Yamata no Orochi (八岐の大蛇?, Yamata no Orochi, lit. Big Snake Of Eight Branches) is an eight-headed serpent kaiju from Japanese mythology first used by Toho that first appeared in the 1959 Toho film, The Birth of Japan.
In The Birth of Japan, Orochi looks like a giant snake with eight heads, with eight small tails extending from the main one.
In Yamato Takeru, Orocho looks significantly different from the Birth of Japan one. The puppet is now red, has legs, and has horns on it's heads. It is also has one large tail, with small spikes sticking out from the sides.
The Birth of Japan
Orochi in the Showa era shares the same story as the Orochi from mythology, with his role in the movie being a description of that event.
Orochi was the god Tsukuyomi, lord of the underworld and God of the Moon, who transformed into this monstrous form ten thousand years ago and used it to attack the Earth. All of this was done in jealousy of his sister Amaterasu, goddess of heaven and the sun. He destroyed cities and mountains until he was stopped by his brother Susano, god of storms and the sea, his father then banished from Earth in a prison of ice. Thousands of years later, Tsukuyomi returned to Earth and was revived thanks to his servant, a trasnformed sentient broken fang who died soon after. After breaking free on the moon, he raised his castle but was bested by Yamato Takeru and Oto, who held the 'spirits' of his two siblings. Angered transformed int Orochi to kill the Yamato Takeru and Oto, but they were saved by Amano Shiratori, the servant of the Sun goddess. However Orochi threw the two into space via a blast, but Takery fused with Oto and two sacred treasure to become Utsuno Ikusagami. Utsuno Ikusagami fought Orochi, and won. Tsukuyomi was trapped on the moon and sealed into Takeru's pendant and cast into space on the orders of Susano who said that upon his return Tsukuyomi would be reformed.
Tsukuyomi is a god and presumably has various supernatural abilities stemmed to that fact. Before he was only defeated by his brother, a fellow god and by Takeru, who was given a power to counter his.
As a god, Tsukuyomi is immune to the withering effects of time. He also survived trapped in ice for millenia and both of his defeats.
The counterforce to Takeru's 'Wild Spirit', it manifests as beams from his eyes. It's power is unknown but Susanno said it was impossible to defeat him without the Wild Spirit to defeat his calm Spirit. Presumably only his siblings could match his power and only his father and older gods surpassed his.
Tsukuyomi manifested his armor and raised a castle of complex architecture from the Earth through nothing but his will. These creations were not illusion and real to the point they could survive his absence.
Tsukuyomi teleported from the Moon to Earth, he also teleported out of his armor when he transformed into Orochi.
Tsukuyomi can shapeshift, he used this power to become Orochi and given that his servants powers stemmed from him, he can presumably take on the appearance of others.
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