Genshin Impact Lore: Enkanomiya
What is Enkanomiya?
Ever since the release of Watatsumi Island in Genshin Impact, we’ve been hit with hints of a civilization that lived deep beneath the sea (think Atlantis). That’s where the people of Watatsumi came from, and it opens up so many theories because of another location in the depths of Teyvat. Here’s every bit of Genshin Impact lore I’ve dug up on Enkanomiya since its release. Parts of it came from finishing the quests for the event Three-Realms Gateway Offering.
Origins of Enkanomiya
In the forbidden book ‘Before Sun and Moon’, the author describes a time when Vishaps ruled the world, with the Seven Sovereigns at the top. Then the Primordial One came and challenged the Sovereigns. The One created four shades of itself to aid it in battle.
For 40 years the war raged, but ultimately the Primordial One and its shades triumphed over the dragons. It started its reign over the world by creating heaven and earth for humanity, preparing a place for its future creations.
That resulted in the formation of the three realms:
The Light Realm: Also called the ‘Vishap Realm’, it’s where primordial elemental beings reside.
The Void Realm: Referred to as the ‘Abyss.’
The Human Realm: Where humanity resides.
Some 400 years after the Primordial One arrived and challenged the Seven Sovereigns, preparations were done. It and one of its shades created all human and animal life. Humanity enters into a covenant with the Primordial One, who has a ‘sacred plan’ for them.
This was an era of prosperity for humanity, known as the ‘Year of Jubilee’. They created a single unified civilization that spanned the world, which Enkanomiya (then called Byakuyakoku) was once a part of. Some time afterward, a being called the ‘Second Who Came’ waged war against the Primordial One. The battles rent the heavens and the earth, leading to Byakuyakoku falling into the depths of the ocean.
In the darkness of the deep ocean, they came across the Dragonheir of the Depths. These Vishaps terrorized the people for thousands of years. Realizing that these Vishaps hated the light, they started using thousands of lanterns to try and ward them away.
Unfortunately, the lanterns proved to be an ineffective method to repel the Vishaps. The people prayed and cried out to the Primordial One for a solution. Only one of its shades answered the one they called Istaroth, the god of time and the wind. She gave Aberaku the knowledge and wisdom to create the Dainichi Mikoshi, also called Helios, and give the people light.
Soon after the construction of the Dainichi Mikoshi, the people decided to find a way back to the surface. They thought that it was long enough for the war to be over. However, they were blocked by some unknown means. They took this information to assume that the Primordial One won against the Second Who Came, but forbade knowledge of the history before the war.
The Era of the Sunchildren
Around this time, some corrupt nobles tricked the people into believing that the Dainichi Mikoshi is a god. They then engineered a puppet ruler called a Sunchild that was ‘chosen’ and ruled over Byakuyakoku through them.
These corrupt nobles knew that it was a matter of time before the children would grow and eventually question them. They created a ritual, the Rite of Solar Return to keep the children oblivious to their machinations. Aberaku opposed the nobles, but the Sunchild accused him of treason and had him imprisoned.
Future rebels also met the same fate. One of them was Spartacus, a leader of a sizable cell of rebels. After his imprisonment, the cell bid its time, eventually resorting to selling the Dragonbone Orb for resources. In doing so, though, they ended up somewhat affected by the orb and stopped the rebellion.
Thus, the rule of the Sunchildren continued until sometime during the Archon War. A god had fled the wars and hid in a cave near Byakuyakoku. A child found this god and asked it to lead them. The god took pity on them, overthrew the Sunchildren and the corrupt nobles, and sealed the Dragonheirs away. This god was named Orobashi no Mikoto and became the patron god of the people.
Orobashi used the corals growing on its body to create a path toward the surface. The corals were also used to create Watatsumi Island for the people of Byakuyakoku to live in. The people then called the surface island ‘Sangonomiya’, and the one in the depths ‘Enkanomiya’.
The Three Towers
During an unspecified time in Byakuyakoku, the people built the Towers of the Three Realms at the borders of their territory. That’s because they recognized that their civilization was at the border of three different realms. Yes, they’re the same ones mentioned above: the Light/Elemental Realm, the Void Realm, and the Human Realm.
They built these towers to stabilize Byakuyakoku and maintain harmony between the three realms. They’re also quite ancient, anyone the Traveler can talk to doesn’t even remember their original names. Currently, they’ve been renamed Yachimatahiko’s Locus, Yachimatahime’s Locus, and Kunado’s Locus. The people also have them hidden through secret arts only shrine maidens and the Vassals of Watatsumi know.
Eidolons, or the Sunfire and Ghostfire Phantasms
This is the name of a special phenomenon local to Enkanomiya. Sunfire Phantasms are ‘mirages’ that only reveal their true nature when not under the light of the Dainichi Mikoshi. Ghostfire Phantasms, in contrast, are also called Sinshades. They’re remnants of the people who once lived in Enkanomiya.
The Sinshades (also called the Sins of Tokoyo) have some consciousness based on the person when they were still alive. Remember that Enkanomiya borders the three realms, but doesn’t belong to any of them. This gives it the property of a ‘nether realm’. Combine that with the influence of the God of Moments (Istaroth), and it resulted in these shades.
