What Is The Meaning Behind Tanjiro’s Hanafuda Earrings In Kimetsu No Yaiba?

Kimetsu-no-Yaiba.
Tanjiro perfroming the Hinokami Kagura Image: Ufotable

Kimetsu No Yaiba or Demon Slayer has climbed up the rankings to become one of the top animes in recent years. Its movie “The Mugen Train” has become the highest-grossing Japanese movie to be ever made. If we look at it clearly, then the success of Kimetsu No Yaiba doesn’t seem far-fetched. With a gripping storyline, unique and amazing characters, and not to mention the jaw-dropping animation done by the Ufotable. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that whoever watches this show ends up falling in love with it. However, in my personal opinion, the biggest factor to make any shounen anime tick is the villains.

Like a great writer once said, a good story needs powerful villains. Kimetsu No Yaiba successfully delivers powerful villains, not to mention the ultimate boss Kibutsushi Muzan, the man who killed the protagonist’s entire family and turned his only surviving sister into a demon.

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Kibutsushi Muzan
Image: Ufotable

Everyone who has watched the anime must know that Muzan hates the Demon Slayer Association. It seems obvious they kill demons. However, in the anime, when Tanjiro recognizes Muzan’s odor and pinpoints him, Muzan gets especially terrified of him.

We see him sending his comrades, again and again, to kill the boy with the “Hanafuda Earrings”. In the anime, we saw that as soon as Muzan saw Tanjiro’s earrings, a flashback took place in his mind. We saw Muzan on the ground, injured and broken, and before him stands a man with red hair like Tanjiro’s wearing the same earrings.

Which leads all of us to think Exactly what does Tanjiro’s earrings signify?

The True Meaning Behind Tanjiro’s Earrings In Kimetsu No Yaiba

[SPOILERS]

All those who have watched the anime must have now realized that Tanjiro’s father wasn’t an ordinary man. He is shown to be sickly, but he performed a special dance known as Hinokami Kagura every new year. When a young Tanjiro asks his father how he can move that way in the bitter cold he tells his son he uses a special breathing technique. Which is later on in the manga revealed to be known as the “Breath of the Sun”. 

Now let us move back a bit; remember when Tanjiro got his sword made by Hotaru. He tells him that the children born like Tanjiro with red hair and red eyes are special. They are innately born to have an affinity for fire.

How does this relate to Tanjiro’s Earrings?

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Muzan facing off Yorichii
Image: Ufotable

His earrings are special because only the users of “Breath of The Sun” can wear them. A technique powerful enough to take down Muzan. It is speculated that Muzan killed Tanjiro’s family because he didn’t want this technique to be passed down on to the next generation. He killed Tanjiro’s entire family to eradicate all the descendants and make sure the legacy of “Breath of the sun” ends once and for all. He made sure to make one of the children – Nezuko, in this case, a demon to flaunt his arrogance because he truly believed he was now invincible.

However, when Muzan encounters Tanjiro in the busy streets of Tokyo, he remembers his past, and the fear that he had been suppressing for a long time comes to torment him once again.

Tanjiro’s earrings are also special in a way that not everyone can wear them. The man aside from Tanjiro and Tanjiro’s father who is shown to wear the earrings is named Yoriichi Tsugikuni. Tsugikuni was the only one to wear the earrings. Even though he had an elder brother, only Yorichii got the right to wear them. Similarly, even though Tanjiro had 5 siblings, only he was passed down the earring from his father.

In Conclusion

Tanjiro’s bloodline does play a big part in his growth. However, his undying will and hard work are what make him truly terrifying. The loss of his entire family triggered a fire in his heart, and Muzan’s plan backfired on him Big time. Above all, the Hanafuda earrings symbolize justice, something which Muzan has been evading for a long time.

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An avid science lover with a dream to one day become a popular scientist. I began watching anime when I was 13, my friends forced me to watch attack on titans and from then, there was no turning back. I love watching anime more than anything and I can proudly say that without anime I have no life.