Some of the most beautiful art I have ever seen in a game is in Okami, or more specifically its HD remake. It’s an old game that I never got around to playing, even though I heard good things about it, and was blown away by its colors when it came out. Never had a game been released before it that used watercolors the way it did, and being taken into the ancient world of Nippon (Japan) made you feel like you were in the Land of the Rising Sun. It’s a game that puts you in the paws (not shoes) of Amaterasu, the sun goddess, who is called upon to rid the nation of an evil spirit named Orochi who has been reawakened. Using your Celestial Brush, you can recreate, destroy or design objects in each area to progress through the game. For example, if you need a bridge, you draw one, or if you need to smack an enemy before he defeats you, that can be done as well. You are the creator, and the game regards you as such.
Aside from the obvious point that you’re playing as a goddess that made me want to write an article on this game, there’s also the fact that many NPCs (non-playable characters) do not know who you are. They either see you as a dog, or just someone who is just like them. Sometimes it’s weird because you’re literally a dog walking around a village, yet the people talk to you like a regular person would. I mean, it’s a dog, what makes you think that it’s a person? I have to forget my logic and remind myself it’s just a game, but it’s funny how most of the time they don’t know they are talking to a goddess! Someone who has the power to shape the literal world they live in is standing in front of them. Some folks do recognize who you are, but not often, nor do they know the role you are playing in saving them. This reminded me of Jesus Christ, who walked upon the Earth yet so many knew not who He was (nor still is).
Amaterasu has the same issue many times, where his little pal who tags along named Issun tries to brag on who he is to people, but the goddess remains quiet and humble instead. This showed another characteristic of Jesus Christ, our Savior, the Son of God Almighty, who became a man and willingly submitted Himself many times even though He didn’t have to. There was a time when He stood before Pontius Pilate, who asked if He was a king. He could have told off Pontius and explained who He was, the Creator of the universe itself and how he should instead be bowing to Him, but instead He replied:
36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”
37 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate.
Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”
Personally, I have been in a place in my life where I feel I am able to relate wisdom that I have learned to others. Whether it’s friends, family, members of my church or even someone online, I am able to impart what I know regarding certain areas in life (marriage, health, college, the bible, having a relationship with God) with confidence. I write that because there are moments in life where I can share something, but it could sound like I am trying to show off instead of being quiet and listening to others. There are even times where people give me advice on something that I have already accomplished (say, college as I have my Bachelor’s Degree already for years) and they talk to me as if I’m unfamiliar with the educational system, or having a stable relationship with God or my wife, etc. I have to ask God to humble me because the first thing that comes to my mind is “I have so much experience in that area, this person has no idea who they are talking to. I’ve already been there and done that years ago!”
Okami reminded me to humble myself, even if we are the ones that are right and the other person is wrong. Even if we have the right answer, sometimes the best thing to do is be silent or just nod and smile and keep going. Jesus Christ has helped me to die to myself in more ways than one, even when I don’t want to. Okami is all about recreating ugly things into something beautiful, just as God does with our own souls when we give them to Him.
He is the potter, we are the clay, and His plans for us are greater than we can ever imagine. His celestial brush paints a new picture every day for our lives, so long as we trust in Him, He will guide us through it all.
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7 thoughts on “Gaming With God: Okami and the Hidden God”
Samuru1, I absolutely loved your interesting perspective on Okami! I have heard amazing things on the gameplay and the unique watercolor art style, but have been to busy to give it a try on my PS2. Jesus really does resemble Amaterasu perfectly in every way, and it is a great reminder for me to humble myself before others, personally in the realm of self-righteousness. After I got saved from sexual addictions with pornography, my ego and pride spiked, tricking me to believe that my sudden life changes for the better were of my own doing, and not from God. I began to look at my lost friends with disgust and my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ by comparison, seeing where I stacked against him. I have healed from those sins as of recent by GRACE ALONE, and your article really solidified what I’ve been learning!
Wow that’s amazing to hear! Thanks so much for sharing that testimony and how God has helped you through that. He’s got me through pornography as well, and I’m not ashamed to say it. It’s not easy being a male in such a hyper sexual society, and where sin is so….easy to access.
Yeah, comparing yourself to other Christians happens, and I’ve done that myself. Sometimes I’ve thought to myself how so much more “spiritual” I am over others. Whether it’s because…for example. I can speak in tongues and they don’t, or I pray longer, or I worship more, or this and that or whatever. Being a Christian in pentecostal/charismatic type churches since I was a Christian at 17 (that’s when I gave my life to Christ) I wasn’t used to that, and had to grow out of that because it’s not healthy at all. We are all one body, regardless of denomination, spiritual gifts, etc. etc.
