Tanjiro’s Demon Slayer Mark: Origins and Importance

Scars and marks in literature often have interesting meanings. Sometimes it is just there for aesthetic sakes. Joker, Harley Quinn, and Hisoka are under this category. And then we have characters who are defined by their scars. These scars or marks may even carry great meaning behind them. Heath Ledger’s Joker and Harry Potter are great examples of this. In Kimetsu no Yaiba: Demon Slayer, we see this used by the author. Let’s take a look at Tanjiro’s Demon Slayer Mark, its origins, and its importance.

What is the Demon Slayer Mark?

Do you know how in anime when a character gains a tattoo, they grow stronger? That’s pretty much it for the Demon Slayer Mark! It grants its users abilities that highly depend on their capabilities. This means that some users may not be able to use the same techniques. This was popularized by Yoriichi, who passed it to other Demon Slayers to use.

Demon Slayer Mark

Unfortunately, the Demon Slayer Mark’s origins are completely unknown. Gotouge never really went into the details of its uniqueness. All we know is that it manifests in someone who came into contact with a person who had it. This was how Yoriichi was able to pass it on to other demon slayers. It’s kind of like a disease if you think about it!

Regardless of its origins, its importance to the story of KNY cannot be denied. The mark allowed previous Hashira to fight against stronger demons. It is responsible for keeping humanity alive until Muzan was slain. Unfortunately, this mark did disappear as time passed. The development of Breathing Styles was seen as more important than it is to awaken a mark. Hence, in Tanjiro’s period, no one had it. It had effectively died off with no way for someone to awaken it. Except for one person!

Tanjiro’s Demon Slayer Mark

As the descendant of the Kamado Family, he has close ties with Yoriichi. This alone grants him some special perks. His Demon Slayer Mark is one of them. Tanjiro is the only character to awaken his mark without coming into contact with a marked demon slayer. This is what enabled him to awaken the marks of Muichiro and Kanroji. Without Tanjiro’s mark, the Hashira wouldn’t have been able to awaken theirs.

How Did Tanjiro Get His Demon Slayer Mark?

It is unknown how Tanjiro got his mark. I just chalk it up to plot armor! However, theories may point out that his father, Tanjuro, passed the mark to him. Both father and son shared a similar scar on their forehead. This may point out that Tanjuro may have had access to the mark already.

Another theory is that Yoriichi is responsible for Tanjiro receiving his mark. As the Kamado Family has taken him in and accepted him, Yoriichi’s spirit may have lived on with them. He may have connected with the family to make it so they awaken their Marks with ease. Unlike the previous theory, this one has solid evidence. In later chapters, Tanjiro was able to see through Yoriichi’s Memories. Particularly, it was when the latter fought Muzan. This has solidified a connection between Tanjiro and Yoriichi. Hence, it’s what allowed Tanjiro to get his mark.

Tanjiro's Demon Slayer Mark

Or so how the theories go. Until Gotouge says it, we have no way of confirming how Tanjiro got his mark.

When Did Tanjiro Get His Demon Slayer Mark?

Now, this is a question that’s easier to answer! Tanjiro got his mark after fulfilling its conditions. His battle against Daki and Gyutaro had left him pushing his physical limits. He was able to survive the experience which allowed the mark to develop.

Demon Slayer Mark Abilities

Now that we discussed the importance of the mark, let’s get to the abilities it provides! There are a total of four abilities and one demerit for the holders of this mark. These abilities may not be used by other mark holders. It is unknown how these abilities are distributed, but it’s safe to say that all users have them.

Bright Red Nichirin Sword

All of the mark holders are given the ability to create a red blade. This blade can cut through the toughest of demons in Kimetsu no Yaiba. The final battle against Muzan also confirms that the blade can cut through him. The “bright red” part of the katana is not a mere aesthetic. It’s the blade being heated up through various means. Here are a few ways for this to be triggered:

  • Tanjiro can do this naturally, but he couldn’t do so at the beginning. He needed the help of Nezuko‘s Blood Demon Art to create it. We are given a sneak peek of this feature in his fight against Rui. Later on, we see a more forward version of his fight against Hantengu.
Tanjiro's Demon Slayer Mark powers
  • In the case of Giyu, he and the Wind Hashira had to strike their blades together. 
  • For the Serpent Hashira, he had to grip his katana’s handle tight enough to cause it.

Enhanced Abilities and Resistance

The wielders of the mark gain a massive increase in their strength, durability, and speed. Those at the level of Hashira would be able to overpower lower Upper-Rank Demons. When against Muzan, it allows them to survive and keep fighting for five or so hours.

They also gain resistance to Muzan’s cell destruction caused by his blood.

Transparent World

This is what I would say is the weirdest ability of the bunch. The mark essentially allows the user to see through the skin of organic matter. They can keep track of blood, muscle movement, and others of the person they are looking at. People who can see in this method can perceive the world in slow-motion. This helps to increase their reflexes and movement speed.

Demon Slayer Mark abilities

You would think that the mask holders would have both of these abilities. But later chapters imply that they do not every time. During the final battle, the Hashira are only able to receive the slow-motion effect. They weren’t able to see past Muzan’s skin. Not even Tanjiro was able to demonstrate this ability. He had to rely on the scars Yoriichi inflicted instead of seeing through Muzan’s skin. Only the Serpent Hashira was able to demonstrate some form of this sight, but it was lacking even then.

The Curse

People who gained the mark have their lifespans dramatically decreased. Those who hold the mark are said to die before reaching the age of 25. Those who manifested the mark in old age will die shortly after its manifestation. Kokushibo theorized this as the price for receiving great power. 

Currently, the only way to survive the curse is by turning immortal.

Other Notable Demon Slayers Who Have This Mark

Due to its rare nature, only a few demon slayers have this mark. Other than Tanjiro, these people also developed theirs. Of course, after close contact with the boy!

Tokito Muichiro’s Demon Slayer Mark

Muichiro developed his after his contact with Tanjiro. After remembering his past, he is spurned on by Tanjiro’s words. He managed to beat Gyokko thanks to this mark and helped to spread it to others. He was the one to discover the prerequisites needed to awaken the mark.

His Demon Slayer Mark comes in the form of clouds that appear on his face.

Kanroji Mitsuri’s Demon Slayer Mark

Similar to Muichiro, Kanroji developed hers after contacting Tanjiro. With her mark, she can fight back Hantengu’s ultimate form. Her mark comes in the form of a butterfly on top of her left clavicle.

Tomioka Giyu’s Demon Slayer Mark

Giyu developed his mark during his battle against Akaza. The latter had pissed him off greatly which was enough to get his blood pumping! His mark takes on the appearance of a water stream that cascades down his left cheek.

Demon Slayers with mark

Himejima Gyomei’s Demon Slayer Mark

In the battle against Kokushibo, Gyomei received his mark. He had been the oldest so far in the series to receive it. Kokushibo noted that since the man received it late, he would die in a few hours. This is later confirmed as Gyomei would die during the aftermath of Muzan’s death. His mark takes on the form of earth fissures that spread across his arms.

Shinazugawa Sanemi’s Demon Slayer Mark

Sanemi manifested his in the same way Gyomei did. He was in a battle against Kokushibo when his mark manifested. Like others, he appeared on his face. The mark takes on the appearance of a windmill on his right cheek.

Iguro Obanai’s Demon Slayer Mark

Unlike the others, Obanai developed his mark at the final battle. His struggle against Muzan was proving to be difficult. The man had been too powerful, but that did not stop him. His mark would manifest in the form of snakes coiling around his left arm.

Demon Slayers with mark