|Alias||Ken-niichan (Big Bro Ken)|
|Height||184 cm (6'1")|
|Hair||Black (in Saiyuki Gaiden)|
Red (in Saiyuki)
|Eye Color||Red (in Saiyuki)|
Violet (in Saiyuki Gaiden)
|Relatives||5 unknown siblings|
|Occupation||General of Western Army First Unit|
Reincarnated as Sha Gojyo
|Manga Debut||Sai. Gaiden Vol 1, intro|
|Anime Debut||Saiyuki Ep. 07 (flashback)|
Saiyuki Ep. 40
Saiyuki Gaiden OVA Ep. 1
|Seiyuu||Hiroaki Hirata (平田 広明)|
|Skills||Skilled warrior and Combatant|
|Weapons||A Revolver Pistol|
General Kenren (捲簾 大将, Kenren Taishō) was a General of Heaven’s Western Army. The rumored "Unruly general with no command of his groin or his liquor". He rebelled against Heaven with Tenpou and Konzen Douji in order to protect Goku. Kenren is the previous incarnation of Sha Gojyo.
PersonalityOutwardly, Kenren comes across as rather lazy, shirking his duties wherever possible to go drinking or to hang out with Tenpou. A lawless man who loves saké, flowers, and women, and enjoys spending time just relaxing and enjoying the sights that heaven has to offer. He really doesn’t like things that are boring. In many ways, he’s very like Goku and enjoys the chaos that Goku brings to an otherwise dull heaven. He has been known to encourage and occasionally aid Goku in his mischief, and the two of them get along very well. Kenren is very irreverent and doesn’t respect the authority of his superiors. He enjoys shocking people (for example, claiming that Goku was his secret love child). He generally says exactly what he thinks, even if it’s insulting towards someone important or gets him in trouble.
However, this outward personality makes sure that Kenren is generally underestimated by the majority of heaven. Beneath the laid back attitude, Kenren is actually very sharp and a cunning tactician. As a General of one of the armies of Heaven, he’s very strong, rumored to be stronger even than War Prince Nataku. He dislikes people who hide behind pretty words or who are cowardly. He easily sees through the pretenses that most people put up, perceiving their true intentions. This, coupled with his attitude has made him many enemies in the upper ranks of the army, mainly because they believe he’s getting too close to something they wish to keep secret. However, it also means that he is well liked and supported by his subordinates and his friends.
To those he respects, he is exceptionally loyal and will put himself in danger to protect them. He’s quite soft hearted, and hates to see his friends or those unable to protect themselves be hurt. Although forbidden by the laws of heaven from killing, if the people he cares about are threatened, then he will kill to protect them (he’ll also kill when he goes fishing which is his favorite pass-time). Contrary to what his personality would suggest, he’s actually a fairly tidy person and gets frustrated when Tenpou manages to wreck his study so soon after Kenren has cleaned it.
AppearanceKenren has short, spiky black hair with curved strands surrounding his forehead and red eyes, though the eyes may be an inconsistency. They also appear as a blue or an indigo color in some versions. He has a sarcastic mouth, and a big, childlike smile. He wears his military uniform as he wishes, wearing gaudy accessories. He even wears a sake jar tied to his belt; "his fuel" he calls it. Another interesting fact is that Kenren's forehead mark is a sign that he's from a high rank family. His stature and body resemble that of his reincarnation Sha Gojyo.
BackstoryKenren was a soldier of the Eastern Army of Heaven. As such, he took part in many skirmishes in the lower world, keeping the rule of Heaven among humans and youkai. Due to his prowess in battle, he rose quickly through the ranks of the army until he was promoted to General, earning a reputation for being a better warrior than even one of the fighting gods. His personality however, did earn him many enemies in Heaven. After sleeping with the wife of a superior officer and beating said superior officer up, he was transferred to the Western Army under the command of Field Marshall Tenpou.
The two quickly became good friends, both sharing a distrust and suspicion of those in charge and suspecting foul play in the upper ranks of the military. The two reveled in causing scandals, even going so far as referring to themselves as being married, possibility in order to obscure their covert investigations into the military, but mostly because it was damn amusing. Kenren also often got shanghaied into cleaning up Tenpou’s study, much to his annoyance (especially since Tenpou always managed to mess it up ridiculously fast).
