If you’ve watched the anime or read the manga, you can agree that the pillars play one of the most vital roles in Demon Slayer’s world-building. These highly skilled demon slayers are what hold the corps together. Because of them, the world is safe from the demonic beings that are the UpperMoons.
The fantastic world created by Koyoharu Gotuge, the mangaka of Demon Slayer, is mainly known for its epic world-building and the powerful Hashira. When you think about it, it is because of the pillars, their acknowledgment in that universe that’s keeping the horrific demons at bay. This fact goes to show their influence on the series.
So it is only natural that light is shed on their part to better understand their importance in the series. This article aims to answer all your questions regarding The Pillars. Who they are, how they came to be, the currently known pillars, and much more. So let’s get on with it.
Bottom Line Up Front
Formed during the Heian period 794-1185, The Pillars are a group of highly skilled swordsmen in the Demon Slayer Corps. As the name suggests, these warriors act as pillars that hold the Corp together. Only they can go toe-to-toe against the highest-ranked Demons, the UpperMoons.
These warriors play a significant role in the series, as all Hashiras, from time to time, help our main protagonists move forward in their mission, some even sacrificing their lives for the greater good.
What Are The Pillars?
The pillars; are also known as Hashiras in the series. They are the most powerful members of the demon slayer corps and are directly in contact with the master of the demon slayer corps, Kagaya Ubayashiki. The Pillars are a group of highly skilled swordsmen that have honed their skills to their peak and battle against the Uppermoon demons. So, in all honestly, one could say that the pillars allow the demon slayer corps to exist.
Due to their strength, they are the highest-ranked members in the corps, only taking orders from the master of the Corps, Kagaya, and then later on his son, Kiriya Ubayashiki.
Each active Hashira covers specific areas to patrol and gather information about any demons living in the area. They normally do not fight lower-ranked demons, but only when the lower-ranked demon slayers can’t defeat a demon they are dispatched to investigate, as the Demon could be one of the 12 Kizuki.
Every Hashira has his unique Breathing style, inherited from the previous hashira.
When Did The Pillars Come To Be?
Pillars came to be shortly after the demon slayer corps was created in the Heian period, from 794 to 1185, by the Ubayashiki family. The main reason was Muzan, who had started terrorizing the world as a demon.
Qualifications To Be A-Pillar
There are many ways to become a pillar. The first way to become a pillar is by defeating a demon from amongst the 12 Kizuki as a Kinoe-level demon slayer or beheading 50 demons.
Another method to become a pillar is becoming a Tsuguko(student) of another Pillar. The Pillar chooses his Tsugoko himself. So one must have immense talent, potential, and drive. Then once the Pillar dies, the Tsugoko rises to the rank of the Pillar.
As mentioned in demon slayer, the effort required to become a pillar is five years of training. However, those blessed with talent may only take two or fewer years to become a Pillar.
Currently Known Pillars In The Series
Giyu tomioka: The Water Pillar
Giyu doesn’t talk much, which goes for both verbally and physically, as Giyu has stoic body language. His expression is always blank and unbothered, so one can never tell how he feels or what he thinks.
However, Giyu does have an extreme sense of justice. But when it comes to dealing with demons. He doesn’t let his hatred for them cloud his judgment and makes pragmatic decisions. During his first encounter with Tanjiro and Nezuko, we see this where he goes against the Corps code to let Nezuko live.
Mitsuri Kanroji: The Love Pillar
Mitsuri has a more dynamic and jolly personality compared to the other corps members. Which contributes to her name as the love pillar. Even though she is usually shy and gets flustered quickly, she seems to have a special and stronger bond with the serpent pillar (Obanai).
However, don’t mistake her gentle and graceful demeanor for being weak, as she is one of the strongest pillars. She shows no mercy to demons and is disgusted by them. In her battles against the 12 Kizuki, she often expresses her feelings in a fierce tone.
Like the rest of the pillars, Mitsuri has an unyielding devotion to the Demon slayers corps even though she was put out of commission by Muzan himself at a young age.
Funny enough, Mitsuri decided to join the demon slayer corps to find a man stronger than her or as strong as her. The reason is that back in her normal days; no man would want to marry Mitsuri due to her unreal physical strength and her unique hair color.
At first, she feels guilty for becoming a demon slayer for such a selfish reason but later on, she can shove past those feelings with the help of her friends, Shinobu and Obanai.
Obanai Iguro: The Serpent Pillar
In contrast to Mitsuri, Obanai is a harsh and strict individual with no concern for those who don’t follow the set of rules by the corps. Obanai’s expectations for his fellow pillars are highly unrealistic, as he expects them to defeat the Upper moons easily and give their lives if they must.
