With the release of the “Infinity Train” movie on October 16, the popularity of the “Kimetsu no Yaiba” is at its peak. Personally my family and myself are also big fans of the comics and anime. Its popularity has spread even overseas, with Youtube videos of people reacting to the anime and many cosplayers dressing up as the characters in the anime/comics.

“Kimetsu no Yaiba” is translated as “Demon Slayer” overseas, which made me think, Is the “Oni” and “Demon” the same thing? I did some researching!

What is an Oni?

Oni is something that is ingrained in the Japanese culture. We hear about them in folktales, and see them in traditional events such as Setsubun. The earliest known Oni did not have any form, but were thought of as the spirits of the dead. Due to the influence of Buddhism we now have the image of the Oni we have now.

There are various forms of the Oni, but mostly they have horns on their head, and are large in stature, and eat people or torture them in hell. There are certain types of Oni which come in different colors, and these represent the different disasters that we want to drive away by throwing beans at them.

Some famous Oni would be the ones found in the story of Momotaro, Shuten-Doji, and Amanojaku.

What is a Demon?

So what is a “Demon”? In Christianity demons are referred to as devil or evil spirits. In the Greek mythology they are supernatural beings that belong between the gods and humans. In either one they do not necessarily have a physical body, and they are more of evil spirits that do bad things.

Something that has an image closer to an Oni of the present day may be an “Ogre”. They don’t have horns, but are typically large in stature, and attack and eat humans.


Personally I love the title “Demon Slayer”, because it sounds so cool. However, the Oni that we see in the story are more of a “Monster” instead of a “devil or evil spirit”, so maybe “Ogre Slayer” might be a more ‘correct’ title!

#鬼滅の刃 #日本文化 #英語


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