How Old is Shinobu? The Age of the Fan Favorite Hashira!

Kocho Shinobu is a fan favorite in the Kimetsu no Yaiba series. And for good reasons! Powerful, kind, gentle, yet savage, she grabbed the fans’ hearts on her anime debut. Her gentle tone yet cruel acts were a refreshing sight to her stale companions. However, since she was a side character, we don’t see much of her. So, all kinds of questions were bound to come out! In this article, we will resolve to answer one of them: “how old is Shinobu?”

Who is Shinobu Kocho?

Not to be mistaken with Monogatari’s Shinobu. No, that one is a whole different character! Kocho Shinobu is one of Demon Slayer’s Hashira. She is one who strived toward the peak of demon slaying and created her Breathing Technique. While her physique made it impossible to decapitate, she made it up with her poisons. Underestimating this short-statured woman would be your last mistake!

On a personal level, she is also just as complicated. She acts amiably and comforting to everyone around her. But this is her façade! As felt by Tanjiro, Shinobu has unhealthy levels of anger and hate churning inside her. She lives her life for the sake of vengeance and killing demons. Her vendetta is something that started earlier on in her life. Based on her appearance, you would think she’d been carrying it for more than a decade. But she’s younger than you think!

How Old is Shinobu?

How old is Shinobu?

Kocho Shinobu is 18 years old during the events of Demon Slayer. She is among the youngest Hashira to ever exist! You might be wondering how was Shinobu able to become a Hashira. After all, there were no mentions of it in the manga! Among all the characters in the series, Shinobu is the one to whom we have the least answers. Thankfully for you, I have the answer. It all comes from Kimetsu no Yaiba’s Light Novels that were released alongside the manga!

How Old is Shinobu When She Becomes a Demon Slayer?

A lot of guesswork has to be done here since the source material wasn’t forthcoming with information. However, we do have a few solid pieces of knowledge! This can help us determine when Shinobu became a demon slayer.

Establishing What We Know: Shinobu’s Timeline of Events pre-Demon Slayer!

First, we know that Shinobu was already a demon slayer by the time she was 14. This was her age when her older sister Kanae (who was 17) died. We already saw her wearing a demon slayer outfit when she cradled the latter.

Shinobu and Kanae rescue Kanao

How Old was Shinobu When She Became a Hashira?

Since the Tomioka Giyuu Gaiden is canon, we know she was already a Hashira when she was 16 years old. Now that we have a timeline of these events, we just have to work backwards!

Time for Guesswork: Determining How Early Shinobu Trained! 

According to “One-Winged Butterfly,” Shinobu and her sister trained when they were young. Like, very young! Gyomei described Shinobu at that point as a child of “tender age.” That would mean Shinobu was at least four to ten years old when she approached Gyomei for training! After getting his acknowledgement, she and her sister would be sent to “cultivators”. They would be responsible for training them into demon slayers!

How old is Shinobu?

It would be some time later until they finished their cultivation training. According to Kimetsu no Yaiba’s Fan Book, cultivation training would take at least one year. That is the bare minimum, with Tanjiro and Kanroji being the few exceptions. It was already confirmed by Rengoku at that point that no other Hashira became a pillar like Kanroji. This meant that Shinobu and Kanae took the full year, if not longer training. Gyomei mentioned that they reunited after the Final Selection process. This meant that both sisters had taken the same time for training. Whether it took one year earlier or not is unknown. From here on, we can guess intellectually!

Tallying the Numbers, Shinobu’s Age when She Became a Demon Slayer!

According to the light novel, it would be “a few years later” after the Final Selection when Kanae died. It is hard to put a number on this, but we can at least state that this may be between 3 to 5 years. By simple subtraction, we can estimate that Shinobu was 9 to 11 years old when she became a Demon Slayer!

How old is Shinobu Kocho?

My belief on Shinobu’s age though is that she was 11 years old. My evidence for this is that she was able to use Gyomei’s axe. A child younger than eight years old would not be able to carry and swing said axe. Since Shinobu was physically weaker, the task would’ve been far more difficult. Yet she was able to! Then, there was the boulder. She and Kanae were able to move it using a lever. This meant Shinobu had to be ten years old at a minimum, since she was three years younger than Kanae (who would be 13)!

Her being at such a young age should be no surprise. There was another young girl in KNY canon who tried to become a demon slayer. However, unlike Shinobu, she died. Yes, I’m talking about Makomo, one of Urokodaki’s students! It appeared that Shinobu’s training was longer, or she had been luckier for the 7-day selection.