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Clay Army demons are literally dolls of clay fashioned in the likeness of the Haniwa style, bearing simple oblong mouths and eyes formed by hole, lines of color patterned on their bodies, and extraneous adornments like helmets and instruments.
Haniwa are funerary pottery pieces originally made in the ancient Kofun period of Japan. Born during times when aristocratic society was developing at a rapid rate, Haniwa included figures of not only soldiers and people, but of animals and livestock as tribute for the dead as they passed on to the afterlife.
Being depicted as demons in Ōkami however, described as the restless souls of warriors slain or given their own lives due to the loss of their leaders and possessed by the evil of Orochi, further illustrates the sorrowful and darker times before the coming of Nagi, representative of a Nippon filled with bloody warfare amongst men and demons that lurked in the shadows who freely preyed upon the living.