If you are a dedicated Jujutsu Kaisen fan like we are, you are probably caught up with everything it has to offer.
You’ve read about cursed techniques, re-read the manga, want to buy a couple of
unavailable volumes, read the fanbook. You’ve probably even read the light novels, and you’re content. But, just when you think you’re thorough with the story’s intricacies, there is a surprise awaiting you. Jujutsu Kaisen is full of cultural references that are often easy to miss.
But, these small but detailed references give appreciable depth to the story. Keeping the first line in mind again, we are sure that you’d want to geek on these references as we do. So, let’s open this pandora’s box and see what Akutami has woven into the story!
A Sukuna actually existed in real life!
Okay, let’s be honest. Jujutsu Kaisen hooked us all into the show/manga from episode 1 for two reasons. We don’t even have to tell you about those, do we? After Gojo Satoru, Sukuna is perhaps the most beloved character in the story. And we totally get why. *smirks*
As fearful as Ryomen Sukuna, the King of Curses, is, he is also the namesake of a real person!
If you’ve read enough mangas or watched enough anime, you might have come across the Nihonshoki. It is a record of events from…just very long ago in history. It is also the Japanese mythology we know today.
Akutami sourced JJK’s Ryomen Sukuna from this Nihonshoki. In fact, the mythological Sukuna’s appearance is very similar to our (?) Sukuna.
The similarities don’t stop there. Both these Sukuna’s were a natural calamity bringing only chaos. Even Sukuna’s cursed techniques and archery attack against Jogo were a homage to Ryomen Sukuna. But there is a difference between them! Nihonshoki’s Sukuna is actually a minor deity, while Sukuna is the antagonist. Don’t worry; we are on the Sukuna supremacy side too. 😀
There is a lot more to the relation between OG Sukuna and our Sukuna! Keep reading about them here.
Here is why you shouldn’t imitate Nobara’s technique
If you think Nobara’s Strawdoll technique is too cool to not DIY at home, please refrain.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock (which we assume not, WiFi issues), you’ve probably guessed this one. Voodoo techniques and such are incredibly popular in pop culture, making their appearances in many media. But, behind Nobara’s Strawdoll technique are Shinto rituals of Japan.
Shinto rituals house a specific area of wara ningyo or straw doll rituals. These rituals can be seen as evil. The wara ningyo rituals were prominent during the Heian era.
There is also a tragic story of ushi no koku mairi by princess Hashihime in a legend. It is a dark story of devils, untimely shrine visits, and wishes of death upon someone. But it is also deeply related to Nobara’s cursed technique! Eek.
Most of us have a gut instinct that tells us that these rituals are ominous. But, some people actively indulge in these rituals even today. There have been some interesting cases in Japan surrounding these rituals!
In fact, you can also read about online services for modern “cursing needs” in our article! But, before you let your evil and dark side take over, Japanese law can prosecute you for practising ushi no koku Mairi. So, kiyotsukete!
Megumi and the tale of Ten Treasures
Nihonshoki, nihonshoki! Let’s go back to it, shall we? Megumi’s shikigamis of the Ten Shadows inspired by another element from Japanese history/mythology.
If you remember Sukuna’s first fight with Megumi, you might also remember Sukuna babbling something about treasure. Well, guess what? Sukuna was not far from the content of this section! Megumi is actually the owner of treasure, literally.
The Imperial Regalia of Japan or Amaterasu’s Sacred Treasure is the inspiration behind Megumi’s shikigamis. Nearly all of the shikigamis bear a mark resembling the Imperial Regalia. These regalia are extremely important to Japanese culture and heavily protected. However, it is also said that nobody has actually seen them! Can we assume this to be the Megumi rich boy agenda?
You can read everything about Megumi’s Ten Shadows technique in our article here! And trust us, there are a few things that you will definitely question along with us after reading it.
Mahoraga’s wheel is more than just a steering wheel
While we are talking about Sukuna (again), we have to talk about his ferocious fight with Mahoraga. Mahoraga is, apparently, the strongest shikigami a Ten Shadows user can summon. However, none of the Ten Shadows users in history has ever been able to exorcise it. To get more clarity on Mahoraga and whether Megumi can summon it again, click here!
