Kujiru in Brilliant Pagoda or Haze Castle
|Species||Slug Youkai (Shikigami)|
Kujiru is bratty, overconfident and impulsive. They hold their master Garaiya in high regard and often picks fights with Kaisen, since both want to be favored by their master. Kujiru often ignores Kaisen's orders and does things on their own. Both shikigami have a fierce rivalry and are often seen insulting each other. They are more powerful than your average slug youkai, and salt has no effect on them, except for olive oil.
- Dividing slipperily
Kujiru has the ability to "divide slipperily", allowing them to make copies of themself, which is quite useful for spying and communicating with the rest of the Dragonfly Army. Which is great, because each copy doesn't really have the strength to do anything else.
- Changing forms
As seen in Garaiya Ogata's character art, Kujiru can morph into a normal slug form.
Kujiru and their superior Kaisen Azuma are shikigamis serving the same master. Kujiru is actually weaker than Kaisen, but their master prefers Kujiru because they have a more practical ability.
Kujiru is slightly based on the entirely fictitious Kesa-gozen (袈裟御前) from The Tale of the Heike (平家物語). In the tale, it is said that the samurai Endō Moritō (遠藤盛遠), who did exist historically, fell in love with his friend's wife Kesa-gozen, and instructed her to make her husband sleep alone at night so that he could sneak in and cut his head off. To protect her husband, Kesa-gozen slept in his place and sacrificed herself. To atone, he left home and became a monk named Mongaku (文覚). It is said that a slug appears on his grave every year on the 9th day of the 7th month of the traditional lunisolar calendar, the same day Kesa-gozen was killed. The slug is believed to be her soul, appearing to offer her forgiveness to Mongaku.
Kujiru's surname and species as a slug youkai are likely based on Kesa-gozen. Her appearance in the Tale of the Heike, a story primarily focused on the Taira clan, may also explain Kujiru's appearance on the Youkai Alliance's side of the Heaven-Shadow War, which has heavy ties to the Taira of Mugenri.
Their full name is Kujiru Kesa (袈裟 クジル). The name Kujiru (クジル) can be translated from Katakana as "to stick into and move around; to dig around in; to pick (as in, picking one' teeth)".
Their surname "Kesa (袈裟)", taken from Kesa-gozen, is the Japanese word for the Kāṣāya, robes worn by fully ordained Buddhist monks and nuns. Sometimes when children are born, the umbilical cord is hung around the neck and body, which looks like the child is born wearing a Kāṣāya. However, children whose umbilical cords wrap around them like this are prone to stillbirth, so those who are born like this often have "Kesa (袈裟)" added to their name, as a charm for peaceful growth. This relation to life and growth may be related to Kujiru's ability to divide and create more of themselves.
According to JynX, "Kujiru" is written as "抉弄" in Chinese. 抉 means "to choose" or "to pluck out", while 弄 means "to play with", "to trick", "to make fun of", "to cause ... to do ..." or "to obtain".
Kujiru has short blue-green hair and green eyes. They wear a black kasa hat with slug antennae and dresses in dull blue and green clothing, where their neck seems to be covered with a big slug. In their animal form, Kujiru is a white slug.
- Brilliant Pagoda or Haze Castle
While Taira no Chouki was training under the tutelage of Garaiya, the Dragonfly Castle appeared before Chouki, which Garaiya took as an omen acknowledging them as the New Emperor. The idealistic Garaiya wanted for the emperor to be a “hero figure” to Mugenri, but unknown to them, Chouki actually had no interest in ruling. Knowing that Fumikado will eventually come to the castle and fight for the emperor’s title, Chouki waited for them inside the castle, with the intention to kill and have revenge on Fumikado.
Meanwhile, Garaiya sends Kujiru and Kaisen to recruit followers to their cause and monitor the Senri Shrine and its new employees. They were supposed to act on Kaisen's orders, but they disobeyed and went on their own. After Kujiru and Kaisen are defeated by the heroes, they go back to Garaiya and tell them what happened. Garaiya and their shikigami (back in animal form) fight against the heroes in order to prevent them from reaching Chouki and the Dragonfly Castle, but is defeated easily, since Garaiya was weakened due to using most of their power to enhance Kujiru and Kaisen.
- Kaisen Azuma
Kaisen is Kujiru's superior. However, they seem to have little respect for them and disobeys them, because Garaiya favors Kujiru rather than Kaisen. Because of this, Kaisen is jealous of them and both are always seen bickering or insulting each other, much to Garaiya's chagrin.
- Garaiya Ogata
Kujiru is one of Garaiya's shikigami. The slug holds them in high respect and often picks fights with Kaisen in order to get their master's approval.
- Shou Amanomori
It's stated in Kujiru's official profile that they know Shou Amanomori. After discovering that Shou is a similar slug youkai as well, Kujiru was pleased and considered persuading them to join the Dragonfly Army due to needing an addition to their own work-field, sending them invitations and chasing them around despite Shou rejecting the invitations. They sometimes even manage to trick and manipulate Shou into doing their bidding much to Shou's chagrin.
- Kujiru, along with Kaisen, lacks a common phrase in their theme that most people associated with the Youkai Alliance have, this is because they were bound by their shikigami contacts to Garaiya, and did not join on their own accord.
An illustration featuring Medias Moritake, Yago Ametsukana, Kurohebi, Taira no Chouki, Kujiru Kesa, Para and Kaisen Azuma on Pixiv FANBOX, indicating that they would be excluded from a certain "side project" that JynX was working on at the time. The image is pixellated as the clear image was uploaded as a donors-exclusive image.