Demon Slayer: Was Kokushibō Ever a Hashira?

Demon Slayer: Was Kokushibō Ever a Hashira?
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The Demons of Demon Slayer are a truly fascinating lot. They come in all shapes and sizes, and while they are evil in their demonic form, their backstories and their lives while they were human usually contain a tragic note that makes you sad for them. But there are also exceptions, and one such exception is the protagonist of this article – Kokushibō. The Upper-Rank One of the Twelve Kizuki, Kokushibō was the second strongest Demon in the lore, behind only Muzan. In this article, though, we will go over his history while he was still known as Michikatsu Tsugikuni and tell you whether he was a Hashira in the past.

Michikatsu Tsugikuni, Kokushibō’s former identity, was indeed a Hashira of the Demon Slayer Corps during the Sengoku Era, which was confirmed in a manga panel showing Michikatsu among the Hashira of the time. He was a Hashira, along with his younger twin, Yoriichi. And while it has not been confirmed, he was by all means the former Moon Hashira, based on his Breathing Style.

The remainder of this article will give you a detailed overview of Michikatsu Tsugikuni’s story, as it happened on the pages of the Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba manga. You already know what happened and how it happened, so we will just bring you the details so you know the whole context. Be careful, though, as the article will contain many spoilers, so if you don’t know all the details, be careful how you approach the text.

Michikatsu Tsugikuni was, indeed, a Hashira in the past

Twins were considered a particularly bad omen during the Sengoku period when Yoriichi and his twin brother Michikatsu were born into the Tsugikuni clan. Yoriichi’s father threatened to kill Yoriichi because of a peculiar birthmark on his son’s forehead, but their mother, Akeno, became enraged and detained him. It was ultimately decided that Yoriichi would be sent to a temple at the age of ten to become a monk.

When their mother passed away when Yoriichi was ten, Yoriichi visited Michikatsu and told him he was leaving the family as was arranged. He thanked his brother, told him he would always keep thinking of him, and took a small wooden flute Michikatsu had given him earlier as a memory.

He then left; Michikatsu would later find out, through his mother’s diary, that Yoriichi knew all about their mother’s illness and that he helped her, but also that he knew that their father planned on making Yoriichi his heir and sending Michikatsu to a temple, which is why he ran away to spare him. Despite these acts of kindness, Michikatsu still hated and envied Yoriichi, which would prove to be a stepping stone in their relationship later on.

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Michikatsu actually harbored an immense sense of envy towards his younger twin brother, Yoriichi Tsugikuni, for his natural talent and incredible abilities. These feelings of jealousy and contempt grew stronger when he saw his brother grow into an old man despite Yoriichi awakening his Demon Slayer Mark, which was supposed to doom him to die at the age of 25. However, despite this immense jealousy, spite, and outright hatred he harbored for Yoriichi, he still loved his brother deeply, as seen when he was touched by Yoriichi, cherishing the handmade flute he had made for him when he was a child.

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Now, after Yoriichi ran away, he met Uta and started a family with her, but Uta and their unborn child were killed by a Demon, which almost destroyed Yoriichi. After recovering from the pain. Yoriichi decided to reclaim his sword and begin his training to slay demons. He would soon join the Demon Slayer Corps and, being so skilled and a possessor of the Demon Slayer Mark.

He was able to develop the first Breathing Style in history, the Sun Breathing. Sun Breathing remains, until today, the most powerful Breathing Style and the most complex one to master. All the other breathing styles were derived from Sun Breathing, including Michikatsu’s Moon Breathing, which Yoriichi’s brother developed because he was unable to master Sun Breathing.

In the meantime, Michikatsu, before becoming a Demon Slayer, had a wife and two children, and he was a samurai. One day, a Demon attacked his camp and killed everyone, but him, but the problem was this – Yoriichi came and killed the Demon, thus saving his brother’s life. Instead of being grateful, Michikatsu was furious with his brother, and in order to surpass him, he left his family and became a Demon Slayer and, soon, the Moon Hashira. But even in that organization, Yoriichi was better than him, and Michikatsu was in a very complex position.

After becoming a Hashira, the most powerful one, Yoriichi was allowed to engrave something on his katana, as all Hashira are allowed to. He then continued his pursuit of Demons. Yoriichi soon came into contact with Muzan Kibutsuji, the Slayers’ mortal foe and ancestral demon, and decided to murder him. Yoriichi discovered that Muzan had five moving brains and seven moving hearts inside of him. When he realized his good fortune, he united all his forms into a single attack, cutting them all off and thoroughly outclassing Muzan.

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Muzan would ultimately succeed in escaping, but the conflict left him deeply traumatized and terrified of Yoriichi. After failing to kill Muzan, he met Tamayo, another demon, and believed her story about wanting to end Muzan, so he let her go free. Upon his return to the Corps, he found out that his brother, Michikatsu, had betrayed the Corps, killed the Oyakata, and deflected.

Michikatsu had, in the meantime, decided to become stronger than Yoriichi and avoid death by the Demon Slayer Mark’s supposed curse, which is why he accepted Muzan’s proposal and became a Demon, betraying the Corps before disappearing. So yes, Michikatsu Tsugikuni was a Hashira in the past, but he betrayed them, ran away, and became a Demon.

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