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We are proud to live and die as human beings. Don't act like your worthless ideas are supreme and force them on others.
 
Gyomei Himejima to Kokushibo in The Immovable Hashira

Gyomei Himejima ( () () (じま) (ぎょう) (めい) Himejima Gyōmei?) is a major supporting character of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. He is a Demon Slayer of the Demon Slayer Corps and the current Stone Hashira ( (いわ) (ばしら) Iwa Bashira?). Gyomei also serves as the mentor of Genya Shinazugawa.

Appearance

Gyomei is a hulking figure among the Demon Slayers. He is one of the tallest characters in the series, easily towering over his fellow Hashira. He is powerfully built and extremely muscular. He has spiky black hair and a prominent scar running horizontally across his forehead. Having been blind since childhood, he has white eyes with no visible irises or pupils. His eyes frequently tear-up when he gets emotional.

Gyomei wears a black and white uniform typical of a Demon Slayer, with bandages over his shins resembling kyahan and white zōri with an olive green happi draped over his shoulders. The collared frame of the happi contains the kanji for the Japanese Nianfo/Shin Buddha chant ( () () () () () (ぶつ) Namu Amida Butsu?) from the top-down, along with the separate kanji all over cloth at the back. He also sports a large-beaded necklace around his neck and carries ojuzu when he is not engaged in battle.

His left leg from the knee-down was later severed during his fight with Muzan.[3]

Gallery

Personality

Gyomei's sensitive nature.

Gyomei embodies the gentle giant archtype, being surprisingly soft-spoken and sensitive, despite his intimidating appearance. He is also shown to be quite pious, carrying his prayer beads at all times and offering prayers in poignant situations. Most notably, Gyomei easily cries over the most insignificant things, accentuating his rather soft nature. This could be due to his love for all living creatures brought about by his religious upbringing, and insinuated when he felt so disgusted by beating up a demon that he would never forget that feeling for the rest of his life.

Like the rest of his Hashira brethren, Gyomei has a great deal of respect for Kagaya Ubuyashiki. He is also one of the most respected individuals among the Hashira, being a symbol of hope due to his immense strength. Furthermore, Gyomei acts as a leader for them, as seen when he sat at the front during a Hashira meeting[4] and was the one trusted by Kagaya to give out orders to them.

Though he maintains a fairly reserved disposition, Gyomei harbors a very objective and somewhat suspicious view of the people around him, owing to his experiences before becoming a Demon Slayer. He is ever-cognizant of what others, particularly children or those younger than him, are capable of if given the opportunity. By reason of his doubtful nature, it can take a while for Gyomei to completely accept and trust others. When he does open up and let others in, he is unwavering in his commitment to them.

Gyomei greatly values the principles that allowed him to achieve his status as a Hashira, rejecting Kokushibo's notion that he must become a demon in order to preserve his body and skills which he was devoted his himself to, and counters by saying that being a Demon Slayer means accepting the fact that seeing tomorrow is not guaranteed and that no one can become a Hashira with Kokushibo's half hearted resolution. Similar to Kyojuro Rengoku, the Stone Hashira also finds that living and dying as humans preserve our dignity. Gyomei even took the Upper Rank's statement as an insult, further accentuating how dearly he holds onto his values.

Abilities

Gyomei fighting on equal ground with Upper Rank One, Kokushibo.

Overall Abilities: As a Hashira of the Demon Slayer Corps, Gyomei is a very powerful and skilled combatant.[5] He is stated by both Tanjiro and Inosuke to be the strongest Demon Slayer in the entire Demon Slayer Corps.[6] As stated by Tengen Uzui, Gyomei gained the rank of a Hashira in a mere two months.[7] This is further given credence by Kokushibo, who noted that Gyomei's natural physical abilities have been trained to their absolute peak and also stated that in the last three hundred years, he has not encountered a warrior of Gyomei's caliber.[8] He was also able put up a fight against the strongest Upper Rank for a brief time without the use of his Demon Slayer Mark, further showing the extent of his skill.[9] Moreover, Kokushibo noted that Gyomei and Sanemi were two of the more highly skilled combatants, even among the ranks of the Hashira.[10] After the fight, Gyomei, who was injured and slightly fatigued, was able to contribute to driving Muzan Kibutsuji, the Demon King, into a corner.

