Ryomen Sukuna (両面宿儺,Ryomen Sukuna?), more often called just Sukuna (宿儺,Sukuna?), is a mighty cursed spirit known as the undisputed King of Curses (呪いの王,Noroi no Ō?). He serves as one of the primary antagonists of the Jujutsu Kaisen series.
According to a legend, during the golden age of jujutsu over 1,000 years ago, Sukuna was an Imaginary Demon (仮想の鬼神,Kasō no Kijin?), though in truth was a human sorcerer, and other sorcerers gave their all to defeat him. After his death, he became a cursed spirit, and his curse was too strong for his body to be fully destroyed. Henceforth, his remains of 20 indestructible fingers, preserved in grave wax, traversed the ages as cursed objects, ever growing in power. In the present, Sukuna has been incarnated into Yuji Itadori due to the latter eating one of his cursed fingers, which contain his fragmented power.
His past appearance is described as a demon with four arms and two faces. Currently, he appears similar to the host he is in, but with spiked hair and with unique markings on his forehead, nose, cheeks, and torso. He also has a second pair of eyes under his normal eyes, which are usually closed. Sukuna also has two lines on both his wrists, upper arms, circles on both his shoulders with a dot in each, two-segmented curve lines on his chest, and two lines on his stomach while possessing Yuji.
Sukuna wears a light-colored kimono with a black edge, a black scarf, and black shoes.
Sukuna's original appearance from a thousand years ago. (Color)
Gojo's description of Sukuna from a thousand years ago.
Sukuna is selfish, cold-hearted, immoral, and exceptionally sadistic. When he was reincarnated shortly after Yuji ingested his finger, he commented, implying the slaughter of women and children and likening them to maggots crawling around. Due to his immense power, he rarely cares about the consequences of his actions, even if these affect his host, Yuji Itadori. In fact, he frequently taunts and insults Yuji, calling him a brat and even laughing at or enjoying Yuji's despair on multiple occasions.
Sukuna is aware of his immense power and is quite arrogant about it, brutalizing a finger bearer while being patronizing and proclaiming his superiority over it. For this reason, he is highly dismissive of his opponents and rarely takes them seriously, even explicitly stating he would kill Satoru Gojo to his face. However, these brutish traits are not to be confused for stupidity. Sukuna is highly intelligent and manipulative, taking Yuji's body hostage by tearing out his heart to force him into a Binding Vow. He has also displayed the ability to acknowledge and praise his opponents, as shown by how before killing Jogo Sukuna acknowledged his strength despite having completely overpowered him and told Jogo that he should be proud.
Abilities and Powers
Overall Skill Level: Sukuna is a special grade cursed spirit. As the most powerful cursed spirit in the entire series, Sukuna possesses vast amounts of cursed energy. Sukuna's presence was felt throughout Shibuya once he was awakened. His cursed energy is similar to Satoru Gojo in its immensity, but different in its overwhelmingly evil nature. He soon went on to overwhelm and defeat Jogo, the most powerful cursed spirit in Mahito's group. Even Gojo acknowledged Sukuna's strength, stating that fighting him would be tough. In every single appearance, Sukuna has proved that he is by far the strongest cursed spirit ever. He seriously injured Mahito when angered, defeated Jogo without much trouble, defeated Mahoraga, something no user of the Ten Shadows Technique and even a member of the Gojo Family with the Six Eyes had done. His strength is so great that Mahito and Jogo were convinced that Sukuna's revival could ensure their success. Sukuna's strength is only rivaled by other special grades like Yuta Okkotsu and Satoru Gojo.
Incarnation (受肉,Juniku?): There is a slim chance that Sukuna will incarnate into whoever eats his fingers, gaining a physical, human body in the process. Upon Yuji consuming the first of his twenty fingers, Sukuna immediately came to possess his body, which he has inhabitated since.
Master Hand-to-Hand Combatant: Sukuna is an extremely skilled and powerful close-quarters fighter. He is shown overwhelming Megumi with powerful physical strikes alone. Sukuna can unite his cursed technique and his hand-to-hand prowess, making him an extremely difficult opponent to overwhelm in battle.
