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Kami (Japanese: (かみ) )[note 1] are "great spirits", specifically the spirits (though not all are typed as such[1]) that associate with all things in the world of Kamigawa.

Description[]

Kami come in an overwhelming variety of forms,[2] even among the same "species" of kami, and their brand of magic is mysterious and beyond anything mortals have conceived. The greatest kami of all are the five myojin, rivaled only by the mighty O-Kagachi. It was because the theft of O-Kagachi's scion, that the Kami War began.

When the kami manifest into the ordinary world, their manifestation is a bit unstable and creates strange energy objects orbiting around them.[3][4]

Neon Dynasty[]

About 1200 after the Kami War the kami are threatened by the growth of the modern city of Towashi. Many fled to the remains of the Jukai forest, and were hostile to humans. For this reason, Eiganjo trained many kami diplomats to try to keep the peace between the mortal and spirit realms.[5]

Background[]

According to Brady Dommermuth[6] "[t]he overarching premise of the Kamigawa block is 'Shinto gone wrong.' In Shinto, a belief system indigenous to Japan, everything has a kami. Kami are gods of a sort; they’re the eternal essences of things, people, places, ideas, and so on. To give Kamigawa its own distinct look, as well as to reflect the fact that the plane was in turmoil, we concepted the kami as bizarre creatures that look out of place in the natural world, as though they couldn’t even realistically exist within it."

Subclassification[]

  • Akuba. An evil, hag-like spirit-world creature.[7]
  • Baku. A benevolent spirit with aspects of a lion and other animals that is said to eat the bad dreams of children.[8][9]
  • Bunrei. A spirit created by dividing another spirit.[10][11]
  • Genju. A great spirit of the land.[12][13][8]
  • Go-shintai. Physical objects worshipped at or near Shinto shrines as repositories in which spirits or kami reside.[14]
  • Goryo. The vengeful spirit of a mortal who died in anger or without the proper rites.[8][11]
  • Kaijin. A kami of water.[7]
  • Kirin. A mythical, otherworldly creature with aspects of a horse, a dragon, and a deer or goat. Before the war, kirin were omens of good fortune and long life.[11]
  • Kodama. A tree spirit.[7]
  • Kumo. A spider.[7]
  • Myojin. “Bright divinity.” A kami of great importance.[7]
  • Oni. Demon, bloodthirsty and bent on destruction.[7]
  • Onna. Ghosts that take the vague form of human women.[15]
  • Shinen. Metaphysical energy, “spirit fire” that heralded the arrival of a spirit in the material world.[11] During the Kami War, the flares grew in size and intensity until they resembled raw mana. In the last few years of the war, these flares took shape and intention.[16][15]
  • Zubera. The faceless kami of a human who has been pulled into the spirit world.[7]

Dragon spirits[]

The Dragon Spirits are powerful kami of Kamigawa. There are five, one for each color of magic. Unlike most dragons, they have neither limbs nor wings. Instead, they are giant serpentine beings akin to wurms, however, they still maintain the ability to fly. During the Kami War, they did not side with O-Kagachi (who himself is considered a dragon, but this has no relevance in the plot), but remained true to their pledge to protect several important places of the mortals.

  • Yosei ({W}), the Morning Star protected Eiganjo. He was ripped-apart in the battle against O-Kagachi, but survived and helped the Eiganjoan refugees in the battle against the hordes of the Myojin of Infinite Rage.
  • Keiga ({U}), the Tide Star protected Minamo. She was killed (if kami can be killed) by Hidetsugu and his yamabushi minions during their attack on the school.
  • Kokusho ({B}), the Evening Star was the guardian of the Takenuma swamp.
  • Ryusei ({R}), the Falling Star was the guardian of the Sokenzan mountains.
  • Jugan ({G}), the Rising Star protected the forest of Jukai. In the initial stages of the war, he was summoned by the monks of the Order of the Sacred Bell to fight in the Battle of Silk. He was killed but blessed the monks with power even after he was gone. During the final stages of the war he was summoned by Sosuke and Sachi to aid the Orochi against the Soratami invaders. Apparently he had the ability to come back from the dead (perhaps all kami can).

