welcomeHello! Cremare is a small tribute to Hino Rei, aka Sailor Mars, of the Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon (BSSM) Manga. This site is inspired by Amassment's "One Page|One Month" challenge so all information will be listed on a single page. Feel free to use the navigation bar above to jump to the different sections. As stated before, this is a small shrine to Hino Rei/Sailor Mars of the Manga and therefore will make no mention of the character in the many other BSSM adaptations. This website is riddled with unmarked spoliers and updates for this shrine will be few and far between.
Announcement: Cremare was chosen as Amassment's Shrine Spotlight of August 2015 Special Edition. I am very honored by this recognition! Especially after seeing the competition! Thank you very much!
paragon of japanese femininity - hino rei
Name: (Hino Rei), "Rei of Fire"
Birthday: April 17
Blood type: AB
School: T.A. Girls' Academy
Likes: Fugu (blowfish), Ancient Literature, Fortune-telling, Casablancas Lilies, the colors red and black
Dislikes: Canned asparagus, Modern Society Class, TV, Men
Special Skill: Meditation
Dream: Become Head Priestess of Hikawa Shrine
"Yamato nadeshiko" is a Japanese flora metaphor for the ideal Japanese woman. Traditionally, the ideal Japanese woman is said to have the following traits:
- devotion and subservience to her husband
- must be weak, delicate, and gentle on the outside, but tough on the inside
Elite UpbringingRei is the only daughter of an affluential politician. Her father belongs to the LDP (Liberal Democratic Party), the oldest and most prominent political party in Japan1, and is also a member of the Japanese Diet. In Japan, the political circle is mostly dominated by elite, well-educated, upperclass political families and the Hino Family most likely fits this norm. Her father has a team of assistants, his own chauffeur, and enjoys special treatment in high-class restuarants. He is also able to send her to T.A. Girls' Academy2, a prestigious private Catholic Girls' school, that provides education from preschool and all the way up to the graduate level. It is an elevator school which means, once admitted, students are guaranteed a spot in all subsequent levels of the school's system. In Japan, such schools are generally dominated by high-class, elite families. While Rei's mother belongs to the family that runs the Hikawa Shrine and such religious families enjoy a special kind of status in Japan and are well-respected.3 Her parental background and Rei's choice to follow in her maternal grandfather's footsteps further elevates her as a Japanese ideal.
[2.] Modeled after Toyoeiwa Girls' Academy located in Roppongi.
[3.] Modeled after Hikawa Shrine located in Azabu. The kanji for 'Hi' is different from the kanji used for the shrine in the manga. The original Hikawa Shrine uses the character 'Hi' meaning 'ice' while the one in the manga uses the character 'Hi' meaning 'fire.'
oracle of the gods - Miko
The Miko is a well-respected female vocation that dates as far back as the Heian period. The Miko were believed to be the oracle of the gods and therefore took on the role as fortune-tellers, soothsayers, priestesses, shamans, and dancers of Shinto rituals and ceremonies. Their status as a spiritual medium is so highly-reverved that it was common practice for noblemen and even the emperor to consult a Miko before making important decisions. During those times, only daughters of noble or royal blood were chosen for such a role and were sent to their designated shrine at around 12-13 years of age. These young girls lived and remained in the service of the shrine until their late 20's when they are forced to retire. Miko must remain chaste throughout their lives and after retirement were excepted to become buddhist nuns and live the rest of their lives either at a temple or some place out of the public eye.
The Miko's role and position in society and in their shrine have evolved and changed since then. Modern day Miko can be generally divided into two groups: part-time Miko and full-time Miko. Part-time Miko are usually high-school to university age girls hired to help out during major holidays and events. These Miko are responsible for general shrine management, upkeep, set-up, and charms sales. Full-time Miko enjoy a wider range of responsibilites as along with general shrine managment, they also participate and perform in Shinto rituals. Rei most likely belongs to the latter. After the death of her mother, Rei choose to live with her grandfather at the tender age of 5 and, as per tradition, Rei probably started helping out at the shrine as a Miko when she started Middle School. Although Rei is never seen performing in or overlooking a Shinto ceremony, she does possess skill and knowledge in mediation, fire-reading, fortune-telling, Shinto chants and prayers, and exorcism. This can been seen as proof that Rei has undergone some form of training for her occupation as a Miko. Unfortunately, the career lifespan of the modern Miko has not changed much from ancient times. Full-time Miko are forced into retirement in their mid-twenties and must trade in their red hakama and for the deep blue (or brown) hakama that signifies their retirement. They then become part of the regular female staff and are limited to clerical duties. However, there are cases where a retired Miko is kept on as shrine personnel and are then responsible for the instruction and training of new Mikos in the art of Shinto dance and rituals.4 Rei is mostly likely aware of this fact and this explains her aspiration to become Head Priestess of Hikawa Shrine (known as Kuuji in Japanese). Becoming a Kuuji would not only ensure Rei's inheritance of her grandfather's shrine, but would also guarantee her continue involvement in Shintoism as a Shinto Priestess and not as a laywoman.
