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Biographical information

Fire Nation


c.30 AG

Physical description


Hair color


Eye color


Personal information

Kai Hin, Fire Lord Sozin, Afiko, Gizu


Izuma, Jiroh, Kuzon, Taro

Chronological and political information

Scholar, Military Engineer, Government Official


War Minister


Fire Nation

First appearance

Enemies and Traitors Chapter 7: Opportunities


Early Life and Fire Nation Civil War

Shunkai was born to a minor noble family in the Fire Nation Capital. He was identified as a child prodigy at a young age, and was installed as an attendant to Fire Lord Genzai before he was fifteen. Shunkai did not have many real responsibilities, but Genzai delighted in the novelty toys and contraptions he built. However, Shunkai was very uncrupulous. When Genzai died and the Fire Nation Civil War broke out, Shunkai at first feigned loyalty to Genzai's named heir Izuma, but later defected to Kai Hin's side, taking valuable military intelligence with him. While serving under Kai Hin, Shunkai developed a method of powering mechanical items with steam. However, before Kai Hin's army found a practical application for this technology Avatar Roku joined Izuma's side and defeated Kai Hin. Shunkai was tried as a war criminal and thrown in jail for twenty-one years.

Sozin's War

When Sozin formulated his plan to attack the airbenders using the comet's power, he realized he would need cutting-edge technology to reach their mountain temples. Knowing of Shunkai's steam-power designes, Sozin plucked him out of jail and offered the scholar his freedom and a pardon if Shunkai could design artillery that met Sozin's requirements. Forunately for Shunkai, he succeeded. The result was the Fire Nation Tundra Tank.

As the build-up to the war progressed, Sozin kept Shunkai in his retinue to oversee the production of these tanks. He also helped design the navy's steam-powered ships. Because Shunkai had been an enemy of his parents, Sozin at first kept him at arm's length, but eventually Shunkai became one of Sozin's closest advisors and Sozin gave him the title of War Minister. Shunkai was the first to hold that title. The story given by Sozin's propaganda said that Shunkai was a reformed traitor who had realized the error of his ways and only wanted to make amends and serve his country.

Later Life

Shunkai died sometime during Sozin's rule. It is likely he retained his position as War Minister until his death.


Shunkai was unscrupuous and arrogant. He was unquestionably a genius of military engineering, but this only facilitated his belief in his own superiority. Shunkai's easy life under Genzai probaby contributed to this sense of entitlement as well. Shunkai was rather cowardly as well, since he chose allies based only on who he thought would come out ahead in a conflict. Consequently, he displayed very little loyalty.


Shunkai was an engineering genius. From an early age he tinkered with mechanical devices and experimented with what were then the limits of science. As he grew older he studied more and increased his knowledge, which eventually led him to develop a technique to power a machine by steam. Shunkai was also rather adept at politics, and managed to remain in Sozin's court for many years.

Behind the Scenes

Shunkai is named after Sibukawa Shunkai, the first official astronomer appointed by the Edo court in Tokugawa Japan. This was because in an early draft of the story, Scholar Shunkai was an astronomer whom Sozin had to consult in order to use the power of Sozin's Comet. His name is transliterated as 春海, or "chun hai" meaning "spring" and "ocean" respectively.

Preceded by
Position Created
War Minister of the Fire Nation (Enemies and Traitors Continuity)
21 BG-30 AG
Succeeded by
Unknown, eventually Qin

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