Saturday, January 21, 2017

Spirituality in Pokemon Sun & Moon Part One

Tapu Koko
(1/15/2017) --- One amazing aspect about Pokemon Sun and Moon (Homepage) is that for the first time, the franchise actually has an open integration towards religion and spirituality, not only towards the game canon but also in a juxtaposition of the real world as there is an inclusion towards the Kahunas (Moke,2001) beyond their role as being the new Gym Leaders within the game.

As within every generation, there has been a set of legendary Pokemon's that focus on the protection of the land or are part of the myth and lore; yet the only set who seems to interact directly with the human world and select representatives or Kahunas are the Guardian Deities (Bulbapedia - Guardian Deities)

The Tapu's are the closest interpretation towards the Hawaiian Gods, specifically Kane, Ku, Lono &  Kanaloa as each of the guardians of Alola represent (albeit in cartoonish quality of the Hawaiian Gods) in certain way each of the main Gods attribute towards the myth's they represent.

What is interesting it's that in this world, people are polytheistic, and they seem to be based on a Shintoistic (Wikipedia - Shinto) point of view towards respect of the nature and all living creatures; but there is a mix between the different regions as there seem to be a distant connection with some other religions such as Christianity which there seem a reflection of the imagery on Team Plasma's uniforms.

Team Plasma First Uniforms
Team Plasma (Bulbapedia - Team Plasma) is probably the only team that take some elements of Medieval Christianity (Wikipedia - Middle Ages) in which the group hierarchy) To give a proper explanation the administrators of the team are Seven Sages or Seven Wise Men with one of them acting as the internal leader.

The imagery goes even to the point where the grunts are dressed as knights or crusades and the administrators act as if they were priests; they tend to act as if they were on a holy mission to protect their beliefs that they wouldn't care risking their own lives if their message is sent.

The Seven Sages played with the mass perceptions about humanity destroying the habitar of the Pokemon and trying to preach a gospel of unity in where there should be a paradise for Pokemon and that their King (N); but as always they were promoting the idea to be subservient to the Dragon Gods that once shaped the Earth.

The different regions seem to be bear a resemblance on what Earth was, but on how the difference forms of creed evolved to adapt them to the common aspects that are found in the nature of the world. Then we can go back to the Alola region, which vastly differs from the previous ones as the real world influence can be seen towards the deities they worship on the region and how these deities and their Kahunas (Bulbapedia - Kahunas) play a significant role on the socio-economical lives of the different islands.

Kahuna Hala
Much as their counterparts in the real world (Wikipedia - Kahuna) in which each of them is a wise individual or an expert in any profession that serves the archipelago and the people that lives in. As a side note, the Kahunas act as the liaison between the humans and the deities, but in reward they are "blessed" to use the power of the Tapus' if there is a menace on their regions.

There is a similarity between them being chosen by the Gods and how some contemporary religions use the so called prophets in order to spread the message of God on Earth; we can see the Kahunas as some form of prophets in the new world, in which they are mostly revered as saints who are bestowed some holy powers and knowledge.


References:

  • http://www.pokemon-sunmoon.com/en-au/
  • Kupihea, Moke: Kahuna of Light -The World of Hawaiian Spirituality, 2001, Inner Traditions International, ISBN 0-89281-756-9
  • http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Guardian_deities
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shinto
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kahuna

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