Megumi’s Ten Shadows cursed technique is alluding since the first time we see it in action. It seems simple to understand at first go too (just a few more hand signs to learn, right?). But as the story progresses and we see newer sides of the characters, they also develop their cursed techniques.
With so many characters in the story, it can get confusing to keep track of every cursed technique. Especially when words like ‘inherited’ and ‘domain’ are thrown into it. In this article, we’ll see Megumi’s cursed technique and abilities!
WARNING: The following contains minor spoilers from the Jujutsu Kaisen manga. Read ahead at your own discretion!
What is Megumi’s Ten Shadows cursed technique?
Ten Shadows Cursed Technique is an inherited technique of the Zen’in family. While it is known who the previous inheritor of this technique is, Gojo does mention that the head of the Zen’in clan possessed the Ten Shadows technique during the Edo or Keichi period.
This technique is so precious and rare that Naobito was prepared to pay exorbitant prices to have it back in the Zen’in clan. He tried his best to buy off Megumi from Toji and would have succeeded if not for Gojo’s intervention.
How strong is the Ten shadows technique?
It is pretty ironic that Gojo, a Six-Eyes & Limitless user, saved Megumi. In the past, a Six-Eyes user and a Ten Shadows user were the Gojo and Zen’in family leaders. Gojo tells Megumi that the Ten Shadows user managed to kill the Six-Eyes & Limitless user. And thus began the deteriorated relations between the Gojo and Zen’in families.
This small instance tells us that the Ten Shadows Technique is as powerful as Six Eyes and Limitless. And it points to the possibility that Megumi, too, can become as strong as Gojo.
While training Megumi, Gojo also tells him that his ability and skills are higher than Yuji. However, he also tells Megumi that he has to work on his mental strength and learn to bring out his best by being a little selfish. Physical strength and ability are important, but so is mental strength for a shaman.
Megumi didn’t see winning by dying as anything extraordinary. He was ready to die if it meant winning. But there is a thin line between winning by dying and winning even when you’re dead. We see him working on this aspect in the Origin of Obedience arc, but he still has a long way to go. It seems that only his inhibitions are holding him back from tapping onto his true potential.
How does Ten Shadows Technique work?
The Ten Shadows technique allows the user to summon ten shikigami from shadows that either fight in their stead or help them combat as both offense and defense.
It uses liquid shadow and cursed energy to create ‘shikigami’ and allows the user to have ten of them at once. Megumi makes hand signs to cast shadows that represent the shikigami he wants to summon.
However, he has not mastered his technique currently and is still exploring all aspects of his power. One of his latest improvisations is the ability to store weapons and cursed tools in the shadows. He can also use the shadows for other tactics.
If a shikigami is on the verge of collapsing, Megumi can use it to distract his opponent. Thus, shikigami can also act as feints in a battle.
The Ten Shadows technique is based on ‘shikigami,’ and we have heard it a lot throughout the story. But just what are shikigami?
Known Shikigami of the Ten Shadows
So far from the story, we can make out that these shikigami are “familiars” created from shadows. Most of Megumi’s shikigami are inspired by the Imperial Regalia of Japan. They take the forms of different animals, thus possessing diverse battle prowess. They also have different attacks that the user can put into use in battles.
Megumi can also combine attacks from two different shikigami. For example, during the Kyoto sister school exchange, Megumi used an interesting combination against Noritoshi Kamo.
Knowing that Noritoshi’s ability is Blood Manipulation which is difficult to use in the water, Megumi used Max Elephant. He combined the water attack of Max Elephant with the electric attack of Nue to land a brutal attack on Noritoshi.
Shadows as a medium:
A well-known instance established Megumi and his technique’s strength. Sukuna himself acknowledged Megumi’s potential in their first clash. Megumi became such a point of interest for Sukuna that he went to great lengths to protect him.
Sukuna’s interest definitely stems from some part of the ability Megumi is yet to discover. We still don’t know if this is related to Megumi’s shikigami or the ability to use shadows as an intermediary.
What does intermediary mean here?
