After surviving the rigorous final selection process, new members of the Demon Slayer Corps will receive their uniforms and swords. They also gain a talented companion – a messenger bird that will inform them of upcoming missions.
Usually these birds are crows with glossy black plumage. However, a new assassin named Zenitsu Agatsuma receives a small brown sparrow named Chuntaro.
This sparrow is reminiscent of ancient Japanese folk tales. Crows often appear in legends as wise messengers of the gods, guiding heroes in battle. Yatagarasu, or three-legged crow, is especially iconic.
Its three legs symbolize divine traits such as wisdom, kindness, and courage. So in Demon Slayer, the crow is associated with that folklore and symbolizes protection and guidance for murderers.
As for why Zenitsu got a modest sparrow instead of an elegant crow, that remains a mystery. But the little bird is still loyal as a messenger on dangerous missions despite its small size. So perhaps size and appearance can deceive courage.
The symbol of the sparrow in Demon Slayer
The crow may be an auspicious legacy in Japanese folklore, but the sparrow symbolizes something different – space to grow. This makes it a perfect match for Zenitsu’s character storylines.
When we first meet Zenitsu, he does not display the wise, brave qualities of the legendary crow. He is a kind soul who always protects Nezuko but is also overwhelmed by fear, hiding behind those stronger than him.
However, an old folk tale provides insight into the sparrow messenger. In “The Tongue-Cut Sparrow,” a cruel man injures a sparrow, which then takes revenge with clever tricks.
Despite their small size and damaged tongue, sparrows display daring ingenuity.
Similarly, despite its timid start, Zenitsu has great potential for growth. His sparrow Chuntaro may have been chosen to represent that promise.
Like a sparrow with its tongue cut off, appearances can deceive the strength within.
So while Zenitsu begins to lack the wisdom and courage associated with crows, his sparrow foreshadows the development of those heroic qualities in him through his adventures. Older brother.
The story of the sparrow with its tongue cut out
The story is about an old woodcutter rescuing an injured sparrow. Despite his kindness, his greedy wife is not pleased with him taking care of it.
One day, while the woodcutter was away, the hungry sparrow ate some starch. The wife lost her temper – she cut off the sparrow’s tongue and threw it out of the house.
When the woodcutter returned and heard what had happened, he immediately set out to find the injured bird. He discovered a sparrow nest, which contained the bird he had rescued.
To repay His compassion, they offered Him two chests – one small, one large. Humble and practical, the woodcutter took over the smaller chest. When he returned home, he and his wife discovered that this place was full of valuable treasures.
Taken over by greed, his wife returned demanding a larger chest. Eager to claim her prize, she opened it mid-journey and released a group of snakes.
The horrifying scene caused her to fall from the cliff to the ground and die. Despite his wound and humble appearance, the sparrow eventually took revenge in a clever way thanks to the woodcutter’s selfless loyalty.
Like the story, Zenitsu and his sparrow Chuntaro initially seem weak and unimpressive compared to the other assassins.
But as in folk tales, there are often depths hidden beneath the surface for those with patience and compassion.
Zenitsu and Chuntaro’s hidden gifts
Folk tales about sparrows contain many moral lessons, but there is one that directly relates to Zenitsu – treasure chests. Despite lacking confidence, Zenitsu chooses small, modest breasts to express how he sees himself.
However, his unique Thunder Breathing technique proved powerful enough to defeat powerful demons.
His inherent kindness emerges as his confidence grows, like when he protected children and asked the demon Daki to apologize for harming a girl.
In a sense, Zenitsu himself is the embodiment of the humble little chest, looked down upon by everyone but his teacher, but filled with hidden gifts inside.
In addition, sparrows also symbolize community, kindness and luck in Japan – traits that Zenitsu needed when he believed he was lonely and incapable.
Chuntaro’s loyal companionship gives him important peace of mind.
While the sparrow’s antics bring a touch of humor to the grim series, the pairing has a deeper meaning. Chuntaro represents how Zenitsu sees himself now – as well as his future potential.
Like a sparrow who persistently cuts its tongue, behind confidence is ingenuity.
This promises significant growth for the self-proclaimed coward as his adventures continue. In many ways, Zenitsu and his sparrow are two sides of the same coin. Where it is lacking, the other supports it, eventually returning to a state of wholeness.