The stakes were upped with the arrival of a golden-eyed heretic child in heaven. This child was Son Goku and was put under the care of a god named Konzen Douji. Kenren met Goku while Goku was wandering around Tentei's castle waiting for the return of War Prince Nataku from a military maneuver in the lower world. Kenren bumped into Goku. Recognizing him from Tenpou’s description of the boy, he took the boy under his wing. He protected Goku from palace servants by claiming that Goku was his illegitimate son. He also insisted that Goku call him Ken-niichan. Although Goku seemed like a child, Kenren was shocked to see how strong he was, being able to move freely with very heavy shackles. Nataku returned sporting terrible injuries sustained in the lower world, although the soldiers accompanying him returned unharmed, leaving Kenren more than a little annoyed at their cowardice in hiding behind Nataku.
Several days later, at the grand festival held to honor the Jade Emperor's birthday, Goku managed to cause a scene, getting into a fight with several people attending the festival. Tenpou and Kenren quickly stepped in to assist Goku, not willing to watch the kid get bullied. Also because they just wanted to liven up the terribly dull celebration with a good, fun old fashion brawl. Konzen eventually appeared and offered to take responsibility for their actions and the four of them were dismissed from the celebration. They of course were happy to leave. There was almost instant dislike between Konzen and Kenren (something which would never change, even 500 years later), only accelerated when Kenren decided to indulge Goku in a game of baseball inside Konzen’s office.
At a military meeting a few days later, Kenren objected to Heaven sending Nataku to the front lines again, stating that his injuries still weren't healed yet and asked that the appointment be given to himself and his men instead. Li Touten, Nataku’s father (and an all round slimy git) objected, stating that his son lived for battle. After the soldiers were dismissed, Nataku thanked Kenren for standing up for him, but Kenren was badly beaten and thrown in prison, threatened with a dismissal from the army. He was released soon after by Goujun and went back to Tenpou’s study.
Tenpou was decidedly annoyed and after having Goku bandage Kenren securely to a chair, he went off to speak to Li Touten, claiming that he couldn't work under anyone except Kenren. Kenren, worried about his friend, asked Goku to follow Tenpou and keep an eye on him. A lucky thing since Tenpou punched Li Touten after he insinuated that he and Kenren were sleeping together (well... that Tenpou was the ‘wife’ of the relationship is probably more accurate) and Touten’s guards were prepared to beat him the same way they beat Kenren before Goku stepped into the fray.
After this, things really started to fall apart. At some point Goku's limiter was broken and he took his true form, Seiten Taisei, and killed many celestial beings. Kanzeon Bosatsu showed up and subdued Goku. However, Konzen punched her for trying to hurt Goku. Li Touten then declared them all traitors to heaven and ordered the army to attack them. Kenren and Tenpou held their ground, protecting Goku and Konzen, and Tenpou took Goujun hostage, allowing them safe passage back to Tenpou’s study. Once there, Kenren began to fortify it while Tenpou searched for a cure for Goku who had taken ill. Called outside to speak by Li Touten, Tenpou and Kenren were asked their demands in return for the lives of the hostages. Kenren replied that they wanted to be exiled to the human world beneath heaven. Knowing that the army would attack them at dawn, he and Tenpou began to try to hatch an escape plan.
Early that morning, Goku woke and came to see them, saying that it didn’t matter to him what happened as long as he could stay with them. Kenren made a ‘pinky-promise’ (yubikiri) to say that they’d never leave Goku alone and told him that whatever happened, even if they got separated, they’d all meet up again under the cherry trees in the human world. In the end Kenren, Tenpou, and Konzen died while trying to reach the gate to the lower world with Goku. Goku received punishment and was locked away in a stone cage deep in the earth, his memories of his time in Heaven were sealed away.
500 years later in China, the union of a youkai and a human led to the birth of a taboo child with crimson hair and eyes; Sha Gojyo.
