Few pairs of protagonists and villains are as recognized in the world of video games as Cloud y Sefirot, the two cornerstones on which it rests the story of Final Fantasy VII. They are two extremely popular characters in the industry, especially among fans who already have gray hair or have recently enjoyed their remake, but few know it. both are based on an important samurai legend from the land of the rising sun.
The origin of Cloud and Sefirot told by its creators
The original character creator is none other than Tetsuya Nomura, now one of Square Enix’s top directors. He himself confessed in an interview that Cloud and Sefirot are in fact based on the samurai warriors Musashi Miyamoto and Sasaki Kojiro. Many will probably not know these two warriors, but this is one of the main stories in Japanese culture and, in a sense, with a certain air of legend or myth.
Nomura took many influences from these two historical warriors to create and define the video game characters, including the relationship between the two, their appearance or the type and design of their swords.
The story of Musashi Miyamoto and Sasaki Kojiro
What is the story of Musashi Miyamoto and Sasaki Kojiro? This is the story of a duel between warriors that is part of Japanese culture and popular wisdom. The event took place on Ganryujima Island, although the original tale was of course embellished and turned into a legend. Miyamoto Musashi He is considered the strongest warrior in Japanese history, although not everyone agrees. A good number of achievements are attributed to this samurai from a modest family and rural.
He is said to have fought in six major battles and all of them came out alive thanks to his skill with the sword. They say these battles are those of Sekigahara, the Osaka sites or the so-called Shimabara campaign, among others. The surprising thing is that from the age of 16 he became a ronin after a lost battle, wandering Japan in search of duels and rivals to face. A custom he has practiced since the age of 13 and which led him to participate in 60 duels in his entire life.
For its part Sasaki KojiroAlthough they say he was younger at the time of the duel, around 18, the truth is that experts estimate his age to be around 40. A ronin from Echizen in The Toda Seigen school, who had taught her her particular art of the sword. He made it his own and added some edits, creating his own style called Ganryu, usually using especially long katanas. They called their favorite katana Monoboshi Zao, something like “clothesline”.
Legend has it that Musashi and Kojiro were rivals by fateor, condemned to face without remedy. At that time, the samurai were measured by their won duels and the valor of defeated enemies. When two ronins were in the same place, the duel between them was served to see who was better. Legend has it that a 29-year-old Musashi traveled in the spring of 1612 to Kokura, in the north of the island of Kyushu. Luckily, another great samurai was in town: Sasaki Kojiro (who moved much better among the elite and nobles of the time). So it was also a duel between samurai classes, representing the “people” and the “nobility”.
Musashi wanted to measure his strength against this famous opponent and Kojiro agreed to the duel. It was held on April 14 on Funajima Island, an islet in the Shimonoseki Strait. Kojiro and his witnesses arrived on time for the duel and Musashi was nowhere to be found. He eventually arrived in a rowboat, led by a samurai who had found the challenger asleep at a nearby inn. With utter parsimony, they managed to wake Musashi and he prepared for battle. He seemed to have completely forgotten that he had to fight to the death … and he was hours late, which was an insult.
His clothes were a disaster and so was his appearance, a huge contrast to Kojiro’s noble style. Musashi’s impertinences in their duels were well known and they were part of a strategy to mentally destabilize the rival. They both performed their most famous moves at the same time and froze, facing each other. Kojiro collapsed on the floor without even making a sound, and was then completed by Musashi.
Then, like someone who doesn’t want the thing and before a witness said anything, he greeted those present with a bow and he left the same way he arrived, climbed aboard a boat and contemplating the great sea.