Cultural References

Yamata no Orochi
Mythology & Folklore

taken from Wikipedia

The Yamata no Orochi, or Eight-Branched Serpent that lives in Ryugenzawa comes from an ancient Japanese myth. In the myth, Susanoh, a wild god, was exiled from heaven. When he arrived on Earth, he traveled to Izumo where he heard about an eight-headed serpent that would eat a village girl each year (thus the Yamata no Orochi's taste for women in Ranma ).

This particular year the victim was supposed to be Princess Kushinada. Susanoh made a deal with her parents that if he could save her, then he would be allowed to marry her. Kushinada's parents agreed and Susanoh went to work. He ordered the villagers to make a fence with eight gates, and at each gate there was to be a large container of sake (Japanese rice wine). The serpent took the bait, and fell asleep after becoming drunk. Susanoh cut the serpent to pieces and married Princess Kushinada.

Relevance to Ranma

The dragon found in Ryugenzawa that is key in creating the Water of Life is the Yamata no Orochi. The concept of the moss that is found on the creature's belly creating the magical water is taken from the historical dragon who was covered in moss and Japanese cypress and cedar trees.

An Introduction to Ranma