Anime Companion Supplement - O

Ob - Of - Ok - Om - On - Os - Ot

This series of pages is a supplement to two of my books The Anime Companion and The Anime Companion 2.

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See the regular entry pages for cross references between variant terms, differing spellings, English to Japanese terms and names:
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Special Supplement: Rurouni Kenshin OVAs

Each Supplement page consists of:
1. A list of entries in the books with page numbers.
2. New entries for items not found in the books.
3. Japanese characters for entries
4. Secondary sources used to find information for each entry.
5. Additional information for some entries.
6. Links to select Internet resources related to the entries.

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For more information about this supplement see The Anime Companion Supplement main page. Additions are announced in the Anime Companion Supplement News page and in my Blog.

Hyphenated Japanese terms are listed as single words.

The inclusion of an anime or manga title in these entries is not a recommendation of that title, see my Recommended Anime and Manga page for a list of my recommendations

OAV see: OVA

OBAKE see: bakemono (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.8)

obi (sash, belt) 帯 (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.98)
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1121
Discover Japan v.1 p.28
Outlook on Japan p.36



OBON see: bon (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.12)

ŌBURISODE see: furisode

OCEAN WHITEFISH see: amadai (The Anime Companion 2 p.5)

O-CHA see: cha (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.16)

OCTOPUS BALLS OR DUMPLINGS see: takoyaki (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.132)

OCTOPUS see: tako (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.131)

Oda Nobunaga 織田信長 (The Anime Companion 2 p.65)
Must-See in Kyōto p.136, 181
Who's Who of Japan p.74
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1125-16
Piggott, Juliet. Japanese Mythology p.32
Odaiba Kaihin Kōen (Odaiba Seaside Park) お台場海浜公園 (The Anime Companion 2 p.66)
Brutus Tokyo Sightseeing p. 24-25
Japan Walker 2001 Spring p. 62
Pompian, Susan. Tokyo for Free p,100-103
Tokyo Metropolitan Atlas p.9
Tokyo City Atlas [2nd ed.] p.66

ODAIBA SEASIDE PARK see: Odaiba Kaihin Kōen

ODAIBA SHARK see: Ōsawa Arimasa

oden おでん (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.98)
Eating in Japan p.35, p.125
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1127

ODORI NENBUTSU see: nenbutsu odori (dancing nembutsu)

Ōeyama 大江山
A mountain in the Northwestern part of Kyōto prefecture. It is the highest peak in the Tango Mountains. In legends the demon Shuten Dōji lived on the mountain until he was killed by Minamoto no Yorimitsu (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.84)
An attack on Kyōto (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.77) is launched from Ooeyama in Otogi Zoshi (ep.9), however the mountain is so far away that it is hard to believe the siege weapons used could reach the city.
Chiaki is told the legend of the drunk of Oe Mountain (yama) in Zenki (ep.7)
Oeyama Mountain is mentioned in a night time discussion in Twilight of the Dark Master (p.191)
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1128

OFERA see: ferachio (fellatio)

OFFERING see: sonae-mono (offering)

OFFERING BOX AT SHRINE OR TEMPLE see: saisen (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.109)


OFFICE LADIES see: OL (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.100)

ofuda 御札 (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.98)
Bocking, Brian. A Popular Dictionary of Shintō p.135
Basic Terms of Shintō (1958) p.45
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.462

ŌFUKU, LADY see: Kasuga no Tsubone

OGALS see: ganguro (black face)

ōgi (folding fan) 扇 (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.98)
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.358
Must-See in Kyōto p.123
Joya, Mock. Mock Joya's Things Japanese p.12

OGRE see: oni (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.101)

OGURA HYAKUNIN ISSHU see: uta karuta (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.144)

OGURI KŌZUKE NO SUKE see: Oguri Tadamasa (The Anime Companion 2 p.66)

Oguri Tadamasa 小栗忠順 (The Anime Companion 2 p.66)
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia (p.1132)
Frederic, Louis. Japan Encyclopedia (p.740)
ohagi (equinox bean cake) 御萩 (The Anime Companion 2 p.66)
Hosking, Richard. A Dictionary of Japanese Food p.113
Experiencing Japanese Culture p.243
Pictorial Encyclopedia of Japanese Life and Events p.28
Look Into Japan p. 85
ohaguro (blackening teeth) 御歯黒
The ancient custom of blackening teeth believed to have originated in Southern Asia. The word comes from ha, teeth, and kuro, black. It is sometimes referred to as kane or okane. A liquid mixture containing oxidized iron would be painted on the teeth as a cosmetic. Originally this practice, along with okimayu, was used among the nobility as a sign of a girl coming of age. During the 12th century the custom was adopted by noblemen and samurai (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.110). In the 18th century it was again largely limited to women and had spread to all social classes, soon it was limited to only married women and nobility. The custom began dying out in the Meiji Period (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.81), due to Western influences on views of beauty, starting when the Empress stopped blackening her teeth in 1873.
In the manga set in the Edo Period (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.25) you can see blackened teeth if you look carefully. Some examples are in Lone Wolf and Cub (v.2 p.139), Path of the Assassin (v.3 p.8) and Samurai Executioner (v.1 p.128)
Cherry, Kittredge. Womansword p.51
Frederic, Louis. Daily Life in Japan at the Time of the Samurai p.85
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1132
Otsuki Hiroshi & Bradley Grindstaff. Cultural Keys: The History of Japanese Words and Phrases p.54
Satow, Ernest. A Diplomat in Japan p.321
Seidensticker, Edward. Low City, High City p.91
Ohaguro-dobu (Ditch of Black Teeth) 御歯黒溝
The moat surrounding the Yoshiwara on all four sides. It was built to keep customers from sneaking out without paying and to keep the prostitutes from escaping as many were under contract to work for a number of years. The Ōmon, The Great Gate, of the Yoshiwara was accessed by crossing a drawbridge over the Ohaguro-dobu.
Kawanabe Kyōsai, his name is romanized as Kyousai in the subtitles, points out that the Ohaguro ditch is not very deep in Ghost Slayers Ayashi (ep.14).
Cybriwsky, Roman. Tokyo: The Shogun's City at the Twenty-First Century p.66
Illustrated A Look Into Tokyo p.36
Waley, Paul. Tokyo: City of Stories p.146
ohajiki おはじき or 御弾き OLD FORM 御彈き (The Anime Companion 2 p.66)
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1132

OHENRO see: junrei (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.57)

OHGI see: ōgi (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.98)

ohitsu (rice tub) おひつ or 御櫃
A wood tub used to serve rice at meals. These usually have a tight lid that overlaps the tub to protect the rice. Ohitsu are rarely seen these days as modern rice cookers (denki-gama: The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.22) have replaced their function.
Cherry uses a ohitsu as a weapon in Saber Marionette J (ep. 10) Another, very different, Cherry is seen gorging himself from an ohitsu in Urusei Yatsura (disc 24 ep.94 story 116)
Hosking, Richard. A Dictionary of Japanese Food: ingredients & culture. p.113

