The Blog of The Bride of Sesshomaru


Welcome to my sewing, historical reenactment, and CosPlay blog! Here on this blog you will find all of my random thoughts about sewing, the SCA, manga, anime, CosPlay, costume making, embroidery, sewing historically accurate Japanese costumes, and my fandom of Lord Sesshomaru whom I CrossPlay as.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Lord Sesshomaru's Mokomoko: Tail or No?


I seem to have hit a nerve on a touchy subject, with my earlier post regarding making a vertebrae for a costume tail... namely for Lord Sesshomaru's Mokomoko. (which btw, I posted on a few other places as well, not just here).

aaaahhh.... I should have expected this. Anyways my inbox and my email are both telling me that fans of Lord Sesshomaru the man wearing a fur boa/shawl/pelt thing are now mad at me for referring to him as a man with a tail/mane thing. Well, if they had read my post, they would have known that I said I was a fan of Rumiko's manga version of Sesshy, not the altered anime version of him. In the manga he has a tail. In the anime he wears a fur boa some days and has a tail other days... weird.

Hey, it's a fictional character, but if people want to argue the matter than, hell I'll tell you why I call it a tail, and prove it too, but don't say I didn't warn, you... I am a writer, used to writing monstrous essaies about fictional characters before even using them in my books, and I do the same thing for fictional characters created by other writers, so here we go... let's see if I can fit this all in one post! =P

It does seem odd however, that there are folks who could say it is not a tail, considering the fact that the only way to do him any serious harm is to in fact injure his Mokomoko. When the Mokomoko is wounded and bleeding all over the place, Sesshomaru falls down paralyzed. You are gonna tell me that a fur boa is going to start bleeding or cause him pain! LOL!

The reason Lord Sesshomaru attracts more oogle-eyed, love-struck, crazed fan girls than any other Bishie boy is: his mokomoko, that big furry fluffy thing, that is the cause of so many battles and debates among his fans who fight fang and claw over what in the world a mokomoko actually is.

I once saw a fan created picture that quickly explained the fan girl obsession with Lord Sesshomaru. It was screen shot taken of Lord Sesshomaru while looking very fierce and was combined with a second screen shot of a woman "in love". Over this altered picture was the words: "Fear me, damn it!" followed by: "But you're so cute and fluffy!".

Women love furry things. Women love all things cute and cuddly. Women love all things soft and fluffy. Women go wild over men draped in fur boas. Wait, why is a man wearing a fur boa?

Of course those of you who only know Lord Sesshomaru from the TV show and not from the book, will be interested to know that while the show portrays him as a man wearing a 4 foot long fur boa, the book from which the show was based on, portrays him as a man with 14 foot long tail which he drapes over his shoulder to keep it from dragging on the ground, and yet it still drags on the ground and trails quite some distance behind him. Also in the anime it looks a bit thin and skimpy, but in the manga it's fluffiness is huge! See picture at left.

Also in the book, but not on the show, is the fact that he can only be mortally wounded if his tail is injured, which has happened twice resulting in his near death each time, again, not in the show, only in the book. (See picture below, with Sesshy and his bloody wounded tail.)

Another thing that points to the fact that the mokomoko is actually a part of his body, is the fact that when he transforms back into his natural state (that of a 40 foot tall white dog) he still has the mokomoko, which can be seen to be some sort of a lion's mane.

If you've never seen the difference between the skimpy boa of the show, than you'll be quite shocked at the sight of the monstrously huge tail of the book version of Sesshomaru.

I got to say, the original book version of Sesshy is much better than the "edited" tv show version of him that came along seven years later.

    Chibi Art and The Mokomoko:

    Official VIZ created Chibi art shows several different versions of Sesshomaru as a child, aged about 7 or 8 years old. The most interesting thing about Chibi art is the many ways in which they portray the Mokomoko.

    Chibi art has shown him with his fluffy thing being a traditional dog-tail (the only time we ever see him portrayed as such). Baby-Chibi art has also shown us a naked Sesshomaru, and shows him as an infant with a tail on his butt, like a dog.

    Chibi art has also shown it as being the mane-like mokomoko "tail thing" attached at the back of his right shoulder, which is how it's usually shown. We see this best in the Chbi-art of InuYasha and Sesshomaru as children on the beach, both wearing nothing but swim shorts, and we have a clear view of Sesshomaru with the mokomoko attached to the back of his right shoulder, looking very much like a dog's tail in the wrong place.

    There is also Chibi-art of Sesshomaru in pain, when the mokomoko is being bitten by InuYasha.

    One odd bit of Chibi-art shows the two brothers together when InuYasha is a baby, and Sesshomaru is using the mokomoko like an arm and cradling InuYasha with the mokomoko, leaving both his hands free.

    Nearly ever piece of Chibi-art shows us Sesshomaru using the mokomoko like it was a third hand, and in every undraped picture of Chibi-art the mokomoko is always attached to his body, either at his but or behind his shoulder.

    I say nearly every Chibi-art, because than again, there is at least one Chibi art showing him wearing the mokomoko like a fur stole thrown around both shoulders.

    Which Chibi art do we believe as accurate? Well, since all of these are drawn by VIZ's manga-anime artists, we must than assume that they are all correct, and that Sesshomaru is a shape shifter (which we already know he is) and can put his tail where ever the hell he wants it to be and take it off should he decide he doesn't wish to wear it at all. Weird.

