The Ashura-kai (八部連合阿修羅会, Hachibu Rengou Ashura Kai)? is an organization in the series.
Shin Megami Tensei IV
Led by Tayama, the Ashura-Kai is based in Roppongi Hills and controls most of the nearby districts including Shibuya. The group has gained a large following because of their lofty goal of coexistence with demons. Ironically, the group actively opposes those who would resist them; their methods are often violent and twisted, sometimes straying from their ostensible goal. Those who wish to join the group must either bring them three kids or a recommendation from a member.
The prentice Samurai first meet members of this group after exiting Naraku, where they are barely able to understand them because of their accent. After stating they are from above, the two men panic and believe they are Angels, fleeing the scene seconds later. They meet other members at the entrance to the Counter Demon Force Base. After learning they are the "Angels" other members have mentioned, they decide to attack before they get killed. They flee after Tsuchigumo is killed.
To protect their main center of influence, guards have been posted near the Shibuya and Wangan subway tunnels.
The Ashura-kai's major enemy is the Ring of Gaea. Due to prevailing circumstances however, their feud is pretty much at a standstill.
It is later revealed that their key to coexistence with demons lies in using humans that are not affiliated with the Ashura-Kai as livestock to create Red Pills, a substance extracted from conditioned neurotransmitters from brain matter and serves as food for demons. Mastema is implied to be the one who talks to most demon groups for the Ashura-kai when one of Tayama's men mentions him after they learn that Yuriko is a demon.
After Tayama's death and the outpour of demons the organization becomes defunct. He was the one keeping the organization together and likewise the contracts with demons he made are now void, though several members of the group have not been informed of this yet and continue their duties.
Shin Megami Tensei IV Apocalypse
"Officially known as the "Hachibu Rengou Ashura-kai," the organization HQ is in Roppongi, but they maintain branches throughout every underground district. The Ashura-kai's main goal is to maintain order and protect citizens from demons. The safety of the underground districts partly stems from their efforts. However, some Ashura-kai perform their duties through extortion, demanding unreasonable compensation in exchange for protection, and even use violence. For a time, the districts could do little about this. But once Tayama vanished, the organization's power weakened and its enforcers dwindled."
"Hachibu Rengou" (八部連合) in the full name of the organization means "squad/union of the eight legions" which refers to the eight Buddhist guardians (天龍八部衆). They are Deva, Naga, Yaksa, Gandharva, Asura, Garuda, Kimnara and Mahoraga.
List of Demons
The Ashura-kai does not have its own race in Shin Megami Tensei IV, with its members instead being classified under the Human race. However, the members of that race identified as Ashura-kai members will be listed here as well for the sake of completion.
List of Known Members
- National Defense Divinities: Enslaved minions of Tayama save for Masakado in Shin Megami Tensei IV.
- Asmodeus, Gemori, and Murmur: Guardians of the birdcage in Shin Megami Tensei IV.
- Tayama: Leader in Shin Megami Tensei IV.
- Mastema: Angel in charge of Tokyo in Shin Megami Tensei IV.
- Hallelujah: Member in Shin Megami Tensei IV Apocalypse.
- Abe: Leader in Shin Megami Tensei IV Apocalypse.
- Lilim: A minion of Abe in Shin Megami Tensei IV Apocalypse.
- Succubus: A minion of Abe in Shin Megami Tensei IV Apocalypse.
- Ken: A well respected member in charge of Ikebukuro in Shin Megami Tensei IV Apocalypse.