OILED PAPER UMBRELLA see: kasa (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.62)

OIL OF TOAD see: gama no abura (The Anime Companion 2 p.22)

O|O| see: Marui

oiran 花魁
A very high class of legal prostitute in the Yoshiwara district of Edo (The Anime Companion 2 p.18), later of Tokyo (The Anime Companion 2 p.104). They would entertain their guests in special room and had attendants to serve them and take care of their needs. On occasion they would participate in public processions walking with their attendants.
In volume 17 of Rurouni Kenshin (p.185) we find out that Yumi had once been an oiran in Shin Yoshiwara.
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1762
oiteke-bori (leave it behind) 置行堀
Oiteke-bori means "leave it behind". The first sightings were described by Matsura Seizan, daimyō (The Anime Companion 2 p.15) of Hirado, in a book of his called the Kasshi-yawa ("Tales Begun on the Night of the Rat"), as one of the stories of the seven wonders of Honjo which involves a moat where fishermen would hear a voice telling them to leave their fish behind. If they tried to leave with their catch they would feel weak and the fish would disappear. The moat then became known as oiteke-bori.
In Pom Poko when a picnicking family is getting ready to leave the father says to take the trash and leftovers, tanuki (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.133) wanting the leftovers cause a spectral voice to say "leave them behind".
The Seven wonders of Honjo are mentioned in episode nine of Ghost Slayers Ayashi and some are specifically mentioned, these are The Callback Moat (oiteke-bori), the Raccoon Dog Festival Music (tanuki-bayashi), and the Foot-Washing Mansion (Ashiarai Yashiki).
Sumida’s Folktales & Legends

OIWA see: Tōkaidō Yotsuya Kaidan (Ghost Story of Tōkaidō Yotsuya)

OIWA INARI see: Tōkaidō Yotsuya Kaidan (Ghost Story of Tōkaidō Yotsuya)

OIWA INARI RISHŌ NO TAMAGUSHI see: Tōkaidō Yotsuya Kaidan (Ghost Story of Tōkaidō Yotsuya)

ojigi (bow) おじぎ (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.98)
Vardaman, James M. and Michiko Sakaki Vardaman Japanese Etiquette Today p.17
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.118
Outlook on Japan p.85

OJŌ see: ojōsan (young lady)

OJŌSAMA see: ojōsan (young lady)

ojōsan (young lady) お嬢さん
A polite term to use when speaking to or referring to a young lady. Sometime pronounced ojōsama or simply shortened to ojō. Traditionally these are young women from am upper class background, either wealthy or of high social status. These young women have been raised in a protected environment and trained in many traditional arts. This may even include schools that specialize in the education of such young women. Often they are portrayed as intelligent, slightly formal and reserved in their dress but also innocent and unworldly.
Kumiko is addressed as ojō by members of her clan in GokuSen (ep 1), even with her unusual back ground she is a proper young woman in her own right.
In Cardcaptor Sakura (ep.2) Tomoyo is called ojōsama by her bodyguards.
In episode 13 of Super Gals! ojosama is translated as "debutante".
Cherry, Kittredge. Womansword p.47-48
Schilling, Mark. The Encyclopedia of Japanese Pop Culture p. 321-2
Ōka (Ohka, aircraft) 桜花 OLD FORM 櫻花 (The Anime Companion 2 p.67)
Mikesh, Robert C. Japanese Aircraft p.31
Okada Izō 岡田 以蔵
A famous hito-kiri who worked for Takechi Zuizan performing assassinations in Kyōto (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.77) during the Bakumatsu (The Anime Companion 2 p.8)
In the second volume of Rurouni Kenshin (p.168) the author explains that Udō Jin-e was inspired by Okada Izō.
Hillsborough, Romulus. Shinsengumi p.66
Okada Keisuke 岡田啓介 (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.99)
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1135
okama (male homosexual; derogatory) 御釜 or おかま (The Anime Companion 2 p.67)
Constantine, Peter . Japanese Street Slang p.123
McLelland, Mark J. Male Homosexuality in Modern Japan p. 8-9
Okame おかめ (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.99)
Joya, Mock. Mock Joya's Things Japanese p.525
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1137
okami おかみ or お上 or 女将 (varies with context)
Okami can be translated as 'the one above them'. The term originally was used by court nobles when referring to the emperor. In time the word filtered into popular use, first to refer to those who worked for the emperor later for other types of persons. Today the meaning has shifted to where it can refer to a wife, governmental authority, or a woman owner of a business in the mizushōbai.
In The Gokusen (ep.4) okami is used as yakuza slang for the cops, an obvious authority figure.
In episode 1 of Otogi Zoshi we hear okami used to refer to the emperor.
In the first episode of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex okami is translated as hostess when refering to the owner of the restaurant.
In Samurai X Trust and Betrayal the innkeeper is addressed as okami.
Otsuki Hiroshi & Bradley Grindstaff. Cultural Keys p.47

OKANE see: ohaguro (blackening teeth)

okappiki 岡引
Unofficial assistants hired by those dōshin doing police duties. The pay for okappiki was not official, instead being handed out by the person who hired them from their own wages or by overlooking their minor transgressions. Okappiki performed a variety of tasks including assisting in arrests, torturing prisoners during interrogation, and acting as spies and informants. Okappiki were from the lower social classes or outcasts and were often reformed criminals themselves. Higher officials distrusted okappiki and discouraged their use, however in large cities like Edo (The Anime Companion 2 p.18) they were necessary to deal with crime. Technically okappiki were not allowed to carry jitte (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.55), however it was not unusual for them to own one in case they needed it. Perhaps the most famous okappiki in fiction was Zenigata Heiji.
In volume two of Samurai Executioner (p.254) okappiki are shown as anxious to make arrests as the new year approaches. Later in the same volume (p.282) the existence of oyabun - kobun relationship within okappiki ranks is mentioned.
In Blade of the Immortal (v.17 ch."On the Perfection of Anatomy: part 3") some okappiki making a bust get grief from Dōa and actually walk away alive.
Cunningham, Don. Secret weapons of Jujutsu p.61.
Cunningham, Don. Taiho-Jutsu p.54, 59, 67.
okara (tōfu lees) おから or 雪花菜 OLD FORM 御殼 (The Anime Companion 2 p.67)
Hosking, Richard. Dictionary of Japanese Food p.114, 166

ŌKAWA see: Sumidagawa (The Anime Companion 2 p.93)

OKAYAMA PREFECTURE see: Okayama ken (The Anime Companion 2 p.67)

