|Relatives||Unnamed Father (Deceased)|
Ai Enma (Cousin, Love Interest)
Ai's Father (Uncle)
Ai's Mother (Aunt)
Hajime Shibata (Descendant)
|Anime Debut||Jigoku Shoujo versus Jigoku Shounen|
|Japanese Voice Actors||Toshiyuki Toyonaga|
|English Voice Actors||Jason Liebrecht|
Sentarō Shibata was Ai Enma's older cousin and was one of the people who were present at her burial.
Sentarō was a young man with shoulder-length, dark hair which he kept in a ponytail. He wore traditional Japanese clothes of the feudal era.
Sentarō cared a lot for Ai and would stick up for her when they were children. Sentarō could not understand why the other children bullied her. He even went as far as to place his cousin's life above the wants of his village at the urging of her parents. He was quite a cheerful person and would sing along with Ai to cheer her up. He did all these things and more because he deeply cared for Ai, including being romantically attached to her - a feeling that Ai shared with him too. However, the two of them never openly reveal their feelings of love; the villagers discover them together as Ai is about to discuss her feelings while Sentarō suggests they leave the area together.
Unfortunately, Sentarō ultimately lacks the courage to share Ai's fate. He cannot stand up to the villagers, though to be fair, there is little he could do to stop them at that point. He complies when ordered to begin shoveling the dirt over Ai as she scream to him to save her. Given his age and situation, it may seem unfair to judge him; however, Ai clearly feels betrayed by him, and she carries her grudge throughout the first season of the anime.
Sentarō and Ai grew up together and he would always protect her from the children who bullied her for being strange, occasionally getting into fights with them. When Ai was chosen to be sacrificed by exposure to the Mountain God to bring a good harvest, Ai's parents begged Sentarō to hide her in the mountains and help provide for her. He collaborated with Ai's parents and together they managed to sneak Ai away on the night of the ceremony.
About six years passed, and Sentarō continued to head into the mountains to bring Ai food and keep her company, often singing to keep her spirits up. One day, he even suggested that they both run away from the village. During the six years, the village crops failed and the villagers faced starvation. On the day Sentarō suggested they run away as Ai started to confess her feeling for him, villagers who suspected Sentarō saved her since he frequently traveled at night to the mountain, followed him and capture the both of them. Ai and her parents were bludgeoned and placed in a pit as the villagers prayed that the mountain deity forgive the village. The villagers and his father then demanded that Sentarō must start burying her. As his tears strike her cheek, Ai became conscious and pleaded for his help. Fearing for his and his families' lives, Sentarō started shoveling in the dirt. As the villagers join in, Ai vowed she would curse them all even after her death.
Later that night, Sentarō awoke then decided to flee the village. Some distance away, he heard cries and turned to see fire in the distance. He returns to a hill over-looking the village to find the village on fire. He sees Ai laughing as she points to homes that then burst into flames. He flees, laughing himself.Years later, he built the "Temple of the Seven" for the souls of the sacrificed children including Ai. The kanji is 寺童七 which Hajime reads out-loud as "Shichidōji." Technically, the kanji appears to read in reverse: ji-dō-shichi, but in the past the Japanese wrote from right to left horizontally for such signs. Nevertheless, Ai effectively rejects Sentarō's apology by destroying the temple. When Tsugumi asks Hajimie
why she destroyed it, he starts to respond, "Enma Ai . . ."--閻魔あいは--pauses, then concludes, "no, it's nothing"--いいえ、なんでもない."
- Sentarō and Hajime bear close resemblance to each other, despite being 400 years apart.