Demon Slayer Mark: Later during his battle against Upper Rank One, Gyomei displayed that he too, has awakened his mark, appearing as cracked earth fissure-like patterns on both of his forearms.[11] When activated it drastically increases his physical abilities, such as his strength, speed, and stamina, allowing him to fight the Upper Rank for an extended period of time.[12]

  • Bright Red Nichirin Sword: During the battle against Kokushibo, Sanemi strikes Gyomei's spiked flail with his sword, turning both of them briefly bright red allowing him to destroy Kokushibo's head.[13] Later in the battle against Muzan, Gyomei turned his weapons bright red again by striking them together.[14]
  • Transparent World: Despite being blind, Gyomei gained the ability to access to the Transparent World and can predict his opponent's movements and sense them naturally.[15]

Enhanced Hearing: Due to being blind, Gyomei has compensated and alternated his senses to adapt to his condition, effectively developing a superhuman sense of hearing. His sense of hearing was so acute that Gyomei can accurately discern and interact with his surroundings normally, even engaging in high-speed combat with demons without trouble. More impressively, Gyomei was able to hear the sound of Muzan Kibutsuji's flesh regeneration during their brief confrontation and used it to determine that he is unlike any demon he has ever faced based solely on the sound the Demon King gave off.[16]

Later during his battle with Upper Rank One, Kokushibo noted that Gyomei uses the sound of his chains rattling to tell the exact position the chain is in and uses that to guide his axe and flail during combat.[17] As seen during his conversation with Kokushibo regarding the Demon Slayer Mark, Gyomei was able to accurately tell that the he was lying by detecting the slight changes of the sound his body, with Gyomei noting that he heard the latter shake after revealing his deception.

Immense Speed & Reflexes: Despite Gyomei's large build, he possesses tremendous speed and reflexes. He is the third fastest runner among the Hashira. Gyomei's superhuman speed was put on display during his fight against Kokushibo, where he as able to easily move his body around to avoid all of his attacks, the Upper Rank even remarking that the ease and the grace that he moved was almost too absurd to believe.[18] Gyomei was also able to keep up with Kokushibo for the entire duration of the fight, putting pressure on him with the help of Sanemi, Muichiro, and Genya. Later, he was capable of keeping up with the blistering movement speeds of the Demon King himself, Muzan, for a good portion of the fight.

Gyomei persisting despite suffering from multiple severe injuries.

Immense Stamina & Endurance: Gyomei possesses tremendous levels of physical endurance and stamina, so much so that his training during the Hashira Training Arc focused on endurance. He was able to nonchalantly stand on ground that was on fire while carrying two massive logs being further weighted down by four large rocks, even calmly explaining the details of his training to Tanjiro and Zenitsu while doing so. He also displayed his superhuman levels of stamina and endurance during the fight against Kokushibo, where he was able to hold off the Upper Rank for the entire duration of the fight without significantly tiring on top of sustaining slash wounds all over his body.[19][20] After getting one of his legs slashed off by Muzan, Gyomei was able to persist and continue contributing to the fight against the Demon King.

Gyomei pushing a boulder more than twice his size with his bare hands.

Immense Strength: Gyomei possesses the greatest level of physical strength in the entire Demon Slayer Corps, most notably showcased when he is able to easily lift and swing his massive spiked flail and axe constructed from pure iron at speeds faster than the eye can see incessantly to thwart the attacks of Kokushibo. He was also able to push a large boulder bigger than him through a town with his bare hands.[21] Gyomei also nonchalantly endured the weight of two massive logs on his back further weighed down with four large rocks.

According to Gyomei, he was naturally born with the gift of his incredulous physical strength, as shown when he subdued a demon that attacked him when he was a child by beating it to a bloody pulp with nothing but his bare hands prior to him joining the Demon Slayer Corps and undergoing training.[22]

Repetitive Action: Created by Gyomei, this is a technique which maximizes concentration, in a similar way to Total Concentration Breathing, by remembering a painful memory. Gyomei is shown to use this extensively during his training, and presumably while in combat too.

Tactical Intellect: Gyomei has displayed keen intellect and judgement abilities while fighting. When fighting against Kokushibo, he realised that the Upper Rank was overpowering him in a way that was supernatural but still could be obtained or countered somehow.[23] When he gained access to the Transparent World, he surmised that his eyes gave him the ability to access this special world as well and instinctively learned how to use this to his advantage, even going as far as to manipulating his own blood flow and breathing to disrupt Kokushibo's attacks.[24] Upon seeing Muzan's special constitution, he immediately deduced that he needed to attack all twelve of his vital organs simultaneously to deal significant damage to him.[25]

Fighting Style

Kusarigamajutsu: Unlike ordinary Demon Slayers who use swords in combat, Gyomei uses a spiked flail and axe reminiscent of a Kusarigama, a weapon consisting of a scythe and heavy iron weight connected with a metal chain, and thus would use a similar fighting style known as Kusarigamajutsu. As a Hashira, Gyomei is extremely proficient in combat and one of the most skilled combatants in the entire Demon Slayer Corps, particularly in this fighting style which can briefly match the likes of Upper Rank One, Kokushibo, a demon swordsman who has over 4 centuries of swordsmanship experience. Moreover, he was also shown to be able to hold off Muzan and his blisteringly fast whips for an extended period of time, using his spiked flail to deliver powerful blows to the Demon King.

