The Hashira (
The Hashira are the nine strongest and most skilled combatants in the entirety of the Demon Slayer Corps, and they are regarded as the most potent swordsmen among all the Demon Slayers. Their existence literally sustains the entire organization.
Those who are of lower rank may be killed at a frightening rate, but each Hashira possesses a distinct Breathing Style which is learned from a cultivator or developed through extreme training.
The Hashira are all assigned a specific region that they are required to patrol, usually to gather information about the Demons inhabiting the said area and to improve their swordsmanship. Swordsmen who can use the Flame Breathing and Water Breathing have become Hashira in every era, with no exceptions thus far.
To be a member of the Hashira, a Demon Slayer must be among the strongest combatants in the entirety of the Demon Slayer Corps. There are two known methods that allow one to prove that they are worthy of becoming a Hashira; the first method is to accumulate a demon kill count of at least 50; the second method is to slay a demon who is a member of the Twelve Kizuki, the 12 strongest of all demons who serve directly under the Demon Lord, Muzan Kibutsuji.
The effort required to achieve either of these methods requires almost five years worth of training, though, the talented might take only two or so years to do so.
Finding a successor
- Main article: Tsuguko
In some cases, an exceptionally talented Demon Slayer can become the designated successor to to one of the Hashira, known as a Tsuguko. To become a Tsuguko, a Demon Slayer can either apply for the position and get accepted, or get scouted by one of the current Hashira.
The Hashira Training is a special training session conducted by the Hashira and undertaken by numerous lower ranked Demon Slayers. The aim of Hashira Training is to improve all Demon Slayers' physical abilities and overall health, giving the members of the Demon Slayer Corps a better chance of winning the war against Demons.
Each of the Hashira oversees a different part of the training program. Known training includes: basic stamina training, flexibility training, quick movement training, sword skill training, pounding training, and muscle reinforcement training.
Hashira Training is extremely strenuous; because of this, a majority of the Demon Slayers view the training session as an everlasting trip in hell, with a few notable exceptions who see the session as a chance to improve themselves.
As a general rule, Hashira must take part in each other's training sessions. It is considered a win-win situation for both the Hashira and the Demon Slayers, as even the Hashira get to improve due to being constantly attacked by wave upon wave of juniors ranked lower than themselves.
Kanae Kocho †
Manga Status (Spoiler Warning)
|Former Flame Hashira
Kyojuro Rengoku †
|Former Sound Hashira
|Former Mist Hashira
Muichiro Tokito †
|Former Insect Hashira
Shinobu Kocho †
|Former Love Hashira|
Mitsuri Kanroji †
|Former Serpent Hashira
Obanai Iguro †
|Former Stone Hashira
Gyomei Himejima †
|Former Flower Hashira
Kanae Kocho †
|Former Water Hashira
|Former Thunder Hashira|
Jigoro Kuwajima †
|Former Flame Hashira
|Former Water Hashira
|Former Wind Hashira|
- Demon Slayer Marks - Hashira are the only known Demon Slayers (with the exception of Tanjiro Kamado) who are capable of displaying these markings when they are fighting Demons. All of the living Hashira have successfully been able to emit these markings which are said to enhance one's physical and tactical abilities.
- Total Concentration Breathing (全集中の呼吸 Zen Shūchū no Kokyū?) - A tactical skill which sets Hashira apart from ordinary Demon Slayers. Hashira, as well as Kanao Tsuyuri, Tanjiro, Zenitsu Agatsuma, and Inosuke Hashibira use this breathing method to generate an oxygen supply in their blood and strengthen their muscles. It gives them the power and stamina needed to combat Demons without changing their physical form.
After the fight with Lower Rank 1, Enmu, the Upper Rank 3, Akaza, shows up. A battle between Akaza and Kyojuro Rengoku occurs, and as a result of the fight, Kyojuro dies from his wounds and leaves an empty Hashira spot, while Akaza flees with his life.
Not long after that, Tengen Uzui takes Tanjiro and his group to a mission in the Red Light District. There, they encounter Upper Rank 6, Daki and Gyutaro. As a result of their fight, Daki and Gyutaro died, and Tengen lost his left eye and arm, forcing him to retire and leave a second vacant Hashira position. However, despite his forced retirement, Tengen (along with his wives) still assist with the Demon Slayer Training Program.
After Muzan Kibutsuji breaks into the Ubuyashiki Manor, he is attacked by Gyomei Himejima, the Stone Hashira, in an attempt to slay him, but Muzan escapes into the Infinity Castle with several other Demon Slayers chasing after them, only for them to be separated by Nakime, the new Upper Rank 4.
Several duels break out in the Infinity Castle between Demons and Demon Slayers. The Hashira and the other Demon Slayers face off against many Demons who all have equal strength to that of a Lower Rank. Shinobu Kocho attempted to kill the Upper Rank 2 Doma, who was responsible for the death of her older sister. However, she is killed and absorbed by Doma. Shinobu's younger sister, Kanao, and Inosuke then fight Doma immediately after and were able to defeat the Demon thanks to the poison inside Shinobu's body. Zenitsu runs into the new Upper Rank 6, the other former apprentice of his master, Kaigaku, and engages him in a duel to the death, in which Kaigaku has an overwhelming advantage and nearly kills Zenitsu, but Zenitsu manages to behead Kaigaku with a secret technique he created. Elsewhere, Tanjiro and Giyu Tomioka are ambushed by the Upper Rank 3, Akaza. After a long battle, Tanjiro beheads Akaza, although the Demon manages to survive this attack, and eventually the battle is won by the Upper Rank committing suicide. The two Demon Slayers come out victorious, while Muichiro Tokito, Gyomei and Sanemi Shinazugawa run into Kokushibo, Upper Rank 1.
- The word for Hashira (
柱Hashira?) has nine strokes, which is said to be the reason for there being nine Hashira at the start of the series.