List of terms in The Twelve Kingdoms

List of terms in The Twelve Kingdoms

The following are a list of the terms used in the anime "The Twelve Kingdoms". There are many terms that are unique to this series.


* Agan: A port town in Kou where ships depart for En. It faces the Blue Sea.
* Chizu Palace: A palace within the Yellow Sea. It holds a map of the Twelve Kingdoms. It indicates the standings of the Kingdoms, with darker areas indicating misfortune. Nyosen are only allowed to enter when in the presence of a kirin. It is off-limits to the public.
* Daigaku (大学): A national university, offering the highest level of schooling in the Twelve Kingdoms.
* Goryou: A town in Kou. It is northwest of Rakushun's home in Kahoku.
* Gyouten (堯天): Capital of Kei Kingdom.
* Hairou: The town located east of Kasai in the kingdom of Kou.
* Hakkei Palace: The Royal Palace of the Kingdom of Tai. It is located in the capital of Tai, Kouki.
* Hokuryou: A village where the Shusei troupe and Yoko stop on the way to Agan.
* Hoto Palace (甫渡宮): A place where kirin meet those coming to seek the throne. (shouzan)
* Hourai (蓬莱): The name for Japan in the Twelve Kingdoms. It is also referred to as Wa. Hourai can be accessed by passing through a shoku. (See also Mount Penglai.)
* Hourou Palace: The place where the Shashinboku is kept.
* Jyogaku: A village school.
* Joushou (上庠): A city academy.
* Kankyuu (関弓): Capital of En Kingdom.
* Kasai: The town located west of Hairou in the kingdom of Kou.
* Kouki (鴻基): Capital of Tai Kingdom
* Kyokai (虚海 Void Sea): The Sea of Emptiness, a large sea that separates Hourai from the Twelve Kingdoms. It is impossible to sail across it.
* Mount Hou (蓬山): A holy land where the kirin are hatched and cared for, and where the new ruler of a Kingdom is crowned.
* Reikon Gate (令坤門): Southwest gate of the Yellow Sea, opened on summer solstice.
* Rike: Rike are present in every village and are made up of four buildings. These buildings are used as a residence for orphans and the elderly, as a public hall, a guest house for travelers, and a residence for the caretaker.
* Seikai: The Blue Sea.
* Shougaku Preliminary: A hamlet school.
* Shougaku University: Municipal school for qualified ones graduates of Shoujyo.
* Shoujyo: A town school in the kingdom of En where Heki-Rakujin teaches. It is also known as Shougaku Academy in the other kingdoms.
* Untei Gate: The palace that serves as the location for the coronation of new rulers. The ruler receives the Tenchoku here.

Titles and other names

* Chousai: Serves under a ruler and watches over the six administrations of the court.
* Daishiba: One of the six administrations in the court which serves directly under the ruler. This is the Administration of Military Affairs which handles the Royal army.
* Daishiguu: One of the six administrations in the court which serves directly under the ruler. This is the Administration of Economic Development.
* Daishikou: One of the six administrations in the court which serves directly under the ruler. This is the Administration of Law.
* Daishito: One of the six administrations in the court which serves directly under the ruler. This is the Administration of Interior.
* Daisouhaku: One of the six administrations in the court which serves directly under the ruler. This is the Administrator of Ceremonies.
* Fuukan: Shouryuu's pseudonym, which he uses when he goes to public places. 'Fuu' means wind and 'Kan' means man.
* Fumin: Expatriates who abandon their home countries. They are not given land or residency anywhere and are not allowed to attend school, marry, or have children.
* Hekika Genjun - Gyokuyou (voiced by Wendee Lee): The head of the Nyosen at Mt. Hou. She serves as the middleman between the world of the twelve kingdoms and the Heavens.
* Hisen: A kind of Sen-nin which does not serve a ruler. Lady Suibikun of Mt. Ha is an example of a Hisen.
* Kaikyaku (海客): People from the sea. They are people who have been caught in a shoku from Japan and blown to the world of the Twelve Kingdoms. Rakushun claims that sankyaku and kaikyaku bring rare things to the world of the Twelve Kingdoms, including: paper, ceramics, print technology, medicine, and Buddhism.
* Kaitatsu: The term means "to miss the Tatsu-Ou." The kingdom of Kei was at peace during the reign of a male ruler, Tatsu-ou, but Kei hasn't been blessed with a good king since him. So the people use this term to express how they miss a male ruler.
* Nyosen (女仙) (voiced by Therese Nguyen): Sennin that serve the kirin on Mt. Hou.
* Roushi: It means Great Master.
* Sankyaku (山客): People from the mountains. They are people who are swept away from China and end up at the foot of the Kongou Mountains. Rakushun claims that sankyaku and kaikyaku bring rare things to the world of the Twelve Kingdoms, including: paper, ceramics, print technology, medicine, and Buddhism.
* Saiho (宰輔): The official rank of a kirin, that of second-in-command next to the king. See also 'Taiho.'
* Saku-Ou King Kou's posthumous name.
* Sankou: Consists of the Taishi, Taifuku, and Tyho. These three people serve and assist the Taiho and educate the ruler and holds no political power in the court.
* Shusei: Shusei are people who do not belong to any particular country and travel around the world. They are usually entertainers.
* Shuukou (州候): The ruler of a province.
* Taiho (台輔): The formal title of a kirin (note: Actually, their title is 'Saiho', but the people are reverent of them and so use the word 'taiho').
* Taika (胎果): A person who is blown by a shoku into Hourai when he or she is still inside a ranka. A taika is born to human parents. If a taika returns to the Twelve Kingdoms, he or she will change to the "natural" state that he or she would have hatched as.
* Taisai: One of the six administrations in the court which serves directly under the ruler. This is the Administration of Court.
* Tatsu-Ou: The great King who once governed the kingdom of Kei.
* Yo-Ou:The posthumous name of the previous ruler of Kei.