Breathing Style

Stone Breathing ( (いわ) () (きゅう) Iwa no kokyū?): A Breathing Style Gyomei either mastered himself or learned from a cultivator. In his own version of this Breathing Style, Gyomei incorporates his superhuman sense of hearing and physical strength to utilize a spiked flail and axe to use its techniques. As the Stone Hashira, Gyomei is his generation's most skilled Stone Breathing user. He displayed mastery of Stone Breathing in his battle against Kokushibo, where he was able to unleash attacks that were able to match the demon's Moon Breathing.

Techniques

  • First Form: Serpentinite Bipolar ( (いち) (かた)   (じゃ) (もん) (がん) (そう) (きょく) Ichi no kata: Jamongan - Sōkyoku?)[26] - The user throws both the flail and axe towards their intended target and manipulates the chain by rotating it thus causing the axe and flail to also rotate in order to drill and grind right through their target.
  • Second Form: Upper Smash ( () (かた)   (てん) (めん) (くだ) Ni no kata: Tenmen Kudaki?)[27] - The user throws both their axe and spiked flail for a pincer move before smashing down on the chain to cause the flail to then rebound and smash his target from afar.
  • Third Form: Stone Skin ( (さん) (かた)   (がん) () (はだえ) San no kata: Ganku no Hadae?) [28] - The user unleashes a series of slashes with their axe deflecting nearby attacks.
  • Fourth Form: Volcanic Rock, Rapid Conquest ( () (かた)   (りゅう) (もん) (がん) (そく) (せい) Shi no kata: Ryūmongan - Sokusei?)[29] - The user manipulates both the flail and axe weapons at both ends of the chain by swinging the chain on both sides in order to strike their opponent using a two pronged wide ranged attack.
  • Fifth Form: Arcs of Justice ( () (かた)   () (りん) (ぎょう) () Go no kata: Garin Gyōbu?)[30] - The user utilizes a powerful barrage with their flail and axe, doing a great amount of damage. The axe is destined to hit first with the trajectory of the flail following from the opposite side and slamming into the opponent.

Equipment

Nichirin Chained Spiked Flail and Axe: Gyomei wields a swinging/whipping weapon similar to a Kusarigama, consisting of an Ono (axe) attached to a Chigiriki (flail) via a long chain. Still, the weapon was forged from the same materials used in the creation of Nichirin Swords. Its craftsmanship in particular is noted for being incredibly high-class, and even superior to the swords forged during the Sengoku period, when swordsmithing was at the peak of development.[31] Even Upper Rank One, Kokushibo, could not cut through the chain and was forced to instead resort to close-range combat. As noted by Kokushibo, this weapon is very well thought out, as the echoes created by the chain can be picked up by Gyomei's acute sense of hearing to accurately grasp the space and movements around him, further enhancing its effectiveness in battle.[17] On the hilt of his axe, the words Destroyer of Demons ( (あっ) () (めっ) (さつ) Akki Messatsu?) are carved.[32]

Battles

Trivia

  • Gyomei is blind, thus explaining the reason for the lack of pupils in his eyes.
    • He was blinded due to a fever he had when he was a child.[33]
  • According to Tengen Uzui, Gyomei was one of the two people who became a Hashira only two months after picking up a sword, the other being Muichiro Tokito.[34]
  • Sayo carries immense guilt over Gyomei being mistakenly arrested. Even after roughly ten years go by, she still wants to apologize to Gyomei for the misunderstanding.[35]
  • Gyomei is the only known Hashira who doesn't use a Nichirin Sword, instead favoring a set of chained axes.
  • "Namu Amida Butsu" also known as Nembutsu ( (ねん) (ぶつ) Nenbutsu?), is a Nianfo chant from Shin Buddhism. A common translation is: "I entrust myself to the Buddha of Infinite Light and Life."
  • Gyomei is the only Hashira besides Muichiro and Shinobu to have a personal connection to an Upper Rank, that being Upper Rank Six, Kaigaku. Kaigaku was one of the orphaned children under Gyomei's care at the temple, and would later be directly responsible for the Demon attack that resulted in the death of all the children except Sayo.
  • Gyomei is often depicted with tears streaming down his face. It's later revealed in an extra chapter that he cries extremely easily at almost anything, even crying for something as minor as when the garbage is messy. He was taught by a fellow monk.[citation needed]
  • Gyomei loves cats, a trait he has in common with the Love Hashira, Mitsuri Kanroji.[36]
  • One of Gyomei's hobbies is playing the shakuhachi, a type of flute. Once, when he played for too long, his grandmother hit him with a broom.[37]
  • Gyomei shares his Japanese and English voice actors with Kyon from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.
  • Gyomei viewed the other Hashira as follows:[33]
    • "She's delicate. She tends to work too hard. She seems to enjoy talking with Tomioka" - Insect Hashira
    • "He tends to boastfully speak, but remains cool-headed. He assesses his own capabilities correctly, and isn't overconfident." - Sound Hashira
    • "She's a good natured girl. She seems to like Iguro." - Love Hashira
    • "He possesses a strong will and is honest at heart. He's a bashful person. He seems to like Kanae." - Wind Hashira
    • "He's naturally inarticulate and gloomy. He seems happy talking with Kocho." - Water Hashira
    • "He's positive, and never lies. He's honest." - Flame Hashira
    • "He's able to say things that need to be said. His mentality is mature." - Mist Hashira
    • "A very earnest child. He's sensitive. He seems to be in love with Kanroji." - Serpent Hashira
  • Gyomei's level of openness was ranked as 90%.[33]
  • Gyomei's father died of a disease while his mother died while giving birth to him. Some time later he was blinded due to a fever. In spite of this blindness, Gyomei had a keen sense of "sight" and was able to avoid malicious actions that some people around him do (trying to make him trip, throwing stuff at him etc.). This made people around him call him a liar, stating that no blind person would be able to do what he does.[33]
  • Gyomei once beat Inosuke headfirst into the ground. This happened because Inosuke one-sidedly decided to challenge Gyomei to a match.[38]
  • In Kimetsu Academy, Gyomei is a civics teacher and first-year homeroom teacher. Since he's so muscular, students were afraid of him at first. But because his personal belongings generally have cats on them, everybody quickly became aware that he's a nice person who likes cats. There have been many incidents of people calling him "dad" by accident.[39]

