The Sailor Starlights have a mysterious past, and very little is revealed about their home planet in the anime. We don't know much about Kinmoku or much about the social system that Princess Kakyuu is a part of; are her Starlights princesses too, and do they have their own planets, like Princess Serenity's guardians had their own planets in the Silver Millenium? Do the Sailor Starlights represent particular heavenly bodies? Does Princess Kakyuu's introduction in the manga mean that there's more than one princess on Kinmoku?
To answer some of these questions, I've created this page as a way of collecting some odds and ends of information.
Kinmoku: a star, or a planet, or what?!
Kinmoku is definitely the name of a planet. It might also be the name of the star that this particular planet orbits, or it could be the name of that star's solar system altogether. The Starlights and Kakyuu refer to their home as "Kinmoku," "Kinmoku Star," and "Kinmokusei." In the manga especially, the suffix "sei" is used to mean "planet" and "star" interchangeably. (For more about this, see the section below.) So Kinmoku is definitely a single planet, but it could also be the name of the star that the planet orbits... Who knows? (Or more importantly perhaps, who cares?)
What specific heavenly bodies do the Sailor Starlights represent? Based on the anime, the Sailor Starlights probably represent three moons of the planet Kinmoku.
The Lunar Archivist originally pointed out this idea:
In Japanese, the names of the planets of our Solar System end with the kanji "sei" for "star", like "suisei" (Mercury or "Water Star"), "kinsei" (Venus or "Gold Star"), "kasei" (Mars or "Fire Star"). So one day, I was wondering about the Sailor Starlights and suddenly it occured to me... What if a similar "naming pattern" were in effect for the three of them? Sailor Starfighter might represent the "Fighter Star", Sailor Starmaker the "Maker Star" and Sailor Starhealer the "Healer Star". Yes, I know it's an unlikely idea and the order's been reversed, but at least it's an idea, right?
As for exactly what heavenly bodies the Sailor Starlights represent, based on the anime, I'd say that these theoretical Fighter, Maker, and Healer Stars are the moons of the planet Kinmoku. There's one flashback scene that occurs after Princess Kakyuu appears where we see her and the Sailor Starlights on their homeworld. From orbit, we see that three bright stars (red, blue, and white, I believe, but I'm not sure) appear to be in orbit around the planet.
Pam snagged some screenshots of the flashback. (In my personal opinion, I think that the moon in the lower right corner looks yellow instead of white... But the moon above it could be white instead of blue...)
So there you have it! Three moons.
However, Irina has a second opinion.
Several weeks ago I finished two articles about the Starlights and Princess Kakyuu and I've done some research for those. As a result some interesting facts had been revealed. And concerning the heavenly bodies I found out that all the four inhabitants of Kinmokusei, in one way or the other, relate to the meteors.
Starlights in their anime introductions say that they are "wandering shooting stars", all the three of them. Shooting star, falling star and meteor are the same thing. In the manga it is said that they've come to our solar system disguised as meteors. So both in the anime and the manga Starligts are meteors or are very closely related to these heavenly bodies. But I, by no means, reject the idea of them representing the moons. They probably are.
As for the Princess Kakyuu. Kakyuu means "fireball." Fireball and bolide are the same thing. Bolide is an exceptionally bright meteor. Also if you remember, in the anime, when Chibi-Chibi comes to the lake she sees a huge red ball floating over the water which in a moment changes into the incense burner.
So in my point of view all of the inhabitants of Kinmoku we meet with travel through galaxy as meteors and are related to these heavenly bodies. And I think that Naoko Takeuchi probably wanted to put the Princess on a special place so she named her after an exceptionally bright meteor whilst the Starlights are called the mere meteors.
The idea of the Starlights representing meteors, literally shooting stars, makes perfect sense to me.
The anime is pretty straight-forward. In the Sailor Stars anime artbook, Kakyuu is described as the Princess of Kinmokusei, and it says that "she has the same power as Serenity." In the anime it's safe to assume that Kakyuu is the one and only true ruler of Kinmoku.
In the anime, however, Kakyuu never transforms into a Sailor Senshi, although I can't imagine that she wouldn't be able to if she needed to do so. If she really is at all like Princess Serenity, then her "Princess" form is more powerful than her Sailor Senshi form anyway. Unfortunately, however, she's just not strong enough to save herself when Galaxia goes after her starseed.
Princess Kakyuu says that she rules the Tankei Kingdom when she gives her self-introduction in the manga. (See the Kinmokusei page for an explanation.) Some fans speculate that her speech indicates that there could be more than one kingdom on the planet Kinmoku.
To further add to the confusion, we don't know if there is a Sailor Kinmoku. In the manga, Princess Kakyuu transforms into Sailor Kakyuu. The absence of an actual Sailor Kinmoku seems sorta glaring to me...
However, it seems highly unlikely that there are any other Sailor Senshi from Kinmoku other than Kakyuu, Fighter, Maker, and Healer. The four of them only seem to care about each other, and seem to act as if they're a WHOLE team again when they're reunited. If there had been any other Sailor Senshi from Kinmoku who might have been missing or killed by Galaxia, that would have been a cause of MAJOR ANGST for the others, and there would most likely have been at least ONE mention or flashback in the series. Princess Kakyuu's murdered lover gets more than one angsty mention, and then that's it.
So based on those observations, I'd say that there probably aren't any other princesses, or any other Sailor Senshi, from Kinmoku.
What's true in both the anime and the manga.
Based on the images above, Kinmoku is a very green planet, probably covered in vegetation. A flashback Seiya experiences in the later episodes of the anime shows the Starlights and Kakyuu surrounded *entirely* by green, with golden olive blossoms blowing in the wind.
Also, we know that everybody from the planet Kinmoku has the scent of olive blossoms about them. Note: They smell like olive blossoms, not like actual olives. There's a huge difference! I'm sorry, but it really annoys me when I see Sailor Moon websites claim that people from Kinmoku "smell like olives."
"Kinmokusei" is a pun?
This section has moved to its own page, The Kinmoku Pun. You can read all about the olive blossom pun there.