RelationshipsTenpou - He is Kenren first friend when he was transferred in Western Army First Unit and later on their friendship grew deeper. The two of them are smoking buddies and Kenren usually helps him to clean up his private library. They both shared a distrust and suspicion of those in charge and suspecting foul play in the upper ranks of the military. The two care for each other like for example when Kenren was bandage securely to a chair by Goku ordered by Tenpou. Kenren asked Goku to follow Tenpou way to Li Touten’s office because he was worried.
Son Goku - Kenren first heard of Goku through Tenpou. Later the two of them ran into each other whilst Goku was wandering around Tentei's castle waiting for the return of War Prince Nataku from his confrontation with Gyumaoh in the lower world. Kenren bumped into him and claimed to the palace servants who attempted to seize the child, that Goku was with him, his illegitimate son. Kenren treated Goku almost like a little brother and in the same, Goku addressed Kenren affectionately as Ken-niichan. They were a rather unconventional pair and during their time in Heaven, got themselves into all kind of trouble. Before the escape attempt, Kenren was the one that first introduced Goku to the Pinky Promise and swore to him that even if they were separated, the four of the would meet up again under the cherry blossoms. In the end, he sacrificed himself in order for Goku, Konzen and Tenpou to escape.
Goujun - Although Goujun is Tenpou and Kenren’s superior, Kenren usually disrespects him though they talk formally. Kenren used to tease him by his appearance and doesn’t get it why does he have to respect him. He usually put his pinky on his ear and he looks at the other side whenever Goujun speaks. In the last moment of Kenren, he saved Goujun by pushing him down to the pit in order to save him by being eaten by one of the Natakus. Goujun gave him respect and a salute to his last moment.
Weapons and AbilitiesKenren's weapon of choice is the gun that his unit uses during their missions in the lower world. It’s a tranquilizer gun, but the reference gun was a Remington New Model Army. The body is an aristocratic gold, with a wooden grip. 44-caliber, six shots. It’s a percussion revolver, and while it’s quite safe the cylinder exchange is difficult, but it’s cool. The barrel is long and quite heavy. But then there are times when Kenren doesn't even use his weapon and just fights with his bare hands. He is even having fun when he's attracted a lot of grudges.
- General Kenren's position refers to the former incarnation of Zhu Bajie (Hakkai's namesake and Gojyo's general personality), the Curtain Raising General. Similar to Kenren's transfer to the Western Army after having an affair with a higher-up's wife, the curtain Raising General was exiled and reincarnated for seducing a moon maiden.
- In the anime version of Gensoumaden Saiyuki Kenren's hair and eyes appears red. This was probably so that the viewers could easily identify that Kenren was Gojyo.
- Kenren loves lower world luxury items like cigarettes. Since acquiring these goods is difficult, he smokes several brands. But in his last moment, he was seen smoking with the brand hi-lites the same brand as Gojyo.
- Kenren also has a great fear of heights despite the fact that he loves to climb trees because he knows he can land safely. His fear of heights is most likely an inborn one, and the fact that his legs unconsciously freeze up in high places is something he just can’t accept. He hated that, so ever since he was small he dared himself to climb to high places and jump off. He kept repeating the process until he conquered that height (and ended up with the habit of climbing things), but as to be expected, extremely high heights were still impossible. He didn’t want his subordinates to find out because it isn’t cool, but Tenpou alone realized and, on top of that, turned it into a joke.
- Kenren's mark in the forehead is a symbol of one’s family. Like Jiroushin and the Sanbutsushin, it seems that Kenren is actually from a rather highly-ranked family. But it looks like he didn’t manage to become a bureaucrat.
- Kenren got the skull accessory on his chest from Tenpou. Tenpou bought it from the lower world and thought it would suit on Kenren. Tenpou actually finds it cute.
- Kenren has his own room in his unit dormitory. Unlike the Tenpou's vast and spacious rooms, Kenren’s is a simple one-room place. It doesn’t have a bathroom, so he uses the public baths. He can’t make fun of Tenpou, because his room too, is overflowing with things brought back from the Lower World (e.g Audio gadgets). It’s a manly, disorderly room, but since Kenren is by nature a diligent man, his things aren’t exactly scattered all over. Also, he doesn’t have a bed, and sleeps on a sofa.
- Kenren has 5 siblings.
- Kenren is good at calligraphy and drawing.