The Great Heart (Nihonish: グレートハート Gurēto Hāto) is Belphenia's state religion. The demonym for one who serves in the religion is known as a Shirarume (しらるめ), while male leaders leading local congregations are known as Shimatsume (しまつめ), and female leaders who oversee local communities are known as Shikashime (シカシメ). The meeting places are also known as Shukige (シュキゲ)
The governing body consists of an all-male shimatsume is referred to as the Great Heartists or The Knights of the Endless Wind, that oversees shirarume law, Belphenian culture, dress codes, food, association, sword naming, marriages, samurai clothing and armor, and the national religious police in Belphenia.
In the year 670AD, Emperor Sadaharu, Empress Matomi, and the samurai formed a group in the town of Ryushime, Belphenia to tell the truth. Empress Matomi also coined the name of the religion as Sugoi Kokoro, meaning "Great Heart".
Around 1003AD, Empress Hinomi coined the words Shirarume, Shimatsume, and Shikashime for the religion. In 1003, she coined the word Shinami referring to the meeting places within Great Heart.
In the Arata Heart period, the governing body of Great Heart praised Belphenia's founder Elena Heartfilia's founding of the Kingdom of Belphenia with Eraede as the nation's capital on March 21, 1538. When the Daigaku of Swordsmanship was founded in 1539, the governing body encouraged people who became samurai to start using swords to protect people. In addition, sword naming ceremonies were established. In 1540, Heartfilia declared Great Heart as Belphenia's state religion. Moka Onodera, the founder of the Sword of the Neredgers, was denied on becoming a Great Heartist by the governing body due to her guild's rivalry with the Knights of the Eraede in 1543. In the events of the Relle Uprising in 1545, Kai Shirahoshi, a Great Heartist, condemned the actions of the Relleani invasions in the outskirts of Eraede as "intrusive". After the war ended, the Knights of the Eraede achieved victory during Heartfilia's reign. That led to the culture of the samurai and the Sarashimari Culture prospered where Great Heart was heavily endorsed by many Belphenians and the samurai as state religion until Heartfilia's death in 1602.
In the Katsusake period, Great Heart and The Knights of the Eraede said that Natsu Inoshima's resignation violated the rules on ruling Belphenia due to the leader still living before his death and his failure to settle the city renaming dispute with Nydigolith village chief Kawakami Ino and the Greridia Clan in Sakura Division. In response to Inoshima's resignation over a city renaming dispute, they imposed stronger laws regarding ruling Belphenia before death in 1633. When explorer Trudy Rose became Belphenia's fifth leader in 1659, she declared Great Heart as state religion once again. After Rose's death in 1738, the governing body declared that the Katsusake period was the longest period in Belphenian history.
During the Yashimi period, many Belphenians became shirarume in the wake of Sayuri Nonomura defeating the Nyduwen Clan in 1760. In the Erellaglesa period, pirates began endorsing Great Heart for their first time until the Battle of Shadowsnow in 1776. When Toshio Uekawa became Belphenia's next leader in 1813, Great Heart's governing body expelled or excommunicated 277 pirates from Great Heart for causing the events of the Battle of Shadowsnow and lack of cooperation with the samurai in 1776. After the start of the Ibilania period with Sugi Uekawa as Belphenia's eighth leader, the governing body encouraged pirates to avoid rivalry and consider starting to cooperate with the samurai in future wars and conflicts under stricter laws and regulations. In 1931, Miyake Toshiro, Belphenia's ninth leader and President, signed a humanitarian law requiring the samurai and pirates to start driving motor vehicles when traveling to distant cities across Belphenia in efforts to introduce more Belphenians to Great Heart or help others to hear the origins of Great Heart, that resulted in the samurai to help the pirates to complete their truth-seeking missions in the suburbs of Seralia City, Glesa Territory and Namigothiel, Ryukosha Division in 1939.
In 1941, Sasuke Volkman banned Great Heart in favor of his cult of personality led to a cultural and religious crisis among the samurai and pirates during the Volkman period until the end of Volkman's regime in 2011. Following Volkman's dethronement, democracy was restored, but the destabilization of Volkman's regime was weak enough for the samurai and the Guilds of Belphenia to retaliate against Volkman's supporters during the events of the Battle of Shirahoshi in five stages on May 3, 2011, followed by Volkman's expulsion and the ban was struck down on May 5. On May 29, Great Heart and its governing body were elected to power to rule Belphenia indefinitely by the new Belphenian government.
In November 2011, Inagaki Katsutsune, a Yaelian shimatsume, became a Great Heartist and formed the national religious police force for Belphenia in a project on enforcing and strengthening shirarume laws for the first time since Sasuke Volkman's expulsion. The first known law went into effect on November 24 is the Defense Against Wicked Activities Act (DAWAA) banning torture.
