Rao (Tsudzurao-bikuni/Buddhist Nun Tsudzurao) is a renowned priestess of great power and beauty at Ankoku Temple. She is the regent of Queen Himiko and is highly beloved by the people of Ryoshima as a respected healer and an avid fighter of evil.
After one of her lectures while alone she was approached by a ‘fox-faced man’ who turned out to be a kitsune in disguise. Without her prayer slips which were left in Sei-an City Rao was left unarmed. She ran to Ankoku Temple where she thought she’d be safe since it was a holy place. However she was slain and her body was disposed of down a well behind Ankoku Temple. The kitsune named Ninetails then took on Rao’s form. The real Rao’s ghost lead Ōkami Amaterasu to the well where her body was disposed.
Subtle hints about Ninetail’s trickery is provided to the player such as when she needs Amaterasu’s help to accurately throw Rao’s prayer slips hinting at her not being their true owner. The real Rao also has both her eyes in plain view while Ninetails conceals one behind her hair because she is missing an eye.
The kanji on Rao’s tombstone mean "Buddhist Nun with ninety-nine tails".
Rao’s character is inspired by the legend of Happyaku Bikuni (The Eight-Hundred-Year-Old Priestess). A girl accidentally ate mermaid meat and gained eternal youth and near-immortality. She become a Buddhist nun and retreated into a cave to die.