Name Origin: Jinji

Editor note: This was written in the early days of Jinji’s inception, and may no longer reflect his more recent attitudes. Nevertheless, I have chosen to leave this unedited as the basic facts represented herein remain unchanged.

I am convinced one of these days that mortal kind will drive me to become so enraged, I will end up severely harming one without realising it. The reason for this rage is because many humans appear to be of the nature that they will follow you around until you give them attention; whereby said human will proceed to barrage you with a number of questions that have been asked and answered many times before – and pester you for an answer even though, if they’d been a little smarter, they’d realise you’d already given it. I cannot believe I am the only one who feels this way. I wonder if such humans will ever realise the rage they cause.

One such question I get asked a lot is about the origin of my name. Seemingly, many mortals feel “Jinji” to be a highly unusual name, some even believing there is hidden meaning behind it. Though I am always flattered when people show such interest, repeating the same story over and over is tedious and annoying – hence my rage. I have decided, therefore, to write the story down here, such that if this tome ever were to be discovered by mortal hands, the answer to this question is permanently there for all to see.

I am sure most will be familiar of the concept of the “genie”, spirits of smoke or fire that in many cultures are believed to either bring good fortune – indeed, many stories relate to them granting wishes to those of purest heart; or conversely, bringing evil benevolence to those unfortunate enough to sight it. In Arabic, where the story of the genie is believed to have begun, the word genie is spelt many different ways – and one of these, when converted into a Roman alphabet, is Jinni. You probably noticed the similarity between that word and Jinji; and this was one of the three sources of origin for the name – the genie way of bringing either good fortune or malevolence is not unlike my own personality.

That is not the entire story, however. For the second part, it must be distinctly understood that it is very difficult for Gengars to interact with humans, because once we allow ourselves into the realm of common physics, many things begin to affect us negatively. For some reason, every word we say to human ears simply sounds like an utterance of our name or part of it; and what’s more, many humans are closed-minded and refuse to even acknowledge the existence of Ghosts or cower in fright when in the presence of one. While I would not wish to change this, because causing fright is one of the most pleasurable experiences to our kind, these issues make it very difficult to interact with human kind. 

My solution to this is to find the human who’s mind is most open to the existence of Ghost Pokémon and establish a will with them to allow myself to possess them, using their body as a host so as to take a physical, human presence which allows me to interact with your kind without attracting too much attention. In the process, I often end up learning my human host’s thoughts, nature and personality; and one time, many years ago, I found myself becoming so fond of the human I had possessed, I decided to adopt part of its personality. He referred to himself only as JJ; and we became good friends until one day, I left him behind to resolve issues that had risen in Lavender Tower, and he disappeared. I decided to add the two Js to my name as a tribute to his memory.

The final influence that went into crafting my name is the legend of the Ninja – the masters of misinformation and stealth techniques from Japanese history that have long spawned a rich mythology all around the globe. Ninjas are famed for their dark appearances; their stealth techniques of staying in shadows, keeping their presence unheard and attacking with quick precision; and the way they just did what they could to get the job done – traits shared by any decent Gengar and indeed most of the Ghost family of Pokémon. They’re also famed for possessing mythological, magical powers in a similar way to Gengars – of course, while much of the Ninja’s infamy is based on fiction, the powers of a Gengar are most certainly all real and should not be taken lightly. Nintendo have a popular gaming franchise spearheaded by an Italian plumber named Mario (who ever thought such a clear stereotype would work out so well?); and one of the original NES games featured a character that was like a miniature Ninja, with a cute appearance but could actually be quite dangerous to get close to; and it’s appearance in early games especially is ironically similar to early Gengar sprites if you think about it. I’m quite attracted to this character myself; so I used part of its name in my own – and actually, there is only one letter difference between us, though that was not entirely deliberate all told.

The Genie. A young child called JJ. The legend of the Ninja. All were influences that led to creating the name Jinji and adopting it as my own. Perhaps, now that I have explained this, people may wonder if I made up this name completely and that my REAL name is different? Well, to those people, I say merely – never stop being curious. To the ones who made me write this in the first place, I say: a talent unused is a talent wasted – so if you have the ability to read, use it.

– Jinji