Yamata no Orochi

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Yamata no Orochi
Yamata no Orochi in Yamato Takeru
Yamata no Orochi in The Three Treasures
Alternate names Orochi, Eight-Headed Dragon
Subtitle(s) Showa: Mythical Monster
(神話怪獣,   Shinwa Kaijū)[1]
Heisei: Incarnation of Evil
(邪悪の化身,   Jāku no Kenshi)[2]
Demon King (魔王,   Maō)BS
Evil Spirit (邪神,   Jashin) (Tsukuyomi)[3]
Species Eight-headed serpent,
Titanus Yamata no OrochiGKotM
Length Showa: 300 meters[4]
Heisei: 66 meters[3]
Weight Showa: 10,000 metric tons[4]
Heisei: 50,000 metric tons[3]
Forms Tsukuyomi, Sukinowa
Place(s) of emergence Izumo,BoJ[3] MoonYT[3]
Enemies Susano, Utsuno Ikusagami, Amano Shiratori, GodzillaTGCRA, GRAT
Played by Puppets, Kenpachiro SatsumaYT,
Hiroshi Abe (Tsukuyomi)
First appearance Latest appearance
The Three Treasures Brush of the God

Yamata no Orochi (八岐大蛇 (ヤマタノオロチ), lit. Giant Eight Branched Snake) is an eight-headed serpent from Japanese mythology. It has made appearances in the Toho films The Three Treasures and Orochi, the Eight-Headed Dragon, and a monster named after it exists within the continuity of Legendary Pictures' MonsterVerse.


Yamata no Orochi's name literally translates from Japanese as "Giant Eight Branched Snake," though by convention the English translation is typically given as "Big Snake of Eight Branches." While the creature's name is typically spelled in kanji characters, in Orochi, the Eight-Headed Dragon it includes a furigana katakana spelling above the kanji, as is the case for most of the characters in the film. While the most common kanji spelling for the creature's name is 八岐大蛇, which is the spelling used in both The Three Treasures and Orochi, the Eight-Headed Dragon, it is also sometimes spelled as 八俣遠呂智 or 八俣遠呂知, both of which are also read Yamata no Orochi. The creature is often referred to as just Orochi (大蛇,   Orochi) for short, an archaic reading of the two kanji which together mean "giant snake" and are typically otherwise read as daija.

In the English dub and subtitles for Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, and in the end credits of the English version of Orochi, the Eight-Headed Dragon, Yamata no Orochi's name is translated as the "Eight-Headed Dragon."


In The Three Treasures, Orochi looks like a giant snake with eight heads, with eight small tails extending from the main one. Its scales are gray in color. In Orochi, the Eight-Headed Dragon, Orochi is now red with horns on its heads, legs, and a single large tail, with small spikes sticking out from the sides.


Showa era

The Three Treasures

Orochi in the Showa era shares the same story as the Orochi from mythology, with his role in the movie being a description of that event. Every year he would arise from a lake to consume a child of the Earth Deities. After consuming eight vats of sake set out for him, Susano was able to trap Orochi's heads in a tree, forcing the serpent to attack with his tails. After Susanoo stabbed his sword into Orochi's tail twice the monster died, allowing the storm god to retrieve the sword Murakumo.

Heisei era

Orochi, the Eight-Headed Dragon

Orochi was the god Tsukuyomi, Lord of the Underworld and God of the Moon, who transformed into this monstrous form 10,000 years ago and used it to attack Earth. All of this was done in jealousy of his sister Amaterasu, Goddess of Heaven and the Sun. He destroyed cities and mountains until he was stopped by his brother Susano, God of Storms and the Sea; his father then banished him from Earth in a prison of ice. Thousands of years later, Tsukuyomi returned to Earth and was revived thanks to his servant, a transformed sentient broken fang who died soon afterward. After breaking free on the Moon, he raised his castle but was bested by Yamato Takeru and Oto, who held the 'spirits' of his two siblings. Angered, Tsukuyomi transformed into Orochi to kill Yamato Takeru and Oto, but they were saved by Amano Shiratori, the servant of the Sun Goddess. However, Orochi threw the two into outer space via a blast, but Takeru fused with Oto and two sacred treasures to become Utsuno Ikusagami. Utsuno Ikusagami fought Orochi, and won. Tsukuyomi was trapped on the Moon, sealed into Takeru's pendant and cast into space on the orders of Susano who said that, upon his return, Tsukuyomi would be reformed.

