Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Rising Sun - the Kami

Hi all

This will be the last of the Rising Sun posts as I have finished painting the pieces that I'm going to for now.  There are all of the factions if I want to, but it's unlikely as it would get quite difficult to differentiate the minis on the board.

The last expansion that I bought for the game was "Kami Unleashed".  This expansion brought the until now reclusive kami out of the temple and onto the board, making them more interactive and offering up yet another tactical decision (and imho increasing their use).  There are 7 different Kami in the game and only four, randomly chosen at the beginning of the game, are used in any one game.

I'm gonna do my usual trick of posting a little blur from Wiki for those who are interested...

Kami (Japanese: , [kaꜜmi]) are the spirits or phenomena that are worshipped in the religion of Shinto. They can be elements of the landscape, forces of nature, as well as beings and the qualities that these beings express; they can also be the spirits of venerated dead persons. Many kami are considered the ancient ancestors of entire clans (some ancestors became kami upon their death if they were able to embody the values and virtues of kami in life). Traditionally, great or sensational leaders like the Emperor could be or became kami.[1][page needed]
In Shinto, kami are not separate from nature, but are of nature, possessing positive and negative, and good and evil characteristics. They are manifestations of musubi (結び),[2] the interconnecting energy of the universe, and are considered exemplary of what humanity should strive towards. Kami are believed to be "hidden" from this world, and inhabit a complementary existence that mirrors our own: shinkai (神界, "the world of the kami").[3]:22 To be in harmony with the awe-inspiring aspects of nature is to be conscious of kannagara no michi (随神の道 or 惟神の道, "the way of the kami").[2]
Though the word kami is translated multiple ways into English, no one English word expresses its full meaning. The ambiguity of the meaning of kami is necessary, as it conveys the ambiguous nature of kami themselves.

So first up is Hachiman

Hachiman (八幡神) Also known as Hachiman-shin or Yawata no Kami, he is the god of war and the divine protector of Japan and its people. Originally an agricultural deity, he later became the guardian of the Minamoto clan. His symbolic animal and messenger is the dove.

next is Susanoo

Susanoo-no-Mikoto (須佐之男尊) Alternately romanized as Susano-o, Susa-no-o, and Susanowo. Reportedly called "Futsushi". He is the god of storms as well as in some cases the god of the sea. He is also somewhat of a trickster god, as Japanese mythology extensively documents the "sibling rivalry" between him and Amaterasu. Susanoo also was responsible for the slaying of the monster Yamata no Orochi and the subsequent discovery of the sacred sword Kusanagi.

next, we have Tsukuyomi

Tsukuyomi-no-Mikoto (月読の命 or 月夜見の尊) Also known as Tsukiyomi, Tsuki no Kami, Tsukiyomino Mikoto, and Tsukiyumi no Mikoto, he is the god of the moon. He killed the goddess of food, Uke Mochi, out of disgust and anger in the way she had prepared a meal. This caused Amaterasu to never face him again, causing the sun and moon to be in different parts of the sky.


Ryūjin (龍神) Also known as Ōwatatsumi, he is a dragon, as well as god of the sea. He resides in Ryūgū-jō, his palace under the sea built out of red and white coral, from where he controls the tides with magical tide jewels. His great-grandson would become Emperor Jimmu.


Amaterasu-Ō-Mi-Kami (天照大神 or 天照大御神) Commonly called Amaterasu, she is the goddess of the sun as well as the purported ancestress of the Imperial Household of Japan. Her full name means "Great Goddess" or "Great Spirit Who Shines in the Heavens"; she may also be referred to as Ōhiru-menomuchi-no-kami (大日孁貴神). For many reasons, one among them being her ties to the Imperial family, she is often considered (though not officially) to be the "primary god" of Shinto.


Raijin (雷神) Commonly called Raiden (雷電), he is the god of thunder and lightning, and is often paired with Fūjin. As with the latter, Raijin is usually depicted as an oni.

finally we have Fujin

Fūjin (風神) Also known as Kami-no-Kaze, he is the Japanese god of the wind and one of the eldest Shinto gods, said to have been present at the creation of the world. He is often depicted as an oni with a bag slung over his back.

and the obligatory group shot....

So that's the last of the Rising Sun figures, I've literally no idea what pile of miniatures to begin whittling down, so next week will be anybody's guess.

hope you enjoy

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Rising Sun - more monsters! 2

hi all

Following on from last week's post showing the monsters from the expansion for Rising Sun. This week we have the final two.

