Demon Slayer Sword Colors Meaning

One of the most important things in the Demon Slayer series is the Nichirin Blade. The breathing techniques that Demon Slayers use in their fight against demons are not as powerful without the Nichirin Blade. 

Nichirin Blade Colors

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Nichirin swords are a unique type of sword as they change color according to their wielder. Their colors signify the type of breath technique the wielder employ on their swords. Those with conspicuous and unique colors on their Nichirin often have considerable sword skills and fighting strength. 

However, not all demon slayers have colored Nichirin weapons. The reason is that not everyone has the strength to fight demons and only a handful become apprentices of certain sword-breathing techniques. Many demon slayers in Wisteria have ordinary Nichirin swords, and those who have colored Nichirin swords climb to rank very quickly. 

Nichirin Blade Colors and their Breathing technique

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There are only 14 identified colors of Nichirin swords in Demon Slayer, all of which are specific to each breathing technique and the user’s fighting style. Among all the demon slayers –including former demon layers—19 are known to have colored Nichirin. 

Here is the list of the colored Nichirin swords, their breathing techniques, and their wielders:

Breathing StyleNichirin ColorWielder
SunBlackTanjiro KamadoYoriichi Tsugikuni
MoonLight PurpleMichikatsu Tsugikuni
WaterBlueGiyu TomiokaSakonji Urokodaki
FlowerLight PinkKanao TsuyuriKanae Kocho
SerpentLavanderObanai Iguro
FlameRedShinjuro RengokuKyojuro Rengoku
LoveDark PinkMitsuri Kanroji
ThunderYellowZenitsu AgatsumaKaigaku
SoundAmberTengen Uzui
StoneGrayGyomei Himejima
WindGreenSanemi ShinazugawaMasachika Kumeno
BeastIndigo-GrayInosuke Hashibira
MistWhiteMuichiro Tokito

This list doesn’t include the other first Hashiras –aside from Yoriichi and Kokushibo— and the former Hashiras that were not mentioned in the manga. Since many breathing techniques are passed down to family generations, many Hashiras from those demon slayer families have colored Nichirin weapons.

What does the Nichirin Sword color mean?

Aside from the fact that each breathing technique has its identifiable color, they also have various symbolization and meanings. The colors of the Nichirin also indicate the characteristics of the Breath technique user. The color completes the wholistic markings of the image of each powerful demon slayer.

Below are the most important Nichirin colors and their meanings and representations: 

The Black Nichirin Sword

The Black Nichirin represents the combination of all the colors that each breathing technique represents. It only manifests to the Sun Breathing technique users and signifies the original breathing technique. 

Because the color Black is rare to find in Nichirin swords, many demon slayers and Nichirin swordsmiths don’t understand what it really means to have a black sword. Many speculate that the black Nichirin is a bad omen and bad luck. 

In the Swordsmith Village arc, there were people in the Swordsmith village that said that those who wield the black Nichirin swords don’t often live long. However, Urokodaki noted in the Final Selection Arc that the black Nichirin doesn’t necessarily mean bad luck. Please see the article Black Sword Meaning Demon Slayer for further discussion about the Black Nichirin. 

The Blue Nichirin Sword

The Blue Nichirin represents calmness and fluidity. The water-breathing technique that Giyu and Tanjiro employ are serene but, at times, very deadly –much like the ocean. Most Blue Nichirin users are tranquil and have sound judgment. 

The color Blue also indicates coolness which is the Water Hashira is always seen as the coolest and very Ikemen among all the Hashiras. 

Among all the Breath techniques, the Water Hashiras are the most welcoming at the same time, cold to people outside the demon slayer corps. They could be a representation of the color blue in Japanese, being the color of the people. 

The Red Nichirin Sword

The Red Nichirin represents power, strength, peace, and power. Flame Breathing users often have sturdy and passionate personalities. They can be really tough at times but protective of the people around them –as observed in the Mugen Train Arc, where Kyojuro Renguko made sure that no passengers died on the train, even if it meant sacrificing himself. 

Red is the very representation of Fire in Japanese culture and is considered as the first four colors in Japan. Kyojuro’s personality fits well with the color red representing Fire. His eccentric and expansive personality resonates in his every move.

