The Canine Warriors, often referred to as the Satomi Canine Warriors, the Eight Canine Warriors or the Kusa 5, were the eight dogs who were the guardians of the Gale Shrine, which was accessible via Kusa Village. Amaterasu and Issun must find them in order to obtain the Satomi Orbs, which are used to dispel the barrier blocking their path at the Gale Shrine. Princess Fuse will give Amaterasu and Issun the Canine Tracker to help them find the warriors. Whenever the Canine Tracker senses a Canine Warrior's presence, it will lead Amaterasu to them.
The Canine Warriors were the traditional protectors of the Satomi House, whose last remaining member was the priestess of the Gale Shrine, Princess Fuse. Their former master was her husband Yatsu, the high priest of the Gale Shrine. Yatsu was incredibly devoted to the puppy Canine Warriors and pampered them with his affection. This caused them to develop spoiled attitudes. The warriors eventually went their separate ways, vowing to return when called for.
A year before Amaterasu's arrival in Kusa Village, Yatsu was killed by demons while weakened by his illness, but his ghost remained near the sealed entrance to the shrine. Princess Fuse took over his duties, but was possessed by a Blue imp close to the time of Amaterasu's arrival.
After Amaterasu defeats the demon, Princess Fuse requests that Amaterasu regroup the Canine Warriors in order to defeat Crimson Helm, and gives her the Canine Tracker to assist her in her search.
Amaterasu quickly tracks down the first four Canine Warriors, all of whom are located around Kusa Village and return to Princess Fuse after being fed. The fifth Canine Warrior, Tei, however, disputes the worthiness of Amaterasu to bear the Canine Tracker, and challenges her to a fight. After defeated, Princess Fuse shows Amaterasu the location of the last three Canine Warriors.
The last three Warriors are spread over the currently explored areas of Nippon: Gi in Sasa Sanctuary, Jin in Agata Forest, and Chu in Kamiki Village. All three of the Warriors cannot leave their current posts, as they must guard their current location or someone there, and they therefore send only their Satomi Power Orbs back with Amaterasu.
When Amaterasu returns to Kusa Village, the Satomi Power Orbs surround her for her protection in the Gale Shrine. Amaterasu speaks to Yatsu's spirit before entering the Gale Shrine, and the Satomi Power Orbs appear and act like a key to open the shrine's door. The Orbs appear again at the end of the shrine, during Amaterasu's battle with Crimson Helm, where they protect her from the demon's attacks.
(Reasons for not returning)
|In a hole in the wall. Cherry Bomb is needed to destroy the wall (hunger).||Returned to Princess Fuse.||"'Rei' stands for 'honor'. |
Honor calls for careful moderation when dealing with others.
If we lose this sense, we rush headlong into chaos."
|Appears after the patch of dead grass near the Flower Girl is bloomed (hunger).||Returned to Princess Fuse.||"'Shin' stands for 'faith'. |
Faith flows from an open heart and is exchanged between friends.
It is the root of our convictions and guides us to our goals."
|In a bamboo stalk near Mr. Bamboo's house (hunger).||Returned to Princess Fuse.||"'Chi' stands for 'knowledge'. |
Knowledge is useless without deep reflection.
This reflection is essential in the pursuit of understanding."
|In a cave above the village. Vine is needed to get to there (hunger).||Returned to Princess Fuse.||"'Ko' stands for 'wisdom'. |
True wisdom is that passed on from one's parents and grandparents.
Rely on those who came before to show you the way in all things."
|After feeding and returning to the other Canine Warriors in Kusa Village. He will be found outside Princess Fuse's house (honing his skills).||Returned to Princess Fuse.||"'Tei' stands for 'brotherhood'. |
Brotherly affection breeds understanding.
It allows us to be ourselves and accept our fate."
|Sasa Sanctuary (Protecting Sasa Sanctuary).||Staying at the Sasa Sanctuary to defend it from the demons.||"'Gi' stands for 'duty'. |
To remain firm in one's duties in each and every aspect of life...
Bravery and duty go hand in hand. Bravery shows one what is right.
The greatest form of bravery is that born from a sense of duty."
|Agata Forest (Dedication to Kokari).||Staying with Kokari to protect him.||"'Jin' stands for 'justice'. |
To show compassion to both the living and the dead...
To care enough to give one's own life in service..."
|Kamiki Village (To protect Mushi).||Staying with Mushi to save him from the Sacrificial arrow.||"'Chu' stands for 'loyalty'. |
To give one's whole life for the good of one's master...
To focus on the goal with all of one's concentration..."
While Gi, Jin and Chu never return to Princess Fuse because of being feared by the monsters attacking the current locations, the other five remain with her, training at the Gale Shrine. Princess Fuse names the group the Kusa 5 and states that they are even more powerful than Orochi. When Amaterasu finds them in the Gale Shrine, all the dogs appear to be tired and bored. She requests that Amaterasu battles her five warriors to test their strength and skill. After a difficult battle against all five members, the three missing members appear to fight Amaterasu who manages to overcome them, only for Tei to rise again. Once Amaterasu has completed the battle, Princess Fuse tells her that her level of skill is what the Kusa 5 strive for. She also informs Issun that although the Eight Canine Warriors have split up, the lost members will return to aid their comrades in times of need, for even when they are apart, they are always as one. After their defeat, the Kusa 5 has a new found enthusiasm and resume their training.
