Thanks to CiB789 for the inspiration.
Dedicated to Miyamoto Musashi and Murasaki Shikibu.
You’re probably aware of the parallels between Final Fantasy X and Japanese culture. Many of the characters have Japanese based names, such as:
The Okinawan word tida means “sun”. The sun theme is reflected in the crest and sigil needed to power up his Celestial Weapon, and possibly in his primarily yellow outfit and blond hair.
Kimari means “settlement”, “conclusion”, “regulation”, “rule”, and “custom” in Japanese.
And “Rikku” may very well be a variation of “Riku”, meaning land and shore (where Tidus first met Rikku). Also, consider that it also means “agony of separation”, alluding to Rikku’s home “Home” being destroyed.
And there’s more, like dress:
Yuna wears an ensemble similar to, but widely varied from, those worn by Yevonites: a purple pleated, flower-patterned dress; black boots; a black spaghetti-string camisole under a white sash that wraps around her neck and over her chest; and a yellow patterned obi with a chōchō musubi knot and a decorative obidome to clinch the cords.
In Final Fantasy X, gil coins come in several colors (and presumably metals), and each bears an image on one side and the value of the coin on the other. In Final Fantasy VI and Final Fantasy VII, gil appears as silver coins with a hole through the middle, while in Final Fantasy V gil coins are gold with a hole. In Final Fantasy XII, Penelo can briefly be seen holding a pair of coins presumed to be gil, one silver and one gold, with unclear detailed markings on them.
Sin might be an allusion to whaling culture, which is still big in Japan. Sin’s broad physical shape is modeled after a whale to give the impression of the being’s size, as well as its intelligence and otherworldliness.
The concept of fiends and pyreflies are based on the idea that fireflies represent a human soul and that restless dead turn into monsters.
The concept of the unsent alludes to the yūrei; according to traditional Japanese beliefs, upon a person’s death the soul leaves the body and enters a form of purgatory, where it waits for the funeral and post-funeral rites to be performed so it may join its ancestors. If one dies in a sudden or violent manner, if the proper rites have not been performed, or if they are influenced by powerful emotions, the soul transforms into a yūrei, which can bridge the gap back to the physical world and exist on Earth until it is laid to rest, either by performing the missing rituals, or resolving the emotional conflict that ties it to the physical plane. Yūrei are frequently depicted as being accompanied by a pair of floating flames that are separate parts of the ghost rather than independent spirits. This is similar to how the unsent in Final Fantasy X are related to pyreflies.
Yuna’s role as a summoner is akin to an (歩き巫女, arukimiko?), a type of miko or priestess who travels the countryside while performing her duties. Her sending dance at Kilika is homage to a kagura dance.
The plot of Final Fantasy X, alludes to the famous Japanese story of Susano’o and the Yamata no Orochi. Susano’o (Tidus) is banished from his home in the Heavens (Dream Zanarkand) and trying to win back favor to return home. He comes to the mortal world (Spira) and comes across two earthly deities who are weeping because they have to sacrifice their daughters (summoners) to the evil Orochi (Sin) to keep it from destroying their home. They wish to save their eighth daughter (Yuna) from being devoured, so Susano’o concocts a plan that involves getting the dragon-snake drunk with wine (“Hymn of the Fayth”) and killing it in its drunken state.
The Ronso treating Mt. Gagazet as a sacred place may allude to the Japanese culture where many mountains are considered holy with a Buddhist temple/shrine located on them. Thus they’re sites of pilgrimages where people will climb up and pray.
Oh yeah, can’t forget how: