The Demon Clan (鬼の一族, Oni no Ichizoku) refers to a group of people in the Harukanaru Toki no Naka de series. They are easily distinguished by having blue eyes and blond hair. Due to their striking appearance, the local residents within the parallel world often fear or detest them. Locals will falsely blame them for causing misfortune and disasters with their bewitching charms. Members are simply known as "demon" (鬼, oni).
Historically, the term "demon" or "ogre" was used as a prejudice Japanese label for Portuguese sailors appearing in Japan during the Age of Exploration. Residents in Japan were just as baffled as the explorers upon first seeing them, never before seeing a person with their physical features. Japanese fiction likes to emphasize that the first group of sailors had blond hair and blue eyes (consequently becoming a stereotype for fictional western characters), but historical records instead criticized them for "[being] giants with red hair, curly beards, green eyes, and a square jaw". The "demon" label symbolized the Japanese's old beliefs that soulless, unknown monsters had set foot on their lands. Later generations would use similar racial slurs such as "Southern barbarian" (南蛮人) or "alien" (外人).
Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 5 somewhat reenacts the historical reaction to foreign sailors. Ernest Satow and his crew are fearfully called "demons" by Japanese locals, even though they are not descendants of the Demon Clan.
Role in GamesEdit
Sometime during the 7th or 8th century, the earliest members of the Demon Clan arrived to Kyou. They came from a faraway western land, seeking a new paradise for themselves. Residents in the capital were immediately appalled by their visible features and ostracized the "invaders". The Demon Clan members tried to negotiate peace between residents, but their efforts were fruitless. Tensions between the two parties escalated into a bloody war and both sides suffered in the power struggle. For the majority of the battle, the Demon Clan reigned supreme by means of manipulation and trickery. They began to construct their own buildings and villages within the capital.
100 years after the Demon Clan settled, the populace were at their wit's end and began to pray to the White Dragon to save them. The dragon god responded by sending a priestess to the capital. She successfully protected the residents as they fought back. The Demon Clan members were overwhelmed and those surviving abandoned the capital, which was now blessed with the Four Sacred Beasts' protection. A famous sorcerer sought to protect each of Kyou's main gates with a deity to offer additional support. The priestess's duty ended and Kyou was given the blessings of both dragon gods. Residents within the capital would never forget nor would they entirely forgive the Demon Clan, as future generations recall the negative history of these "outsiders" in an instant.
Forced to wander again, the Demon Clan drifted from country to country. They lacked the resources and knowledge needed to return to their own home overseas. As they were banished from the dragon gods' blessings, many suffered from severe ailments, failed crops, and other grievances. Those who accepted their fate of isolation chose to leave the clan and hide their identity by building their own settlements away from civilization. Villages with former Demon Clan members are scattered throughout the parallel world.
The noble leader of the clan, however, was fuming with indignation and cursed his fate. He gathered any loyalists to his name and established a demon city. There, he sought to instill those remaining of the Demon Clan's history of wealth and glory. His grudge against those in Kyou was passed onto each following generation, even with the clan's steady decline.
Akram, a descendant of the Demon Clan's leader, gathered a group of followers and desired to conquer the capital for the Demon Clan in the 10th century. His revolution almost proved successful, but his efforts were foiled by the White Dragon Priestess. He fought against another White Dragon Priestess 100 years later. Akram's second attempt proved to be his last, the nobility of the Demon Clan disappearing with him.
Remnants of the clan continued to be feared and despised, suffering heavy prejudice in later centuries. Though Akram's actions faded into legend, they remained negative enough to influence the hearts and minds of people within the parallel world. A demon whose identity is exposed risks facing the seething resentments of the people around them. Hunts to execute demons in hiding, regardless of whether the demons have committed crimes or not, have been noted to happen.
While this version of the timeline no longer exists within the series's canon, the reigning demon chief of the early Edo period once sought a secret pact with the Tokugawa shogunate. Members of his family wanted to peacefully coexist within the imperial court. His descendants would lend their abilities to the shogunate in exchange for amnesty. The White Dragon Priestess of the era served the shogunate and fought for the demons' cause. The chief and priestess shared a deep friendship and trusted one another during negotiations.
However, Nankoubou disapproved the union. He misled the priestess into believing they would be granted the shogunate's acceptance before using his influence to chase out the demons. Predicting the priestess's backlash, the monk secretly cast a curse called the "Exchange of Scars" (傷着せ, kizu-kise) on the demon chief and priestess. The curse transferred the demon chief's past and present injuries onto the priestess. The priestess was removed from her post and is said to have perished from her injuries. The chief could do nothing but watch his injuries disappear from his body and harm the priestess. He passed down the legend to his ancestors so the tragedy would never occur again.
About three hundred years later, demons have been living comfortably with their neighbors by concealing their heritage and powers. Their acceptance into human society also means their native communities have scattered further apart. Natural demons appear with less frequency, and their lineage has been nearly abandoned. Pure blooded demons are considered a rarity and relics of a lost age. Since prejudice against demons is still strong as ever, the pure blooded demons continue to form pocket communities to foster their powers. Due to a marring incident with the imperial Japanese military, the majority of the clan members have relocated to an island faraway from their home near Tokyo.
Powers and Other TraitsEdit
Demon Clan members are born with dominant yin energy, making them technically different than people (who live with equally balanced yin-yang traits). Interacting with a demon for extended periods of time may become hazardous to normal people due to the flow of yin. Too much yin energy may become a spiritual danger to the person beside them. Even so, the process is gradual and cases in which people suffer due to the yin unbalance are rare. It has been implied that the rumors regarding their unlucky nature were born from a peculiar case of overexposure.
Their unique yin dominate nature is thought to be the cause for their appearance. Instances are rare, but a mother within the parallel world can naturally give birth to a demon child. She does not need to associate herself with the Demon Clan for this to happen.
While the proficiency of their talents vary on the individual, all of the Demon Clan members are gifted with the power to manipulate darkness. They can teleport, use magic to hide in the shadows, cast special barriers, and can control or summon vengeful spirits at will. If they are willing to sacrifice their powers, members can perform powerful curses (呪詛, jyuso), which are solidified as a stone tablet or charm. These curses have the power to wreck havoc for people nearby or can bring gods into their submission. Once the curse is purified, the demon's powers will disappear and they will suffer the negative effects of their own curse.
Should they desire it, members can also temporarily lend their powers to others. People granted with the demon's powers will be able to use the same abilities as a demon, regardless of whether they are a demon or not. Once the power drains, they return to their normal state.
Due to their foreign origins, demons practice customs that would baffle the people in Kyou. They have access to plants, foods, and medicines which may prove to be more beneficial than standard goods. Demons also share the modern day Japanese trait of owning and using personal stamps for their signatures. Vernal Equinox Day is the Demon Clan's New Year.