Why is Muzan afraid of Tanjiro’s Hanafuda earrings?

See To hide the table of contents

Muzan Kibutsuji is the main antagonist of Demon Slayer and, as the very first demon, he lived on for several centuries thanks to his immortality. Thanks to his blood, Muzan can turn others into demons and seems to be an unstoppable enemy. However, the Demon King seems to fear one thing: Tanjirou’s hanafuda earrings.

A look into Muzan’s past reveals that only one man nearly killed him. This demon slayer, while not a direct descendant of the Kamado family, is related to Tanjiro in more ways than one.

Muzan Kibutsuji’s past with the Demon Slayer Army

In his brief flashback to Chapter 14 of the Demon Slayer manga, Muzan remembers a man with long hair and wearing the same hanafuda earrings as Tanjiro. Then, in chapter 81, during the arc ” Recovery Training“, Daki sees the same man through Muzan’s memories because his blood is flowing through his body. The mysterious swordsman only made a full appearance in chapter 99 (or volume 12) of the manga.

The warrior Muzan feared was a swordsman named Yoriichi Tsugikuni. Yoriichi is the only killer before Tanjiro who nearly killed Muzan, and the flashback of their fight takes place in Chapter 187. Yoriichi encountered Muzan and Tamayo in a bamboo forest, where they engaged in combat. With Yoriichi’s Sun Breathing technique, he decapitated Muzan and stopped his afterglow abilities. However, he failed to completely kill the demon as Muzan quickly fled after being defeated.

Who is Demon Slayer Yoriichi?


Yoriichi Tsugikuni was known as the strongest swordsman in the Demon Slayer Corps. He lived 500 years before the start of the anime, during the Sengoku era which was a golden age for demon activity. Yoriichi invented the first breathing style from which subsequent killers derived their versions. His technique, known as Sun Breathing, later became the Hinokami Kagura dance. that the Kamado family practiced.

As a child, Yoriichi was quiet and reserved, showing little emotion and keeping everything to himself. This aspect of his personality caused Muzan to fear the swordsman because Yoriichi never emitted bloodlust or evil intent like most fighters during battle. On the contrary, his calm nature made it difficult for his opponents to read him or predict his moves. Yoriichi is the younger twin of Michikatsu Tsugikuni, later known as Upper Moon 1 of the Twelve Kizuki: Kokushibo.

What is the connection between Yoriichi and the Kamado family?

Yoriichi and Tanjiro

Yoriichi was a close friend of Sumiyoshi, an ancestor of Tanjiry. He saved the man from a demon attack, and the two remained close afterward. Yoriichi considered Sumiyoshi one of his closest friends, although his work as a demon slayer kept him from seeing the Kamado family often. After his banishment fromDemon Slayer Army, Yoriichi confided the problems of his life to Sumiyoshiwho was in tears after hearing his friend’s struggles.

Sumiyoshi’s daughter, Sumire, took a liking to Yoriichi and liked the demon slayer very much. Her harmless affection for comforting him at one point inadvertently caused Yoriichi to cry. As he practiced his Sun Breathing technique to entertain the little girl, Sumiyoshi observed and hypnotized every move. This technique later became the Hinokami Kagura, which was passed down in the family for generations.

Before leaving the Kamado family, Yoriichi entrusted Sumiyoshi with his hanafuda earrings. These earrings became the symbol of Yoriichi’s legacy, and Sumiyoshi ensured that they remained etched in his family’s memory. The earrings had such an impact that 500 years later Muzan still fears them and the original swordsman who wore them.