|“||強い恨みを抱いて死んだモノの呪い。 それは、死んだモノが生前に接していた場所に蓄積され、「業」となる。 その呪いに触れたモノは命を失い、新たな呪いが生まれる。.||”|
—Legend of Ju-on.
|“||A curse born of a strong grudge held by someone who died. The place of his death gathers his grudge. Anyone who comes in contact with this curse shall lose his life and a new curse is born||”|
—Legend of Ju-on.
|“||When someone dies in the grip of a powerful rage... A curse is born. The curse gathers in that place of death. Those who encounter it will be consumed by its fury.||”|
—Legend of Ju-on.
A Ju-on (呪怨, literally "grudge curse") is a dark supernatural force, a spirit and the unseen main antagonist of the Ju-on franchise. It's believed to be an irreversible curse caused by a violent death resulted from a strong manifestation of rage. It dwells in the places of death and destroys every living thing it comes in contact with. It's essentially a supernatural virus and disease and acts and spreads like one.
Ju-on film seriesEdit
The Saeki curseEdit
When Takeo Saeki discovered his wife Kayako was in love with another man named Shunsuke Kobayashi, he murdered her in anger and created a Ju-on in their house. Several families occupied the house and, unaware of its horrific past, were all taken by its inhabitant ghosts' rage. The death cycle continued until a pregnant woman, Kyoko Harase, stepped in and the ghosts of Kayako and Toshio assumed her child's place, coming back to life and presumably ending their curse.
In Ju-on: The Beginning of the End, Kayako was murdered after revealing to Takeo that he is not the father of Toshio. Toshio and his cat were murdered as well and a curse was gathered at their house.
Takeo also murdered Kobayashi's pregnant wife Manami Kobayashi, ripping out her fetus and setting a curse in her appartment as well. The grudge affected Nobuyuki, the son of Tatsuya Suzuki who had moved to that place. Nobuyuki became a mute and his aunt Kyoko was killed and possessed by the ghosts of Kayako and Manami.
The Isobe curseEdit
When the Isobe family moved to their new house, the oldest son Atsushi was possessed by his own reflection from a mirror he found. Atsushi started sexually abusing his little sister Mirai, and distanced himself from the others. One night, Atsushi heard what seemed to be his young sister Mirai calling for him through his sound recorder. After failing his test two days before Christmas, he murdered all of his family, setting a curse in the house. He took Mirai's head to a forest where he hanged himself, recording her words from the afterlife and cursing the cassette as well. The rancorous spirits of Mirai and Atsushi's grandmother Haru (whom he had hanged) would pursue and take anyone who came in their house and were able to affect their past, causing their own deaths in a time-loop.
Toshio Yamaga's curseEdit
In The Beginning of the End, a boy named Toshio Yamaga was trapped in his closet, tied and starving to death during a heat wave. His death gathered a grudge curse at his house, which affected schoolgirls Yayoi, Aoi, Rina and Nanami.
The Grudge film seriesEdit
When Takeo Saeki found out Kayako was in love for an American professor named Peter Kirk, he murdered her, his son Toshio, his pet cat Mar, and hanged himself (or was killed by Kayako's ghost). The house remained cursed, and the grudge took an immigrating American family, the Williams,and several people who had stepped inside. Karen Davis attempted to end the curse by setting the house on fire, which she later discovered to have been a failure as Kayako's ghost returned to take her. The curse later reached a Chicago apartment building and killed its dwellers. Kayako's sister Naoko attempted to exorcise the spirits, but was murdered by Takeo himself, through possession of Max Morrison. She perhaps managed to end the Saeki curse in the building, causing Kayako's ghost to vanish, but her rancorous spirit returned to kill Max, indicating that her murder presumably set a new curse there.
Notes and triviaEdit
- The Grudge 3 marks the first and only time the term "Ju-on" is used by a character to explain the curse (as Naoko explains it to Lisa Morrison). In The Grudge, Nakagawa tells Karen about the curse, but never names it.
- Mirai's name means "future" in Japanese, and references the curse's timeless nature and it's ability to affect the past from the future.
- The Isobe's cursed tape in White Ghost mirrors Sadako's cursed tape in Ringu.
- Toshio's cameo in the White and Black Ghost installments emphasizes a link between the Isobe and the Saeki curses.
- The Grudge trilogy focuses on the Saeki curse only. Also, differently from the Japanese films, The Grudge 2 implies that the curse was in some way worsened and able to reach other places after the fire. When Karen is at the Yoyogi cemetery with Doug, she explains to him that the rising incense of the Buddhists reaches the departed spirits and relieves the troubled spirits of the living, perhaps foreshadowing her act and its consequences. This differs from the Japanese films, in which the curse freely spreads from a victim to another person (or a place), similarly to a disease.
- The final scene in The Grudge 3 implies that Naoko's attempt to end the grudge curse was in vain. Considering this, her murder was actually how the curse chose to claim her.