Oinari-sama

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Oinari-sama

Oinari-samaOriginal.jpg

Character Data
Also known as: Inari Ōkami, Oinari
Japanese Name: オイナリサマ
Romanised Name: Oinari sama
First Featured in: Kemono Friends (2015 Game)
Cryptid Data
Classification: Kami
Cultural Origin: Japanese
First Recorded Appearance: 711 AD
Animal Based On: Fox
Read More: Inari Ōkami
Conservation Status: Uma label.png
Oinari-sama Nexon Game

Oinari-sama is a goddess Friend that appeared in the original Kemono Friends mobile game.

Appearance

Oinari-sama has very long white hair that extended to her knees, as the others Cryptid Friends her eyes glows completely. Her outfit is composed of a white shirt full-length sleeves with a low-cut neckline V-shaped extending to the level of the breasts and a little red bow attached to it, she hold white gloves with white fur cuffs, her shirt also bears little bows as buttons and three pockets. She wears a very short circular skirt with pressed-in ridges. She owns long "getas" along with white socks and a ribbon surrounds her left leg. Like other Friends based on myths that have ears and tails, she also has both that befit her species, however her tail is encircles with a golden ring.

Origins

Fox at Oinari Shinto shrine adjacent to Todaiji (Todai-ji, Todai Temple) Buddhism Buddhist temple Nara Japan

Oinari (also called Inari) is the Japanese kami of foxes, of fertility, rice, tea and sake, of agriculture and industry, of general prosperity and worldly success, and one of the principal kami of Shinto. In earlier Japan, Oinari was also the patron of swordsmiths and merchants. Represented as male, female, or androgynous, Inari is sometimes seen as a collective of three or five individual kami. No one view is correct, the preferred gender of depiction varies according to regional traditions and individual beliefs. however Oinari is sometimes identified with other mythological figures.

Oinari shrines are everywhere. One out of three Shinto shrines is dedicated to Oinari. The most popular Shinto Inari shrine is Fushimi Inari Shrine in southern Kyoto. Since the eighth century, Oinari has been worshiped here by the mountain with the same name. This shrine, unlike the undecorated shrines of other kami, has up to ten thousand red torii (sacred gates) lining a 2.5-mile-long path in the back of the shrine. One can also find stone foxes that serve as the image of Oinari’s messengers, some with the traditional fried tofu offerings at their feet. Another Oinari shrine that is popular is the Buddhist Toyokawa Inari Shrine, or Myogonji Temple. Here we find Inari Dakiniten as the main object of worship. Instead of bright red torii, this temple has rows of red and white prayer flags.

Oinari's foxes, or kitsune, are pure white and act as their messengers. There are several theories on how the kitsune became Oinari’s servant. The first is a myth in a Buddhist text from the 14th century telling of a family of foxes who traveled to the shrine at Inari Mountain to offer their service to Oinari. Oinari granted their request and placed them as the attendants of the shrine. Another theory comes from the behavior of actual living foxes. Foxes are often seen in and around rice fields during the growing season eating the rodents that would otherwise consume the rice. This pattern of behavior gave them the image of guardians of the fields

Trivia

Fushimi Inari Taisha's Torri
  • Oinari is represented as a fox. By the 11th century, for reasons hard to discern, Oinari becomes intricately associated with the fox. In Japan, the fox is a legendary creature with supernatural powers for doing both good and evil. Able to transform into human shape (typically that of a bewitching woman), and to hear and see all secrets of humankind, the fox is Oinari’s messenger.

References

1. "Oinari" by Becky Yoose. Japanese Buddhist Statuary.

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