Dragon spirits reborn[]

More than 1200 years after the Kami War, the dragons have been reborn and continue to be the protectors of Kamigiwa. Together, they worked to bring back the other three and themselves in new reborn forms.[17][18]

  • Ao ({W}), the Dawn Sky. The reborn form of Yosei.
  • Kairi ({U}), the Swirling Sky. The reborn form of Keiga.
  • Junji ({B}), the Midnight Sky. The reborn form of Kokusho.
  • Atsushi ({R}), the Blazing Sky. The reborn form of Ryusei.
  • Kura ({G}), the Boundless Sky. The reborn form of Jugan.

Notable kami[]

  • The All-Consuming Oni of Chaos, the mightiest of the oni. Consumed or fused with Hidetsugu.
  • Adamaro, the feared kami of a famed human warrior who was consumed by his own anger and envy.
  • Akuta, a legendary kami of ashes and ruin.
  • Arashi, the great kami of monsoons and typhoons, whose appearance was always accompanied by storms of shinen (“spirit fire”).
  • Ayumi, the kami who “reclaimed” abandoned places in the name of nature. A faithful scribe of the ages and force of ever-living duty and calm. She appeared at the end of the assault on Fudaiju to finish off the remaining monks.[19]
  • Azamuki or Azamaki, the Kami of Treachery Incarnate, another kami of treachery, residing in the body of a simple sanzoku (mountain bandit).[20]
  • Chisei, a strange kami of intelligence said to reward the finding of patterns within thoughts.
  • Dew, the Cloudhoof Kirin, spends every 1000 years among mortals before reuniting with the other kirin to discuss his experiences.[21]
  • Eiyo, Kami of the Honored Dead the kami of the honored fallen.[22]
  • Go-Shintai of Shared Purpose. A group of farmers in rural Kamigawa found themselves in grave danger when a nearby river threatened to overflow and flood their town. Seeking divine aid, they built a small shrine as an offering and attracted a Kami of Shared Purpose. The kami instructed them how to work together and dig trenches for irrigation, and when the waters came, the fields grew instead of drowning. Impressed by the people's performance, the kami chose to take permanent residence in the shrine, lending its magic to the town forever.[23]
  • Go-Shintai of Lost Wisdom. Long ago, an ambitious professor at Minamo Academy believed she could learn all the secrets of the universe if she could simply channel the correct kami. The little shrine she built intrigued a Kami of Lost Wisdom. The curious kami shared its knowledge with the professor, including when and how she would die. Offended by the information, the professor asked her newfound revelation to be removed. The kami obliged, but it still resides in the shrine to this day, teasing travelers with impossible riddles.[23]
  • Go-Shintai of Hidden Cruelty. A young ogre was evicted from her cave by a violent warlord. The ogre had seen her people use little shrines to summon oni, so she figured she could summon a kami who would provide a solution to her homelessness. Her struggle inadvertently summoned a Kami of Hidden Cruelty. The kami whispered angry, vengeful thoughts in the ogre's ear until she took up arms and murdered the warlord. Shocked at what she'd done, the ogre fled, but the kami remained in the shrine, offering vengeance for those with darkness in their hearts.[23]
  • Go-Shintai of Ancient Wars. Hundreds of years ago, a group of Sokenzan rebels fell under siege from an Imperial regiment. Their numbers and supplies dwindled, and in desperation, they built a small shrine hoping to summon spiritual reinforcements. A Kami of Ancient Wars came to their aid, arming them with burning blades. The rebels and the Imperials fought for days, and the kami cheered when blood spilled across the snow. When the last soldier finally fell, no one remained on either side. The kami still haunts the mountaintop shrine, hoping to start another fight and recreate the excitement of that moment.[23]
  • Go-Shintai of Boundless Vigor and the Kami of Boundless Vigor. A young monk was forced out of Jukai forest by Towashi's urban expansion. To preserve the memory of his homeland, he built a small shrine around a seed from his destroyed garden. Miraculously, the seed grew without soil and became the Kami of Boundless Vigor. Together, the kami and monk reclaimed his section of the forest. Every tree cut down magically grew back the next day. Before he passed, the monk moved the kami's shrine to the reborn forest where it lives to this day, granting strength to those whose wild nature cannot be tamed by the city.[23]