Millennium era

Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack

Main article: King Ghidorah/GMK.

According to Mitsuaki Takeda, King Ghidorah was known in ancient times as Yamata no Orochi. He fought Godzilla in an underdeveloped form, sporting only three heads out of eight.


Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Residing at Monarch Outpost 91 at Mount Fuji in Japan, Titanus Yamata no Orochi was one of the many Titans who began to attack humanity under the direction of King Ghidorah. It was later pacified when Madison Russell activated the Orca at Fenway Park.



  • Orochi can spray fire from his mouths.
  • Orochi can fire beams from his eyes in the Heisei series.
  • Orochi can withstand a great deal of punishment and the severing of most of his heads. Despite being overpowered, Orochi lasted a fairly long time.



Tsukuyomi is a god and presumably has various supernatural abilities based on that fact. Before he was only defeated by his brother, a fellow god and by Takeru, who was given a power to counter his.


As a god, Tsukuyomi is immune to the withering effects of time. He also survived being trapped in ice for millennia and both of his defeats.

Calm Spirit

The counterforce to Takeru's 'Wild Spirit', it manifests as beams from his eyes. Its power is unknown, but Susanno said it was impossible to defeat him without the Wild Spirit to defeat his Calm Spirit. Presumably, only his siblings could match his power and only his father and older gods surpassed it.


Tsukuyomi manifested his armor and raised a castle of complex architecture from the Earth through only his will. These creations were not illusions and real to the point they could survive his absence.


Tsukuyomi teleported from the Moon to Earth, he also teleported out of his armor when he transformed into Orochi.


Tsukuyomi can shapeshift; he used this power to become Orochi and, given that his servants' powers stemmed from him, he can presumably take on the appearance of others.

Selected filmography


The Godzilla Comic Raids Again

In this comic by a series of illustrators including Hurricane Ryu Hariken, Orochi appears as an opponent of Godzilla.

Godzilla: Rage Across Time

In 1274, the Nebulans joined forces with the Mongols to invade Japan. Two monsters under the aliens' control, Gigan and Megalon, led the offensive. Japan's greatest warriors, Gorou Suda and Akio, traveled to the Shobijin Temple in the hopes of awakening a force powerful enough to save their country. After killing the Heikegani guarding the temple, the duo faced Yamata no Orochi. The Shobijin then appeared before them, advising them to control the dragon instead of destroying him. They blessed one of Akio's arrows, which she fired at one of the monster's heads. Though the resulting explosion pacified Orochi, it also awakened the dreaded Godzilla. The Shobijin presented Suda with a statue of Orochi which would allow him to direct the monster. Before he could do so, however, Godzilla confronted Orochi and quickly killed him with his atomic breath. With no other option, Akio shot Godzilla with another enchanted arrow to get his attention, allowing her and Suda to lure him towards Gigan and Megalon.


Main article: Yamata no Orochi/Gallery.


Heisei Orochi roars



This is a list of references for Yamata no Orochi. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: [1]

  1. Godzilla Toho Giant Monster Pictorial Book. Shogakukan. p. 116. 1 April 2005. ISBN: 4-09-280052-5.
  2. Definitive Edition of Toho Monster Movies!! Godzilla Special Effects Complete Works. Natsumesha. 21 December 1994. ISBN: 978-4816317750.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Toho Special Effects All Monster Encyclopedia. Shogakukan. pp. 21, 89. 23 July 2014. ISBN: 4-096-82090-3.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Godzilla Giant Monsters Super Encyclopedia (4th edition). Kodansha. p. 52. 15 March 1994. ISBN: 978-4063042702.
  5. Japanese Orochi, the Eight-Headed Dragon announcement trailer


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