The Daijin & Sadaijin in Suzume No Tojimari, explained

Suzume
Suzume's Daijin (Image via CoMix Wave Films)

One character that undoubtedly made a mark on audience members who went to watch Suzume no Tojimari was Daijin. A supernatural white cat, it was soon revealed to be more than a simple feline with mysterious powers that deeply affected the lives of Suzume and Souta.

This Daijin owes its origin to Japanese mythology, along with the Sadajin (who also appeared in the movie). Both of them play crucial roles in the film, especially towards the end, but their very depiction borrows heavily from the Oriental myth.

Disclaimer: This article contains spoilers from Suzume no Tojimari.


Who roles do the Daijin and Sadajin play in Suzume no Tojimari?

The Daijin is a mysterious cat that appears in the film who seems to be able to talk in a human tongue. Suzume excavates it out of the earth at the location of a magical door. The cat was originally a stone keystone. By doing this, the teenager unintentionally condemned Satou, her new friend and keyholder/door closure, to become a keystone himself.

By transforming Satou into the childhood chair that the girl keeps in her bedroom, Daijin then sets this plan in motion. The monster, who initially appears in Suzume's bedroom as a thin stray, is fed by her, who says, "Suzume is kind," before casting the curse on Satou.

After that, Daijin takes off, and the human and chair team must follow him throughout Japan to get Satou to turn around. Additionally, it appears that Daijin is responsible for the magical doors that are opening all over the nation and that Suzume must shut in order to prevent destruction. Souta sacrifices himself and Daijin tries to get closer to the protagonist who pushes it away in anger.

The Daijin still cares about her, though. He then transforms back into his presumably lifeless state and serves as the keystone once more. Even though it's a heartbreaking time, Daijin doesn't cry and walks away knowing she liked him. As such, the Daijin and Sadajin serve as the two cornerstones necessary to shut the worm—a metaphor for natural disasters—and avert global catastrophe. The Sadajin is a larger cat who joins in fighting the apocalypse.


Who the Daijin and Sadajin are inspired by

The Daijin and Sadajin were based upon ministers of the state, at least as far as the inspiration for their names are concerned. The daij-daijin (Chancellor), the sadaijin, and the udaijin (Minister of the Right) were the three ministers who made up this early Daij-kan. The udaijin served as the senior minister of state under the sadaijin, who was in charge of all governmental operations.

The film, however, casts them as mythical keystones that are used to convey a tragic tale of loss and fear in the backdrop of the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake. It claims that Daijin and Sadaijin stand in for her anxieties and mental barriers as she strives to move past her mother's passing.

The Daijin is not evil but more chaotic neutral. Cats don't abide by human rules and morals -- even less so if they're deities of some sort. Fans of Daijin think that he simply liked the protagonist and wanted to spend time with her. It's likely that Daijin just doesn't know or care about what's just in terms of human morality because he's a supernatural being.

He might not see his actions as all that different from a typical cat annoying its owner. Being a deity entails obligations, hence Daijin's actions have significant repercussions.