  • Go-Shintai of Life's Origin. Few have seen a kami die, but it is possible. A number crumbled into dust when the Jukai forest was decimated during the expansion of Towashi. However, the dust settled on an ancient shrine in the heart of the forest and began to coalesce into something new. The shrine took on a life and kami powers of its own. This new spirit continues to wander throughout Kamigawa, growing stronger as it is joined by the remains of other deceased kami.[23]
  • Gravelighter, the Kami of Forgotten Clearings, a territorial spirit that lives in the Jukai Forest.[24]
  • Haru-Onna. “Spring woman,” a spirit-world creature in the form of a woman surrounded with burgeoning growth.[11]
  • Hikari, the kami that guards the border between day and night.[25]
  • Himoto, the Kami of the Spark, a spirit in tanuki form who became Kaito Shizuki's partner. She represents the Emperor's bond with Kyodai and is responsible for igniting Kaito's spark.[24]
  • Hinata, Dawn-Crowned, a kirin spirit.
  • Hokori, a great kami of dust and drought.
  • Horobi, a powerful kami of death's wail that came into being after the Reito Massacre.[26]
  • Ichiga, a mighty forest kami residing in the body of a simple monk.
  • Ichikawa, spirit of the great river[27]
  • Iname, a major kami that has two aspects — one of life and one of death.[28]
  • Jaraku, a meddlesome kami of manipulations residing in the body of a simple wizard.
  • Jiwari, the great kami of earthquakes, whose appearance was always preceded by waves of shinen (“spirit fire”).
  • Kaima, Kami of Forest Fellowship, a violent kami bonded to the Orochi Samurai Chishiro.[29]
  • Kaiso, a protective kami of lingering loyalties residing in the body of a simple samurai's attendant.
  • Kakkazan, great kami of the Mountain Fire.[30]
  • Kagemaro, the first human to become so evil that his spirit became an oni.[31]
  • The Kami of Ash[30]
  • The Kami of Black Glass[30]
  • The Kami of Exultant Revelry[24]
  • The Kami of Empty Graves[24]
  • The Kami of Imperial Dishware, a spirit with a salamander-shaped body responsible for cleaning the dishes in the Imperial Palace.[32]
  • The Kami of Searing Wind[30]
  • Kaminari, the great kami of thunder and lightning.
  • Kataki, a legendary kami of retribution.[33]
  • Kemuri-Onna. “Smog woman,” a spirit-world creature in the form of a woman shrouded in smog.[11]
  • Kira, an infamous kami that can ward itself and others against spells using coatings of magical glass.
  • Kiri-Onna. “Mist woman,” a spirit-world creature in the form of a woman enveloped in mist.[11]
  • Kiyomaro, the ancient kami of Kamigawa's first daimyo.
  • Kodama of the Center Tree. The kami of the Tree of All Seasons in Jukai forest. The oldest of the tree kami, it values history above all else. Knows more than anyone else in the forest but is impossible to find and talk to.[34]
  • Kodama of the East Tree. Before the Kami War, the monks of the East Tree enjoyed a life of prosperity alongside this spirit, who used floating spores to spread new growth throughout the area. When the Kami War broke out, the kodama appeared to go dormant, sinking its roots into the ground and becoming unresponsive. Unfortunately, the reality was much less peaceful. The kodama was spreading its roots through the territory of the East Tree, and from the ground burst a new kind of spore unlike any the monks had ever seen. These spores all struck at once, latching onto humans and syphoning their energy to create new spiritual growths. At the end of the twenty-year war, the kodama sank into dormancy once more. While it hasn't stirred since, the remaining monks still pray to it nervously—from a safe distance. [35]
  • Kodama of the North Tree, the kami of the Winter Tree in Jukai forest. It values survival above all else, and does not suffer fools lightly. Wants to be left alone until provoked and is then a deadly force of nature.[34]
  • Kodama of the South Tree,tThe kami of the Summer Tree in Jukai forest. It values community above all else, though a community with certain rules. Cares about all living things in its forest and wants everything in its proper place.[34]