Immense Strength: In his first appearance Sukuna has shown to possess tremendous physical strength despite being in an incomplete state. He could easily defeat a very large cursed spirit with just a simple swipe, and during his fight against Gojo he was able to punch the roof of the school so hard it causes the building to rupture and crack. He easily overpowered the likes of a finger bearer, a special-grade curse. When gambling Yuji's life against Megumi, Sukuna managed to fling the sorcerer through several building floors without effort and he easily overpowered and destroyed Megumi's shikigami. He even punched Megumi so hard, the raindrops in that area dispersed. With fifteen of his fingers, Sukuna punched Jogo through buildings and even destroyed the latter's jaw. His blows had considerable effect on Mahoraga.
Immense Speed: Sukuna has shown to move at incredible speed, such that his opponent didn't even register Sukuna's movement at first. He was able to continuously dodge Jogo's attacks and keep up with Mahoraga in their fight. With three fingers, he caught a finger bearer off-guard and beat him into the ground. Sukuna was even able to appear in the middle of Atsuya Kusakabe and Panda, both capable sorcerers, with the former being a Grade 1 sorcerer.
Immense Reflexes: Sukuna can easily counter any opponent and is fast enough for his opponent to not even realize that their limb has been cut off. He consistently dodged Mahoraga's blows and countered during their fight. He was quickly able to put Mahoraga down for good before he had finished regenerating. He was able to dodge Jogo's Maximum: Meteor.
Immense Durability: Even in Yuji's body, Sukuna can use cursed energy to bolster his host's resilience. Sukuna was punched through five buildings and shown to be completely fine.
Great Tactical Intellect: Sukuna is an incredibly intelligent cursed spirit. He has fully grasped the nature of cursed techniques, and cursed and reverse cursed energy as a whole. Due to that, he is able to quickly deduce the inner workings of cursed techniques after only seeing them once or twice and creating suitable foils to such techniques. He did this against Mahoraga in their fight, and was able to defeat the shikigami after gaining an understanding of it's technique.
Metamorphosis: Sukuna can create new eyes and mouths on his host, allowing him to see and speak without controlling the body of the host. For example, he made a single eye and fanged mouth on Yuji's left cheek to belittle and taunt him.
Cursed Energy Manipulation
Immense Cursed Energy: Sukuna possesses immense levels of cursed energy due to his innate power, cementing his title as the King of Curses. He was able to continuously use his techniques throughout his battles without exhausting himself in the slightest. He has skillful control over his cursed energy, being able to use Domain Expansion and Reverse Cursed Techniques. The only other person who uses both is Satoru Gojo. His amount of cursed energy far surpasses other special grades cursed spirits.
Reverse Cursed Technique (反転術式,Hanten Jutsushiki?): Due to his nature as a special grade cursed spirit, Sukuna can easily use a reverse cursed technique in order to regenerate lost limbs in an instant. Regained limbs maintain the same integrity as the rest of Sukuna's body. He can go further and even heal others.
Sukuna has an unnamed Binding Vow with Yuji. The King of Curses agreed to revive the boy after his apparent death in during the events of the Cursed Womb Arc under two conditions: ① Yuji would allow Sukuna to take over his body for one full minute when the cursed spirit would chant "Enchain" and ② he would forget about the agreement. Yuji initially opposed the Binding Vow, making Sukuna promise that he wouldn't kill or hurt anyone during that minute. The boy still disagreed with the terms and instead had a battle against the King of Curses, where he'd allow the agreement to occur if he lost. Sukuna effortlessly defeated Yuji, forcing him into the Binding Vow.
It is currently unknown what Sukuna's cursed technique is. He was shown to use his cursed energy to slash targets. Sukuna was also shown to use fire-based powers.
Dismantle (解,Kai?): Sukuna's default slashing attack. It is normally used for inanimate objects, however it can be used against cursed spirits to great effectiveness
Cleave (捌,Hachi?): A slashing attack that adjusts itself depending on the target's toughness and cursed energy level to cut them down in one fell swoop.
Unnamed Fire Ability: Sukuna can create and manipulate flames for long-range attacks. These abilities exceed Jogo's, an unregistered special-grade curse whose defining trait involves extremely destructive pyrokinetic powers.