Okayama ken 岡山県 OLD FORM 岡山縣 (The Anime Companion 2 p.67)
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1139
Web Sites:
Peach Top Page (Okayama Prefectural Government) (official site)

OKAYU see: kayu (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.65)

Okiku お菊 (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.99)
Addiss, Stephen. Japanese Ghosts & Demons p.27-28
okimayu 置眉 or おきまゆ
A custom that originated in the Heian Period (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.44), along with ohaguro (blackening teeth), of shaving or plucking the eyebrows and in some cases also painting black marks higher on the forehead. These black marks on the forehead were called motomayu and painted with a soot or ash based cosmetic called mayuzumi. It is marks that are most noticable rather than the shaved eyebrows. The painting of motomayu was largely an upper class custom however married women of other lower classes shaved their eyebrows until the Meiji Period (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.81)
Anime and Manga:
Motomayu are seen on the centipede woman in Inu-Yasha (ep.1 and v.1 p19.
Some of the serving women in Spirited Away have motomayu.
In Samurai Executioner (v.8 p.164) Shinko asks if she can shave her eyebrows, and later (p.180) we see that she has done so and as she is of a lower social class does not have motomayu.
Frederic, Louis. Daily Life in Japan at the Time of the Samurai p.85
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.252

OKINAWA see also: Ryūkyū Shotō (Ryūkyū Islands)

Okinawa Ken 沖縄県 OLD FORM 沖繩縣 (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.99)
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1141-1142
Web site:
Okinawa Prefecture's Home Page (official site)
Okinawa soba 沖縄そば
A noodle dish that actually contains no soba (The Anime Companion 2 p.90). Apparently when the word soba was introduced to Okinawa (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.99) the locals assumed that the Japanese word meant noodles in general. Okinawa soba is made with large flat white wheat noodles that are mixed with oil after cooking over which a broth is poured. The noodles are then commonly topped with pork, any of several types of fish cake and green onions. The final result superficially resembles rāmen (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.105).
In episode 7 of Blood+ you get an excellent view of Okinawa soba with dark pork, light fish cakes and cut up green onions as well as kōrēgūsu being poured into the bowl.
Ryukyuan Cuisine p.5, 66
Okita Sōji 沖田 総司 (The Anime Companion 2 p.68)
Who's Who of Japan p.153 (Where his name is listed in error as Okita Sōji)
okonomiyaki おこのみやき or 御好み焼き (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.100)
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1143
Japanese Family and Culture p.125
Vardaman, James M. and Michiko Sakaki Vardaman Japan From A to Z p.81
okosama-ranchi (child’s plate) おこさまランチ or お子様ランチ (The Anime Companion 2 p.68)
Eating in Japan p.79
okowa 御強
A steamed rice dish made with mochigome, a type of glutinous rice, and any of a large variety of other ingredients. Sekihan, rice with red beans, (The Anime Companion 2 p.81) is perhaps the most famous type of okowa. Two other common types use mountain vegetables (see: sansai; The Anime Companion 2 p.78); called sansai-okowa or chestnuts; called kuri-okowa.
An okowa rice dish made by Ayu is the prize for winning the race in episode 6 of Peacemaker. As it has some green ingredients, mushrooms and shrimp.
Hyaku gives dried chestnut okowa to Rin as a gift in the first chapter of the "Badger Hole" volume of Blade of the Immortal (v.19)
Hosking, Richard. A Dictionary of Japanese Food p.114
Illustrated Eating in Japan p.83
Ōkubo Toshimichi 大久保利通 (The Anime Companion 2 p.68)
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1143
Waley, Paul. Tokyo Now & Then p.384

OKUNI see: Izumo no Okuni (The Anime Companion 2 p.33)

Ōkura Kihachirō 大倉喜八郎
1837-1928. A major businessman of the Meiji Period (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.81). Following the Meiji restoration he opened a gun shop in 1868. In 1873 he founded the Ōkura-gumi Shōkai a successful trading company which was a supplier of the military. His financial investments included the Teikoku Hoteru (The Anime Companion 2 p.98) and Tōkyō Electric Lighting. His businesses included many enterprises in China and Korea, by 1911 the Ōkura-gumi Shōkai had a variety of subsidiaries. The present day Tōkyō University of Economics was established by him and the Ōkura Commercial School. He also opened the Ōkura Shūkokan, the first private museum in Japan.
Okura Kihachiro hires Yuki to get rid of a yakuza (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.146) gang in Lady Snowblood (v.3 p.42)
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1146
okuribi (ritual bonfire) 送り火 (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.100)
Festivals of Japan p.98-99
Must-See in Kyōto p.181
Pictorial Encyclopedia of Japanese Life and Events p.66
OL オーエル ("office lady" オフィス ・ レディー) (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.100)
Pictorial Encyclopedia of Japanese Life and Events p.100
"Salaryman" in Japan p.13, 82, 119
Silverman, Laura K., ed. Bringing Home the Sushi p.67
Living in Japan p.33
Today's Japan p.113

OLD MAN HUNTING see: oyaji-gari (old man hunting)

OLD MAN WHO CRIES LIKE A BABY see: Konaki Jiji (old man who cries like a baby)

omamori (amulet) お守り (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.100)
Joya, Mock. Mock Joya's Things Japanese p.615
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.462
Bocking, Brian. A Popular Dictionary of Shintō p.138,

OMELET RICE see: omuraisu (The Anime Companion 2 p.68)

ōmetsuke (inspectors general) 大目付
Originally created in 1632 the office of ōmetsuke was originally named sōmetsuke to indicate they were different than the metsuke. This office was created by the order of Tokugawa Iemitsu (The Anime Companion 2 p.102) the third Tokugawa shōgun (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.123) who designated four official to the title, later a fifth was added. Ōmetsuke were of high ranking hatamoto (The Anime Companion 2 p.27) families and were older and experienced. Serving in pairs in alternating months the ōmetsuke handled investigating officials, daimyō (The Anime Companion 2 p.15), the highway system and certain religions groups such as Christianity (see: Kirisutokyō, The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.69). Their duty was to investigate, report and make suggestions to the rōjū.
Ōmetsuke is translated as "inspector general" in episode 1 of Ghost Slayers Ayashi.
In Yagyu Ninja Scrolls: Revenge of the Hori Clan (v.1 ch.1) Yagyū Tajimnokami Munenori is identified as a former sōmetsuke.
In Lone Wolf and Cub (v.3 p.165) sōmetsuke Yagyu Bizen-no-Kami comes to inform Ōgami of accusations against him.
Later in Lone Wolf and Cub (v.13 p.93) the role of the ōmetsuke for matters regarding traveling daimyo and retinues is mentioned.
Cunningham, Don. Taiho-Jutsu p.42
Goedertier, Joseph M. A Dictionary of Japanese History p.214
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1147