Sesshy's Bleeding Wounded Tail: Art By Rumiko
A fur boa wouldn't bleed!

Now, if you've read my essay on Lord Sesshomaru vs historical accuracy, than you already know the months of rigorous research that have gone into the design of my costume, and you know that I am making much more than your average run of the mill costume here. (If you haven't read it yet, than here is the link to it: , it is "Part II" of my series of websites on how to make a Lord Sesshomaru costume, parts 1, 2, and 4 can be found here: , , ). Anyways, what my research into every single episode and chapter told me was that Sesshomaru hailed from China, not Japan, and thus his odd outfit which is more Chinese than Japanese, including his Mongolian style battle armor, complete with it's trimmings of Mongolian sheep skin. (Read my history essay if you didn't know about Sesshomaru vs China, and than read the manga and watch the anime, several times each, and pay as close attention to it as I did, and you'll see the connections as well.) Anyways, I point this out, because YES, REAL LORDS DID WEAR THESE BIG FLUFFY THINGS, so on first glances we assume that Sesshomaru is in fact wearing something like real Mongolians did, and Rumiko even said that originally the mokomoko was a part of his armor. However, being a writer myself, I know all too well, how you design a character one way, and than you start writing and the next thing you know, what was once a article of clothing is now a part of their body, as happened with Rumiko in writing and drawing Sesshomaru.

Since the creation of Sesshomaru's mokomoko, we have seen him use it a third hand to grasp, hold down, squeeze, and throw his victims. I ask you, how many shawls do you know of that can do this?

As Fluffy, (in his dog form) we see that he can be hit, hacked, chopped, mutilated, and have his arm lopped off and take it without batting an eye, even when having a sword run through his eye, and yet after all that bloody fighting, it was a mere blow to the mokomoko that sent him fleeing with cries of agony.... notice that while his clothing and armor vanishes in dog form, the mokomoko is still there and very much attached to him!

Later we see a similar fight, only he in his human form, again, blow after blow does him no harm, than a single whack to the mokomoko sends him flying out of commission, and wounds him so badly that he is now paralyzed for several days (only a few hours in the anime, but days in the original manga)...also note that in the anime he refused food from Rin, but in the manga he only refused food the first few days, while she brought human food, he took the food after she started bringing him "dog food", (which in the 16th cen, was rats). Also, much of the confusion over the mokomoko comes from the fact that the anime shows him take off the mokomoko in this episode, while in the original manga, we see otherwise: In this chapter we see Sesshomaru laying in a pool of blood, wounded and near death, because of the huge gash in the mokomoko, which is spouting blood and causing him great pain.

There are many mistakes in the anime. Due to the high rate of mistakes and mistranslations that have made their way into the anime, when in doubt, I check the original manga and go with that instead, because the manga is what Rumiko wrote and the anime episodes were made without her authorization of each episode, meaning that she didn't know what the episode were going to be until she saw them on TV just like the rest of us. In other words, the anime is an adaption of the truth, the truth being the manga, and in the manga, Lord Sesshomaru's mokomoko is a part of his body which can, and has been wounded.

One of the things I like best about Lord Sesshomaru the Dog Demon of Death and Destruction is his long lovely fluffy tail. Call me a perfectionist, but I've never seen a Sesshomaru costume that did his beautiful tail justice.

All too often, the costume wearer just drapes a piece of fur over their shoulder as if they were wearing a shawl. That bugs me, because it's not some shawl or cape thing he's wearing, in fact he's not wearing it, because it is a part of him; it is his tail.

Yes, I know it confuses some people, the fact that he's got it draped over his shoulder, however, this is in fact his tail, which is pulled up through his kimono, exiting through an opening in the right-hand sleeve, than thrown over his shoulder, in order to keep the 8 foot long fluffy white tail from dragging on the ground as he walks.

As I said, too many costumers treat the fur on the costume as though it were a piece of clothing, and not a part of his body. As we know from the series, he uses his tail like an extra hand to grab hold of his enemies and squeeze then mush in the same way a snake would do, (I'd like to see you animate a shawl into doing that... deadly tail points! YAY!) and it can be (and has been) injured . . . hey, a cape or a shawl doesn't bleed when hit by a sword, but a tail does!

Death by Fluff

On one last note, I'll admit that, as others have said it does appear to be more of a mane than a tail. Whatever, mane, tail, some sort of weird furry fin . . . the correct word for it is a Mokomoko, but no one is really certain what that means, so for the sake of simplicity, I'll just use the word tail and leave it at that.

I hate it when costumers make a costume about a character, but don't know the character well enough to know the difference between a cape and a tail. My goal it to fix that, because I want to be as accurate as possible with this costume, and I must say that I am not having much luck yet, as finding a way to make the tail on this costume actually look like a tail is proving quite difficult, as my earlier post already stated. And so, I continue on in my search for making the Mokomo for my costume as realistic as possible and set to work at building a vertebrae to go down through the center of it, and no amount of hissy fits from miffed fans of a tailless Sesshomaru is going to stop me. :P

Lord Sesshomarus Fluffy Tail

oh my... I wrote a novella length post! Took me over an hour to type, bet it'll take as long to read too! YIKES! LOL!


What's your take on this? I'd love to hear what you have to say about this post. Leave a comment on my blog and share your views!


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