Invasion of Hōraijima
Many ages ago, the Hōraijima was a sanctuary for humans and demons alike. The two groups existed in harmony for many years and intermingled, giving rise to a sizable population of half-demons. The existence of a half-demon community earned contempt from demons, so, to protect themselves, the people of Hōraijima created the powerful Cauldron of Resonance, which generated a Time Barrier that separated Hōraijima from the outside world (including Kirinmaru and Zero). However, every 50 years the time barrier weakened, and the island reappeared, rendering it vulnerable to raids by demons. The Four War Gods were among the many demons which despised the people of Hōraijima, and one day decided to attack the island during its brief vulnerable period and annihilate the inhabitants.
The humans and demons of Hōraijima were no match for the Four War Gods, among whom was the demon Jūra. The village became engulfed in flame and many villagers fell in battle. However, Jūra and the other War Gods had neglected to kill the island priestess, Kanade. Lady Kanade was quite powerful, but not even she could defeat the combined power of the Four War Gods. In desperation, Lady Kanade was able to seal away the power spheres which granted the four demons their immense power inside a jeweled comb box. With this accomplished, Kanade leapt inside the Cauldron of Resonance, putting the box beyond the reach of any of the Four War Gods. With the island already conquered, Jūra and the others established themselves temporarily on Hōraijima, until they could find a solution to their missing powers.
In time, the Four War Gods discovered that by throwing live half-demons into the Cauldron of Resonance, they could retrieve a portion of their powers trapped inside. In order to survive, the War Gods corrupted the Cauldron with their demonic energy and put their mark on each of the island's half-demons and established a powerful demonic barrier around the island. Anyone who carried the mark would be unable to pass outside the barrier. In this way, the Four War Gods were able to keep the half-demons enslaved, sacrificing them one by one whenever their powers needed rejuvenation. Nevertheless, this was a temporary solution at best, since the War Gods could never retrieve their full powers; furthermore, if they left the island, they would slowly fade away from a lack of demonic energy and die. In order to stay alive, the Four War Gods would have to remain on the island, where they could retain access to the Cauldron. But, due to the slowing effect of the time barrier, the Four War Gods could minimize the amount of power they lost, meaning that they would only need to sacrifice a half-demon whenever the barrier itself weakened (e.g. every 50 years). Nevertheless, until they could retrieve the jeweled comb box from within the Cauldron, the Shitōshin would be trapped on the island forever.
Retrieving the Jeweled Comb Box
Creating a priestess
Around 50 years later, Inuyasha and the priestess Kikyō investigated the Hōraijima. By this time, all of the villagers had been killed or sacrificed except for six half-demon children. With their time (and the number of sacrifices left) running out, the Four War Gods decided it was time to try and get off the island. Seeing that Kikyō possessed strong spiritual power, they hatched a plan. While Inuyasha and Kikyō landed on the beach and spoke to the children, Kyōra sent in his birds of fire to attack. While they were distracted with this, however, Gōra wrapped his long tongue around Kikyō and began to suck her blood. Inuyasha stopped him, but the Shitōshin had obtained enough blood for their purposes. With this done, Ryūra marked Inuyasha, promising him that he would one day be their slave. The time barrier was then restored and the island disappeared.
Behind the veil of the barrier, though, the Four War Gods went to work preparing their escape plan. Using the blood Gōra sucked from Kikyō, the Shitōshin used their magic to create an identical replica of her, with the intention of using it to free the jeweled comb box from the Cauldron of Resonance and break the seal on the box itself, releasing their power spheres in the process. In the meantime, the replica Kikyō was left to grow in a ball of fluid in one of Hōraijima's forests.
When Ai have been escaped because she didn't have a mark, Jūra told Kyōra that another problem they don't need and Ryūra sent Gōra to capture her. Jūra felt that Gōra have been killed by Inuyasha.
Meanwhile, Inuyasha and his group had survived their skirmish with Ryūra and Jūra, and had begun investigating the village. The Four War Gods decided to let them be, since they were no threat and could not leave, as Inuyasha and the rest of the half-demons bore the Mark; but the War Gods were also running low on power. For this reason, the Cauldron of Resonance called out for a sacrifice, and the eldest half-demon from the village, Asagi, dutifully reported to the Cauldron. Soon, she was sacrificed and they were summarily rejuvenated. Jūra was not satisfied, however, and was impatient for the return of his sphere. Recognizing that only 5 of the children were left, Kyōra suggested that they initiate the final phase of their plan, and retrieve their true power. Ryūra agreed that it was almost time to release the priestess. However, it was not until Ryūra sensed that the jeweled comb box had been removed from the Cauldron, that she was sent to fulfill her mission. Within very little time, the false Kikyō returned with the box. Kyōra congratulated her and Jūra urged her to break the seal on the box, to which she began to comply. At that moment, though, Inuyasha arrived calling out for "Kikyō" to stop. The Four War Gods leapt into action, coming in between the two so that the hanyō could not interfere. Ryūra and Kyōra explained to Inuyasha that this Kikyō was just a replica, created to release their power spheres. Jūra began to grow even more impatient, and ordered the priestess to hurry up. No sooner had this been said, than the seal was finally undone and the power spheres of the Shitōshin returned to the foreheads of their respective owners. Kyōra experienced an intense feeling of euphoria at the return of his power, lamenting that it had been "far too long". The Shitōshin then turned on Inuyasha with their restored power: Jūra blasting him with the Thunder Cannon and Kyōra attacking with his birds of fire. The hanyō landed on a beach below and barely survived an energy blast from Gōra. He then became preoccupied fighting the replica Kikyō. The Shitōshin were eager to leave the island, but Jūra suggested that before they do so, they should kill the remaining villagers. They all agreed, but Kyōra knew that Sesshōmaru had finally followed him onto Hōraijima, and headed to the Cauldron of Resonance to wait for him.
