The Untold Story of Kamado Family’s Hidden Power: Exploring the Secrets of Sun Breathing and Hinokami Kagura Techniques
At the early stages of Season One of the show, Kamado Family seemed like your normal family living on the mountainside, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. They possessed the legendary breathing style, Sun Breathing, that was passed on throughout the generations and leads all the way back to the strongest demon slayer to ever live, Yorichi Tsugikuni, and that’s where our story starts. Yorichi was a legendary demon slayer who lived nearly 500 years ago during the Sengoku era, also called the Golden Age of Demon Slayers.
He’s the progenitor of breathing styles, being the one who created the original Sun Breathing and the only demon slayer ever that Muzan Kibutsuji was afraid of. Apart from being the only user of Sun Breathing, he was also by far the greatest swordsman in the world. Even as a seven-year-old child with no training, he was capable of easily defeating a trained swordsman the very first time he picked up a sword, striking him in multiple areas across his body faster than the eye can process.
His swordsmanship was so great that a battle doll modeled after him had to be made with six arms wielding katanas and utilizing 108 techniques to even attempt to imitate Yorichi’s skills. And even then, the doll was still vastly inferior compared to him. His might easily overwhelmed the Demon King Muzan, and even in his 80s, he was far stronger than the Upper Rank One, Kokushibu. He initially created Sun Breathing with twelve techniques all connected to one another.
Later, upon meeting the Demon King himself, Yorichi perfected a swordsmanship style, creating a new unnamed 13th form. Since some breathing techniques are so closely tied to Kamado family, let’s quickly go through all of them. The first and most common form is Dance, where the user delivers a single high-powered vertical slash, as seen in Tanjido’s battle against Rui. Clear Blue Sky, the user spins their body horizontally to deliver a 360-degree slash.
Raging Sun, the user unleashes two horizontal slashes to hit or defend from incoming attacks. Burning Bones, Summer Sun, the user unleashes a large circular slash that defends from imminent frontal attacks. Setting Sun Transformation, the user backflips into the air to deliver a powerful upended sword slash that aims to decapitate their target. Solar Heat Haze, the user charges towards the target, unleashing a horizontal slash seemingly covered in the haze that fails to land but actually does hit the target.
Beneficent Radiance, the user spirals into the air and delivers a powerful slash that surrounds the enemy. Sunflower Thrust, the user unleashes a single thrust attack with the point of the blade. Dragon Sun Halo, Head Dance, the user unleashes a continuous fast and powerful sword attack that seemingly takes the form of a Japanese dragon made of solar flames. Fire Wheel, the user leaps behind the opponent and spins in the air downward, releasing a sword attack in a circular motion. Fake Rainbow, the user performs high-speed twists and rotations, thus creating after-images.
Flame Dance, a two-combo strike that starts with the vertical slash and then a horizontal one right after.
13th form: The user continuously performs all 12 forms of Sun Breathing in repetitive succession to increase the accuracy and agility of its movements. This form was created solely for the purpose of killing Muzan Kibutsuji since the repetition of all 12 forms aims to destroy Muzan’s 12 vital organs, 7 hearts, and 5 brains that move freely inside his body. So how did the Kamado family come into possession of this legendary breathing style?
Well, sometime during the Sengoku era, Yodeji met Sumiyoshi, a sister of the Kamado family. Yoruchi saved Sumiyoshi, presumably from a demon, and they became close friends. He would then often visit the Kamados in their home in the mountain. One time while staying with them, Sumiyoshi and his wife asked Yorichi if he could perform his Sun Breathing style in front of them. He, of course, accepted, performing all the forms with such grace he was likened more like a spirit than a human.
Sumiyoshi would closely observe these demonstrations and keep them in his memories. On this last visit, Yoruchi gave Sumiyoshi his Hanafuda earrings. Sumiyoshi, who looked up to Yoruci, promised to pass the Sun Breathing techniques, along with Hanafuda earrings, onto his further generations. He later named it Hinokami Kagura, and it became a family tradition. The Hinokami Kagura was passed on from father to son in the form of dance.
The Kamado family used the breathing style within a ritual ceremony practiced every new year, where the breathing style user would offer the fire god a dance from sunset to sunrise to ward off threats and diseases. The Hinokami Kagura dance was created with 12 different segments, each one presenting a different form of Sun Breathing. Eventually, the Hinokami Kagura was passed on to Tanjuro Kamado, who used it in a similar way as his ancestors.
Tanjuro was the head of the Kamado family, being the father of our protagonists Tanjido and Nezuko. He died a few years prior to the main story due to his illness. Although there isn’t much information about him from flashbacks, we can assume that he was a loving and caring person. He had a peaceful relationship with his family and regularly lectured Tanjido about life. According to Tanjido, he didn’t like standing out or displaying his true abilities to others.