Malevolent Shrine (伏魔御厨子,Fukuma Mizushi?): Sukuna's Domain Expansion creates a Buddhist shrine decorated with skulls. Malevolent Shrine has a unique trait; it doesn't create a separate space using a barrier. A binding vow is formed by allowing an escape route, which vastly increases the guaranteed hit's effective area with a maximum radius of nearly 200 meters.
He was described as a man of inhuman strength, with a two-faced head plus a total of eight limbs, four arms and legs respectively, that served each face. Wielding a multitude of weapons in his many hands (incl. a bow, arrow, and sword), he terrorized village after village in ancient Hida, plundering and leaving chaos in his wake. That is, until a brave military commander dispatched by the Imperial Court, named Takefurukuma no Mikoto, stepped forth and put an end to the monster's tyranny, expelling him from Hida.
Ryomen-sukuna was worshipped by some as a minor deity, and statues depicting his distinctly two-faced head can still be found today in Gifu temples and shrines.
One theory states that Ryomen-sukuna is a symbol of twins and brothers, therefore it refers to Oousu no Mikoto and Ousu no Mikoto (i.e. Yamato Takeru no Mikoto and his brother), twins in ancient Japanese history. Another theory states that Ryomen-sukuna refers to Emperor Chuai's sons, Kagosaka no Miko and Oshikuma no Mikoto. Both pairs of brothers are deeply related to Mino and Hida Provinces. Takeuchi-monjo (an ancient text which recorded the lineage of ancient kami and a dynasty preceding Emperor Jinmu) wrote Hida Province as "日玉国" or "日霊国," indicating that Hida was Takamanohara (plain of high heaven) and Kuraiyama Mountain was the Pyramid. It is considered that Ryomen-sukuna had a Hida-based dynasty the same size as the Yamato Dynasty.
Sukuna's kimono is very loose akin to a ladies kimono, as such space granted him more comfort while having four arms in the past.
Sukuna's technique names appear to have some relation with cooking. His Domain Expansion, 伏魔御厨子 (Fukuma Mizushi,伏魔御厨子?), has been translated officially as "Malevolent Shrine", but 伏魔 (Fukuma,伏魔?) is more literally translated as "place where demons hide" and 御厨子 (Mizushi,御厨子?) is an archaic word referring to a kitchen or the emperor's eating area. His cutting techniques 解 (Kai,解?) and 捌 (Hachi,捌?) also use kanji used in cooking to refer to "dismantling" and "filleting" fish.
According to Jujutsu Kaisen Official Fanbook:
His hobby is eating.
He dislikes nothing in particular (he doesn't care about anything other than himself).
In the official fan book Q&A with Gege Akutami, the author stated Sukuna's fingers taste like soap.
Sukuna was a curse user, but Gege thinks he is something closely similar to a natural disaster.
He possesses the memories of when he was a human.
Sukuna can’t be compared to Gojo in terms of fear. But it’s not necessarily like that, a long time ago (during Sukuna’s time), curse users and cursed spirits alike ran rampant more than in the present time. They gradually calmed down but when Gojo burst into life, the excitement raised again.
When he was still a human, his surroundings were scared to death. He was known as the “King of Curses” even before he became a cursed object.
When Yuji died, Sukuna felt no impact. It was still within the range where Sukuna’s reverse cursed technique could revive him. However, if time passed beyond that range, Sukuna would also die.
Cursed spirits are not enough to be his vessel so his consciousness does not emerge in Finger Bearers.
If his fingers are sealed or taken in by cursed spirits, he can’t gather information from them. He can understand/get some information if the finger is near. If the finger is freed from the seal, he somehow can understand the situation in its surrounding. That’s why he said “that’s good” during Fushiguro's fight under the Yasohachi bridge.
In his previous life, Sukuna did not have a wife or children. He had Uraume, who was his subordinate.
For common understanding of his technique, if anyone were to search through the literature, they would understand that there’s slashing involved to a certain degree. However, the fire-based powers are rather unknown.
When Gojo has said that Yuji can be a radar for Sukuna’s finger, it was a wrong prediction that Sukuna will act like upon it to take back his power.
In the region where Ryomen Sukuna originated, he was not treated as a hero nor did he have anything named after him. The Sukuna of “Jujutsu Kaisen” is named as such because his appearance and strength are like that of Ryōmen-sukuna.
Sukuna has won the award for "Best Antagonist" in the Crunchyroll Anime Awards 2021.