Demon Slayer: Tanjiro’s Hanafuda earrings explained

Demon Slayer: Tanjiro’s Hanafuda earrings explained

Tanjiro’s Hanafuda earrings are a family heirloom in Demon Slayer, but they have a lot of significance in the anime series. Here’s what we know about the iconic items.

Demon Slayer is one of the most popular anime and manga series among new-gen Shonen. The story is set in a world where man-eating demons hide in the shadows and attack in the dead of night. These demons are immensely powerful, possessing regenerative abilities, and some can even use Blood Demon Art.

The protagonist, Tanjiro, is on a mission to defeat the demon progenitor, Muzan Kibutsuji, and find a way to turn his sister back into a human. However, as soon as Muzan laid his eyes on Tanjiro’s earrings, he considered him his mortal enemy.

It reminds him of his old nemesis, Yoriichi Tsugikuni. Considering the connection between Yoriichi and the Kamado bloodline, the earrings hold a lot of historical value.

Tanjiro’s Hanafuda earrings significance in Japanese culture

Demon Slayer has a classical theme with lots of references to Japanese culture, and Tanjiro’s Hanafuda earrings are no different.

Demon Slayer: Tanjiro’s Hanafuda earrings explained

In Japanese, Hanafuda means “playing cards.” They are colorfully decorated, and the patterns are often symmetrical, though that’s not always the case. Originally, Hanafuda earrings are made to resemble flowers, nature, and even the “Rising Sun.” Tanjiro’s earrings are similar to those of playing cards but not exactly identical.

Tanjiro’s Hanafuda earrings show a flower, but the design is such that they could be reminiscent of the Japanese imperial flag, which predates the current Japanese flag. The pattern is also similar to a rising sun, which has links to the old imperial flag used during the Second World War.

This is also a reason Demon Slayer has been controversial in some Asian countries such as South Korea and China. Nonetheless, “sun” is a critical part of the story, so this symbolism actually makes sense.

Why are Tanjiro’s Hanafuda earrings important in Demon Slayer?

Since he had no descendants, Yoriichi passed not only his earrings to his friend, Tanjiro’s ancestor, but also handed down the Sun Breathing technique.

Demon Slayer: Tanjiro’s Hanafuda earrings explained

Tanjiro’s ancestors passed down the legacy to his descendants, and the Kamada family continued it for centuries. Finally, a time came when Tanjiro inherited that legacy.

Yoriichi is the strongest demon slayer in history, someone Muzan Kibutsuji fears to this day. He created the Sun Breathing Technique, from which all other breathing techniques originate. The Sengoku Era was the golden era of demon slayers because he provided humans the only chance to fight back against those demons.


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Muzan barely escaped during their battle, which was Yoriichi’s biggest regret in life. His pregnant wife eventually died due to a demon attack, leaving him no family at all. Because of that, Tanjiro’s family inherited the earrings and the Sun Breathing technique, making them powerful but also putting them at odds with Muzan.

Demon Slayer Season 4 will premiere this Spring, featuring the Hashira Training Arc. We have a list of the best anime like Demon Slayer, if you want other great anime to watch. Or, you can look ahead to shows like Jujutsu Kaisen Season 3 and One Punch Man Season 3.

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