However, if his family was in danger, he wouldn’t hesitate to protect them, and he would show no mercy toward the enemy. At some point in his life, Tanjiro married Kai and had six children with her. Despite possessing the legendary breathing style, he never showed interest in joining the demon slayers and chose to spend his time with his family instead. Although he died some time before Tanjido joined the demon slayers, he was a great inspiration to him and the person who introduced him to Sun Breathing.
Not many people realized this, but Tanjuro was actually one of the strongest humans around at the time. He was shown to be a phenomenally strong individual despite not being a demon slayer and having a tragic disease that makes his body incredibly frail. He was able to slay a bear more than two meters tall with incredible speed without even wielding a niche sword. What’s also impressive is that he was able to access the transparent world.
Tanjuro stated that he learned this from his father in the form of perception training and was able to use it proficiently against a giant bear, chopping the animal twice in the blink of an eye before it could even react. Tanjuro’s birthmark on his forehead is secretly a demon slayer mark. This is proven by Shinjuro’s explanation that all sun breathing users naturally have a mark on their forehead.
For those of you who don’t know what Transparent World is, let us explain: Demon Slayers that have awakened the demon slayer mark can utilize a special form of perception that alters their vision, allowing them to perceive other living beings as if they were transparent, only being able to see the inner workings of their bodies. Most notably, users are able to perceive the flow of blood, breathing, muscular contractions, and joint movements of the creature that they are looking at.
One can use the Transparent World’s power to see inside an enemy’s body as a way to predict and evade their opponent’s attacks, as well as to find openings for their own strikes. Additionally, the user is able to perceive the world around them as if it was in slow motion, thus dramatically increasing their movement speed and reflexes. With all this information in mind, it would be very interesting to see how strong Tanjuro would be if he trained as a demon slayer.
The first time we met Hashidas, none of them had access to the Transparent World, and they didn’t even know what demon slayer marks are. If not for his illness, he would surely be able to rise to the rank of the Hashida and possibly become the strongest demon slayer in his generation. Throughout his entire life, Kanjuro emanated absolutely no sense of hatred, anger, or fear, even in dire situations. This is greatly inspired by Yodeji’s capability to stop his bloodlust for combat.
Tanjuro also had immense stamina and endurance for a non-demon slayer, being able to practice the Hinokami Kagura ritual dance from dusk to dawn without any rest, despite his illness, frail body, and freezing surroundings. We couldn’t possibly make a blog on Hinokami Kagura without mentioning everyone’s favorite sun-breathing user, Tanjiro Kamado. At the beginning of his journey as a demon slayer, Tanjiro didn’t even know what breathing forms are, let alone what sun breathing is.
Although he witnessed his father performing Hinokami Kagura in the past, he was completely unaware of what it is. He initially trained under Sakonji, the former water hashira, and learned water breathing techniques from him.
On his mission to avenge his family and defeat Muzan Kibutsuji, Tanjido faced many different demons. In the beginning, those demons were weak, and he was easily able to behead them using the water breathing style. However, with time, his enemies became exponentially stronger, and the water breathing style he was taught was simply not enough to keep him alive. During his near-death experience in his battle against Rui, Tanjido recalled the memory of his father showing him the Hinokami Kagura in the form of a dance.
Simply by recalling the single memory, he was able to instantly adapt his water breathing and immediately change it to the Hinokami Kagura in the middle of battle. Now performing a technique this advanced simply because you saw it once wouldn’t be possible for anyone. We can only assume that since the Kamado family practiced the same style for over 400 years, it’s literally in their blood, and they easily master it without long training.
As Tanjirou’s body was more suited to the Hinokami Kagura, he quickly overpowered the lower-ranked demon. However, the sheer force of fatigue it placed on his untrained body caused him to collapse only moments after using it. Thus, in battles, he usually saves it as his last choice, only using it when it’s completely necessary. Tanjirou trained more so that his body could take the strain of Hinokami Kagura techniques and was capable of using multiple forms in succession.
In his battle against Daki, although the whiplash from doing so became quickly apparent, still, through battling Hantengu and undergoing intense training during the Swordsman’s Village Arc and the Hashira Training Arc, Tanjirou finally managed to master all the forms in the Hinokami Kagura, using it to its full potential against Akaza. When Tanjirou witnessed all the forms performed by Yoriichi Tsugikuni himself, he realized his own Hinokami Kagura moves had unnecessary movements, different wrist angles, footwork, and breathing rhythm.
Removing all these mistakes enabled him to awaken the true form of a legendary Sun Breathing, and he was able to temporarily battle on equal grounds with the Demon King Muzan, to the point that Muzan saw Yoriichi’s visage overlapping with Tanjirou’s own when he was performing the techniques against him.
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That’s me, Andreea Blaga, author of the blog anime-everything.com. I work as a content creator in the US. I am also passionate about Japanese Anime.