Jūra and Gōra fought against Sango and Miroku the second time. Miroku had pointed out that as long as the children bore the Mark of the War Gods on their backs, they could not escape the island, and Sango came to the conclusion the only way to free them was to kill the War Gods. Sango fought with her Hiraikotsu, but it was mostly ineffective as Jūra would either dodge it, or knock it off course with his Thunder Cannon. For most of the battle, it seemed like Jūra had the upper hand, as Sango hadn't even managed to strike him once, and he and Gōra were violently firing at Kirara. Miroku decided that the only way to defeat Jūra was to use his Wind Tunnel. Sango warned him that it hadn't healed yet, but he assured her it'd be fine for this. At first, he was only sucking in sea water, but managed to suck in Jūra's Thunder Cannon as well. This enraged Jūra and he transformed into a stronger form, and was proving to be even more difficult to battle. Gōra had fired out one of his energy blasts, intending to hit Sango and Miroku, but with Miroku's Wind Tunnel, he changed the course of the blast, and caused it to hit Jūra instead, and Sango finished him off with her Hiraikotsu.
Shitōshin's last stand
Jūra was killed when Miroku used his Wind Tunnel to direct one of Gōra's energy blasts to hit him, and eventually the rest were defeated, as Sesshōmaru had only come to fulfill his personal vendetta against Kyōra (even though the Shitōshin's barrier was still intact and he bore their mark, Sesshōmaru was nevertheless able to leave anyway, the barrier apparently having no effect on him). Once all of the Four War Gods had been defeated, their Spheres of Power survived each of their individual deaths, combining to form a large, monstrous demon, with Gōra's shell and the faces of the other three War Gods. Ryūra's personality seemed to be the most dominant, as his face was the front-most one. He was also the only member of the Shitōshin to speak after their recombination. Jūra's face was only seen once directly after their bodies combined, and apparently didn't do anything. Inuyasha now proved himself ineffective against the combined power of the Shitōshin, but just when victory seemed near, Kagome's sacred arrow purified their attack. Inuyasha's Adamant Backlash Wave destroyed their combined body, and the Shitōshin disappeared from the world forever.
Jūra is extremely sadistic and arrogant, and has no regard for life. He seems to find fighting and killing to be fun, which can be assumed because he's shown laughing hysterically and grinning crazily more than Ryūra and Kyōra when he's fighting. He's very impatient, such as when the Kikyō clone retrieved the comb box containing the spheres of power, he snapped at her irritably to open it, but she was interrupted by Inuyasha. He later urged her to open it again, obviously in a better mood after Ryūra knocked Inuyasha away from the replica. Another example of his sadism was shown after they all got their spheres back; he was the one who brought up the subject of killing the rest of the island's inhabitants before they left rather enthusiastically.
But he also seem to care deeply for his brothers, especially for Gōra as he calls Inuyasha a "bastard" after defeating him, and teams up with Gōra to fight Miroku and Sango.
Jūra is a tan-skinned demon of average height, with short black and white striped hair. Like most humanoid demons, he has pointed ears. He has a white diamond mark that expands when his sphere of power is inserted. He has very narrow slit-like golden eyes and dark stripe-like marks on both sides of his face right above his ears.
In his second form, Jūra becomes a lot more muscular, causing him to lose all of his clothes, except for his pelt. He sprouts three spikes from each of his shoulders. All of his limbs grow a great deal. His eyes become entirely yellow. All of his teeth become fangs, and his regular fangs become larger.
Jūra's style of clothing is similar to the armor worn by the other humanoid members of the Shitōshin. On his arms, chest, and back he wear black armor with a gold trim, his boots have a similar design. He wears a tiger-print pelt around his waist and what appears to be a giant set of tiger paws an his shoulders. He wears a gray hakama and sash.
Powers & Abilities
- Mark of the Shitōshin: As a member of the Four War Gods, Jūra can brand another being, particularly that of a half-demon, with the Mark of the Four War Gods by scratching their backs that imprisons them on Hōrai Island if they are on the island or if they entered it. The mark also glows and causes immense pain to the victims once every fifty years to indicate that a new sacrifice must be made for the War Gods to regain a portion of their sealed powers. The mark also acts as an indicator for the lives of the War Gods where if one war god is killed in battle then one mark disappears until all of them is killed and the victim is allowed to leave Hōrai Island again.