Firstly we have Jorogumo…

this from wikipedia
orōgumo (Japanese Kanji: 絡新婦, Hiragana: じょろうぐも) is a type of Yōkai, a creature, ghost or goblin of Japanese folklore. It can shapeshift into a beautiful woman, so the kanji for its actual meaning is 女郎蜘蛛 or "woman-spider", and to write it instead as 絡新婦 ("entangling newlywed woman") is a jukujikun pronunciation of the kanji. In Toriyama Sekien's Gazu Hyakki Yagyō, it is depicted as a spider woman manipulating small fire-breathing spiders.
Jorōgumo can also refer to some species of spiders, such as the Nephila and Argiope spiders. Japanese-speaking entomologists use the katakana form of Jorōgumo (ジョロウグモ) to refer exclusively to the spider species Nephila clavata.
this from Fandom

Jorōgumo (絡新婦 or じょろうぐも, Jorōgumo) is a yôkai with the form of a spider, that can change its appearance into that of a seductive woman when it wants to eat a human. Even when it is in its human form though, its reflection will show a giant spider. It can not be killed by any kind of poison. The name Jorogumo is that of the Nephila Clavata, a real kind of spider.


In Japan, some spiders are known to possess amazing supernatural powers. One of these, the jorō-gumo, known as the golden orb-weaver in English, is the most well-known of the arachnid yokai. Jorō-gumo are found all over the Japanese archipelago, except for Hokkaido. Their body size averages between two to three centimeters long, but they can grow much larger as they age; some are large enough to catch and eat small birds. These spiders are renowned for their large size, their vividly beautiful colors, the large and strong webs they weave, and for the cruel destruction they wreak on young men. Their name is written with kanji that mean “entangling bride.” However, these characters were added on to her name much later to cover up the original meaning of the name: “whore spider.”
Jorō-gumo live solitary lives, both as spiders and as yokai. When a golden orb-weaver reaches 400 years of age, it develops magical powers and begins to feed on human prey instead of insects. They make their nests in caves, forests, or empty houses in towns. They possess a cunning intelligence and a cold heart, and see humans as nothing more than insects to feed on. They are skillful deceivers and powerful shapeshifters, usually spending their lives appearing as young, sexy, and stunningly beautiful women. 

while this is isn't my favourite sculpt, the Jorogumo has one of the most fascinating legends so I really enjoyed painting this.  The gruesome egg sack under the creatures abdomen is particularly characterful.

Next is the Earth Dragon...

In Chinese mythology, dilong 地龍 "earth dragon" is one of many types of -long dragons such as shenlong 神龍 "divine dragon" and huanglong 黃龍 "Yellow Dragon". Since "earth; land; soil; ground" semantically contrasts with tian "heaven; sky" (e.g., tiandi 天地 "heaven and earth; universe", see Tiandihui), the dilong is paired with the tianlong 天龍 "heavenly dragon". Chinese dragons were supposedly able to fly, and thus were considered celestial creatures rather than terrestrial ones like the "earthbound" dilong. Two other exceptions are panlong 蟠龍 "coiled/curled dragon; a dragon that has not ascended to heaven" and tulong 土龍 "soil/earth dragon", which refers to the tuo "Chinese Alligator" (cf. Japanese mogura 土竜 "mole").

I used a lot of yellow and flesh washes on the reds of this Dragon in order to achieve the reddish brown flesh, which helped link with the spines and whiskers of the mighty beast.

Finally here is a group shot of the expansion pack.

I have just one more expansion to finish which will feature the sacred Kami.
hope you enjoy

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Rising Sun - more monsters!

hi all

First of all, i'm really sorry for the continual postings about this game. But, in my defence it is a good one and it is (sort of)a miniatures game.

Secondly, before I forget, my board games group are hosting our 5th convention - Uncon 5.0 on the 6th and 7th of April.  With over 300 unique tickets sold in November, up from last April, the event is getting bigger and bigger and I cannot wait for this one.  I will be hosting 3x games this time around - "Blood, Sweat & Horses" my chariot racing game, "Rising Sun" hence all the love and frantic painting of miniatures and "Rise of the Kage" a GCT Studios board game that I have made a rather splendid (if I do say so myself) 3d board for.  Those of you who subscribe to my YouTube channel will have seen the build and the finished article...

If not, why not? ahhhh here's the link anyway - https://youtu.be/VP1qok2v6t8

Anyway, along with the "Daimyo Invasion" expansion, I also bought the "Monsters Pack" expansion.  This gave us 4 more monsters to add to those in the base game.  The first of which is this one...

The Jinmenju - aka creepy face tree 

As has been my want during this series of posts, I have made lazy, cursory searches through Japanese Folklore and posted them directly here...

Jinmenju (人面樹, Jinmenju) is a strange tree with human faced fruits called jinmenshi, human-faced child. The tree is said to be found in remote valleys from the south of Japan and China.