* Gyoutei: The god of the harvest.
* Kenrou Shinkun - Kouya (voiced by Scott Page-Pagter): The god of the Koukai. He protects the Koukai with his Tenken, Rokuta. Throughout the anime, he is known as 'Kouya' in his younger years, and 'Kenrou Shinkun' in the later years after the last arc. This character seems to only exist within one of the books despite his multiple appearances in the anime.
* Koutei: The god who protects people from Youma.
* Seioubo (西王母): The goddess who lives in the Gozan. Also possibly called the Dowager of the West in the book series. (See also Queen Mother of the West).
* Sennin (仙人): An immortal. When a person becomes a sennin, he or she will not age and will not die from old age or disease. However, if the person loses the sennin status, he or she will age normally. Rulers become sennin when they ascend the throne, and most make their advisors sennin as well. A normal person can become a sennin by petitioning the king or queen of a county or by fasting and praying to Seioubo. Some sages seem to achieve immortality on their own. A sennin is also granted the power to understand languages, which only seems relevant when dealing with immigrants from Japan and China, animals, or people with impaired speech, as there's no evidence the Kingdoms have more than one language. The only ways for a sennin to die without losing his or her status is to be killed by Touki weapons, attack by youma, to be cut in half, or to be beheaded.
* Shinsen (神仙): The collective noun for gods and sennin.
* Tentei (天帝): The creator god of the Twelve Kingdoms. People also pray to Tentei when they want a ranka. It is said that Tentei selects the next ruler of each country through the kirin. In the book series Tentei is often referred to as the Emperor of the Heavens.


* Genbu (玄武): A holy creature, that resembles a turtle and is as big as a small island. It carries a new ruler from Mt. Hou to the kingdom and leaves a trail of clouds called a zuiun. Genbu also resembles the Chinese God from the legend of the Four Gods and carries the name of the serpent-tortise god.
* Hakuchi (白雉): A bird that is kept in each kingdom's palace. It cries twice in its lifetime: once when the ruler is crowned, and once when the ruler dies. Its leg is used as the official seal when the kingdom has no ruler. A hakuchi is also called a nisei ("two cries").
* Hanjyuu (半獣): A half-beast that has both a human and an animal form. Hanjyuu are considered less than human in some kingdoms.
* Hou-Ou (鳳凰): A pair of birds in each kingdom. The hou is male and the ou is female. The ou of one country can communicate with the ou of another. The hou cries when the ou receives important news.
* Kirin (麒麟): The holy creature that is bound to and chooses the ruler of each kingdom. It resembles a white horned deer; black kirin are extremely rare and called Kokki. Kokki are born only once every couple hundreds of years. A kirin also possesses a human form. Kirin abhor the scent of blood, and killing a person near a kirin will greatly weaken it. A kirin will use shirei, creatures they make a pact with that will fight for them. Kirin have the power to create Shoku, great storms in which kaikyaku are transported to the twelve kingdoms by, and mieshoku, small shoku a kirin can create, in some cases, to transport hims or herself between Over here and Over there the A kirin will only bow before his or her ruler. Kirin are named after the kingdom that they are bound to, with "ki" and "rin" used for male and female kirin, respectively. (The male kirin of Tai is named Taiki and the female kirin of Hou is named Hourin.) Before Kirin are born, when in their ranka, they are called 'Ka's. (See also Qilin.)
* Seicho: A type of bird which is used to deliver a letter between the officials in court and to other kingdoms. Seicho literally means "blue bird" in Chinese. Not a Youma.
* Shingyo: A type of fish that lives in Kyokai, and is a very rare breed. Not a Youma.
* Suugu - Tora & Tama: Shouryuu's Youjyuu/Youma creature. It resembles a tiger. Tora and Tama are very common names for cats in Japan. Another Suugu seen is Keito who belongs to the King of Tai, Gyousou.