Obanai has a crush on Mitsuri and loves her a lot. However, he can’t tell her that due to his sense of self-loathing. The reason is that Obanai was born into a family that believed in nothing but cruelty. His family would sacrifice even the newborns to a demon to protect themselves and for money.
Obanai felt so tainted by their blood that he would feel his family sinking their nails into his skin even after their death. He believed that to be with Mitsuri; he would have to die and cleanse his soul to be someone worthy of her. His face is covered with bandages to hide the scars that he received from his family at a young age.
Sanemi Shinazugawa: The Wind Pillar
Unlike the rest of the pillars, Sanemi is like a volcano. Hot-blooded, stubborn, and impulsive. He doesn’t care if his words might hurt others. The only person Sanemi shows respect to and speaks kindly to is Kagaya. However, it wasn’t always like that.
He only showed respect to him after realizing that there was more to Kagaya than just his growing feeble body. Sanemi has a constant hunger for battle, and he looks forward to fighting one of the upper moons. He even expresses his joy when fighting the upper moon one Kokushibo.
However, there’s a pretty tragic story behind his cold and dismissive behavior. The reason is that Sanemi lost a lot of people close to him in the past. Sanemi lost all of his siblings at a young age after his hardworking and loving mother became a demon and killed them.
Sanemi and his brother Genya are the only ones to survive. However, throughout the series, Sanemi is shown to hurl insults at his only surviving brother. Not because of his hate towards him but rather because he wants Genya to live an everyday life away from danger.
Gyomei Himejima: The Stone Pillar
Out of all the Pillars shown in the series, Gyomei is physically the biggest, having quite the muscle mass. In simpler words, he is a gentle giant. However, despite being so big, Gyomei speaks softly and is sensitive.
Gyomei has a religious personality since he always wears beads around his neck and prays in stressful situations. One interesting thing about Gyomei is that he is blind. However, he doesn’t let this disability get in between his duty, as he has trained his other senses to the peak.
Despite his overwhelming and intimidating aura, Gyomei cries on the slightest of things. It isn’t easy to get past his defenses, with him being a reserved person.
He had quite a tragic past. Many young children were under his care, whom he loved and cared for, but it changed when a demon murdered them, and the blame for it was set on Gyomei. Kagaya later saved and admitted him into the corps.
Muichiro Tokito: The Mist Pillar
Muichiro is the youngest of all the pillars. However, despite his young age, 14, he is still one of the most powerful pillars. At first glance, Muichiro is shown to forget things easily and is always wandering in his thoughts. To say that he has a “misty” memory won’t be incorrect. Muichiro does things selfishly and bases all his decisions on logic rather than letting emotions interfere.
However, this isn’t Muichiro’s true personality. Muichiro had a twin brother who was insensitive and apathetic. But Muichiro, on the contrary, was a more compassionate and kind individual that looked on the brighter side of life.
Like his father, Muichiro believed in doing good for others and helping them. However, when a demon killed his brother, Muichiro lost his memories and unintentionally took his brother’s personality due to suppressed rage and a kindled hatred. After that, he became the cold person he is as a pillar.
Shinobu Kocho: The Insect Pillar
Shinobu debuts in the series as an optimistic, cheerful character that can be friends with anybody. No matter the situation, Shinobu always carries a smile on her face. However, there lies a lot more behind this smile, as Shinobu is never truly happy. Shinobu loves teasing others but is sadistic inside.
Even though she is smiling on the outside, Shinobu is always angry. This contrast is due to her overwhelming hatred for the demons.
Her older sister, Kanae Kocho, was murdered by a demon at a young age. She was the only family Shinobu knew as her parents had died too. Upper moon two, Douma murdered her Tsuguko and their families who lived in the butterfly mansion.
Kanae Kocho: Former Flower Pillar
Unlike Shinobu, Kanae is an easygoing girl with an optimistic personality. Her personality is what Shinobu tries to mimic. Whenever Kanae appears in Shinobu’s flashbacks, she always seems to wear a smile on her face.
However, her fighting spirit differed from her usual persona since she was strict with herself and even on her tsugoku.
Kanae died at the hands of upper moon 2, Doma, who fatally wounded her during the fight. However, Doma could not eat her since the battle had preceded too long and the sun had begun to rise. While Doma fled from the sun, Kanae lay down in Shinobu’s arms bleeding to death and pleading with her to live a normal life.
Sakonji Urokodaki: Former Water Pillar
There isn’t much information available on the former water pillar’s past. However, from what we know, we can assess that Urokodaki seems to be a stern, grumbling old man but cares for his students. He loves them and teaches them with compassion. Since Urokodaki never had his own family. His students are his family.
