Yuki no Onna

The Snow Maiden

The Yuki no Onna, was a Snow Maiden, a popular figure in the legends of the Phoenix Clan. She was a benevolent spirit that was only seen on cold winter days. Despite her general good nature, a person that followed her into the woods might be forever lost.

Appearance Edit

Yuki no Onna 2

Yuki no Onna

The Snow Maiden appeared as a young human woman. She had pale skin and dark hair, though it was always covered in snow. She had a soft, smooth voice, and always spoke comfortingly to those who hear her. [1]

Yuki no Onna in culture Edit

The Yuki no Onna was one of the most popular figures in Phoenix legends, and was easily one of the most unique to the clan. The Snow Maiden had only ever been seen in the lands of the Phoenix. Because of this, the Snow Maiden was often mentioned in Phoenix stories and was often depicted in tapestries, paintings, and other works of art. [1] These spirit creatures were tied to the winter winds and snows of Rokugan. They were only seen in winter when there was snow in the air or on the ground, and usually only during snowstorms. [2]

Legends Edit

Some Rokugani legends sif that if a woman freezed to death in the snow, she would become a yuki no onna. Others said that they were shugenja who ventured too far in a blizzard and ended up in a Spirit Realm. [3] It was said that Yuki no Onna followed those who saw her for the rest of their lives, eventually claiming them as her own. A samurai who was truly pure of heart, legends say, could melt her frozen heart and give the Snow Maiden a mortal form, but only so long as his love for her remained true. [4]

Guards of Passage between Realms Edit

The scholars fo the Asako family theorized the Yuki no Onna were the guards of the Heart of Nature, a passage to the Spirit Realms lied somewhere in Mori Isawa. This passage touched on many different realms including Chikushudo, Sakkaku, and even Yume-do. The portal did not have a specific location, but instead moved throughout the forest. One could not predict to which realm the passage would open. Even those beings of the Spirit Realms who wandered through the passage had no way to know how to return to their home realm unless they were being aided by other magics. [5]

Origins Edit

There were many stories that might explain the origin of the Snow Maiden. Some say she was a shugenja who died in a blizzard. Some that she was a child of the dragons who was given human form. Still others said that the Snow Maiden was the living spirit of the Mori Isawa, or that she was actually many spirits that reside there. [1]

Sightings Edit

Shiba Tetsu Edit

As a child, upon learning that he was to train with the Shiba Bushi, Shiba Tetsu fled into Mori Isawa and quickly became lost. He spent a bitterly cold and stormy night in the woods, but was saved from the storm and protected by the Snow Maiden. She was a beautiful woman, with long black hair and silken skin, and had found Tetsu crying beneath a large oak within the forest. She comforted him and explained that becoming a bushi was not a punishment, but a high honor, for his clan was entrusting him with their protection. After his rescue, Tetsu became a model student and bushi, but spent every summer in the Mori Isawa, attempting to once again find the Maiden. [6]

Asako Misao Edit

Asako Misao was noted to have been favored by the Snow Maiden. [7] One winter he wandered far from the school and became lost in the woods, and returned full of stories of the beautiful Snow Maiden who had rescued him from the cold. Misao gained the disdain of his family, losing any hope he would become a great shugenja. [8]

Two Maidens Edit

Moshi Hinome, tainted by the Rain of Blood died in 1165 an became a Snow Maiden. She saw another Yuki no Onna, Moshi Mariko, her ascentor, who aided Hinome to endure against the taint. [9]

Toritaka Lands - 1172 Edit

In the mid autumn of 1172 (approximately somewhere between the Month of the Dog to the beginning of the Month of the Boar), Horiuchi Nobane and Moto Kang were investigating a village within Toritaka lands. They came across a completely frozen village where they encountered a spirit, and gave chase when it fled before them. The spirit led them to a ravine filled with an entire legion of ice encased Destroyers. Nobane now recognized the spirit for what she was, a snow-maiden, but Kang behaved in an atrocious manner towards the friendly spirit. When the snow-maiden attempted to reveal Tengoku's part in the current war but was rudely interrupted by Kang. Nobane apologized profusely, but the snow maiden would not reveal any more than that the Armies of the Destroyer were in for a long, cold and difficult campaign this winter. [10]

See also Edit

External Links Edit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Way of the Phoenix, p. 112
  2. Imperial Histories 2, p. 270
  3. Creatures of Rokugan: Third Edition, p. 185
  4. Secrets of the Phoenix, p. 7
  5. Secrets of the Phoenix, p. 47
  6. Way of the Phoenix, pp. 83-84
  7. Asako Misao (Gold flavor)
  8. Secrets of the Phoenix, p. 36
  9. Two Maidens, by Shawn Carman
  10. Darling of the Season, by Lucas Twyman

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