Is Demon Slayer based on a true story? 8 facts about the show most people don't know

Demon Slayer
Is Demon Slayer based on a true story? (Image via Sportskeeda)

With Demon Slayer becoming popular overnight, many fans were led to ask questions about the anime. These questions were bound to be dropped by fans, considering the similarities the series has with real-world elements. The most significant question out of them has to be, is Demon Slayer based on a true story?

While Koyoharu Gotouge's Demon Slayer is not a true story, it has taken inspiration from several historical elements that are etched into the history and folklore of Japan. Many such inspirations tie the demons and demon slayers to the history of Japan, as one may wonder about each element's real-world inspiration. Thus, here we will look at some facts that fans may not know about the series.


Truth about Wisteria flowers and 7 other Demon Slayer facts most people are unaware of

1) How was Demon Slayer created?

Koyoharu Gotouge's avatar (Image via Shueisha)
Koyoharu Gotouge's avatar (Image via Shueisha)

Like several other manga series, Demon Slayer had a very humble beginning. Mangaka Koyoharu Gotouge only has four manga published to date, the first of which was her debut one-shot manga Kagarigari, which was awarded a Jump Treasure Newcomer Manga Award in 2013. Other manga she wrote includes Monju Shirō Kyōdai, Rokkotsu-san, and Haeniwa no Zigzag. However, Haeniwa no Zigzag did not get picked up for serialization.

Koyoharu Gotouge, who wanted a weekly series, worked with her editor Tatsuhiko Katayama to create Kimetsu no Yaiba, which was based on Koyoharu Gotouge's award-winning manga, Kagarigari. However, this time, they went for a brighter protagonist and focused much more on the Japanese motif, which helped get the manga serialized.


2) What year is Demon Slayer based in?

Tanjiro and Nezuko during the Taisho Secret session (Image via Ufotable)
Tanjiro and Nezuko during the Taisho Secret session (Image via Ufotable)

Demon Slayer is based during the Taisho period, which lasted between 1912 and 1926. While the exact years haven't been revealed in the manga, given that the time period only stretches between 14 years, it makes it pretty easy for fans to guess.

Due to the reference to several folktales and historical elements, many people believe the anime to be set during the Edo period, which is a period between 1603 and 1867, a time when Japan was under the rule of Tokugawa shogunate. However, the story is set during the Taisho period, which is evident from the Taisho Secret session during the show's end credits.


3) How did Taisho period influence Demon Slayer?

Taisho period elements (Image via Ufotable)
Taisho period elements (Image via Ufotable)

The Taisho period was a turning point in Japan's history, as the country had begun to transition from traditional feudalism to a modern, democratic nation. This was when Japan, as a country, started being receptive to much more foreign influences, which included the modernization of the country with the introduction of locomotives, as seen in the Mugen Train Arc.

This modernization was pretty rapid in the cities compared to villages, due to which the foreign elements such as western clothes and trains were quite overwhelming for the likes of Tanjiro and Inosuke, compared to Zenitsu, who lived in a city. The Taisho period is also why Muzan Kibutsuji made his first appearance in western clothes, which acted as a good disguise as a foreigner.


4) Where in Japan does Demon Slayer take place?

Yoshiwara Entertainment District (Image via Sportskeeda)
Yoshiwara Entertainment District (Image via Sportskeeda)

Demon Slayer takes place in real-life areas in Tokyo, Japan. This can be seen from several real-life locations that were used as references to the locations in the series. These locations include Ashikaga, Asakusa, Yoshiwara, Okutama, Shinjuku, Nakano, Setagaya, Hachioji, Takinogawa, and Azabu.

While Tanjiro, Nezuko, and Inosuke were from rural areas in Okutama, Zenitsu was from a city, Shinjuku. Similarly, other characters in the series were also from different parts of Tokyo. The most prominent locations in the series are Asakusa and Yoshiwara. Asakusa was where Tanjiro first encountered Muzan Kibutsuji, while the Entertainment District Arc in the second season was set in Yoshiwara.


5) Are the Wisteria flowers real?

Wisteria Flowers in the anime and real life (Image via Sportskeeda)
Wisteria Flowers in the anime and real life (Image via Sportskeeda)

Yes, the Wisteria flowers are real and are native to Japan, China, Korea, Southern Canada, Vietnam, the USA, and northern Iran. While the flower is shown in a good light in the series, in real life, it is rather poisonous and must not be ingested. However, it seems correct if you look from the demons' perspective, as the flowers act as toxins that can kill low-ranked demons.

Wisteria plants in Kimetsu no Yaiba are the natural enemy of demons, as they can stop the regenerative powers of demons, helping one kill the demon without worrying about its regeneration. The flowers also act as a repellant to demons, and hence they surround the Kisatsutai's base.


6) Are the Blue Spider Lilies real?

Blue Spider Lily from the anime and Spider Lily in real life (Image via Sportskeeda)
Blue Spider Lily from the anime and Spider Lily in real life (Image via Sportskeeda)

No, the Blue Spider Lily is not real and is a fictional recreation of the real-life flower Spider Lily, which is usually red in color. Spider Lily originated in China, Korea, and Nepal, however, they were later introduced to Japan. The same has been introduced in the series with a different color.

In Demon Slayer, the Blue Spider Lily is known to be a flower that only blooms in the daytime two or three days a year. In the series, Kibutsuji Muzan wanted to obtain the flowers to make a cure for himself that would allow him to walk outside during the daytime while being immortal.


7) Are Kimetsu no Yaiba characters based on real-life Japanese folklore?

Muzan is isnpired from Nurarihyon, the supreme leader of all yokai.
Muzan is isnpired from Nurarihyon, the supreme leader of all yokai.

Yes, several characters in Demon Slayer, from demons to corps members, have been inspired by Japanese folklore. As Japanese folklore is mostly based on spiritual, mythological beings, it worked well with the premise of the series, due to which several characters are loosely based on them.

For example, Muzan Kibutsuji was inspired by Nurarihyon, the supreme leader of all yokai. Yokai are a class of supernatural entities and spirits set in Japanese folklore. Similarly, there are several other inspirations from folklore, including Daki's ability to extend her neck, which was inspired by The Legend of The Rokurokubi.


8) How is the Demon Slayer Corps inspired by real life?

Demon Slayer Corps and Kasugai Crow (Image via Ufotable)
Demon Slayer Corps and Kasugai Crow (Image via Ufotable)

While there was no such thing as demon slayers in the past, the uniforms worn by the corps members have been inspired by real life. The Demon Slayer Corps uniform was inspired by the military uniform that was worn by the Japanese army during the Taisho era. These uniforms were later used as inspiration for high school uniforms in the country.

Similarly, the Kasugai crows of the corps were also chosen for a reason. Crows in Japan symbolize rebirth and rejuvenation, as they are scavengers and are the ones who clean up after any battle. They were also known to be much more intelligent and respected, due to which they were chosen as the communication method for the Corps members, as opposed to the pigeons used in western media.