Sukuna Explained by a Native Japanese [Jujutsu Kaisen]

両面宿儺 Jujutsu Kaisen

One of the strongest sorcerers in Jujutsu Kaisen is Ryomen Sukuna.

However, true identity and the cursed technique of Sukuna is mysterious.

In this article, a native Japanese writer explained Ryomen Sukuna including the Japanese backgrounds.

Notes

The basic notes of Ryomen Sukuna is summarized below.

AgeAround 1000 years old
GradeSpecial grade cursed object
Cursed Techniques・Dismantle
・Cleave
・■ open
Dommain ExpansionMalevolent Shrine
SkillReverse cursed technique
PersonalityCruelty
HobbyTo eat
DislikeNone
Voice ActorRay Chase

The age of Sukuna must be around 1000 years old.

As described in Official Fanbook, Sukuna is a master of killing time who has been dazed for 1000 years, which indicates Sukuna lived during the Heian period (794-1185)

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And, Heian period is the golden age of cursed technique.

Quote: Jujutsu Kaisen chapter 136
Quote: Jujutsu Kaisen Vol. 16

In such a golden age, the sorcerers raised all their strength to challenge Sukuna and were defeated, as Gojo said.

So, Sukuna is called King of Curses.

And, Sukuna has divided his soul into 20 fingers and traveled through the ages.

These 20 fingers are called Sukuna’s Fingers, and each of them is classified as a special grade cursed object.

By the way, even Gojo can’t destroy Sukuna’s Finger because it exists on the Binding Vows where it cannot do anything but exist.

However, the incarnated Sukuna’s fingers can be killed, so if Itadori dies after eating 20 fingers, Sukuna will also die completely.

By the way, the hobby of Sukuna is to eat, as described in Official Fanbook.

So, Sukuna allows Uraume to stand next to him as a cook.

裏梅
Quote: Jujutsu Kaisen Vol.16

Sukuna also eats human and Uraume is good at cooking humen, as described in Official Fanbook.

These are the notes of Ryomen Sukuna.

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Motif

The motif of Ryomen Sukuna in Jujutsu Kaisen actually exists in Japanese tradition.

In our world, Ryomen Sukuna is a strange demon that appears in the Nihon Shoki.

The lore of Ryomen Sukuna described in wikipedia is as follows.

Ryomen Sukuna in Nihon Shoki
In the year 65, there was a man in Hida Province. His name is Sukuna. He had two faces and one torso, each facing the opposite direction. The top of the head was joined and there was no nape, the body had limbs on each side, and there were knees but no squats and heels. He was strong and agile, wielded swords on both sides, and wielded two bows and arrows in his four hands. There he disobeyed the imperial decree and enjoyed plundering the people. Therefore, the emperor sent Naniwa no Nekotake Furukuma, the ancestor of Waniuji, to put him to death.

Ryomen Sukuna is said to live in Hida, present-day Gifu Prefecture, and have two faces and four hands, as described in Nihon Shoki.

Sukuna in Jujutsu Kaisen also has two faces and four hands, so it must be based on the Sukuna in Nihon Shoki.

Quote: Jujutsu Kaisen Vol.14

So, the Sukuna in the Nihon Shoki has four legs, so maybe the Sukuna in Jujutsu Kaisen also has four legs.

By the way, in some legends, Sukuna is regarded as a hero who exterminated evil spirits and dragons.

By the way, Nichiryubu-ji Temple, which is said to have been founded by Sukuna, is in Gifu Prefecture, and the number of tourists is increasing due to the popularity of Jujutsu Kaisen.

This is about the motif of Sukuna.

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Relationship with Megumi Fushiguro

Sukuna is interested in Megumi Fushiguro.

The reason why Sukuna likes Fushiguro is probably because Sukuna plans to use Fushiguro’s cursed technique, Ten Shadows Technique, to achieve a complete revival.

In fact, what made Sukuna interested in Fushiguro was seeing Fushiguro’s cursed technique technique in Jujutsu Kaisen Vol. 2.

Fushiguro’s Ten Shadows Technique is based Tokusanokandara, the ten kinds of ancient Japanese treasures which is said to be able to revive the dead.

十種神宝と式神の対応
Quote: Jujutsu Kaisen, Tokusanokandara

In fact, the marks of Tokusanokandara are engraved on the Shikigami’s bodies.

And, in Jujutsu Kaisen Vol. 14, Sukuna helped Fushiguro and said, “Don’t die. There’s something I need you to do”.

In conclusion, Sukuna is trying to use Fushiguro’s cursed technique in order to be completely revived.

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Cursed Technique

The details of Sukuna’s cursed technique are still unknown.

So, I would like to predict the Sukuna’s cursed technique based on the information that has been revealed so far.

Dismantle and Cleave

First of all, Sukuna’s cursed techniques include two types of slashes: Dismantle and Cleave.

解と捌
Quote: Jujutsu Kaisen Vol. 14

Dismantle is a normal slashing attack, and Cleave cuts the target in two depending on the strength and amount of cursed energy.

At first glance, Cleave seems more compatible with Dismantle, Cleave cannot be used for objects not having cursed energy.

That’s about Shukuna’s slashing technique.

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Japanese Meanings of Dismantle and Cleave

The Japanese meanings of Dismantle (解; Kai) and Cleave (捌; Hachi) are described below:

Dismantle (解; Kai)
“解” means “disassembly”, “dismantling” and “breaking it down into smaller pieces”.

Cleave (捌; Hachi)
“捌” means “handle” and “cut”.
In Japenese, “捌” is especially used when handling fish.

