The Demon Slayer universe borrows from the typical elemental archetypes found throughout fantasy storytelling for its breathing techniques: Fire, Earth, Wind, Water and Air. Viewers follow Tanjiro Kamado from his early days as a simple town boy to mastering his own unique breathing technique.


Overall, there are actually 14 Demon Slayer breathing techniques, but they can all be sourced to the main five elements. The branched options are used by the Demon Slayer Corps, with each getting their moments to shine in the manga and anime, but their history is a tangled one.

The source of all breathing techniques is Sun Breathing but mastery of said power has been diluted over the years with Demon Slayers only able to use one or two at full potential.

There was a Demon Slayer during the Sengoku Era, also known as the Golden Age of Demon Slayers, who is classed as the most powerful Demon Slayer of all time, able to take on the strongest demons. His story took place over 500 years before the current Demon Slayer time period, but is credited for creating the Sun Breathing technique along with its 13 derivatives.

Upon Yoriichi’s death, it was lost until Tanjiro revived it through his familial dance. Earth, Wind, Flame, Air and Water are the five most common forms and also the first to be created from Sun.

They were mastered by Yoriichi's students, who were unable to control Sun Breathing, which they crafted to have their own unique strengths and weaknesses. While Yoriichi invented Sun Breathing, his brother created another: Moon Breathing. It was developed when Kokushibo mastered Total Concentration Breathing but deemed too powerful for other Demon Slayers to master.

What are the Demon Slayer breathing techniques?

Developed from Water

Obani Demon Slayer
Obanai in Demon Slayer. Crunchyroll

Water Breathing is the most common and easiest technique to learn. The three most notable Water Breathing forms include Flower, Serpent, and Insect.

Obanai, a member of the Hashira, is the only person to master Serpent Breathing but its backstory remains unclear. Flower Breathing is used by Kanae and Kanao, also Hashira members.

Insect Breathing is Shinobu's poison-based technique and acts as a new addition to the family. It's currently unknown if any of the students studying under her will train in Insect Breathing.

Developed from Flame

Kyojuro Rengoku Demon Slayer
Kyojuro Rengoku in Demon Slayer. Crunchyroll

Only six forms of Flame Breathing are known to viewers. Mitsuri practices Love Breathing, inventing it after practising under Kyojuro, and found her abilities were better suited to whip-like attacks rather than the highly offensive Flame origins.

Once again viewers do not know exactly when this technique was developed, but it can be assumed fairly recently, perhaps around the same time as Insect Breathing.

Developed from Wind

Inosuke Demon Slayer
Inosuke in Demon Slayer. Crunchyroll

There are nine known forms of Wind Breathing with the most common being Mist and Beast. One of the Hashira uses the technique but is not credited for its creation, leaving its exact origins unknown.

Inosuke is a self-taught Beast Breathing expert. Its background implies it's difficult for anyone other than Inosuke to master and while it boasts 10 techniques in total, he doesn't consider the majority of them as form.

Developed from Thunder

Thunder Breathing is a quick and agile technique which derives its name from the lightning it creates. It has multiple forms but only one is known to be mastered.

Sound Breathing dedicates itself to the user's reflexes in sound, boasting five techniques in total but only three are known to viewers.

Its exact origins are debated.

Tengen Demon Slayer
Tengen Demon Slayer Crunchyroll

Developed from Earth

Stone Breathing is defensive but more devastating than the others due to its strength. It has five known techniques but only Gyomei Himejima is known to make full use of its powers, branding it as one of the more underutilised techniques.

Though its techniques are generally unknown, it's suggested it can only be used equipped with a flail or axe.

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