Hashira Demon Slayer Guide: Giyu, Rengoku, Shinobu Explained

The Hashira in Demon Slayer is among the main characters in the series. This group of demon slayers is the most powerful in the entire world. This Hashira Demon Slayer guide is here to let you know about each and every one of them so that you can understand this essential group of fighters.

In this Hashira Demon Slayer guide, I will go over all nine group members. I will note their breathing styles and basic history. In addition, I will be sure to mention some of the details about the organization and how someone joins them. There is a fair bit of information to cover about this beloved group of fan-favorite characters so let’s get started.

Bottom Line Up Front

The Hashira is one of the most critical organizations in the Demon Slayer series. They are the nine most potent slayers to join the Demon Slayer Corps. Each of them has a distinct breathing style that they use, with the Water and Fire Breathing styles always being part of the group.

The Hashira are the “pillars” of society, holding the demons back from eating everyone. Their eternal enemies are Muzan Kibutsuji, king of the demons, and his Twelve Kizuki. Becoming a Hashira is the highest accomplishment for an aspiring slayer. However, it is a dangerous avenue of work as it is common for these slayers to die in battle trying to save lives.

Hashira Demon Slayer Explained

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The Hashira is a group that exists within the Slayer Corps. They are the “pillars” of the organization. In the world of Demon Slayer, the Slayer Corps is the combative group of fighters whose goal is to eradicate all demons. Those demons, led by the series’ main villain Muzan Kibutsuji, are the bane of Japan in the story of the manga.

With demons running rampant, devouring humans, and even controlling society in the shadows, the Slayer Corps are the only line of defense. These specialized soldiers who fight back against the demons are the only ones trained to defeat them in battle.

This is the same Slayer Corps that the main character Tanjiro and his friends are part of. At the very top of the Slayer Corps, though, are the Hashira. These nine group members are the strongest slayers in the entire current organization.

The Hashira have been around since the very founding of the Slayer Corps. In terms of ranking, each of them is second in the entire organization, just behind the leader of the Corps. They had to train very hard and accomplish one of the arduous methods of joining the group.

Each of the Hashira is a skilled fighter, usually with a sword. That said, there are some more eccentric members of the group that uses other weapons of choice that better suit them. Above all, they each use their Breathing Styles in the fight against the Twelve Kizuki. They can almost be seen as the human counterpart to Muzan’s top demons.

Hashira Organization

The Hashira include the nine most powerful fighters at the beginning of the Demon Slayer series. The series does not necessarily define if nine is the maximum number of them or if there could even be ten or more in the group.

At the start of the series, there are nine members that Tanjiro and the gang get to meet. While the Hashira is the foremost fighters against the top demons in Japan, they have other duties that they perform besides this. They, of course, have the usual demon-slaying missions like other Slayer Corps fighters.

Each Hashira has an area that they are in charge of. For their regular work, they will take care of any demons within that location and complete missions. For the missions that they do, it is usually when one of the Twelve Kizuki or another exceedingly strong demon is involved. Otherwise, lower-ranked slayers can take care of it.

When they are not in the middle of a hectic mission time, a Hashira can host a training session. This is seen in one of the later story arcs in the Demon Slayer series. Within this training session, the Hashira will gather up their teammates and the rest of the Slayer Corps.

Each of the nine Hashira is in charge of a particular schedule section, be it muscle training or improving sword fighting. While the Hashira is at the top of the game, they must participate in their teammates’ activities to better themselves.

Though the Hashira training can be intense and overwhelming, it is also great for the other slayers. The lower-ranked members are also allowed to participate, and they have perhaps an even harder time. That said, it can be valuable for helping them to become better demon slayers and survive challenging missions.

How Someone Joins the Group

With such an exclusive group like the Hashira, it is the goal of many young slayers to join it. Becoming a Hashira means that someone has effectively become the best there is. They are fully prepared to take on the top-tier demons in Muzan’s organization.

There are a few possible ways that someone can join the Hashira, which some of the main characters in the series have the goal of doing. In the end, it can take several years to become a Hashira. The first of the methods is to become the Tsuguko for a specific Hashira in the group (more on this in a bit) and then succeed them at some point.

