Yamata no Orochi

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Yamata no Orochi
Yamata no Orochi in Brush of the God
Yamata no Orochi in Orochi, the Eight-Headed Dragon
Yamata no Orochi in The Three Treasures
Yamata no Orochi in Godzilla: Rage Across Time
Alternate names Orochi, Giant Eight Branched Snake, Eight-Headed Dragon, Madra*
Subtitle(s) Mythical Monster
(神話怪獣,   Shinwa Kaijū)TTT[1]
Legendary Monster
(伝説怪獣,   Densetsu Kaijū)TTT[2]
Incarnation of Evil
(邪悪の化身,   Jāku no Kenshi)OtEHD[3]
Demon King (魔王,   Maō)BS
Evil Spirit (邪神,   Jashin) (Tsukuyomi)[4]
Titanus Yamata no OrochiGKotM
Species Eight-headed serpent
Length Showa: 300 meters[5]
Heisei: 66 meters[4]
Weight Showa: 10,000 metric tons[5]
Heisei: 50,000 metric tons[4]
Forms Tsukuyomi, Sukinowa,
King GhidorahGMK (Underdeveloped form of Orochi)
Place(s) of emergence IzumoTTT[4], MoonOtEHD[4], Mount FujiGKotM
Controlled by King GhidorahGKotM
Enemies Susano, Yamato Takeru, Utsuno Ikusagami, Amano Shiratori, GodzillaTGCRA, GRAT
Played by Kenpachiro SatsumaOtEHD,
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 Titan named after it exists within the continuity of Legendary Pictures' Monsterverse. It is set to appear in the upcoming tokusatsu kaiju film Brush of the God.


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 and eight small tails extending from the main one. Its scales are gray in color.

In Orochi, the Eight-Headed Dragon, Orochi has a more draconic appearance with a bulky body and stubby legs. It is red with multiple yellow horns on its heads and small spikes sticking out from the sides of a single large tail.

In Godzilla: Rage Across Time, Orochi is purple with a red-purple underbelly. His heads are identical in appearance, bearing dull yellow horns and chin protrusions, as well as purple goat-like eyes. His tail ends in an exposed, fleshy tip consisting of multiple ends. The upper jaws of Orochi’s heads resemble beaks to an extent, and his tongues are forked like those of snakes and monitor lizards.

In Brush of the God, Orochi has an almost slug-like body shape with purple scales covering its back and most of its heads. Unlike its previous appearance, it is missing three heads with gray stumps where they would be. Additionally, one of the five intact heads is gray and seemingly lifeless. Each head has spikes and horns that vary in color and shape. Yellow scales run down each of Orochi's necks down to its tail. Black claw-like structures line the sides of its limbless body, while its underside is red.


Showa era

The Three Treasures

Yamata no Orochi in The Three Treasures

Orochi in the Showa era has the same mythological origins as Orochi from mythology, and his role in the film is a description of that event. The Earth deities would consume a child of him each year when he rose from a lake. Susano managed to trap Orochi's heads in a tree after the latter consumed eight vats of sake set out for him, forcing the serpent to attack with his tails. Susano stabbed his sword twice into Orochi's tail twice, causing the monster to die and allowing the storm god to retrieve the sword Kusanagi no Tsurugi.

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 Amaterasu. 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 (Millennium).

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.

Reiwa era

Brush of the God

To be added.


Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Yamata no Orochi breaking out of Monarch Outpost 91 in 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. After its emergence, it swam southeast to menace a cruise ship in the Pacific Ocean.[6] It was later pacified when Madison Russell activated the Orca at Fenway Park.



Fire breath

Orochi breathes fire in Orochi, the Eight-Headed Dragon

In Orochi, the Eight-Headed Dragon, Orochi is able to spit a concentrated beam of fire from each of his eight mouths.

Supreme Emperor Red Lighting

In Orochi, the Eight-Headed Dragon, Orochi can fire red-colored lightning from his eyes called the Supreme Emperor Red Lightning (覇帝紅雷撃 / ハテイコウライゲキ Hateikouraigeki).[7] He can use this attack from all eight heads at once in an attack called the Supreme Emperor Red Storm Dance (覇帝紅雷撃 / ハテイコウライゲキ Hateikouranbu) which is stated to be 99.99% unavoidable; however, this technique was unused in the film.[7]

Crimson lightning

In Orochi, the Eight-Headed Dragon, Orochi can fire red-colored lightning from each of his eight mouths. Though visually similar to the Supreme Emperor Red Lightning, it is a distinct technique.


