Kanji and meanings of Kanao’s name
The family name TSUYURI is very, very rare and it’s hard to read it TSUYURI.
Does it really exist?
Yes! Additionally, there’s an old background story behind it. Let me introduce mythology too!
TSUYURI is an irregular reading for this kanji combination. Even for Japanese, it’s difficult to read it!
We usually read the first letter KURI, the second one HANA or KA, and the third one OCHI or RAKU. See? None of them matches any sound in TSUYURI!
It’s said that the word TSUYURI comes from the word TSUYU, which means a rainy season in Japanese.
The first letter means chestnuts and the second one is flowers, and the third one means to fall. That makes the whole word “chestnut flowers fall”.
In Japan, flowers of chestnut fall in the rainy season. That’s why the combination of these kanji letters got to have the sound TSUYURI after TSUYU.
As for the name, there’s a folklore in Kobe city in Hyogo prefecture.
A folklore of the well of Tsuyuri
A long time ago, there’s a man named Yamada Saemonnojo Masakatsu. Masakatsu fell in love with a princess called Shirataki Hime, but she was a person with a higher rank than him and he was distressed.
The emperor at the time knew it and made them get married because he was impressed with Masakatsu’s sincere personality. They became a couple! But Shirataki Hime passed away after a few years and Masakatsu built a shrine to mourn her.
Something mysterious happened. Every season when the flowers of chestnuts fall, spring water got came to gush. The water never dried up even when terrible droughts occurred.
Masakatsu changes his family name Tsuyuri, after the well. The well still exists in Kobe city and his descendants are protecting it.
Kanao in Demon Slayer chose this name by herself among several candidates. It may show her will to get her heart back, like a dried-up well would be resurrected.
Her first name KANAO is written in katakana, not in kanji. Katakana is made from the shapes of kanji. Each katakana is used only for expressing the sound and doesn’t have any distinctive meanings like kanji. We use katakana mainly for foreign words.
I’ll introduce you an interesting consideration told among Japanese Kanao fans.
I think you’ve already noticed that Kanao’s name is similar to Kocho Kanae’s KANAE.
E became O. If you say that in Japanese, it says E GA O NI NARU.
E GA O NI NARU
And the word EGAO means smile in Japanese. Kanao’s name was named wishing that she could have a smile.