Taisho Secret: Yellow and Red Hair of The Flame Hashira Kyojuro Rengoku


Many of you have seen The Movie: Mugen Train. After the movie Kyojuro Rengoku has become so popular and in Japan we started seeing people walking in Rengoku costume. If we want to buy goods with the motif of Kyojuro Rengoku, we have to pay a premium. This tendency continues until now. Many people were moved by his way of thinking and his way of life.
Haven’t you ever wondered why Kyojuro Rengoku’s hair is yellow and red? It is not because of genetic inheritance.

This article is for those who

>want to know the facts of Rengoku House
>want to know how the hair color of Rengoku family turns yellow and red

The Flame Hashira Kyojuro Rengoku

Let’s first look at the personal data of Kyojuro Rengoku.

Personal data
Date of birth: May 10
Place of birth: Sakurashinmachi, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
Height and Weight: 177cm 72kg
Acquired technique: Flame breathing
Hobby: Watching Noh (能), Kabuki (歌舞伎), and Sumo (相撲)

Kyojuro Rengoku was born as the first child of a distinguished family which has been producing the Flame Hashira for generations. Since his mother Ruka (瑠火)passed away, he lives with his father Shinjuro (槇寿郎) and younger brother Senjuro (千寿郎). His mantle “Haori (羽織)” with the pattern of Flame is the symbol of the Flame Hashira, which is inherited in his family. Only the Flame Hashira is allowed to wear this mantle.
Kyojuro is cheerful, openhearted and caring. The physical and mental strength which he has obtained by extensive training can be ranked high even among Hashira (Reference: Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Fan Book 1, Shueisha). He is sharp and can quickly make appropriate decisions.

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Vol. 8, by Koyoharu Gotouge (SHUEISHA)

To learn more about the pattern of the clothes of Demon Slayers, see related article:

On the Mugen Train Kyojuro gave appropriate instructions to Tanjiro, Inosuke, Zenitsu, and Nezuko and saved the lives of more than 200 passengers. When the Upper 3 Demon Akaza showed up, he protected others with his life. His famous word “Set your heart ablaze” continues lighting a fire in the heart of Tanjiro and helping him take hold of victory. Kyojuro was 20 years old.

Facts on Rengoku House

As mentioned in the previous section, Rengoku House has been producing demon slayers for generations. It is clear from multiple scenes of the anime. In Episode 1 of the Mugen Train Arc, Kyojuro Rengoku says that he has succeeded his father and is hunting demons. In Episode 7, he says that in his old residence “there are notes left by previous flame Hashira.”

Y’s Crow
Y’s Crow

In Episode 1 of the Mugen Train Arc we can see what brought Kyojuro Rengoku to get on the Mugen Train. This episode is only available in the anime. Even the original manga does not contain this episode.

In his childhood Kyojuro was learning swordsmanship from his father Shinjuro. However, after his wife Ruka passed away, Shinjuro drowned his sorrows in alcohol, stopped teaching his sons and quit the position of Flame Hashira. Kyojuro read the instructions of the Flame Breathing techniques consisting of only three volumes and became the Flame Hashira

Those who watched the Mugen Train Arc might have noticed that the residence of Rengoku is big and has a spacious garden. Demon Slayers receives salary from the Master Ubuyashiki and especially the rewards paid to Hashira is high.  

Y’s Crow
Y’s Crow

Now you know why Kyojuro Rengoku could buy big amount of lunch boxes in the Mugen Train Arc.

Rengoku Vol. 0

Rengoku Vol.0

I am not sure how it is in your country, but in Japan a small present is sometimes distributed when we go to watch a movie in the cinema. In the case of the Movie: Mugen Train a booklet called “Rengoku Zero-kan (煉獄零巻)” meaning “Rengoku Vol. 0” was handed over to the visitors. The booklet contains a manga story of the time when Kyojuro Rengoku just joined the Demon Slayer Corps. The story is written and illustrated by Koyoharu Gotouge herself. When we see Kyojuro Rengoku in the anime for the first time, he is already a Hashira. The booklet is named Vol. 0, as it contains the story of his first mission as a demon slayer.

Ceremony of Kankagari

In addition to Kyojuro’s first mission, Rengoku Vol. 0 contains some background information known as “Taisho Secrets”. One of them is about Kyojuro Rengoku’s hair color. In the Movie Mugen Train Kyojuro dreams of the past. In the dream we see his father Shinjuro and younger brother Senjuro with the same hair color as Kyojuro. It looks like that the hair color is because of genetic inherritance. But actually it isn’t.

Q. Why do the male family members of Rengoku House have such hair colors?
A. Rengoku House has a custom called “Kankagari (観篝)” meaning “watching fire” from long ago. Wives who got pregnant watch a big bonfire for 2 hours at intervals of 7 days throughout their pregnancy period. By doing so, the hair color of boys becomes that of flame. But in general watching a big fire during pregnancy is not good for mothers’ health, so please do not imitate it.

Taisho Secret, Rengoku Vol. 0

People from Rengoku House have red eyes including Kyojuro’s mother Ruka Rengoku. Most likely it is because of the “Kankagari” custom as well.

Kyojuro’s interpretation of his hair color

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – Stories of Water and Flame” (by Ryoji Hirano), Shueisha

Was Kyojuro aware of the “Kankagari” custom? The answer seems to be “No”. In the manga “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – Stories of Water and Flame” (by Ryoji Hirano), which is a supplementary book of the original, Kyojuro says that his family has this hair color for generations and thinks that his ancestors should have eaten a lot of Shrimp Tempura. As his mother passed away when he was a child, probably he did not have the chance to hear about “Kankagari“.

Y’s Crow
Y’s Crow

Tempura (天麩羅) is Japanese traditional cuisine consisting of seafood or vegetables that have been battered and deep fried.

Shrimp Tempura… yes, indeed they look like the hair of Kyojuro Rengoku.

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