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Series
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Who is Tengen in Jujutsu Kaisen? Abilities and Immortality Explained

Tengen
Vinland Saga

Who is Tengen/Past:

In the Jujutsu world, there are a few anomalies that deeply interest the fans. One such anomaly is Master Tengen. Referring to herself as a “granny”, Tengen is probably the most enigmatic character in the series. 

So today, we’re going to break down everything we know about Tengen (so far)! 

Who is Master Tengen? 

Tengen’s existence dates back to the Nara Period when she spread Japanese Buddhism throughout Japan! 

Tengen

This was the beginning of Jujutsu Sorcery, but there are no other specific details to this. Hence, it is still unclear how Tengen’s teaching led to Jujutsu sorcerers. However, he was the pinnacle of the school’s foundation. 

Tengen’s Evolution/Abilities Explained:

Tengen has a bunch of really interesting abilities, let’s take a look at them one by one! 

Immortality: 

Tengen’s cursed technique is “Immortality”, where she literally doesn’t die. But, as she ages, the body “evolves’ ‘ past humanity into something more of a Cursed Spirit! 

Tengen’s evolution happens after a set period of time, this is an apparent side effect of their immortality. Eventually, the body transformation begins to look like what we saw during the Culling Game explanations!

This form of Tengen is unhuman, more akin to that of a curse, as said by herself. 

To avoid this, she has to merge with the “Star Plasma Vessel” – a human who is compatible with Tengen prior to her becoming a curse. Then, then, the two can merge and prevent the transformation!

However, in this process, the vessel will die. Initially, we believed that there could only be a single Star Plasma Vessel. In chapter 202 of the manga, it was revealed that there can be multiple vessels for Tengen, and the best one may be chosen! 

Yuko and Tengen

Apparently, Yuki Tsukumo, a Special-Grade sorcerer was a potential vessel for Tengen! During her talk with Tengen, it was also revealed that potential vessels can hear the voices of the ones sacrificed. 

Yuki refuses from telling what the voices say to Tengen as she believes that it would take away the importance of these vessels. 

When Tengen knows what they have said, she might end up coming up with an excuse and satisfy herself that all of this is right, which Yuki doesn’t want! While this is brutal, it is an essential process. Tengen is a threat to humanity if not contained.

Let’s take their current situation for example. In the current situation, Tengen is approaching a point where she could merge with all of humanity if she continues to evolve. 

This is because Tengen becomes “a part of the world” as the transformation accelerates. Right now, Tengen describes it as losing their sense of individuality. Or, so we believed. In the same chapter, Tengen revealed that she didn’t use another vessel because she felt like her transformations were natural, and preventing them would do no good. 

While there may be a threat associated with her losing her senses, she believes that she can contain herself using the barrier technique.  

Tengen emphasizes that this is not confidence, she genuinely believes that this transformation should go on but makes sure to assure that she will not lose her self-identity. 

In fact, the current form of Tengen was created to allow others to perceive her better through his barrier techniques, which we will discuss next! 

Barrier Techniques: 

Barrier Techniques are jujutsu skills that allow the user to create “walls” to separate areas to use as shields, traps, and other miscellaneous reasons. A good example would be Curtains. These were the domes placed over areas such as in the Goodwill Event and Shibuya to prevent interference!

Tengen has a barrier over the Jujutsu School at all times. This Barrier changes the Jujutsu schools’ appearance daily, hiding both Kyoto and Japan’s schools! 

Tengen Barrier

Tengen also powers the barrier used by the jujutsu auxiliary managers, like Ijichi. This allows them to do Jujutsu business discreetly! Tengen’s mastery is over hiding, not keeping out. 

In the past, her barrier has failed to do its job multiple times. 

  1. Toji Fushiguro was successful in getting past the barrier due to his lack of energy! He also carried Cursed Tools by hiding a small shinigami with the ability to store weapons in his stomach! Finding the entrance was not difficult either, as nothing is guarded, it is just a big puzzle! 
  2. During the Sister School event, Hanami was able to get past Tengen’s barrier as his energy resembled more a natural spirit than a cursed one! Quite a fatal mistake, honestly. 
  3. Mahito was able to steal three Death Paintings by backtracking the energy of the talisman created by his Cursed Energy.

In all of these cases, Tengen was able to hide things, but not protect her. This is a fatal flaw in her CT! Therefore, she asked for Choso, Yuki, or Yuta to stay behind to protect her against Kenjaku’s assault.

Still, Tengen’s control over barriers is astounding and intricate. For this, a high level of cursed energy would be required. 

Tengen also revealed that he has a barrier over Japan! This allows her to see what’s going on throughout the country, giving her access to the locations of multiple places, and other jujutsu sorcerers’ whereabouts as well!  

For example, Tengen was able to tell Yuji and Megumi where Hakari was hiding in an instant! 

This makes Tengen the most valuable asset to the Jujutsu school, literally being their source of secrecy and history!