In July 2012, under Great Heart's strict religious beliefs, the Belphenian government banned the Siikesilla on grounds of "destroying the spirit of Great Heart followed by wickedness, total devastation, and spiritualism". This led to the current Karolian Tension between Belphenia and Karolia's culture, and mandatory, strictly enforced laws on dress code and expulsion or exile on any Belphenian, even foreigners, who wear the Siikesilla on Belphenian soil.
In 2013, the war events of the Battle of Shirahoshi ended on July 30 when the samurai and guilds declared victory over Volkman's supporters. In September 2013, Great Heartists declared samurai clothing including armor, hakama, sarashi, kimono, and swords as sacred clothing and weapons symbolizing Great Heart's spirit and guardians of truth in Belphenian culture. On October 31, all samurai and pirates, even citizens, law enforcement agencies, and the Government of Belphenia must name their weapons of any kind under Great Heart's Battle of Shirahoshi Warrior Act of 2011. On November 7, all weapon naming ceremonies, including all sword naming ceremonies, became mandatory for all Belphenians.
On March 24, 2014, use of sarashi by pregnant women on their abdomen is outlawed under the First Laws of Sacred Culture Act of 2012. Great Heartists from Mermaid Tail said that pregnant women who uses sarashi on their abdomen before the child is born can and will commit "misuse of sacred clothing" and "destruction of the spirit of Great Heart". It is well known that the new law will never change in the future.
On December 6, 2015, Great Heartists designed the Endless Wind Flag for Belphenia's use as a national flag for the Moka period, replacing the Sapphire Swan Flag that was used since the events of the Battle of Shirahoshi. On December 8, 2015, consumption of pumpkins and zucchini by the samurai and pirates in any form is banned under new shirarume laws. On January 31, 2016, all green-colored samurai or pirate clothing was outlawed when Great Heartists deemed green clothing represents the Sword of the Neredgers' rivalry with the Knights of the Eraede.
In 2017, Great Heartists and the Government of Belphenia proposed a law that would restrict tipping to tourism agencies, taxis, passenger railroad services, rest areas along toll roads, gas stations including Mikashi, hotels, service areas, and truck stops in the vicinity of motorways and trunk roads.On April 30, 2017, samurai and Battle of Shirahoshi war veteran Sakura Kurmochi was endorsed by Great Heart, establishing the state of Kurmochi in eastern Xanthe and western Erzanna Prefectures in the process, and proposed a law that would ban the use of Sumi Kuroda's name in city names, roads, territories, and maps. On May 7, the governing body of Great Heart proposed a law that would endorse the use of the horagai by the samurai and the Battle of Shirahoshi war veterans.
Religious police force
Great Heart is the only religious police force that is responsible for the enforcement of shirarume serving the entire jurisdiction of Belphenia.
The religious police force strictly enforces laws on culture, ethnicity, legal rights, political neutrality, personal hygiene, dress code, fasting, consumption of foods among the samurai and pirates, sword naming, samurai armor and clothing, marriages, the ban on torture and dictatorships, and shirarume laws among Belphenians, even foreigners who are visiting Belphenia.
|Name||Rank||Social rank||Years served||Status||Notes|
|Yoriatsu Karasumaru||Great Heartist||Shimatsume||1978-Present||Alive||Leader of Great Heart|
|Inagaki Katsutsune||Great Heartist||Shimatsume||2011-Present||Alive||Founder of the national religious police and lawmaker of the Defense Against Wicked Activities Act (DAWAA)|
|Aki Onozawa||Great Heartist/Leader of the Shimatsume||Shimatsume||2014-Present||Alive|
|Kyousuke Akameni||Great Heartist||Shimatsume||1995-2007, 2008-Present||Alive|
|Shigetane Murakami||Great Heartist||Shimatsume||1985-Present||Alive|
|Akitaka Hiiraga||Great Heartist||Shimatsume||1987-Present||Alive|
|Ando Kunimochi||Great Heartist||Shimatsume||1993-Present||Alive||Leader of the Sword and Weapons Naming Council|
|Yūki Terushige||Great Heartist||Shimatsume||1993-Present||Alive|
|Saitoko Haiki||Leader of the Shikashime||Shikashime||2015-Present||Alive|
|Naomi Edeleria||Leader of the Belphenian Rulership Council||Shikashime||1989-Present||Alive|
|Kouriki Yōmeko||President of Local Communities||Shikashime||2000-Present||Alive|
|Mimi Inagaki||Spokesperson of Local Communities||Shikashime||1988-1992, 1993-Present||Alive|