“Starting from now, things are gonna get real flashy!” is the famous line of The Sound Hashira Tengen Uzui. He also looks flashy with his make-up, the jewelry and the bracelets. His showy attitude is closely related to his past as “Shinobi (忍)”, which is also known as “Ninja (忍者)”.
The Sound Hashira Tengen Uzui
Let’s first look at the personal data of Tengen Uzui.
Date of birth: October 31
Place of birth: Unknown
Height and weight: 198cm 95kg
Acquired technique: The Sound Breathing
Hobby: Visiting hot spring spa with his wives
When he appears in the Entertainment District Arc, Tengen Uzui is 23 years old.
Was Tengen Uzui a Shinobi?
During the battle with the Upper Six demons Gyutaro and Daki in the Entertainment District Arc, Tengen Uzui tells about his past:
I’m from a family of SHINOBI. I developed some resistance, so poison won’t work.Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Comic 10, Chapter 87
The SHINOBI went extinct in the Edo era. Don’t lie to us!
replies Daki. Tengen had nine siblings including himself. The family went into decline, and his father, in his panic, forced his children to train intensely. By the time Tengen was 15, seven of them were dead, most likely due to the extreme training in which they had to fight with each other.
About Shinobi (Ninja)
“Shinobi (忍)“, also known as “Ninja (忍者)” literally means a person who is hiding. The 15th and 16th centuries of Japan was in the “Sengoku Period (戦国時代)” in which civil wars between feudal lords “Daimyo (大名)” took place continuously. Shinobi were covert agents or warfare experts who worked for feudal lords and were responsible for spying, exploration to obtain information on enemy forces, subversive activities, assassination and bodyguarding.
Shinobi as specially trained warriors appeared in the 15th century, although its antecedents existed already in the 6th century. It is considered that the “Shotoku Prince (聖徳太子)” used spies in the war.
When the Tokugawa Shogunate started ruling Japan in the Edo era, peace returned to the land and the roles of Ninja also changed. They worked as security guards of the Edo Castle or worked for feudal lords of different regions to maintain the public order.
In many TV programs and movies we see Ninjas climbing over a wall and jumping from one roof to the other. These depictions are roughly correct. It is said that an average Ninja could jump a distance of >5 meters and a height of >2.5 meters. Many Ninjas were trained from childhood. They started jumping out of a shallow hole and made the hole deeper little by little every day. Or they jumped over plants which grew very fast every day.
Ninjas could also jump from a height of 15 meters without being injured. To do this they made a parachute from a large cloth to minimize the impact of landing. Due to the hard training every day, Ninjas were also mentally tough. They did not have fears and could keep themselves cool when they had to deal with difficult situations.
Many of you might have the image that Ninjas wore a black suit. In fact, they wore dark blue or dark brown clothes more often. These colors were even more inconspicuous thus favorable. The clothes were lightweight and stress free. It had many hidden pockets to protect vital spots. In the front pocket at the left chest, Ninjas often put an iron Shuriken (See the next section) to protect their heart.
The cloth which covered Ninja’s head was also used as a rope or for the first aid of the injured part.
The well known pose of Shinobi (Ninja) means “Sheathe a sword”. This pose was used when they needed to calm down their emotion.
Ninja mastered the use of different weapons: Shuriken (手裏剣), sword, Kunai (クナイ), bomb. They also developed poison.
Probably the most famous weapon of Ninja is the Shuriken. There were different types. The diameter was around 10 centimeters and the weight was often between 60 and 100 grams. It was often used in an emergency situation e.g. when they were discovered by the enemy and had to escape, they shot the Shuriken to make time. Sometimes they put some poison on the surface of the Shuriken to maximize the damage.
Tengen Uzui uses a kind of small bomb to increase the damage on demons. During the battle with Gyutaro, one of the wives of Tengen Uzui throws Kunai (Ninja knife) with poison from wisteria flower on its surface and tries to cause damages on Gyutaro. Tengen Uzui uses Ninja’s techniques in addition to the impressive two-swords fencing.
Three Wives of Tengen Uzui
Tengen Uzui has three wives: Suma, Makio, and Hinatsuru. All of them are trained as female Shinobi called “Kunoichi“. Why is a female Shinobi called Kunoichi? There are several explanations, but what we hear most often is that the name comes from how a “woman” is written in Kanji. A “woman” is written as “女”. If we decompose the character:
The female Shinobi “Kunoichi” did exist. Women were usually not suspected, so they could be employed as maids and easily collect the information on the enemies. Three wives of Tengen Uzui entered the Entertainment District as maids to collect the information on the demons and were suspected by Daki.
By the way, the polygamy in Japan was prohibited in the Meiji era, which is before the Taisho period. However, Shinobi are somebody who is hiding. It is not so strange if the tradition of polygamy was remaining among Shinobi families. In the family of Tengen Uzui, when a male child turns 15 years old, they got three wives selected by the head of the family. Actually Suma’s younger sister had been selected, but Suma cried loudly and won the place.
I hope that you enjoyed the story of Ninja. As Shinobi Tengen Uzui had to hide himself for a long time and it was so frustrating for him that he started liking FLASHY.