Created By: KingZeal on February 27, 2013 Last Edited By: KingZeal on March 16, 2013
Nuked

Japanese Spirit

The Necessary Weasel in manga known as Yamato-Damashii.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
"Do you remember the first time when you were a child that you stood up and walked on your own? If you don't remember doing it, and yet you did it, it means that you weren't conscious of it at the time. So how did you know how to do it? The answer is all humans are born already knowing how to stand up. Just as birds are born knowing how to fly, and fish are born already knowing how to swim. It's because of what we call instinct. All living creatures use instinct to obtain their natural powers when the time comes that they need them."
--Yoruichi Shihouin, Bleach, summarizing the philosophy.

"Yamato-damashii" is loosely translated into "the spirit/soul of Japan", and defined as anything and everything which makes Japan (and the Japanese) unique, distinct, and great. Of course, this creates the logical question: "What is Japanese?"

At its most basic, Yamato-damashii implies pure merit, worthiness or simply becoming a "better" person. It is the process by which any living being can achieve its maximum potential or even higher. It can be described as a plethora of virtues, in words that may not translate directly into English well, but here we'll organize them into three forms: talent, insight, and persistence.

If you've ever read, seen or heard of a Japanese story with even a hint of a To Be a Master or Defeating the Undefeatable plot, each of these three traits probably sound familiar to you. Most successful or powerful characters will have at least one and elements of others, but you can spot the Protagonist as the shining example (a seishin or "genius"). In the off chance that (s)he doesn't have all three, resolve will be the most likely of the three, followed by persistence, and they'll probably find out that they actually had a talent all along that was easily overlooked. This is because Yamato-Damashii is fueled by the belief that everyone who tries their best and finds their resolve will unlock their true potential when the time is right.

Ki, or some other equivalent Force, will be what measures a character's mastery of the trinity. Regardless of physical or mental disadvantages, an abundance of ki will usually make you Master of Your Domain. Ki is largely symbolic of overall worthiness in this regard, although it is more likely to be treated as a measurable and objective ability. In a battle of Ki, the person with the greater amount will often be able to No Sell just about anything to symbolize that they have ascended to a higher level of talent.

Heroes that follow this are likely to defeat the villain or solve their problems largely by themselves, or only with indirect support. Others in a Five-Man Band may help the hero reach their destination, deal with specific threats or fight the Co-Dragons, but they will barely do anything more than buy time or distract the villain for the Final Battle. Further, the heroes are more likely to go well out of their way to put honor and pride at a higher priority than victory. When the villain is defeated (and it's always just one villain in the end [[note]]See The "Ghaleon" Rule[[/note]]), it is almost always AFTER they've achieved their One-Winged Angel form or have acquired the almighty MacGuffin; when the hero finally succeeds, it is always with the knowledge that the villain was completely crushed at their most powerful and despite every dirty trick.

Often, the hero will not reach their peak until their resolve and persistence are tested against the Big Bad himself, at which point they will win via Eleventh Hour Superpower.[[note]]Which is lifted directly from the concept of musubi (or, the power of creation), which is he divine spark that all souls have, but is only unlocked by the truly prosperous.[[/note]]


NOTE: Putting everything in this section within the "Analysis" tab, as the article is quite long as it is.

Yamato-damashii has existed in some form for centuries. Japan has a long history of national and ethnic pride, partially codified in the Shinto belief that the Japanese islands themselves were divine. In the past, when China was the cultural center of the Asian world, Yamato-damashii was used to draw distinction between the academic and scholarly Chinese values and the simpler Japanese common sense.[[note]]There was a parable of a Chinese scholar who is murdered by a burglar. For all his intellect and reason, it didn't save him from such a simple and childish death.[[/note]] Aside from scholars like Motoori Norinaga, the concept was barely mentioned throughout the centuries afterward, but reached its peak once Japan began to modernize itself. With the entire country desperate to copy, and catch up to, the more advanced West, it became important once again to define what being "Japanese" meant.