way of the gods - shintoOne cannot fully understand Rei until they understand the belief she practices. Shintoism, known as Shinto in Japanese, is the indigenous spiritual belief of the Japanese poeple. Shinto is written with the characters , with (Kami) meaning "gods", "deities", "spirits," and anything that is supernatual and beyond the realm of man and (Michi) meaning a philosophical "path" or "way." The Shinto belief teaches the idea that everything has a spirit, ranging from human-like or animistic beings to the natural forces of the world such as the mountains, lighting, rivers, waves, trees, rocks, and valleys. The Shinto creation myth indicates that the land of Japan is a blessed land made by the God Izanagi and Goddess Izanami. When Izanagi stirred the sea with his spear an island was formed from the water that dripped from its edge. While living on this island, Izanami and Izanagi wished to bear offsprings. They performed a ritual each rounding a pole with the first birth being unsuccessful as Izanami greeted Izanagi first. After correcting this mistakes, the two gods were able to give birth to the 8 islands that make up the Japanese archipelago. Soon after thay gave birth to other Kami, one of them being the famed goddess of the Sun, Amaterasu. According to Shinto myth, the Japanese Imperial family are descendants of Amaterasu. However, in 1946, after Japan's defeat in World War II, the Emperor Showa made a public annoucement denouncing this idea of that his family and him were divinity in human form.
It is a bit inaccurate to call Shinto a religion as it is more of a set of traditions and practices that has fully ingrained itself in Japanese daily life. This is why the Japanese do not identify themselves as Shinto believers in surveys asking them for their religious affiliation. The Japanese are most likely to identify themselves as belonging to no particular religion. The everyday Japanese person celebrates each major milestone in life in a mix of customs from various religions. For example, the typical Japanese would celebrate a birth at a Shinto Shrine, a marriage in a Christian church, and arrange a Buddhist funeral. Therefore, it is not strange for Rei to be attending a Catholic school even though she is a Miko and living in a Shinto Shrine. (Interestingly enough, Rei's mother was buried following the Christian tradition.5) However, Rei does show more reverence and appreciation for Shinto than the average Japanese civilan. Rei takes her duties as a Miko seriously as she does study up on Shrine management and participates in Shinto retreats for training and the purification of her mind and body.
Hikawa ShrineAs mentioned in footnote 3, the Hikawa Shrine in the manga is based on an existing Hikawa Shrine in Azabu (While the Hikawa Shrine in the Anime is based on a different Hikawa Shrine located in Roppongi). The Hikawa Shrine, along with a bunch of other buildlings, is located on Sendai Hill and its entrance opens right up to the street. The Hikawa Shrine of the manga does not have the entrance of endless steps seen in the anime. It is a rather small shrine and most likely only draws visitors from its own community. The structure of Hikawa Shrine is very typical of a small Shinto Shrines. From what we can see in the manga, there is a huge stone tori (the pi looking thing) at its entrance, a stone fence circling the front of the complex, a stone monument with the name of the shrine written on it, a decorative stone lantern, the shrine that houses the spirit, a prayer box infront of the shrine, and a seperate building where they sell all their charms.6 The Hikawa Shrine most likely enshrines and worships a fire spirit as the paper screen doors that stand before the prayer box is actually the room where the sacred fire is located. Attached to the building where they sell charms are Rei and her grandfather's living quarters. Their rooms are done up in traditional Japanese fashion with paper screen doors and windows (Shoji) and tatami mat floors (Rei is the only member of the Sailor team that sleeps on a Japanese futon). It seems that Rei and her grandfather are the only ones managing and living in the Hikawa Shrine.
