17

As far as I watched, Bishamon and Kofuku are portrayals of the Seven Lucky Gods (七福神 shichi fukujin). But it wasn't clear about Yato. Bishamon mentioned him as a God of Calamity, but there is no such god among the Seven Lucky Gods. So, which god might Yato be a portrayal of? Is he a new character altogether?

11

Kofuku is not the goddess of luck, and as explained in the series, she is the goddess of misfortune. She is not a part of Seven Gods of Fortune. The Seven gods are Hotei, Jurōjin, Fukurokuju, Bishamonten, Benzaiten (Benten-sama), Daikokuten (Daikoku) and Ebisu. Her surname, Ebisu is shared with the god of fortune as he will appear later in the series or you can just read the manga (which are raws) to find out more.

As for Yato, well, I think it's obvious that he is a fictional character based on the images of the gods of war in Japanese mythology.

8

Yato, the god of calamity, is a minor deity apart from the Seven Lucky Gods.

I am inclined to say that he doesn't accurately match up to any actual gods existing in Japanese folklore for a few reasons.

Before all else, we know Yato as a god that does not even have his own grand shrine, indicating that he is relatively unknown. Yato's goal in this series it to become a popular god.

Next, we know that this series does not exactly follow the Japanese folklore. While Bishamon is pretty accurate, Kofuku Ebisu does not represent the god of luck. Instead, she is nearly the opposite.

Lastly, the title of this series leads me to believe that Yato is a fictional god. Nora is a stray shinki, which strongly suggests that the title Noragami means Stray God (with gami meaning god).

Because of the combination of fictional elements and indications that Yato is an unimportant god, he is most likely fictional or even partly fictional like in Ebisu's case.

  • 3
    In episode 7, it is revealed that Ebisu is actually a trade name. I don't think Kofuku is actually Ebisu. – ton.yeung Feb 18 '14 at 2:26
  • 1
    Ebisu (the real one) makes an apperance later in the anime – Vogel612 May 5 '14 at 12:07
6

Regarding Yato as the Yato-no-kami would be a mistake. Spoiler alert:

If you have read the manga, there is a deity Bishamonten reported to after the incident in her abode. He referred to himself as Yato-no-kami and mistakenly thought of Yato as an impersonator just like Kokufu.

  • Correct, chapter 25 explicitly states that Yato is not Yatou-no-kami. Not the answer, but upvote for dispelling the misconception. – ton.yeung Jul 14 '14 at 4:59
5

Yato is an amalgam of many folktales that formed around the Heian period in Japan. I cannot say for sure that he is based on one deity, and as others have stated before he is not a part of The Seven Gods of Fortune, like Bishamonten and other characters that appear later on in the manga (I suggest reading it if you haven't already) and as he does not have his own shrine he is an unknown entity.

We can conclude that he isn't in fact based on one single god. However, I find the "Yato-no-kami theory" interesting and will investigate more about it. There are similarities, but there is something that gets in the way of that. Spoiler alert:

Yato's real name is not Yato-no-Kami (it is actually Yaboku, Yato is an alias), so that disproves the theory in my opinion.

1

Yato is definitely not a 夜刀神 Spoiler alert:

Yato's name in kanji is 夜卜 which is pronounced yaboku. but the people in the anime read the 卜 as the katakana ト (to) which looks very similar. It was Hiyori that realised his name was two kanji and was able to call him out of the underworld.

I am sorry, but due to restricted internet, I cannot do more research on the type of kami (Damn China internet).

0

I agree with the general assumption that Yato is not meant to directly represent any god in particular, but be an inspiration from some minor deity of war, or perhaps even many. It goes with his character's back story, or at least what we have seen of his back story up to this point in the anime. He is referenced as the "god of calamity" and is shown fighting and slaying his opponents in the flash backs. As a side note, researching the term Yato or Yato-kami does not appear to return anything very compelling, or related to any major deity. This further supports the idea that he is an inspired god, perhaps from a singular or several obscure tales.

-3

It might be this (Yato-no-kami on Wikipedia):

The Yato-no-kami (夜刀の神?, "gods of the night-sword") are snake deities in Japanese folklore appearing in the Hitachi No Kuni Fudoki. They lived in Namegata county, in fields near the government office. They were rumored to bring familial extermination on anyone who saw them. Eventually, they were killed by a man clearing the fields, enshrined, and banished to the mountains.

The fact that Yato doesn't have any shrine and in the article above it says that Yato-no-kami is enshrined. And on the past of Yato in Noragami he is a God that kills people and killed a regalia, in the article above it says that the Yato-no-Kami exterminate people. Also the Yato-no-kami are also known as the gods of the night sword and the last regalia that Yato handled in Noragami is Yuki which is a sword. And in the article it says that Yato-no-Kami is a snake deity, if you look closely at Yato's eyes it looks like a snake's eyes because his pupils are thin that is the same with the snakes.

  • 2
    Chapter 25 explicitly states that Yato is not Yatou-no-kami. – ton.yeung Jul 14 '14 at 4:58
-3

From Yato-no-kami on Wikipedia:

The Yato-no-kami (夜刀の神?, "gods of the night-sword") are snake deities in Japanese folklore appearing in the Hitachi No Kuni Fudoki. They lived in Namegata county, in fields near the government office. They were rumored to bring familial extermination on anyone who saw them. Eventually, they were killed by a man clearing the fields, enshrined, and banished to the mountains.

This might explain why Yato does not have a shrine. Since Yato-no-kami exterminate people, this might also explain why he is considered a god of calamity. It would also explain his snake eyes.

  • 4
    Chapter 25 explicitly states that Yato is not Yatou-no-kami. – ton.yeung Jul 14 '14 at 4:58

protected by Madara Uchiha Jul 7 '14 at 12:11

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