What does NEZUKO mean? Name meaning in Japanese
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What does NEZUKO mean? Name meaning in Japanese

Nezuko written in kanjiDemon Slayer/Kimetsu no Yaiba

Kanji and meanings of Nezuko’s name

Today I’ll explain Nezuko’s name. Both the sound and kanji letters in her name are very uncommon and it’s not easy to grasp its meanings even for us Japanese!

But when seeing them carefully, we can find something related to demons in each kanji character. What are they? Let me explain it!

NE

Ne written in kanji

NE means a tomb of one’s father. This is a veeeery difficult kanji and we seldom see it. Honestly, I’ve never seen it until I read Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, and I think most Japanese are the same as me. Thanks to Nezuko, the character became well known.

I think an important point is that this kanji symbolizes the FATHER’s tomb. Nezuko and Tanjiro’s daddy was a successor of the Hinokami Kagura, which is essential to defeating Kibutsuji Muzan.

Their daddy Kamado Tanjuro is already deceased, but what he left is a significant element to beat demons and save Nezuko. I guess this NE letter is kind of a hint for the fact.

ZU

Zu written in kanji

ZU means a bean. In Japan, we have a custom of throwing beans to wipe Oni (a Japanese demon) away. It’s a kind of charm against evil.

picture: dried soy beans in a japanese wooden cup and a demon mask
We through dried soy beans to drive demons away!

So we can guess two meanings of Nezuko’s name. One is that her parents gave her this name with a wish that she wouldn’t be attacked by Oni. The other is that she herself is the existence with a role of driving Oni away.

Which do you think more suitable for her name?

KO

Ko written in kanji

KO means a child and is a very common character for girl names. For example, my name Junko also has KO at the end of it. You can see many other names with KO, like Yuko, Keiko, Michiko, Tomoko, Akiko and Momoko.

Except for this KO, all the kanji characters in Nezuko’s name are related to demons, though it’s not straightforward but indirect. I feel the author of Demon Slayer is widely informed about kanji letters. That’s why I believe kanji symbols for Nezuko are carefully selected and there’re some meanings behind them.

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