Tsurubami Senri

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闡裡せんり 鶴喰つるばみ
Tsurubami Senri
sẽ̞nɾi t͡sɯᵝɾ̠ɯᵝβa̠mi
Tsurubami Senri
Tsurubami in Evanescent Existence
Character Titles
The Inexplicable Hakama
Information
Species Human
Abilities Manipulating letters, raising poultry
Occupation Shinto priest, youkai exterminator
Location Senri Shrine (Currently on vacation/holiday in the Outside World)
Music Themes
  • インディスワールド ~ Monochrome_eye (EE)
  • 永劫舞踏機関 〜 Shall_We_Dance!! (EE)
  • 壊れかけの永劫舞踏機関 (BPoHC)
Appearances

Tsurubami Senri (闡裡 鶴喰, Senri Tsurubami) is a human Shinto priest and the head of the Senri Shrine. They used to be a feared dictator who ruled over Mugenri. Together with their best friend and closest ally Tenkai Zuifeng, the two ruled with an iron fist until Tsurubami decided to leave for the Outside World and spirited away Tsubakura Enraku and Yabusame Houlen in their place.

Story wise, they are said to be a "super important character".[1]

General Information[edit]

Tsurubami is the former official Shinto priest and head of the Senri Shrine who was the dictator that lead Mugenri. It's unknown which generation of priest they served as, but there were at least three who came before them.[2] They were a tyrant who ruled over Mugenri with an iron fist, heavily oppressing its people and youkai to some extent. Because of this, many youkai who were targeted hid away during the day, fearful of them.[3] Tsurubami's initial and only appearance in the Len'en Project is in Evanescent Existence, where they were a playable character, albeit disguised as Tsubakura Enraku, as well as the Extra Stage boss. Despite the singular appearance, they are an incredibly important character.

Ever since the start of Earthen Miraculous Sword, Tsurubami has not appeared in Mugenri because they are on vacation in the Outside World. As such before they left, they tested the strength of Tsubakura Enraku and Yabusame Houlen to see if they are capable of taking care of the Senri Shrine and Mugenri, which was their intention during Evanescent Existence. As such, they decided to give Tsubakura and Yabusame the role as Shinto priests, where Tsubakura is Tsurubami's successor who takes care of the traditional priest roles and Yabusame takes care of house chores.

Overtime, it is said that their extended absence in the Outside World has led to the collapse of their rule, as well as the balance of Mugenri.[4] Many people are relieved that they're gone. However, once the priest left, everything started spiralling out of control with incident after incident. This suggests that Tsurubami is essential to keeping balance and order in Mugenri.

While Tsurubami hails from the Outside World[5], they haven't left Mugenri since they entered it until the events of Evanescent Existence.[6] Apparently, they went to the outside to search for an "item",[7] and supposedly for "revenge",[8] and are working hard for a particular goal. Unfortunately, they are no longer familiar with the Outside World, and so they're having a tough time living there mostly due to the lack of relying on their abilities, since they're forbidden in the outside.[6]

Not much is known about Tsurubami's history prior to the events of the games. What is known is that Tsurubami initially lived in the Outside World, eventually succeeded ownership of the Senri Shrine, went out of their way to conquer Mugenri, and previously ruled over the Dragonfly Castle.[9] Tsurubami ruled over Mugenri with an iron first, so youkai and humans were terrified of them. They also antagonized some factions, such as the rulers from Devanagara.

It's unknown when Tsurubami was appointed as the priest of Mugenri, but they already knew their loyal ally and partner, Tenkai Zuifeng, when they were starting out. They helped each other on multiple occasions[10], including resolving incidents together,[6] and they bonded as fellow outside-worlders.[5] In addition, Tenkai's family has ties with the Senri Shrine, which could be the reason for them becoming acquainted.[11]

Personality[edit]

Little is known about their personality. They're a confident, energetic and dutiful person who tends to get carried away easily. Despite this, they are devoted to their job as the Senri priest as they are considerably militant, though they're still too willful and inconsiderate of others.[3] According to Tenkai Zuifeng, Tsurubami is very carefree and often makes decisions on pure whims.

During Evanescent Existence, they deal with problems by manipulating others to act and resolve things for themselves. They have a well-deserved reputation of being oppressive, manipulative and a dictator, and thus many humans and youkai in Mugenri feared – and probably hated – Tsurubami due to their immense power and unpredictable personality. They have a really bad reputation in Devanagara.

When disguised as Tsubakura Enraku in Evanescent Existence, their personality was the same as their real self, appearing more joyful than the real Tsubakura.

Abilities & Strength[edit]

JynX has explicitly stated that Tsurubami is the strongest character in the Len'en Project.[1] It is said that Tsurubami would be nothing if it weren't for their strength, and that strength could be on the par with the second- and third-generation priests of the Senri Shrine.[2] They're thought to be undefeatable, and both humans and youkai cower in fear of their sheer power and tyrannical rule. The only person thus far who is capable of fighting them is Xeno a due to their ability to manipulate probability. However, it's left open as to whether Tsurubami was going easy or not.[12] When going up against the cast of Evanescent Existence, they were holding back to give the new arrivals a fighting chance in order to gauge their strength. While this is hardly a display of strength, Tsurubami's shown to not take any battle damage in their post-fight dialogue in the extra stage of the same game, making them the only character thus far with this distinction. They have yet to show their full power.

It is possible for Shion to eat Tsurubami's soul to get strong, but not become as strong as Tsurubami themself.[6] JynX finds Tsurubami's abilities to be the most interesting due to having a wide variety of applications. Since Tsurubami is currently in the Outside World, they are unable to use their abilities freely outside Mugenri because it's forbidden.[6]

Manipulating letters

Tsurubami needs to write on ink in order to activate their talismans. With this, it appears to allow them disguise as people such as Tsubakura Enraku, by imitating their appearance and attacks. As shown when they transform into Tsubakura, they write an incantation on a piece of paper using ink. With it, they can turn between Tsubakura and themself quickly within an instant as the clothes melt away and change shape into something else.[13][8]

Additionally, the ofuda strips that surround Tsurubami are designed to be their weapons, in which they can write words on.[6]

Raising poultry

Tsurubami is capable of raising poultry, but this is mostly a metaphor as it should not be taken literally. According to JynX, they have the "ability to raise potential". Tsurubami is able to stimulate and make use of the true potential of another character. Tsurubami releases the latent potential of someone or something other than themself by touching them while thinking about it. After raising it, they make it so that they too can use that strength.[3] However, the ability to do so by oneself depends on the character.[6]

As such, they can create spell cards based on each character they battle, such as all of those during Evanescent Existence. For example, Hot & Cold "Dim Room" is based on Hooaka Shitodo's powers and Whirlpool Card "Spiral Galaxy Barrier" is based on Aoji Shitodo's powers.

Abilities as a Senri priest

As the Senri priest, Tsurubami uses ofuda paper charms and is trained in youkai extermination techniques. They also display aptitude with shikigami, since they own the familiar of the shrine, Jinbei. As such, it's described that their duties involve "mostly incident resolving, maintenance of public order and maintaining the Mugenri Barrier," as well as performing exorcisms and good-luck charms.[1]

As stated, one of their jobs is to maintain the Mugenri Barrier. With this, they can travel between Mugenri and the Outside World. However, they cannot do this whenever they please as even they can find it difficult. Due to this difficulty, they were not able to send the humans from Evanescent Existence back to the Outside World.[1] Most of the locations in Evanescent Existence were airspaces created by Tsurubami, and the location of Stage 3 is a corridor connecting these airspaces as a shortcut that only Tsurubami can enter (although Yabusame Houlen was also able to access this place as well).[1] The bad ending of said game also stated that Tsurubami "lied down in a dimension gap",[8] indicating that Tsurubami can indeed use gaps to travel to different places.

An important symbol related to the Senri as a whole is the "eye", which is always shown as half-closed with a black background. It's mainly seen on Tsurubami's and Tsubakura's hat. Tsurubami also shows an eye on the palm of their hand during Evanescent Existence in a way that shows its importance.

