Since Tanjiro Kamado joined the Demon Slayer Corp, his sword has been crafted by the skilled blacksmith Hotaru Haganezuka. Their first encounter took place after Tanjiro completed the entrance test. Upon arriving at Mr. Urokodaki’s house, Haganezuka proudly presented Tanjiro with a sword, showcasing his deep passion for his craft. However, Haganezuka’s face remained hidden from view for a long time.
What sets Haganezuka apart is that he is not the only one wearing a mask. All the blacksmiths in their village, including the children and apprentices, don masks. These masks seem to draw inspiration from traditional Japanese theater plays. But why do they wear them?
It all comes down to the nature of the Nichirin swords, the blades used by the slayers in their battle against demons. These swords possess a unique and crucial ability that no other blade possesses—the power to deliver a fatal blow to demons.
Muzan Kibutsuji, the mighty demon lord, has relentlessly sought to discover the location of the Blacksmiths’ Village, as he believes disarming the slayers is of utmost importance. It is a closely guarded secret to safeguard the village’s location, known only to a few swordsmen.
When a visit to the village is necessary, stringent measures are taken to ensure its secrecy. Tanjiro had to blindfold his eyes, cover his nose, and plug his ears to prevent any clues about the village’s location. Additionally, blacksmiths must keep their identities concealed while traveling to deliver their swords to the swordsmen. Even their colleagues cannot know their true identities.
This precaution would prevent them from divulging any information if they were to be captured by enemies, ensuring the protection of their village and fellow blacksmiths. Thus, only their closest family members are privy to the faces behind the masks.
During the intense battle in Demon Slayer Season 3, Haganezuka’s mask was accidentally lost, revealing his face to Gyokko and those nearby. Fortunately, the demon did not survive the encounter, and Haganezuka’s identity remains a well-kept secret. It is worth noting that beneath the mask, Haganezuka is remarkably handsome.
Why do swordsmiths wear strange masks?
Swordsmiths wear masks during the forging process to protect themselves from the intense heat, smoke, and flying debris when working with molten metal and hammering the sword.
What is the purpose of the strange masks worn by wordsmiths?
The masks, often called “men,” serve multiple purposes. They shield the face from sparks and hot metal fragments, prevent inhalation of harmful fumes, and provide protection in case of accidents or mishaps during the forging process.
Do all swordsmiths wear these strange masks?
While not all swordsmiths wear the same style of masks, it is a common practice in traditional Japanese swordsmithing to wear protective masks or face coverings during the forging process.
Are the masks worn by swordsmiths part of a specific tradition or culture?
Yes, the practice of wearing masks by swordsmiths is deeply rooted in the traditions of Japanese swordmaking. It is a cultural and safety practice passed down through generations.
Do the masks have any symbolic meaning or significance?
The masks swordsmiths wear primarily serve practical purposes, such as safety and protection. However, they can also be seen as a symbol of the dedication and craftsmanship involved in the ancient art of swordmaking.
Are there different types or styles of masks worn by wordsmiths?
Yes, there are various styles of masks worn by swordsmiths. Some masks cover the entire face, while others only cover the mouth and nose. The design and materials used may vary depending on the individual swordsmith or regional traditions.
Do modern swordsmiths still wear these masks?
Even modern swordsmiths practicing traditional Japanese swordmaking often wear protective masks during the forging process to ensure their safety and well-being.
Can the masks worn by swordsmiths be considered works of art?
While the primary purpose of the masks is functional, they can also be crafted with aesthetic considerations. Some masks are beautifully decorated or have intricate designs, showcasing the artistry and skill of the wordsmith.
Are any specific rituals or customs associated with wearing the masks?
Wearing the masks is primarily part of the standard safety protocols during the swordmaking process. However, donning the mask can hold personal significance to the swordsmith as a symbol of entering a focused and sacred space for their craft.
Can the masks worn by swordsmiths be seen in other cultures or crafts?
While the specific style of masks worn by swordsmiths may be unique to Japanese swordmaking, the concept of using protective face coverings during intense and hazardous crafting processes can be found in various cultures and crafts worldwide.