Location: Moon Village
For special occasions, and during training, those studying this branch of genjutsu wear minimalistic clothing. More dedicated members deep in training give up cosmetics, and often cut their hair short or shave it entirely whether male or female. However, there is no phenotypic appearance in this bloodline. It is not uncommon for practitioners to have normally medically explainable changes in their pupil size during use of Cascading Genjutsu
The Etanaru Shifuku is a method of sustaining multiple long term genjutsu at once. The procedures in using this technique require lots of patience, and extensive amounts of time to move from one layer to another. The practice and training of which requires generations of knowledge, and co-dependence on other trained genjutsu users. Anyone with genjutsu abilities can learn this technique, however it is incredibly obtuse, and unable to be documented by paper. One must be taught with oral tradition and practice under those who can use it. It is very much something you must innately feel to use.
The Etanaru Shifuku at early depths is quite simple. Being trapped in a single genjutsu is the first step. The caster can overlap, and trigger more genjutsu upon the participant’s brain. This is a very delicate process, the more genjutsu one layers. A simple singular genjutsu casted by a novice often only affects one part of the brain. The Etanaru Shifuku uses incredibly delicate control to use multiple techniques at once and touch many parts of one's brain.
A complicated genjutsu may mimic many of the lower to middle stages of the Etanaru Shifuku. However, normal genjutsu cannot be sustained and as reliably manipulated at the Etanaru Shifuku. The Etanaru Shifuku was developed for scholarly use, and therefore allows much more meditative and trance-like focus that a traditional genjutsu user will never get to practice. Not having to focus on life and death where adrenaline is flowing allows a user to dedicate their entire being to maintaining the complex web of genjutsus.
Cascading genjutsu is a delicate dance that happens over time, and isn't suited for direct combat. Firstly, one needs to be in immediate physical distance of their target. Secondly, when reaching medium to higher stages of the genjutsu, there are more complications that leave the user very vulnerable. Third, to go beyond standard genjutsu one must modify their own sense of self and perception to keep totally focused and committed to the trance-like state. This state of immense flow and meditation has been called "self genjutsu."
This is one of the many reasons this technique is dangerous and must be learned while supervised. An inexperienced user may become so absorbed, and so oblivious to everything that they pose a danger to their subject and themselves. While it is not murderously dangerous, it is not uncommon for one to have seizures, black out, or have temporary memory loss after use or while learning. In more extreme cases users inadvertently lock themselves into comas and must be physically isolated from their volunteer or run out of chakra.
Because of this immensely complex process, high levels of Cascading Genjutsu leave the user almost completely comatose. Those willing to practice the higher layers often rely on others to pull them out of their own genjutsu. By necessity higher levels of the Etanaru Shifuku require more and more control of their environment. In many recordings experts of this practice can set up immaculate conditions, only to have their trance be interrupted by the most inconsequential of stimuli. Many have tried to adapt this process to combative uses, but for obvious reasons have failed.
This technique cannot be used on large groups of people. Normal genjutsu is the only effective means of multiple target genjutsu.
- Purple Phase
The stages of Etanaru Shifuku are not individual jutsus in of of themselves, but rather categorical and definable levels of this technique. A plethora of genjutsu can be used to induce these sensations. What matters more is the process in how they are layered and webbed together. In this way it is considered to be almost clinical.
Etanaru Shifuku Stage 1: D-rank Genjutsu
This step in the web of layers is simple. It is meant to bring a subject from total alert consciousness to moderate relaxation. Most shinobi with basic genjutsu skills are capable of doing this with minimal training. This sensation can be achieved by lay people by many means, however it is necessary to use genjutsu to take this process deeper. This is usually started with a singular genjutsu.
Etanaru Shifuku Stage 2: C-rank Genjutsu
This stage is often described as a restful and willful sleep. The target will only respond to more intense stimuli such as moderate pain and stern vocalizations. This is where the sense self begins to become more vague, and people often describe floating or losing a sense of physical self. This is comparable to high levels of common fatigue and exhaustion. By now the caster is cautiously adding more and more simultaneous genjutsu.
Etanaru Shifuku Stage 3: C or B rank Genjutsu
The participant is still capable of responding to clear and loud voices, and will respond to strong physical pain. At this point one is considered to be in a middle layered Etanaru Shifuku. Should they voluntarily submit to the genjutsu and keep their eyes resting they will experience vivid dreams like sensory hallucinations. Those with the inability to control anxiety may find themselves panicked. This stage can be achieved by skilled genjutsu artists. By this point the target has gone through many genjutsu triggers. The user by now is in a moderate trance, and with practice reliably rouse themselves.
Etanaru Shifuku Stage 4: A-rank Genjutsu
This is the highest level of acceptable, safe, and ethical use of this technique. As this technique is complex, people may experience this stage briefly or by benign volition in stage three. However, to induce it against a troubled patient one needs expert level skill. The caster is nearly as comatose as the patient, and may hallucinate themselves. This level of the Etanaru Shifuku deatches the recipient entirely from physical sensations of self and the environment around them. There are dedicated practices and procedures to rousing a patient at this level. Few can reliably maintain this level for very long.
Etanaru Shifuku Stage 5: S-rank Genjutsu
This is considered too far, losing self control, and deeply immoral. It is largely unstudied as it results in the death of the user and the participant frequently. Those who live through this experience often seem more hollow, or not quite themselves anymore. As such it is a forbidden stage, and to intentionally seek it would bring the law, and the vengeance of the Mayaku upon you.