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  • Takeshi Kazui

Ittō-seki: the Split Boulder Cut by Tanjiro in "DEMON SLAYER" 一刀石

Updated: Oct 22, 2023

"DEMON SLAYER" is undoubtedly the hottest anime of the moment. It has many enthusiastic fans all over the world.

The DEMON SLAYER on Netflix!!

This anime has several episodes that are based on Japanese legends, and today I will talk about the legend that inspired the impressive episode where Kamado Tanjiro 竈門炭治郎 trained under Urokodaki Sakonji 鱗滝左近次.


The Legendary Swordsman

Miwa Kasumi 三輪霞, a character from the Japanese manga/anime Jutsu Kaisen.

Miwa's Shinkage-ryu in the anime Jujutsu Kaisen does not seem to be related to Yagyu Shinkage-ryū 柳生新陰流.


Ittō-seki 一刀石: a huge rock that was cut in half by a legendary Japanese sword saint Yagyū Sekishusai.

This sprit boulder called Ittō-seki 一刀石 has a legend behind it. The samurai lord Yagyū Munetoshi 柳生宗厳, also known as Sekishūsai 石舟斎, is the founder of the Yagyu Shinkage-ryū 柳生新陰流. And he is said to be the greatest swordmaster in Japanese history. Incidentally, his book, "The Life-Giving Sword: Secret Teachings from the House of the Shogun" is a favorite of not only martial artists but also many business executives.


Duel with a Tengu

One day, while Yagyū Munetoshi was practicing swordsmanship in Iwato Valley, a long-nosed monster named Teng 天狗 appeared in front of him. Tengu is a legendary creature that is said to be an incarnation of a god or a demon in Japanese folk beliefs. It is a powerful enemy that moves fast and uses spiritual power, so there are several myths that depict battles between tengu and samurai.

However, that didn't matter to him, as he was known around the world as a sword saint. He had slashed the Tengu in a single stroke, and he was ruthless to no end.

When he looked at the spot where he had slashed it, the corpse had disappeared. Instead, there was a boulder that was split in two.

Ittō-seki 一刀石: a huge rock that was cut in half by a legendary Japanese sword saint Yagyū Sekishusai.

Ittō-seki 一刀石: a huge rock that was cut in half by a legendary Japanese sword saint Yagyū Sekishusai.

Ittō-seki 一刀石: a huge rock that was cut in half by a legendary Japanese sword saint Yagyū Sekishusai.

Ittō-seki 一刀石: a huge rock that was cut in half by a legendary Japanese sword saint Yagyū Sekishusai.

Ittō-seki 一刀石: a huge rock that was cut in half by a legendary Japanese sword saint Yagyū Sekishusai.

As a side note, in the anime, Urokodaki is wearing a Tengu mask.


DEMON SLAYER has episodes inspired by actual legends

Japanese mang/anime has episodes inspired by actual legends, and Demon Slayer is no exception. We promise to provide subjects that will tickle your intellectual curiosity, not just a boring introduction to manga and anime.


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