Quotes

  • (To Tanjiro Kamado) "The feeling of punching a living thing was like hell. I can never forget my disgust. For the first time I swung my fists with my full might—with a power frightening even to me. If a demon had never attacked... I would never have known my own strength."[40]
  • (To Tanjiro Kamado) "If the master had not helped me, I would have been executed. After that, I became a deeply distrustful person. And, of course, I didn't even believe in you. No matter how righteous people usually are, they reveal their true selves in times of disaster. But you did not run away. You did not look away. You did not lie. You were straightforward and resolute. It sounds simple but not many people are like that. You are a special child. I have seen many people with the eyes of my heart, so if I say this, it is true. Everyone is uneasy about the future. From now on, I will help you so that you do not take the wrong path."[41]
  • (To Kokushibo) "The Demon Slayer Corps will never disappear until we eradicate all demons from this world."[42]
  • (To Kokushibo) "For example, even if the mark had not appeared, as long as you are in the Demon Slayer Corps there is no guarantee you will live to tomorrow. Why would I cling to life at this point? No one becomes a Hashira with such half-hearted determination. That horrible insult... makes me boil with anger. [...] I don't need to understand it. We are proud to live and die as human beings. Don't act like your worthless ideas are supreme and force them on others."[43]
  • (To Kokushibo) "I noticed something while we were talking. You stated one falsehood. I suspect there was an exception. There was one who had the mark, lived past 25 and is still alive. That shook you. It appears my guess was correct... No?"[44]

References

  1. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 170 (Page 6).
  2. Official Twitter Account
  3. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 191 (Page 14).
  4. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 128 (Page 12).
  5. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 45 (Page 2).
  6. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 134 (Page 8).
  7. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 87 (Page 6).
  8. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 169 (Page 3).
  9. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 169.
  10. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 171 (Page 5).
  11. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 169 (Page 18).
  12. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapters 170-176.
  13. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 175 (Page 21).
  14. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 190 (Page 15).
  15. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 173 (Page 6).
  16. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 139 (Page 6).
  17. 17.0 17.1 Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 171 (Page 6).
  18. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 169 (Page 14).
  19. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 169 (Pages 17-18).
  20. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 171 (Page 15).
  21. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 134 (Page 9).
  22. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 135 (Page 15-16).
  23. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 173 (Page 4).
  24. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 173 (Page 16).
  25. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 191 (Page 10-11).
  26. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 171 (Pages 12-13).
  27. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 169 (Page 8).
  28. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 139 (Page 8).
  29. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 169 (Pages 15-16).
  30. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 176 (Page 7).
  31. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 169 (Page 10-11).
  32. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 169 (Pages 10-11).
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 33.3 Kimetsu no Yaiba Second Fanbook.
  34. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 87 (Page 4).
  35. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Volume 16, (Extra Pages).
  36. Kimetsu no Yaiba First Fanbook.
  37. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Volume 13, (Extra Pages).
  38. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Volume 15, (Extra Pages).
  39. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Volume 20, (Extra Pages).
  40. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 135 (Page 15).
  41. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 135 (Page 18).
  42. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 168 (Pages 21).
  43. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 170.
  44. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 170 (Pages 11-13).


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