Demon Slayer characters are a truly intriguing lot, regardless of whether they’re demons or humans. Now, while most of them aren’t all that mysterious, some of them tend to baffle fans from time to time, and that is what actually inspired this article. A well-known character from the series is actually known as Ume. Who? In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about Ume and her identity in the world of Demon Slayer.
Ume was the name of Daki while she was still a human, i.e., before she was turned into a demon by Doma, along with her brother, while living in the Entertainment District’s Kirimise/Rashomongasi (Lowest Caste) area, where sick prostitutes and geishas, along with those who could no longer work in the brothels, were sent and left to die. The name “Ume” means plum in Japanese and seems to be connected to a fictional disease in the series.
The rest of this article is going to focus solely on the character of Ume, as we bring you everything you need to know about her and her origins. We are going to tell you who Ume actually was, how she evolved as a character, as well as what her role in the whole story was. We are also going to tell you about the meaning of her name.
Who is Ume in Demon Slayer?
Daki was born many years ago as Ume in the Rashomongasi (lowest social class) district of the Entertainment District, where sick prostitutes, geishas and oirans who could no longer work in brothels came to die. Her biological mother was a prostitute there and had given birth to her older brother a few years earlier. Her biological father is never mentioned, but he was probably one of her mother’s clients.
Her brother noted that their mother was mentally unstable (likely due to the extremely harsh and poor living conditions in the neighborhood), having attempted suicide and killing her son on several occasions, in addition to having a miscarriage. She also physically abused her son because she could not afford to feed him, forcing him to fend for himself.
When Ume was born, her mother hated her because of the color of her hair and eyes, then tried to kill her. One day she tried to cut her hair with a razor, but Gyutaro became enraged and went on a rampage, leading her to distance herself from her children. Ume was primarily raised by her elder brother until her early teen years, when her mother passed away from the disease Ume, the same sickness she was then named after.
Gyutaro noticed that even as a child, Ume had an incredibly beautiful face that even adult men and women were hesitant to look at. She was so beautiful that if she smiled, people offered her things; hence the nickname Shiraume. This gave him hope that the two of them could rise out of poverty and be able to lead a better life by being scouted and eventually recruited to work at one of the most prestigious brothels in the district.
As he had hoped, Ume in her early teens was finally chosen to work in one of the high-class brothels in the Entertainment District. She then began to receive an appropriate education, learn the right techniques and feed on the best foods to become an Oiran. Even before her training was complete, Ume had already started making a fortune by attracting many suitors and clients to the brothel, thanks to her good looks.
At the same time, her older brother started working as her “collector” and collected the money and debts owed to the brothel. However, this all came to an end when Ume gouged out the eye of a samurai, one of her clients, who had insulted her brother while the latter was away collecting debts. In retaliation, she was tied up, burned alive and left in a ditch. She was later discovered by her brother, who began to panic upon seeing her in a near-death condition.
They were later discovered by the same samurai whom she blinded, accompanied by the headmaster of the brothel where she worked at. They attempted to kill Ume and Gyutaro, but Gyutaro ended up killng them. He then picked up his sister’s charred body and carried it all over town in search of help. His struggle turned out to be in vain, as he realized that no one would help them.
As Gyutaro collapsed in exhaustion from his severe injuries, Doma, a demon who was the Upper Moon Six at the time, stumblesd upon the siblings while wandering the neighborhood looking for beautiful Geishas to devour. Taking pity on them, he offered to help them by turning them into demons, claiming it’s because he was a nice person.
He then challenges them to become strong enough to be chosen by Muzan Kibutsuji and join the Twelve Kizuki by his side. The two of them would later replace him as the Upper Moon Six.
Why is Daki also called Ume?
Daki is called Ume because Ume is her real name. There isn’t any other reason for that. When she was born, as a human, she was given the name Ume, and that explains why she is called that later on in the story, despite changing her name to Daki when she became a demon.
In-universe, there seems to be a connection between Daki’s name, Ume, and a mysterious disease that eventually killed her mother; Ume seems to have been named after the disease, but no additional details about it have been revealed.
What does Ume’s name mean?
The name Ume is written as 梅 in kanji. Now, the 梅 kanji’s principal meaning is “plum”, while referring to, more specifically, the Japanese plum or apricot of the Prunus mume species. It also has several related meanings, and an unrelated one which signifies the lowest object in a three-level rank system. It is also a female name in Japan, although not a common one.