The financial sitaution of the Hikawa Shrine seems to be a bit precarious. Rei once mentions that she could not afford to hire help and with her Grandpa's recent illness and the bad economy, Rei is seen studying how to run the shrine more efficiently. The smallness of the Shrine and its relative obscurity explains Hikawa Shrine's money troubles and the Shrine's dependence on donations from certain members of its community for survival.
[5.] Information courtesy of Japanese Wikipedia's article on "Hino Rei.
[6.] Note: Because Rei's Hikawa Shrine is said to be modeled on the existing Hikawa Shrine in Azabu, it would be safe to assume that the structure of Rei's Hikawa Shrine would be identical to the real-life one. However, in this site, I have only covered the structures I could see from the manga pictures. For those who want a more complete look at the shrine, check out Moonkitty.net's video of his visit to Hikawa Shrine in Azabu.
beneath the surface
Rei's calm demeanor, flawless appearance, and enviable pedigree belies the angry, rebellious daugther who has been abandoned by both her parents. Her father was never home when she lived with him and he now only sees her, at most, once a year on her birthday. While her mother, who was always sad and waiting for her husband, finally succumbed to her sadness and passed away leaving Rei all alone. Although Rei directs most of her anger and bitterness towards her father, she also seems to resent her mother for being so weak as to allow her loneliness to consume her. Along with pity, there is a tinge of bitterness in the way Rei describes her mother:
Mama believed in Papa and she always looked so sad. She was so thin. Papa only ever thought of politics. So my weak Mama died alone ahead of him.7From the above quote, is is clear that Rei loved her mother, but is also determined to never become like her mother who trusted her father so inexplicably and ultimately lost out. Therefore, Rei's choice to live with her grandfather can be seen as an obvious declaration of not only her resentment towards her father, but also her intent to cut ties with him and build her life anew.
proud ice queenFrom the beginning it is very clear that Rei has no interest in the opposite sex. Rei is never moved by the gifts she recieves from her many admirers and openly tells the girls that she finds men foolish, unreliable, and easily led astray by a pretty face. Although, her perspection on men can be mostly attributed to her relationship with her father, there is a deeper, underlying reason for her men-hating stance. The real reason for her hatred of men stems from her lack of faith in love and marriage. Her parent's unhappy marriage and it being the source of her mother's pain have made Rei wary of love. To Rei, falling in love means making oneself "weak" and "vunerable" for someone that could (and should) never be relied upon. Rei is a very proud girl and having witnessed how much her mother had suffered because of love, Rei vows to never put herself in such a vunerable position where her happiness is dependent on a man or another person:
I don't have any friends. I don't even want to make any. I can't trust people. The only person I can count on is myself. I don't ever want to get married.8However, there is another reason why she vows to never fall in love. Being insecure about love and distrustful of men, Rei knows she would become an extremely possessive and controlling lover and understands that such a love would only cause both her and her partner unhappiness:
If I would ever fall in love, I'm sure I would want all of that person to belong to me. I'd make them all mine, but I might ruin them in the process. So I'm never going to fall in love.9
lone blackbirdBefore becoming Sailor Mars and meeting the rest of the Sailor team, Rei was a loner and had no interest in friendship. Although Rei is greatly admired among her classmates, they have also said that she is rather aloof and hard to approach or talk to. In fact, the first birthday gift Rei ever recieves from a friend was a music box from Usagi and Ami and even they have said that Rei was very reserved in the beginning. As mentioned before, Rei doesn't believe in depending on or trusting anyone other than herself and this can explain her somewhat distant and cold attitude. However, she soon bonds with the team and realizes that they are her kindred spirits and sisters she could trust and rely on:
I don't need love right now. I have friends with the same purpose as me. I have all of you.10After becoming part of the Sailor team, Rei's attitude has clearly softened. Rei smiles more, jokes around more, and her classmates all find her easier to talk to. Rei later makes friends with some of her classmates and even with people outside the Sailor team.
