All about Shinobu, the Hashira insect

The Hashira in demon slayer are a largely unexplained force, and they’re major supporting characters in both the show and the movies. However, not enough time was spent developing their stories. Viewers learn a bit more about Shinobu Kocho through a little flashback where we also learn more about Kanao, who is not a Hashira, and through a short conversation she had with Tanjiro. Shinobu is currently the Insect Hashira and is in charge of training and caring for young Slayers. In this, she is very different from most other Hashira who strongly believe in the survival of the fittest.


demon slayer follows the story of Tanjiro Kamado and his younger sister Nezuko. His goal is to return his sister to human form after she was turned into a demon in an attack that killed her entire family. He meets the Hashira at a meeting where his sister’s fate is heavily debated. After the debate is over, Nezuko having been granted an exception to the rule to kill all demons, Shinobu takes Tanjiro and his comrades to help with their training and physical recovery.

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Shinobu’s family

Shinobu has a younger sister, Kanao Tsuyuri, who was adopted by her older sister Kanae Kocho. Kanae was the previous Flower Hashira, however, she was killed years before Tanjiro met Shinobu. Kanae however lives and also practices flower breathing like their older sister. Shinobu was initially against raising Kanae as part of his family, but has clearly developed a brotherly love for the young girl by the time Tanjiro and his friends meet them. Her parents, however, were killed by demons when she was still very young. It was their deaths that prompted her to join the ranks of the Demon Slayers in an effort to prevent anyone from suffering as she did.

She also considers the orphaned young girls who live with her at the Insect Manor to some extent part of the family, at the very least her wards. She takes their training very seriously and clearly has great empathy for their situations. Whether or not she adopted these girls like Kanao adopted Kanae isn’t quite on the table, but for all intents and purposes, she treats them as sisters or younger daughters the same as Kanae.


Shinobu is shown to be an extremely kind girl, maintaining a placid smile in all situations, though fans have reason to doubt that this could be her true personality. She claims to want to live peacefully alongside the demons as Kanao had wanted, but she is ruthless in her treatment of the demons. Her cruelty to demons is evident when she gives the Spider Demon Daughter hope that she will help her before killing her with that same smile. She clearly loves her older sister, as she wears her haori at all times.

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Capacities and skills

While insect Hashira Shinobu practices insect breathing, a technique which she herself pioneered; largely to address its specific strengths and weaknesses. Although she is a member of the Hashira, and therefore one of the most powerful demon slayers, she does not have the strength to behead a demon. She instead relies on the wisteria poison on her blade to ensure the death of her opponents.

In order to deliver this poison, she also developed her skills as a swordswoman. Also in homage to her physical weakness, she does not have a traditional Demon Slayer Corps style. Instead, she focuses on blows and stabs designed to most effectively deliver poison to her victims and potentially avoid jamming her blade. Its speed is even supposed to be faster than Water Breathing’s Drop Ripple Thrust form.

In his fight with the Spider Demon, viewers can see some of his skills in action. She uses Butterfly Dance Caprice to hit the demon several times before she even registers what is happening. But this skill also raises an interesting question. Before being struck, the demon sees a swarm of butterflies, one of which even lands on his finger. It could just be a visual representation of his attack, much like the water droplets and dragons associated with Tanjiro’s water breathing attacks. But that could also be a side effect of the attack since demons don’t normally interact with those visual cues from Tanjiro.

Closer examination of one of the Hashira revealed a complex, tragic, and strong character. Shinobu is an incredibly unique demon slayer who not only invented her own breathing style, but also cannot rely on any of the traditional demon-killing techniques due to her own physical limitations. The fact that Shinobu survived the deaths of her parents and older sister while maintaining a clear focus and generally kind personality also shows some personal strength, though the anger she displays is only natural to one who has faced all she has. .

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