  • Kodama of the West Tree. Gloomy, dangerous, and feral, the Kodama of the West Tree values the hunt above all else and lives by the creed "survival of the fittest."[34] It is over thirty feet tall, with wide limbs covered in bark and a mouth stretched with threads of golden sap. A dozen luminescent blossoms circle its head, and cascades of smaller branches trail down its shoulders like a crown of hair.[5] It has a passionate hatred of Towashi and all who live within it and frequently prowls the edge of the forest where it abuts the city, stalking and attacking any mortals who try to enter without the kami's blessings. Its peaceful appearance is merely a ruse: those who are foolish enough to be lured in by the calming glow of its lights often find themselves the recipients of a swift and merciless death.[23]
  • Kuro, a powerful oni who took many as his minions, including the nezumi Ink-Eyes and the ogre Muzan.[36][37]
  • Kyodai / That Which Was Taken, the child of O-Kagachi, imprisoned by the daimyo Konda
  • Kyoki, a dreaded oni whose gaze induces insanity.
  • Mannichi, a mischievous, strange little kami of fevers and hallucinations.
  • Masumaro, the once-revered kami of the first human to live by the ways of the kami.
  • Mochi, the Smiling Kami of the Crescent Moon, a powerful yet diminutive kami who attempted to manipulate Toshiro Umezawa, while secretly working with the Soratami.
  • The Myojin of Blooming Dawn
  • The Myojin of Cleansing Fire, the kami of justice.[25]
  • The Myojin of Cryptic Dreams
  • The Myojin of Grim Betrayal
  • The Myojin of Infinite Rage, the kami of passion and all red magic.[25] During the final months of the Kami War the Myojin of Infinite Rage gathered his all his worshipers, even though they usually fight among themselves, to launch a large attack against Eiganjo. But O-Kagachi already attacked the citadel and the Myojin's force had to deal with the samurai protecting the Eiganjoan refugees, as well as Yosei, the Morning Star.
  • The Myojin of Life's Web, the kami of creation, patron spirit of all green-aligned things, and the god worshipped by the Orochi and the Jukai Monks.[25] She had Michiko captured, hoping that her death would end the Kami War. But the princess escaped, and not much later her forest was attacked by the Moonfolk of Oboro.
  • The Myojin of Night's Reach, the kami of power and black magic.[25]
  • The Myojin of Roaring Blades
  • The Myojin of Seeing Winds, the kami of knowledge.[25]
  • The Myojin of Towering Might
  • Nikko-Onna. “Sunlight woman,” a spirit-world creature in the form of a dazzling woman.[11]
  • O-Kagachi. The great kami of all things; all kami are in a way part of the O-Kagachi. Its manifest form resembles an unbelievably immense eight-headed serpent.
  • Oyobi, a great kami of the sky and of winged creatures.[38]
  • The Patron Kami, the great spirits embodying each race of Kamigawa.
  • Pipe, the Skyfire Kirin, spends every 1000 years among mortals before reuniting with the other kirin to discuss his experiences.[21]
  • Scale, the Infernal Kirin, spends every 1000 years among mortals before reuniting with the other kirin to discuss his experiences. When living among mortals, he often takes the form of a disease known as the Black Wind or the Weeping Plague.[21]
  • Seizan, a powerful, evil oni known for its ability to deceive.
  • Sekki, the great kami of the turning of the seasons.
  • Shimatsu, an oni overlord.
  • Shirei, a legendary kami, a kind of shepherd of the dead, who watches over the disgraced and abandoned battlefield called Shizo.[39]
  • Silverbeard, the Celestial Kirin, spends every 1000 years among mortals before reuniting with the other kirin to discuss his experiences.[21]
  • Soromaro, the once-respected kami of a famous half-human, half-soratami wizard.
  • Terashi, the great kami of the sun and justice.[40] The patron kami of the Towabara Plains.[27]
  • Thorn, the Bounteous Kirin, spends every 1000 years among mortals before reuniting with the other kirin to discuss his experiences.[21]
  • Towazu, the great kami of things unspeakable, also called the kami of the forbidden.[25] Summoned by students at the Minamo school and afterwards began appearing before great seekers of knowledge and owners of arcane scrolls, leaving their owners comatose or insane with the arcane knowledge it imparted.[41]
  • Yomiji, the sacred and revered kami who guards the passage from life into death.[42]
  • Yukora, a terrifying, murderous oni that was magically imprisoned for decades by 99 powerful kannushi.
  • Yuki-Onna. “Snow woman,” a spirit-world creature in the form of a beautiful woman impervious to cold.[11]
  • Urami, the Oni of Insatiable Hunger. A legendary oni caged underground for centuries.[43]