Background Information[edit]

Origin[edit]

Their characteristics are possibly inspired by Reimu Hakurei, as both are a priest or shaman of their respective shrine (Senri Shrine/Hakurei Shrine), and both are youkai exterminators. Since Tsurubami also rules Mugenri and is known as a very powerful character who can manipulate the Mugenri Barrier, comparisons to Yukari Yakumo are also plausible.

Name[edit]

Their full name is Tsurubami Senri (闡裡 鶴喰). Their given name Tsurubami (鶴喰) is an actual name in Japanese, where the first kanji means a stork or a crane, which are large, long-legged, long-necked birds. The second kanji means to "eat" or "drink". The kanji in their surname Senri (闡裡) literally means "clarify" and "reverse" or "inside" respectively.

It's said that Tsurubami's name itself processes great power in Mugenri.[14] Haiji Senri, a huge fan of Tsurubami, decided on changing their surname to reference Tsurubami's, although they modified the kanji rather than have a direct copy. They changed their name on a whim while Tsurubami was the current priest.[6]

Design[edit]

Tsurubami has short, black wavy hair and pitch black eyes, where even their irises are pure black, referencing their monochromatic theme.

They are dressed in a stylised uniform which resembles Heian period clothing such as a talisman-covered kariginu (狩衣, lit. "hunting dress") or a suikan (水干, lit. "dried with water"). Kariginu or suikan were worn for everyday clothes by the male kuge (公家, lit. "people of the Imperial Court"). The white uniform is modified, having it almost open on the front with an attachment around the chest area, and a V-shape cut on the back of it. Underneath is what appears to be a dark green hitoe (単衣, lit. "unlined kimono"), short enough to give the appearance of a skirt. A small, purple cloth is also wrapped around their waist. Under the kariginu/suikan is some red sparking from the neck and shoulder areas, likely to be part of the hitoe.

Tsurubami wears an unusual hat, likely to be a kanmuri (遠紋, lit. "distant clan emblem"), a small lacquered hat with a "knob" on the back. Typically also with a ei (, lit. "hat tail") on the back, which is present on Tsurubami's. These hats were originally worn in formal situations by nobles in ancient Japan. The kanmuri requires a red band to keep it stable on their head, as revealed on one of the ending images of Evanescent Existence. It has an Eye of Senri on the front as an emblem to symbolize the Senri Shrine. This eye on their hat bears a strong resemblance to the Patagon Tribe's eyes in the game Patapon, but it may be a mere coincidence as it is unknown exactly where the eye comes from.

Strangely, six scripts of ofuda wrap around their body, which have red strokes with an arrow pointing at the end, with Japanese charms written on them, They also hold a metallic, red rod in their left hand that's likely to be based on a kawahoriōgi (蝙蝠扇, lit. "bat fan"). They also have an "eye" in the palm of their other hand close to their chest. They also wear white footwear.

Suzumi Kuzu's disguise as Tsurubami in Brilliant Pagoda or Haze Castle is pretty much the same as the real Tsurubami. However: they are left without a stick or an Eye of Senri in both of their hands, there are four ofuda scripts instead, the hitoe skirt is considerably shorter, and the hat's band is white. Instead of seemingly random symbols written on the ofuda scripts, the words "Bird of Unreality" (無現乃鳥, Mugen no tori), along with an Eye of Senri, and "Tsurubami" (鶴喰, Tsurubami) are written on two of them.

Tsurubami takes on Tsubakura Enraku's appearance during Evanescent Existence, so like them, they have black eyes and short black hair with what appears to be two red stripes on the back of their head.

Appearances[edit]

Fake Tsubakura Enraku
Real Tsubakura Enraku
Tsuru disguised as Tsubakura Enraku in EE (left), compared with the real Tsubakura (right)

Evanescent Existence[edit]

Tsurubami was the culprit behind the events of Evanescent Existence. They spirited away Tsubakura Enraku, Aoji Shitodo, Hooaka Shitodo, Kuroji Shitodo, Kurohebi and Clause to the land of Mugenri. After placing them in different airspaces to train their newfound abilities, Tsurubami took Tsubakura's appearance and started to pick fights with the outsiders in order to test their strength. They were testing to see if one of these outsiders were capable of taking their current job as the shinto priest of the Senri Shrine.