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The other option is a more precise cut method. What a slayer must do is eliminate 50 or more regular demons. While that may not sound like a lot, there are entire story arcs in the series dedicated to just a handful of demons that the main characters are fighting. And each fight is a duel to the death that they barely survive in some cases.

Alternatively, someone can bypass the 50-demon requirement by killing one of the Twelve Kizuki. This is not exactly a simple task as each of the 12 demons that are among the greatest in the country is no walk in the park. It might even be easier to slay 50 regular demons than to try and take on one of the Twelve Kizuki.

Tsuguko Explained

As for the Tsuguko route, this is where someone becomes the apprentice of one of the Hashira. The aspiring Hashira can either be chosen for this role or apply for it. The job of the Tsuguko is to train under their Hashira teacher and eventually replace them.

Replacing a Hashira involves either the slayer dying or retiring due to their older age. Once this happens, if they have a Tsuguko, it will be time for that slayer to take their place in the group. Becoming a Tsuguko is also not an easy task, but it is a more sure-fire way of becoming a Hashira than the other.

It also allows the person to learn from the current Hashira to prepare them for their eventual membership better. They will have more hands-on time working with the person and know more about the burden of being a Hashira. Even still, becoming a Tsuguko takes considerable skill to catch the notice of the Slayer Corps or a Hashira.

Breathing Techniques

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When it comes to the breathing techniques of the Hashira, each one has an individual style. No two Hashira have the same primary breathing technique, and it varies between each of them. Some have learned from previous Hashira and use an inherited technique.

At the same time, though, some have invented the unique breathing style that they employ in battle. This also applies to their weapons, with some members not using a traditional sword in battle. That said, there are a couple of standards that exist with the Hashira.

Since the beginning of the Demon Slayer Corps, there has always been a Water Hashira and Flame Hashira in the group. At the beginning of the series, this also remains true, with Giyu Tomioka and Kyojuro Rengoku being the Water and Flame Hashira, respectively.

Once they retire or pass away, it will be time for another Water and Flame Hashira to take over their roles in the group and continue the trend. Other than these two, though, many different breathing styles can be active. They are some genuinely unique ones in the group, too, like Insect, Serpent, and even Love Breathing.

All Current Hashira Members

As mentioned, there were nine members of the Hashira at the time of the Demon Slayer series. The current nine members each have their individual looks, personalities, and breathing styles. To help with these essential but also elusive characters, I am going to break down each of them.

I’ll be sure to give you some thoughts on their breathing styles, personality, and basic history when possible. That said, I will completely avoid spoilers for this guide. Do not worry as I will not reveal the fates of any of these characters here but be mindful of spoilers when looking up any of these members. Let’s get started.

Giyu Tomioka

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The first of the Hashira and one of the first slayers in general that we meet in the series is Giyu Tomioka. He is the Water Hashira at the beginning of the series and one of the most powerful in the group. Notably, he is also the one who meets Tanjiro and Nezuko early on in the story.

When he does, Giyu wishes to slay Nezuko due to her being a demon. However, he does change his mind and ends up sending Tanjiro to his master. This puts a lot in common between the two since Giyu is a Water Hashira and Tanjiro ends up becoming a water user himself.

Personality-wise, Giyu is one of the most stalwart and serious of the Hashira. He takes his job quite seriously and cares little about relationships. His serious approach may be due to the past where he grew up and trained alongside his best friend.

With the death of his best friend at the hands of a demon, he has not connected with anyone else. Shinobu (coming up next) is one of the few Hashira that he has even a remote connection to. His immense talent and star power have made him one of the most popular Hashira in the Demon Slayer community.

Shinobu Kocho

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Shinobu Kocho is the Insect Hashira in the group. While this is a rather unique breathing style that is not too common, she is not the first. That said, she is the only one in the current Hashira lineup. Smaller in stature, she is not tremendously strong in terms of sheer strength.

That said, she more than makes up for that in other ways. For one, she is impressively tactful in even making her poisons and weapons. These are designed mainly for slaying demons and it works quite well. The poisons that she uses can weaken the foes in battle.

Since she is not strong enough to wield a traditional sword, she has to use a special poisoned blade to kill demons using the wisteria poison that they are weak to. She has a fairly outgoing personality and one that is lighthearted but in actuality, she is quite passionate about her hatred of demons. She seeks vengeance against the demons for what they did in her past.

