SEKIRO: Symbols of Japan

Lady Butterfly, Folding Screen Monkeys, the Great Shinobi Owl, the Divine Dragon,… If you’ve played Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (or watched a playthrough because you keep dying – we did), you’ll have noticed many bosses are named after animals. Which, as you can imagine, isn’t insignificant. Let’s talk Japanese symbolism.

As there’s much to say about it. Meet first the Great Coloured Carp/Koi. After your path and that of this big fish first cross, you’ll get the chance to befriend it – or kill it (please don’t). It’s obviously not a disinterested friendship but rather a… friendship with benefits. Carps are, after all, a symbol of luck and good fortune in Japan – even though they originate from China.

Another imposing figure of Sekiro, but this time more mysterious, is the Sculptor, an old man whose sole goal is apparently to carve Buddhas statues and drink booze (when he gets the chance to). The Sculptor also has another name: Orangutan. This led people to guess he’s a shōjō, a Japanese sea spirit with a red face and hair – thus resembling an orangutan – who loves alcohol. True to his reputation as a monkey, the Sculptor obtained his shinobi skills by imitating the movements of the Sunken Valley monkeys (irony of fate).

Last but not least (we’re skipping some), the Great Shinobi Owl. Owls are traditionally associated with luck and knowledge in Japan and are supposed to offer protection. Owl did indeed protect and train Wolf when he found him orphaned. However, those days are long gone, and, in the present day, Owl only wants one thing: to kill you/Wolf. But then again, who – or rather what - doesn’t want to kill you in Soulsborne games?

Fortunately, here at Level Up Wear, we have designed Sekiro clothes (and more) that will make you as classy as Wolf – but without all the danger that comes with it. See our new collection on our webstore!