Master Tengen has always been shrouded in mystery. In the anime, he was only briefly mentioned when the Kyoto Sister-School Goodwill Event was disrupted by the cursed spirit Hanami and other enemies.
The enticing fights that followed made the mention of Master Tengen completely slip my mind. I nearly forgot about him until he was mentioned again in the manga during Gojo’s flashback.
However, I didn’t really get to see Master Tengen during the Plasma Star Vessel incident, so my questions remained unanswered. That is, of course, until Chapter 145, which finally sheds some light on the enigmatic sorcerer.
Master Tengen is a former jujutsu sorcerer with the jutsushiki of immortality for his soul due to which he exchanges bodies with a Star Plasma vessel every 500 years. He is also the most powerful barrier-technique user in the Jujutsu Kaisen series.
Recent developments in the manga have led to Master Tengen playing a pivotal role in Kenshuku’s plans.
1. How Do Tengen’s Barriers Work? Are They Unbreachable?
Master Tengen’s barriers protect both Jujutsu schools by constantly changing the building’s appearance, thus efficiently hiding it. His barrier technique also hides the entrance to the cursed storehouse that houses multiple special-grade cursed objects.
The storehouse has over 1000 doors, with only Master Tengen aware of the one door that connects to the storehouse. He also strengthens the barrier techniques of the auxiliary managers.
Master Tengen, also referred to as the ‘Star,’ resides within a shrine at the base of a large tree located at the country’s base for primary barriers. This place is also called the ‘Main Hall of the Tombs of the Star.’ Yet another barrier guards the entrance to the main shrine.
However, this one is different in the sense that only those who are invited may enter.
That being said, Master Tengen’s barriers are aimed more at hiding rather than protecting. They have been inefficient multiple times and are far from foolproof.
Instance1: Toji Fushiguro was able to easily get past the barrier due to having no cursed energy of his own.
He was able to carry cursed tools and weapons by hiding them within a cursed spirit that could store objects and shrink to a size small enough that he could ingest it and hold it in his stomach.
Toji was also able to find the entrance to the tombs of the star, stating that since the barriers were for hiding, the entrances could not be guarded, and anyone could get in if they knew the location of the entrance.
Instance 2: During the Sister-School event, Hanami was able to get past the barrier as well due to his presence being close to that of a regular spirit. His ability to move through plants also aided him as Master Tengen’s barriers are ineffective against plants.
Instance 3: Mahito was also able to find the cursed storehouse and steal the three cursed womb death paintings. This was done by allowing Jujutsu High to retrieve one of Sukuna’s fingers that was left at Junpei’s house. Through a talisman made of Mahito’s cursed energy, Mahito being the source, was able to find the cursed storehouse.
2. Is Master Tengen Human?
Master Tengen is a former human and immortal jujutsu sorcerer who used to exchange bodies every few centuries. According to Tengen himself, his current state is, however, more of a cursed spirit than a human.
Due to his jujutsushiki, Master Tengen’s soul is immortal while his body keeps decaying which can lead to various issues if his powers were to get out of control. To avoid this, every 500 years, he ‘resets’ his body by merging with a human vessel also called the Plasma Star Vessel.
The last time Master Tengen attempted this merger was 11 years ago when Riko Amanai was the Plasma Star vessel. However, the merger was unsuccessful due to the interference from Toji Fushiguro.
Since then, Master Tengen has undergone evolution and is now closer to a Cursed Spirit rather than a human. Using his barrier technique, he can maintain his consciousness and the form that Yuji and the others encounter.
3. How Strong Is Master Tengen?
Master Tengen and his barriers are essential to maintaining peace within the Jujutsu world.
During Gojo’s flashback, Masamichi Yaga goes as far as to describe his barriers as the pillars of the Jujutsu world and how the absence of security from them would make undertaking missions incredibly difficult as well.
4. Master Tengen’s New Weakness
Although Master Tengen has been around for centuries, he doesn’t seem to interfere much with the outside world. In chapter 145, Master Tengen is approached by Itadori, Yuta, Megumi, Maki, Choso, and Yuki for information.
Concerned about being a part of Kenshuku’s plans, he promises to give them the information they desire on the condition that out of Yuki, Yuta, and Choso, any two of them stay back as his guard.
Despite being several centuries old and incredibly powerful, Tengen has undergone evolution and is now similar to a Cursed Spirit– meaning he is susceptible to Curse Manipulation Techniques that Kenshuku has acquired by taking over Suguru Geto’s body.
Besides, Master Tengen himself describes Kenshuku as a master of barrier techniques– second only to himself. He fears being sealed away by Kenshuku in the Tomb of the Star and thus requests extra protection.
5. Is It Possible To Kill Tengen?
Since the failed merger with the Plasma Star Vessel eleven years ago, Master Tengen’s aging process accelerated till he lost his sense of self. He is now one with heaven and earth and defines his soul as existing everywhere– a new form of existence.
He can only maintain the form that Yuji and the others encounter through his barrier techniques. Hence, although he can be manipulated using Curse Manipulation, it is unlikely that he can be killed. Killing him does not seem to be Kenshuku’s goal at the moment either.
6. How Does Kenshuku Intend To Use Him?
Kenshuku intends to revive the Heian Era– to bring about the second ‘Golden Age of Jujutsu.’ He believes the next stage for humanity lies in optimizing cursed energy and plans to force the evolution of humans throughout Japan.
Since humans are the sources of cursed energy and Curses, he plans to turn every human into a jujutsu sorcerer as sorcerers are the only ones capable of controlling and manipulating the cursed energy they release.
However, he lacks the cursed energy to do this using idle transfiguration.
Through the evolution Master Tengen has undergone, it is now possible for him to assimilate with a human other than a Plasma Star Vessel.
Since he is now one with heaven and earth and his soul is dispersed rather than the single entity it was before, it would be possible to assimilate Master Tengen with a large number of people– even the whole of Japan.
The humans assimilated with Master Tengen would surpass the existing definitions of a jujutsu sorcerer.
7. About Jujutsu Kaisen
Jujutsu Kaisen, also known as Sorcery Fight, is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by GegeAkutami, serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump since March 2018.
An anime television series adaptation produced by MAPPA premiered in October 2020.
The story revolves around Yuuji Itadori, a high-school student who, despite hating athletics, is insanely fit. Yuuji gets involved in the world of sorcery when he swallows a powerful talisman to protect his friends from its curse.
On observing that Yuuji wasn’t affected much even when inflicted with this curse, Satoru decides to send Yuuji on a quest to save the world.
The second season is premiering in July 2023.