The color red catches people’s attention very well with its incredible visuals, as seen through the Dance of Fire God. 

The Yellow Nichirin Sword

The Yellow Nichirin represents agility and joyfulness. The Yellow Nichirin is commonly observed among Lightning Breathing users such as Zinetsu Agatsuma. Most Yellow Nichirin users are often brave, but Zinetsu is the very opposite of being brave. However, when push comes to shove, he becomes a reliable ally and unleashes a mastery of a deadly technique.

There aren’t many representations and meanings of the color Yellow in Japanese culture.

The Green Nichirin Sword

The Green Nichirin represents life, growth, and nature. The Sanemi family has been the main inheritor of the Wind Breathing style, and they often have a free-spirited personality. This can be observed from the wind Hashira, Sanemi Shinazugawa. Shinazugawa tends to do as he pleases, with little regard for the consequences of his action. He believes that a harsh environment is necessary to facilitate growth; thus, he has plenty of rough edges and can be very violent at times. 

The White Nichirin Sword

The White Nichirin represents the mist breathing technique which is a variation of the wind breathing technique and related to the Water Breathing technique. The white color indicates calmness and solemness –similar to the water style. However, mist users are often more logical than water-style users. 

The color white is often associated with spiritual purity and death, which is why Samurais who perform Seppuku wear white Yukata. White is also the color of snow, often characterized by extreme coldness. Muichiro’s personality characterizes this coldness; he is so cold that he doesn’t care about the feelings of others as long as he deems his actions logical.

The Pink Nichirin

The Pink Nichirin represents the color and breathing style of love. It is derived from the Flame Breathing technique and wielded by the Love Hashira, Mitsuri Kanroji. The color pink represents femininity, spring, youth, and good health. 

The Purple Nichirin 

The Purple Nichirin represents elegance and royalty. In old Japan, strong warriors often wear the color Purple to represent strength. However, it is also used to indicate poison. The Purple Nichirin users often have wicked personalities. So eccentric that they are often misunderstood. Both Shinobu and Obanai Hashiras have a shade of purple on their Nichirin swords, indicating that they are using a breathing style variated from the Moon and Water Breathing technique. 

While some argue that Shinobu and Obanai’s breathing styles are derivative of the Water Style, the author never confirmed so. Shinobu and Obanai’s sword style are oriented towards the Moon style, thus, the shade of purple rather than blue. 

The Grey Nichirin

The Grey Nichirin represents the Stone Breathing technique, and it is characterized as toughness relating to the sturdiness of steel. In spite of his strength, strong spiritual belief, and bulkiness, the Stone Hashira is a very emotional person, quite the opposite of the characteristics of a still and solid rock. 

The color grey doesn’t have a deeper meaning in Japanese aside from its relation to the color black. 

Background of the Nichirin Swords

What is a Nichirin

The Nichirin sword is often bestowed to the fighting force of the Demon Slayer Corps, especially those who directly fight demons. Among those who do not receive Nichirin weapons are those working as support, such as the medical and research team. Even the founding family of the Wisteria don’t get to own a Nichirin weapon simply because such a valuable weapon is no use to frail and fragile bodies. 

The only sword that can kill a demon

The material from a Nichirin weapon takes time to cultivate and harvest. A Nichirin weapon is forged from Scarlet Crimson Iron Sand and Scarlet Crimson Ore. Bothe materials are only found in places up in the tallest mountains where the sun is always up, like the Sunlight Mountain. 

The Scarlet Crimson Iron Sand and Scarlet Crimson Ore only become a Nichirin when the raw metal is bathed in the sun for several years without the obstruction of clouds or rain. 

The Scarlet Crimson Iron Sand and Scarlet Crimson Ore absorb the sunlight, and the sun’s power is infused within the metal itself. When incorporated with the breathing-style sword technique, the Nichirin sword can transform and applies its destructive property to the demon it cuts.

The reason why the Nichirin Blade can kill a demon is that it acts like a battery that uses the power of the sun to prevent demons from regenerating. At the same time, the Nichirin blade scorches areas where the demon is cut by the blade, which is why demons burn to dust when severely injured by the Nichirin Blade.  

