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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.
 
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]

Personality

Gyomei embodies the gentle giant archetype, 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.

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.

Abilities

Overall Abilities: As a Hashira of the Demon Slayer Corps, Gyomei is a very powerful swordsman.[4] He is stated by both Tanjiro and Inosuke Hashibira to be the strongest Demon Slayer in the entire Demon Slayer Corps.[5] 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.[6] He was 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.[7]

Gyomei's Demon Slayer Mark.

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.[8] When activated it drastically increases his physical and mental abilities, allowing him to fight the Upper Rank for long a period of time.[9]

  • 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.[10] Later in the battle against Muzan, Gyomei is able to turn both his spiked flail and axe red by striking them together.[11]
  • Transparent World: Despite being blind, Gyomei gained the ability to access to the Transparent World and predict their movements and sense them naturally.[12]

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, being able to hear the sound of Muzan Kibutsuji's flesh regeneration during their brief confrontation.[13] Later during his battle with Upper Rank One, Kokushibo noticed 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.[14] 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 Stamina & Endurance: Gyomei possesses tremendous levels of physical endurance and stamina, able to take multiple attacks from Kokushibo, the Upper Rank One, receiving only minor injuries and continues to fight.[15][16]

Immense Strength: Gyomei possesses immense physical strength, as shown when he uses his strength to push a large boulder bigger than him through a town.[17] Through "Repetitive Actions", he is capable of doing a set of pre-determined movements in order to maximize concentration.[18] Even before undergoing training as a Demon slayer, Gyomei had already possessed incredible strength despite having a weak build at the time he discovered his abilities.[19]

Immense Speed & Reflexes: During their battle, Kokushibo noted that in stark contrast to Gyomei's large physical build, he possesses extremely fast and quick reflexes being able to easily move around his body 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.[20]

Repetitive Action: Gyomei is able to use Repetitive Actions in order to increase his already impressive physical abilities. By combining it with his Breathing Style he can even rival Kokushibo, allowing him to fight in even ground with the demon for a brief period of time.

Tactical Intellect: Gyomei has displayed keen intellect and judgement abilities while fighting. 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. 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. 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.

Fighting Style

Master Swordsman: Being a Hashira of the Demon Slayer Corps, Gyomei is one of the most powerful and skilled swordsmen in the entire organization.[21]

Swordsmanship

Stone Breathing ( (いわ) () (きゅう) Iwa no kokyū?): A Breathing Style Gyomei Himejima mastered and uses in combat. Instead of a katana, Gyomei opts to wield a spiked flail and axe.

  • First Form: Serpentinite Bipolar ( (いち) (かた)   (じゃ) (もん) (がん) (そう) (きょく) Ichi no kata: Jamongan - Sōkyoku?)[22] - 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?)[23] - 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?) [24] - 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?)[25] - 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?)[26] - 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

Modified Nichirin 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. To compensate for his lack of sight, Gyomei utilizes the sound of the chain to direct the motion of the axe and flail, allowing him to wield the weapon effectively. The weapon was forged from the same metals 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. Even the Upper Rank One, Kokushibo could not cut through the chain and was forced to instead resort to close-range combat. On the hilt of his axe, the words Destroy Demons ( (あっ) () (めっ) (さつ) Akki Messatsu?) are carved.[27]

Battles

Trivia

  • Gyomei is blind, thus explaining the reason for the lack of pupils in his eyes.
    • According to the second fan book, he was blinded due to a fever he had when he was a child.
  • 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.[28]
  • Even after turning 14 years old, Sayo still wants to apologize to Gyomei for the misunderstanding.[29]
  • 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, is a chant from the 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 Himejima's care at the temple, and would later be directly responsible for a 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.
  • Gyomei loves cats, a trait he has in common with the Love Hashira, Mitsuri Kanroji.
  • 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.[30]
  • Gyomei shares his Japanese and English voice actors with Kyon from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.
  • Gyomei viewed the other Hashira as follows:
    • "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%.
  • 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.
  • Gyomei once beat Inosuke headfirst into the ground. This happened because Inosuke one-sidedly decided to challenge Gyomei to a match.

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."[31]
  • (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."[32]
  • (To Kokushibo) "The Demon Slayer Corps will never disappear until we eradicate all demons from this world."[33]
  • (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."[34]
  • (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?"[35]

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 45 (Page 2).
  5. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 134 (Page 8).
  6. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 169 (Page 3).
  7. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 169.
  8. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 169 (Page 18).
  9. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapters 170-176.
  10. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 175 (Page 21).
  11. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 190 (Page 15).
  12. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 173 (Page 6).
  13. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 139 (Page 6).
  14. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 171 (Page 6).
  15. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 169 (Pages 17-18).
  16. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 171 (Page 15).
  17. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 134 (Page 9).
  18. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 134 (Page 17).
  19. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 135.
  20. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 169 (Page 14).
  21. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 45.
  22. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 171 (Pages 12-13).
  23. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 169 (Page 8).
  24. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 139 (Page 8).
  25. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 169 (Pages 15-16).
  26. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 176 (Page 7).
  27. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 169 (Pages 10-11).
  28. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 87 (Page 4).
  29. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Vol. 16, Extra Pages.
  30. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Vol. 13, Extra Pages.
  31. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 135 (Page 15).
  32. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 135 (Page 18).
  33. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 168 (Pages 21).
  34. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 170.
  35. Kimetsu no Yaiba Manga: Chapter 170 (Pages 11-13).


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