Sanemi Shinazugawa

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Sanemi Shinazugawa is the Wind Hashira in the group. While he does not have too big of a role in the main story arcs early in the series, he does play a significant role early on. When the Hashira is first introduced, it is shown that Sanemi has a very harsh and brash personality.

This is seen at the moment when Tanjiro and Nezuko meet the Hashira for the first time as a full group. Sanemi is quick to antagonize Nezuko and wish to slay her. While the others are weary of the human girl-turned-docile demon, Sanemi is instantly in attack mode.

He antagonizes her quite a bit, trying to force her hand into attacking him to give him a reason to kill her. His interactions with everyone else are seemingly just as bold and hostile, even with his younger brother. His brother is Genyu, one of the trainees who join the Slayer Corps at the same time as Tanjiro.

Kyojuro Rengoku

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Kyojuro Rengoku is perhaps the most popular and famous Hashira of them all. With his bright, flame-colored hair and intensely optimistic personality, he is an unforgettable character. Rengoku is the Flame Hashira, filling the permanent role in the group opposite of Giyu, the Water Hashira.

Rengoku took over the role after his father, the previous Flame Hashira, retired. He has a heart of gold and will do anything to protect anyone. With regular demons, he can zip across a wide area in an instant to slice off their heads.

He is one of the first Hashira to have a main role in the series, being a protagonist in the Mugen Train Arc. During this time, he joins up with the main characters and acts as a mentor to them. He is a huge role model for Tanjiro and the gang, seeing him as a big brother.

Tengen Uzui

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Tengen Uzui is another Hashira who appears early in the story as the main character. Uzui is known as the Sound Hashira with his impeccable ability to hear. Interestingly enough, this translates into his speed as well as he is the fastest in the group and unbelievably quick on his feet.

This could also come from his previous life as a shinobi. He grew up as a ninja and was trained as such. Eventually, he came to know about the demons and joined the Slayer Corps before becoming a Hashira. He is attractive and an outgoing guy who is not nearly as optimistic as Rengoku. That said, he is quite full of himself.

There is even the fact that the young Uzui is already married and not just to one woman but three. His three wives all married him after growing up together as ninja. They even help him out in missions as scouts. Uzui plays a major role in the Entertainment District Arc of the series.

During this time, he joins Tanjiro and his friends on a mission to take out the dangerous Twelve Kizuki demon who is terrorizing the brothels and establishments in the Entertainment District of the city. Like Rengoku, he also plays an instrumental role in mentoring and training Tanjiro, Zenitsu, and Inosuke.

Mitsuri Kanroji

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Mitsuri Kanroji is perhaps one of the strangest members of the Pillars group. She is known as the Love Hashira, which has vague implications for her breathing technique and style. That said, being the Love Hashira plays a huge role in the memorable personality that she has.

She is obsessed with love and thinks quite often about the guys that she is teammates within the Hashira group. Her whole point in joining the team was to find a man who would be strong enough to be a great fit for her. As such, she is looking for love in this group.

Mitsuri’s appearance matches her status and personality as the Love Hashira with her light pink and green hair. She starts to have a significant role in the story in the Swordsmith Village Arc, which is the next one to be featured in the anime adaptation.

Obanai Iguro

obanai iguro
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The Serpent Hashira in the organization is Obanai Iguro. He has one of the most distinct appearances in the series, having a dark and menacing aura around him. This is not only due to his physical appearance but the snake, Kaburamaru, that he carries around with him at all times.

While going into his past would be some spoilers for later in the series that have not shown up yet in the anime, I will reveal that it is tragic enough. He was raised by a family of bandits and tragic events led to a dangerous, life-threatening situation for him.

Fortunately, he was rescued by the Flame Hashira at the time. This led to him joining the Slayer Corps with his anger fueling his strength. Obanai may be a strange and hard-to-understand person but he does care about one of his fellow Hashira quite deeply. Their relationship with one another is at the forefront of the story surrounding his character.

Gyomei Himejima

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Gyomei Himejima is a Hashira that you cannot miss. He dominates the scenery even with the whole group of the nine together. This is due to his tremendous size and stature at literally over seven feet tall (220 centimeters).

Gyomei is the Stone Hashira and it fits his rock solid physicality and personality quite well. He is a deadly demon killer with a hatred for them after his tragic past. He is also officially known as the person with the highest amount of physical strength in the entire group.

