A Pokémon Scarlet and Violet: The Teal Mask screenshot of Ogerpon in front of a mask stand at the festival.
Screenshot by Prima Games

All Japanese Folklore References in Pokémon Scarlet & Violet: The Teal Mask

Normally we'd want ogres staying out, but we can make an exception for Ogerpon.

Pokémon games take many inspirations from various cultures and their mythologies, some more obviously than others. Pokémon Scarlet and Violet: The Teal Mask feature numerous references to Japanese folklore. From the obvious to the less well-known, the following are all the ways The Teal Mask is inspired by Japanese folklore. 

Recommended Videos

Pokémon Scarlet & Violet: The Teal Mask References to the Story of Momotaro 

A Pokémon Scarlet and Violet: The Teal Mask screenshot of a close-up of the story signposts.
Screenshot by Prima Games

In Japanese folklore, Momotaro is a hero who was born from a giant peach (momo) that a woman found floating down a river. When Momotaro came of age, he went to put an end to the ogres (oni) that were attacking his homeland. On the way, he found a talking monkey, dog, and pheasant who joined him. Together they defeated the ogres and brought peace to their home. This is very similar to the story players are first told when visiting Kitakami: the Loyal Three Pokémon Munkidori, Okidogi, and Fezandipiti are a monkey, dog, and pheasant, respectively, and they are revered as Kitakami’s heroes for driving away Ogerpon, just like in the story of Momotaro. The Teal Mask eventually puts its own spin on this story but is still very clearly based on Momotaro’s adventures. 

Pokémon Scarlet & Violet: The Teal Mask References to Tsukumogami 

A screenshot of Sinistcha evolving in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet: The Teal Mask.
Screenshot by Prima Games

Like many concepts from antiquity, the definition of a tsukumogami isn’t always consistent. The most general definition is that a tsukumogami is a tool or object that has become occupied by a spirit or god (kami) after 99 or 100 years, turning it into a yokai (Japanese spirit or other supernatural phenomenon). The idea of objects with a spirit isn’t entirely new to Pokémon, being used for Pokémon designs such as Litwick and its evolutions, Voltorb and Electrode, or even Bronzor and Bronzong. In The Teal Mask, Poltchageist and Sinistcha continue this concept as tea ceremony equipment come to life. Their possessed objects of choice are especially fitting for the Japanese-inspired land of Kitakami. 

Additional Pokémon Scarlet and Violet: The Teal Mask References to Oni 

A screenshot of the player using Miraidon to scare away a Greedent in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet: The Teal Mask Ogre Oustin'.
Screenshot by Prima Games

The Teal Mask features an all-new mini-game called Ogre Oustin’. The goal of this mini-game is to collect berries to “keep ogres away.” This has its origins in mamemaki, a ritual performed during Setsubun (the last day of winter in the old Japanese calendar, generally February 3) to drive away evil and other misfortunes. The Japanese word for bean, mame, can also be written using the characters “evil” and “destroy.” As a result, beans were thought to drive away ogres, which represented evil and other misfortunes, such as illness. Because of this, people on Setsubun will either throw beans outside of their home to dispel evil, or scatter beans inside their home to welcome good fortune. 

In Scarlet and Violet: The Teal Mask, instead of throwing beans at poor little Ogerpon, players collect berries to welcome happiness (and helpful item rewards). Unfortunately, this attracts, rather than dispels, hungry Pokémon such as Greedent and Munchlax. If you’re looking to keep Greedent and Munchlax away from your collected berries, check out our guide to Ogre Oustin’. If you’re hoping to welcome a special shiny Munchlax into your team, you can read our guide to earning it.

Prima Games is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
Image of Niki Fakhoori
Niki Fakhoori
Niki’s love for video games encompasses a wide range of genres, but she is especially fond of RPGs, adventure games, visual novels, simulation games, and fighting games. Her favorite video game-related pastime is asking her unwieldy backlog why she doesn’t have any new games to play. When she isn’t playing or writing about video games, she’s playing with cats, journaling, painting, or obsessing over the latest news in the world of stationery and planners.