- Transformation (変化, へんげ, "Henge"): Upon regaining his power sphere, Jūra is capable of transforming into a second form and is the only member of the group to have one where he states that his true power lies in. While in this form, Jūra resembles a humanoid tiger with brown skin.
- Flight: He gains the ability to fly while in this form that made him more dangerous in mid-air battles.
- Enhanced Strength: While in this form, Jūra's strength becomes high enough that he could push back Sango, Miroku, and Kirara even when his attack is blocked by the Hiraikotsu and is capable of shattering apart solid stone.
- Enhanced Speed: His overall speed is enhanced even further where Kirara could barely dodge his attacks in mid-air and Sango could barely react in time to block his attacks.
- Immense Durability: He is extremely durable in this form, as he took a direct hit from Hiraikotsu to the face with little to no injury. While in this form it took the combined firepower of three of Gōra's energy balls and Sango's Hiraikotsu to vanquish him for good.
- Master Hand-to-Hand Combatant: Upon having his Thunder Cannon sucked into Miroku's Wind Tunnel, Jūra resorted to physical attacks where he delivered many attacks against the monk, Sango, and Kirara while in mid-air and with them barely able to block. He states that this is his true power which indicates that he specializes in head-on confrontation among the War Gods.
- Expert Cannoneer: Despite the Thunder Cannon being a large weapon to carry around in battle, Jūra is shown to be skilled in utilizing it in direct battles instead of ranged ones. Upon regaining his power sphere, Jūra immediately made attacks with his cannon while in mid-air that Inuyasha had a hard time dodging and can combine his cannon fire with Gōra's fortress energy attacks for complete bombardment of their opponents.
- Immense Demonic Power: As a member of the Four War Gods, Jūra is a very powerful demon and can pressure Sango and Miroku with just physical* attacks. Unlike the other three members of the Shitōshin, Jūra doesn't attack with any kind of energy. However, he seems to have more speed and physical strength than Ryūra and Kyōra.
- Immense Speed and Agility: Jūra is perhaps the most agile member of the War Gods as he was able to jump around the air of Hōrai Island to land bombardments of his Thunder Cannon which forced the group to retreat and had to keep up their guard against him at all times.
- Thunder Cannon: This cannon originally belonged to the demon, Seiten, a follower of Tōga whom was killed by Kyōra along with Kujaku and his cannon eventually came into possession of Jūra after Kyōra brought it to Hōrai Island as a trophy. It was later sucked into Miroku's Wind Tunnel in an attempt to take out one of the War Gods they were fighting against.
- Endless Ammunition: The Thunder Cannon seems to have endless supplies of ammunition of thunder blasts as Jūra is seen bombarding Sango and Miroku with Gōra without having to reload it.
- Power Sphere: As a member of the Four War Gods, Jūra has most of his powers contained within a power sphere that acts as the white sphere on his forehead between his eyes. However, this is a rather disadvantageous form for the War Gods as if they are taken from them like the Priestess, Kanade, then their overall powers diminished.
- Recombination: The power sphere also has the ability to contain the soul of the War God if they are killed in battle and merge it with the other power spheres to create a fifth War God that is the merged form of the other four all together.
- "That bastard! He defeated our brother Gōra!"
- "What are you waiting for? Open it up!"
- "You'll pay for that!"
- "This is my true form! Get used to it!"
- Jūra is one of the four antagonists created for InuYasha the Movie 4: Fire on the Mystic Island. Each of the Four War Gods is based on one of the Four Sacred Animals of Chinese mythology and astronomy, a common motif in anime and manga. Of the four animals/constellations that make up the group, Jūra represents the White Tiger of the West, known in Japanese as "Byakko". Jūra's tiger-striped pelt, black and white hair, animalistic war cries and the form the energy of his power sphere takes after he has been defeated, all reflect this.
- Coincidentally, Byakko is one of the demon ninjas under Hoshiyomi. Each of these four ninjas have, like the Four War Gods, an affiliation with one of the Four Sacred Animals. Byakko is a tiger demon, similar to Jūra, signifying that he also has an affiliation with the White Tiger.
- Similar to Menōmaru, the style of dressed employed by the three humanoid members of the Shitōshin is very Chinese in appearance, and does not reflect any Japanese influences. This reflects the Chinese origins of the Hōrai Island myth, known in China as Mount Penglai.
- Jūra is the only one of the Four War Gods who does not attack with some form of energy.
- His seiyū also voiced Bankotsu, Magatsuhi and Mayonaka. He also voiced Shinnosuke from Rumiko Takahashi previous work Ranma ½.
- Jūra greatly resembles Lime from Ranma ½. The only difference is that Jura's outfit is white while Lime's is orange.