Gyomei is one of the few Hashira who is not immediately against Tanjiro and Nezuko when they meet. Underneath the rock-hard shell that he has against demons, there belies a softer side to him. Because of this, he has pity and understanding for Tanjiro when they meet, more so than most of the others at least.

Muichiro Tokito

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The final member of the Hashira at the start of Demon Slayer is Muichiro Tokito. Tokito is known as the enigmatic Mist Hashira. There is not a lot known about this particular Hashira member when the series starts. Like the Mist Breathing Style that he uses, he is quite hidden and shrouded in mystery.

Tokito plays a major role in the Swordsmith Village Arc of the series, which is coming soon. During this time, he gets to know Tanjiro and you find out more about this story. He has his sad past, like basically everyone else in this series, that has changed him into the person he is today.

While not much is known about him, he does use a traditional sword and is quite skilled in battle. He can use the power of the mist and clouds to cover his movement and quickly dispatch his foes before they can figure out what he is doing.



Question: Who is the strongest Hashira in Demon Slayer?

Answer: The strongest Hashira in Demon Slayer could go one of two ways. It could mean the person with the most impressive strength overall or it could mean the best slayer. In the case of the person with the greatest power, that has been proven to be the massively bulky Gyomei Himejima.
On the other hand, the best overall slayer of demons would possibly go to a different Hashira. I think that it is likely that either Giyu or Sanemi would be the best slayer in the Hashira. Both have had phenomenal moments in the manga that lend credence to this fact.
One of the most common follow-up questions that I saw when looking around was who the second-most powerful demon slayer is in the Hashira group. When it comes to the number two Hashira, I think it depends on several factors here. In terms of physical strength, that definitely will go to Tengen Uzui whose muscles are bulging and quite prominent.
But the honorable mention I would give for the most powerful in the group overall would be Rengoku. He is a jack-of-all-trades, having strength, speed, skill, and intellect all at once. He is an all-around fighter and one that can go toe-to-toe with the best demons on any given day. And even when he is already weakened in the Mugen Train Arc, he can fight one of the most powerful demons in Japan.

Question: Who is the fastest Hashira in Demon Slayer?

Answer: The fastest Hashira is, without a doubt, Tengen Uzui. The Sound Hashira has already proven to be the fastest in the group, perhaps even surpassing the speed of sound in battle. His ability to leap in and out of danger is uncanny with even demons astounded by his quick slaying capabilities.
As for the second quickest in the group, it would have to be Sanemi. Coming in a close second, the Wind Hashira has the power of the forces of wind and nature on his side. This allows him to leap forward and all-around with a speed that nearly rivals that of the Sound Hashira himself.

Question: Is Tanjiro Hashira-level?

Answer: For this question, I am using what we know about from the anime adaptation thus far. I will not include any fights or moments that Tanjiro has shown in the manga. With that disclaimer out of the way, I still think that Tanjiro is nearing the Hashira-level of power in the series.
Both the Mugen Train Arc and the fight against Daki and Gyutaro showed a level of strength from the protagonist. He is now able to easily stand next to Hashira and fight alongside them on two separate occasions and survive to tell the tale. He was integral to both arcs as well. Not only that but he seems to have a much higher ceiling of talent than the current Hashira do as he has still so much to learn.
Then there is the fact that he can wield both the Water and Flame Breathing Styles. With both of these in his repertoire, he has the flexibility that is quite uncommon. In my opinion, it is only a matter of time until he is given the chance to become a Hashira.

Question: Are the Hashira demons?

Answer: No, they are not. That said, it does not mean that demons have not tried to persuade the Hashira to join their ranks. We saw this with Akaza trying to convince the immensely powerful Rengoku to team up with him and allow the former to turn the Flame Hashira into a demon. Given the chance, Muzan and the Twelve Kizuki would likely jump at turning a Hashira against their former allies.

Question: Does Zenitsu become a Hashira?

Answer: It is worth noting that this is a huge spoiler for the series. If you do not want to know the result for one of the characters, be sure to turn away now. That said, if it helps, I will only answer this question with a yes or no response. No, Zenitsu does not become a Hashira in the series. As for why that is, you will have to either read the manga right now or wait for the anime adaptation to finish to see why.

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