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Explaining the Prison Realm in Jujutsu Kaisen

Penitentiary Domain to Satoru Gojo is what Kryptonite is to Superman. They might not be the same, but these objects make the unbeatable, beatable.

For such overpowering characters, there needs to be an object that gives the antagonists a way to fight against them and not be dominated by the protagonists.

Just ponder over it.

What would have happened if a cursed object like Penitentiary Domain wasn’t there?

The story would’ve ended right away because Satoru Gojo would have exorcised all the curses and killed Sukuna and Pseudo-Geto (Kenjaku) for good.

Thanks to the Penitentiary’s Domain existence, the characters with limitations on either side of the plot got their chance to shine, opening up the story in ways one would’ve never imagined.

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In Jujutsu Kaisen, the Penitentiary Domain’s existence has been known since the beginning. In earlier chapters, we see Pseudo-Geto telling Jogo about the Penitentiary Domain and how it will play an important role in sealing Satoru Gojo, the strongest sorcerer alive.

But what exactly is Penitentiary Domain? How does it work? Can anyone use it? To answer these questions, I have created this article with a detailed explanation of the Penitentiary Domain. So, without further ado, let’s begin.

What is the Penitentiary Domain? Explained!

The Penitentiary Domain (or Gokumonkyō) is a special-grade cursed object. It originated from the final remains of the Buddhist monk Genshin.

The Penitentiary Domain is a living barrier that can seal anything or anyone, regardless of the power or size.

The Penitentiary Domain is a cube-sized cursed object that can easily fit in the palm of your hand. Inside this cursed object, time doesn’t flow like in the real world, and there’s no way of escaping unless the caster (Pseudo-Geto/ Kenjaku) decides to open it or the Back Gate of the Penitentiary Domain gets destroyed using cursed tools or cursed techniques that can nullify or cancel other cursed techniques.

The special-grade cursed tool like the “Inverted Spear of Heaven” or a cursed tool like the “Black Rope” would have done the trick, but Satoru Gojo has either sealed or destroyed both during his battle against the users of these cursed tools.

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How Does the Penitentiary Domain Work?

Although the Penitentiary Domain can seal anything and everything, there are conditions to meet for the special-grade cursed object to work.

When the caster chants Gate Open, the target should be within a four-meter radius of the Penitentiary Domain, that too for one minute.

After opening, the cubical cursed object further divides into four cubes and stretches a mass of flesh by those four edges with an eye in the center, staring right at the target.

The big eye focuses on the target and captures it efficiently inside the Penitentiary Domain.

Then, the mass of flesh captures the target, making it impossible to move a muscle or use cursed techniques as it drains out all the cursed energy.

The caster needs to chant Gate Close to complete the sealing. However, to process the target, the Penitentiary Domain takes time after the sealing and hence can’t be moved immediately.

And, to process someone like Satoru Gojo, the Penitentiary Domain takes more time than usual and becomes heavy enough for Pseudo-Geto to drop it.

The Penitentiary Domain can seal only one occupant at a time unless the occupant takes their own life.

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The Importance of Penitentiary Domain in Jujutsu Kaisen

The Penitentiary Domain balances the power scaling between the antagonists and protagonists in Jujutsu Kaisen, letting every character breathe.

As seen on several occasions and admitted by the mastermind Pseudo-Geto himself, Satoru Gojo was too strong to defeat; hence the plan and teaming up with the cursed spirits to seal Satoru Gojo inside the Penitentiary Domain – the only thing capable of holding him back.

If not for the Penitentiary Domain’s sealing, the Shibuya Incident wouldn’t have occurred, Nanami wouldn’t have died, Sukuna wouldn’t have awakened, Nobara would have been unharmed, and countless civilians wouldn’t have died.

However, that would’ve halted the growth of Jujutsu Kaisen, where the characters wouldn’t grow, the plot wouldn’t flow, and the quality would’ve stayed low.

That is the importance of the Penitentiary Domain in Jujutsu Kaisen!

How Did Satoru Gojo Get Sealed in the Penitentiary Domain?

Pseudo-Geto knew that Satoru Gojo wasn’t a run-of-the-mill special-grade sorcerer. He is exceptional even among the special-grade sorcerers.

As mentioned earlier, to seal someone inside the Penitentiary Domain, the target should be within a four-meter radius for one minute. But to keep Satoru Gojo within the said radius for a minute is like asking a horse to bark.

But being the mastermind he is, Pseduo-Geto knew precisely what to do and how to do it. Having the memories of Suguru Geto helped him make a bulletproof plan to seal Satoru Gojo during the Shibuya Incident arc.

Firstly, Pseudo-Geto tasked Mahito, Jogo, Hanami, and Choso with pushing Gojo on the edge. Pseudo-Geto asked them to make Gojo use his brains by limiting his cursed techniques with non-sorcerers (civilians) as a shield.

Pseudo-Geto knew Gojo wouldn’t use “Blue” in the presence of the civilians so as not to kill them. Similarly, Gojo won’t use his domain – Unlimited Void, as it would crush the civilians between Unlimited Void and the curtain.

However, they didn’t expect Gojo to cast the Unlimited Void for 0.2 seconds and selectively kill transfigured humans. But that didn’t phase the mastermind at all. Pseduo-Geto opened the Penitentiary Domain immediately after Gojo deactivated his domain.

To render Gojo immobile for a minute, Pseudo-Geto used emotions as the final weapon against the strongest sorcerer alive. He bet on Gojo’s friendship with Geto.

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It was the first time Gojo came across Pseudo-Geto, and as expected, Gojo stood still after seeing his friend’s face in front of him, reminiscing about the last three years. He kept thinking about his best friend Geto being alive, whom he killed a year ago with his own hands.

In reality, only an instant had passed, but in Gojo’s brain, a minute’s worth of time had passed, satisfying the Penitentiary Domain’s condition. He got captured by the Penitentiary Domain, which drained all of his cursed energy.

Before closing the gates of the Penitentiary Domain, Pseudo-Geto revealed how he took over Geto’s body. The Penitentiary Domain takes time to process the target, but Satoru Gojo made the process painfully long. The strongest sorcerer alive flexed his muscle even after getting sealed.

Does Satoru Gojo Ever Gets Unsealed?

Yes, Satoru Gojo gets unsealed by Hana Kurusu in the later half of the Culling Game Arc.

Following the tragedy at Shibuya and dealing with the aftermath of the incident, Yuki Tsukumo, Yuji, Megumi, Yuta, and Choso met Master Tengen to ask about ways to free Satoru Gojo from the Penitentiary Domain. Tengen shows them the Back Gate of the Penitentiary Domain – where Gojo was sealed.

Tengen said that only the bearer of the Front Gate can open it. However, the Back Gate can be forced open using cursed tools like the Inverted Spear of Heaven, the Black Rope, or any cursed technique that can nullify any cursed technique.

Unfortunately, the cursed tools were either destroyed or sealed by Satoru Gojo. On that, Tengen suggests to find Angel, who can extinguish cursed techniques. Yuji and Megumi later discover that Angel has incarnated into Hana Kurusu’s body, whose sole purpose is to kill Sukuna, the Fallen.

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After recovering from Sukuna’s attack, Hana uses her cursed technique, Jacob’s Ladder, on the Back Gate to free Satoru

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