Dragonfly Castle

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蜻蛉 (かげろう) () (しろ)
Dragonfly Castle
ka̠ɡe̞ɾo̞ː no̞ ɕiɾo̞
Crest of Dragonflies.png
The castle's official crest, the Crest of Dragonflies
Other Names Castle of Dragonflies
Location Somewhere in the Sanctuary
Ruler Taira no Chouki (formally Tsurubami Senri)

The Dragonfly Castle (蜻蛉乃城, Kagerō-no-Shiro) is a magical structure that appears in the Haze route of Brilliant Pagoda or Haze Castle. It reappeared in Mugenri along with the Dragonfly Army, and was said to announce the arrival of the New Emperor.

General Information[edit | edit source]

The most notable quality of the castle is its ability to fly and land anywhere. Whenever it lands, it sprouts walls all around itself in an enclosure. In times of intrusion or attack, the interior of the castle appears to flip around so as to confuse enemies, thanks to the barriers set up inside.
According to legends, the castle appears to the one it deems worthy to be its king, that is the New Emperor. However, Tenkai Zuifeng reveals that the person the castle reveals itself to is the "bait" for the true New Emperor and that the legend is "bait for the bait". They also revealed that the castle's last owner was Tsurubami Senri.[1]

Shrouded in mystery, there are not many who know the true meaning and usage of the castle. Among those who know are the members of the Taira clan, who pass the information down as a part of their tradition.[2] Despite this, it would seem that at neither Taira no Fumikado nor Taira no Chouki understand the nature of the castle's appearance as explained by Tenkai.

Crest of Dragonflies[edit | edit source]

The Crest of Dragonflies (蜻蛉の紋, Kagerō no Mon) is the castle's crest, while it does not feature dragonflies itself, it does feature an emblem found in Japanese Kōdō (香道, Way of Fragrance) ceremonies, the traditional art of appreciating Japanese incense. It originates from the Kumikō (組香, Set of Incense) games played during an incense ceremony, specifically under the Genjikō (源氏香, Genji Incense) rules.

In Genjikō, 5 bags of 5 different incense are prepared and five of them are chosen at random. The incenses are then lit and passed around the participants one by one, where they appreciate and comment on their fragrances. After everyone has had their turn, they mark down which of the incense had the same fragrance by connecting five verticle lines in various patterns. The participants then compare the patterns they have drawn with the "Symbols of the Genji Incense" (源氏香の図, Genjikō no Zu), where a list of every possible symbol is shown, paired with a corresponding chapter in the "The Tale of Genji", with the exception of 2 chapters as there are only 52 possible patterns. Finally, they answer by writing down the corresponding chapter name on a piece of paper and handing it over to the ceremony master, who marks their answer.

The emblem featured on the bottom of the Crest of Dragonflies is specifically called Kagerō (蜻蛉, Dragonfly), as can be seen here, which is typically associated with misfortune as well as Summer and Autumn.[3] Since the master of the castle, Taira no Chouki, is a ghost, the reference to incense may be a deliberate choice as incense is traditionally offered to the dead in Japan.

Background Information[edit | edit source]

Name[edit | edit source]

The name "Dragonfly Castle" uses the archaic Japanese pronunciation of "dragonfly" (kagerou), which is homophonous with the Japanese word for "heat haze" (陽炎). This may be the inspiration behind the castle being constantly surrounded by haze, as well as part of why it is referred to as the "Haze Castle" in the title of Brilliant Pagoda or Haze Castle.

Locations[edit | edit source]

Summonsing Fortress[edit | edit source]

The Summonsing Fortress (召喚城郭, Shoukan Joukaku) is the haze-covered fortress surrounding the Dragonfly Castle, which was not man-made but sprouted out of the ground when the castle landed on the ground. Besides providing a physical fortress to protect the castle, it also comes with a barrier that prevents entry from the outside, except through the main gate.

Ukifune's Room[edit | edit source]

Ukifune's Room (浮舟の間, Ukifune no Ma) refers to the throne room in the innermost reaches of the castle. It is comprised of a monochromatic hallway with a single throne that stretches further away from intruders the more they try to approach it. According to JynX, the seat appears quite uncomfortable.

Ukifune (浮舟) is the nickname of a princess from "The Tale of Genji" caught in a love triangle with Kaoru Genji (who Kaoru Kashiwagi is based on) and Prince Niou. She attempted to take her life as an escape but was rescued by a Buddhist monk, after which she vows to become a Buddhist nun and took into hiding, vowing to never meet Kaoru again. Curiously, Ukifune was introduced near the very end of the tale and her story was never completed. "Ukifune", which literally means "A small boat set adrift", is also used as a metaphor for "something/someone who is unreliable". It is unclear why this name was chosen for the room.

Dragonfly Castle's Appearances[edit | edit source]

Brilliant Pagoda or Haze Castle

In Brilliant Pagoda or Haze Castle, the heroes adventure through the castle in Stage 5 to 6 in the Haze Route, where they encounter Para and Taira no Chouki. Stage 5 is inside the castle as a whole, but Stage 6 is in Ukifune's Room, where the throne resides.

Additional Information[edit | edit source]

  • Although never seen, the Dragonfly Caslte also has a keep, which has a different function compared to the throne room, although neither ability is known.[4]
  • In "The Tale of Genji", "Ukifune" is chapter 51 while "Kagerō" is chapter 52. However, it is unclear as to why the Dragonfly Castle makes multiple references to "The Tale of Genji".

Gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]