According to the Edo period Hyakka Jiten encyclopedia Wakan Sansai Zue (和漢三才図会; A Collection of Pictures of Heaven, Earth, and Man from China and Japan), the Jinmenju trees are found in the south, and the fruit of the tree is called the jinmenshi, or human-faced child. They ripen in the fall, and if you eat the fruit they have a sweet/sour taste. It is said that the Jinmenju seed also has a human face, eyes, ears, nose, and mouth.
In the past however, it was said that people planted great orchards of the laughing Jinmenju.
The legend of the Jinmenju comes from China, and was passed onto Japan where it was considered to be a yokai due to its peculiar nature. There are also stories of trees bearing human-faced fruit from India and Persia, usually with the faces of beautiful girls. Even now, when you walk through the forest you can see trees whose roots bear a resemblance to human and yokai faces.
Toriyama Sekien included the Jinmenju in his collection Konjyaku Hyakki Shui (今昔百鬼拾遺; Supplement to The Hundred Demons from the Present and the Past). All Jinmenju stories have their origin in a Chinese book Sansai Zue (三才図会; A Collection of Pictures of Heaven, Earth, and Man).

so here it is...

the paint job is remarkably simple and deliberately so with layers of brown and grey, for the "woody" parts.  I included the faces "hair" in the woody scheme for ease as well as to blend the branches and the fruits together.  The faces were given a coat of Vallejo - dead flesh and shaded with purple and green washes.  I also used some of the green wash to create "mossy" areas.

Next up is the Oni of Plagues.

Now I've kind of exhausted my Wiki links for Onis and other cursory searches repeat the information I've already used so...

lots of white and grey for this monster, so I wasn't sure how he would turn out, but actually it wasn't too bad in the end.  A lovely sculpt, I tried to bring out the detail without making it too fiddly, foregoing the artwork where it showed the patterns on the arms picked out in gold but more or less picking out the rest.  In the end he looks fairly striking!

two down, two more to go!
hope you enjoy

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Rising Sun - Lucky Gods 2

Hi all

A day earlier than usual due to some weird working hours this last few weeks... to conclude my last post here are the remaining 3 "Lucky Gods" from the Rising Sun expansion.


Daikokuten (大黒天) is also one of the Shichifukujin. He is the god of commerce and prosperity. There are other characteristics which have also been attributed to him, such as being the patron of cooks, farmers, bankers, and protector of crops. Curiously, he is also considered a demon hunter − legend says that the god Daikokuten hung a sacred talisman on the branch of a tree in his garden and, by using this as a trap, he was able to catch a demon. This god is characterized by his smile, having short legs and wearing a hat on his head. He is usually depicted with a bag full of valuable objects.[1][2] Daikokuten originated as a syncretic conflation of the Buddhist death deity Mahākāla with the Shinto deity Ōkuninushi.[3] The Japanese name Daikoku and the Hindi name Mahakala both translate to "Great Blackness". Per the Butsuzōzui compendium of 1690 (reprinted and expanded in 1796), Daikoku can also manifest as a female known as Daikokunyo (大黒女) ("She of the Great Blackness") or Daikokutennyo (大黒天女) ("She of the Great Blackness of the Heavens").[4]


Bishamonten's(毘沙門天) origins can be traced back to Hinduism, but he has been adapted by the Japanese culture. He comes from the Hindu god Kubera and is also known by the name "Vaisravana" from Hindu culture.
He is the god of fortune in war and battles, also associated with authority and dignity. He is the protector of those who follow the rules and behave appropriately. As the patron of fighters, he is represented dressed in armour and a helmet, carrying a pagoda in his left hand. He also acts as protector of holy sites and important places and holds a spear in his right hand to fight against the evil spirits. He is usually depicted in illustrations with a hoop of fire.


Considered the incarnation of the southern pole star (南極星 "nankyokusei"), Juroujin (寿老人) is the god of the elderly and longevity in Japanese Buddhist mythology. It is said that the legendary Juroujin is based on a real person who lived in ancient times. He was approximately 1.82 meters tall with a very long head. Besides his distinctive skull, he is represented with a long white beard, riding a deer and is often also accompanied by a 1500 year old crane and a tortoise, as symbols of his affinity with long lives. In addition, he is usually represented under a peach tree, as the fruit of this tree is considered, by Chinese Taoism and corroborated by scientists[citation needed], able to prolong life as it has antioxidant properties. In his hand he holds a cane and a book or a scroll. The wisdom of the world remains written in its pages. Jurojin enjoys rice and wine, and is a very cheerful figure.[1]

So that is the 7 Lucky Gods of the Rising Sun expansion "Daimyo's Invasion".  Not my favourite sculpts for the game, but still (in the main) decent enough for a board game and there are some comical bits to them.

Next up is the Monsters Expansion, adding 4 new monsters to the game...

hope you enjoy