Christianity in Suikoden???

Hypothesis for, and analyses of, the various locations and backstory of the Suikoden world.
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Sasarai10
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Christianity in Suikoden???

Postby Sasarai10 » Fri Jun 06, 2014 7:14 am

In Suikoden I noticed several tombstones in various locations (Rikon,Warrior's Vllage,etc) having a Cross on them. Wasn't Cross supposed to be a Christian symbol?

It seems out-of-sync with Suikoden world :roll:

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wataru14
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Re: Christianity in Suikoden???

Postby wataru14 » Fri Jun 06, 2014 8:10 am

I've seen crosses in a lot of Japanese works (anime and such). I don't think they mean it to be inherently Christian, just a general religious/spiritual symbol. Otherwise we only see one church (in Tinto in S2) and one chapel (the Zexen Guild Hall in S3) in the whole series, and they both clearly have female idols. Zexen mentions their goddess, Sadie (who has the worst name for a goddess ever, BTW), and there are some references in S4 to a "Sea God," but no Christianity. That kind of thing seems like it would be tied to Earth, and not whatever planet in the Suikoverse the games are set on.

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bluemask
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Re: Christianity in Suikoden???

Postby bluemask » Fri Jun 06, 2014 8:39 am

Isn't the top floor in Neclord's Castle in S1, a chapel as well?

I don't think Japanese people fully understand what the cross symbolizes in the past. I believe they think it's iconic and a symbol of some religious sort, but they don't realize the real meaning behind it. They even celebrate Christmas but they're not christians...

Kinda off topic. I played a game before which uses christianity though, was slightly altered for the English version because it doesn't work with the plot (La Pucelle Tactics). Oh and the big boobed protagonist in that game, the half-dressed nun... wut.

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sticky-runes
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Re: Christianity in Suikoden???

Postby sticky-runes » Fri Jun 06, 2014 8:52 am

They do say "God" a lot of times throughout the first game. And they probably just made the gravestones into crosses to make them easily recognizable as gravestones, I doubt they put an awful lot of thought into the religious aspect.

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Raww Le Klueze
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Re: Christianity in Suikoden???

Postby Raww Le Klueze » Fri Jun 06, 2014 9:12 am

bluemask wrote:I don't think Japanese people fully understand what the cross symbolizes in the past. I believe they think it's iconic and a symbol of some religious sort, but they don't realize the real meaning behind it.

Seems it's you who doesn't fully understand what the cross symbolizes. The cross as a religious symbol has been used far longer than Christian mythology has been around, for the first 200 years Christianity didn't even use the cross as a symbol but used a staurogram. Crosses of various forms were used by the ancient Egyptians, Babylonians and Aryans.

Christians simply usurped the symbol as they did with much of their religion in order to facilitate easier conversion of people they conquered.
Doctorum Non Urina Singulus.

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bluemask
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Re: Christianity in Suikoden???

Postby bluemask » Fri Jun 06, 2014 9:20 am

Raww Le Klueze wrote:
bluemask wrote:I don't think Japanese people fully understand what the cross symbolizes in the past. I believe they think it's iconic and a symbol of some religious sort, but they don't realize the real meaning behind it.

Seems it's you who doesn't fully understand what the cross symbolizes. The cross as a religious symbol has been used far longer than Christian mythology has been around, for the first 200 years Christianity didn't even use the cross as a symbol but used a staurogram. Crosses of various forms were used by the ancient Egyptians, Babylonians and Aryans.

Christians simply usurped the symbol as they did with much of their religion in order to facilitate easier conversion of people they conquered.

Alright, I'm sorry for spreading false information. I'll stop claiming things without a source now. Guess I only know a fraction of the meaning of the cross based on what you said. Thanks for correcting. :oops:

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BrucePrintscreen
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Re: Christianity in Suikoden???

Postby BrucePrintscreen » Fri Jun 06, 2014 10:30 am

I once read that crosses were used as tombstones very early on in the history of humanity as a scarecrow (there was even clothes on it but they would decay much faster than the cross itself) necessary to lure crows away from scavenging a freshly buried corpse. But it may just be bullshit, I don't know.

It is true indeed that crosses as a christian symbol are relatively recent. The fish symbol and the XP thingy are much older. What we know today as christianity is pretty much "European paganism 2.0 upgraded with a patch from the middle east". It's pretty well-known today that the date of christmas is a pagan holiday, but pretty much every saint is just a former dryad or nymph converted into a biblical figure.

It seems to have taken form under the reign of Charlemagne, around 800AD, because he used the power of the church as an instrument to harmonise his Empire, and replaced idols with crucifixes while maintaining local rites. This is why xmas is not celebrated the same way everywhere as well.

That's a fascinating topic, but anytime we discuss it we are only one post away from derailing into a religious argument so let's all chill out, we're still talking about a small detail in the graphic design of a 20 years old japanese videogame here!

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sticky-runes
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Re: Christianity in Suikoden???

Postby sticky-runes » Fri Jun 06, 2014 11:04 am

BrucePrintscreen wrote:
It is true indeed that crosses as a christian symbol are relatively recent. The fish symbol and the XP thingy are much older. What we know today as christianity is pretty much "European paganism 2.0 upgraded with a patch from the middle east". It's pretty well-known today that the date of christmas is a pagan holiday, but pretty much every saint is just a former dryad or nymph converted into a biblical figure.


The XP symbol was later updated to Vista in 2006 AD.

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Re: Christianity in Suikoden???

Postby Wolkendrache » Sun Jun 08, 2014 5:57 am

Sasarai10 wrote:In Suikoden I noticed several tombstones in various locations (Rikon,Warrior's Vllage,etc) having a Cross on them. Wasn't Cross supposed to be a Christian symbol?

It seems out-of-sync with Suikoden world :roll:

Most Suikoden characters, concepts etc. are based on mythology/history from many different countries and many different times of the real world. So it's hard to tell what is "out-of-sync". Me, I don't like Cowboys in Suikoden 3, so it is out-of-sync to "my" Suikoden world, but as a matter of fact, it's part of the Suikoden world.
Look at the Neclord story: cross, garlic and wooden stake are basically replaced by Sierra, Kahn and Viktor (Night Rune). But still Neclord plays an instrument and the respective style of music that is played in Christian churches.
As for graves: I don't know what that stone behind Genkaku's house is, a gravestone or a remembrance stone. I think many east asian societies would never have the deceased buried in their garden, and not even within a village (like in Rikon), graveyards are miles away outside of town. Thus, I guess Rikon seems to be Christian-style, even without crosses.
If a cross is out-of sync, then many names are as well, "Chris" (meaning "follower of Christ") being the most obvious one.

There are some similar discussions here:
viewtopic.php?f=21&t=1584
viewtopic.php?f=36&t=13754
"Within the four seas, all men are brothers" Shuihu Zhuan


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