Jugo Shishi

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It's easy to concentrate when you're alone in a room, but that isn't enough. In order to 'express' something, you need energy... So creating while being surrounded by 'living energy' is important.
—Jugo Shishi

Jugo Shishi (志士 十五, Shishi Jūgo), real name, Keitaro Nishi (西 桂太郎, Nishi Keitarō), is a primary character featured in Kushagara, a short story that is part of the Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan: Short Story Collection. He is a manga artist that works at Shueisha and is an acquaintance of Rohan Kishibe.

After receiving a list containing prohibited terms for manga, Jugo becomes obsessed with finding the meaning of the word "kushagara".


Jugo Shishi Appearance.png

Jugo is a young Japanese man who Rohan Kishibe describes as looking like a thug. His hair is dyed red with shaved hairlines on the sides. He also has piercings on his eyelids.

In the TV drama, he has shoulder-length black hair that is slicked back. He also has symbols tattooed on his left hand: a series of bars on his fingers, as well as an hourglass, a bar, and two balls on his wrist. On the inside of his arm, he has two columns of four horizontal bars, as well as a vertical one and an hourglass. There is also an additional ball below his shoulder. On his right side, he has multiple rows of bars going down his arm. His hairstyle was inspired by Ryoma Sakamoto.[2]


Jugo is friendly and sociable but his talkative personality annoys Rohan. He lacks modesty as he keeps talking to Rohan who wants to be left alone, chattering on about the origin of his pen name despite Rohan having no interest. Rohan has a hard time with people like Jugo because his actions are simple and unpredictable, similarly to Josuke Higashikata and Okuyasu Nijimura.

Regarding manga, he has a similar thought process as Rohan. He desires to find realistic things from life to include in his manga so he works outside rather than staying at his house all the time. Believing that experience and knowledge are necessary, he usually studies and researches history and traditions to depict situations in his manga. His fantasy manga has its own social etiquette, laws of physics, and a full background for each of the characters. He's also the type of person to never miss a deadline, always submitting his manuscripts on time.[1]

Although Jugo can tame most of his desires such as quitting smoking, he fails to quell his desire for knowledge, becoming obsessed with trying to find out what "kushagara" actually means. His greatest fear is not knowing something and being unable to pursue that knowledge until he knows it.[2]

According to him, he's completely fine with ghosts. He's more scared about things that he can relate to, like toilet paper that somehow gets emptied for no reason no matter how many times it's refilled. He has a similar taste in potato chip flavors, movies, and music as his first editor, so they became good friends.[1]



Jugo's father loved manga, so when Jugo was in high school, he submitted a manga to Shueisha which won an award and led to his debut. He chose the pen name "Jugo Shishi" after he calculated the wrong answer for his multiplication table, thinking of it as a reminder that life does not go as planned. Instead of 16, he had written 15 (Jugo) as the answer of 4 multiplied by 4 (Shishi). Two years prior, he had broken up with his girlfriend but was invited to her wedding at the start of the current year and attended it.

His first manga editor got a promotion so his editor had to be changed. When he met his new editor, he worried that the man was a lot more serious. The new editor gave Jugo an A4 envelope with a list of prohibited terms for manga. Jugo found a word in the list that he wasn't familiar with, "kushagara". He didn't understand the meaning of the word or why it was prohibited. He tried to investigate but couldn't find anything meaningful in the dictionary or on Google. He asked his editor, but he was just told not to use it, and since he's not allowed to use it then it's not necessary for him to know what it means.

In the TV drama, he also has an older sister and his ex-girlfriend's name is Mika.[2]


Jugo meets fellow manga artist Rohan Kishibe

At Café Deux Magots, Jugo spots Rohan Kishibe sitting alone and goes up to greet him, wanting to talk with him. Jugo starts making small talk with Rohan but Rohan wants to be left alone. Jugo persuades Rohan to sit and talk with him, stating that Rohan's yelling will attract attention so he'll have to sign autographs for kids. He says that he's thinking of writing a horror manga, which surprises Rohan since his other works are classic shonen manga about good and evil. After realizing that he isn't afraid of ghosts, Jugo tried thinking of what he was scared of, and thought he could write a story about that. His initial ideas are "toilet paper that somehow gets emptied for no reason no matter how many times it's refilled" and "sticky toilet paper". Rohan dismisses his ideas and tells him to go talk to his editor instead of him.

Thus, Jugo starts talking about his new editor. He takes out the list of prohibited terms that he was given and shows it to Rohan. Rohan and Jugo are appalled to see that words like "electrocution", "earthquake", and "tsunami" are banned, thinking that the publishers are cowards. He makes a once-in-a-lifetime request to Rohan: if Rohan ever learns anything about Kushagara, he should share it with him. Jugo thanks him and leaves, leaving Rohan wondering what the word means.

Jugo descends to madness as he looks for the meaning of "kushagara"

After meeting with Rohan, Jugo spends his time turning over dictionaries all over his house, staying in the library, and visiting the editorial department of Shueisha, but he never finds out anything about "kushagara". The editorial department starts thinking of him as a nuisance and asks him if he made any progress on his manuscript, so Jugo gradually stops going there.

About a month later, Jugo and Rohan coincidentally reunite at a used bookstore in town. Rohan witnesses Jugo acting like a thug, angrily demanding for ancient encyclopedias to the confused shopkeeper. Threatening to break his neck, Jugo grabs the shopkeeper by the collar. Rohan grabs Jugo's hand and pulls it away from the shopkeeper, before dragging Jugo out of the store without buying any books.

