Demon Slayer has a lot of characters that have become quite popular worldwide and the Hashira are probably some of the favorites in the fandom. The Hashira are the top-tier members of the Demon Slayer Corp. They are the most powerful warriors in the organization and often play a mentorship role to other members, as has been shown in the series.
However, Demon Slayer author Koyoharu Gotouge chose the name Hashira for a very interesting reason, which plays a role in the way they work.
Disclaimer: This article contains spoilers for the Demon Slayer series.
Origin of the name Hashira in Demon Slayer
Koyoharu Gotouge, Demon Slayer author, had two main reasons for using Hashira as the name for the top-tier members of the Demon Slayer Corp and it shows a lot of her creative process and the way she understands things.
In Japanese, there are different ways to write the word "counting" when it comes to humans, animals, and God. In that regard, Hashira can mean "Counting of God," which can serve as a metaphor for them being fighters for the will of God while Muzan and his demons can be obvious representations of the Devil in the author's story.
While Demon Slayer is not a very religious story, it has a very clear-cut "good vs. evil" approach to storytelling and there is a clear line that divides humans and demons as far as morals go. This is also highlighted by the fact that demons not only develop a massive thirst for human blood but they also happen to give in to the worst attributes of their personalities and urgencies, with the Hashira representing the opposite.
The other meaning is a lot more obvious and it connects in a much clearer manner to what the Hashira are and what they represent in the story.
Hashira in Japanese means "pillar" and pillars are meant to support a structure, keeping things working and grounded. This is often seen in the construction of buildings, which can be interpreted as the Hashira having a major role to play in the story as protectors and mentor figures for the newer generation.
This can be seen throughout the manga as each Hashira serves to teach Tanjiro and his friends new abilities and lessons that can help them in their journey in the Corp. This is also a very classic trope in anime and manga: A group of veterans guiding and helping the main characters. This is evident through characters such as Rengoku, Tomioka, and Shinobu helping Tanjiro and his friends greatly throughout their journey.
The Hashira are some of the most popular characters in the series and there are a lot of valid reasons for this stand. They are some of the most powerful characters in the Demon Slayer Corp, they all have very unique and interesting designs, their abilities are varied and colorful, and they have distinct personalities. The fact that they have unique relationships with one another is all the better.
Characters like Rengoku and Tengen have become anime icons in recent years because of the adaptation and their battles against the Upper Moons have become modern classics of the genre, showcasing the quality of the series and the value of these characters. They have proven to be quality mentor figures for Tanjiro, Inosuke, and Zenitsu, while maintaining their own sense of individuality and charisma.
Gotouge was clearly aware of the thematic importance that these characters were going to have in the story, which is why the name Hashira seems like such a good fit. It adds to their roles as the biggest warriors for the will of good in the world and they are also the pillars of the Corp, serving as the most important symbols and mentors for the newer generations.