The most popular anime in recent memory is “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba.” The series has continued to dominate Netflix’s trending list, the follow-up movie “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train” broke all previous records for American cinema, and fans are eagerly awaiting the start of Season 2.
Tanjiro Kamado is the main character of “Demon Slayer,” a young man who sets out on a quest to become a demon slayer after his entire family, with the exception of his sister Nezuko, is slaughtered by one. As many of his fellow demon slayers are jaded in one way or another, Tanjiro is adored for his compassionate disposition since he can nearly always see the good in people. Tanjiro is particularly well-known for his appearance, which includes a scar on his forehead that changes shape, a green checkered haori, and hanafuda earrings.
Why does he have these items attached to his ears? Let’s examine their significance and the background of the recognisable jewellery.
The earrings are a family heirloom
We see a flashback of Tanjiro’s father, Tanjuro, wearing the identical hanafuda earrings in episode 19, “Hinokami.” Later on in the scene, Tanjuro performs the Hinokami Kagura, a fire dance.
A little Tanjiro queries his mother as to how, since his father is sick, he can dance for so long in the snow. Then Tanjuro describes how he manages to avoid freezing: “There is a breathing method that you can use to keep from ever being exhausted. You’ll be able to dance indefinitely if you learn how to breathe properly. You won’t even mind the cold. I hope for this ceremonial dance and these earrings to be passed on to you, Tanjiro. It’s my gift to you.” The Spider Demon is then vanquished by Tanjiro with the Hinokami Kagura once he returns to the present.
The entire animation tells us the story of the earrings’ history, showing how the Kamado family has passed them down through the centuries after teaching their sons the Hinokami Kagura Breathing Style. The Breathing Styles designer Yoriichi Tsugikuni, who had no heirs, was also known to wear the earrings. Therefore, it stands to reason that he gave Tanjuro the earrings in order to preserve the memory of the Sun Breathing Style combatants.
They are easily recognizable symbols of power
The hanafuda earrings are a well-known emblem of Sun Breathing Style warriors and are frequently seen in both the manga and anime “Demon Slayer.” In the manga, Tanjiro is referred to as “a practitioner of Sun Breathing” by Kyojuro Shinjuro, Kyojuro Rengoku’s father, who knows them right away.
Muzan Kibutsuji also recognises the hanafuda earrings right away. Tanjiro and Kibutsuji meet for the first time in episode 7, “Muzan Kibutsuji.” Their encounter clearly aggravates Kibutsuji because in the following episode, “He calls for two of his supporters and announces, “There’s a demon slayer who wears hanafuda earrings. Bring me his head, please.” Then, in another flashback, a younger Kibutsuji appears to be defeated by a demon slayer who is sporting the same earrings. They appear to be a glaring reminder of a period when Kibutsuji was on the verge of defeat, and he wishes to get rid of any lingering evidence of that upsetting occasion.
The hanafuda earrings sparked controversy in real life
The hanafuda earrings Tanjiro wore were a tribute to Japanese playing cards. Hanafuda cards, like its American version, have a variety of applications and have been around for a very long time. Hanafuda, which translates to “flower cards,” refers to a variety of cards with floral artwork. Others believed Tanjiro’s hanafuda earrings resembled something a little more contentious, yet it appears that they were drawn to resemble flowers themselves.
The Rising Sun was the theme employed by Japan during World War II when it subjugated other Asian nations, according to the earrings’ detractors. Due to its association with the war crimes committed by the Japanese military, the sign continues to be divisive in many Asian nations today. The “Demon Slayer” creators altered the design for streaming platforms in nations like Mainland China and South Korea in response to criticism of the hanafuda earrings. The modified earrings have four horizontal lines instead of the original multiple lines that resemble sunrays, according to Kotaku.
Even though Tanjiro’s earrings may have drawn more negative attention from viewers than expected, the Kamado family and Sun Breath Users nevertheless see great value in them.
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