After clearing Oni Island, Amaterasu can return to the Gale Shrine to challenge them to an optional battle as part of their training. The battle takes place in three separate waves without a break between them, and involves all eight of the Canine Warriors. If Amaterasu wins all three rounds, Princess Fuse rewards her with Praise and a Stray Bead.
In the first round, Amaterasu fights four of the Kusa Five (Rei, Shin, Chi and Ko). The Warriors' main attack is to activate the power of their Satomi Power Orb with a howl, making them invincible. They attack Amaterasu with a series of charges until the Orb stops glowing, which also signals the end of their invincibility. They repeat this technique whenever given an opening. The Warriors are very agile and can quickly backflip and dodge to avoid attacks, so that the long-distance range of a Rosary is recommended (but not required) to beat them. They deal a lot of damage and are quite durable, so this can be quite a tricky fight, but certainly not the hardest. Exploit every opening and Amaterasu should be able to beat them.
In the second round, Amaterasu must fight three dogs, specifically, the three who refused to return to Princess Fuse (Gi, Jin and Chu). They primarily use the same moves as the last lot, but also have some less conventional extras. During the fight, they may stop to dig holes, ejecting a spray of dirt that damages Amaterasu on contact. If Amaterasu falls into the finished hole, it temporarily traps her, allowing the Warriors to attack by urinating on her, in a similiar way to the Golden Fury Dojo Technique. This robs Amaterasu of her ink. The Warriors also attack by defecating around the battlefield. Their feces explode with the force of a Cherry Bomb, but can be avoided if noticed in time. Overall, they are very similar to the first lot and should be fought in the same way.
Finally, Amaterasu must face a single dog: Canine Warrior Tei. He mainly uses the same attacks as the first four, but is much faster and stronger. The only move he takes from the second round is the ability to dig holes, but is different in that, should Amaterasu fall in, he will attack normally, and won't urinate on her. Use most of the same tactics as before, when fighting him, but make sure to use the Veil of Mist brush power to slow him down.
Celestial Brush techniques are crucial for defeating the Warriors. Cherry Bomb is the only attack that can stop the Warriors' charge move if placed correctly, breaking their invulnerability and injuring them. Veil of Mist is extremely useful, since it makes the Warriors extremely vulnerable (even in mid-charge) and makes it easier for Amaterasu to dodge their fast-moving attacks. The Warriors do not take damage from other purely offensive techniques (e.g. Fireburst or Power Slash) unless stunned beforehand or slowed down with Veil of Mist. However, they will still reel back and be temporarily distracted, making them more vulnerable to damage from any Divine Instrument.
- The Ōkami Official Complete Works reveals that the Canine Warriors were originally designed as humans, but later in development they were made into dogs.
- They are "recycled" characters who share a similar model and attack animations as Amaterasu.
- According to the Ōkami Official Complete Works, all the Canine Warriors obviously have a set breed which are:
- Rei is a Pointer, a breed of hunting dog used to retrieve fallen birds. His markings suggest that he's an English Pointer.
- Shin is a Boxer, a medium bulldog breed from Germany.
- Chi is a Japanese Spitz, a breed most often seen as a pet or companion dog.
- Ko is a Collie, a British dog used in herding sheep.
- Tei is a Tosa-Ken, a Japanese fighting dog.
- Gi is a Husky, though this is a general term for several breeds often used as sled dogs.
- Jin is a Shiba-Inu, a Japanese small-game hunting dog.
- Chu is a Kai Ken, a Japanese hunting breed.
- The Eight Canine Warriors are based on a novel, known as Nansō Satomi Hakkenden.
- Each dog's name corresponds to a virtue of Confucianism.
- Confucianism is a political, ethical and social philosophical system developed by Confucius (551-479 BCE) that strongly influenced the value system of countries like China, Korea, Vietnam or Japan.
- When fighting the Kusa 5 in the Wii version, their introductory painting will be of the Wind Doom Mirror; this error is not present in the PS2 and PS3 versions.
- "The Warriors of the Village of Wind:
I drew this because I wanted to draw a scene overflowing with happiness. The spoiled attitudes of the Eight Canine Warriors are no doubt a result of the way Yatsu raised them."—Mari Shimazaki (Ōkami Gossip Logs, page 262, Ōkami Official Complete Works)
- "But last year, the fiends attacked and killed the head priest while he was weakened by sickness, and the Gale Shrine fell into their hands."—Princess Fuse (Ōkami)
- "The Kusa 5 is at least 10 times more powerful than Orochi!!!"—Princess Fuse (Ōkami)
They were all humans at first. I was having some difficulty with their design, and put them on the backburner for a while. By the time I got back to them, the game scenario has them all as dogs. I was quite surprised. We even included some western breeds."—Yoshimura Kenichirou (Illustrated Encyclopedia of Ōkami Concept Works, page 130, Ōkami Official Complete Works)
- VGFacts' trivia #3161.