The sun is the number 1 weakness of all Demons, including Muzan, the progenitor of demons. While Nichirin blades harness the power of the sun after being bathed in the sun for a very long time, it’s not enough to kill upper-rank demons. Both the breathing techniques and the activated Nichirin blade are necessary. 

How does a Nichirin weapon change color

When a demon slayer is bestowed with a Nichirin weapon by a Nichirin swordsmith, the Nichirin weapon changes color on the first contact with the owner. Their color depends on their wielder’s strength and characteristics –often related to the breathing technique they employ.  

Tanjiro’s Black Nichirin sword is unique among all the colors. There is only one known demon slayer who possesses a pitch-black Nichirin sword aside from Tanjiro. The first black Nichirin sword wielder is Yoriichi Tsugikuni, the progenitor of the sword breathing techniques and the strongest demon slayer. Both Tanjiro and Yoriichi are the only ones who can use the Sun Breathing technique. Please see our other article about Black Sword Meaning Demon Slayer. 

Three ways a Nichirin Sword changes color

A Nichirin sword can change three times: the first time it changes color is when a powerful demon slayer first touches the Nichirin sword bestowed to him. When it changes color the first time, it becomes the sword’s permanent color. 

The second time a Nichirin sword change color is when it’s infused with the extreme heat while using a breath technique. During such moment, the Nichirin turns bright red, which activates its ability to prevent demon regeneration and scorch demons at a cellular level. 

The third instance is when a demon infuses its power into the sword to increase the sword’s temperature further while using the breathing technique. Only Nezuko is known to do this using her Blood Demon Art technique.  

Nichirin Sword restrictions

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Nichirin weapons that have changed color cannot be used to their full potential by other swordsmen whom the Nichirin weapon is not made for. Other demon slayers can still use the sword Nichirin sword, but it will only work as an ordinary Nichirin sword. Only the true wielder of the colored Nichirin can activate the special attribute of the sword. 

The reason is that when the Nichirin changes color, its property changes according to the wielder. Most colored Nichirin weapons become a demon slayer’s partner for life unless it gets broken or severely damaged beyond repair. 

When the Nichirin sword is damaged, only a Nichirin swordsmith can repair the weapon, as it requires a special technique to keep the sword’s unique property. 

Unique Application of Nichirin

Nichirin Gun

You might have noticed that I keep using the term Nichirin “Weapon” instead of Nichirin Sword. This is because there are plenty of applications for Nichirin as a weapon. 

Since Nichirin is a form of metal bathed in the sun unobstructed, it can be formed into various types of weapon you can think of that uses metal, including a gun. Yes! Only one character in the Demon Slayer series uses Nichirin Shotgun. 

Genya Shinazugawa, the younger brother of one of the Upper-rank demons, uses a western double-barrel shotgun. While the shotgun itself is not fully made of Nichirin, its bullets are. His bullets are made of Scarlet Crimson Iron Sand and Scarlet Ore which is more effective in penetrating a demon’s body than a blade. 

This projectile type of weapon has proven its worthiness in the battle against the upper-rank demons of Muzan. Genya’s weapon made a debut in Chapter 172 of the Infinity Castle Arc of the Demon Slayer Manga. In the last leg of the arc, Genya infused his shotgun to his arm to shoot a deadly blow against the Upper-Rank One Demon, Kukoshibo (The Breath of Moon user and twin brother of Yoriichi).

Even though Genya uses a double-barrel shotgun as his primary weapon, he still uses a small Nichirin blade called Wakizashi as a secondary. He often uses the Nichirin Wakizashi to stab demons in close-quarter combat. 

Unique Nichirin Sword

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There are also unique Nichirin swords that change their shape and emit elemental properties when combined with a specific breathing technique. 

The Whip Nichirin Sword

One of the unique Nichirin swords that change its shape is Mitsuri Kanroji’s Nichirin sword, which bends and extends like a whip. This property of a Nichirin sword is unique to Mitsuri. Among all the Love Breathing technique users, she is the only one who can turn her Nichirin sword into a whip and control its direction of attack at will. 


Article by John Salinas.

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