Yamada Asaemon Jikka (山田浅ェ門
After the shogun called for criminals to acquire the Elixir of Life from the dangerous island known as Kotaku, in exchange for a pardon for their past crimes, Jikka joined in the expedition team as one of the Yamada Asaemon monitors and was assigned to keep watch over the criminal, Hōrubō. However, his mission was cut short after the death of his criminal at sea and was required to return back to the mainland. He was later ordered to depart back to the island onboard with a second landing party and continue with finding the elixir.
A year later after escaping the island, Jikka is chosen to be promoted to the next head of the Yamada clan.
Jikka has violet hair tied in a topknot, bangs that frame the sides of his face, and small amounts of facial hair. He is usually seen with a relaxed expression. He wears a dark haori with the standard attire of a Asaemon underneath: a white robe, along with a hakama held together with a waist cord, and sandals. He chooses to not wear his funerary bell tied to his collar and has the the two threads hang loose.
During the report to the shogun regarding the completion of the mission, Jikka makes himself look more presentable by choosing to shave his facial hair, have his bangs tied back to his topknot, and wears his funerary bell with his Asaemon robe.
Jikka is a laid-back individual who compared to his fellow clan members, especially Shugen, is less dedicated to his work as an Asaemon. He mainly describes himself as someone who is very well patient in life and that all things will come his way as long as he remains in this state of mind. However, he admits that he will not hesitate at times to take a chance at slightly pushing his agenda forward. Because of this behavior, very few people are unable to gain the slightest read on his motives. Jikka also admits to not being a believer in plans and that it is better to not raise his hopes up when working with others or even himself to this extent.
Jikka stated that he is an individual that prefers to enjoy life to the fullest rather than focus on status and rank. This way of thinking greatly shows in his life as an executioner as he has been reported to attend his execution assignments while intoxicated and even sold his own sword as a way to collect money for his sexual exploits. He has no problem in being dishonest as he lied to the shogun's officials about how he felt guilty of not completing the mission after his criminal was killed by Aza Chōbei, when in actuality, Jikka expressed great joy at the time and shook Chōbei's hand in gratitude. He can also come off as rather rude and disrespectful to others around him regardless of who they are, even towards his fellow Asaemon. As a result of his despicable personality, Jikka has received a bad reputation amongst his peers in the Yamada clan, which causes to have his skills doubted. Instead of taking his work as an executioner seriously, Jikka finds that his ideal way of living his life is being promiscuous, which he refers to as indulging in "pleasures of the flesh". This characteristic shows itself whenever Jikka is around both sexes in public, tending to act out rather perverted and flirtatious. He is fond of the Red-Light District and stated that his drive for wanting to leave the island is to continue his sexual adventures with multiple people from specific areas.
Jikka believes that it is unwise to be involved in dangerous situations, preferring not to have anything to do with Kotaku after witnessing how dangerous the island was and believes that those that did were foolish. To this extent, he was not above insulting the shogun. After being forced to depart to Kotaku once again, Jikka spent his time sulking and tried to convince Aoki in to returning to the mainland and tried another attempt at persuading Shugen after witnessing the monsters that attacked the second landing party.
Unlike his clan members who each show concern for one another, Jikka is the only member shown to care little, if not none, over the well-being of the other Asaemon. After finding the corpse of Eizen, Jikka did not show any signs of emotional distress or join in with Shugen, Isuzu, and Kiyomaru in giving him a proper burial, only wishing to leave the island. It later becomes apparent that Jikka is truly a cold-hearted individual who only focuses on his ambitions as he tried to strike a deal with the Aza Brothers in having them kill his fellow clansmen, Shugen, Sagiri, and Shion, in order to take his place as the head of the Yamada clan as a way to remove himself from his grunt work and live a life of luxury. After being warned by Gantetsusai that dealing the finishing blow to the Zhu Jin-fused Banko might negatively affect Gabimaru and Chōbei, Jikka proceeded to cut its tanden without giving it a second thought. Even Chōbei, a merciless bandit in his own right, described Jikka as someone who was "clearly missing a soul".
Jikka is a very analytical individual and is shown to be incapable of being fooled through deception. After being brought to a meeting with his superiors to read a message from the shogun, Jikka ignored the reading and already knew that the shogun had planned to dispatch more Yamada Asaemon to the island. During the departure of the second dispatch team, Jikka saw the big picture of the purpose of the group, which was not to provide support to the first team but to end their lives. Jikka even knew that Iwagakure had their own reasons for taking up the shogun's mission while supporting the Asaemons, although he admitted that he did not know specifically what it was.
