Friday, February 08, 2008

Tsunade. Really.

Tsunade, featured in the Japanese folktale Jiraiya Goketsu Monogatari ("The tale of the gallant Jiraiya"), is the wife of the gallant ninja Jiraiya. She is mastered in slug magic and is able to summon an enormous slug.

Jiraiya (literally "young thunder"), the lead character of the Japanese folktale Jiraiya Goketsu Monogatari, is a ninja who uses shapeshifting magic to morph into a gigantic toad. The heir of a powerful clan in Kyūshū of the same name, Jiraiya fell in love with Tsunade, a beautiful young princess who masters snail magic. His arch-enemy was his one-time follower, Orochimaru.

Orochimaru is the arch-enemy of the ninja Jiraiya. He was once named Yashagorō and was one of Jiraiya's followers, but he was overtaken by serpent magic. Having changed his name to "Orochimaru", he gained the ability to turn himself into a giant serpent. He attacked Jiraiya and his wife Tsunade and defeated them with his venom (only for another follower to save the couple's lives afterwards). "Orochi" is the name of a giant eight-headed snake in Japanese mythology. The kanji (usually pronounced daija) literally mean "giant snake" or "serpent".(photos from

So this was Masashi Kishimoto's influence for the 3 Legendary Sannin! How inspiring! In Kishimoto's version (in Naruto):

"Jiraiya" means "coming by oneself" which is a description of his personality; quietly appearing and disappearing from Konoha at any time. The kanji on his forehead protector (Abura) means "oil", which can point to his oil spitting for ninjutsu.

Orochimaru was a jounin from Konoha. He was banished for performing illegal ninjutsu. After leaving Konoha, he vowed to dedstroy it. The blade Orochimaru fights with is called Kusanagi, or 'grass cutter'. The name is sourced from an old Japanese legend in which the serpent god Susa-no-o destroyed an eight-headed snake, discovering the blade in its belly.

Tsunade is the grandaughter of the 1st Hokage. She left Konoha and came back as the village's Godaime Hokage after Jiraiyah refuses to do so. She fits the part well, aside from her gambling and drinking problems. (photo from

The three were dubbed The Legendary Sannin. One of the most powerful ninjas of the world. They were once a team under Sandaime Hokage.

Okay. Now to my point. Somewhere in my bucket list (which isn't really a list because it's not written) is "do cosplay". I haven't really come across one character I'd like to cosplay. There's always a "but" and "what if" everytime I come close to considering cosplaying a character, until I saw Tsunade. I like how tough she is but how feminine she looks. She's witty, energetic, cares about each person in her village and shares the ideals of the young ninjas, but possesses the wisdom of her elders (sometimes even more). I can definitely relate to her character (attitude-wise and also physically---considering i have that amazona body) so I've decided to start a cosplay hobby (on cam only, not onstage) with Tsunade at the top of my list! I'm in the process of completing her costume.

Have any tips for first-time cosplayers? (below artwork copyright

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