Breathing Techniques are one of the principal elements of the Demon Slayer anime and manga. They represent the core of each Demon Slayer’s powers and the element they can manipulate to battle the demons. A total of 14 Breathing Techniques have been revealed in the Demon Slayer manga, each of them focusing on a different element. The strongest among them is Tanjiro’s Sun Breathing ability.
The Hinokami Kagura is a Breathing Technique that is passed down from father to son through each generation of the Kamado family, alongside Hanafuda earrings. The Kamado family uses this Breathing Technique as part of a ritualistic ceremony performed every New Year, where the user of the Breathing Technique offers the Fire God a sunset to sunrise dance to ward off threats and disease.
Having said this, there are still a lot of questions that have to be answered and explained related to the Sun Breathing Technique. The rest of this article is going to further explain all of those details, as we are going to dig deeper into the essence of the Sun Breathing Technique and its presence in the Demon Slayer manga and anime.
What Is the Sun Breathing Technique in Demon Slayer?
Hinokami Kagura is a Breathing Technique passed down from father to son through each generation alongside Hanafuda earrings. The Kamado family uses this Breathing Technique as part of a ritualistic ceremony performed every New Year, where the user of the Breathing Technique offers the Fire God a sunset to sunrise dance to ward off threats and disease.
The dance is made up of twelve segments repeated throughout the night until dawn. Tanjiro noted that the breathing technique used in this dance ensures the wearer never burns out no matter how long they move, so they can seemingly dance forever. The latest known user is Tanjiro Kamado, who learned the Sun Breathing Technique from his father, Tanjuro Kamado. Other people can learn this technique if it is taught by a Kamado descendant.
The tradition of Sun Breathing as a Kagura draws heavily from Shintō mythology. In Japanese folklore, famous tales in the “Nihon Shoki” and “Kojiki/Furukotofumi” explain that the Kagura ritual originated when Amaterasu, the goddess of the sun, retreated into a cave and plunged the world into darkness.
As a result, Ame-no-Uzume, the goddess of celebration and dawn, danced in front of the cave to lure the sun goddess out. These events gave rise to the Kagura, a ritual dance honoring the kami (gods and ancestral spirits). The Sun Breathing was also disguised as Kagura and passed down as Hinokami Kagura.
Hinokami Kagura is later revealed by Shinjuro Rengoku to be a legendary Breathing Style known as Sun Breathing, a legendary and forgotten Breathing Technique and the first to have been created. All other Breathing Techniques are derived from it by Yoriichi Tsugikuni, the creator of Sun Breathing, who modified it to suit the people he taught.
Hinokami Kagura and the Sun Breathing Techniques are styles of breath that imitate the sun and reproduce it with the movements, techniques and abilities of the user. All of the techniques and forms are extremely varied and have no defined pattern, making them the most versatile and effective against demons.
Sun Breathing users visualize themselves manipulating the solar flames as they unleash its techniques. This style of blast also appears to be able to hinder a demon’s regeneration to some extent and cause burning-like pain. Tanjiro also noted that using this style increases his overall power and speed, possibly due to the fact that his body is more suited to Sun Breathing than Water Breathing.
Can Tanjiro Use the Sun Breathing Technique?
As a descendant of the Kamado family, Tanjiro Kamado can use the Sun Breathing Technique, as it is passed on from one generation to the other. Seeing how the Kamado family wasn’t all that numerous, there aren’t many known users of this technique. Tanjiro Kamado is the last known user of this technique, since the Demon Slayer Corps disbanded after Muzan’s defeat, as there was essentially no need for them anymore.
Will Tanjiro Master the Sun Breathing Technique?
As far as the anime is concerned, Tanjiro will have mastered the technique by the time the anime ends. This has happened in the manga, as he was able to successfully utilize this Breathing Technique during his fight with Muzan. In fact, he had mastered all the techniques of Sun Breathing by the end of the Hashira Training Arc.
After witnessing Yoriichi perform all thirteen forms of Sun Breath through Sumiyoshi’s memories, Tanjiro found that his own Hinokami Kagura forms contained wasted movements, and then attempted to correct them once he resumed fighting.
Who Taught Tanjiro the Sun Breathing Technique?
Unlike other Breathing Techniques, the Sun Breathing Technique was presented in the form of a ritualistic dance known as Hinokami Kagura, which was taught to him by his father, Tanjuro Kamado. Now, Tanijro had forgotten the dance and the technique associated with it for a while, until his battle with Rui.
During his near-death experience in course of that battle, Tanjiro awakened the memories of his father teaching him the dance, and after remembering them, he easily defeated the lower-ranked demon.
When Does Tanjiro Learn the Sun Breathing Technique?
Technically, Tanjiro learned this technique when he was a child, which is something we discovered during the flashback sequence of his fight with Rui. Tanjiro taught his son the technique when he was still a child, but Tanjiro had forgotten it until his batter with Rui. He would later work on mastering it and would do so during the Hashira Training arc.
Does Tanjiro use the Sun Breathing Technique in the movie?
If you haven’t seen Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train yet, you’re probably wondering whether the Hinokami Kagura appears in the movie. In the movie, Tanjiro, Nezuko, Zenitsu, and Inosuke board a train to help Hashira of the Flame Kyōjurō Rengoku on his mission to hunt down a demon that has killed many Demon Hunters.
