From the start of the Jujutsu Kaisen manga we have known that Itadori is special. Be it his superhuman strength or his compatibility as Sukuna’s vessel, he has always managed to surprise.
At first, it just felt like Itadori was one of those special MCs, destined to stand out and be stronger than the others. However, as the manga progressed, his origins and his existence became more muddled, especially after realizing the role Kenjaku played in giving birth to him.
Naturally, even more questions regarding Itadori began swirling in the fandom. However, out of all those questions, there is one that particularly stands out, is Itadori a Death Painting Cursed Womb?
Related: Did Itadori eat the Cursed Wombs?
We still don’t have a definitive answer to be honest. However, let’s make an effort to come to some sort of conclusion based on the information Gege Akutami has given us over the course of the series.
But before we tackle the question, there’s a small thing we need to clear up first.
Cursed Wombs vs. Death Painting Cursed Wombs
Both these terminologies have Cursed Womb in them, however they are not the same thing. Cursed Wombs are the evolutionary stage of a cursed spirit.
As explained by Ijichi in chapter 6 of JJK, these cursed wombs, if they grow and change shape, can be expected to turn into a special grade cursed spirit. In short, think of them as the egg which comes before the cursed spirit is actually born.
On the other hand, each of the 9 Cursed Womb: Death Painting is a CURSED OBJECT. Meaning, it is something that contains the essence and cursed energy of the abominations that Kenjaku tried to engineer using Noritoshi Kamo’s body.
A Cursed Womb: Death Painting has three parents as revealed by Choso in chapter 134. The mother who bore them, the cursed spirit who impregnated her mother and Noritoshi Kamo, who mixed his blood with theirs in order to experiment and produce a perfect hybrid.
The fetuses themselves were converted into cursed objects and they have existed since then for over 150 years.
Death Paintings are akin to Sukuna’s fingers. When a human or a sorcerer consumes them, they become a vessel to the owner of the cursed energy and soul that was stored inside the cursed object.
If you remember, Mahito fed the first three death paintings to three human beings, which led to them turning into vessels of Choso, Eso and Kechizu. The souls of their human vessels were completely overcome by the death paintings. The last six were probably eaten by Itadori himself.
Now that the basics are out of our way (I kept it short, but if you are interested, read chapter 60 and 134 for more), let’s answer the all important question.
Is Itadori a Death Painting Cursed Womb?
To answer in short, Itadori is not a Death Painting Cursed Womb in Jujutsu Kaisen. He is not a cursed object, but a flesh and bone human as far as we know.
Let’s hope Kenjaku doesn’t make me wear clown makeup soon.
The question about Itadori being a Death Painting womb arises because of the dream that Choso had revealing the former was one of his brothers too.
Itadori is indeed related to Choso as they both share a common parent. So, it is understandable that Choso had those memories manifest in him (for a different reason than Todo). However, that doesn’t make Itadori a Death Painting.
As I explained above, to be a Death Painting Cursed Womb, Itadori would have had to have a human and a curse as his parents. However, our boy only had two HUMAN parents. So, it goes against the concept of Death Painting Wombs.
Also, there are only 9 Death Paintings in existence, based on the lore Gege Akutami adopted this concept from. It portrays the 9 stages of decay (kusozu). It wouldn’t make much of a sense for Itadori to be the 10th Death Painting womb.
To add to it, Kenjaku himself admitted that the Death Paintings were a failure, so it would be foolish if he tried to tinker and create the same things again. Considering how much effort he has put in to fine tune his plan, that would be a waste of time.
But then, there are arguments that even if Itadori is not a Death Painting, he is somehow related to them and that Kenjaku just perfected his previously flawed formula with Itadori.
Now, that is a possibility that we can’t completely throw out. Why? It’s because of something that happens in chapter 216.
The Bath, Kenjaku and Itadori:
After Sukuna took over Megumi’s body, he underwent a ritual called the Bath to suppress Megumi’s soul.
Related: Why did Sukuna take over Megumi?
This included Sukuna soaking himself (in Megumi’s body) in a bath created by wringing the cursed spirits in order to suppress Megumi’s soul and create a perfect vessel for Sukuna to occupy.
Now, there are some interesting wordings used in Bath which makes me wonder if Kenjaku could have done something similar.
The bath is a ritual that is actually used to convert family treasures into cursed tools by soaking them for ten months and ten days in a solution of cursed energy obtained via a kodoku ritual.
Now, as tempenensis pointed out in their blog, the japanese phrase for 10 months and 10 days is 十月十日 (read as totsukitouka), which is also the word for pregnancy period. Also, the setting of the ritual is weirdly similar to a womb.
Also, the bath is a ritual inspired by “ablution” from Buddhism, which is done to commemorate the birth/enlightenment of Buddha.
Seeing how Kenjaku was aware of the bath ritual, it is possible that he tried to do something similar, and that too in his womb while he possessed Kaori Itadori.
Bath is in a lot of ways similar to pregnancy and birthing. What if Kenjaku recreated it inside Kaori’s womb, soaking Itadori in a solution of cursed energy in order to make him a perfect weapon.
He was born human, yes, however if what we assume is true, then the bath must have had an effect on Itadori.
Considering how it was used to suppress Megumi’s soul and strengthen Sukuna’s hold on the vessel, Kenjaku could have done the same, in which he strengthened the hold of Itadori’s soul on his own body.
Now add a Kodoku ritual into the mix, and that would make this deal all the more sweet. However, we don’t know if that’s true for sure.