Baku Mikoshi

Posted in Arcana on May 5, 2005

By Wizards of the Coast

Baku Altar

The art description for that Betrayers of Kamigawa spirit-generating artifact, Baku Altar, calls for a "mikoshi" or "palanquin shrine" shaped like a baku.

The baku are composite creatures from Japanese mythology: sometimes they sport the head of an elephant and the body of a lion. As you know, the baku in Betrayers of Kamigawa (Blademane Baku, Petalmane Baku, Quillmane Baku, Skullmane Baku, Waxmane Baku) are a cycle of spirits that gain abilities as you use Arcane magic.

But what is a "mikoshi," or a "palanquin"?

A mikoshi is a portable Shinto shrine that serves as the vehicle of a divine spirit in Japan at the time of a parade of deities. Often, the mikoshi resembles a miniature building, with pillars, walls, a roof, a veranda and a railing. Typical shapes are rectangles, hexagons, and octagons. The body, which stands on two poles (for carrying), is usually lavishly decorated, and the roof might hold a carving of a phoenix.
-- Google
A palanquin is a covered conveyance, usually for one person consisting of a large box with wooden shutters like Venetian blinds, carried by four or six (rarely two) men by means of poles projecting before and behind.
-- Google

So intead of having a miniature building or wooden box, Baku Altar has a statue of a baku. Now you know.

Latest Arcana Articles


December 10, 2015

Best of 2015 and Holiday Treats by, Blake Rasmussen

With the holidays upon us, the crew at DailyMTG and the rest of Wizards of the Coast is going to be taking a bit of a break. But that doesn't mean there's nothing going on for you, gentle...

Learn More



Arcana Archive

Consult the archives for more articles!

See All