Twelve Kingdom (Juni Kokuki) by Fuyumi Ono (The Record of Twelve Countries)

“…….people naturally bow to others when they truly feel gratitude and wish to express true respect. ”


I have first encountered this story as an anime during my high school years. Looking back then, I think this story probably? Made up about a percent of what I had become as person now. Aside from of course unable to give up my anime addiction this story gives a lot of lesson in your everyday life you could relate to. Personally I would say it gives a lot of airs about a person’s moral character. This says much considering that nowadays anime don’t have that much meaning in to it. You could exclude Naruto and One piece right about now. I am not badmouthing this genre mind you I do fawn on it. Just look at this my way. More of like what you see is what you get.

(So much segues.)

Of course, I didn’t get much of the story’s meaning when I was still a walking hormonal time bomb. As they say, things work out well the second time around. ⏳

Annnnnndd I did remember this just this year and then came the researching. I learned that the anime was based on a book called “The Twelve Kingdom” (Surprise, surprise.) by Fuyumi Ono.
I have read and watched both and I would say that that the people involved in this did a great job. Most of the volumes in the series was portrayed with precise detail in the 45 episode anime. Not all of them but the important parts where covered.


The book is a series that focuses on a Chinese mythology inspired fictional world where twelve kingdoms exist under the rule of a singular being chosen by the heavens. In this world there are thirteen lands. These twelve lands encircle the thirteenth, where the Koukai (Yellow sea) and Mt. Hou lies. Mt. Hou is where the gods communicate their will to the 12 Kingdoms of the world.
Each of the twelve kingdoms has a Kirin and a ruling monarch. The Kirin, a mythological beast usually portrayed as what we call now a unicorn, selects the monarch deserving to rule the kingdom then serves him/her.
It compromises of different stories, though one or two characters stood prevalent amongst all.

The anime and the first book tells us about the story of Yoko Nakajima. A red haired a high school girl who was transported to the 12 kingdoms from the lands of Hourai (Japan). She eventually learns the reason of her sudden appearance in that word, a Kirin had chosen her to become the Empress of the kingdom of Kei. Her struggles as she rose to become an empress written down in history.

She would become the main character in the anime though they do tell the stories of other character. However in the book, Yoko would be among the many main characters, her story would be told in two novels.(There are 8 books to date.)

I actually did experience this, while rewatching the anime I became curious of what happened to the other characters like Taiki a very rare black Kirin who serves the Ruler of Tai, Enki and Shouryuu, the Kirin and ruler of the kingdom on En.

So I went ahead and downloaded all the books (translated ones) and read them.
You can read them in this order:


Download here. For free and you can buy them at tokyo pop translation


Give this a chance. There’s really little to no romance in here but theres more to life than just the affairs of the heart.

I know that this is spoiling but if you do not have plans to watch the anime go ahead.  This was a part on the very ending of the anime series. It was something Yoko said to her court that really stuck in me.

I don’t like being worshipped or even the distance created between people by rank. I despise being unable to see another person’s face. I also dislike having people kneel before me and watching people kneel before others.

“…….people naturally bow to others when they truly feel gratitude and wish to express true respect. ”


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