Positively, Yamato-Damashii is a rejection of emotionless logic and the failure to try because something is difficult or seems impossible. In this sense, it follows the simple creed of "the only way to fail is not to try your best". On the pragmatic level, Yamato-Damshii is intended to refer to "Real Life" ingenuity, and not blind optimism. It inspires people to constantly be better, to focus more on uncharted paths than roads already paved, and to retain hope even at the Darkest Hour. One way of looking at how this differs from the west is that, unlike Shintoism, Christianity has a clear disconnect between mortals and the divine; humans should try to be like God, but can never BE divine. On the other hand, Shintoism believed that every human was born with a musubi, or a divine spark just waiting to be unlocked. In this philosophy, every person is born with everything they ever need to become great in their own way. In short, people who have talent should not be held back to accomodate for the less-talented, and the less-talented should acknowledge their limitations and perhaps try to succeed in other respects.

However, this can be a problem if "talent" is dictated by societal conformity and elitism, and if those without it are outright discarded or shunned. (After all, if someone is talentless, and thus unworthy of having their story told, why should anyone care?) Negatively, Yamato-Damashii can be compared to Social Darwinism, and has also been compared to the western concepts of the "White Man's Burden" and "American Exceptionalism" in that it assigns a specific ethnic group with an immeasurably valuable trait. Yamato-damashii is about all the things that makes Japan and her people good, and by proxy, what the rest of the world lacks. Furthermore, it is specifically a condemnation of academia in favor of common sense, adaptive thinking, and individual merit--in other words, if scholarly wisdom indicates that there is a Million-to-One Chance, yamato-damashii demands that those odds not only be challenged, but beaten. Furthermore, stemming from the code of bushido, a true follower of yamato-damashii will have risked sure-death for their cause at least once. This led to the glorification of kamikaze tactics in World War II, which (contrary to use of this trope in fiction) did not work out so well. And finally, this trope is also partly responsible for the phenomenon of "karoshi", which translates to "death from overwork" in Japanese. In recent decades, Japanese culture has cultivated the existence of the Salaryman and the Otaku, who pursue their respective interests with obsessive tenacity.

Naturally, there are still traces of this in Japanese culture and media--a minor means of spotting it is with the phrase "Ganbatte! (Do your best!)" in place of the Western "Good luck!"--although some scholars predict it will die out fairly soon. The concept of Kawaisa has been adopted as its chief replacement, although it can be argued that it still promotes a powerful emotional ideal (in this case, cuteness and delicacy) over a logical or unpleasant one. Another possible result of this trope is that Japan at large still has a mistrust of technology in favor of the Good Old Ways.
A story setting doesn't actually need to have a Japan to possess this trope. This is more about the general tone and logic that the story employs, which is more reflective of the setting it was created in than the one it takes place in.

Compare the Pillars of Moral Character, a separate but overlapping Japanese values system that more than likely defines what virtues the character's resolve springs from. Also compare Kawaisa, which is a later attempt at an idealized Japanese culture.

It's highly likely that the entire story concept is derived off of Wuxia (Dragon Ball, the codifer of modern Shounen, was heavily inspired by wuxia).

In America, the closest this concept approaches is the Superhero and Hollywood Action Hero. Westerns also have a similar feeling, but vastly different story structure.

Compare how well the concept fits into The Hero's Journey. Also compare with stories that follow a Thud and Blunder plot. The main character can also very easily categorized as an Übermensch, with their nemesis being representative of the "Last Man".

See The Other Wiki for more information on yamato-damashii.

Examples:

