Why are there 9 Hashira in Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba?

Key facts

There are nine Hashira in the Demon Slayer Corps and there is a reason why the number is nine.

This article is for those who:

> want to know why there are nine Hashira
> want to know how Hashira is selected
> look for the basic information on Hashira

What does Hashira mean?

Hashira “” literally means pillar. In the Demon Slayer Corps the highest ranked members are called Hashira

Swordsmen who are of lower rank may be killed at frightening rate, but the Hashira are the ones sustaining the Demon Slayer Corps.

Reference: Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Comic, Vol.6, Chapter 45

Why are there nine Hashira?

Nine Hashira appear at the end of Episode 21 of the Tanjiro Kamado Unwavering Resolve Arc and the fact that Giyu Tomioka was the Water Hashira is also revealed here. The insect Hashira Shinobu Kocho attempted to kill Nezuko but Giyu Tomioka prevented this. The Master Kagaya Ubuyashiki decides to hold a Hashira meeting (Chugo Kaigi “柱合会議”) to settle the situation.

Giyu Tomioka already appears in the beginning of the story. The related article is here:

The reason why there are “nine” Hashira is that the Kanji character for Hashira consists of nine strokes.

Nine strokes of the Kanji character for Hashira
Y’s Crow
Y’s Crow

In Shinto “神道”, one of the religions in Japan, the word Hashira is used to count Gods, e.g. Three Hashira of God.
To know more about Shinto, visit this website: Association of Shinto Shrines

In Japan Head of Family is called Daikokubashira “大黒. The word Hashira is used here as well. So in general Hashira is someone who is respected. This might also be one of the reasons why the word Hashira was selected to express the highest ranked swordsmen.

Nine Hashira

The Hashira is named as: the name of breathing technique + Hashira. In Episode 21 and 22 of the anime Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, all nine Hashira appear:

HashiraNameColor of Nichirin Blade
水柱 The Water HashiraGiyu TomiokaLight blue
蟲柱 The Insect HashiraShinobu KochoBluish grey
炎柱 The Flame HashiraKyojuro RengokuRed
音柱 The Sound HashiraTengen UzuiYellowish orange
恋柱 The Love HashiraMitsuri KanrojiPink
霞柱 The Mist HashiraMuichiro TokitoWhite
岩柱 The Rock HashiraGyomei HimejimaGrey
風柱 The Wind HashiraSanemi ShinazugawaGreen
蛇柱 The Snake HashiraObanai IguroBluish purple

In the past there were also Hashira who used other breathing techniques. Jigoro Kuwajima, who trained Zenitsu Agatsuma was the Thunder Hashira (“鳴柱”). Kanae Kocho, the elder sister of Shinobu Kocho, was using Flower Breathing and was the Flower Hashira (“花柱”).

Y’s Crow
Y’s Crow

the Nichirin Blades of the Insect Hashira and the Snake Hashira are “bluish” color, as the Insect Breathing and the Snake Breathing are derived from the Water Breathing.

The breathing techniques are explained in the following article:

Nichirin Blade of Hashira

Nichirin Blade of Hashira has four Kanji characters engraved near the handguard: 悪鬼滅殺. It is pronounced as “Akki Messatsu” and means “Kill evil demons”.

Replica of Nichirin Blade Kyojuro Rengoku

For more explanation on Nichirin Blade, see the related article:

Rank engraved on the back of the hand

Image: Rank on the back of the hand (The Love Hashira)

In the case of Hashira, how the rank is shown on the back of the hand is also different. Instead of the rank “Hashira (柱)” itself, the name of the breathing technique shows up. For example, the Love Hashira should have the kanji character for “Love (恋)” engraved.

Y’s Crow
Y’s Crow

There are nine Hashira, as the Kanji character for Hashira “” consists of nine stroke. Everything is considered very well.

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