Kimetsu no Yaiba“has many secrets that hide great power among some of its main characters, and of course one of the most striking points in anime in recent times is that of the presence of Tanjiro’s Hanafuda earrings. Yes, it’s true that the protagonist has been wearing them since the beginning of the anime, but with the figure of Yoriichi Tsugikuni becoming more and more relevant, so are the earrings. Therefore, today I come to comment what is their meaning.

The meaning of Tanjiro’s earrings in real life

  • Before moving on to what Tanjiro’s earrings imply in Kimetsu no Yaiba, I’ll comment on their real-life implications, because the truth is that they have two very opposite readings.
  • On the one hand, they must first represent a tribute to a Hanafuda card game. This type of card is characterized by very striking artistic patterns and also by its use to play a wide variety of traditional Japanese games.
  • On the other hand, there were also those who at the time wanted to give it a reading that was not so pleasant for many: the “Rising Sun” of the Japanese imperialist era from which many Asian countries have suffered so much.
  • In fact, such was the discussion that arose around this that in parts of Asia, the design of the earrings that Tanjiro wore in the anime have been changed from Kimetsu no Yaiba:
This is how the anime Kimetsu no Yaiba changed the design of Tanjiro’s earrings
  • Obviously there was never a way to truly prove that Tanjiro’s earrings were meant to send a message glorifying Japan during wartimebut thanks to this change, the controversy eventually died out over time.

The meaning of Tanjiro’s earrings in Kimetsu no Yaiba (SPOILERS)

  • In Kimetsu no Yaiba the meaning of earrings has absolutely nothing to do with real life implicationsbut it is true that they have several readings.
  • At first, the easiest thing to understand is that they are a family heirloom in the line of Tanjiro. At the end, we can see how his father already had these earrings before Tanjiro started using them. But… how does Yoriichi Tsugikuni fit in here then?
  • No, Tanjiro is not from Yoriichi’s lineage, but yes, there was someone at the time of the line of Tanjiro who was very close to the creator of the Breath of the Sun: Sumiyoshi.
sumiyoshi kimetsu no yaiba
Sumiyoshi is Tanjiro’s ancestor who became Yoriichi’s great friend.
  • Sumiyoshi is an ancestor of Tanjiro, a great friend of Yoriichi who created the steps of the Hinokami Kagura in order to preserve the different forms of the Breath of the Sun. It was from this point that Tanjiro and Yoriichi’s earrings came to represent a symbol of great power hidden within the wearer.
  • Precisely, the reason Muzan murders all of Tanjiro’s family and later shows an interest in killing him too is because he remembers Yoriichi wearing the exact same earrings he could see in Tanjiro’s family Tanjiro. Earrings that only those who had the potential and the knowledge to use the Breath of the Sun came to wear.

As you can see, the earrings that Tanjiro and Yoriichi use really many different readings depending on the perspective one wants to use. Personally, I prefer that in “Kimetsu no Yaiba” they are a clear mark of those who are able to use the Breath of the Sun, because after all, the existence of said breath is the key to all events that take place in animates it.

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