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 – Kokushibo. The Upper-Rank One of the Twelve Kizuki, Kokushibo was the second strongest Demon in the whole lore, behind only Muzan, but also very near his level of power. In this article, you are going to find out whether he died and what happened to him.
Kokushibo was killed by Muichiro Tokito, Genya Shinazugawa, Sanemi Shinazugawa, and Gyomei Himejima. During the Demon Slayer Corps’ final assault on Muzan and the Kizuki, Kokushibo faced four Demon Slayers (including three Hashira) at the same time; they were Muichiro Tokito, Genya Shinazugawa, Sanemi Shinazugawa, and Gyomei Himejima. After a fierce fight in which both Muichiro and Genya also lost their lives, he was finally killed.
The remainder of this article will give you a detailed overview of Kokushibo’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.
Kokushibo died during a fierce fight
Muzan’s most powerful subordinate with the title of Upper-Rank One, Kokushibo, was originally a demon slayer named Michikatsu Tsugikuni and Yoriichi’s older brother. Envious of his brother’s talent, he eventually joined Muzan as a demon to perfect his techniques as a swordsman without worrying about dying of disease or old age. His fighting style was Moon Breathing, which was directly derived from Yoriichi’s Sun Breathing. His sword was part of his body, so he was able to regenerate and change shape at will.
It was revealed that as a human, Kokushibo 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.
Before the final battle, Kokushibo had one very important moment: his fight against his brother, Yoriichi, which took place a long time ago. When the two of them fought, Yoriichi was almost blind and was 85 years old. It seemed like Kokushibo would have an easy task, but that did not happen. Namely, Yoriichi rapidly took the initiative in the fight despite his late age and apparent blindness, cutting his brother’s throat in one motion. It seemed like Kokushibo was on the brink of death, but before Yoriichi could do anything more, he simply passed away of old age while still standing on his two feet.
After the battle, Kokushibo admitted that Yoriichi’s might was still in full bloom and added that if Yoriichi had dealt a second strike before passing away, he would have killed him for certain. We later see him, for the first time, when Muzan summons the Upper Moons after the deaths of Daki and Gyutaro; he is portrayed as someone very respectful of the hierarchy of the Twelve Kizuki, which is why he scolds and punishes Akaza for stepping out of line and assaulting Doma, despite Doma telling him that he doesn’t really mind that part. All the other Demons feared him, and even Muzan had an unnatural degree of respect toward him.
In the final battle, he faced Muichiro Tokito, Genya Shinazugawa, Sanemi Shinazugawa, and Gyomei Himejima. The conflict began when Kokushibo and Muichiro Tokito were taken to the same room inside Infinity Castle. After a few altercations, Kokushibo succeeds in amputating Muichiro’s arm. Kokushibo is highly impressed when Muichiro rapidly tightens his arm to halt the bleeding. However, Kokushibo impales Muichiro using his own sword, placing him in a terrible situation.
The option to turn into a Muzan-supporting demon is subsequently presented to Muichiro by Kokushibo. Genya, however, fires his firearm, ending their conversation. After deftly dodging the gunshot, Kokushibo reappears behind Genya and severs his arms and torso in half.
However, he recognizes that Genya is unique and decides to kill him by chopping off his head. His brother rescues Genya before he has the chance to do so. Kokushibo is mildly surprised by the Wind Hashira’s abilities as Sanemi and Kokushibo start their fierce combat. He maintains his composure, though, and claims that he would not be able to survive without his extensive experience sharpening his senses. This keeps going for a while.
After some struggle, Kokushibo was poised to deliver a devastating blow and enjoyed the chance to battle such a proficient Hashira when Gyomei, the Rock Hashira, appeared. Kokushibo could not contain himself and expressed his unabashed admiration for Gyomei’s physique.
Gyomei displays his Demon Slayer Mark, the secret weapon he planned to save for Muzan after a fierce back-and-forth conflict. The two keep up their fierce conflict. Sanemi manages to treat his wound before he can rejoin the fight, and the two are now engaged in a 2-on-1 conflict with Kokushibo. Kokushibo is surprised by how well they can work together despite having diverse communication styles.
Sanemi and Gyomei are abruptly struck by what appears to be an extended blade with three blades protruding from the sides, two on one side and one on the other, while the three of them continue to fight.
Muichiro manages to release himself in the meanwhile. He aids Genya by hanging up his body and giving him a tuft of Kokushibo’s hair with what little life he has left. Then Genya experiences a power he’s never known. The conflict then continues, with Kokushibo making more frequent strikes. He is able to amputate two of Sanemi’s fingers, leaving Gyomei and Sanemi with no choice but to focus all of their energy on dodging his blows.
Muichiro enters the conflict just as Sanemi appears to be ready to lose, sparing the other Hashira. The upper rank appears to be gaining the upper hand once more, but in a shocking turn of events, Gyomei can sever his right arm, Muichiro stabs him through the torso, immobilizing him, and Genya fires a barrage of bullets at the demon with his weapon, which he modified using his own cells similarly to Kokushibo’s sword. Gyomei and Sanemi race to kill the demon as the bullets lodged in his flesh transform into “trees” and completely enclose him.
Kokushibo is unnerved by the feeling as he remembers an encounter with his younger brother, Yoriichi, 400 years prior when they had not seen each other for 60 years. Yoriichi was able to strike his brother in the neck during the fight, which had never been done before; however, he passed away while still standing before he could strike his brother again. Kokushibo exploded many blades from his body in a fit of wrath at the prospect of losing, fatally wounding Muichiro and Genya while also seriously hurting Sanemi and Gyomei. The four continue to advance unabated.
Genya releases another Blood Power, rooting another tree into Kokushibo’s back as Gyomei smashes Kokushibo’s skull with his flail, and Sanemi rushes forward as Muichiro’s blade becomes crimson, seemingly seeing Kokushibo’s internal organs. Kokushibo celebrates, bragging that all strikes against him are now ineffective because he has beaten Death by beheading him. Shock quickly overtakes his elation when he notices himself in the blade’s reflection.
His new appearance is hideous, with tusks and spikes protruding from his face, back, and head. He recalls his previous goal of being the strongest warrior in the land and questions whether the course he has chosen is what he really wants. Gyomei then manages to decapitate Kokushibo again by using his flail to completely shatter his head as he muses over his motivations. Genya’s bloodthirsty power was utilized against The Top Rank, sucking some of his blood, preventing him from using his bloodthirsty power.
However, Kokushibo has the ability to regenerate fully, and while he prepares to do so, he still notices his brother speaking to him. Kokushibo decides not to regenerate and consents to die since he recognizes that’s not what he wants—he doesn’t want to turn into a monster. He considers what he actually wants to be—he only wants to be like Yoriichi—as he crumbles to the ground.
He only wanted to forget Yoriichi’s face, which he could only recall clearly. As his life raced before him, he acknowledged that by killing his own blood relative and breaking his samurai code, he gave it all up and ultimately accomplished nothing. In his dying moments, Kokushibo called for his brother, asking him why he had ever been born before disappearing entirely and leaving only his shattered flute behind.