Youjyuu (妖獸)

Another type of creature with supernatural powers. It does not submit to Kirin in the same way Youma do, and cannot be bound into Shirei like Youma, but can be trained by mortals. Kijyuu (騎獣) are Youjyuu that has been trained to carry people. Kijyuu are capable of flight. Only one Youjyuu is named in anime series:
* Kitsuryou: A kijyuu that resembles a horse. It has a red mane and golden eyes. Shouryuu has one.

Youma (妖魔)

Creatures with supernatural powers, generally evil unless in the service of a kirin. A term generally used for "monsters." A common category of Youma is the Shirei (使令). Shirei are bound into service by a kirin. In return for their life-long service, the shirei are given permission to eat the kirin after his or her death. Types of Youma include:

* Bafuku: A Youma that has the body of a tiger and the face of a human.
* Chouyuu: A Youma that resembles a monkey. It has long arms and four ears.
* Gouyu: A Youma that resembles a boar.
* Hinman: A water-spirit Youma that can possess a human. They possess great fighting skills. Both Keiki and Kourin possessed hinman.
* Isoku: A Youma that resembles a dog. Hankyo is one of Keiki's shirei.
* Kiki: A Youma that resembles a black wild dog. Kyokai is one of Kourin's shirei.
* Kingen: A Youma that resembles a chicken. Its tail is shaped like a knife and is poisonous.
* Jyouyou: A Youma that resembles a serpent. It lives in the sea and eats other Youma.
* Kochou: A Youma that resembles a crow.
* Kogou: A Youma that resembles a leopard. Hyouki is Keiki's shirei appears as a Kogou in the book series but a wolf in the anime.
* Oumu: A Youma that is parrot-like. King Kou uses it to communicate with others.
* Nyokai (女怪): A Youma that is hatched prior to the hatching of a kirin and destined to guard the kirin's ranka and protect the kirin itself when it is young. Nyokai are chimeras and each has a different form. They are also called Lamia in the book series. Nyokai play the role of the mothers of the kirin, nursing and caring for the fledgling kirin when they are young. Nyokai supposedly die when the kirin die and have the mission of serving the kirin all their life.
* Rikaku: A Youma that resembles a wolf. Its tail is split in three. It is the name for one of Enki's shirei.
* Saikyo: A Youma that resembles a bull.
* Sanki: A Youma that can change size, by growing longer and/or bigger. Kibou is one of Enki's shirei.
* Tenba: A Youma that resembles a dog with wings. Lady Risai of Tai has one called Hien.
* Tenken: A Youma. It has a red body, blue wings, a yellow tail and a black beak. Kouya's "parent" is a tenken named Rokuta.
* Toutetsu (饕餮): A shapeshifting Youma. Only one toutetsu has ever been bound to a kirin, Taiki. This toutetsu is named "Gohran". Thought to be the strongest of all Youma, it can change its shape to what ever it desires. Responding to Taiki's wishes, his shirei initially appears as a shiba inu. More frequently, it takes on the form of a large wolf. (See also Taotie.)
* Youwa: A Youma that resembles a baboon. Jyuusaku is Keiki's shirei.

