In Asian culture, there seems to be a significance for the number 108. Several anime and manga usually consider this number.

For example, Mokona-Modoki mentioning that he has 108 special techniques in Tsubasa Chronicle; Karin having to perform 108 good deeds to get out of transforming into a giant pig in Tonde Buurin; and Ryang having to endure 108 failed romances in the Korean manhwa Faeries’ Landing.

Indeed, Japanese and Korean point out to the number 108 as a significant and symbolic number. Reportedly the significance of the number 108 originated in India. In early Hindu religions, the number 9 represented wholeness and divinity because if you multiply 9 times anything then add the digits from the answer together, the result is always 9.

For example, 9×6185=55665, 5+5+6+6+5=27, 2+7=9. The number nine, according to the theory, represents God because God is the ultimate result of everything. Early Hindu religious mathematics determined that the number 108 represented all of existence because 1+0+8 equals 9.

Buddhism seems to have adopted this spiritual number. Buddhist beaded necklaces, called “malla,” have 108 beads. Buddhist temples in Japan ring the temple bell 108 times at midnight on December 31st of each year to ring in the new year and purify listeners of the 108 evil passions that plague every human.

In anime, the number 108 also appears in Crying Freeman as the sinister society of 108 Dragons, and Devil Hunter Yohko is the 108th generation demon slayer in her family. More at: AN

Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • Pearl Milk Tea says:

    I have seen the number 108 in a game clalled Suikoken. There are 108 characters in every Suikoden series. Each character represents a star of destiny. As far as I know, the structure of 108 in Suikoden is based on an ancient Chinese Mythology about 108 warriors. “Suikoden” is the Japanese name. It probably has a slightly different name in Chinese. I’m not sure.

  • ware4me says:

    Oh, I remember watching an OVA about Suikoden… don’t know if it isrelated :p

  • stukasa says:

    That’s interesting, I didn’t think of that before! But why 108? Couldn’t they have easily said 27 is special? Or 36? 54? 81? They didn’t have to pick 108! 😆

  • Pearl Milk Tea says:

    ware4me;17425 wrote: Oh, I remember watching an OVA about Suikoden… don’t know if it isrelated :p

    Did it mention any thing about 108 warriors or stars of destiny?

  • ware4me says:

    I watched 7-9 years ago… don’t recall :drop:

  • Arachnaboy says:

    I’m playing a visual novel that says “If there was a punishment for skipping class, I’d be dead 108 times by now”. What an odd way to use 108.

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