ŌMETSUKE see also: metsuke (inspector, censor)

omiai 御見合 or miai 見合 (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.101)
Pictorial Encyclopedia of Japanese Life and Events p.96
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.956
omiai pub (matchmaking pub) お見合パブ
A club where you pay an entrance fee and an hourly fee to meet people for potential sexual liaisons, women pay less than men or nothing at all. Each table has a large number visible from other parts of the room. If you spot someone you would like to meet you fill out a form give it to a staff person who will carry it to the other person. Forms may have spaces for information such as name, age, blood type (see: ketsueki-gata, The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.67), zodiac sign, height, weight, etc. Staff will bring the person’s reply back to you. Just as with traditional omiai (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.101) there are intermediaries for the meetings between two people. The clubs make their money not only on the hourly fee but also on the costs of drinks and snacks, some have message sending fees for each form you ask to be carried.
In volume 18 of Hikaru no Go (p.87) Nase and a date go to a go salon on the 7th floor of a building with several other businesses, while the Japanese version says お見合パブ on the sign listing the business on the 5th floor, the English translated version has just the word "Matchmaking".
Clements, Steven Langhorne. Tokyo Pink Guide p.31 - 34
Sinclair, Joan. Pink Box p.188

OMIKUJI see: mikuji (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.83)

Ommyōdō 陰陽道
The way of yin and yang. A body of Chinese lore which included theories of yin and yang, the five elements (wood, fire, earth, gold and water), kasō (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.64), various theories of divination, as well as lucky and unlucky items such as dates, directions etc. Added to this were magical practices some of which were native to Japan. In the 7th century the Imperial Government established the Ommyōryō as an official body to practice Ommyōdō.
Ommyōdō, translated as "yin-yang theory", plays a major role in Otogi Zoshi
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1149
Ommyō-gogyō-setsu 陰陽五行説
A theory, originating in China, based on the mutual interactions of on (yin) and yo (yang) with the five elements of fire, water, wood, metal, and earth. This theory was the basis of much pseudo and quasi-scientific speculation and writing for fengshui (see: kasō (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.64), Chinese astrology, divination, and magic.
In episode 9 of Otogi Zoshi the "Onmyo Gogyo principles" are listed by Urabe.
Tubielewicz, Jolanta. Superstitions, Magic and Mantic Practices in the Heian Period p.28-29, 152, 210
ommyōji 陰陽師
Sometimes translated as "astrologers", "Feng Shui master", "Yin Yang master", or "onmyou mystics" and sometimes written as onmyoshi or transliterated as onmyouji. The ommyōji were practitioners of the techniques of Ommyōdō. Not all were staff of the Ommyōryō as over time many others came to practice the techniques in various parts of Japan.
Anime and Manga:
From the beginning ommyōji play a significant role in Otogi Zoshi.
In Doomed Megalopolis (ep.1) Kato is asked if he is an ommyōji as he uses shikigami and in episode 7 of Haunted Junction has a parody of Doomed Megalopolis where Abeno Donmei, a villanous Ommyoji, is collecting statues of Ninomiya Sontoku.
They also show up in Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi, Peacemaker (ep.17), and Rurouni Kenshin (ep.90)
Cambridge History of Japan v.2 p.548
Dunn, Charles J. Everyday Life in Traditional Japan p.132
Ommyō-no kami 陰陽頭
The head of the Ommyōryō (Bureau of Yin and Yang). His duties not only included supervising the entire bureau but also personally supervising calendar work. He also would observe wind and clouds as well as interpret omens in the sky and on the earth.
In episode 19 of Shonen Onmyouji Masahiro's father has petitioned the Ommyō-no kami for an interpretation of the appearance of the North Star. Ommyō-no kami is mistranslated as the "deity of Onmyou" due to a confusion over two different words both of which are pronounced "kami".
Tubielewicz, Jolanta. Superstitions, Magic and Mantic Practices in the Heian Period p.29, 210
Ommyōryō (Bureau of Yin and Yang) 陰陽寮
Bureau of Yin and Yang, sometimes referred to as the Bureau of Divination. Established as part of the Taiho Code, and later reorganized by the Yōrō Code of 718, as a government bureau in the 7th century for the practice of Ommyōdō. The Ommyōryō was part of the Ministry of Central Imperial Affairs. The organizational structure was of a director overseeing four administrative aides who supervised six Ommyōji specializing in divination and kasō (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.64). The four major duties of this bureau included Yin and Yang theory, calendar making, astronomy (astrology), and time keeping. Each of the major duties was under the supervision of a scholar who also taught the subject. Other practices included divination and determining auspicious days or times. However divination by turtle shell was handled by the Department of Shrines. Starting in the 10th century the Ommyōryō was headed by the Abe family, the Kamo family and later the Tsuchimikado family, which was descended from the Abe. Many of the earliest scholars who taught the techniques were Chinese or Korean.
In Otogi Zoshi the "Onmyo-ryo" is first mentioned in episode 8.
Cambridge History of Japan v.2 p.547-548
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1149
Engi-Shiki Proceedures of the Engi Era: Books I-V note 492, p153
Omote-sandō 表参道
The main avenue in the Harajuku (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.41) area of Tōkyō (The Anime Companion 2 p.104). The name Omote-sandō translates as "Outer Approach Road" This road was made as an approach to Meiji Jingū (Meiji shrine; The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.81) from Minato-ku (The Anime Companion 2 p.56) to the Ichino-Torii and runs between Omote-sandō Station and Harajuku Station. Omote-sandō is very wide, lined with Keyaki (The Anime Companion 2 p.45) trees and is internationally famous as a hangout for the young.
The "Omote Sando" psychofeed method is taught to Sara by her teacher in Private Psycho Lesson (ep.1).
In Mai the Psychic Girl (v.3 p.56) Mai and Garten head over Nishi Gaien Dōri in the part that is parallel to Omote-sandō as they head towards the Aoyama Cemetery (see: Aoyama Reien; The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.6).
Illustrated A Look Into Tokyo p.140
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.501
Tokyo City Atlas p.28-29, 31
Waley, Paul. Tokyo: City of Stories p.226
Waley, Paul. Tokyo Now & Then p.430
omuraisu (omelet rice) オムライス (The Anime Companion 2 p.68)
Nagasawa Kimiko & Camy Condon. Eating Cheap in Japan p. 18, 19
Eating in Japan p.78

ON AND KUN READINGS OF KANJI see: kanji (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.61)

ONA-HOLE see: onahōru

onahōru オナホール
A contraction of the German word onanie and the English word hole. An onahōru is a fake vagina for men to use for masturbation. Onahōru are made of soft sponge or silicone and resemble a damp sponge in a can with a hole in the center.
Saejima offers Onizuka an onahōru with Paradise printed on the can as a gift but warns him that using it more than once can be "sticky and stinky" in GTO (v.8 ch.60)
Sinclair, Joan, Pink Box p.188
With information from a correspondent in Japan.

