Royal Trees (王立樹, Ouritsuju) are intelligent life forms from the planet, Jurai. Descended from the Chousin Goddess Tsunami, these trees represent one attempt by Tsunami and her sisters to bring about a being far more powerful than they. The Trees of the Imperial Family are also the heart and brain of Juraian ships. Most of the time, the trees are placed inside of the ships after they are grown in the Royal Arboretum on the planet Jurai.
Tsunami is called the “Genesis Tree” as she is the original Royal Tree and obviously the most powerful of the Royal Trees. However, Tsunami is much more than some powerful tree. She is one of the Chousin – the greatest high-level beings from another dimension. Another way to look at her is as a goddess.
After creating the multi-verse (the various dimensions of the universe), Tsunami and her Choushin sisters Washu and Tokimi began to try to prove the existence of a higher-level kami (god) by finding this person. As such, Tsunami descended from her realm into the 3rd dimension along with her sister Washu. She had a giant humanoid form with which she could communicate with the life forms in the 3rd-dimension (it should be noted that even then, Tsunami’s physical features were that of an adult Sasami). It appears that her giant form resided in the 3rd-dimension for a million years or more.
Some 150,000-years ago, the giant, sleeping humanoid form of Tsunami was found on the planet of Jurai by a man who would eventually become its first emperor. Because Tsunami had been asleep for so long, parts of her had begun to turn into a tree. After waking up, Tsunami detected evidence of potential in this man. Tsunami theorized that his descendants would produce the kami the Choushin were looking for.
Thus Tsunami made a pledge to the man of House Masaki to protect him and his descendants. She then turned her giant humanoid body on Jurai into Tenju, the giant semi-intelligent tree that houses the Royal Palace as well as the arboretum of the Royal Trees. At some point, Tsunami created Tsunami-no-ki, the original Royal Tree and placed it within Tenju. Tsunami-no-ki became the interface for Tsunami’s Chousin powers in the 3rd-dimension. Based on what we saw in the OVA spinoff Tenchi Muyo! GXP, where Tsunami had given 1st generation tree seeds to the precursor civilization, it appears that Tsunami-no-ki was in the 3rd-dimension long before Tsunami met the 1st emperor.
Tsunami's ChildrenAs one might expect, Tsunami-no-ki can produce seeds just like any tree can. Therefore, Tsunami-no-ki’s seeds can be planted to produce powerful offspring trees. Those trees can produce seeds that create less powerful offspring. This process can continue on and on and is how the “generation” system for the Royal Trees is established. Here is how it works:
Tsunami-no-ki is the interface for Tsunami’s Chousin powers and therefore wields power that is unimaginable. Tsunami-no-ki can generate 10 Light Hawk Wings, manifestations of godly power in this dimension and a powerful defense shield which can absorb incredible amounts of energy and render it harmless. Light Hawk Wings can also be used as an offensive weapon, but they weren’t designed that way. Having 10 Light Hawk Wings would make Tsunami-no-ki virtually untouchable by any enemy force. Ten Light Hawk Wings are also the maximum number that can be produced in the 3rd-dimension.
Tsunami-no-ki’s offspring are called 1st-generation trees. First generation trees are extremely powerful and very rare. Tsunami did not produce many seeds to become 1st-generation trees. 1st-gen trees can only produce 3 LHW’s, but this is more than enough for their purposes. They draw their power directly from Tsunami-no-ki.
1st-generation tree’s offspring are 2nd-generation trees. Since they draw their power through the 1st-generation trees, they are one-step removed from Tsunami and thus less powerful. 2nd-gen trees can still produce 3 LHW’s, but offensive use requires the override by a 1st generation tree or its master key. Many members of the Juraian Royal Family partner with 2nd-gen trees.
The 3rd-generation trees are the offspring of the 2nd-gen trees and because they are two-steps removed from Tsunami, they are even less powerful. They can only produce 1 LHW when they synchronize with another 3rd-generation tree. Despite being weaker, 3rd-gen trees still have the power to destroy a planet! 3rd-generation tree-ships constitute much of Jurai’s powerful fleet. Members of the Royal Family that are not accepted by a 1st or 2nd generation Royal Tree are partnered with a 3rd generation Royal Tree.