In simple terms, shikigami users have a medium to summon their shikigami. While other shikigami users use talismans with incantations to call forth shikigami, Megumi just has to create the shadows corresponding to his shikigami. The absence of a need for a spell or talisman in Megumi’s technique also interests Sukuna.
Since we have already established that shikigami users can utilize incantations to summon their shikigami, we have another question. Can Megumi do so too? Are the shadows in his technique a necessity or just an easier medium for his summoning? Will his shikigami apparate without shadows too? These questions remain unanswered for now!
But now let’s see how exactly does Megumi obtain the shikigami.
When a shaman inherits the Ten Shadows technique, they get two shikigami Divine Dogs right off the bat. The shaman can then acquire other shikigami (up to ten) using his Divine Dogs.
Shikigami exorcism ritual:
To take control of a summoned shikigami in the Ten shadows technique, the shaman has to exorcise it.
The shaman can initiate an exorcism ritual and summon an uncontrolled shikigami using their cursed energy. It depends on the shaman’s cursed energy of how powerful shikigami they can summon. The more powerful a shikigami is, the more cursed energy the summoning requires.
Others can participate in this ritual, but if an outsider exorcises the curse, it renders the exorcism void. Thus, to control a shikigami, the Ten Shadows user has to exorcise it themselves. However, the user can initiate an exorcism ritual repeatedly until they exorcise the shikigami.
As of now, we have not seen all of the ten shikigami of this technique. In his various fights throughout the plot, Megumi used six shikigami with different purposes and powers. He can also only summon a few shikigami together, three, as we saw in the Kyoto sister school exchange.
Let’s see what are the shikigami we have witnessed yet!
Divine Dogs –
As stated above, a pair of Divine Dogs (black and white) are the first shikigami that a Ten Shadows user receives. They are then used to take control of more shikigami. Incidentally, we have also seen Megumi’s Divine Dogs the most in action.
They have excellent senses of smell, memory, and detection. They are also powerful in chasing and devouring cursed spirits. Unfortunately, Megumi’s white Divine Dog was destroyed in the first arc by a cursed spirit.
Nue is an owl-like shikigami that is excellent for surveying the field of bird’s eye vision. While it may look like that can be Nue’s only function, it is actually very effective in both attack and defense. Nue releases electric attacks from its wings at high speed. These attacks render the opponent paralyzed for a while.
Nue’s mobility also helps Megumi as it can protect him from attacks using its wings and carry him away from harm’s way. While mid-flight, Megumi can also use other attacks, thereby proving advantageous against flight-type opponents.
As the name says, Toad is a shikigami in the form of a toad. It has a huge size with a powerful tongue. Using its tongue, it can grab opponents to immobilize them and even throw them across. Since it is huge, it can also carry humans in its mouth like it carried Nobara in the Cursed Womb arc.
Great Serpent –
The next shikigami takes the form of a giant snake. The Great Serpent’s biggest advantage is the element of surprise. It suddenly appears out of the shadows and clutches its opponents in a grip.
The Serpent makes it easy for the other shikigami to land an attack on the opponent by rendering them motionless. Sukuna also destroyed this shikigami in the introductory arc.
Max Elephant –
This shikigami takes a lot of cursed energy to summon. It is an elephant and is fairly new to Megumi’s controlled shikigami. Its specialty is its ability to spew huge amounts of water from its trunk. Max Elephant can also crush the opponent under its weight.
Rabbit Escape –
The last shikgami appears in the form of a hoard of rabbits. It is more of a dodging technique by creating a distraction. With a flood of rabbits erupting from the shadows, the opponent gets distracted, creating an opening for Megumi to escape. He has used it a couple of times, most notably against Toji in the Shibuya Incident.
Megumi also has an uncontrolled seventh shikgami.
Mahoraga is the strongest shikigami that the Ten Shadows technique can summon. It is inspired by Buddhist and Hindu mythological concepts.
No Ten Shadows user in history has ever been able to exorcise this shikigami to control it. It is a whole mystery in itself. However, a fifteen finger Sukuna was able to exorcise Mahoraga, raising questions about whether Megumi will be able to summon this shikigami again.