Other terms

* Daikyuu: The full formal dress of a ruler. This black dress and black crown is worn for formal ceremonies such as coronations.
* Goyoukanda: The imperial treasure of Ren. It can bridge the world of the Twelve Kingdoms and Wa.
* Gyokkou: A kind of Gyoku which has the power to sooth muscles.
* Gyoku: Gems that have special powers.
* Hekisojou: The crystal attached to the sword Suiguu. It has the power to heal wounds and ease hunger.
* Hoh: A common, kimono-like garment worn by both men and women in the Twelve Kingdoms.
* Kankin: A very rare herb which only grow on the cliffs of Mt. Ha.
* Kokki (黒麒): A black kirin, thought to bring good fortune to its kingdom.
* Ouki: The aura which surrounds a ruler. Although it is not visible, a Kirin is able to sense this aura from a ruler. Keiki and Enki explain that it is mostly like a feeling- giddyness, awe, adoration. Taiki, by accident, interprets his feeling of awe from the new Tai ruler as fear. In Enki's case it was a feeling of dislike and adoration at the same time, seeing as he didn't want a king.
* Ranka (卵果): The enchanted fruit that all life is hatched from. Ranka grow on trees called ribokus and yabokus.
* Rin Byou Tou Sha Kai Jin Retsu Zen Gyou: It is a modified version of the spell known as Kuji-Hou, which is constructed by nine Chinese characters, "Rin Byou Tou Sha Kai Jin Retsu Zai Zen", meaning "a strong warrior fights, everyone surrenders before him." It is commonly used to ward off evil spirits. This spell is used by Taiki to bind his first shirei (Gouran) to him, and sometimes by other kirin in the binding of shirei in the book series. A kirin must say this spell, starting and ending with his arm doing a horizontal line:
"By the will of the heavens and the laws of nature, I bid thee obey my soveriegn command. By the power of the ying and yang I command thee to submit to me!"
The kirin and the youma he is trying to capture must stare at each other, as staring at each other will show their strength of will. They must try and break the will of the other; if the kirin is winning the battle of wills, he or she must raise one hand to the heavens and the name of the youma will appear in their head. The kirin will name the youma, and the youma will obey the kirin until the pact is broken
* Riboku (里木): Trees bearing the ranka of humans and hanjyuu.
* Shitsudou (失道): A sickness, which the Kirin suffers when a ruler of a kingdom loses his or her reason and fails to govern properly. It is almost incurable (because when a ruler loses his/her sense, it is most unlikely that he/she will reform) and if the Kirin dies, the ruler will be dethroned and eventually die. No ruler lives past a year after their Kirin dies. For example, King Kou only lives two months after Kourin died. Keiki was cured only when the previous Lady-King Kei killed herself to save him by giving up the throne and dying by the will of heaven. The only other known cases where Shitsudou was not completed with the kirin's death is the rebellion of Hou in which both Kirin and King were beheaded; and the occurrence in Sai, where the king abdicated his throne and killed himself after realizing his kirin's condition.
* Shoku (蝕): A magical storm that connects the Twelve Kingdoms to the real world. Kirin and rulers are capable of summoning shoku to cross between the worlds, though the consequence of bringing rulers across the Void Sea from Twelve Kingdoms tends to result in more severe damage than if the inverse occurred. Additionally, kirin are capable of invoking smaller shoku known as "meishoku" under extreme stress or danger.
* Shashinboku (捨身木): A tree in the Yellow Sea that bear the kirin ranka.
* Shouzan (昇山): The pilgrimage to Mt Hou to be selected by a kirin to become the new ruler of a kingdom.
* Suiguutou: (Water-demon-sword) The sword of the kingdom of Kei; sword and scabbard were created by a previous great ruler of Kei. (The anime credits this to the sage Enho.) Only the ruler of Kei may wield it. The sword was forged from a water youma and can easily kill youma and sennin, or break metal chains, and also gives visions of past and future, and the far-away. The scabbard was forged from a long-tailed monkey youma. Sword and scabbard sealed each other, so that the scabbard controlled the sword's visions and prevented people from drawing the sword, while the sword prevented the monkey from getting loose. Yoko loses the scabbard, and thus gets taunted by both visions and the monkey, until she kills the monkey and picks up the dead scabbard.
* Yaboku (野木): Trees bearing the ranka of plants and animals, including youma.
* Touki: Magical weapons, able to slay youma and sennin and thought the only weapons capable of killing those in heaven.
* Uunkyou: Fortified carriages bound together for use in battle.
* Yousou: A very rare herb that grows in remote areas.

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