Jigoro mainly appears in the manga through the forms of flashbacks. He was a physically short and elderly man with silver or grey colored hair and a visible scar located below his left eye. Jigoro often carried a wooden cane with him likely to support his body due to age. He is commonly seen in the manga wearing a jinbei styled kimono similar to the one worn by Sakonji Urokodai.
Jigoro had a steadfast devotion to his students and strict training. Despite his status as a strong mentor and experience as a previous pillar, he had a soft spot and unwavering dedication towards raising the next generation of students.
Zenitsu noted that despite how often he whined and ran away, Jigoro never gave up on him once. He had saved Zenitsu from a lifetime of debt and taken him on as a student. Showing unyielding patience, he was happy just to see Zenitsu master the first form. He had a great belief in training skills to perfect through repetition comparing it to forging and purifying the steel of their swords,This strong fatherly love for his students is further shown when he shown to be both flattered and touched by Zenitsu declaration of his love and gratefulness for all of his efforts put into forcing Zenitsu to improve himself despite everyone else abandoning him and deeming him worthless.
He was filled with grief after hearing that his former pupil, Kaigaku, had betrayed the Demon Killing Corps and joined the Upper Moons.
Jigoro was the instructor of Zenitsu and Kaigaku as the former Thunder Pillar. He favored Kaigaku over Zenitsu as his successor as Kaigaku managed to master all of the Thunder Breath Styles except for the first style. Meanwhile, Zenitsu had only managed to master the First Step due of his inexperience.
He committed suicide by seppuku when his former protégé defected to gain the powers of a demon. Jigoro's death was slow and agonizing since no one could cut off his head while he bled out. His death ultimately motivated Zenitsu to become the next Thunder Pillar avenge his master's death by slaying Kaigaku.
After Zenitsu managed to kill Kaigaku, Zenitsu and Jigoro briefly meet in the afterlife. His student apologized for not being able to get along with Kaigaku. Before Zenitsu forcefully returned to the land of living, Jigoro declared that Zenitsu was his pride and joy with tears in his eyes.
Abilities and Powers
- (To Agatsuma Zenitsu) "Zenitsu, go the distance. You can run, you can cry, but don't give up. I believe in you. You've endured a hellish training regimen every single day. You will definitely be rewarded. Strike until it's at its limit! Become a blade! That is stronger than anyone else!!"