Ume in Demon Slayer refers to the name of Daki before she became a demon and part of the Upper Moon rank. She was a beautiful girl with long white hair and big blue eyes. Her older brother Gyutaro is very proud of her beauty since Gyutaro grew up ridiculed and pushed away by everyone, including their mother, in the red-light district’s rundown area.
Ume and Gyutaro
While she is stunningly beautiful, Ume would always end up in difficult situations because of her lack of cleverness. Aside from being an airhead, she is also short-tempered, which makes the situation even worse for her.
Gyutaro would always save Ume from the troubles she gets herself into while trying to earn money. However, there are several times when Gyutaro feels like he is getting fed up with trying to save her, and they always end up in an argument.
And even though they fight a lot, Gyutaro and Ume love each other so much that they vow not to leave each other’s side even after they die.
Meaning of the name Ume
Daki’s human name came from a deadly disease that has pestered Japanese society since the Edo period. The disease is the very reason why Gyutaro and Daki’s mother died. Their mother acquired the sexually transmitted disease while she was working as a prostitute in the red-light district.
Gyutaro and Ume’s mother was suffering from Syphilis long before both children were born. This is evident in Gyutaro’s deformities as a child. Gyutaro was born with deformities in his skeletal structure, crooked teeth, and blotches from inflamed skin. These are symptoms of congenital Syphilis, which a child could acquire in the mother’s womb or during delivery.
While it is unknown why Ume miraculously didn’t acquire Syphilis after being born, their mother died soon after she was born.
The Japanese word for Syphilis is 梅毒 which is read as /Baidoku/. Surprisingly, one of the Kanjis (Chinese characters) used for the word Baidoku has the same character for the Japanese apricot fruit, Ume.
The kanji 梅 has two types of reading methods: /Bai/ for On-Yomi (The Chinese way of reading), which is often used on words carried from the Chinese language, and Ume for its Kun-Yomi (The Japanese method of reading), which is often used on words that are originally formed in the Japanese language after it fully deviated from Chinese.
Because Ume is considered a beautiful and staple fruit in Japanese culture, it was rather used as a name instead of the of its dreadful alternative reading counterpart related to the sexually transmitted disease. This way, the name Ume carries both a beautiful and darker context.
The Ume Fruit
The word Ume in Japanese is often referred to as the Japanese apricot endemic to Japan. The small reddish and sour fruit are found all over Japan and are typically used in Japanese desserts, sweets, and other delicacies. The Japanese apricot is often pickled into a sweet brine which brings out its unique taste.
The representation of the 6th Upper Moon Rank Demon
The upper Moon rank demons represent illness that devastated Japan throughout its history. One of the deadliest diseases that infested Japanese society in the past is Syphilis.
Both Daki and Gyutaro represent the illness Syphilis because of their backstory related to a disease that made their lives miserable and tragic. Gyutaro represents the physical effects of the disease-causing misery on unsuspected victims, while Daki represents the beauties that were mainly the vehicle in spreading the disease.
Why did Daki become the 6th Upper Moon instead of Gyutaro
After Gyutaro and Daki become demons, Daki becomes the 6th Upper Moo rank due to the combined strength of Gyutaro and daki. At the time when Gyutaro was about to be turned into a demon by Doma, Gyutaro swore to become Daki’s protector and promised never to let Daki suffer again the way she was burned to death when they were still a human.
Moreover, the physical constitution of Gyutaro and Daki was unified, which is why Gyutaro decided to hide inside Daki all the while and only came out when Daki was in great Danger or if strong opponents were present.
Even though Gyutaro is not the actual 6th Upper Moon Demon, Muzan recognizes Gyutaro’s strength to be far more superior to Daki. Not only that, Muzan is favorable to Gyutaro because of Gyutaro’s cunning and greedy personality. Muzan also likes Gyoutaro’s desire to survive, which reminds Muzan of himself clawing his way out of death’s door.
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.