ONANISM HOLE see: onahōru

ONARA see: he (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.43)

ONE CASTLE PER PROVINCE see: Ikkoku Ichijō Rei

ONE EYED BOY see: Hitotsume Kozō (one eyed boy)

ONE HUNDRED GHOST STORIES see: hyakumonogatari (100 stories)

ONE MAN ORCHESTRA see: chindonya (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.19)

ONE RI MARKER see: ichirizuka (milestone mound)

onēsama (big sister) お姉様 or お姉さま
As a term for older sister onēsama is more formal than the more common onēsan. Like many Japanese kinship terms it may be used by children to refer to older girls they are not related to. It attains a special usage between lesbians (see: rezubian (The Anime Companion 2 p.73) where a socially accepted pattern of older sister-younger sister in relationships exists.
Mayumi calls Kekko Kamen onēsama in Kekko Kamen (ep.2).
Sumire has fallen for Madoka and calls her onēsama in Kimagure Orange Road TV episode 42.
The normally aggressive tachi Takami calls Mayaka onēsama when she tries to seduce her in F3: Frantic Frustrated and Female (ep.2).
McLelland, Mark J., Suganuma Katsuhiko and James Welker. eds. Queer Voices from Japan p.154
oni (demon) 鬼 (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.101)
Basic Terms of Shintō (1958) p.46
Festivals of Japan p.152
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1151
A Look Into Japan p.105

ONI WA SOTO, FUKU WA UCHI see: setsubun (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.116)

onigawara (demon-faced edge tile) 鬼瓦 (The Anime Companion 2 p.69)
Joya, Mock. Mock Joya's Things Japanese p.87

ONIGIRI see: nigirimeshi (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.93)

onigokko (tag) 鬼ごっこ (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.101)
Japanese Family and Culture p.66
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.440
Urusei Yatsura TV insert #1

ONIWABAN see: niwaban (The Anime Companion 2 p.63)

ONMYŌDŌ see: Ommyōdō

ONMYO-RYO see: Ommyōryō (Bureau of Yin and Yang)

ONMYOSHI see: Ommyōji

ONMYOU mystics see: Ommyōji

onnagata (kabuki female impersonator) 女方or 女形
"Woman person", also called oyama. A kabuki (The Anime Companion 2 p.35) actor specializing in women's roles. When women were banned from the stage in 1629 young men began playing female roles, in time they too were banned due to problems due to an emphasis on homo erotic elements in their performances. After that only mature men could perform women's roles and female impersonation as an art form came into being. Before the Meiji Period (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.81) onnagata often behaved as women off the stage in their day to day life, this was easy to do as actors were segregated into special neighborhoods, today onnagata are indistinguishable from any other man on the street. One of the most famous onnagata today is Bandō Tamasaburō V (The Anime Companion 2 p.8)
In episode 6 of Samurai Champloo Izaak Titsingh is so taken with an onnagata that he rushes to the dressing room before his companions can explain that the beautiful woman on the stage is actually a man.
Leiter , Samuel. New Kabuki Encyclopedia p.498-500
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1152
onnatarashi (playboy) 女誑し or 女たらし (The Anime Companion 2 p.69)
Constantine, Peter. Japanese Street Slang p.158
De Mente, Boye Lafayette. Bachelor's Japan p.157
Onomichi 尾道 (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.101)
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1154
Web site:
Welcome to Onomichi

ONRYŌ see: goryō (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.36)

onsen (hot spring) 温泉 (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.102)
A Look Into Japan p.166
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.568
Vardaman, James M. and Michiko Sakaki Vardaman Japan From A to Z p.57
Living Japanese Style p.120-

ONSEN see also: sentō (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.115)

ON'YŌDŌ see: Ommyōdō (Way of Yin and Yang)

ON'YŌRYŌ see: Ommyōryō (Bureau of Yin and Yang)

Ōoku (Great Interior) 大奥
A separate complex of buildings inside Edo Castle (see: Edojō, The Anime Companion 2 p.18), accessed by only one door, where resided the women who served the present Tokugawa (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.137) shōgun (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.123). For the women who served the previous shōguns or were assigned to the heir of the current shōgun there was usually separate housing in the nishinomaru. The women in the Ōoku not only included the 200 women who served the shōgun but also other women who served them. As the shōgun was the only man allowed into the Ōoku the women handled all administrative duties. The number of women in the Ōoku is said to at times have reached as many as 3,000. The organization of the Ōoku was established during the rule of Tokugawa Iemitsu (The Anime Companion 2 p.102) partly by his nurse Kasuga no Tsubone. The high ranking women of the Ōoku rarely left the area and then with special arrangements. Other powerful figures established their own smaller versions of such women's quarters called simply oku.
As is indicated by the title in the manga series Ōoku much of the activities center in this area of Edo Castle.
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1156
Waley, Paul. Tokyo: City of Stories p.31

ORANGE see: mikan (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.82)

ORGAN TRANSPLANTS see: zōki ishioku (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.150)

ORGANIZATIONAL CREST see: mon (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.89)

ORGANIZED CRIME see: yakuza (gangster) (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.146)

origami 折紙 (The Anime Companion 2 p.69)
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1158

ORIGAMI see also: senbazuru (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.113)


OROCHI-NO-OROCHI see: Susanoo-no-Mikoto (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.127)

ORYZIAS LATIPES see: medaka (rice fish)

Ōsaka 大阪 or (archaic) 大坂 (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.102)
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1162
Gluck, Jay, Sumi Gluck and Garet Gluck. Japan Inside Out p.573
Web Site:
Ōsaka City web site.

