How Did Tanjiro Become So Strong In Demon Slayer? Explaining The Secret Power Of The Kamado Family

We explain how Yoriichi’s fated meeting with Tanjiro’s ancestor helped paved the way for Tanjiro to save the world from Muzan!

KIMETSU NO YAIBA © 2016 by Koyoharu Gotouge/SHUEISHA Inc.

Warning: The following article contains major spoilers from Demon Slayer manga. Read ahead at your own discretion!

Be it from training like our boy Luffy, by destiny like Naruto, or a mix of both like Ichigo…

It’s a tale as old as time in shounen anime that the protagonist must have an overpowered technique that will take their enemies down.

All Brought to you by the power of FLASHBACKS…

We learn in chapter 40 that even Tanjiro has such an ability that could scare THE demon lord Kibutsuji Muzan into running away too!

Yes, this is a power that’s a special secret dating back centuries in the Kamado family passed on by none other than the most BROKEN OP Demon Slayer EVER….

This ultimate power was none other than his connection to the past, allowing him to inherit some badass earrings, a cool looking scar and the most powerful technique in existence – SUN BREATHING.

(Demon Slayer chapter 40)

Despite being the STRONGEST breathing style, only a rare few can or dare use it, but since TANJIRO has plot on his side, he unlocks it bit by bit!

What set Tanjiro apart from the other demon slayers, primarily started in chapter 40 while he was on the verge of death against the lower fifth moon, Rui.

Tanjiro’s memories flashed in front of his eyes and he remembered his father, Tanjuro, performing Hinokami Kagura. He didn’t quite have full memory of what this signified, but he still used it as a last resort.

And so, for the very first time, Tanjiro tapped into Sun Breathing’s first form, Dance, to attack Rui.

But, his body wasn’t adapted to such overwhelming power. Using it even once took a massive toll on Tanjiro, leaving him unable to lift as much as a finger just from sheer exhaustion.

While he failed to exterminate Rui with this, Tanjiro realized that his true strength lay in Hinokami Kagura instead of Water Breathing. However, he had a huge roadblock to face further: nobody seemed to know anything about it!

Yet Tanjiro didn’t give up. Judging that Flame Breathing must be close to what he remembered, Tanjiro pinned his hopes of uncovering secrets onto Rengoku, the fire Hashira.

Much to Tanjiro’s dismay, Rengoku had no clue about his breathing style, even saying that it was his first time hearing it. It almost seemed like a dead technique, yet Rengoku was delighted that Tanjiro applied his father’s dance to his fighting.

Rengoku directed him to his father, Shinjuro, who was the former Flame Hashira, after further developing his Hinokami Kagura in the Mugen Train arc.

In his rage over his sons death, Shinjuro notices Tanjiro’s Hanafuda earrings  and angrily asks him if he’s a wielder of Sun Breathing, which just confuses Tanjiro as he didn’t know Hinokami Kagura was akin to that.

(Demon Slayer chapter 68)

Shinjuro felt that Tanjiro was at the Rengoku family house to mock them, which stemmed from reading the chronicles of the past Flame Hashira. In these notes, Sun Breathing was described as the original and most powerful breathing style.

He felt that the other styles were “cheap imitations” of Sun Breathing, which meant Tanjiro was stronger than the son he had just lost.

Well, thanks to this miscommunication, Tanjiro uncovered some very valuable information about the relationship between the Hinokami Kagura and Sun Breathing.

He began training his body, getting used to the unprecedented burnout slowly, even fighting with this breathing technique in the Entertainment district arc. As he was incorporating more of it in his fights, Tanjiro’s scar was also developing into another form, resembling that of the legendary samurai.

In fact, even Tanjiro’s father had a similar scar on his head, implying that practicing Hinokami Kagura earned the people of the Kamado family the demon slayer scars, unknowingly. After all, they spent year after year learning and performing it, similar to training, and their ancestors resonated with their children over generations.

But it was in his most crucial fight against Muzan that Tanjiro learned the true nature of Hinokami Kagura. He gains access to his ancestor, Sumiyoshi’s memories, and realizes that the original Sun Breathing is quite different from the ones he had been using.