In Orochi, the Eight-Headed Dragon, Orochi is able to fly and travel through space via unknown means.


In Orochi, the Eight-Headed Dragon, Orochi's very presence can cause massive natural disasters on Earth.


In Godzilla: Rage Across Time, Godzilla swiftly killed Yamato no Orochi with two shots of his atomic breath, throwing him by two of his heads in between the blasts.



Tsukuyomi is a god and presumably has various supernatural abilities based on that fact. He was only defeated by his brother, a fellow god, and by Takeru, who was given the 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 Susano 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 the 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 that 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.

Pale Destruction Lasers

Tsukuyomi can fire lasers from his eyes. According to Toho Special Effects All Monster Encyclopedia, these beams are called Pale Destruction Lasers.

Sword of Dark Clouds

Tsukuyomi has a sword called the Sword of Dark Clouds.


In Godzilla: Rage Across Time, Yamata no Orochi could be controlled by whoever held a certain statue of his likeness, as Gorou Suda briefly demonstrated. He was physically outmatched by Godzilla, and was easily defeated when the latter used his atomic breath.

Video games


Godzilla: King of the Monsters

The legend of Orochi's battle with Susano was a favorite story of islander child Shiro. Shiro retold a version of the story sympathetic to Orochi as a dragon that was mostly minding his own business until Susano used him as a scapegoat for the people's problems and eventually poisoned him to defeat him. Godzilla was likened to Orochi as another dragon that was only attacking humanity because of humanity's atomic testing provoking him first.

In the novel's climax, the Twin Dragon submarine hunting Godzilla, with islander children in tow, returned to the island to find the villagers building an effigy of Orochi from the wreckage to burn as part of a Festival of Honor and Rebirth. Kazushi, the island's spiritual leader, believed this would calm Godzilla without any need for General Tanaka to deploy Weapon Alpha against him. The fires of the festival lured Godzilla out of the ocean. He reacted positively to the festivities, with the dragon statue and the villagers' celebrations reminding him of the kinship he used to have with other Godzillasaurs. His rage calmed, he returned peacefully back to the ocean depths.


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 A.D. 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.


Orochi's roars were later mixed with King Ghidorah's roars in Rebirth of Mothra 3. The roars were later reused for Godzilla's growls in Godzilla 2000: Millennium with a reverbed effect.[citation needed]

Heisei Orochi roars


  • Operation Yashiori, the Japanese government's final plan to defeat Godzilla in Shin Godzilla, is named after the type of sake that Susano used to put Yamata no Orochi to sleep in Japanese mythology.
  • Standing at 300 meters tall when upright, the Orochi who appeared in The Three Treasures is one of the tallest monsters ever to appear in a film produced by Toho, tying with Godzilla Earth, who also stands at 300 meters.
  • In early trailers and a poster for Orochi, the Eight-Headed Dragon, Orochi sported heads similar to those of the Showa King Ghidorah.[8]


Wikizilla: YouTube Kaiju Profile: The Other Titans
of Godzilla: King of the Monsters


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. 1 April 2005. p. 116. ISBN 4-09-280052-5.
  2. Toho Special Effects Movie Complete Works. villagebooks. 28 September 2012. p. 40. ISBN 4-864-91013-8.
  3. Definitive Edition of Toho Monster Movies!! Godzilla Special Effects Complete Works. Natsumesha. 21 December 1994. ISBN 978-4816317750.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Toho Special Effects All Monster Encyclopedia. Shogakukan. 23 July 2014. pp. 21, 89. ISBN 4-096-82090-3.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Godzilla Giant Monsters Super Encyclopedia (4th ed.). Kodansha. 15 March 1994. p. 52. ISBN 978-4063042702.
  6. instamikedougherty Instagram comment on July 5, 2021: "Going after a cruise ship."
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Orochi [Heisei]". Toho Kingdom. Retrieved 1 January 2023.
  8. Japanese Orochi, the Eight-Headed Dragon announcement trailer


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