Kotaku (こたく Kotaku?), also known as Shinsenkyō (神仙郷? Literally meaning: Divine Paradise), is an island located within the southwest seas that is far beyond the Ryukyu Kingdom and is inhabited by monsters. The island has been said to possess the legendary Elixir of Life, which has been sought out by humans for centuries. Kotaku is the main setting throughout the series.
History[edit | edit source]
Past[edit | edit source]
1,000 years ago, Xu Fu made landfall on the island after his quest to retrieve the legendary Elixir of Life for Emperor Qin Shi Huang came to an end. He then declared himself ruler and decided to devote his life in researching the secrets to immortality by experimenting with Tao, resulting in the creations of abnormal creatures. The people that accompanied Xu Fu were also converted into a race known as the Hōko where their lives became extended somehow.
After Xu Fu died of old age, as well as from the condition known as Arborification, Rien, Xu Fu's wife, made a commitment to reviving her husband. Her plan for this was to complete Xu Fu's research in developing an Elixir of Life, while also training her six Tao lifeforms she created, in the ways of Taoism. Together they became the new rulers of Kotaku known as Lord Tensen. While training in Hōrai, they guided the Hōko through the Sōshin using fabricated beliefs involving mortality in order to secretly observe their way of life, as well as use them as resources to replenish their lost Tao during training. Mei, one of the members of Lord Tensen, caught wind of Rien using the Hōko for her research and tried to stop her. Rien then punished her for this defiance and made her whereabouts unknown to the other Tensens.
After 200 years passed, the Hōko where on the verge of extinction from undergoing Arborification. This caused the young members of Lord Tensen to become concern, due to losing their Tao resources, and came up with the idea of luring in humans from the mainland to act as replacements. Eventually, their plan became successfully as they managed to ambush the first group of humans who came to the island and discovered how valuable the human race's Tao was. They then managed to create the prototype elixir known as Tan from the humans they captured and would be supplied with endless amounts of Tao.
At some point, Kotaku would come to be known as Shinsenkyō by the humans of the mainland after it was rumored to have possessed the Elixir of Life. Because of this rumor, many humans throughout the ages journeyed off to the island in hopes to retrieve the elixir, only to fall to either the island's monsters or by Lord Tensen.
Edo Period[edit | edit source]
During the Edo period, after believing that the Elixir of Life resided on Kotaku, the shogun sent out at least six expedition teams to Kotaku to investigate. With each team, only a single boat filled with flowers and a bloomed human made it back to Japan (as per Lord Tensen's plan to lure in more humans). This increased the shogun's curiosity and decided to send a group of death-row criminals and assigned executioners to the island for the next expedition team. Kotaku then received visiting humans that would cause the island to go into disarray after the remaining survivors managed to get pass the monsters, reach Hōrai where the Sennin reside, and defeat three Dōshi and one member of Lord Tensen. However, after meeting Aza Chōbē, one of the surviving humans who achieved hybridization with the Tao of the Waitanhua Flower, and performed experimentations on him, Rien managed to create the perfected Tan elixir and was ready to depart to Japan to create more using the lives of the countries populace, which would complete her plan of reviving Xu Fu. Upon Hōrai being invaded by the surviving humans, Ran, Ju Fa, and Tao Fa of Lord Tensen met their end while Zhu Jin received major damaged to their body. Chaos soon broke out after another group of strong humans arrived shortly and Zhu Jin deciding to assimilate themselves with the Banko. After the Banko was destroyed by Chōbē, Gui Fa sensed that Kotaku's Tao was also destroyed, which was a sign that the island would soon wither away.
Culture[edit | edit source]
Kotaku derives from two religions: Taoism and Buddhism. The man-made statues on the island combines these two religions (though Senta found them to be poorly executed). The inhabitants also wear clothing that associated with these religions.
Flora and Fauna[edit | edit source]
The island's animal life consists of the experimental creatures created by Xu Fu, such as the human-faced insects, Sōshin, and Mōnshin. The creatures' main instinct is to attack any foreign trespassers. The Sōshin were also in charge of guiding the Hōko as per Lord Tensen's orders. The Watatsumi are the only water-based animals on the island and would attack anything trying to escape Kotaku if it has not come from Hōrai's floodgates.
After Kotaku was discovered by humans, the island's forest became bundled with bloomed samurai who were victimized by the Paradise Butterflies carrying mature samples of Tan, resulting in them undergoing Arborification. According to Gabimaru's expedition of the island, most of the plant life were familiar types that could be found on the mainland but also had a few unfamiliar flowers. To some, this gave the island a fairy tale-like feel the moment one steps on land, while others may feel the exact opposite, thinking that the mixture of plant life is unnatural and artificial. One flower in particular that is most common on Kotaku is the Waitanhua Flower, a flower designed by Lord Tensen to convert humans into Tan and was found within the Tan pit. A large Waitanhua Flower known as the Banko was kept in Hōrai.
1,000 years ago, Kotaku used to have wildlife, such as deer and birds. They soon died off after a century had passed.
Layout[edit | edit source]
Kotaku is divided into three regions: Eishū, Hōjō, and Hōrai.
Eishū[edit | edit source]
Eishū (えいしゅう Eishū?) is the outer region of the island, which holds the forest and the beach. The forest is covered in plant life, mainly due to the blooming corpses of samurai that last ventured the island. The Sōshin are stationed in Eishu to eliminate any trespassers.
Hōjō[edit | edit source]
- Further information: Hōjō
Hōjō (ほうじょう Hōjō?) is the second region of the island. Hōjo is a valley that circles around Hōrai and where the Sōshin nest. The Hōko once resided in Hōjō in a small village 1000 years ago until they underwent Arborification, leaving the village in ruins. Years later, Hōko and Mei became the only known people residing in the village.
Hōrai[edit | edit source]
- Further information: Hōrai
Inhabitants[edit | edit source]
|Rien †||Xu Fu †|
|Gui Fa||Ju Fa †||
Mu Dan †
|Ran †||Tao Fa †|
Zhu Jin †
|Lettuce Dōshi *|
|Mei †||Hōko †|