One of the most often asked questions related to the Demon Slayer franchise is whether Tanjiro Kamado is directly related to Yoriichi. Now, the two of them do look a bit alike, they have the same earrings, the same enemy, and ultimately end up using the same Breathing Technique. We also know that Yoriichi lived long before Tanjiro. So, are the two of them related, or are these similarities purely coincidental? We shall analyze that in this article, as we answer whether Yoriichi is related to Tanjiro.
No, Yoriichi is not directly related to Tanjiro or the Kamado family. The physical similarities are a coincidence, while the earrings and the Hinokami Kagura are Tanjiro’s family heirloom, given and taught to him thanks to Yoriichi being close friends with Tanjiro’s distant relative, Sumiyoshi. Sumiyoshi was Yoriichi’s only friend and the two of them had a close bond, but were not related.
The rest of this article is going to explain the exact relation between Yoriichi and the Kamado family. You’re going to find out some historical details about the characters, the history of Tanjiro’s family and how Sumiyoshi is related to Yoriichi, and why they both had a profound influence on all future events related to the Demon Slayer narrative.
How are Yoriichi and Tanjiro related?
The question of whether there is a relation between Tanjiro Kamado and Yoriichi Tsugikuni is one of the most often-asked questions related to the Demon Slayer franchise. Namely, there is a surprising number of similarities between the characters and fans are, naturally, wondering whether they’re related. We shall answer that question in this section.
Now, Tanjiro is now what Yoriichi would have been had the manga been about him. Yoriichi was the protagonist of a different era and the most powerful Demon Slayer ever. He is credited as the inventor of the Sun Breathing Style and that same style is what Tanjiro awoke from his memories during his evolution as a Demon Slayer. Tanjiro wears the same Hanafuda earrings that Yoriichi wore and have to his ancestor, and the two look strikingly similar in a lot of aspects. They also had a tragedy-filled life and both were, at different points in time, on the top of Muzan’s hit list.
So, how are they actually related? Are they family? Or something else? They’re actually – nothing. Yoriichi Tsugikuni and Tanjiro Kamado are not relatives and there is not direct connection between them. Now, they are connected and Yoriichi plays a pivotal role in Tanjiro’s evolution, but that is a very indirect connection. Namely, as we are going to elaborate in the next section, Yoriichi is connected to Tanjiro’s ancestor, Sumiyoshi.
The two of them were very close friends and Yoriichi gave his Hanafuda earrings to Sumiyoshi and they have been passed on as family heirloom through generations of the Kamado family, until finally reaching Tanjiro. Also, Sumiyoshi is responsible for preserving the Hinokami Kagura, which was taught to his descendants in the form of a dance; Tanjiro would later become aware of the fact that the Hinokami Kagura is actually the Sun Breathing Style and would use it to defeat several demons, as well as Muzan Kibutsuji.
Is Tanjiro’s dad related to Yoriichi?
The story of Yoriichi’s relation to Tanjiro’s dad begins long before Tanjuro Kamado was even born. Namely, after his banishment from the Corps, Yoriichi decided he had a lot on his mind and wanted someone to talk to. He could only imagine his friends Sumiyoshi and Suyako and decided to visit them. He meets Sumiyoshi, sits down with him, and tells him his whole story, from his beginnings to his recent banishment.
Pondering on the tragedies that had befallen him and speaking of his regret for leaving Muzan alive when they encountered, and the countless deaths that would follow because of that, Yoriichi became depressed. At that moment, Sumire, Sumiyoshi’s daughter, arrives and asks him for a hug; at Sumiyoshi’s encouragement, he lifts her up, causing her to laugh and scream in joy, causing him to burst into tears and kiss her. Suyako, Sumiyoshi’s wife, arrives soon after and comforts him, offering him a meal.
While he was staying with the Kamado family, Suyako would have Yoriichi perform the Hinokami Kagura for them. He did it gently, performing every move with such grace that he was compared more to a shinto rather than a human. Sumiyoshi watched these demonstrations carefully and memorized them. During his last visit, despite saying he was welcome anytime, Yoriichi gave Sumiyoshi his own Hanafuda earrings; Sumiyoshi and Suyako then realized that would be their last meeting.
Overwhelmed with sadness because of the realization, Sumiyoshi called out to Yoriichi as he walked away, calling on him to stop saying he was a worthless man. He recalled that he had saved them and he expressed his promise to preserve the forms of the Hinokami Kagura dance through his descendants (which he ultimately did). So, how does this connect to Tanjuro kamado?
Namely, Sumiyoshi is a distant descendant of Tanjuro Kamado. While it is now know how exactly they are related, it is known that they are. Sumiyoshi was the first known user of the Sun Breathing Style after Yoriichi and he really did fulfill his promise to Yoriichi, passing the technique down to his descendants until it finally reached Tanjiro through his father, Tanjuro.
Now, Yoriichi and Sumiyoshi were not directly related, which – in turn – means that Tanjuro Kamado was likewise not related to Yoriichi. But, Sumiyoshi was Yoriichi’s only true friend and the kindness of the Kamado family ultimately helped Yoriichi overcome his doubts and his guilt over not killing Muzan Kibutsuji. This is why Yoriichi’s story is so closely tied to the story of the Kamado family, despite not being a direct relative of any of the Kamado family’s members.
This story happened many, many years before Tanjuro Kamado and before the beginning of Tanjiro’s story, and it wasn’t really something that the Kamado family often spoke of; maybe they would have done it, but most of them died by the time Tanjiro’s and Nezuko’s adventures began and we didn’t really see much of their life before that moment.
Is Tanjiro a reincarnation of Yoriichi?
Although this might be plausible if you’re not informed, Tanjiro is actually not a reincarnation of Yoriichi. The concept does seem to be present in the Demon Slayer manga and anime, since it’s based on a lot of shinto concepts, but Tanjiro is, as far as we know (and we do know, since the manga is over), not a reincarnation of Yoriichi, despite all the similarities.