ŌSAKA CASTLE see: Ōsakajō

ŌSAKA EXPO see: Nippon bankoku hakuran-kai (Japan World Exposition aka Expo '70)

Ōsaka no Jin (Battle of Ōsaka Castle) 大坂の陣
While often referred to as a battle this was actually two campaigns against Ōsaka Castle (Ōsakajō) by forces led by Tokugawa Ieyasu (The Anime Companion 2 p.102) and Tokugawa Hidetada. After years of uncomfortable tensions between the Toyotomi and Tokugawa (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.137) families conflicts came to a head over the Shōmei Incident after which Tokugawa Ieyasu accused the Toyotomi of subversion. Yodogimi, the mother of Toyotomi Hideyori called for assistance from the various daimyō (The Anime Companion 2 p.15), none came to their aid. However large numbers of rōnin (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.106) began gathering in Ōsaka (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.102), including the famous Sanada Yukimura. The first campaign was in late 1614 with approximately 200,000 troops surrounding the castle, which with the addition of the rōnin, had over 113,000 troops defending it. A peace was agreed in January 1615 that allowed the Tokugawa to fill in the outer moats of the castle and the attacking armies withdrew. However the inner moats were also filled in and the resulting dispute over that action led to the second campaign in the summer of 1615 when another 200,000 troops marched on the city. The castle fell in June 1615 after over a month of combat, Toyotomi Hideyori and Yodogimi committed suicide and the last of the major opponents of the Tokugawa were gone.
Misao mentions the battle of Ōsaka where the Toyotomi clan was decimated in Rurouni Kenshin (ep.84)
At the beginning of chapter 1 in The Yagyu Ninja Scrolls: Revenge of the Hori Clan (v.1) the fall of Ōsaka Castle is mentioned and in chapter 3 the rescue of Sen Hime (Princess Sen) from the castle is mentioned.
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1163
Turnbull, Stephen. The Samurai Sourcebook p. 254-258

ŌSAKA PLEASURE QUARTER see: Shinmachi (pleasure quarter Ōsaka)

ŌSAKA TOWER see: Tsūtenkaku (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.142)

Ōsakajō (Ōsaka Castle) 大坂城
Built by command of Toyotomi Hideyoshi (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.140) starting in 1583 and taking three years to build. The location was on the site of Ishiyama Honganji, the famous Ikkō-ikki temple fortress which resisted a siege by Oda Nobunaga (The Anime Companion 2 p.65) for ten years. Hideyoshi's castle was huge spanning 3.3 kilometers (2 miles) East to West and 2.4 Kilometers (1.5 miles) North to South. It was considered impossible to take this castle, however Tokugawa Ieyasu (The Anime Companion 2 p.102) was able to do so with a combination of careful planning and deceit in 1615 and thereby defeat Toyotomi Hideyori, the son of Hideyoshi. The remaining and restored portions of the castle became the seat of the Ōsaka jōdai in 1620. In 1868, when Tokugawa Yoshinobu (The Anime Companion 2 p.104) fled Ōsaka, the castle was set on fire rather than let it fall into the hand of the approaching Imperial Japanese Army (Dai Nippon Teikoku Rikugun; The Anime Companion 2 p.14). Today the area is a park and the present day main tower is a 1931 reconstruction made from concrete.
The modern reconstruction of Ōsaka castle is seen in episode one of Compiler.
Matahachi travels to Ōsaka Castle in Vagabond (v.6 ch.56)
De Mente, Boye Lafayette. Japan Encyclopedia p. 387
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1162
Turnbull, Stephen. Japanese Fortified Temples and Monasteries AD 710-1602 p.52
Web Site:
Ōsaka Castle:
Ōsawa Arimasa 大沢在昌
Author of the popular Shinjuku Shark police novel series which began publication in 1990. The first volume in the series won the Eiji Yoshikawa New Writer Award and the Japan Mystery Writers Association Award. The fourth volume in the series won the Naoki Prize. In 2006 Ōsawa won the Japan Adventure Fiction Association Award for the ninth volume and became the chairman of the Japan Mystery Writers Association. Besides the awards mentioned he has won other awards in his career. In 2007 the first volume in the series Shinjuku Shark was published in English and the second volume Shinjuku Shark: The Poison Ape is scheduled for December 2008. The Shinjuku Shark series has also been adapted into manga (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.80), television and movies.
The Odaiba Shark, the nickname name of a TV cop, is first mentioned in episode nine of Super Gals! and is an obvious reference to the Shinjuku Shark.
"Editor's Note." Shinjuku Shark p.5
osechi-ryōri (New Year's food) お節料理 (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.102)
Vardaman, James M. and Michiko Sakaki Vardaman Japan From A to Z p.77
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1167
osero ("othello") オセロ (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.103)
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1171
oshibori (small damp towel) おしぼり or 御絞り
A small damp towel provided originally to guests in homes and later also to customers in many coffee shops (kissaten; The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.70), restaurants and bars, sometimes even a fresh one after a visit to the bathroom. This towel is to wipe the hands and face. In the summer these are cold in the winter hot. In businesses it is common for them to be individually wrapped after sterilization. There are companies that specialize in providing these to commercial operations. In some places paper towels are coming into use instead of cloth. Oshibori are sometimes used in other contexts, for example in sumō (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.127) the combatants (rikishi) use oshibori to wipe themselves before entering the purified dohyō (sumō ring). The custom of offering oshibori has even spread out of Japan with many American airlines now offering them to customers.
On Alias Dojima's second visit to Moon Dog we see Tsukamoto place an oshibori and glass on the bar for him in Old Boy (v.4 p.130)
Buckingham, Dorothea N. Essential Guide to Sumo p. 147
Discover Japan vol.2 p.64
Illustrated Living Japanese Style p.55
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1167
Japanese Etiquette p.61

OSHIBORI SPECIAL see: oshibori supesharu (oshibori special)

oshibori supesharu (oshibori special) おしぼり スペシャル or 御絞り スペシャル
In some operations in the fūzoku (sex industry) a oshibori special means that the staff and customers are cleaned with oshibori (small damp towel) rather than a shower or bath. In many of these places the women are encouraged to employ creative variations on the use of the oshibori. The sale of oshibori to sex clubs is often handled by yakuza (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.146)
In Abandon the Old in Tokyo (p.21-22) Shimokawa naively goes into a bar after being offered a 'special deal' not realizing the service the women provide there until after the hostess wipes her own fingers with the oshibori and sets to work and then wipes them again.
Constantine, Peter. Japan's Sex Trade p.62, 133
Sinclair, Joan. Pink Box: Inside Japan’s Sex Clubs p.188
oshiki (flat serving tray) おしき or 折敷 (The Anime Companion 2 p.70)
Hosking, Richard. A Dictionary of Japanese Food p. 116
oshiire (futon storage closets) 押し入れ or 押入れ (The Anime Companion 2 p.69)
Japan Inn & Travel p. 42

OSHIRUKO see: shiruko (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.122)

oshiya (push man) 押し屋
Part time workers, often college students, who push passengers further into trains so the doors can close. This is necessary only for a small percentage of rush hour trains, however given the number of trains in major cities in Japan pushing people into such crowded trains can still involve thousands of passengers. When there are no oshiya on the platform waiting passengers may voluntarily take on this task.
The manga The Push Man has a story of a oshiya starting on page 73.
Condon, Jack and Camy Condon. The Simple Pleasures of Japan p.125
Illustrated Living Japanese Style p.26
Illustrated Salaryman in Japan p.18