He is one of the few characters to put faith in Nezuko as a demon from the get-go and help Tanjiro in his journey without expecting anything back.
The only vital information about his past that we know is that he was the one to capture the hand demon. After his tenure as a Pillar, he retired and began teaching others the water breathing style.
Jigoro Kuwajima: Former Thunder Pillar
Not much is known about Jigoro’s past either. However, as seen in the series, Jigoro was devoted to guiding his students and making them good swordsmen who would later help others. His train was quite severe. Even though he seemed like a man with a heart of stone, he was quite the softie.
He got devasted after learning that one of his students had become a demon and joined the ranks of the upper moons, so much so that he committed seppuku(suicide).
Kyojuro Rengoku: Former Flame Pillar
If you saw the Mugen train movie, then you probably know how tragic was the end of Kyujoro Rengoku. Kyojuro was a highly enthusiastic individual and passionate about his duty as a pillar. He was a responsible man who always kept smiling no matter what. He had a pure heart and formidable swordsmen skills that he had honed to absolute perfection by discipline.
Kyojuro had the heart of a warrior, and he followed the principles his mother had laid out for him ever since he was a child. The main being, ” Those who are born strong have a duty to protect the weak.”
Shinjuro Rengoku: Former Flame Pillar
Ever since his debut in the series, most of us disliked the character of Shinjuro, Rengoku’s father. He was a short-tempered man that lashed out at people and even physically hurt them.
He had nothing but hate towards the demon slayer corps and didn’t praise his sons even once. Even when Rengoku became a pillar, he spoke no words of appreciation; instead, he only hurled insults at Rengoku and his younger brother.
After his wife died, Shinjuro fell into despair and started drinking alcohol.
Tengen Uzui: Former Sound Pillar
Tengen Uzui debuted in the series as an eccentric and flashy individual. In every situation, he wanted to shine and dazzlingly accomplish everything.
Tengen looks up to his fellow Pillar Kyojuro Rengoku as he always seems to think of himself as less than him and the other pillars.
We further see this self-doubt when Tengen considers himself without any talent, that he won’t be able to be as great as Kyujuro was. He also feels guilty that he let so many lives slip through his fingers over the years; that many people died on his account.
Despite this, Tengen is very caring and protective of those he loves. Tengen has three wives, Makio, Suma, and Hinatauru, whom he cares about and loves deeply.
But he even risks their life for the sake of the demon slayer as all three of his wives go undercover for a mission trying to find an upper moon demon’s identity. However, Tengen does ask the three of them to be selfish in their lives and save themselves if they are ever in harm’s way.
Question: Who is the Strongest Pillar?
Answer: Gyomei Himejima is the strongest Pillar of all. Not only physically but also in his abilities. As shown in his past, when protecting the kids from the Demon that attacked, he kept punching the Demon with his bare hands, destroying his head over and over till the sun finally rose, and it burned away.
Question: Who is the Weakest Pillar?
Answer: Shinobu Kocho, the insect pillar, is the weakest of all, as she is physically short and incapable of cutting through a demon’s neck. To counter this problem, she makes powerful poison from wisteria flowers and stabs the demons with her blade so that the poison can make the killing for her.
Question: Is Kagaya a Pillar?
Answer: No, Kagaya isn’t a pillar but just the leader of the demon slayer corps and the head of the Ubayashiki family that was closely related to Muzan. It is the goal of every surviving Ubayashiki to kill Muzan Kibitsuji as they feel a responsibility for it due to being related to him.
However, due to a sickness in the family, no man lives more than 30 years of age maximum. Kagaya has a feeble and weak body from his introduction in the series until his death.
Question: Why Is the Stone Pillar Always Crying?
Answer: Gyomei Himejima, the Stone Pillar, is a very emotional being by nature. He possesses a very kind soul that often weeps for the innocents he couldn’t save.
As I’ve answered in the previous question, Gyomei is the strongest among the Pillars. This status is also thanks to his ability to feel every emotion strongly. He harnesses these emotions and uses them to fuel his breathing. So his crying is more like his strength rather than weakness.
Demon Slayer Pillars: Final Thoughts
These are all the known pillars in the Demon slayer series. While these characters aren’t real, we can most definitely relate to how some of the Pillars feel. Yes, the severity of our mistakes or experiences may not be as severe as the pillars, but they are mistakes indeed, and these pillars show us how to move past them and make them our driving power.
It also shows us that no matter how much of a screw-up different people have been in the past, they can start on a new and noble path as long as they come together and work towards an honest goal. They play small roles in a bigger story. And every good action ever so slightly pushes them towards a happy ending.
It’s not how you start; it’s how you end.