Notes[]

  1. In the Japanese version of the game, the word Kami is also used for the subtype God, which are not present in the Kamigawa block.

References[]

  1. https://loreleywrites.tumblr.com/post/676671503149957120/also-it-might-sound-like-really-trivial-but-im
  2. Magic Arcana (October 12, 2004). "Spirit Sketches". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Magic Arcana (September 07, 2004). "Kami "Energy Objects"". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Magic Arcana (March 15, 2005). "Origin of "Energy Objects"". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  5. a b Akemi Dawn Bowman (December 16, 2021). "Kaito Origin Stories: A test of Loyalty & The Path Forward". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Wizards of the Coast (May, 2006). "Ask Wizards - May, 2006". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
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  8. a b c Magic Arcana (January 24, 2005). "A Kamigawa Glossary, Part 2". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Magic Arcana (May 05, 2005). "Baku Mikoshi". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Magic Arcana (July 21, 2005). "What's a Bunrei?". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  11. a b c d e f g h i Magic Arcana (May 31, 2005). "A Kamigawa Glossary, Part 3". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  12. Paul Sottosanti (January 14, 2005). "When Trees Attack". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  13. Magic Arcana (January 27, 2005). "Genju of the Realm". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  14. "Shintai", Encyclopedia of Shinto.
  15. a b Rei Nakazawa (May 9, 2005). "Saving Grace - Taking A Last Look at Kamigawa?". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  16. Saviors of Kamigawa, fat pack booklet.
  17. Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty First Look (Video). Weekly MTG. YouTube (December 16, 2021).
  18. Emily Teng (January 17, 2022). "The Dragon-Kami Reborn". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  19. Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar (June 01, 2005), "The Last Visitor", magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast
  20. Magic Arcana (January 18, 2005). "Sketches: Cunning Bandit". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  21. a b c d e Alex Smith, The Meeting (archived).
  22. Rei Nakazawa, Personal Battles (archived).
  23. a b c d e f g Ari Zirulnik, Grace Fong, Emily Teng, and Gerritt Turner (February 11, 2022). "The Legends of Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  24. a b c d Akemi Dawn Bowman (December 16, 2021). "Kaito Origin Stories: A Test of Loyalty & The Path Forward". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  25. a b c d e f g Champions of Kamigawa, fat pack booklet.
  26. Security
  27. a b Scott McGough. (2004.) Outlaw: Champions of Kamigawa, Wizards of the Coast. ISBN-13 0-7869-3140-X.
  28. Thankless Child
  29. Emma Mieko Candon (February 7, 2022). "The Blade Reflected and Reborn". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  30. a b c d Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar (August 18, 2004), "Mountain Secret", magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast
  31. Magic Arcana (May 17, 2005). "Sketches: Kagemaro, First to Suffer". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  32. Akemi Dawn Bowman (January 24, 2022). "Episode 1: A Stranger in Eiganjo". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  33. Jeff Grubb (May 04, 2005), "War's Wage", magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast
  34. a b c d Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar (October 4, 2004). "Land of Ten-Thousand Legends". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  35. Ari Zirulnik and Ethan Fleischer (October 30, 2020). "The Legendary Characters of Commander Legends, part I". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  36. Jay Moldenhauer-Salazar (January 05, 2005), "A Servant’s Mission", magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast
  37. Magic Arcana (June 16, 2005). "Human to Rat". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  38. Magic Arcana (May 03, 2005). "Oyobi Spirit Token Art". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  39. Magic Arcana (February 1, 2005). "Shirei, Shizo's Caretaker". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  40. Magic Arcana (January 31, 2005). "Terashi: Sun Kami". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  41. Told in Whispers
  42. Magic Arcana (May 12, 2005). "Yomiji's Breath". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  43. Magic Arcana (June 14, 2005). "Urami token art". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.

External links[]

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