In the opening sequence of Samurai Champloo, when Mugen and Jin are shown, the background is composed of pictures of roosters and aquatic animals, respectively.

Mugen has roosters for background:

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Jin has fishes and octopus in his background picture:

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What is the symbolism behind such background depiction?

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    I always assumed it was to do with Mugen's and Jin's personalities. Roosters being energetic and feisty as seen in cock fighting and fish/the sea being calm and patient. though i nothing to really back this up
    – Memor-X
    Mar 23, 2016 at 9:30
  • Yeah, I thought just the same. But there appears all varieties of fish and even an octopus in Jin's background. That got me thinking that maybe it's not only the personality traits. Mar 23, 2016 at 10:02
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    Different fishes could represent knowledge and variety within his "fishy" style. That's how I see it.
    – Hakase
    Mar 23, 2016 at 17:56

2 Answers 2


Roosters are a traditional symbol of Shintoism, associated with the sun goddess Amaterasu. Shinto is a philosophy indigenous to Japan, and therefore thematically related to loyalty & nationality, like Mugen.

Jin's main fish is colored like a koi, the Japanese word for "carp". Koi are obviously symbols of Japanese culture, associated with love & friendship. Aquatic life is from the ocean, the realm of the storm god Susanoo, Amaterasu's sibling & counterpart.

Check out the story of Amaterasu & Susanoo, as it has obvious parallels to Mugen & Jin's relationship. Interestingly enough, they have a third sibling, Tsukuyomi, the god of the moon, who acted as a foil, kind of like Fuu. And Tsukuyomi's falling out with Amaterasu resulted from a conflict with the goddess of food... "Her stomach is like a cosmos unto itself!"


Definitely their fight styles, Mugen is more energetic and wild, Jin flows with the water like a fish, Mugen learn some flow in the series when he fights the samurai killer

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    Welcome to Anime & Manga, a Q&A site about anime & manga. This might be a good start for an answer, but could you expand more, especially why a Mugen's rooster indicates "more energetic and wild"? You can always edit your post. Also, providing some example scenes showing their traits would improve this answer much more. Meanwhile, consider taking a quick tour to understand how this site works.
    – Aki Tanaka
    Feb 11, 2018 at 15:26

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