There are a few more properties of Megumi’s shikigami that must be kept in mind. Since Megumi cannot summon a shikigami once an opponent destroys it, he tries to call it back before that happens.
What happens when Megumi’s Shikigami are destroyed?
When one of Megumi’s Shikigami from the Ten Shadows Technique gets destroyed, its power goes to the other shikigami. One such example is that when the white hound died, the black hound received its powers and turned into a more ferocious and powerful form. This form of the Divine Dog is called Divine Dog: Totality. But, according to Akutami, there are different rules for different shikigami.
This fact also raises a question in our minds. If all of Megumi’s shikigami get destroyed, will he be stripped of a cursed technique? He is currently classified as a Grade 2 shaman, but if he loses all shikigami, could he summon anything else from the shadows?
We have no idea. We also don’t know whether these shikigami have a fixed appearance like the Divine Dogs or take any shape the master desires.
The Well’s Unknown Abyss
The Well’s Unknown Abyss is a concoction of Nue and Toad shikigami. Megumi summons a combined shikigami by creating hand signs for both Nue and Toad’s shadows. The technique results in a bunch of toads with wings. It is another technique that Megumi came up with on his own, using the Ten Shadows as the base.
The first instance where Megumi used this attack was against Todo before the Kyoto sister school exchange. He gauged that Todo is a close combat fighter, and the Well’s Unknown Abyss is effective in such cases.
The technique helps Megumi in maintaining distance to nullify close combat threats. They cling to his body and take flight using their wings, increasing Megumi’s mobility. This technique is also effective in restraining opponents by the toads’ tongues. Megumi next used this technique as support and decoy both in his fight against Noritoshi Kamo in the Kyoto sister school exchange.
The biggest advantage of this technique is that these shikigami hybrids can be destroyed without any consequences. That is, even if an opponent crushes them, it will not harm Nue and Toad’s status.
Additionally, the Well’s Unknown Abyss can be summoned even after destruction until Nue and Toad are destroyed in their own forms. However, Megumi cannot create the Well’s Unknown Abyss with any other shikigami than Toad and Nue. He may create more such combination shikigami to enhance the range of his attacks in the future.
Talking about the range of attacks, a higher-grade shaman moves leaps and bounds by acquiring and perfecting their Domain Expansion. Megumi also attempted his Domain Expansion a couple of times in the plot.
Domain Expansion: Chimera Shadow Garden
Megumi’s domain expansion is called Chimera Shadow Garden and currently is an imperfect version with no boundaries. In Chimera Shadow Garden, liquid shadows cover the entire area of the battlefield. Megumi can use and manipulate these shadows as per his will.
We first saw him attempt the domain expansion in the Origin of Obedience arc. A cursed spirit with Sukuna’s finger pushed Megumi into the corner. He was going to sacrifice his life with his last resort of Mahoraga when he remembered Gojo’s lesson.
An interesting point to note here is that Sukuna’s domain, Malevolent Shrine is similar to Chimera Shadow Garden. Both of these domains don’t have any boundaries. Sukuna has mastery over his domain, which makes it terribly fatal. Megumi, however, is still learning to control his domain. Once he excels at controlling cursed energy, his domain might actually rival Sukuna’s some day.
Currently, Megumi cannot take up Domain Expansion twice a day, either. We can only imagine what Megumi’s fully manifested Domain Expansion looks like. In all certainty, it would be a force to be reckoned with.
We have explored Megumi’s Chimera Shadow Garden in a separate article; click here to read it!
An instance of this is when he registered Hanami’s weak spot as his stem in the Kyoto Sister school exchange. He is also a unique shikigami user who is also good at close-range fighting.
Noritoshi Kamo and Sukuna note his proficiency in hand-to-hand combat because normally shikigami users are poor in that respect. He is also well-trained in using tools and weapons for close-range combat.
While all these cursed techniques certainly give Megumi an advantage, he also has some other notable skills in combat. His battle intellect is high, and he quickly gauges his opponent’s strengths and weaknesses.
This technique’s usage and full potential are definitely something we look forward to in the coming arcs. What do you think of Megumi’s abilities? Do you have the same questions as us or some answers? Comment below!