Main Scenario
Fake Tsuba's boss sprite in EE
Fake Tsuba's back sprite in EE

Tsurubami is a playable character, albeit disguised as Tsubakura, in the main scenario of Evanescent Existence; the real Tsubakura is playable in the extra stage. However, they cannot be played with until you complete the Extra stage with Yabusame Houlen, thus also completing the main scenario with them. Tsurubami started the jouney with picking a fight with Kurohebi in the Dimensional Cave, then with Aoji in their personal airspace.

Eventually on Stage 3, when Tsurubami enters the Interconnecting Corridor (a dimension that only Tusurbami has authority to enter), they run into Yabusame Houlen, who had used their ability to cross dimensions in order to search for Tsubakura. They asked each other questions, then ended up fighting. During Yabusame's scenario when Tsurubami is the boss, they were making use Tsubakura's spell cards. They were also using talismans for their attacks, foreshadowing that Yabusame is actually fighting Tsurubami, not Tsubakura. After the fight, Tsurubami disappeared without warning, but they were captivated by Yabusame's abilities, calling them a "flying natural wonder".

By the time they picked on Hooaka, they were getting tired of seeking people and they wished to finish soon, but they defeated both Hooaka and Kuroji nevertheless. After dealing with the outsiders, the priest decided to return to the Senri Shrine, which appeared to everyone else as a sun that casts a shadow. However, on the way, they ran into Clause, who believed that the portal was a star and that they would gain power from. Annoyed, Tsurubami fought them and revealed to them that they had been impersonating Tsubakura all along.

Extra Stage
Tsurubami's boss sprite in EE

Tsurubami is the Extra stage boss, or the "true" final boss of the game. Here, the real Tsubakura finally crosses into Mugenri, and since their impostor and Yabusame previously defeated everyone, Tsubaruka didn't have to fight the game's cast. They realized that someone has been impersonating them and went to confront that person, arriving at the Senri Shrine's grounds. Tsurubami revealed that their reason for spiriting everyone away was to find a temporary successor. Angered, Tsubakura fought against Tsurubami. The priest had ten bizarre spell cards to use against Tsubakura, but Tsubakura "defeated" them despite their serious strength. However, Tsubakura was still upset, because the priest was actually holding back. In the end, Tsubakura agreed to be their replacement.

Shortly after, Yabusame appears to be arriving and Tsubakura told the priest to give them a hard fight. When Yabusame eventually arrived to the Senri Shrine's grounds in their scenario, they transported to a strange place called the Mugenri Barrier, who Tsurubami did not gave permission for. Yabusame first thought that Tsubakura changed their appearance, but soon realized that the priest was not Tsubakura, like they had previously thought and demanded the real one. When the two fight, Tsurubami used the same set of 10 spell cards, but was again "defeated". They went to tell Tsubakura, but the young scientist was already gone, not before leaving Yabusame a mocking note.

It was then here Tsurubami was in a dilemma between the two, but they eventually gave both Tsubakura and Yabusame roles as a priest of the Senri Shrine and left for the Outside World.

Reactivate Majestical Imperial[edit]

Tsurubami is mentioned during the Extra Stage. Apparently, Tsurubami and Tenkai were the original heroes of Mugenri and Tenkai speaks of them fondly, but disapproves of their idea to spirit away outsiders.

Brilliant Pagoda or Haze Castle[edit]

Tsurubami is mentioned multiple times throughout the Brilliant Pagoda or Haze Castle. On the other hand, the priest seems to have a bad reputation in Devanagara. It's also revealed by Tenkai Zuifeng that they were the former ruler of the Dragonfly Castle until they left.

Tsurubami also appears as the Extra+α boss; however, this is a fake because Suzumi Kuzu is disguising themself as them. Their disguise is very detailed that there is an official profile, a theme and spell cards for Tsurubami. Even Yabusame Houlen can't see through the disguise. It's currently unknown of what Suzumi's intentions were to disguise as them.

Relationships[edit]

Tenkai Zuifeng

As stated before on this page, Tenkai knew Tsurubami for a long time and was close enough to them to be considered their right hand person and be similarly feared across Mugenri. They hold Tsurubami in extremely high esteem and miss the adventures they departed on together.[15] Tenkai believes Tsurubami's approach of using force to unify the people had merit[5], and that Mugenri has gotten lonelier without them around.