“解” is a word that is used in a broad sense, but “捌” is a word that is used in specific situations, such as when handling fish.

Also, the word corresponding to “cut” is “切”, but the words “解” and “捌” are used in Jujutsu Kaisen perhaps because “切” is so commom that “解” and “捌” sounds cooler than “切”.

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■ open

Sukuna can use not only the Dismantle and Cleave but flames by chanting “■ open!”.

Sukuna mentioned the flames and said, “I won’t cheat by revealing my cursed technique”.

So, the details of Sukuna’s cursed technique has been unknown.

Howeverm this “■ open!” had already appeared in “No.9” that is another work of Mr. Akutami the author of Jujutsu Kaisen.

In this work, 9 boxes appear by chanting “□x9 (box nine)” and “Open” to open the boxes and take out the weapons.

From this analogy, Sukuna’s “■ open!” would mean to open a box containing cursed techniques.

In other words, Sukuna can switch cursed techniques by chanting “■ open”.

In fact, Sukuna could use cursed technique of flames right after Domain Expansion when defeating Makora.

魔虚羅
Quote: Jujutsu Kaisen Vol. 14

Normally, cursed technique is temporarily burned out after Domain Expansion and unusable, but Sukuna could use the cursed technique of flame even immediately after Domain Expansion, which implies Sukuna possesses multiple cursed techniques.

By the way, Sukuna eats even human, so Sukuna might be able to take in a cursed technique possessed by the person Sukuna eats.

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Domain Expansion: Malevolent Shrine

Sukuna can use Domain Expansion.

The name of Sukuna’s Domain Expansion is Malevolent Shrine (伏魔御厨子).

伏魔御厨子
Quote: Jujutsu Kaisen Vol. 1

Malevolent Shrine does not close the barrier, unlike the normal types of Domain Expansion.

Expanding the domain without closing the barrier is truly divine technique like painting a masterpiece not on a canvas but on air.

Due to the Binding Vows that give an escape route without closing the barrier, the effective range of Malevolent Shrine extends over 200 meters radius.

The effect of Malevolent Shrine is to shower Cleave to those with cursed energy and Dismantle to those without cursed energy.

As a result, anything within Malevolent Shrine will be reduced into dust.

In fact, Shibuya has been turned into a vacant lot by the Malevolent Shrine.

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Japanese Meanings of Malevolent Shrine (伏魔御厨子)

Japanese Meanings of Malevolent Shrine (伏魔御厨子; Fukumamizushi) is below.

Japanese Meanings of “伏魔御厨子”
“伏” means “lurk”, “hiding”, and “ambush”.
“魔” means “a evil god”, “not a human act”, and “mysterious power”.
“御” represents a politeness.
“厨子” means the box for storing cooking utensils.

So, “伏魔御厨子” would represent a cooking utensil storage box with demonic powers.

The fact that the Japanese meaning of “伏魔御厨子” includes “box” would be related to the previous “■”.

So, Sukuna may also imbue the cursed technique of flames into the barrier of Malevolent Shrine.

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Reverse Cursed Technique

Sukuna can use reverse cursed technique.

The reverse cursed technique creates positive energy by multiplying negative energy and restores the body.

Quote: Anime Jujutsu Kaisen

There are quite a few sorcerers who can heal others by the output of reverse cursed technique or regenerate parts that have disappeared.

But Sukuna can heal others and regenerate parts that have disappeared, and only Sukuna is the only one who can do the both.

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Disgraced One (堕天)

Quote: Jujutsu Kaisen chapter 199

It was revealed that the other name of Sukuna is “Disgraced One (堕天)”, in Jujutsu Kaisen chapter 199.

In Japanese, “堕天 (Daten)” means “fallen angel”, which implies Angel and Sukuna are paired beings.

Actually, Angel was speaking with only its mouth out of Hana’s body, just like Sukuna’s speaking.

In addition, the purpose of Angel is to kill the Disgraced One.

From these points, there must be a deep connection between Angel and Sukuna.

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Michizane Sugawara

It is also rumored that Sukuna’s true identity may be Michizane Sugawara.

The grounds are below.

Possibility that Sukuna is Michizane Sugawara
・The motif of Uraume, Sukuna’s subordinate, must be “Crest of Uraume” which is the crest of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine enshrining Michizane Sugawara.
・Malevolent Shrine is similar to Kitano Tenmangu Shrine.
・Michizane Sugawara had a deep connection with cows, and there are many cow’s skulls lying around in the Malevolent Shrine.
・Sukuna lived in the Heian period, just like Michizane Sugawara.
・It is stated that Michizane Sugawara is one of Japan’s big three vengeful spirits in Jujutsu Kaisen Vol. 0, and Sukuna is regarded as King of Curses.

Based on these facts, it is possible that Sukuna and Michizane Sugawara are the same person.

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Quotes

A hiearchy not based on strength is boring.

Don’t look up at me without permission. It’s annoying.

How boring.

You’re mine! Your future and everything you will ever possess! You don’t have a say in this! You’re helpless!!

I thought I told you there wouldn’t be a second chance.

Good. That’s good.

Humans flocking together. Curses flocking together. Comparing themselves to those around them leads to weakness and stunts their growth.

Stand proud. You’re strong.

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Postscript

This is the article about “Sukuna Eeplained by a Native Japanese”.

Other articles explained the interesting and important issues in Jujutsu Kaisen.

Plese read them as well!

In addition, the Japanese version of this article about Sukuna is here.