The first three generation of Royal Tree’s are all sentient beings. Thus they have their own will and are not slaves to the Juraians but partners. Starting with the 4th-generation trees, they are not sentient, and thus act as a normal power unit/computer unit. With each succeeding generation, the trees have less power, but still provide an important function. Some of these higher-generation trees are used on Juraian colonies (or with allies of Jurai) as a power source.
All of Tsunami's intelligent offspring have a unique ability of self-preservation. This was seen when Ryu-Oh was destroyed in episode 5, yet a seed from Ryu-Oh retrieved by Tsunami and planted and called Ryu-oh. This from "101 Facts":
Occasionally Royal Trees produce a seed in sap on the trunk. This happens only when Tree regenerates itself. When the Tree dies, this seed germinates by interaction with the 'key'. This special seeds can grow anywhere as long as its kept in the special unit.
Partners for Life
Since 4th-generation trees and beyond are not sentient, these can be used as the Juraians see fit. However, with the first three generations, the tree is the one to choose the partner. The Juraians have no say in the matter when it comes to which tree partners with which person.
Sometimes a tree will send a telepathic call to the Juraian whom it has chosen. Sometimes, a Juraian (or other potential partner candidate) will be brought into the arboretum within Tenju for a tree selection ceremony. Either way, the event is witnessed by at least three representatives of the Royal House.
The candidate goes to a transporter that would take him to the level that houses the 2nd-generation trees. If he is not transported, he will be selected by a 3rd generation Royal Tree. A candidate that is transported will then greet each Tree. If the candidate is greeted, but not chosen, they are allowed to proceed to the level where the 1st generation trees are. There are very few cases where the candidate is allowed to proceed to the 1st-gen level. Azusa and Yosho are two such individuals who were chosen by a 1st-generation tree. In the history of Jurai, only five people have been partnered with a 1st-gen tree.
Once a tree chooses the candidate, the candidate then names the tree. The tree is placed into a special core container with the interior designed by the partner. A ship's hull is also constructed to the partner’s specifications. The core of the ship is used to control the power of the tree. Once ready, the core containing the tree is placed within the ship's hull. The hull acts as a channeling device for the tree's power.
The tree then constructs a living space for its partner within subspace, again based on the designs of the partner. Therefore, each Royal Tree Ship is unique in all aspects and suited to fit its partner’s needs and desires. Of the tree-ships we’ve seen to date, all of these subspace areas are constructed to be a representation of a planet’s surface complete with plants, animals, bodies of water, and more.
In order to better communicate with the Royal Tree, a Juraian will carve a key made from the branch and crystallized sap of the Royal Tree. The form of the key is again done according to the partner’s wish. Thus Ayeka has a tiara as her key and made a “trigger” for Sasami, Azusa had a fake eye AND an energy sword for keys, indicating that there can be more than one key per tree.
Keys created from 1st-gen Royal Trees are known as “master keys.” Master keys give their owner the power to control the higher-generation trees. This is why Tenchi was able to override Ayeka’s commands on Ryu-Oh with Tenchi-ken. Tenchi-ken is a master key.
In addition, the partner can have artifacts made from the branches of the Royal Tree to be given as gifts. Azusa had combs created on his first visit to Earth, one of which Funaho’s niece Kasumi had when Yosho chased Ryoko to Earth. This comb protected Kasumi from being harmed by Ryoko. Tsunami gave Tenchi a ring constructed from herself that activated Juraian battle armor.
Another benefit of being partnered with a Royal Tree is the extended life the tree provides via body strengthening and life extension treatments, as well as the Water of Life, which helps to rapidly heal the partner. The Royal Tree can provide backup power to its partner in combat situations. Power is supplied to the partner and at the lower-level generation trees, the partner can activate Light Hawk Wings (as seen in Yosho’s battle with Kagato in episode 5).
With rare exception, Royal Trees are partnered for life with a single partner. There are a couple of incidents which can break the bond between the Royal Tree and its partner. One being death and the other being banishment from Jurai. In both cases, the Royal Tree is then removed from the core and planted in the ground. Once planted, the tree is cut off from Tsunami’s power and thus slowly turns into a normal tree.
As mentioned before, there are rare exceptions where a single Royal Tree has been partnered with more than one person. Mitsuki was unofficially partnered with a 1st-gen tree and before her death, she transferred the partnership of the tree to Azusa (with the tree’s permission). Azusa was able to meet her tree, even though it had never been moved from its place in the arboretum, through Mitsuki. There is evidence to suggest that Mitsuki became one with that tree, which Azusa named Kirito.
