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Ryomen Sukuna in Real Life from Japanese Mythology

ryomen sukuna in japanese mythologyJujutsu Kaisen

Real Sukuna in Japanese History and Mythology

Did Ryomen Sukuna really exist?

Maybe yes. His name is found in some mythologies and history books in Japan.

It seems that Jujutsu Kaisen’s Sukuna was formed by assembling a small part of each myth together. Was real Ryomen Sukuna the king of the curse? Now let’s go on the mini trip to know his background!

In Nihon Shoki

Ryomen Sukuna appears in a Japanese book titled Nihon Shoki. It’s a history book written in AD720 and he was described as a Japanese Yokai demon who commits gruesome wrongs.

Ryomen Sukuna in Nihon Shoki has 8 arms and legs in total and has two faces on both front and back. The kanji character RYO means “both sides” and MEN means a mask or a face, so the word RYOMEN indicates his two faces.

He battled with two swords and two sets of bows and arrows. It’s said that he was powerful and agile, but ended up being subdued by Takefurukumanomikoto, a warrior who served the emperor of the time.

The true form of Sukuna in Jujutsu Kaisen comes from this myth. His complete form is described as a Yokai-like person with 4 arms in the manga.

Legends in Gifu Prefecture

It’s said that Ryomen Sukuna is from Gifu prefecture in Japan. There’re many mythologies and folklore about Sukuna left in Gifu. In this area, he is not a demon but is described as a local hero.

According to the legend in the Niugawa area in Gifu, he was an embodiment of the god and built a temple. The picture below is the “Zenkyuji” Buddhism temple. The statue of Ryomen Sukuna is enshrined in the temple. His appearance looks more like a Buddhism war god. The Sukuna statue in Zenkyuji is putting on gorgeous armor and a big ax, not having many faces or arms.

大野 一将, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In the Kanayamacho area, Ryomen Sukuna was a local warrior who died in the battle against Takefurukumanomikoto. It’s the same as Nihon Shoki, but he’s not described as a demon.

In the Seki city area, he was an unordinary human with two faces and four arms and wiped out a venomous dragon. While his appearance isn’t normal, the local tradition says “Ryomen Sukuna was strong enough for two men, and also he was clever”. He’s admired as a brave hero who protected the people in the Seki area.

It’s interesting that Ryomen Sukuna is respected as a great warrior without exception in the Gifu area. I guess the real Ryomen Sukuna was a local hero, but he went against the emperor and was portrayed as a villain. History is always told as the story of the winner.

In Seki city, there’s a temple built by Ryomen Sukuna. According to the legend, he defeated the dragon that did harm people and built a temple in the place where the dragon lived. This is the Nichiryubuji temple and you can see a statue of Ryomen Sukuna.

Here are some pictures of Nichirubuji from Twitter!

Urban Legend or a Real Story?

photo: an old wooden box

This is a ghost story posted on a famous Japanese bulletin board system.

A young man found a wooden box when he was at demolishing the work of an old temple in Iwate prefecture. He asked a temple master about the box, and he replied “NEVER OPEN THAT”.

But his colleagues opened the box without asking. They found a mummy with two faces, four arms, and two legs. After that, the master came to take it back and said “You can’t live a long life”.

As he told them, one died from a heart attack, one was housed at a mental disease hospital, and the other three collapsed with a high fever. The poster himself got heavily injured because he got his instep penetrated by an iron nail.

He managed to find the temple master’s son and learned what that mummy was. According to him, the mummy was developed by a religious cult. The cult trapped some deformed humans in a closed room until they starved to death. And the last survivor was made into a mummy.

The mummy was named Ryomen Sukuna and glorified as the curse power of the cult. When Ryomen Sukuna was moved somewhere, the area got disasters. Though the curse got calm when the cult leader died, there’s a rumor that serial natural calamities in Japan have some kind of relationship with the place where Ryomen Sukuna is stored.

The man who posted the story lost the connection with both the master and his son and the latest location of Sukuna is unknown.

Do you think it’s a real story? Or it’s just a fake one? It’s up to you if you believe the story or not!

Thanks for reading this long post so far! I also explained the meaning of Ryomen Sukuna in Japanese. Check it too if you want to know about him more😀

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How Did You Like It?

  1. Arthur Gallardo says:

    I love the content! both fictional and real information based on the anime, pls continue these kind of stuff!

    • Junko says:

      I’m so happy if you enjoyed the post! I’m thinking of writing about other origins of anime episodes or characters, like the Cursed Womb Death Painting. Look forward to it! 😊