  • Hajime no Ippo not only follows this trope, but specifically calls it out by name more than once. It's flat out stated to be the most common and powerful trait of every Japanese boxer (though other nationalities are capable of it). The virtues of Talent, Resolve, and Persistence are thus personified by the characters of Takamura, Coach Kamagawa, and Ippo himself, respectively.
  • Played absolutely straight in One Piece. Firstly, even with the rather intricate Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors system, Heroic Resolve tends to be the factor that decides the fights in the favor of the heroes. Secondly, considering that they are criminals and all, the Straw Hat Pirates end up doing the morally right thing a lot more often than the marines sided with the corrupt World Government. And thirdly, there exists a force known as Haki which actually means "ambition". Luffy is gifted with the rare Conqueror's Haki with which you can literally knock out Weak-Willed opponents with sheer spirit alone.
  • Naruto zig-zags between whether it wants to follow this trope or not. On the one hand, teamwork is a major focus of Konohagure and they way the construct teams. But on the other, virtually everything comes down to a one-on-one battle anyway, with the best warrior of one side inevitably facing the best of the opposition. Also, the eponymous protagonist at first begins the story with only persistence as his major trait, but he later discovers his unique talent is being Cursed with Awesome, and gains resolve in his desire to become Hokage despite having little to no practical ability. And later chapters reveal that he was always exceedingly talented even without the above curse, though in ways that were not readily noticeable.
  • Bleach plays it absolutely straight with Ichigo as the poster boy. Gifted with ungodly high reiatsu, guided by a superb moral compass, and persistent to never give up and risk everything to succeed. Further, he's not only gone into sure-death scenarios with abandon, but he's actually DIED twice!
  • Interestingly, Dragon Ball did not follow this trope at first. In fact, Akira Toriyama intentionally subverted it several times. In particular, though Goku definitely possesses the traits of Yamato-Damashii, Toriyama would never allow Goku to win a Tournament Arc (until the King Piccolo arc, which is the only time the world was actually at stake), despite fans demanding it. Secondly, the victories against Raditz and Vegeta were both done with true teamwork (as opposed to a God-Mode Sue with token support). However, from the Namek Saga onward, Dragonball slowly helped codify this trope in Shounen. A later example is when fans were dissatisfied with the Android villains (partially because there was more than one, and because they did not appear to be Worthy Opponents), forcing him to make Cell the main antagonist.
    • However, at the same time, Toriyama also codified Ki. According to him, ki is determined by courage and vigor and "being in one's true mind", which is flat out the basis of this trope. In addition, he also introduced Power Levels, which were essentially a sort of scientific measurement of a person's overall ki and battle capabilities. Toriyama stated he specifically introduced Power Levels to show how pointless and unreliable they were. In other words, guts and courage ultimately overruled academic limits. Toriyama did take several steps to try and subvert this trope, but a combination of Executive Meddling and Pandering to the Base shot those attempts down.
  • In the Persona series, the main characters tend to fit this trope quite well. The Protagonist's social links tend to characterize him/her as The Ace, and (s)he typically has stats like Academics, Understanding, Diligence, and Courage that exemplify this. And almost always, the Big Bad is defeated by the hero alone with the aid of an Eleventh Hour Superpower.
  • Deconstructed in Mirai Nikki. In a There Can Be Only One plot involving Scry vs. Scry, the protagonist is not talented (at least, no moreso than the other characters), does not have resolve, and can barely be considered to have anything resolving willpower. But his good heart is what causes the female lead, Yuno, to develop a Mad Love for him, and Yuno certainly everything this trope dictates. She's exceptionally talented, insightful, and determined. But the zigs and zags keep coming throughout the story--Yuno is only The Ace because of her Abusive Parents, and is actually an empty broken person inside who needs Yuki to validate herself. And later on, when Yuki's parents are murdered, he finally gets the resolve he needed...but it starts to slowly erode his willpower and push him into madness to the point that he would rather die than kill Yuno. In the end, Yuno betrays him because of this and it's revealed that she's actually the Big Bad, having manipulated everything to this conclusion. Since Yuki won't kill her and become God, then it wouldn't make sense for them to commit a lovers' suicide; she can travel back in time and be with his past self all over again (as she did last time after SHE became God). In the end, Yuki and Yuno become horribly broken people, and it's only through the intervention of others that the story even manages to avoid an outright Downer Ending.
  • As a manga about swordsmen during the Meiji Restoration, it's no surprise that Rurouni Kenshin uses and discusses aspects of this trope extensively.
    • The three traits:
      • Koyuu: The main character, most of his supporting cast, and the majority of antagonists in the series all have some gift or trait that makes them stand out as fighters. Kenshin, by far, shows himself to be the most talented of all in skill, and starts off the series having attained the title of "the strongest". This is subsequently deconstructed as the series shows the toll that his style of swordsmanship takes on his body, in spite of his talent.
      • Chie: Ideals are thrown back and forth between various characters, each of whom has their own ideas about life. In the very first chapter, Kenshin states that Kaoru's father's ideology of "the sword that protects life" is a utopian, impractical ideal, but one that he would rather believe in instead of the true nature of kenjutsu as a killing art. Other characters have their own ideologies, (e.g. Saitou's "Aku. Soku. Zan.", or "Swift Death to Evil"), and the entire focus of the Kyoto Arc pits Kenshin's principles of the strong protecting the weak versus Shishio's "The strong are food for the weak". Soujirou even asks if winning the fight proves that the victor's ideals are right (a concept which Kenshin rejects). At the end of the arc, it's even stated that time (or "the age") was the one that decided the winner. And subverted in the epilogue to the arc, where Japan's real-world rise to militarism prior to World War II is described, suggesting that Kenshin's fight may have been in vain.
      • Kakan: Starting from the second half of the manga, Kenshin's pivotal fights are decided by two things: the Succession Technique, and the inability to die thanks to sheer force of will. Sanosuke has his own Training Arc, and Yahiko spends most of the manga pushing his limits in order to become stronger. The Succession Technique is even explicitly stated to be affected by the user's will to live and resolve.
    • Japanese Nationalism: Played with.
      • Subverted on the surface. Kenshin doesn't fight for Japan, but for his own ideals and to protect the weak, having learnt the cost of getting politically involved during his career in the Bakumatsu. Shishio, the villain of the Kyoto Arc, seeks the rise of Japan as a great power and intends to shape it in his own ideals.
      • However, subtext suggests a straighter interpretation. A large number of of Kenshin's opponents adopt non-Japanese technology (A Gatling gun, Shishio's Rengoku battleship which he purchased from Enishi, an arm-mounted Armstrong cannon), forms of dress (e.g. Soujirou's and Houji's clothing), and other mannerisms and influences (e.g. Enishi's dealings in China). Kenshin and his supporting cast are more traditional in garb and style, and occasionally described as belonging to the previous era (e.g. the phasing out of kenjutsu and swordsmanship, even Kenshin's own insistence that the hitokiri should've been left behind with the Bakumatsu), and Houji explicitly compares defeating Kenshin to taking over Japan.
    • Patterns: Kenshin's gauntlets in the Kyoto and Jinchuu Arcs plays this completely straight - while Kenshin's supporting cast helps deal with the Big Bad's henchmen (and may interfere in the final fight to little benefit), it's always up to Kenshin to take on the Big Bad himself with minimal external aid, and the fight always boils down to pitting his use of the Succession Technique (as mentioned, a symbol of his resolve) against his opponent's strongest move - following which the opponent is both physically and psychologically defeated.
  • Gurren Lagann gives us this advice: "Go Beyond the Impossible and kick reason to the curb!" Furthermore, you have things like Spiral Power, constant Shonen Upgrades and constant references to confidence, spirit, and resolve. It's safe to say that Gurren Lagann is this trope in its purest form.
Community Feedback Replies: 33
  • February 27, 2013
    Tzintzuntzan
    While definitely a real trope, this seems mostly covered by existing tropes like Hard Work Hardly Works, Born Winner, and Technician Versus Performer. All these tropes point out that a lot of anime revolves around who has the truest spirit and wants something the most, instead of who puts in the most effort or plans ahead.

