Tanjiro’s Sun Breathing: The Secrets of Hinokami Kagura

Every Shounen protagonist has a unique ability that defines them in the story. Ichigo had his amalgamation of Hollow, Quincy, and Shinigami powers. Naruto had the Nine-Tails and Sage Mode. Luffy had his First to Third Gears. So on and so forth! So, when Kimetsu no Yaiba came into the fray, it came as no surprise that Tanjiro also had one. In this article, we will be talking about Tanjiro’s Sun Breathing. Spoilers ahead, this article will expose quite a bit!

What is Tanjiro Kamado’s Sun Breathing Style?

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The Sun Breathing Style is the first Breathing Style employed by the demon slayers. And when I say first, I do mean the very first! No other Breathing Styles existed during its conception. This is by no means the fault of demon slayers. There was no time for them to “breath” because of the demons. Muzan’s reign of terror had been at its peak until the progenitor of Breathing Styles taught the humans.

Through this man’s teachings, the Sun Breathing Style was spread. Demon Slayers were able to push back the demons for once and create a united front. This is the style that would branch off to create other styles. One that Tanjiro would take full advantage of later on.

Who is the Creator of Tanjiro’s Sun Breathing Style?

The progenitor of the Sun Breathing Style was, shockingly, not Tanjiro’s ancestor. Its creator is none other than Tsugikuni Yoriichi, a man who wished to live a quiet life. This man deserves a short article of his own, so we’ll keep the answer here short!

Yoriichi is a demon slayer 500 years before Tanjiro’s time. He was the strongest demon slayer to ever exist. He had been the one to best Muzan in a fight and turned the tide. The war against demons became easier thanks to his help.

Who is the Creator of Tanjiro’s Sun Breathing Style?

Funny enough, the man created the Sun Breathing Style by accident! His genius intellect and talent with the sword accumulated to develop Breathing naturally. He fought with it for as long as he could remember. This was implied in Chapter 186. Unfortunately, he would grow old. He would die of old age and sire no children to inherit his legacy.

Why is Sun Breathing Called Hinokami Kagura?

You might be wondering how the Sun Breathing Style was inherited. After all, it had been lost to time as multiple styles were created from it. Well, the answer to that is Tanjiro’s plot armor. Rather, it was thanks to Tanjiro’s ancestor! During Yoriichi’s lowest point of his life, he had come across the Kamado Family. There, he would meet Tanjiro’s ancestor named Sumiyoshi.

Through Sumiyoshi and his children’s pestering, Yoriichi demonstrated the Sun Breathing Style. Sumiyoshi would burn these techniques into his mind. He felt breathless as he watched the performance and realized its beauty. As Yoriichi left, Sumiyoshi decided to teach his children. Through him, the Sun Breathing Style lived on. He did so for the sake of his friend and to carry on his legacy. It was the least he could do to give the man some peace.

Tanjiro's ancestors, Who is the Creator of Tanjiro’s Sun Breathing Style?

This would be passed down from generation to generation as a ritual. As it did with time, the original name of it was lost. In its place, it had been called the Hinokami Kagura or Dance of the Fire God.

When Does Tanjiro Learn Sun Breathing?

Unfortunately, Tanjiro’s father would die before he could finish teaching Tanjiro. All that the boy knew were his memories of watching his father perform the ritual. He, as a child, dabbled in it but has shown to have no experience. However, this would be enough! 

In episode 20 of Demon Slayer’s First Season, we have the first look at Tanjiro using Sun Breathing. For comparison, this is Chapters 38 to 40 in the manga. Having been pushed to the ropes by Rui, the boy had to make a plan. If things went as they did then he would die along with Nezuko. Unless he performed something new, there was no chance of winning! This is when he remembered the Hinokami Kagura and had a thought. What if he mixed the Water Breathing Style and the dance his father did?

Tanjiro's dad dancing dance of the fire god

Fate had been on his side. By using the Water Breathing Style as a medium, he was able to perform the Sun Breathing Style. Of course, he didn’t know this. At that moment, he called it the Hinokami Kagura Dance. With one last swipe of his sword with Nezuko’s aid, he slew Rui. This is what would awaken Tanjiro into learning the Sun Breathing Style.

Tanjiro's Sun Breathing

How Does Tanjiro Learn Sun Breathing?

Unfortunately, his Hinokami Kagura Dance had been a fluke. The only reason Tanjiro was able to perform it was because it had been a matter of life and death. Subsequent attempts to perform the technique often backfired on him.

Through Rengoku, he would discover the true nature of Hinokami Kagura. Since then, he would train his body to withstand the force. Through trial and error, Tanjiro was able to learn Sun Breathing on his own. When the Entertainment District Arc happened, he was able to use the techniques. But it did leave him out of breath and almost died as a result.

When Does Tanjiro Master Sun Breathing Style?

