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The Meaning Of “Deku” And The Origin Revealed 【My Hero Academia】

The author Kohei Horikoshi sensei left a comment in the weekly Shonen Jump magazine about where he had got the idea of the name “Deku” and why it has been raining the whole time in the final arc of My Hero Academia.

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“Deku” came from the famous poem

According to Horikoshi sensei, the young Hero’s name came from the Japanese well-known poem “Ame ni mo Makezu (雨ニモ負負ケズ)” by Kenji Miyazawa.

Kenji Miyazawa (宮沢 賢治 みやざわ けんじ, 1896~1933) was a famous Japanese poet and a writer of stories for children. His works written with his unique worldview in his own interesting expression have influenced various Japanese artists now and in the past.

What is written in “Ame ni mo Makezu”

Here is the poem in Jananese and the translated version in English.
I’ve marked the phase contains the word “Deku”.

Source: Wikipedia “Ame ni mo Makezu”

What “Deku no bo” means

As it is explanted in My Hero Academia, too, “Deku no bo (木偶の坊 でくのぼう)” means “useless person”. Deku (木偶 でく) is a Japanese traditional wooden puppet originated in the Heian era (平安時代 へいあんじだい, 794-1185). A person who can’t do anything by themselves is like a wooden puppet, so they are called “deku no bo”.

Deku puppet (Source: Tokushima prefecture website)
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The world of “Ame ni mo Makezu”

This poem was written in Miyazawa’s notebook and found after he passed away. It’s an impressive work which admires the beauty of humility and simplicity. In this poem, Miyazawa says he doesn’t want anything more than bare necessities and wants to do as much as he can for others. So, what he wrote in “Ame ni mo Makezu” is the ultimate world of self-sacrifice. Doesn’t it remind you of someone? Yes, it just sounds like Izuku Midoriya.

Miyazawa's black notebook
Source: The official Tourism Website of Tohoku

Miyazawa himself was a person with self-sacrificing spirit

The life of the national famous poet was full of humility, too. He had worked hard in many fields including the activity to improve the life of farmers back then. As the result, overworking hurt his health and he passed away at 37. His great works including “Ame ni mo Makezu” became famous after he was gone.

Rainy days in the final arc of My Hero Academia

Horikoshi sensei also said “This (the name Deku came from “Ame ni mo Makezu" ) is why it’s been raining in the final arc.”

Since “Ame ni mo Makezu” means “Unbeaten by the rain”, he has chosen the rainy scene for the final arc. So, I think, for Horikoshi sensei, the image of the famous poem is that of Izuku itself.

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Deku’s spirit as a Hero

If you grow up in Japan, you would get to read “Ame ni mo Makezu” at least once. When I read it in elementary school, I had an image of thinking and living in a cloistered world like a hermit. And I guess what Horikoshi sensei had seen through this beautiful poem was a hero. Deku always sacrifices himself for others and never gets cocky no matter how strong he becomes.

A true hero might stand silently behind the fame and breathtaking actions.

If you want to know more about Kenji Miyazawa, see→ "The website of Hanamaki Tourism Association"

If you want more trivia about My Hero Academia, see my article "9 Trivia Facts To Enjoy My Hero Academia More!"

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