Shortly after climbing, they are all delighted and fall into a deep sleep. Enmu, lower in rank than one of the twelve Kizuki, orders four passengers, all of them suffering from severe insomnia, to enter the dreams of the Demon Hunters and destroy their spirit cores so that they cannot wake up again. In return, Enmu will grant them a peaceful sleep.
During his dream, Tanjiro and his companions have happy dreams. Tanjiro realizes that he is dreaming and tries to wake up, succeeding after a vision from his father tells him to kill himself in the dream.
At the same time, Nezuko uses her power to sever the intruders’ connection to the hunters and awaken the passengers. Frightened by Enmu, they attack Tanjiro, who knocks them out. As Nezuko awakens the others, Tanjiro confronts Enmu and, in the ensuing battle, beheads him. However, Enmu does not die, and reveals that he merged with the train. Kyōjurō orders Inosuke and Tanjiro to search for Enmu’s neck while he, Nezuko, and Zenitsu stay behind to protect the other passengers.
Tanjiro and Inosuke find Enmu’s neck in the engine room. Tanjiro is stabbed by a passenger, but manages to cut the bone from his neck, killing Enmu and stopping the train. However, Akaza, the Upper Moon Three, appears shortly after and attacks the Assassins.
Kyōjurō fights alone against him and is mortally wounded, although Akaza is forced to flee when the sun begins to rise. In the last effort to stop him, Tanjiro throws his sword at Akaza that impales his chest, but still manages to escape with the sword still in his chest.
Tanjiro angrily calls him a coward for running away and declares Kyōjurō the winner of the match. Kyōjurō encourages Tanjiro and his friends to continue on his way, and dies. The Hashira and the Demon Hunter Corps are informed of his death, while Tanjiro and the others mourn him.
The reality is that the Sun Breathing Technique is not present in the Demon Slayer movie. The sequel anime, which adapts the Entertainment District Arc, mentions the technique in its first episode, with Tanjiro still looking for information on it; he had used it before, but that was mostly instinctive than anything else. His adventures with the technique are to follow in the later chapters of the story.
Is Sun Breathing the Strongest Breathing Technique?
Based on what we have learned so far, the Sun Breathing Technique is the first and most powerful among the Breathing techniques. It was created a long time ago by Yoriichi Tsugikuni who, when he taught it to his pupils, derived all other Breathing Techniques from it. This is what makes the Sun Breathing Technique so superior.
In addition to that, it is the only Breathin Technique that Muzan actually fears and that is able to permanently kill him.
Sun Breathing was initially created with only 12 techniques, all of them connected to one another by Yoriichi Tsugikuni. Later upon meeting Muzan Kibutsuji, Yoriichi perfected his swordsmanship form, creating a new unnamed thirteenth form. The techniques are:
- Dance: A single concentrated cut.
- Dancing Flash: Developed by Tanjiro. This one uses Lightning Strike of Zenitsu and combines it with his Dance, while pumping air throughout his body, concentrating it on the legs, and releasing it while ending with a flaming blow. The technique was able to overtake Genya and Nezuko, as well as Hantengu on the run, although she is even slower than Zenitsu’s Lightning Strike.
- Clear Blue Sky: The user turns their body to give a 360 degree shot.
- Raging Sun: The user unleashes two horizontal slashes that defend them against attacks from the front or the side.
- Burning Bones, Summer Sun: A circular attack that protects against impending frontal attacks.
- Setting Sun Transformation: The user leaps into the air, head down, slicing through opponents with a flaming blade.
- Solar Heat Haze: The user charges against their opponents with a flaming blade to slice them.
- Beneficent Radiance: The user spirals away to send a powerful slash to those caught up in it.
- Sunflower Thrust: A single blow with the tip of the blade.
- Dragon Sun Halo Head Dance: Resembling a dragon, the user moves in circles to avoid enemy attacks and slices multiple times. This technique was first used by Tanjiro in conjunction with the Blood Power of Nezuko to enhance the effectiveness of the technique. In his second battle against Muzan, he is able to use this technique without Nezuko’s help.
- Fire Wheel: The user attacks the enemy while distracted and strikes a blow in the air while rotating.
- Fake Rainbow: This technique is used to avoid techniques using high speed twists and rotations. It works most effectively on enemies with good vision, for they will attack a posterior image of him and not his real body.
- Flame Dance: A two-step shot that begins with a vertical shot and then just after a horizontal shot.
- Thirteenth Form: The user continuously performs the twelve movements of the Breath in repetitive succession to increase the precision and agility of his movements. This form was created only to kill Muzan since the repetition of the twelve forms aims to destroy the twelve vital organs of Muzan (7 hearts and 5 brains) moving freely inside his body thanks to its shape-changing ability.
And a piece of trivia before we finish; the Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Hinokami Chronicles game includes three additional, non-canon techniques, which are:
- Cross Slash: The user ignites his sword with sun flames and unleashes two arcing flame slashes at his opponent, each forming an “X” shaped cut. This is similar to the Flame Dance.
- Scorching Rush: The user charges forward with the flaming sword and performs a 5-move combo as follows: a low blow from the left, a low blow from the right that briefly lifts the user off the ground, a spinning wave attack, a powerful upward slash forward, and finally an overhead downward slash.
- Phoenix Flash: The user disappears in a flash of fire before reappearing from the fire in mid-air, either upright to perform a powerful circular slash or upside down to perform an angled 360° sword strike.