Ever since he was young, Jikka became blessed with a special intuition that allowed him to know how things or people will move accordingly, which also proved useful to him in knowing how to inflict fatal damage to people. While living a life of poverty in a small town full of deception and robbery, a fifteen-year-old Jikka broke into a large shop late at night and committed burglary. He then made his leave but not before killing the shop's owners who were a husband and wife. Unknowingly, Jikka spared the life of the couple's child who was asleep at the time of his parents' murder.
At some point, Jikka decided on using his special talent to become a samurai. Not wanting to become a warrior who participates in wars, Jikka chose to join the Yamada clan as a way to avoid this and managed to earn his name as a Yamada Asaemon, as well as earn the 3rd rank to become the clan's next head. After gaining his status, Jikka took his occupation as an executioner less seriously, having attended his execution assignments while intoxicated and had even sold his sword in order to earn money for his sexual activities with different partners. This resulted in him earning a bad reputation within the clan.
After the shogun turned towards the Yamada clan for help in gathering death row criminals for a mission to retrieve the Elixir of Life from an island, Jikka ended up being assigned to Hōrubō and offered the monk the mission if he wished to be pardon for his crimes, to which he agreed to.
- Main article: Island Arc
After Hōrubō became one out of the ten death row criminals to survive the massacre ordered by the shogun, Jikka is assigned to be his Asaemon monitor on the mission and sails off towards the island. However, before he and his criminal had the chance to land on the island, Aza Chōbei kills Hōrubō after the latter attempted to kill the bandit on board his boat. Knowing that he can return back to the mainland since he is unable to complete his mission, Jikka happily shakes Chōbei's hand in gratitude. However, due to the strong currents, Jikka is forced to land on the island. He later makes another attempt at escape but is attacked by a Wadatsumi at sea. By using his special intuition, Jikka cuts down the monster's head and proceeds to safely return to the mainland while bringing the head back with him, thinking that he might be able to convince his superiors how dangerous the island is.
Lord Tensen Arc
- Main article: Lord Tensen Arc
Upon his return, Jikka's superiors ask him to explain how he returned safely. After explaining and cutting his story short, Jikka says that he wanted nothing to do with the island and comments that only foolish people would want to be involved. The officials take this as a direct insult to the shogun, causing Yamada Asaemon Shugen to step in and apology for Jikka's behavior. The officials overlook this and gives them their next orders by the shogun, only for Jikka to ignore their reading of the message and figures that the request is to send more Asaemon to the island. After the meeting, Shugen scolds Jikka's behavior towards the officials, but Jikka shows disrespect about his presence being of use to him, causing Shugen to become furious. Jikka apologies and wonders if there were anymore more criminals to send. Shugen informs him that the shogun has hired Iwa ninja instead of criminals and tells him that he will also depart once again for the island, much to the latter's disapproval. After listening to Shugen's worries about his comrades, Jikka is asked by a worker what they should do with the large monster head he had brought back. He apologies to the workers after forgetting to bring up the monsters on the island to the officials and offers an invitation to accompany him to the Red-Light District or to join him in his quarters. Once done inspecting the monster, Shugen informs Jikka and the two additional allies to prepare to leave for the island.
The next day, as he departs with the second team, Jikka sits down sulking. He then talks to Aoki about how bringing all these suspicious people were going to make the mission difficult. Aoki replies that this was a way of providing the other party on the island aid. However, Jikka replies that the true purpose of this team was not to provide aid but to bring more death and chaos. He then tries to persuade him into thinking it would be a good idea to turn back home.
After finally making landfall on the island, Jikka and the others watch as Shugen fights the Sōshin and is pleased to hear Shugen claiming that he will take care of handling the monsters but is reminded by the young Asaemon that he is his senior and was mainly informing Isuzu and Kiyomaru. As the group moves forward they stumble upon Eizen's corpse, causing Shugen to cry out in pain. Shugen then lays his soul to rest which Jikka found displeasing. The group is then attacked by a horde of Mōnshin commanded by a Dōshi. Jikka makes a request to settle things without fighting but hears the Dōshi refusal. The team then manages to take down both the Mōnshin and the Dōshi. Jikka makes a suggestion to Shugen to leave the island after seeing at how dangerous it is but is yelled out by him that they are not allowed to leave under any circumstance.
- Main article: Hōrai Arc
While traveling to Hōrai, the Asaemon become exhausted with the long walk and are informed by Shugen that he would use the Horse Flute formerly used by the Dōshi but is told by Jikka that it would not be a good idea. However, after the ninja presented evidence of Tenza and Genji's death, Shugen becomes furious and uses the whistle to summon the Mōnshin from their nest, much to Jikka's disturbance. He then commands them to carry the Asaemon to Hōrai.