Tanjiro doesn’t master the Sun Breathing Style until later on! His battles against Hantengu and training helped, but it wasn’t until he almost died. Again. Following the “protagonist powers up through flashback” trend, Tanjiro was able to see the creator of his style. Through his ancestor’s memories, he learned to hone and master the Sun Breathing Style. Watching Yoriichi made him realize his wasted movements and wrong technique. 

He would put this to use in his subsequent battle against Muzan. There, he would perfect the technique and reach what Yoriichi wasn’t able to. By chaining all 12 Sun Breathing Style Techniques, he was able to perform the Thirteenth Form. This is what helped him take out Muzan in their battle.

Tanjiro's sun breathing

Tanjiro Sun Breathing/Hinokami Kagura Techniques

The Sun Breathing Style techniques can be described with one word: Flashy! Tanjiro has used all of these techniques at least once in his life. In his final battle against Muzan, he was able to chain all 12 together to achieve the final form. So, let’s break down all of these techniques in word format!

Techniques We’ve Seen in the Anime

Tanjiro's sun breathing

Here are a few techniques we’ve already seen happen in the anime!

  • Dance (円舞 Enbu) – This is the first technique that Tanjiro performed against Rui. In this, the user performs a downward slash in an arcing motion. We see this in action in Episode 19 of the anime when he struck at Rui!
  • Clear Blue Sky (碧羅の天 Hekira no Ten) – Tanjiro spins around and releases a flaming slash around him. Tanjiro uses this against Enmu to free them from the dream!
  • Raging Sun (烈日紅鏡 Retsujitsu Koukyou) – Tanjiro slashes twice to deflect incoming attacks. He uses this attack against Daki!
  • Burning Bones, Summer Sun (灼骨炎陽 Shakkotsu En’you) – Tanjiro spins forward like Sonic. He uses this attack to deflect incoming frontal attacks. However, he only performs a slash once! We see him perform this against Daki to counter her Blood Demon Art.
  • Fire Wheel (火車 Kasha) – We see this in action in Tanjiro’s fight against Daki! He moves behind his opponent and swings downward in a spiral motion. This is an attack meant to catch them off guard!
Rainbow Tanjiro Daki anime
  • Fake Rainbow (幻日虹 Gen’nichi Kou) – It’s pretty much even more slashing. But Tanjiro slashes so fast that he leaves after images! He used this attack against Muzan and had some pretty good results with it.
  • Flame Dance (炎舞 Enbu) – This is just the Dance Technique again but Tanjiro follows it up with another slash. Pretty original!
Does Tanjiro Become a Demon?

Techniques Yet to Be Shown in the Anime

And here are some of the techniques for you to look forward to! There’s a chance that some of these techniques have already been used in the anime but were unnamed. I will not put many pictures here to show these attacks as they feature heavy spoilers!

  • Dancing Flash (円舞一閃 Enbu Issen) – Tanjiro being Tanjiro, he put his spin into this attack. By copying Zenitsu’s Thunder Breathing, he used this attack to catch up to Hantengu. This attack works similarly to Dance except for Tanjiro blitzes forward and strikes!
  • Setting Sun Transformation (斜陽転身 Shayou Tenshin) – Tanjiro performs a backflip before slashing once. The attack is meant to decapitate. It’s the same as Fire Wheel, but, well, done forward! He does this against Akaza in their later fight.
  • Dragon Sun Halo Head Dance (日暈の龍・頭舞 Nichiun no Ryuu Kaburimai) – You only need to look at what Tanjiro did against Daki. Remember when Tanjiro forgot to breathe but was slashing forward like a madman? That’s this technique! Tanjiro slashes forward consecutively and kills any demon on his way. The first time he used this though, he was unconsciously doing it!
Tanjiro's sun breathing
  • Solar Heat Haze (飛輪陽炎 Hirin Kagerou) – We see this done by Tanjiro multiple times when he fights. He doesn’t say the name of this technique and it happens unconsciously! However, he uses a stronger version of this against Akaza. With this style, he can strike Akaza by masking the blade’s length with flames. Kind of like Fate’s Arturia’s invisible sword but with a lot more flames!
  • Beneficent Radiance (輝輝恩光 Kiki Onkou) – I’m sure a lot of us know Shoryuken. This is it but with a blade and sword! Tanjiro spins upwards while moving his katana. This creates a small spiral attack around him.
  • Sunflower Thrust (陽華突 Youkatotsu) – Tanjiro stabs forward and spews flames. That’s it! He uses this technique against Hantengu when the demon tried to escape.
  • Thirteenth Form (拾参ノ型 Juu San no kata) – Tanjiro uses the previous 12 techniques consecutively. The longer Tanjiro uses this technique the less fatigued and easier it is for him to perform it. This was first used by Yoriichi but failed to take out Muzan permanently. Tanjiro uses this again, later on, to keep the latter busy!