Jugo regains his sanity and asks Rohan what he's doing there. Rohan notices that the sociable man who used to decorate himself so much that he didn't even look like a manga artist now had the appearance of a depressed, shabby outcast. He wonders how someone could change so much in one month, believing that a person's mental state is more effective at changing faces than plastic surgery. Jugo reveals that he's read as many dictionaries, novels, and picture books as he could. He even went to the police for help yet found no answer. Rohan is taken aback, thinking that Jugo was acting like a dog with rabies. Rohan decides to say something uncharacteristic of himself. He raises his finger and adjusts his breathing as an attempt to soothe Jugo before suggesting that Jugo should just stop caring.

Rohan about to punch Jugo

Jugo reacts by angrily cussing at Rohan, which causes Rohan to snap and reflexively punch Jugo to the ground with his non-dominant hand. Rohan explains that he was merely kindly telling Jugo to calm down and to be careful about who he gets angry to; if Rohan was holding a G-Pen in his hand then it would have ended badly. He says he'll forgive Jugo but if he continues to underestimate Rohan then he'll abandon him. Jugo apologizes but says that his head is completely full of "kushagara" so he doesn't understand what's going on anymore. He struggles to get back up, and Rohan is surprised since he didn't intend to hit him so hard. Rohan suspects whether Jugo has been smoking something dangerous. Jugo holds his head down and starts chanting "damn it" over and over. He exclaims that all he needs right now is the meaning of "kushagara" and that he doesn't need anything else, even if it's a check for 100 million yen or a gold nugget. He points out that once you're worried about "kushagara", you can't get anything else done. Rohan notes something odd about his statement and asks Jugo about it, but Jugo didn't notice anything. He keeps talking and Rohan realizes that every time he says "kushagara", the word was like a sneeze or a hiccup being released at unnatural times, interrupting whenever Jugo spoke. It was like a seizure, so he thinks Jugo must have a mental illness. Rohan mentions that sometimes it's easier for people to see illnesses in other people rather than themselves, so this time it was Rohan who noticed Jugo's illness first.

Jugo reveals that even if he tries to forget about "kushagara", he thinks about it so much all the time that he can't even sleep. Rohan gets quiet and Jugo increasingly starts mentioning "kushagara" in all of his sentences. Annoyed with Rohan's silence, Jugo is about to push him but stops when he sees Rohan's frightened expression on his face, which was a look that Rohan wouldn't normally make. Rohan clearly sees something strange poking out from the back of Jugo's throat, which is what had been saying "kushagara" earlier. It wasn't a person, but rather something that made Rohan feel physiologically disgusted. Before the thing could crawl out of Jugo's mouth, Rohan immediately uses Heaven's Door and turns Jugo into a book.

Jugo under Heaven's Door ability

Jugo loses consciousness as he falls to the ground and his mouth closes, causing the thing in his throat to disappear. Flipping through Jugo's pages, Rohan sees something that he never saw before in any human that he's read. Jugo's pages were attached together like a bound-pocket book, meaning they were stitched together with thread. It's a type of traditional binding that might be seen in weekly magazines. Next, Rohan notices a range of text that is unreadable. On the outside of the book and the binding, there is a messy pattern that makes Rohan instinctively feel wary when he looks at it. Looking closer, he notices that it is actually numerous small handprints embedded on the binding, which made the pages turn black.

As Rohan wonders what he could do, the creature whispers "kushagara" from within the book and the binding suddenly tears open. Rohan tries writing in Jugo's book to forget all about the word "kushagara" but his attempt fails, as the ink would instantly disappear whenever he wrote the word "kushagara". Rohan discerns that it's impossible to find the word in any literature and there's no way to write it either because it's forbidden. He wonders whether this is a parasite that will devour Jugo's body once it breaks free from the binding. With no time to spare, Rohan uses his supernatural drawing speed to write inside Jugo's book.

Jugo forgets everything that happened

Jugo wakes up with his head feeling refreshed, as if he just changed his clothes, took a hot shower, shaved his beard, and slept on brand new sheets for the first time in a month. With no idea what happened to him, he is surprised to see Rohan with him. Now feeling as if he has a good idea for a new story, Jugo finally decides to go home. Rohan tells him to do his best and Jugo is amazed, wondering if he can brag to people that the famous Rohan supported him. He's also surprised to hear Rohan suddenly being strangely soft to him after he was always rude before, but this motivates him to draw a great manga. The two say their goodbyes to each other.

Jugo couldn't remember who his new editor was, so he called the editorial department. They lecture Jugo for skipping meetings for a month. His new editor is inexperienced and feels anxious about what to do. Jugo is confused because he doesn't remember meeting his new editor, as if he lost one month of his memories. Rohan has mixed feelings that he had to write in Jugo's book that he would forget one month's worth of memories since it must have caused some problems in his personal life, but he rationalizes that it was the only way to save him. If Jugo was turned into a book again, the traditional binding would still exist. Rohan tried asking the editorial department later and they told him that Jugo never met his new editor at all yet and Shueisha doesn't actually give a list of prohibited terms to manga artists. Thus, Rohan wonders who exactly was the "new editor" that Jugo initially met, who gave him the list of forbidden words.[1]

Rock-Paper-Scissors Kid

In the 8th episode of the drama, Izumi mentions Jugo Shishi again, having become his editor as well. Jugo fails to make an appearance, being late to a scheduled meeting with Izumi at his office.

Chapters / Episodes

Book Icon.png Novel Appearances
Chapters in order of appearance
TV Icon.png Live Action Appearances
Episodes in order of appearance




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