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Slug, Snake, Toad

Sounds familiar? Yep, those are the summonings of the Legendary Sannin - Jiraiya, Orochimaru and Tsunade. (See Tale of the Gallant Jiraiya to find out where they got their names from)

Why these three animals? There is another reason from Japanese legends. I'm sure everybody knows the game "Scissors, Paper, Stone" (also known as Janken in Japanese) where the scissors cuts paper, paper covers stone and the stone smashes the scissors. The Slug, Snake, Toad works in the same concept.

 




 

Janken

The world wide game "scissors, paper, stone" originated from China during the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220), invented by the warlords of that period. Except instead of paper, they used the open palm symbol to repersent cloth, so it's "Scissors, Stone, Cloth". The game reached Japan in the early 1640s and one variation of the game was the "Slug, Snake, Frog" variation.

In this variation, the Frog is afriad of the Snake, the Snake is afriad of the Slug and the Slug is afriad of the Frog. This is influenced by the Sansukumi way of thinking where it keeps the 3 objects in a deadlock. The fact that the Sannins use these 3 animals as summons may be the author hinting that there is no stronger one among them, and that their strength are more or less equal.

  Frog Snake Slug
 


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