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Ryomen Sukuna in Japanese mythology. Who is he?

ryomen sukuna in japanese mythology Jujutsu Kaisen/Sorcery Fight

Sukuna in history and mythology

The strongest Jujutsu sorcerer, the king of curse, Ryomen Sukuna. His name is seen in some old Japanese mytologies.

It seems that Jujutsu Kaisen’s Sukuna was formed by assembling a small part of each myth together.

In Nihon Shoki

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

Ryome 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 side” 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 a bow and arrows. It’s said that he was very strong and agile, but ended up being subdued by Takefurukumanomikoto, a warrior who served the emperor of the time.

In Gifu prefecture

There’re some mythologies about Sukuna are left in Gifu prefecture. In this area, he is not a demon but described as a local hero.

In Niugawa area, he was an embodiment of the god and built a temple. The picture below is the temple “Zenkyuji” and the statue of Ryomen Sukuna is enshrined.

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

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

In Sekishishimonoho area, he was an unordinary human with two faces and four arms and wiped out a venomous dragon.

I guess the real Ryomen Sukuna was a local hero, but he went against the emperor and portrayed as a villain?

Urban legend or a real story?

photo: an old wooden box

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

A man found a wooden box when he was at demolishing 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 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 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 human 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 enshrined 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 has some kind of relationship with the place where Ryomen Sukuna is storaged.

The poster 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 depends on you whether you believe the story or not!

I also explained the meaning of Ryomen Sukuna in Japanese. Check it too if you want to know about him more😀

Ryomen Sukuna’s name meaning in Japanese

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