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Why does Zenitsu communicate by sparrow instead of Kasugai fruit?

After surviving the final test, those admitted to the Demon Slayer will have their uniforms tailored, choose iron ore to forge swords, and be given a talented companion – a bird that acts as a carrier. information, instructing them to perform the next tasks. These birds are usually crows, but among them is a very different one: the Chuntaro sparrow – the bird that is on duty as a messenger for Agatsuma Zenitsu. This exception surprised many viewers and raised the question why Zenitsu received a sparrow instead of a Kasugai like the other teammates? The answer lies in Japanese folklore.

Kimetsu no Yaiba: Why does Zenitsu communicate by sparrow instead of Kasugai fruit?  - Photo 1.

The use of crows to communicate is rooted in Japanese mythology. Legend has it that the sun goddess Amaterasu sent a three-legged crow to the hero Jimmu. The three crows represent the characteristics of the gods: wisdom, kindness, and courage. The crow that the goddess sent down from the heavens is called Yatagarasu, it takes on the role of guiding the hero Jimmu to the place of battle and victory. In Kimetsu no Yaiba, the use of messenger crows to tell members of the Demon Slayer where demons are hiding is also a tribute to the crow god Yatagarasu. Therefore, in general, the crow is seen as a symbol of protection (not to mention another meaning attached to them, orientation).

Contrary to the crow, the sparrow has less auspicious connotations, but that’s why Zenitsu and Chuntaro match well. From the very beginning, Zenitsu was shown not to have any of the traits that crows represent, instead he trained and developed day by day. In the first season of the anime, Zenitsu is introduced as an orphan, deceived and deeply in debt, so he is hardly a smart kid. However, Zenitsu was kind enough to protect Nezuko from Inosuke Hashibara after his encounter with Kyogai.

Kimetsu no Yaiba: Why does Zenitsu communicate by sparrow instead of Kasugai fruit?  - Photo 2.

Besides that, Zenitsu is also often shown to be quite timid, often hiding behind weaker people and rambling about their fears and dangers. Zenitsu is therefore not a courageous person. But in the treasure trove of Japanese folktales, there is a story quite similar to Zenitsu’s situation and very reasonable to be used to explain the Chuntaro sparrow, it is titled “The Story of the Sliced ​​Sparrow tongue”.

The story goes that once upon a time there was an old woodcutter who lived with his greedy wife. One day, the woodcutter finds an injured sparrow and feeds it some rice, much to the horror of his wife (this is similar to how Zenitsu feeds Chuntaro). One day while the husband was away, the sparrow ate some flour because the wife wouldn’t feed it, so she cut off its tongue and threw it out of the house.

When the husband returned, he discovered the incident and decided to go look for the sparrow. He found the bird’s nest, the other birds found the poor sparrow. The birds saw the old woodcutter and gave him two chests. A modest chest and a large chest. The woodcutter knows how to measure himself, so he only chooses a small chest to easily bring home. However, when he got home, he discovered that there were countless treasures in the chest. The greedy wife immediately set out to find the sparrow and retrieve the large chest. But on her return, she was so eager for the treasure in the chest that she opened it. Unlike the old man’s chest, this one contained snake heads and horrors, causing her to jump in panic and jump off the cliff.

Kimetsu no Yaiba: Why does Zenitsu communicate by sparrow instead of Kasugai fruit?  - Photo 3.

Although the old story incorporates many different moral messages, they all involve Zenitsu and the treasure chest. Zenitsu believes in his own ability, which corresponds to the old woodcutter choosing only a small chest because he thinks his own strength is limited. However, there is a treasure hidden in the small chest, similar to Zenitsu despite only mastering one form of the Breath of Thunder, but this technique is powerful enough to help him defeat formidable demons. Zenitsu is kind – this is evident when he asks the demon Daki to apologize to the child he pinched at the brothel.

In other words, in the place of the people around him, Zenitsu was a small chest or treasure that no one but his teacher could see. The sparrow itself is also a symbol of community, kindness and good luck. Chuntaro’s attachment to Zenitsu also shows that he now has a companion on his journey.

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