    For that matter, there's a lot of non-Japanese equivalents of this, like the various chosen ones of Western fantasy teenage lit (who always win by the spirit within them instead of thinking), or people who favor American can-do spirit/British common sense/the true spirit of the rodina over that fancy-pants silly book learning. If the existing tropes don't cover this, I think a new trope is indeed needed, but not a Japanese-specific one.
  • February 27, 2013
    KingZeal
    I think those tropes are suitable sub/sister tropes, at the very least while this is a Missing Supertrope.

    I suppose deciding whether or not it should be Japan-specific is a discussion we should have as well, but this is a specifically-Japanese cultural invention.
  • February 27, 2013
    DracMonster
    It might work. The thing is, the traits are prime storytelling fodder in and of themselves regardless of culture. Unless Word Of God specifically says so, it may be difficult to identify whether a Japanese work was intentionally going for them or it just happened naturally from dramatic necessity, since they're such basic building blocks of a compelling protagonist.
  • February 27, 2013
    Noaqiyeum
    This is as much deserving of a page as American Exceptionalism is. Even as a combination of other tropes, it is distinct in summary, as being a cultural ideal that is reflected in works.
  • February 27, 2013
    KingZeal
    The closest western genre that fits this is the Superhero. Superheroes have most of the traits listed above: talent, resolve, and persistence. Superman, Batman and Spider-man fit personify those three respectively, but each has at least some of all three.

