Tanjuro Kamado… you are… the father!
At first glance, the similarity between Tanjiro and Tanjuro’s names might make one exclaim, “Aha! Father and son, case closed.” But then, as Sumiyoshi, Kokushibo, and Yoriichi join the mix, anyone does a double-take, but we absolutely understand the collective head-scratching over the uncanny resemblance among the four characters. Indeed, they seem to have visited the same barber but all four have their differences beyond their likes.
Tanjuro Kamado – The Father
Tanjuro Kamado, the father of the Kamado family, makes his initial appearance in episode 1 of the anime series. He is introduced as the loving father of Tanjiro and Nezuko setting the stage for the deep familial ties that pervade the series. Strikingly, Tanjuro and his son Tanjiro share a strong physical resemblance. This is most evident in the characteristic birthmarks on their foreheads.
Tanjuro, and Tanjiro have identical facial features, including the shape and color of their eyes, eyebrows, nose, and gentle, compassionate smile. Even their hair color, a mix of black and red, stands as a testament to their shared heritage.
Digging deeper into their characters, the two share more than just physical traits; their personalities are uncannily alike. Tanjuro is depicted as a devoted, accountable, and protective father who toils tirelessly to provide for his family. Despite battling illness, he exemplifies a remarkable spirit of strength and resilience that speaks volumes about his tenacity. These admirable attributes find a reflection in his son, Tanjiro, who is similarly characterized by his compassion, hard work, and protectiveness, particularly towards his sister, Nezuko.
Most notably, the bond between Tanjuro and Tanjiro extends into their abilities. Tanjuro was a master of the “Dance of the Fire God,” a distinct breathing technique passed down through generations of the Kamado family. This technique proves pivotal in Tanjiro’s circumstances against demons, encapsulating the spiritual connection between father and son. As Tanjiro adopts and eventually masters this technique, he not only exhibits the potential he inherited from his father but also carries forward Tanjuro’s legacy, symbolizing his commitment to preserving the values and traditions of his family.
Sumiyoshi – The Great Ancestor
First introduced in the Swordsmith Village Arc of the Demon Slayer anime, Sumiyoshi holds a significant position in the series as Tanjiro’s ancestor. With a striking resemblance to Tanjiro, Sumiyoshi’s presence serves as an anchor to the Kamado family’s lineage. Their similarities are far from superficial, extending from their facial structure, eye shape, and hair type. In comparison to Tanjiro, Sumiyoshi sports longer hair, neatly tied into a ponytail, and lacks the distinctive birthmark that Tanjiro possesses. Moreover, their wardrobes mirror each other. Sumiyoshi wears a white Nagajuban and light, short Tobi pants. However, Sumiyoshi often wears his Kimono fully closed, contrasting with Tanjiro’s open style.
The parallels between Sumiyoshi and Tanjiro are not confined to their physical appearance. They share striking similarities in their personalities as well. Sumiyoshi is depicted as an individual of high moral standing, exemplifying virtues such as generosity, humility, and a perennially radiant smile. These admirable traits are same in Tanjiro’s character, hinting that these qualities are not just byproducts of Tanjiro’s personal evolution, but also form an integral part of the Kamado family.
At the core of their connection lies the Sun Breathing technique, a crucial ability within the series. Sumiyoshi acquired this technique through diligent observation of Yoriichi Tsugikuni, a legendary demon slayer and a close friend. Over the years, he honed this technique, which was subsequently passed down through successive generations of the Kamado family, with Tanjiro being its last known practitioner. This shared ability serves as a common thread linking Sumiyoshi and Tanjiro in terms of their skills.
Kokushibo – The Upper Moon One Demon
Although not linked by direct blood relations, Kokushibo, the renowned Upper Moon One demon, shares a striking connection with Tanjiro Kamado, a connection that extends beyond their physical similarities. Both characters bear a unique demon slayer mark on their foreheads, a feature that has sparked curiosity among fans. This shared characteristic, however, doesn’t suggest a blood relation or direct resemblance. Instead, it is more closely associated with their shared experiences in training as great demon slayers.
Examining their physical attributes, both have a unique blend of black and red hair. However, Kokushibo sports a ponytail. Their demon slayer marks further highlight their parallelism, prominently displayed on their foreheads, but with Kokushibo also bearing an additional mark extending from his neck to his chin.