It's unknown what exactly Tsurubami thinks of Tenkai, but they call them by their last name, Zuifeng, as a sign of their special relationship and because they like the sound of it.[16] In addition, they both have the ability to turn monochrome based on the same principle[6] and have similar spell cards with a crane motif. It appears that Tenkai is also the only one who knows the real reason why Tsurubami left Mugenri.[7]

Jinbei

Jinbei is Tsurubami's shikigami familiar. However, they aren't their personal shikigami; they have been the Senri Shrine's shikigami for generations.[1]

Tsubakura Enraku & Yabusame Houlen

Tsubakura Enraku and Yabusame Houlen are Tsurubami's temporary replacements as youkai exterminators. Despite Tsubakura's anger towards Tsurubami for impersonating them, they volunteered to replace Tsurubami as the current priest. Tsubakura and Tsurubami share a lot in common, ranging from appearance to their monochrome theme.

In the case of Yabusame, Tsurubami was initially surprised to see them cross into their interdimensional corridor and the Mugenri Barrier and considered them an intruder, but ended up assigning them as Mugenri's substitute priest. It's implied that the reason why Tsurubami agreed to let Yabusame stay is because their powers are similar to Tenkai's.

Xeno a

Xeno a and Tsurubami first met at the casino in Devanagara where Xeno a worked. As they started quarreling, a fight ensued, which the casino dealer fled partway through out of sheer terror. Xeno a, whose probability-altering ability made everything go their way for their entire life, experienced their first actual battle and loss. The thrill and possibility of injury and death, which they thought they would never experience, made Xeno a challenge Tsurubami multiple times afterwards, reaching a draw every time. Despite never reaching a true conclusion, they kept battling solely for the enjoyment of it. It's unknown what Tsurubami thinks of Xeno a, but they were presumably on good terms as sparring partners. As Tsurubami left Mugenri, Xeno a became depressed at the prospect of returning to their usual life until they found their new opponents in Brilliant Pagoda or Haze Castle.

Haiji Senri

Haiji Senri is Tsurubami's biggest fan. Tsurubami saved Haiji at some point, but isn't particularly fond of them according to Tenkai.[17] Haiji is so obsessed with them that they decided to copy their surname on a whim during their reign.[6] They frequently hung around the Senri Shrine's former priests, and are one of several people who got a close look at the course of Tsurubami's conquest of Mugenri.[18]

Suzumi Kuzu

There is a possible relationship between Suzumi Kuzu and Tsurubami. Suzumi was able to disguise as Tsurubami during Brilliant Pagoda or Haze Castle, with the disguise being near-perfect to the extent that Suzumi could use Tsurubami's abilities temporarily, but not master them.[6] In addition, Suzumi's unlock message, The reverse shall be clarified... uses the kanji for "Senri" (裡を闡らかに・・・,, Ri o sen raka ni).

Tsugumi Umatachi

Certain characters have noted that Tsugumi Umatachi had once "meddled with Tsurubami's affairs" in the past, implying that there is some sort of vitriolic relationship between Tsugumi and Tsurubami.[5][19]

Hibaru Kokutenshi

Hibaru made an unsuccessful attempt to kill Tsurubami at some point.[5]

Gallery[edit]

Spell Cards[edit]

