Our Okami mask is perfect for cosplay or for a costume party!
OKAMI AND THE WOLVES IN JAPAN
Japan is a country that amazes millions of visitors every year and attracts tourists from all over the world with its unique culture and history. It has many things that differentiate it very clearly from its neighbors, such as China, Korea, and Russia. One of these differences is the practice of Shintoism. It is the main religion of the Japanese archipelago.
Shintoism is so old that we can't define with precision when it was introduced on the territory. On the other hand, we know for a fact that Shinto is a polytheistic religion that includes many kami (gods), among which Okami: the Japanese wolf-god. In order to discover quickly what this creature is and why a cult is dedicated to the kami in Shintoism, we suggest you stay with us until the end of this article.
Who is Okami?
As mentioned in the introduction, Okami is a kami. He is one of the Shinto deities, in the same way as Fujin, the god of wind, or Inari, the god of rice and fertility. If you have ever been to Japan or have seen pictures of specific landscapes, you must have seen one of the torii gates. They are used to indicate the entrance of a Shinto temple and delimit the sacred world from the secular world. There are more than 80 000 Shinto temples in the archipelago, and still today, more than 80% of Japanese people are Shintoists.
Okami is, therefore, most often represented in the form of a white wolf or a wolf-dog. We also find him from time to time with a coat of fire. This image of Okami became popular, especially in the last years, with the release of the game Okami. Finally, for the literary people, his name means the "admirable god." This led people to create Okami mask during religious ceremonies and later for recreation purposes.
Okami in popular culture
Most non-Shintoists who know the word Okami owe it to the game of the same name: Ōkami. It is an action-adventure game in which the player takes on the role of a white wolf with a fiery coat. This game alone encompasses almost the entire popularization of Okami kami. This is the original inspiration behind the Okami mask you're browsing on our website.
Wolves in Japan
Although a wolf represents Okami, this animal is not very present in Japan. On the contrary, they are even utterly extinct for more than a hundred years now (the last wolf dates from 1905).
Beyond the biodiversity, the absence of wolves is a problem for the forests because deer and wild boars are too numerous. Moreover, the fact that there are not many hunters does not help. Finally, if the wolves ended up disappearing, their skin was used in Shinto rites, and rabies decimated many of them.
However, this does not prevent them from being still very present in Japan and even worldwide as a powerful animal in solidarity with its own kind. All those who would like to equip themselves with objects and clothes with the effigy of wolf do not hesitate to go to Louragan, a wolf store that proposes numerous things like rings, t-shirts, or even paintings.