The answer to this question says:

The opening thread defines where is the best place to slash the sword that will behead them in a single swing. The opening thread scene only happens during Tanjiro's fight as it represents the keen sense of smell he possesses. This constantly reminds us how Tanjiro is different from others as others learn to do that through experience and training but he can do it just by sensing it.

From the answer, "Opening thread" determines the angle and position of the sword needed to successfully kill a demon and the experienced demon slayer just learns from experience but Tanjiro has an olfactory ability to sense the "Opening Thread".

This was evident during the battle between Rui and Tanjiro. Tanjiro was struggling to get hold of the "opening thread" and although he managed to behead Rui using Hinokami no Kagura, Rui was surprisingly not dead and he managed to sew himself. Later, Tomioka came and beheaded Rui with no effort whatsoever. So, do experienced demon slayers look for an "Opening thread" or do they just go by intuition? In other words, is Tanjiro the only one who can sense an "Opening thread"?

And how do newcomers determine the perfect slash to behead the head of demons? Is it from their individual ability like Inosuke throwing a full-blown attack while Zenitsu becoming precise in sleep mode?

2 Answers 2


The story might not explicitly mention anyone besides Tanjiro having the Opening Thread ability (I'm only halfway through the manga so I'm taking @pushkin's word for it in their answer) but I believe it's contextually implied that Urokodaki has this ability.

As you quoted, Tanjiro's Opening Thread ability is enabled by his strong sense of smell. In volume 1, Giyu sends his messenger bird to Urokodaki asking him to train Tanjiro and says:

"like you, the boy has a strong sense of smell. I believe that perhaps he could be worthy of carrying on your traditions."

Then, when Tanjiro first explains his Opening Thread ability which occurs during his training he says he learned it thanks to his training with Makomo, one of Urokodaki's deceased students who helps train him to cut the boulder as his last test before Final Selection.

Thanks to my training with Makomo I've learned to smell out an "opening thread." That's how I won. When I'm fighting someone and I find that scent, I see the thread.

Thus, while not explicitly stated that Urokodaki has this ability we do know that Tanjiro is Urokodaki's protege, he developed this technique through Urokodaki's (and Makomo's) teachings, and both Urokodaki's and Tanjiro's skills as demon slayers are enabled through the special sense of smell they both share.


Maybe this is more of a comment, or maybe an answer, but a disappointing one, but I don't believe the story every explains this.

I imagine other demon slayers have something similar, or at least some intuition about where to slice the neck, but the story never mentions that anyone besides Tanjiro has this specific Opening Thread "ability."

The Wiki even doesn't have any specific articles about "opening thread."

I guess the audience is supposed to fill in the blanks themselves.

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    IIRC Tanjiro had a superior sense of smell, thus sometimes being able to "smell" the opening in an enemy, called the "opening thread". We don't have any statistics on the smell proficieny of the other Hashiras to say that they can also use it, but most likely they have something similar from other sense in my opinion.
    – RigaCrypto
    Aug 1, 2022 at 7:54

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