Spell Cards
Name Translated Comments Games Stage
Total: 24
「モノクロムレイ」 "Monochrome Ray" Impersonating Tsubakura Enraku, Bomb EE St. 3: E/N / Use
无牌「玄鶴-徒花-」 Nothingness Card "Mysterious Crane -Fruitlessness-" Impersonating Tsubakura Enraku EE St. 3: E/N
无牌「玄鶴-帚木-」 Nothingness Card "Mysterious Crane -Hahakigi-"[a] EE St. 3: H/U
墨牌「ピクチャーインク」 Ink Card "Picture Ink" EE St. 3: E/N
墨牌「エンボディインク」 Ink Card "Embody Ink" EE St. 3: H/U
黒牌「暗転車輪」 Black Card "Blackout Wheel" EE St. 3: E/N
花牌「暗転墨花」 Flower Card "Blackout Ink Flower" EE St. 3: H/U
闡牌「墨と銀」 Clarity Card "Ink and Silver" EE St. 3: E/N
闡牌「墨黒銀雪」 Clarity Card "Inky Black Silver Snow" EE St. 3: H/U
玄牌「モノクロムストーム」 Mysterious Card "Monochrome Storm" EE St. 3: H/U
「ブラックアウト」 "Blackout"[b] EE St. 3: E/N/H
終幕「ゲームオーバー」 Closing Curtain "Game Over" EE St. 3: U
暗牌「サーチクレッセント」 Dark Card "Search Crescent" Based on Clause EE St. Ex
玄牌「モノクロムビヴァレンス」 Mysterious Card "Monochrome Bivalence" Impersonated by Suzumi Kuzu (BPoHC only) EE
BPoHC
St. Ex
St. Ex+α
影牌「寄る年波と離れぬ血」 Shadow Card "Blood that Cannot Escape from Advancing Age" Based on Kurohebi
Impersonated by Suzumi Kuzu (BPoHC only)
EE
BPoHC
St. Ex
St. Ex+α
冷熱「ディムルーム」 Hot & Cold "Dim Room" Based on Hooaka Shitodo EE St. Ex
隠彩「ブラインドファイアー」 Shrouding Paint "Blind Fire" Impersonated by Suzumi Kuzu (BPoHC only) EE
BPoHC
St. Ex
St. Ex+α
渦牌「渦状銀河結界」 Whirlpool Card "Spiral Galaxy Barrier" Based on Aoji Shitodo EE St. Ex
鶴唳「鶴鳴の歎」 Crane's Cry "Lamentations of the Crane's Cry" Impersonated by Suzumi Kuzu (BPoHC only) EE
BPoHC
St. Ex
St. Ex+α
刻牌「時を告げない時計」 Engraving Card "The Clock that Doesn't Tell Time" Based on Kuroji Shitodo
Impersonated by Suzumi Kuzu (BPoHC only)
EE
BPoHC
St. Ex
St. Ex+α
鳥の目「黒い瞳」 Bird's Eye "Pitch-black Eye" Based on Tsubakura Enraku EE St. Ex
「无現刻印【空人】」 "Non-existent Seal [Empty Being]" Based on Yabusame Houlen EE St. Ex
墨牌「黒曜刀」 Ink Card "Obsidian Blade" Impersonated by Suzumi Kuzu BPoHC St. Ex+α
鶴の一声 Crane's Voice BPoHC Upgrade

Notes[edit]

  1. Hahakigi (帚木, literally "broom tree") refers to a certain tree which was popularized in a poem by Sakanoue no Korenori as a symbol of something or someone who can't be reached.
  2. Tsubakura's final card from Evanescent Existence.

Additional Information[edit]

  • Tsurubami is the only character throughout the Len'en Project who does not appear in Brilliant Pagoda or Haze Castle as their true self. They are frequently mentioned, and Suzumi Kuzu disguises themself as them during a boss fight.
  • It appears that Tsurubami, although very minorly, is able to speak English, as shown in the extra stage of Evanescent Existence.
  • If the spell cards used by Tsurubami when disguised as Tsubakura are indeed theirs, then Tsurubami has the most spell cards in a single Len'en Project game.
  • Tsurubami is one of the few characters to know the existence of the Dimensional Cavern.[1]
  • Whenever Tsurubami, disguised as Tsubakura, talked to an outsider, they closed the eye on their hat.[1]
    Tsurubami changing to monochrome
  • Tsurubami's spell card "Bird's Eye -Black Eye-" left the biggest impression on JynX because of how they could represent an eye with danmaku.[1]
  • Tsurubami's in-game sprite becomes black and white when moving, giving a nod to their monochrome scheme. Tenkai Zuifeng and Haiji Senri are also capable of doing this.
  • When asked about Tsurubami's handwriting, JynX says that while they should be able to write neatly, they do not as they don't do things seriously.[20]

Fandom[edit]

Official Sources[edit]

Official sources

References[edit]