ŌSHŪ see: Mutsu no Kuni

Osorezan 恐山
Sometimes called Osoreyama, the name translated as "Mountain of dread". Osorezan is a volcano located in Aomori Ken this mountain is known for Entsūji, a Sōtō (Sōtōshū) Zen Buddhist (The Anime Companion 2 p.122) temple (see: jiin; The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.53) founded in the 9th century by the priest Ennin, the temple is also known as Bodaiji. The grounds of the temple have many sites associated with the Buddhist hell. A local stream bed is known as Sanzu No Kawa (The Anime Companion 2 p.78) and people gather on the banks to make offerings and call out to dead relatives. The mountain is known for two annual gatherings of itako, blind shaman women who communicate with the dead. The itako are not part of the temple organization by tradition they are allowed to hold these events. The mountain itself holds lake Usoriyama, a lake so acidic only one hardy species of fish lives in it. Usori is an Ainu (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.3) word which the Japanese pronounced as Osore, the Japanese word for dread. To the Ainu this was a home of spirits.
In Haunted Junction (ep 2) Haruto telephones the Osorezan Exorcism Society in an attempt to have the spirits removed from his school. They hang up on him.
Bamforth, Chris. "Mountain of dread" The Japan Times Online: Friday, Dec. 22, 2006
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1169
Gluck, Jay, Sumi Gluck and Garet Gluck. Japan Inside Out p.1021
Reader, Ian. Religion in Contemporary Japan p,130-132

OSTRICH FERN see: kusasotetsu

OSUGATA (MALE SHAPE) see: harikata (dildo)

Ōta-ku 大田区
A ward of Tōkyō (The Anime Companion 2 p.104) bordered on the West by Setagaya-ku; the South by the Tamagawa and Kawasaki; the East by Tōkyō Bay (see: Tōkyō Wan; The Anime Companion 2 p.105); the North both by Meguro-ku (The Anime Companion 2 p.85) and Shinagawa-ku (The Anime Companion 2 p.85). The Eastern portion of Ōta-ku is known for it's factories and being part of the Keihin Industrial Zone, the Western is on the Musashino Plateau and is mainly residential. Haneda Airport (see: Tōkyō Kokusai Kūkō, The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.138) is located in Ōta-ku.
In Dance in the Vampire Bund (v. 5 p.57) it is pointed out that the Bund is located in the Bay off the coast of both Ōta-ku and Shinagawa-ku.
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1170
Tokyo City Atlas p.72-74, 77
Web Site:
Official site Multilingual section.

OTACHI see: tachi (top/butch)

OTAFUKU see: Okame (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.99)

otaku Depending on context: 御宅 or お宅 or おたく or オタク (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.103)
Schodt, Frederik. Dreamland Japan p.43-

O-TAMESHI see: tameshigiri (sword test cut)

OTHELLO GAME see: Osero (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.103)

ŌTO NO KIKU BENTEN KŌZO see: Aoto-zōshi hana no nishiki

otogi-zōshi 御伽草子
Originally the term was used in relation to a collection of stories called the Otogi bunko published around 1700 in Ōsaka (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.102). Later the term became to mean a genre of literature for short tales from the Kamakura period (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.59) and Muromachi period (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.90). The tales are highly varied in type, intended to entertain. Included are love stories, warrior tales, and many with religious themes. Some are believed to have been written by biwa hoshi (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.11) and Buddhist nuns.
A good collection of such tales in English is Japanese Tales, edited and translated by Royall Tyler.
The anime series Otogi Zoshi is partly based on some of these tales.
Miner, Earl; Odagiri Hiroko and Robert Morrell The Princeton Companion to Classical Japanese Literature p.293
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1171

OTOKO GEISHA see: hōkan (male geisha)

Otoko wa Tsurai Yo (It's Tough Being a Man, aka: The Tora-san movies) 男はつらいよ
A long running series of forty eight films made from 1969 to 1995 with stories about Kuruma Torajiro, aka Tora-san, a wandering peddler who is more than a bit of a fast talking con man, played by comedic actor Atsumi Kiyoshi. Before the films there was a TV series, also starring Atsumi, in 1968. The films are also commonly known as Tora-san after the main character and all but two were directed by Yamada Yōji. Originally there were two films a year and later they switched to only one for the popular New Year movie going market. As the first film opens we hear Tora-san narrate how he is from the Shibamata area of Katsushika-ku in Tōkyō (The Anime Companion 2 p.104) and how he left after being beaten by his father for misbehaving 20 years earlier and that Tora-san has now returned. The films were a success from the beginning with the big hearted Tora-san behaving like the idiot that he is and set in an old fashioned neighborhood where everyone knows everyone else as they likely grew up together. While each of the films is unique there is a commonality in the stories in that Tora-san travels to various parts of Japan but always returns home, he causes problems though he has good intentions, falls for a beautiful woman then helps her in some way and, too shy to be open about his feelings, loses her to another. The series ceased with the death of Atsumi Kiyoshi in 1996.
Onizuka with a hat and clothes similar to Tora-san's sells Toroko theme goods on the sidewalk after her participation in the talent contest in GTO (ep.11).
In City Hunter 2 (ep.8) as he gives Machico's father a tour of Tōkyō Ryo mentions the Tora-san movies when they pass Kaminarimon (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.60). The introdutory note for the episode misidentifies the location of the movies as "around the area of the Kaminari Gate".
In Worst (v.1 p.80) Toranosuke visits Hana's room where Hana has just hung up a poster of Atsumi Kiyoshi in his Tora-san role.
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1606
Schilling, Mark. The Encyclopedia of Japanese Pop Culture p. 268-72
Tora-san Collector's Booklet, included with the first box set released by AnimEigo
Web Site:
『男はつらいよ』とは? イントロダクション|『男はつらいよ』公式サイト | 松竹株式会社 (Shochiku's official Tora-san website)
Ōtomo no Yakamochi 大伴家持 (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.103)
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1172

OTORISAMA see: tori no ichi (The Anime Companion 2 p.106)

