Kinshachi is a type of Friend that first appeared in the second Parco event.
Kinshachi has pale tan hair with golden detailing on the fringe and on the curling hair surrounding her face. She has two golden fin-like adornments with ribbons on either side of her head. Her eyes are a dark grey and have thick eyelashes. Her short kimono is a uniform golden colour all over, with layered short sleeves and skirt. The obi has a long ribbon with tassels tied around it. She wears short white tabi socks with golden zōri sandals. Her large stylized fish's tail is the same golden colour, with a slight rainbow sheen on the bottom, with similar adornments to her head near the end of it.
Kinshachi has two different designs, a male and a female based on the Kinshachi of Nagoya. The female faces to the right, and the tail is raised higher. The male faces left, has a softer expression, and a slightly more curved tail. These are the only distinctions in their designs.
A kinshachi is not an animal that exists in the wild, but instead can be found within Japanese mythology. The name 'kinshachi' (金鯱) comes from the characters for gold (金) and 'shachi' (鯱) which is shorthand for 'shachihoko' (鯱鉾). These two characters together mean 'golden shachihoko'.
A shachihoko (lit. 'Killer Whale') is also a mythical being. Despite their name, they are comprised of a tiger's head on the body of a large fish. They like to reside in the colder, more northern waters, and their fins and tails always point upward towards Heaven.
The most renowned ability of the shachihoko is its control over water. They can store large amounts of water in their stomachs, and can summon rain clouds to create a downpour. Due to these two traits, the Japanese favored them as guardian spirits of water, placing them on the edges of roofs of important buildings. Should a fire break out in the building a shachihoko was guarding, it was believed that the shachihoko would summon rain clouds to help put out the fire.
While regular shachihoko can be found on buildings such as palaces, temples, and samurai houses, the golden shachihoko known as kinshachi can only be found on Nagoya Castle. Two kinshachi can be found on its roof, as both a statement of power and to protect the castle from fires. They're so famous that they've become the most renowned feature of the castle, and recognised as a symbol of the entirety of Nagoya.
The kinshachi were originally made in the Muromachi Era by melting down gold coins and adding a layer over a base of wood and lead. Over the kinshachi's lifespan, they were melted down three times due to economic struggles; once in 1730, again in 1827, and once more in 1846. During World War II, Nagoya Castle suffered major damage and lost the kinshachi as a result. In 1959, however, they were rebuilt alongside the rest of the castle, much to the delight of the residents of Nagoya.
The kinshachi's fame has also been its own downfall. Due to its golden shell, it has attracted the attention of thieves, both real and fictional. The most famous example of a fictional thief that targeted the kinshachi is Kinsuke Kakinoki, who attempted to steal its golden scales by riding a kite to the roof of Nagoya Castle. In real life, a thief tried to make off with 58 of the 110 scales on the bodies of the kinshachi in 1937. He was later caught and arrested when he tried to sell them off.
- The two kinshachi on Nagoya Castle have defined genders; a male and a female.
- The 'Rainmaker' weapon in the video game Splatoon is named the ガチホコ in Japan ('Gachihoko' in Japanese, 'Real Earnest Shachihoko' in English). They're modelled after the kinshachi on Nagoya Castle, and helps whoever holds it with torrents of paint as a reference to the mythological beast's water-manipulating powers.
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Sasaguchi, R. (2017). Breathing life into the mythical shachihoko / The Japan Times. [online] The Japan Times. Available at: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/culture/2010/01/15/stage/breathing-life-into-the-mythical-shachihoko/#.WiDJHlVl-M8 [Accessed 1 Dec. 2017].
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|Byakko • Cerberus • Danzaburou-Danuki • Genbu • Inugami Gyoubu • Jinmengyo • Kamaitachi (Chi) • Kamaitachi (Setsu) • Kamaitachi (Ten) • Kinshachi • Merlion • Nine-Tailed Fox • Oinari-sama • Raijū • Seiryu • Shisa Lefty • Shisa Right • Suzaku • Yamata No Orochi • Yatagarasu|
|Peach Panther • Skyfish • Tsuchinoko|
|Sgt. Frog Friends|
|Dororo • Giroro • Keroro • Kururu • Tamama|
|Ghost in the Shell Friends|
|HAW-206 • Logikoma • Tachikoma Type-A • Tachikoma Type-B • Tachikoma Type-C • Uchikoma|
|Jungle Emperor Friends|
|Coco • Leo • Tommy|
|Miscellaneous Fictional Friends|
|Crunchyroll-Hime • Godzilla* • Higejii • Hi-no-Tori* • Jack-o'-Lantern • Palcoarai-san • Palcoarai-san2 • Rabbit Yukine • Shiserval Lefty • Shiserval Right • Valcoara* • White Ezo Red Fox|