Ian Andreas Miller.  1 March 2002.

     Naoko Takeuchi, creator of Bishjo Senshi Sr Mn, wrote the name of queen of the Dead Moon as Jo Neherenia in Japanese1.  The first part of the name ( Jo) means queen, but the second part ( Neherenia) is not etymologically related to Nephrite (the name of a type of mineral) or Nepheline (the name of another type of mineral).  The Japanese approximate the name Nephrite as Nefuraito2.  They also call Nephrite Nangyoku, which means soft jewel3.  The two Japanese names of the mineral Nepheline are Neferin4 and Kasumi-seki5, which means mist stone.

     It should not be difficult to see that those mineral names are not quite close to Neherenia.  Those katakana characters represent the name Nehellenia, which is the name of a Germanic and Celtic goddess who was associated with ships and sea-faring.  The goddess’ name is more often written as Nehalennia6.  The Japanese approximate Nehalennia as Neharenia7.  (Another section compares the queen and the goddess.) The Dead Moon queen, in the Bishjo Senshi Sr Mn manga, is closely associated with a flying ship8.

     Barbara G. Walker’s book The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets says this about Nehellenia:

“Nether Moon,” a variant of the Goddess Hel, or Holle, after whom Holland was named.  Altars and artifacts dedicated to her were found in Holland after a great storm in 1646 washed away the soil that had buried them.9

     Some people may wish to reject the idea that Queen Nehellenia is connected with the goddess because many errors have been found in Ms. Walker's book.  However, even if the references that Ms. Takeuchi used for her story are not accurate, that would not necessarily affect the fact that she used them.  When she is not familiar with a particular subject, she is dependent on the information in her references.  This is not unlike how some people claim that the Egyptian word for cat is “mau” when very few of them check to see whether that is in fact true or not in a legitimate ancient Egyptian dictionary.  Ms. Takeuchi was trying to write a manga story, not a scholarly mythological treatise.

     Akihiro Endo of Pandaemonium.net informed me that the Japanese-language edition of that book approximates the name Nehellenia as Neherenia10.  Ms. Takeuchi probably used this edition of the book as a reference.  The mention of Neherenia and “Nether Moon” are too similar to the names Jo Neherenia and the “Dead Moon” to explain by coincidence.

     A Japanese site shows Nehellenia and the katakana characters Neherenia:

     Here is a translation of the Japanese text:

Means “moon of the underworld/realm of the dead.”  Alias of Hel or Holle.

     There is one more Japanese site that shows Neherenia:

     Here is a translation of the Japanese text:

When Hel is regarded as the “moon of the underworld/realm of the dead,” she is called Nehellenia.

     A goddess (name in Japanese: Neherenia) who is called “moon of the realm of the dead” is certainly an analogue of a queen (name in Japanese: Neherenia) who rules over the Dead Moon.

     Of all the possible ways that Ms. Takeuchi could have altered either the Japanese name of Nephrite or the Japanese name of Nepheline, she just had to write the queen’s name with katakana characters ( Neherenia) that just happen to approximate the name of a ship goddess who has been called, of all things, “Nether Moon.”  It is very unlikely that she did not mean the name Nehellenia.

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