Demon Slayer Facts

Kimetsu No Yaiba – The Full Story Behind The Demon Slayer’s Japanese Name 鬼滅の刃

What does the Japanese name of the cult anime Dragon Slayer, Kimetsu no Yaiba kimetsu 鬼滅の刃 mean?

Simply translated, Kimetsu no Yaiba means “Demon Slayer Blade”. “鬼 ki” means “demon”, “滅 metsu” means “destroy”, “の no” means “of”, and “刃 yaiba” means “blade”. So to make an extreme literal translation, it would be “Demon destroyer, the blade of”.

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Since that doesn’t sound too good, the translators wisely opted for something a little more catchy for Kyoharu Gotoge’s homage to the extermination of zombie-like undead, “Demon Slayer.”

Do 鬼滅の刃 Kimetsu no yaiba and “Demon Slayer” have the same meaning?

At first glance, “Demon Slayer” conjures up images of someone who kills demons. Demon Slayer is most likely referring to the blade itself, given the original Japanese meaning of Kimetsu no Yaiba. It’s only natural that in English, “Demon Slayer” refers to both an object and a person. Consider swords with names like “Excalibur” or “Kusanagi No Tsurugi.”

So, if you think about it, the name is a pretty similar translation of the original.

Given the importance of swords such as the “日輪刀” Nichirintouor Blade of the Sun”” in the tale, the anime appears suitably named.

It’s the only technology that can properly eliminate “demons.”

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Breakdown of words and characters of Kimetsu No Yaiba

刃 Yaiba
The phrase “Yaiba” refers to a blade or a sword and is a rather uncommon word with an ancient pronunciation. It’s one of many words in Japanese that can be used to describe a sword. The following is a partial list of words you may use to refer to a sword in more or less generic/specific versions.:






日本刀 Nihonken

刀剣 Token

刃 Yaiba, Jin, Ha

And that merely scratches the surface of the possibilities that may be expanded by using more precise phrases like:

脇差 Wakizashi refers to a sword that is kept near the “waki,” or armpit area, or a 直刀 chokuto, which is a straight sword.

To say that the Japanese have a passion for edged weaponry is an understatement.

However, terminology like sword, sabre, cutlass, scimitar, rapier, dagger, hanger, claymore, backsword, broadsword, and greatsword cause confusion in the English-speaking world.

When it comes to knife talk, it’s probably more realistic to state that humans are a little more evolved.

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Etymology of “刃 Yaiba”

In Kimetsu no Yaiba, the Yaiba is especially noteworthy since it is the consequence of a phonetic alteration in the composite term  焼き刃  Yakiba. Yaki refers to the act of baking something in an oven or forge. It can be found in phrases like Yakimono, which implies pottery, or more frequent cuisine words like 焼き鳥  “Yakitori,” which means charcoal-grilled chicken skewers, or at the end of words like お好み焼き  “Okonomiyaki,” which effectively means “Anything you want” (the Japanese equivalent of Bubble & Squeak).

When it is not linked to another word, the  刃 “Ba” component denotes “blade” and is pronounced “ha.” Interestingly, these, our teeth, are also known as a “Ha.” As a result, the tongue tells us that our teeth are either real little sharp blades or that our swords are extensions of our power to cut others with our teeth.

Yakiba can thus be translated literally as “molten sword” or “cooked blade.”

When dispensing feudal justice, the fierce samurai probably didn’t have time to cope with all those consonants, thus the “melted blade” “Yakiba” became a slightly sharper “Yaiba.”

The Chinese symbols used to express the word Yaiba, also known as “Ha” or “Jin,” show us links in the language by appearing as a small dot on one of the other words. for the katana sword It reminds me of a small drop of blood, although that could just be me.

“Yaiba” can refer to the pointed end of the sword, the blade, or the sword as a whole. It can also refer to the sword as a whole.

In Japanese, as with most sword terms, the variety of meanings is far more fluid than English “sword.”

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“鬼滅 Kimetsu” Meaning

You won’t find anything about “Kimetsu” in most Japanese dictionaries. The name was coined by the title author by combining the characters for 鬼 “Oni,” which roughly translates as “Demon,” and  滅びる “Horobiru,” which means “to destroy or overturn” in the transitive form or “to be extinguished” in the intransitive form. Of course, all Chinese letters used in Japanese have a reading derived from Japanese called  訓読み  Kunyomi, and a completely other reading called音読み  Onyomi, so Oni can also be read as “Ki,” and “Horobiru” as “metsu.” As a result, “Kimetsu” emerges as a new demon-slaying currency. If you like, you might say “kill.”

Around 1700 terms are thought to have been developed by William Shakespeare. One of the oddities of Japanese is that it aids the word-making process by allowing individuals to combine two letters for which they already have a meaning, giving them a sense of what the new word should be. These are probably nualism’s equivalents in English, such as “workcation,” “listicle,” and “romcom.”

Anyway, I hope this has given you a better understanding of what Kimetsu no Yaiba implies. In reality, we first learned about this phrase, as well as anime and manga, in 2020, when it was included in a list of the top 30 most popular Japanese phrases of the year.

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