Anime fans know there are some seriously overpowered characters out there, especially in shounen shows like One Piece and Naruto Shippuden.
Another great example is the mysterious Yoriichi from the show Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba.
Let’s dive into the in-universe history behind this awe-inspiring demon slayer.
Who is Yoriichi?
Yoriichi Tsugikuni is a supporting character in the anime Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. He lived 500 years before the events in the anime and developed the sun breathing sword style used by Tanjiro, the show’s main character. However, they are not related.
Summary of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
Demon Slayer follows a boy named Tanjiro Kamada as he fights demons in an alternate history Taisho period (1912-1927).
The basic premise of the anime is that the Demon Slayer Corps have been fighting demons in a secret war for centuries.
The main antagonist is the powerful demon Muzan Kibutsuji, who created all the other demons by corrupting humans with his own blood.
At the core of the Demon Slayer Corps’ battle strategy is a set of special breathing techniques that allows them to wield magical abilities like lightning or fire.
The most powerful and rarest of these techniques is Sun Breathing, which was lost until Tanjiro learns to use it in his own fighting style.
The creator of the Sun Breathing technique, and thus the reason that the fight against the demons can succeed, is none other than Yoriichi Tsugikuni.
Yoriichi lived during Japan’s Warring States period (1467-1615), which is known in the show as the “golden age” of demon slayers.
Yoriichi’s life was not a happy one. From birth, he was despised by his father for the large birthmark on his forehead. In fact, his father even wanted to kill him. Yoriichi’s mother, the only one in the family who cared about him, died from an illness when he was still a child.
After running away from home to a remote mountain village, Yoriichi met Uta, the woman who would one day become his wife. Although the two enjoyed happiness for a short time, all that came to an end when Uta was killed by a demon just before giving birth to their child.
Although his early life was truly unfortunate, it did lay the groundwork for Yoriichi to become the most powerful demon slayer that ever existed. It was only after burying his wife and unborn child that Yoriichi started down the path to becoming a demon slayer at all.
The sun breathing style
After becoming a demon slayer, Yoriichi devoted himself to protecting people and to mastering the art of the sword.
It was in the latter pursuit that he created and refined the breathing styles used by the demon slayers in the story’s main plot. Initially, Yoriichi only created a single style, called the sun breathing style.
However, he later modified these to make them more usable by other warriors.
Yoriichi and Muzan
Later in his career as a demon slayer, Yoriichi encountered Muzan, the series’ main antagonist.
Although his almost supernatural abilities enabled him to severely injure Muzan, Yoriichi was unable to kill him completely.
This was Yoriichi’s greatest regret and a large part of his reasoning to pass down his breathing styles to future generations.
Yoriichi’s relationship to Tanjiro
Because they both wear the same earrings and are the main demon hunters who can use the sun breathing style, some fans think that Yoriichi is Tanjiro’s father.
However, Yoriichi and Tanjiro are not directly related at all. (Not to mention the fact that Yoriichi died 400 years before Tanjiro was even born!)
That being said, Tanjiro did receive his earrings and sword technique from Yoriichi–in a way.
Tanjiro is descended from Sumiyoshi, a close friend of Yoriichi’s while he was alive. It was this ancestor who passed down the earrings and sword style after receiving them from Yoriichi.
Yoriichi: A legacy of hope
Despite Yoriichi living long before the events of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, he occupies a central role in the war between the demon slayers and the demons.
In fact, it’s not an exaggeration to say that if Yoriichi hadn’t existed, Muzan and his demons would have long overrun the Demon Slayer Corps.
It’s only thanks to Yoriichi’s breathing styles, and the hope represented by his characteristic earrings, that Tanjiro is ultimately able to save the day.
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