Well, we were hoping to see Sukuna take back Mahoraga’s wheel as a battle trophy, but guess not! We can, however, see that this wheel is also a reference to a popular historical element. Yep, it no simple wheel or even an accessory, but a Dharmachakra.
If that wasn’t enough trivia for you, Akutami prepared some more for you.
The mangaka has packed a heavy load of symbolism in Mahoraga’s name as well. Our favorite shikigami’s full name is Eight Handled Sword Divergent Sila Divine General Mahoraga. Every part of this name has its own significance. Even Mahoraga’s powers are related to the dharmachakra that proudly garners mentions in history. And it not just features in Buddhism but also finds a place in Hinduism and Jainism. Read our article for more on Mahoraga in history and an explanation of its name!
We’re sure you’re going to be as surprised reading about this as we were!
Geto-sama‘s divinity in Akutami’s art
The writer of this article is a true Geto-sama stan! So, favorite part of the article, yay! Uhm, shitsurei shimasu.
Geto’s illustrations by Akutami have been fascinating throughout the story. The juxtaposition of Geto and Gojo on different volumes and chapter covers makes us very curious. But, let’s talk about Geto first!
Quite a few times, Geto has been an object of divinity in Akutami’s art. One of the most striking images from these is that of chapter 70. With the cursed spirits bowing to him in worship, Geto himself assumes the position of Buddha. These curses are the ones he directs using his Cursed Spirit Manipulation. His posture, the halo, even his hand signs scream “holy.” Even in chapter 90, Geto has a halo on his head despite donning a sinister expression.
Such imagery is very alluring, partly because Suguru was the strongest shaman with Gojo. However, the true irony of this image comes from what happens to Geto down the line in the story. Moreover, the curses showing him respect is an image we cannot help but connect to how we started seeing Geto from the initial chapters/episodes.
Gojo is part of tarot cards now?
It is time to talk about the one who alone is the honoured one! Gojo Satoru, the name is enough to send curses shaking and fans swooning.
But we know that despite the tomfoolery Gojo puts up, he is indeed the strongest shaman. He has not even unleashed the full potential of his techniques – Six Eyes and Limitless. Before we continue, you might want to brush up on Gojo’s powers and domain expansion a bit!
Gojo, again, boasts some incredible illustrations in Jujutsu Kaisen. Not the only thing he has to boast about, am I right? We are not very well-versed with tarot cards, so we are assuming you aren’t either. But, tarot cards, especially the Magician, have a deep relation with Gojo.
In chapter 89, we see Gojo with an infinity symbol above his head. Incidentally, the Magician also has the same symbol in tarot cards. This infinity is something only Gojo possesses in Jujutsu Kaisen and the Magician in tarot. Before you say how even does that establish a relation, keep reading!
Looking back at chapter 74, when Gojo ambushes Toji, his hand signs are identical to the Magician. Moreover, even when he uses the Reverse Cursed Technique in his attack, he is shown upside down. But, his hand signs remain similar to the tarot card.
Apparently, tarot cards mean different things when we reverse them! When we relate the meaning of reverse Magician to Gojo, we can see the similarities in a whole different light. The inconsistency between the Magician’s meanings can apply to Gojo’s fate in the Shibuya Incident as well.
The fishes & Yoshino Junpei connection
The latest arc is a huge cultural reference as well. But, let’s talk from where this revolution (or evolution, you know) started: Junpei. Junpei’s death was a kickstart to the plans of Kenjaku (fake Geto).
Akutami was hinting at the Culling Games ever since he introduced Junpei in the story. Akutami often represented our
good best boy as a fish. The mangaka even included fishes at vital points in the story. One of those was naming Junpei’s chapters Young Fish and Reverse Punishment. Even Riko’s appearance in the story comes with fishes.
If you think mythology was the only reference in Jujutsu Kaisen, you’re wrong. Culling Game is based on Annihilation Migration, a natural and genuine event. It is a phenomenon that occurs in the Sea of Japan, carrying out forced evolution. Sounds familiar, right? Read our article for more about this occurrence and Junpei-Riko symbolisms!
While the rules of the Culling Game and the real intentions behind it might be confusing, one thing is sure. Kenjaku will lead Japan to bloodshed by his plans involving Tengen and their powers. Don’t forget to keep an eye on our detailed guide to the culling game to stay updated on all you need to know!