    However, where superheroes differ from Japanese heroes is that the form of threat and the method of victory. A superhero rarely ever faces a villain who is far beyond their scope to the point of being statistically superior. Sure, Batman occasionally faces opponents like Bane or Killer Croc, Superman sometimes goes against gods like Darkseid or Imperiex, and Spider-man often faces foes like The Juggernaut or Mephisto, but they are exceptions. Most villains are either on the same par as they are or perhaps even physically weaker.

    To that end, the story is almost never about training to gain power to beat the foe (again with some exceptions). The goal is not for the superhero to get stronger than the villain through diligence. Typically, the obstacle the hero faces has a set threat level (escaping a deathtrap, solving a crime, defeating a foe made of sand.) In shonen, the goal is almost always for the hero to defeat a logically-superior opponent through what basically amounts to resolve and persistence, and that foe will retain their aura of invincibility through constant plot devices. Academia, if it plays a factor, only serves to supplement those traits, never override them. For superheroes, the goal is usually to right a wrong or to stop a crime, so the method that it happens is not important.

    Again, this is all generally-speaking. There exists gray areas on both sides.
  • February 27, 2013
    TheHandle
    ^For instance, Nolanverse Batman fits here rather snugly, but, as far as I can tell, is the only iteration of Batman who does.

    Young Adult fiction tends to overlap with this easily: it's often young people who have only pluck in the face of the immense power, resources and knowledge of adults (they're usually much stronger, too).

    All in all, despite its huge applicability, I really like this trope, and I feel it really helped me make sense of a lot of stuff.

    Please make sure to expand on it. Examples from japanese Literary Fiction would be welcome, especially subversions. Speaking of which, where does Medaka Box fit in all of this?
  • February 27, 2013
    KingZeal
    Will do, and thanks! I felt the same way!

    I don't know anything about Medaka Box, sadly. That's why I need more tropers to post examples!
  • February 28, 2013
    TheHandle
    ... You may find it beneficial to give it a look while you proceed with this. Yamato Damashii is one of the main things it deconstructs.

    Also, how does this compare or contrast to the Heros Journey?
  • February 28, 2013
    KingZeal
    The two can overlap quite snugly. For example, Persona 4 fits both extremely well. In particular, the various forms of the Call To Adventure overlap often with the protagonist's unique talent. Their resolve is usually verified during the Adventure Rebuff and the Threshold Guardians are usually the very moment the hero's resolve is made formal as a threat. The adventure proper usually builds and challenges the hero's persistence, and the Belly Of The Whale is the moment the hero has his revolve questioned, his persistence invalidated, and their talent neutralized. Then the final act of the story typically rebuilds their resolve, thus giving the hero a new talent via Eleventh Hour Superpower and the day is saved.

    The main difference is that The Heros Journey is only the framework while Yamato-Damashii fleshes it out. Other cultural values can be substituted for it for different cultures and audiences.
  • March 1, 2013
    Paradisesnake
  • March 1, 2013
    FastEddie
    Please use Japanese Spirit as the name on this English speaking wiki. The Japanese term can be defined within.
  • March 1, 2013
    KingZeal
    No problem, Eddie.
  • March 1, 2013
    Noaqiyeum
    Problem: Japanese Spirit suggests a connection to Youkai. It probably needs an additional modifier.
  • March 2, 2013
    Pyrite
    I've written up the Rurouni Kenshin example, but it feels a little too detailed and there's a bit of YMMV in the Japanese Nationalism bit. Any suggestions?
  • March 2, 2013
    KingZeal
    It's pretty cool as it is, to me.
  • March 2, 2013
    arromdee
    Calling this "Japanese Spirit" is a bad idea because although it literally translates to "Japanese Spirit" the meaning is a good deal more specific than "anything which is spirit, and Japanese". It's like having a trope "Automobile" and requiring that it be titled "Self-Propelled"--the word does literally mean self-propelled, but that's a bad title because that title would imply that it contains steamboats and rocket ships.