After finally arriving at Hōrai, Jikka sarcastically states that he will guard the rear while everyone charges forward to the palace. He then looks to see Shija giving him a judgmental gaze and replies that he could tell that Iwagakure has their own agenda on the mission. Later, Jikka finds Aza Chōbei and Tōma, who has come to realize his true identity since joining the Yamada clan, and have them surrender. Jikka then uses the opportunity to try and make a deal with the Aza Brothers, requesting that they kill Shugen, along with Sagiri and Shion if possible, in order to become the next head of the Yamada clan and will be willing to make false report about their status to the shogun in exchange. Shortly after, Jikka finds a Dōshi and becomes shock to see it revert back into a human and turn into a tree due to the Banko overtaking Hōrai after fusing with Zhu Jin.
With the situation becoming serious, Jikka regroups with everyone from both parties at the Rentan Temple and declares that it is essential that both him, Isuzu, and Kiyomaru cooperate with the criminals, along with the Asaemons siding with them, in order to make it out alive. He also states that he has plan to have the criminals earn their freedom if all goes well but needs the help of Gabimaru. Jikka sees that Gabimaru has made his arrival but unfortunately sees him in a worse condition due to his Tao being disrupted by Zhu Jin, causing him to have no choice but to change his plans. The two teams agree to cooperate and readies themselves to go over the plan to defeat the Banko. While distracted, the Iwa ninja take the opportunity to attack Gabimaru with kunai but are deflected back after Jikka anticipated their attempt. The group then split up into pairs corresponding with the Tao Restoration cycle, with Jikka being matched up with Gantetsusai, and go out to search and destroyed the Banko's five tandens scattered around the palace.
After arriving at the main body, Jikka decides to lay down and wait for the right timing to destroy the tanden instead of relying on the signal, explaining to Gantetsusai that the roots will tell him when that will happen. He also makes Gantetsusai become suspicious of him after giving a out little hint about his deal with the Aza Brothers. Later, Jikka senses that the others are about to destroy the tandens and believes that the timing is right for him and Gantetsusai to destroy main body. Despite being warned that the Zhu Jin-fused Banko has taken on a transformation, Jikka becomes confident in himself to destroy it and readies himself by stripping down to his loincloth in order to concentrate and asks for Gantetsusai's sword. Using his special intuition to figure out the perfect conditions, Jikka manages to cut down the head of the monster and makes his way towards the tanden. Before he prepares to destroy it, Gantetsusai warns him that they might risk affecting Gabimaru and Chōbei since their Tao are connected to the monster. Despite this, Jikka proceeds to cut the tanden in order to end everything but later becomes shocked to see the plant monster still alive after it had been revitalize by the sun. Luckily, after thinking of the idea of destroying the roots connected from the tandens to the Zhu Jin-fused Banko, Chōbei brings the monster down once and for all.
- Main article: Departure Arc
With the Banko destroyed, Jikka regroups with the others at the entrance to the Main Temple's floodgates. After entering, Jikka believes that they will be able to catch up to Rien's ship using a lighter vessel with large sails. However, the group finds that all the ships have been destroyed with the exception of one that was being blocked by the wreckage. Jikka then watches as Gabimaru tries to clear away the wreckage but tells him that it was impossible. With no other choice, Mei enters her Kishikai to a clear path for the group to get onboard the ship and sail off away from the island.
Knowing that they will soon confront Rien, Jikka uses his special intuition to see which strategy will work best but unfortunately tells the others that he could not find a solution, which prompts him to make the decision to stay on the ship to guard it, as an excuse, after they reach her ship. The survivors manage to reach Rien's burning ship, after Gantetsusai got onboard earlier to damage and slow it down, and confront Rien, while Jikka stays on the survivors' ship as decided earlier. Shortly after, Jikka watches as Rien's ship becomes dismantled after the Tensen entered her Kishikai. Seeing as how his intuition was right, Jikka brings out a barrel drink and raises it up as he admits to humanity's defeat. Later, he is called down by Shion to pull him, Nurugai, and an unconscious Gantetsusai up to the ship, only to fall into the water after being intoxicated, much to the two's annoyance. After he is brought back on the ship, Jikka tells them that he has lost faith in any chance they might have at defeating Rien and starts to point out the errors in Gabimaru and Sagiri's battle strategies. Shortly after, Jikka stops Nurugai from attempting to help them after Rien seeks out vengeance for destroying Xu Fu's corpse, saying that power would not be able to stop her. Jikka then watches as Rien's body withers away after she accepts Xu Fu's death with the help of Gabimaru.
As they depart back to Edo with the Elixir of Life in their possession, Jikka, while still intoxicated, tells Gabimaru and Sagiri that he had faith in them all this time, much to the others annoyance since the Asaemon did not contribute to the cause. After Gabimaru and Yuzuriha decide that Gantetsusai should be the one to present the elixir and receive the pardon, Jikka tells them that he will handle clearing things up with the shogun by falsely reporting their deaths and suggests that they abandon their names and former lives behind. Jikka also agrees to set up an arrangement for Gabimaru to meet with his wife and try to keep Yuzuriha's village from tracking her.