God bless, and hope you keep coming back to Beneath The Tangles for more!
I was reading about kami online. Do you think Jesus Christ would be one of the hitirokami? Anyway this is a pretty cool post, good work for keeping Jesus in the emerging anime world.
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Hey there rpghero, love your name as I am a pretty big rpg hero myself 🙂 And I saw one of your Let’s Plays just now on BoF 2! Great game, so glad to still seeing people experiencing it. The dungeon music can be so annoying though, no?
Honestly, I googled hitirokami and not sure what those are. The little I know of Japanese, Kami=God, and Jesus Christ is God Himself, and also the Son of God. God is three, Son, Father and Holy Spirit. Our Heavenly Father, God, who sits on His throne in Heaven alongside His Son who came to Earth, and died and rose again for all of humanity’s sins is Jesus Christ. Holy Spirit is the spirit of God, whom also is God because He is God’s literal spirit. So that’s the trinity in a nut shell.
Not sure if that answers your question, but if it doesn’t, please leave more clarity and I will do my best to answer it. God bless ya, and keep on gaming!
[…] those titles. Yet, at the same time, games that delve into spirituality don’t disquiet me (Okami). As believers in Christ, we should listen to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, while not be afraid […]
Nice article you’ve written! I played this game long before I became a Christian and never noticed the similarities until I read your article. After reading though, there’s something I wanted to get your opinion on.
You play as a wolf incarnation of the Shinto sun goddess Amaterasu, right? According to the game’s developers, the character you play as is supposed to be genderless, yet my fans (including myself) and some of the characters refer to Amaterasu as a “she.” Yet Amaterasu’s past self, Shiranui, is referred to as a “he.” This is even confirmed by Isshaku in the sequel, Okamiden. (Side note: if you haven’t played Okamiden, I definitely recommend it. It’s so cute!)
Here’s what’s really confusing to me: is the Amaterasu we play as male or female? I read on a reddit form regarding to the topic and some fans think the Amaterasu we play as might be a female spirit in a male form. Also, regarding Amaterasu’s perceived attractions to certain people is also taken into consideration regarding the gender debate. Amaterasu appears to be attracted to female characters like Sakuya, Rao and Kaguya, yet when Ammy and Issun meet Queen Himiko and Princess Fuse, Amaterasu doesn’t react. Ammy also shows slight interest in male characters as well, such as mesmerization with Waka and happily wagging the tail at Susano. Some fans see a heterosexual male character where as others see a same-sex attracted female character. This whole thing regarding the character’s gender and orientation has only been made known to me recently, as I never noticed it several years ago.
I hope I haven’t disrupted any fond memories you have of Okami, but I just wanted to get your opinion on these issues. I personally see Amaterasu as female (only because the character is based on the Shinto Sun Goddess and that’s the only logic I follow) and I pair her with Waka (again, if her true form is humanoid, then maybe it’s not immoral?)
It’s just, I know what the Bible says about same-sex attractions and I feel like what I’ve found in the fandom has altered my love for Waka and Amaterasu and my fondness for the game itself. I know that the characters and storylines are only loosely based on actual Japanese legends, but the conflicting information in both games and the whole thing regarding reincarnation, gender-changing, attractions (not to mention the implications of bestiality) is enough to make my head spin.
What do you think? Here’s a link to the article I found through the Wayback Machine regarding the gender identification: https://web.archive.org/web/20110605001725/http://www.1up.com/features/wolf-talk
Also, is Amaterasu just an anthropomorphic wolf (as Ammy demonstrates many dog-like behaviors) or is the character just a humanoid god in a wolf’s body? If so, is the body male or female?
Would really like to get your opinion on this! Thank you!
Hi there Yuki, thanks for the comment! Honestly, I didn’t look anything into the gender in Okami or Amaterasu. I think it would be female…but who knows 🙂 I have never heard of a sequel, going to google that!
My opinion, not based on any research at all, is that it’s a humanoid god in a wolf’s body. It’s supposed to be like a reincarnation of that goddess? Like I said, I haven’t done any research and you sound like you have a better grasp on that issue than I do!
Thank you for reading the article, I appreciate it 🙂 God bless ya, stay safe, and keep on gaming and visiting Beneath The Tangles.