    Even the Wikipedia article is titled "Yamato-Damashii".
  • March 3, 2013
    Arivne
    ^ Fast Eddie doesn't like titles in non-English languages, as he indicated above.
  • March 3, 2013
    TheHandle
    ^ and by Doesn't Like we mean "essentially forbids them and actively promotes their replacement".
  • March 3, 2013
    DomaDoma
    Eddie can be pretty arbitrary, can't he? Anyway, I just looked it up and we still have Yamato Nadeshiko. Something equally specific to Japanese culture should thus be okay.
  • March 3, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    ^ I totally disagree with that. I'm not saying that we should completely clean out all non-English titles but we certainly don't need any more. I mean, I myself am a manga fan and I still find all those Yamato Nadeshiko, Kuudere and Yandere type titles really confusing. For those who are not too familiar with the medium the titles are even less descriptive.
  • March 3, 2013
    arromdee
    For those who are not too familiar with the medium, there isn't much of a need to use the terms to begin with.
  • March 4, 2013
    TheHandle
    Nevertheless, I can see their point. Japanese Wildflower works very well as a replacement for YD.

    ^^I don't understand where the confusion comes from. There is no ambiguity of any sort.

    ^^^That's what arbiters/refrees do.
  • March 4, 2013
    KingZeal
    I added quotations around "spirit" to indicate that it's a loose metaphysical concept and not an actual thing (like Youkai). That should help.
  • March 4, 2013
    MissKitten
    I think the title is fine. Just needs more examples.
  • March 4, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    ^^^ My point being that Trope Names should be descriptive enough to give anyone a rough idea of what they are about. That's why we have a page named Flash Step and not Shunpo and so on. Making titles of foreign words or fan jargon should be avoided as much as possible.
  • March 5, 2013
    TheHandle
    Oh. Noob-friendliness? I can get behind that.
  • March 7, 2013
    SaintDeltora
    Saint Seiya seems like it would fit this pretty well.

    should i write a example?

    also from what i heard Gurren Lagann would fit this like a glove.

  • March 7, 2013
    KingZeal
    Yes please do.
  • March 7, 2013
    arromdee
    "Fan jargon" is another way of saying "preexisting term".

    And I'm sure that Red Shirt could be renamed Disposable Character and be less confusing to newbies who don't know the existing term and haven't watched Star Trek. We don't do that, for good reason.
  • March 9, 2013
    KingZeal
    Want to launch soon, but would like more examples. Any spring to mind? Or any other issues/points to be made?
  • March 10, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    ^^ Sure but different fandoms have different terms for the same things so if the term doesn't have a certain notability, it's really not that useful. Red Shirt for example has a page on The Other Wiki, so there's no doubt about its notability.
  • March 10, 2013
    arromdee
    Yamato Damashiii also has a page on The Other Wiki under that name.
  • March 16, 2013
    SaintDeltora
    Saint Seiya often uses this... But not always

    In the original series on one hand: in the early arcs Seiya ,despite his eventual infamy, would often make pretty clever strategies in order to defeat his enemies, on the other hand: Seiya (and the other saints) s`determination to win (Kakan) is pratically a plot point and Seiya`s fighting spirit (Chie) is the sole reason why the Saggitariuss Cloth keeps protecting him throughtout the story.

    In Omega: On one hand a good part of the first half of the series involves the heroes running away from the villains as they are just too strong. On the other hand it was through Kouga`s resolve to protect Saori (Chie) that the Pegasus Cloth recognized him as a worthy bearer, it was through his determination to not give up during his fight with Spear (Kakan) that allowed him to use the Pegasus Ryu Sei Ken at will, there is also the fact that Kouga has the extremely rare Light Cosmo [[Spoiler: and later Darkness Cosmo]] (Koyu). "Koyu" is also exhibited in the character of Dragon Ryuho who is the son of Shiryu from the original series, and is regarded as a genius.

    Episode G is probably the Saga that best exemplifies this, a big deal is made out of the fact that Aioria is the brother of the most powerful Gold Saint of his time( one charater even comments that someone like this cannot possibly have "only two moves")(Koyu),Aioria often talks at lenght about how he will never allow the Titans to win(Chie), and many of his enemies often comment on his sturborness (Kakan).It can best be summed up by a quote from the man himself.

    —> Aioria: no matter how many times I fall... I will always get up with my two legs.

    In general:In the Saint Seiya universe the Cosmo is the energy that Saints manipulate which allows them to accomplish wonders. Some people are born naturally Cosmo aware (Koyu). In order to use cosmo you must make it burn. One burns the cosmo by what can basically be summed up as a combination of "Chie" and "Kakan".

    This is what I could come up with for the Saint Seiya example. What you think so far?
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=1t0hiqiyezc5i8xlbat1iuc4&trope=JapaneseSpirit