Upon returning to Edo, Jikka makes a report to Aoki about the Iwagakure's chief scheme during the mission in hoping that he will be executed. After ten days passed, Jikka makes the report to the shogun and his retainers, with Sagiri by his side, that they have retrieved the Elixir of Life and Gantetsusai is the only criminal to survive after the others were executed by him. Before allowing the meeting to be over, Jikka asks Aoki if the situation with the Iwagakure leader was handle, to which he answers yes by showing the man's severed head as evidence that he was executed for his crime against the shogun. Jikka also hears Aoki's disappointment on the elixir's negative effects on the chief's body but manages to convince him that the elixir is beneficial since it will allow the shogun to live forever as a divine tree. Once the higher ups were cleared from the area, Jikka falls back in relief after managing to have his plan become successful. He then looks to see Sagiri thinking about the others and tells her that, like the tale of Momotaro, their story had to come to an end and the only thing they can do is hope for their happiness.
After a year passed, Jikka manages to get promoted to the next head of the Yamada clan as he had hoped and spends his time taking it easy.
After she had returned back from her long journey, Jikka is challenged by Sagiri to step down as the clan's leader since she refuses to go along with the arranged marriage set for her.
Abilities and Powers
Being the third ranked Asaemon, Jikka is undoubtedly skilled since he is looked at by the Yamada clan to be one of its strongest members. He is shown to be rather quick-witted as he used Kotaku's currents to his advantage to slay one of the Wadatsumi that blocked his path, becoming the only known person to have ever escape Kotaku alive without experiencing any of the dangers as a result, an achievement that not even one of his fellow Asaemon could accomplish, and was even noted by Gantetsusai that it would be difficult for a master swordsman, such as himself, to accomplish while sailing on a boat. After witnessing Jikka cut down the Zhu Jin-fused Banko without having any difficultly in doing so, Gantetsusai determined that Jikka has the powers of a man who could go down in history as a God Slayer.
- Further information: Tameshi Ittō-ryū
As an Asaemon, Jikka is capable of decapitating a person with a single cut of his sword. A noteworthy feat was that he was able to easily severe the large head of a Wadatsumi with one swing from a distance. This incredible display of swordsmanship was once again demonstrated after he cut off the head of the Zhu Jin-fused Banko.
Principle of Things
Jikka possesses a special intuition to perceive the Principle of Things (物の原理, Mono no Genri, Viz: Truth of Things), which refers to how people or objects will move exactly. Combined with his swordsmanship, this ability allows Jikka to determine what it will take to cut down his targets by accessing when all the major factors required (eg. balance, windchill, presence, room to step, form, alignment, etc.) are working in unison. Although the sword he wields is made entirely out of bamboo, Jikka is capable of executing the strike as if the sword is actually made out of steel. After anticipating the kunai thrown by the Iwagakure shinobi, Jikka controlled the amount of force he applied to his sword and deflected them back with perfect precision. As he prepared to take on the Zhu Jin-fused Banko, Jikka's special intuition allowed him to determine which spots would prove to be the most fatal and the conditions that needed to be met to successfully cut off its head. Jikka claims that his special intuition is completely flawless and even once stated that his ability far surpasses the ability to sense Tao. Gantetsusai also noted that this power could allow Jikka to become a legend.
As an executioner, Jikka carries his own sword. However, Jikka is the only Asaemon to not carry an actual sword with him, after having sold his previous blade in the past, and instead carries a takemitsu.
Creation and Conception
In Jigokuraku Kaitai Shinsho, Jikka's early concept art is revealed and shows him next to an unknown character (possibly his initially assigned criminal).
- Jikka ranked 13th in the manga's 1st Character Popularity Poll.
- Jikka and Shion are the only known Asaemon to not wear their bells tied to their left collar.
- Jikka is the second person to have made it out alive after setting foot on Kotaku; the first being a past officer that was later infected with Arborification, however, Jikka is the first to have come back in good condition. He later accomplishes the same feat after being sent again with another team, officially making him the only human to have escaped the island twice.
- Jikka is the only known person to have killed a Wadatsumi.
- According to Chapter 46.5, Jikka desired to have Akaginu as his assigned criminal. Had he been assigned her, Jikka thought of abandoning the mission and leave off with the oiran.
- Top 8 popular male characters according to the Jigokuraku Kaitai Shinsho Q&A: Shugen > Tōma > Jikka > Eizen > Tenza > Fuchi > Shion > Kishō