What does Kamado Tanjiro mean in Japanese?
Kamado is a kitchen in the old Japanese days. Tanjiro’s TAN means charcoal and I think it comes from his family business. Let me explain what each kanji symbol stands for!
The First Name TANJIRO
TAN = charcoal
JI = govern, rule, treat
RO = man
As I said first, TAN means charcoal. I think it derives from the fact that Tanjiro’s family was earning a living by making wood charcoal. Both his grandfather and daddy also have this TAN symbol in their first names. It seems the TAN character has been inherited by the oldest son in the Kamodo family.
Are these names common in Japan, including TAN?
No. TAN is not the kanji character used for people’s names since it simply means “charcoal.” So it’s a manga-ish name. But if you use other Kanji letters, it’s possible.
Honestly, this kanji symbol doesn’t give any cool impression and it’s not like the name of the main character. But I think it’s on purpose and there’s a reason. The author of Demon Slayer has a theory that “a normal person can’t get strong instantly (like in manga and games).” That’s why Tanjiro had to spend two years training himself in order to get strong enough to fight demons. He is not a natural-born fighter or hero, but nothing but a villager who has never grabbed the sword. So his name is ordinary as well and it should be.
Tanjiro was NOT the main character of the story in the concept stage of the manga. He was nothing but one of the side characters.
Really? Then why was he promoted as a hero?
That’s because he was normal. A normal kid involved in a tragedy and struggles to fight against his fate. That sounds more dramatic and moving, right? And the normality of Tanjiro makes other characters’ uniqueness clearer.
How about the kanji symbol of JI and RO?
They are both common for boy names!
JI gives decent and reasonable impressions and it matches Tanjiro’s hardworking personality.
RO is kind of a suffix for boy names. You’ll see many other names with RO in Japanese anime like TARO, ICHIRO, JIRO, SABURO, and things like that.
The Family Name KAMADO
KAMADO is a cooking stove in the old Japanese times. In a nutshell, a kitchen. Here’s the picture of it!
The Origin of Kamado Name? Shrine in Fukuoka Prefecture
There is a shrine named “the Kamado shrine” in Fukuoka prefecture in Japan. It’s beside Homanzan (Mt. Homan) which is well known as the place where those who lead ascetic life in the mountains train themselves.
Even now, you can see these mountain monks called Shugensha practice asceticism there.
And Shugensha in Homanzan wear outfit with colorful checkered pattern.
Ah! It resembles the Tanjiro’s kimono design!
The author of Demon Slayer is from Fukuoka prefecture. I guess he was inspired by the Kamado shrine and Homanzan when he created Tanjiro’s character.