Scratching beneath the surface reveals shared narratives of struggle, transformation, and an unrelenting quest for power. Both characters are formidable warriors: Kokushibo adeptly wields the Moon Breathing technique, while Tanjiro has mastered the Breath of the Sun. This contrast between their techniques symbolizes the dichotomy between night and day, darkness and light, encapsulating the essence of their rivalry.
The two also share similar experiences of transformation—Kokushibo’s transition into a demon, fuelled by envy and fear, contrasts starkly with Tanjiro’s transformation into a demon slayer, driven by love and resolve. This divergence underlines the series’ exploration of how personal motivations and moral compasses can shape one’s choices and, ultimately, destiny.
Kokushibo and Tanjiro’s pursuits for power offer a study in contrast. Kokushibo yearns for power to defy death and outshine his brother, while Tanjiro seeks power as a means to save his sister, Nezuko. Kokushibo’s chase for power leads him down a path of remorse and isolation, whereas Tanjiro’s journey fortifies his bonds with his loved ones. Thus, their stories illustrate that the pursuit of power is not inherently malevolent, but rather, it’s the intent behind the pursuit that determines its righteousness.
Yoriichi Tsugikuni – The Legendary Demon Slayer
Yoriichi Tsugikuni stands as a legend in the Demon Slayer anime. He is the twin brother of Kokushibo and a celebrated swordsman hailing from the Sengoku era. Yoriichi’s unique gift in the art of the original Breathing Technique, the “Breath of the Sun,” earned him the title of a prodigy. His powers in combat far outshone his brother Michikatsu Tsukiguni, inciting deep-seated frustration within Michikatsu. This vexation drove Michikatsu to renounce his familial ties in his relentless pursuit of strength, an obsession that led him down a dark path, culminating in his transformation into the fearsome demon known as Kokushibo, the Upper Moon 1 demon. Even after his transition, Kokushibo failed to surpass Yoriichi. With his exceptional strength, Yoriichi struck fear even into the heart of Muzan, cementing his reputation as a legendary demon slayer.
Tanjiro Kamado did not naturally possess the Demon Slayer Mark but developed it during his intense encounters with formidable adversaries like Daki and Gyutaro, the Upper Moon 6 demons. As Tanjiro’s mark evolved, it began to mirror the one Yoriichi had, triggering speculation among fans and characters within the series about a potential connection. However, it seems that their similar destinies, rather than a shared bloodline, root this connection.
Their physical resemblance is also worth noting, particularly in terms of their hair color. However, Yoriichi’s hair is styled into a long ponytail, much like his brother’s. Both Tanjiro and Yoriichi bear the same demon slayer mark on their forehead. Yoriichi is also the original owner of the Hanafuda earrings, which he later handed over to Sumiyoshi during a visit to his home. These earrings were then passed down to Tanjuro, and subsequently, Tanjiro, triggering a profound sense of déjà vu in Muzan when he noticed them.
Furthermore, Tanjiro embodies virtues reminiscent of Yoriichi: kindness and unwavering determination. In the aftermath of his family’s massacre and his sister’s transformation into a demon, Tanjiro’s determination to protect his loved ones only strengthens. His kindness is not confined to his allies; he extends his empathy to the very demons he combats, often delving into their personal histories and offering them a final moment of kindness. Despite the harsh realities of his existence as a Demon Slayer, Tanjiro upholds his compassionate spirit, never losing sight of his own humanity and the humanity within others.
Let’s run a recap:
- Tanjuro – Tanjiro’s father.
- Sumiyoshi – Tanjuro, and Tanjiro’s great ancestor.
- Yoriichi – Sumiyoshi’s friend and Kokushibo’s brother that doesn’t have any connection by blood with Tanjiro
Yoriichi, the legendary figure who frightened Muzan, was the original owner of the distinctive Hanafuda earrings. He died of old age, but not before passing the earrings to Sumiyoshi. The earrings were then handed down from Sumiyoshi to Tanjuro, and finally to Tanjiro.
Although they all share similar physical traits, particularly noticeable in their hair, their will and personality are strikingly alike as well. Yet, among them, only one person holds the role of being a father – Tanjuro Kamado.