Jujutsu Kaisen: The Three Great Apparitions explained

Tulisha srivastava
An image of Satoru Gojo using Red and Blue in Jujutsu Kaisen

Jujutsu Kaisen prequel movie once mentioned the Three Great Apparitions. However, the series has yet to explain what they actually are.

Jujutsu Kaisen is set in a world where the negative energy released from people accumulates together to give birth to cursed spirits. These spirits hunt humans even though they can rarely be seen. 

Only those with cursed energy can see and defeat those spirits. This is why the Jujutsu society runs schools and organizations to fight against curses. Only cursed techniques can defeat curses. Sadly, a very small percentage of the population is born with cursed energy.

Among those people is the legendary Gojo Clan with a long-running history because of their powerful “Limitless” ability and the user of Six Eyes being born in the clan. Members of these clans in Jujutsu Kaisen are descendants of one of the Three Great Apparitions.

The Three Great Apparitions in Jujutsu Kaisen is inspired by the real Vengeful Spirits of Japan

An image of Yuta Okkutsu from Jujutsu Kaisen 0

Jujutsu Kaisen draws inspiration from several Japanese folktales and mythology. For example, Ryomen Sukuna was a real-life leader who existed in Japan’s history and was later made to be a legend or myth. The Sukuna in the series has a lot in common with the ancient leader in terms of both physical appearance and personality.

Similarly, the Three Great Apparitions in Jujutsu Kaisen references the Three Great Onryō of Japan. Onryō means Vengeful or Hateful Spirit in Japanese. Emperor Sutoku, Taira no Masakado, and Sugawara no Michizane are the three spirits known to be the most powerful and revered spirits in Japanese history.  Sutoku was from the Hōan era, whereas the other two were from the Heian period.

Michizane was mentioned in the movie as the ancestor of Satoru and Yuta. Because of that, they are both special-grade sorcerers. However, nothing else is known about Michizane or the other two spirits. It is highly unlikely that the other clans, such as Zenin and Kamo, would be descendants of one of these spirits. This is because the concept of Michizane’s descendants fits well in the story as it explains why Gojo and Yuta are so powerful. 

Why are the Three Great Vengeful Spirits feared in Japan?

Jujutsu Kaisen Three Great Apparitions

Sutoku was an Emperor of Japan who was abdicated and exiled. He devoted himself to monastic life. He made scriptures and offered them to the court, only to be rejected since they were believed to be cursed. Sutoko resented the court and was believed to return as a Vengeful Spirit. 

Masakado led a rebellion in the 10th century against the government in Kyoto. He died in battle and had his head taken to the capital. Michizane was a scholar, poet, and politician revered as Japan’s God of Learning. He lost favor with the Emperor and died in exile, filled with resentment and loneliness.  

A series of natural disasters, mysterious deaths, and several wars followed after their deaths. People blamed all these misfortunes on them. Even in the modern era, several mysterious deaths follow near their shrines, making people in such myths to this day. 

The onryō is a staple of the J-Horror genre. Therefore, it makes sense for a Japanese story to draw inspiration from them. Jujutsu Kaisen has the perfect theme to incorporate these spirits in the story and introduce them as the Three Great Apparitions.

Jujutsu Kaisen can currently be streamed on Crunchyroll and Netflix. In the meantime, check out our other anime coverage below:

Jujutsu Kaisen chapter 230 | 10 short anime series | 10 nostalgic anime series | JJK confirms Megumi’s return | Jujutsu Kaisen young Gojo | One Piece Gear 5 importance | One Piece Episode 1071 | One Piece Gear 5 anime schedule | One Piece chapter 1089 | One Piece live-action trailer breakdown | 10 best character design

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