In-game, they’re the ones to reveal to the Traveler much of what happened in Enkanomiya. The shades recount the reign of the Sunchildren, the fate of those who rebelled, and what they have to do to retrieve the Bloodbranch Coral.
Lore From Various Quests
Spoilers for some quests and the Three Realms Offering event follows.
Every few thousand years, Enkanomiya starts to bleach the land on Watatsumi Island. If left unresolved, it will render the land inhospitable and turn it into a desert. It also comes with an added threat of the Vishaps breaking out into the surface.
To prevent all this from happening, the ritual called the Watatsumi Mitama Omatsuri has to be done. The Traveler does this, retrieving the Bloodbranch Coral from the depths of Enkanomiya. The coral was something to be used in the ritual.
The ritual went off without a hitch, but it didn’t work in revitalizing the soil on the surface. The Traveler has to figure out what happened and try to resolve things once again.
They find out that corrupting darkness engulfed Enkanomiya. A mysterious shrine maiden has taken some measures to keep the darkness at bay and needs help from the Traveler. The shrine maiden tasks the Traveler to go to the three towers and activate the ‘Light Chisel’ on top of the towers.
Through the course of completing the quests for the event, the Traveler learns that the Abyss was the cause for the darkness. However, it was a side effect of the Vishaps’ plan to rescue their brethren. By the end of everything, the Traveler resolved the darkness in Enkanomiya but lost much more.
Due to the Vishaps succeeding in their rescue mission, the Watatsumi people in the future might not be able to get any more Bloodbranch Coral to do the Watatsumi Mitama Omatsuri.
There was also a mention of an envoy from Khaenri’ah that came to Enkanomiya. They were looking for the book ‘Before Sun and Moon’ that describes a time before the gods. Enjou was also looking for this book, as it proves that the gods of Celestia came from outside Teyvat.
Speculations and Theories
Now, being under the sea, Enkanomiya brings to mind the Abyss. After all, both are located underground of sorts, and Enkanomiya borders the Void Realm, which is the Abyss. It explains why Abyss adherents are found in the area when the Traveler gets there. Plus, it can be how the Abyss manipulated the towers to spread its darkness to the region.
With the Chasm being announced for 2.6, it theoretically has the same characteristics as Enkanomiya. Well, they didn’t find a civilization in it, but the people of Liyue could’ve certainly settled nearby. That’s close enough an analogy, though it isn’t very exact. The basic similarities are there, however. They’re both:
- Easy for the Abyss to invade/influence
- Filled with unknown creatures
Easily, the only big difference between them is that the Chasm is a mine rather than a city/civilization.
Then there are all the revelations about the gods and Celestia. With the book Before Sun and Moon, there’s proof that the current gods of Teyvat could be outsiders or travelers from another world. We’ll come back to this in a bit.
The devs mentioned that their past game Honkai Impact 3rd and Genshin Impact are related. Then, that the upcoming Honkai: Star Rail is somewhat of a sequel to Honkai Impact 3rd, meaning that it’s also connected.
Certain Honkai characters have been researching bubble worlds. The Traveler mentions that they’ve traveled through other worlds before. Also, the design for the Sustainer of the Heavenly Principles doesn’t seem to be just a reference. Could it be that Genshin Impact is somehow just one of those bubble worlds?
Consider that Scaramouche said the ‘sky is fake’. Celestia is mysterious, yes, but that also means that their intentions can go either way. Also, if you search it up, the sun and moon pass in front of Celestia. That means it’s outside of whatever holds the sun and moon in Teyvat. Otherwise, the sky is just an illusion, like what Scaramouche said.
Another possible reference to Honkai is the Abyss’ corrupting effects. While we haven’t seen anyone directly affected by the Abyss, the Cataclysm and destruction of Khaenri’ah fit a Honkai outbreak. The only difference is the cause, as in Honkai Impact outbreaks are caused by the Honkai itself. The destruction of Khaenri’ah was caused by the gods because of an undefined sin.
Then again, research by Schicksal says that the Honkai is a manifestation of the ‘Will of God’, which is exactly what the Cataclysm is. Afterward, monsters poured out the surface, mirroring the Honkai beasts. Lore from various items describes these monsters as mindless and hostile.
Back to the bubble worlds, how likely is it that Genshin is one of those bubble worlds and the gods of Celestia are researchers from the Honkai world?
While it may be a reach and the connection may be something more mundane. However, the devs don’t usually put all these details for no reason. Take the La Signora is the Crimson Witch theories that ended up all correct. Theorists have gone with less information and come up with correct assumptions.
Still, they’re all speculations, so there should still be a margin of error. When more information gets released this can end up wildly wrong. Take speculations and theories with a grain of salt and leave room for doubt.
Enkanomiya sheds a bit of light on the secrets of the Abyss, but there are still many shadowy corners. Despite that, it’s a treasure trove of important information for any Genshin Impact lore enthusiast. Have fun playing the game!