ōtoro (very fatty tuna meat) 大トロ
Tuna meat that is very fatty. This is considered the best part of a tuna it is quite rare, expensive and usually found in the Winter. To get ōtoro it must be cut from below the head from a very large tuna, usually over 200 pounds. The color is pink and very shinny from the oils. When used to make sushi (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.128) it is common for extra wasabi (The Anime Companion 2 p.113) to be used with ōtoro.
Anime and Manga:
In GTO (ep.1 and v.1 ch.4) Onizuka gets really excited over the sushi platter, especially the ōtoro, at Nanako's house.
In Genshiken (v.6 p.42), while eating in a kaiten sushi (revolving sushi bar), Kasukabe orders ōtoro, which is so expensive there is only one piece on the plate.
Suetsugu, Bobby, Samurai Sushi p.24-25
otoshibuta (drop lid) おとしぶた or 落とし蓋 (The Anime Companion 2 p.70)
Hosking, Richard. A Dictionary of Japanese Food p.116)
otoshidama (new year gift) 御年玉
Otoshidama literally translates as "gem of the year". Originally otoshidama were gifts exchanged between households or given to Shintō shrines (jinja; The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.54) and Buddhist temples (jiin; The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.53) by parishioners. Today it is usually a monetary gift, often 500 to 3,000 yen (en; The Anime Companion 2 p.20), given to children at the New Year by relatives and close family friends. Special envelopes called otoshidamabukuro are traditionally used to hold the gift.
Gin has been saving New Year Gift money in a special envelope for Kyoko in Tokyo Godfathers.
Ataru, selfish as ever, complains on how little he got in Urusei Yatsura (ep.95 story 117)
Makoto and his friend Masa hit up Shun to loan money from his otoshidama, not realizing that Shun is older than them in IWGP: Ikebukuro West Gate Park (v.1 p.47)
Kazuya is given otoshidama, called otoshidama allowance, by his older brother and sister in law in Here is Greenwood (v.3 p.140)
Illustrated Salaryman in Japan p.115
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1172
Ōtsu 大津 (The Anime Companion 2 p.70)
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1173
Turnbull, Stephen. The Samurai Sourcebook p. 251
ōtsuzumi 大鼓
A type of tsuzumi, are made from sakura (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.110) or Chinese quince wood, the skin is usually made from cowhide, which is played while placed on the left thigh and held with the left hand. The cords are tight and the skin heated to dry it before performances, this gives the drum a high pitched dry sound. It is not unusual for fresh ōtsuzumi to be brought to a player during a performance.
Ōtsuzumi and the similar kotsuzumi are seen in several anime with dancing involved such as the first episode of Gasaraki.
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1636
Malm, William P. Traditional Japanese Music and Musical Instruments p.139-40
Wade, Bonnie C. Music in Japan p.109-110

ŌU REGION see: Tōhoku Chihō


OUTLAWS OF THE MARSH see: Suikoden (The Anime Companion 2 p.92)

OUTSIDE DAIMYŌ see: tozama daimyō (The Anime Companion 2 p.107)

An anime released straight to video without being in theaters or on TV first. The term stands for the English language phrase Original Video Animation and is written with roman letters. It was the development of the VCR that made this market possible in that both rental shops and collectors were a viable market for titles that were not sellable to traditional markets. The first OVA was Dallos directed by Oshii Mamoru and released as a short series in 1983 and 1984 at a cost of 4,500 yen (see: en; The Anime Companion 2 p.20) per tape. By 1989 the price of the average half hour OVA had more than doubled to about 10,000 yen. The rise of the OVA also made the ero-anime market possible. Sometimes anime straight to video releases are referred to by English speakers as OAV, Original Animated Video.
Patlabor The Movie Archives p.30, 38.
Thompson, Jason. Manga: The Complete Guide p.499-500

OVER GARMENT, WOMAN'S see: uchikake (woman's over garment)

Owari Yagyū 尾張柳生
The main branch of the Yagyūshi (Yagyū family) residing in the village of Yagyū in Owari. The other branch of the family was the Edo Yagyū.
The Owari Yagyū gather in Edo (The Anime Companion 2 p.18) in Lone Wolf and Cub (vol. 19 p.269) and are mentioned in Samurai Legend (p.11)
Turnbull, Stephen. The Samurai Sourcebook p.90-91
Wilson, William Scott. Lone Samurai p.89

OWL CHARM, WOVEN see: susuki-mimizuku (owl charm)

OX DRAWN CARRIAGE see: gissha (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.36)

OX OR COW TOY, BOBBING see: akabeko (The Anime Companion 2 p.4)

oyabun - kobun (parent role - child role) 親分 - 子分
The oyabun - kobun relationship is an old one in Japan and still exists in many traditional areas of Japanese society. This is a relationship where one individual will take a parental role and others a child role. This is done between individuals or households for mutual support, either economically or socially. In these cases the oyabun takes responsibility for the kobun much in the way a parent would by looking out for the kobun's welfare, guiding them and correcting their behavior. On the other hand the kobun was expected to show loyalty to the oyabun who he provides services to and obeys. This type of relationship has declined since the Meiji Period (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.81) and in entertainment is usually seen in relation to yakuza (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.146), one of the types of organizations where it has survived. In yakuza related stories it is often translated as "boss" or "don". Sometimes oyabun is shortened to oya, parent.
In episode 3 of Samurai Champloo oyabun is translated as boss.
An example of a non-yakuza oyabun is Ginji in (Satsuma Gishiden v.3 p.85) who leads the boatmen of the Wajū.
Another is in Samurai Executioner (v.2 p.282) where the existance of oyabun-kobun relationship within the ranks of okappiki is mentioned.
Yakuza use of the term oyabun include: Color of Rage (p.72), Lady Snowblood (v.1 p.22), Lone Wolf and Cub (v. 6 p.14), and Tanpenshu (v.2 p.116) where it is shortened to oya.
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1176
oyaji-gari (old man hunting) 親父狩り or おやじ狩り
A crime commited by groups of young men assault and rob older men or extort money from them. In the 1990s the mass media popularized the phrase oyaji gari, which can be translated as old man or father hunting, for this type of crime. The number of instances of this crime in the 1990s was less than 25% for the same crime in the 1950s, but press reports created the impression that the problem was a serious trend. In the 1950s the perpetrators were likely to be impoverished, while in the 1990s they from middle class homes.
In Old Boy (v.1 p.40-46) after the protagonist is dropped off in Shibuya (The Anime Companion 2 p.82) he tricks some young thugs into thinking he is drink so they try to rob him.
Parker, L. Craig. Japanese Police System Today [2001 ed] p.182
Thompson, Jason. Manga: The Complete Guide p.64

OYAKO DONBURI see: oyakodon

oyakodon 親子丼
Oyako translates as "parent and child" and oyakodon is a donburi consisting of rice topped with a mixture of chicken and egg (tamago; The Anime Companion 2 p.97). Sometimes it is referred to as oyako donburi. To make this you cook a mixture of chicken and onion in a sauce then add a beaten egg, when cooked you pour the mixture over the rice. Some mitsuba is commonly added on top.
Raccoon picks up some oyako donburi at Tonbo in Kaze no Yojimbo (ep.20)
In Genshiken (v.4 p.12) while hiding from the club Saki is found by Kousaka eating "chicken and egg over rice" in a small cafe in Kichijōji.
Hosking, Richard. A Dictionary of Japanese Food p.38
Illustrated Eating in Japan p.74

OYAMA see also onnagata (kabuki female impersonator)

Ozaki Shirō 尾崎士郎 (The Anime Companion [vol.1] p.103)
Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia p.1178

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Created: October 31, 1998

Updated: December 5, 2011