melt my heart - Mr. KaidoHowever, there was one man that was able to break down the walls Rei built around her heart and his name is Mr. Kaido, her father's number 1 aide and right-hand man. She grew up with him and he often visited her and cared for her like a big brother. In fact, he was the one who introduced her to Casablancas, her favorite flower, when she was in the sixth grade. From this conversation about Casablancas, Rei soon realized that the one who have been selecting her birthday gifts each year have always been Mr. Kaido and not her father. As every year after she would recieve a bonquet of Casablanca Lilies and a white dress because he had commented that Rei, surrounded by big white Casablancas, really suited the color. After a heart-to-heart conversation about their ideas of marriage and the future, Rei believed the two of them were the same and kindred spirits. However, their relationship was doomed to end even before it could blossom and Mr. Kaido, being much older than Rei, seemed to realize this. Mr. Kaido once confesses to Rei about his apprehension of the future and of politics and how much he wished things would remain the same. Mr. Kaido probably realized that if he were to pursue a relationship with Rei he would have to quit his career in politics. Rei's clear dislike of politicians and the sadness that such a career has caused her family would make it difficult for Mr. Kaido to pursue his career without guilt. In the end, he could not give up on his ambition of becoming a successful politician and gets engaged to the daughter of the party leader. Rei was naturally heartbroken and when he came to visit her, she confronted him about it:
Kaido: I brought this from your father. He said he found a wonderful book for you.They shared a kiss in the rain and then part ways as the two mutually understood that they could never be happy together as a couple: Rei would be unhappy married to a man who would become just like her father and Mr. Kaido would not be able to freely pursue his career with a wife who clearly disapproved of it.
Rei: Why do you always bring out Papa's name. Because I'm still a child? You're going to get married?
Kaido: I can't refuse an offer from your father.
Rei: You're going to be a policitian just like Papa. You'll make your children sad.
Kaidou: I won't have children.
Rei: Liar. If you were going to be a politican, if you were going to be Papa's successor, you could have married me. 11
Soldier of War
warrior in blood red stilettos
Title: Sailor Mars, Soldier of War
Position: Secondary leader of the Guardian Court
Guardian Planet: Mars
Battle type: Offensive
Weapons: Ofuda (Paper Charms), Mars Arrow
Image Color: Red
Image Stone: Ruby
Attacks: Aku Ryo Tai San (Evil Spirits Be Gone!), Burning Mandala, Mars Snake Fire, Mars Flame Sniper
Other Skills: Clairvoyant
Hino Rei is Sailor Mars, the soldier protected by the planet Mars. Although, she is blessed with the protection of the Roman God of War, Mars, her element is based on the Japanese name for the planet (Kasei) with Ka meaning "Fire" and Sei meaning "star" or "planet." Mars's attacks are purely offensive and this could be attributed to her title as the Soldier of War. Besides her ability to manipulate fire, Sailor Mars is also a born clairvoyant and sometimes employs her Shinto training in her attacks to expell and subdue evil spirits (Aku Ryo Tai San and Burning Mandala). Although, Mars's role in the team is never explicitly stated during the manga series, in Takeuchi Naoko's notes, she names Sailor Mars/Rei as the "sub-leader" of the Guardian Court.12 Besides the paper charms (fuda) she uses in her Aku Ryo Tai San attack, Mars also possesses another weapon known as the Mars Arrow which she uses in her Mars Flame Sniper attack. Rei recieves this weapon from her twin female guardians, Phobos and Deimos13, who normally take the form of the two crows she keeps at the Hikawa Shrine. The Mars Arrow is most likely inspired from the symbol for the planet, Mars ♂. The symbol actually represents the spear and shield that the God of War always carried with him, but Takeuchi most likely re-intreperted the symbol as an arrow in order to traditionalize and "japanify" the weapon to fit Rei's image.14 Even the design of the Mars Arrow resembles the arrows used in Kyudo, the traditional Japanese art of archery, which Rei is a pratitioner of.
[13.] Note: Phobos and Deimos were most likely named after the two moons of Mars. Also in Greek Mythology, Ares, the Greek counterpart of the Roman god Mars, is always accompanied by his twin sons, Phobos (Fear) and Deimos (Terror), into battle.
[14.] Note: Mars is the only Sailor Soldier in the Guardian Team whose new weapon is not an item traditionally associated with her Guardian Deity. Venus recieves an upgraded Chain belt = Aphrodite's magical gridle, Jupiter recieves a Laurel wreath = Zeus, king of the Gods, is often depicted with the Laurel-wreath on his crown , and Mercury recieves a lyre = Hermes's Lyre.
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