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Wood Sprite Sakuya
Young Wood Sprite Shakuya (formerly)
|“||May the fresh scent of Flowers protect you always!||”|
Sakuya at an age of over 100 years is a woman whose looks respectively young. She is a fairly tall woman accompanied by a purple aura. Early in the game, she wears a pink kimono and a purple wrap that reveals the top of her chest, her back and her rear. Once the sacred tree of Konohana is rejuvenated, she wears a leaf-like 'bikini' and pale pink skirt. Young 'Shakuya' appears almost identical to her older counterpart's normal attire, but in height is much smaller and chubbier. One thing that has remained the same about Sakuya, old and young, is her hair style: her long black hair is tied at the back with two strands parting to the sides at the front of her face, her purple earrings, and the two pairs of leaves that cover her breasts and the other pair found in her hair.
Sakuya is at least 100 years old, proven when visiting her village 100 years ago. At a young age, she used to have a lisp and would pronounce her name as Shakuya, a trait she seems to have outgrown. She is very smart, and has a strong influence over all of Nippon, although admittedly her power has diminished over the years due to the fact that she spent most of her time protecting one given area. Once she feels the darkness of Orochi spread across, she uses quick wits to summon Amaterasu back to life.
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Once the world had gone dark after Susano pulls Tsukuyomi from the Moon Cave, Sakuya appears. She quickly summons the goddess Ōkami Amaterasu from the statue of Shiranui. Amaterasu then explores the inside of the Konohana tree, gains some of her lost abilities, and eventually slashes fruit down from the Konohana Tree to save Kamiki Village. Afterwards, Sakuya informs her of the Guardian Saplings found all across Nippon, and asks Amaterasu to restore them to their natural beauty to strengthen her power.
Sakuya is seen in brief intervals, never really providing too much information, until she is seen after Mr. Orange performs the Konohana Shuffle. Sakuya appears, rejuvenated and intoxicated, and gives Amaterasu praise. She is seen again at the Kamiki Festival, outside the Konohana Tree after Orochi is vanquished thanks to Amaterasu and Susano. She appears yet again when Amaterasu goes through the Spirit Gate in Yoshpet, as a young Wood Sprite 'Shakuya'. Her young appearance is due to the fact that the Konohana Tree is a tiny sapling at this time. Sakuya is also seen at the end of the game, holding Issun as he becomes the new Celestial Envoy.
ŌkamidenSakuya appears in the DS sequel after Chibiterasu and Issun make their way to Kamiki Village, finding that Shinshu Field has been cursed along the way. When they first arrive at the Konohana Tree, Sakuya mistakes Chibiterasu for his mother, and is told by Issun that the wolf before her is actually Amaterasu's Son. She imediately takes a liking to Chibiterasu, and the pup imediately starts playing with her, completely ignoring Issun's order to "give her a good bite". At this time Sakuya's tree is struck by lightning, and she is wounded, her powers weakening dramatically. Issun tries to use Rejuvenation to repair the damage, but is unable to. Chibi then barks at the stars, sad about Sakuya, when a star constellation is revealed. Using the Celestial Brush, Chibiterasu manages to contact the Yomigami Children, which give Chibiterasu the power of Rejuvenation. Chibi uses this power to repair Sakuya's tree, restoring some of her power. One of Chibiterasu's first adventures takes place when he and Kuni encounter a young girl crying for her mother's stolen mirror, and once the team manages to bring it back to her, she will reveal herself as Sakuya, explaining to them she only wanted to test the duo's skills and that she apologizes for the hassle. Blooming Sakuya's Guardian Saplings is again an important part of gameplay. Near the end of the game Chibiterasu travels back to 100 years before the events of Ōkami (sometime before Amaterasu and Issun go through the Spirit Gate). He blooms her sapling in the same area in Kamiki Village and as he does so, he encounters the young version of Sakuya, whom when asked, will call herself Shakuya.
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- Issun stole a portrait of Sakuya from his grandfather, and showed it as his own.
- According to the game designers, Sakuya was to have a third form when she was at her most powerful toward the end of the game in which she wore no clothes but was covered only by strategically placed puffs of mist. The idea was nixed in the end, but concept art of this "costume" can be found in the Ōkami Official Complete Works.
- Sakuya's name probably comes from the Japanese word "Saku", which natually means "Bloom."
- Her name is also likely a reference to Konohanasakuya-hime, an important kami who is believed to prevent Mount Fuji from erupting.
- As certain scenes in Ōkamiden would seem to imply, like the markings and divine instruments that are on Amaterasu and Chibiterasu, most can't see or hear Sakuya.