These memories took us and Tanjiro all the way back to the STRONGEST SAMURAI EVER: Yoriichi Tsugikuni!

Though he seemed like a mere samurai from a thousand years ago, Yoriichi was the first to instill deep fear in the near-immortal Muzan. Yoriichi nearly killed him long before Tanjiro tried.

Muzan was a global menace and the source of Yoriichi’s anguish after the death of his wife and unborn child. To kill Muzan, Yoriichi perfected the Sun Breathing style, which he had developed in childhood.

Blessed with a red mark on his forehead, Yoriichi could access the “transparent world,” seeing everything with x-ray vision. This ability allowed him to detect his mother’s illness and later create a breathing style that gave him a significant advantage over others. He could see muscle movements and energy flow, perfecting his swordsmanship and predicting his opponents’ attacks.

Yoriichi was seen as the embodiment of divine will, destined to kill Muzan and restore natural order. His mark could resonate with others, giving them similar powers but shortening their lifespans.

After joining the Demon Slayer Corps, Yoriichi tried teaching his techniques but modified Sun Breathing into other styles to suit different swordsmen’s strengths. Only his twin brother developed a separate style, Moon Breathing. However, none were as powerful as Sun Breathing, and Yoriichi couldn’t pass it on to his family, who had died.

His encounter with Muzan awakened a new purpose in Yoriichi, realizing his existence with the mark was solely to defeat Muzan.

The demon king almost dismissed Yoriichi as just another swordsman with breathing but, he had no idea who he was up against because he tasted the reality of death at Yoriichi’s hands!

Yoriichi gained full insight into Muzan’s body, discovering his seven hearts and five brains that constantly shifted, making him nearly invincible to ordinary samurai.

However, Yoriichi was no ordinary samurai. Combining all his forms into one devastating attack, he overpowered Muzan, preventing him from regenerating. Despite this, a few remnants of Muzan escaped, allowing him to survive.

This encounter left Muzan terrified, prompting him to command his demons to eliminate all Sun Breathing users and be cautious of a demon slayer with Hanafuda earrings. Tragically, before Yoriichi could confront Muzan again, he was banished from the Demon Slayer Corps.

With nowhere else to turn, Yoriichi sought refuge with the Kamado family. Yes, the iconic Tanjiro’s lineage stretches back to the legendary demon slayer and samurai lord!

After saving Tanjiro’s ancestor Sumiyoshi, Yoriichi formed a close bond with the family, finding solace with them. He shared his regrets and demonstrated the Sun Breathing techniques for Sumiyoshi’s wife, Su-yako, while Sumiyoshi watched and memorized every move.

During a visit, Yoriichi gave Sumiyoshi his Hanafuda earrings, signaling a final farewell. As he left, Sumiyoshi reassured Yoriichi of his worth, despite his perceived failures. The Kamado family promised to preserve the Sun Breathing form, creating the Hinokami Kagura dance to honor Yoriichi.

This “dance” mimicked Sun Breathing techniques, allowing practitioners to move tirelessly from sunset to sunrise. The technique, along with the Hanafuda earrings, was passed down through generations, becoming a Kamado family heirloom.

Yoriichi’s special mark, granting access to the transparent world, subtly transferred to Sumiyoshi and eventually appeared as a faded scar on Tanjiro’s forehead. This mark, an early form of the demon slayer mark, evolved through Tanjiro’s battles, allowing him to resonate with and pass it to other demon slayers.

The Kamado family’s relationship with Yoriichi ultimately saved the world by preserving his Hanafuda earrings, Sun Breathing technique, and the demon slayer mark.

Demon Slayer: The Demon Slayer Mark Mystery

This face foreshadowed what would happen in the Infinity Castle arc, as Tanjiro finally took down Muzan and fulfilled Yoriichi’s wishes, despite being tested with demon lord powers.

He stuck with the Sun Breathing and the power of love in exchange for human blood. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how Tanjiro became the NEW SUN-BREATHING HASHIRA (or at least to that level).