The myth of Yamata no Orochi and its relation to Sukuna

The myth of Yamata no Orochi and its relation to Sukuna

Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 Episode 17 dived into an epic digression when Sukuna mentions Yamata no Orochi and compares Mahoraga with the mythical serpent. While it is unusual for Sukuna to mention past opponents or even draw inferences from his knowledge, this certain reference to the Mahoraga with Yamata no Orochi has sparked a lot of curiosity for the viewers.

In this article, we will talk about the myth of Yamata no Orochi and its relation to Sukuna in Jujutsu Kaisen.

What is the myth of Yamata no Orochi?

Yamata no Orochi is based on a Japanese myth and folklore which states that it was a legendary eight-headed and eight-tailed dragon/serpent. It originally referred to two ancient texts about Japanese mythology, once in 712 CE and another in 720 CE.

Both of the myths however suggest that Orochi was actually slayed by the Shinto Storn God Susanoo. This polycephalic or multi-headed being was also the source of the three sacred Imperial Regalia of Japan.

The myth of Yamata no Orochi and its relation to Sukuna
General Mahoraga in Jujutsu Kaisen. (Image credit goes to Studio MAPPA)

Orochi is part of a popular Japanese myth and it is actually a result of the influence of Proto-Indo-European religion and was later propagated into the religions of the ancient Near East. It is actually a metaphor to denote the clash and conflict between order and chaos. Moreover, Orochi has the power to understand its opponent and moreover emit a beam of light from all of its eight heads.

What is Yamata no Orochi’s relation with Sukuna?

  • Sukuna mentions Yamata no Orochi to refer to Mahoraga’s ability to read, interpret, and respond to cursed energy.
  • It is unclear whether Orochi was a past rival of Sukuna’s or it was just another mysterious and clouded reference that the King of Curses made without any context.
  • However, it is clear that the reference was made to actually bring in the context of invincibility and power. Sukuna chose to make this reference in the context of describing a force that is at par with his own abilities, maybe even more powerful.
The myth of Yamata no Orochi and its relation to Sukuna
Sukuna in Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2. (Image credit goes to Studio MAPPA)

The myth of Orochi is an ancient one, maybe from a period that Sukuna was not a part of. It is therefore something that Sukuna considers as a representative figure of power and therefore the reference in itself precedes Sukuna.

Given all of this information and the availability of context related to this myth, there is also the possibility that the King of Curses chose to mention Orochi as just a comparative and at the same time a relative figure of Mahoraga’s abilities.

How are Mahoraga and Yamata no Orochi related?

There is no direct relation between Mahoraga and Orochi. However, the mythical serpent was covered in a pattern of eights. Eight heads, eight tails, and many other such patterns were repetitive and recurring. Given that Mahoraga also has eight hands and his wheel has eight heads, the relation has been established.

The myth of Yamata no Orochi and its relation to Sukuna
General Mahoraga in Jujutsu Kaisen. (Image credit goes to Studio MAPPA)

Mahoraga until now was a part of the legend in Jujutsu Kaisen. Moreover, the legend is also suggestive of the fact that the beast cannot be tamed or controlled. That is yet another attribute that is similar to the case of Orochi.

  • All of these analogies put together make sense in the least possible manners, but at least they do.
  • Therefore, we can assume that Sukuna’s inference was actually based on an intuitive claim and deduction and that the character or the myth of Orochi has nothing, in particular, to do with the world of Jujutsu Kaisen.

Conclusion

The myth of Yamata no Orochi is neither recurrent nor related to the Jujutsu Kaisen narrative. However, the mention of it does take us a lot into the Japanese myths and legends. Sukuna’s mention of the same is suggestive of the fact that such myths and legends might not always be related to the narrative, however, their mention is related to the beliefs of the Japanese society and their cultural history.

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