We don't have a great deal of knowledge as to all of the partnerships. What we do know is that as of OAV 3, there was only one 1st-generation ship in the Juraian fleet. This grew to two by the end of GXP. Here is a list of known tree-ships, their generation, and their partners.
It should be noted that once a Juraian is partnered with a Royal tree, they have "Jurai" added to the end of their name.
|Royal Tree Name||Generation||Partner||Notes|
|Sasami Masaki||Technically, Sasami and Tsunami are the same.|
|Kirito||1st||Azusa Masaki||Initially unofficially partnered with Mitsuki, presumably being one of the five 1st-gen trees that kept her alive. She was then apparently assimilated by Kirito. Kirito means "Sealing Fog."|
|Funaho||1st||Yosho Masaki||The only known rooted tree not to lose its power.|
|unknown||1st||Seina Yamada||Fans sometimes refer to Seina's 1st-gen tree (seed) as "The Idol" or "Zinv." These are not official names and to date, we don't know what Seina called his seed. Seina's lack of family connections with Jurai strongly suggests that one does not have to be a Juraian in order to partner with a royal tree. Also, because this is a seed and not a tree, this relationship is very unique and leaves a lot of unanswered questions.|
|Karin||2nd||Misaki Masaki||Karin means "Hazy Scales" and is also a Juraian term for a certain type of cloud formation. It is a twin of Mizuho.|
|Mizuho||2nd||Funaho Masaki||Mizuho means "Water Crest." More information about this tree below. It is a twin of Karin.|
|Ryu-Oh||2nd||Ayeka Masaki||Regenerated after being killed by Kagato.|
|Mikagami||2nd||Seto Kamiki||Seto, as a non-native Juraian proves beyond a doubt that one does not have to be a native Juraian in order to be partnered with a royal tree. Mikagami means "Water Reflection."|
|Mizuki||2nd||Kiriko Masaki||While this was done for purely political moves on the part of Lady Seto and Jurai (for their protection), the fact that the royal trees went along with it says something IMO.|
|unknown||2nd||Kotono Tatsuki||I don't know anything about this person at present.|
|unknown||2nd||Amaki Shuuzan's child||Apparently someone will bare Shuuzan a child and that child will partner with a 2nd-gen tree.|
|Kyouko||3rd||Noike Kamiki||This is a secret experimental ship designed to give 3rd-gen tree-ships the power of a 2nd-gen tree-ship.|
|Mizunagi||3rd|| Tatsuki Nishia|
|I believe this is one of the ships that partook in the battle against Ryoko and Ryo-ohki. I also think that Nisha was in command of the home defense fleet. (Thanks to MasakiLHW for Kanji and name spelling correction!)|
|unknown||3rd||Utsutsumi Kamiki||This is Seto-sama's husband.|
|unknown||3rd||Shuuzan Amaki||Shuuzan is the current head of House Amaki and the big schemer.|
|unknown||3rd||Tatsua Masaki||No clue who this person is at present.|
|unknown||unknown||Minaho Masaki||Series creator, Masaki Kajishima revealed in an interview that Minaho, Yosho and Airi's daughter, is partnered with a Royal Tree. However, the name and generation of that tree has not been revealed as far as we know.|
|unknown||unknown||Amame Masaki||Though she is now Yotsuga Amame, she was once a member of House Masaki and the mother of Azusa. While the details aren't clear to me at present, she was forced to leave Jurai and her Royal tree was planted in the Earth.|
|unknown||unknown||1st Emperor of Jurai||In the English-speaking world, we don't know if there is any information about his Royal tree partner. It is believed that he would have been partnered with a 1st-gen tree since Tsunami made the pact with him.|
|unknown||unknown||Masaki||As sister to the 1st Emperor of Jurai, Misaki was partnered with a Royal Tree. What we don't know is the generation. At some point, Misaki traveled to Earth in a tree-ship. She later ended up on Earth's moon, where 'today' she still remains in astral form. Her tree is still alive, which is how Misaki still has an astral form. Beyond that, we don't know all the details of how she ended up on the moon, though the Japanese certainly have greater knowledge of it (which is why we desperately need translators).|