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Orochimaru (大蛇丸), featured in the Japanese folktale Jiraiya Gōketsu Monogatari (The Tale of the Gallant Jiraiya), is the archenemy of the ninja Jiraiya.[2] He was once named Yashagorō (夜叉五郎) and was one of Jiraiya's followers but was overtaken by serpent magic. Having changed his name to Orochimaru, he gained the ability to turn himself into a giant serpent. He kissed Jiraiya and Tsunade the slug princess and defeated them with his venom, only for another follower to save the couple's lives afterwards.[3] "The story, first recorded in 1806, was adapted into a mid-19th-century serialized novel (43 installments, 1839–1868) and a kabuki drama, based on the first 10 installments, by Kawatake Mokuami, in 1852. In the 20th-century, the story was adapted in several films, in video games, and in a manga."[4]

Orochi means "big snake" or "serpent".[5] The legend of Orochimaru has modern day correlations. Legend suggests the "power of the white snake" can be found in the fabled Ryuchi cave which grants the user with extraordinary powers, such as immortality, face stealing, and shape shifting. Japanese folklore speaks of a similar snake-like humanoid that stalks the fields every harvest time demanding a portion of the farmers crops.[3]

In modern days, the manga and anime franchise Naruto features the characters Jiraiya, Orochimaru and Tsunade where Orochimaru is portrayed to be the legendary ninja with the power of the snakes.[6]


  1. ^ ""my funking dad GOKETSU MONOGATARI", from the series "ODORI KEIYO GEDAI ZUKUSHI" | | V&A Search the Collections". V and A Collections. 2019-11-13. Retrieved 2019-11-13.
  2. ^ a b ""Jiraiya Goketsu Monogatari" (# 7, pp. 4-5), ca. 1850 | Brian P Coppola". Retrieved 2019-11-13.
  3. ^ a b "orochimaru - Synonyms of orochimaru | Antonyms of orochimaru | Definition of orochimaru | Example of orochimaru | Word Synonyms API | Word Similarity API". wordsimilarity.com. Retrieved 2019-11-13.
  4. ^ Coppola, Brian P. ""Jiraiya Goketsu Monogatari" (# 7, pp. 10-11), ca. 1850 | Brian P Coppola". Retrieved 2019-11-13.
  5. ^ "Jisho.org: Japanese Dictionary". jisho.org. Retrieved 2019-11-13.
  6. ^ "Orochimaru (Naruto)", Wikipedia, 2019-11-11, retrieved 2019-11-13[user-generated source]

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