Kibutsuji is the last name of the main villain of Demon Slayer named, Muzan. Muzan Kibutsuji is the king of demons and the progenitor of all demons in the Demon Slayer universe.
The last name Kibutsuji doesn’t have any significant meaning related to anything about Muzan’s powers, importance to the story, and even backstory, apart from the first kanji of his name, which is related to him being a demon or Oni in Japanese.
The Kanji Meaning for Kibutsuji
The name Kibutsuji can be interpreted as “demon dance road” or “demon dance intersection/crossing” based on the kanji (Chinese characters) of the name, which doesn’t have an important meaning at all, nor does it make sense at all.
The name Kibutsuji is composed of three kanjis: 鬼 (Ki), 舞 (Bu), and 辻 (Tsuji). Each of these kanji has its own meaning in the Japanese language:
The kanji 鬼 is read as /Ki/ in On-Yomi (the Chinese way of reading) and /Oni/ in Kun-Yomi (The Japanese way of reading). The kanji 鬼 can be interpreted in various ways in English. Its easiest translation would be “Demon” or “Devil.”
However, the reality of the term cannot be easily shrugged as “demon” since they have characteristics different from the concept of demonology in western culture and the English language.
In Japanese mythology, Onis are considered the lower form deities that normally hide from people but are considered the main cause of chaos and destruction. They have different forms depending on strength and power. Some are muscled giants with two conspicuous horns on their heads, and some are in the form of Ogres or apparitions.
In the case of Demon Slayer, Onis, or “demons” in English translation, are the kind of monsters that eat humans and are vulnerable to the sun.
The kanji 舞 is read as /Bu/ in On-Yomi and /Mai/ in Kun-Yomi. The kanji 舞has a dictionary meaning “dance.” The kind of dance it refers to is a rhythmic movement typically performed for entertainment and rituals.
The last kanji for the name Kibutsuji is the kanji 辻 which is only read as /Tsuji/ in Kun-Yomi (it doesn’t have an On-Yomi). Its dictionary meaning is crossing, but it is also used in the Japanese language to mean intersection, roadside, or street corner.
Muzan’s Dominion Over Demons
Muzan has the ability to manipulate his body on a cellular level making him very difficult to destroy even for the originator of the Sun Breathing technique –the only sword technique that can kill Muzan. Check out our article about the Sun Breathing Technique.
He can also transform humans into demons by injecting his cells into them. Muzan Kibutsuji decides whether he wants to transform a human into a demon or not. Even from a great distance, he can control his cells in any way he wants and attack human cells to kill his victims or invade a human body by corrupting the cells with demonic power.
Anyone who is dominated by Muzan’s cells will fall under Muzan’s command, and he can take away his subordinates’ lives whenever and wherever he likes since they are all connected to Muzan.
However, demons who are turned under Tamayo, such as Yushiro, are immune to Muzan’s control for some reason. The manga nor the author ever stated why Muzan does not control them. It’s probably because of Tamayo’s modification of her body through her study of Demon biology, which released her from being controlled by Muzan.
The Kibutsuji Curse
Because Muzan has a hold of all the demons under his command –except for Tamayo and Nezuko—he can put a curse on all of them the moment they transform, which prevents them from speaking Muzan’s last name, Kibutsuji.
The activation of the Kibutsuji curse happens the moment a demon speaks the last name. The activation is through Muzan’s blood inside the demon. The body of the demon changes its color as if the blood is trying to pop out from the demon’s body, turning the skin into dark red.
Afterward, the belly of the demon swells, and some sort of body parts burst out of the demon’s body, essentially killing the demon. Once the curse is activated, it can’t be dispelled, and death happens almost instantaneously.
This happened to the Temari demon, Susamaru, in the first season of the Demon Slayer in the Asakusa Arc. In episode 9, Tamayo used her blood demon art to weaken the enemy’s mind and provoked Susamaru to say Muzan’s last name, Kibutsuji.
Tamayo explained how the Kibutsuji curse works, which led to the death of the Temari demon, Susamaru. While the anime lacked a little more detail, the manga version gave a more detailed explanation. This is the reason why some audiences of the anime thought that it was Tamayo who killed Susamaru, not knowing that it was actually the Kibutsuji curse that killed Susamaru.
Article by John Salinas.
Japanoscope uses affiliate links, which means that commissions may be received when you click on links to products from partner retailers.