a frog print design, large white sleeves stitched onto the torso, and a white collar. She has medium length blond hair, grey eyes, a light brown wide-brimmed hat with two frog eyes on the top, white kneehighs and black shoes. Originally unofficial, Suwako has been shown to wear Zettai Ryouiki in Touhou Hisoutensoku and Hopeless Masquerade.

Story

Games

Mountain of Faith
Suwako's sprite in MoF

Reimu and Marisa hear rumors about a second god residing in the Moriya Shrine. Both heroines set out for the shrine to confirm the rumor when they meet Suwako. Suwako explains that the Moriya Shrine was originally solely hers and that she's the one who administers divine blessings/curses whereas Kanako tends to act as the face of the shrine. She also reveals that Kanako was the god who moved the shrine to Gensokyo. After subjecting the heroines to a "danmaku festival" and being impressed by their skills, she decides to stay in Gensokyo.

Subterranean Animism

In Subterranean Animism, Suwako appeared in Reimu and Yukari's Scenario as well as Reimu and Aya's Scenario, revealing an industrial revolution project by Kanako that caused Reimu to get mad for being sent to the Hell of Blazing Fires.

Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom

Suwako makes another appearance in Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom, this time in Sanae's ending if you have lost a life playing Legacy Mode. Suwako arrives while Kanako was training Sanae to become better at danmaku dodging, saying that she has found a conclusion for the analysis she has done with the Ultramarine Orb Elixir. Suwako declares the elixir to be dangerous to a native god like her since it also had the effect of purifying the past. Apparently, if Sanae were to take it, it would leave her a "pure human".

Spin-off games

Touhou Hisoutensoku

In Touhou Hisoutensoku, Suwako was the final boss of Sanae Kochiya's scenario, but also as an aid for Sanae to attack her opponent (including herself). She was aware of the true nature of the vanishing giant seen roaming around Gensokyo, that being Hisoutensoku and was confronted by Sanae over this and other secretive actions Suwako was involved in. She is also a playable character in arcade and versus modes. Despite the last stage status and having a diverse set of attacks, she is regarded as a bottom-tier character in essentially every Soku tier listing.

Double Spoiler

In Double Spoiler, Suwako 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
Suwako in HM

Suwako made a background cameo appearance in Hopeless Masquerade on the Genbu Ravine and Youkai Tanuki Forest stage. She is seen standing next to Sanae Kochiya hopping.

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. She uses spell cards that are considered impossible to dodge.

Relationships

Kanako Yasaka

While Suwako claims to still hold a grudge against Kanako for taking over her shrine, her own faith actually increased as a result. By now they've become good friends.

Sanae Kochiya

Sanae acts as a wind priestess under Suwako and is able to summon her. Sanae is also Suwako's descendant, though Sanae was initially unaware of the fact.

Utsuho Reiuji

She was presumably present when Kanako presented the Yatagarasu to Utsuho.

Mishaguji

Suwako was the one who tamed the Mishaguji, and she's the only one who can control them.

Hisoutensoku

It's implied that Suwako was involved in Hisoutensoku's construction.

Gallery

Skills

Spell Cards

Additional Information

Suwako, as illustrated in The Grimoire of Marisa
  • Kanako Yasaka and Suwako are described in Silent Sinner in Blue Chapter 6 as gods that have a body. Having a body is likely why they can move and act so independently as opposed to gods who need a vessel, although they are still capable of splitting their spirit when summoned and called upon like all Japanese gods.
  • Chapter 19 of Silent Sinner in Blue implies that the Lunarians are using shimenawa to seal away a god at the Moriya Shrine. It's unknown if Suwako is aware of this. Her win quote to Reisen Udongein Inaba in Touhou Hisoutensoku merely has her commenting, "I heard that there are all kinds of gods where you come from."
  • Suwako's strongest spell card in Touhou Hisoutensoku resembles the ultimate attack of Akuma from Street Fighter, the Shun Goku Satsu.
  • In Touhou Hisoutensoku, one of her palettes is a homage to Hina Kagiyama. She also seems to have another alternate color palettes that resembles the fan-made character Maybell.
  • The frogs printed on Suwako's dress were taken from Chōjū-giga, the picture scrolls drawn in 12th century.
  • Suwako's theme "Native Faith" is an homage to "Boss6", the BGM used in an STG released by Taito in 1989, Night Striker (ナイトストライカー).
  • Suwako does not have any actual connection to frogs, but she likes frogs and her spirit is sometimes invoked in the form of a frog.

Fandom

Official Profiles

Official Sources

References