Zoro’s Past and the Shimotsuki
Let’s start this One Piece theory with Roronoa Zoro and Kuina fighting on a moonlit night in a remote village in East Blue called Shimotsuki. Translated as “Frost Moon“, the Shimotsuki clan also rules Ringo, a snowy region filled swords and graveyards where the legendary Samurai known as Ryuma Shimotsuki was laid to rest.
Read more about all the foreshadowing available in the manga so we can piece together the heritage of the clan known as Shimotsuki.
Roronoa Zoro Arrives in Shimotsuki Village
Some time ago, a young Roronoa Zoro arrived in Isshin Dojo and challenged the host of the Dojo, Koushirou for a duel and if he is able to take him down, then he will acquire possession of the Dojo. Koushirou accepted but instead pitted her daughter to fight Zoro and he promised that if he will lose, he will join the Dojo and train there.
During their fight, Zoro mentioned that it was his first time to use a Bamboo sword and picked up several swords thinking that having more will mean his victory. But alas, he was defeated and instead dropped the others and used two instead. Koushirou was puzzled and Kuina even asked if Zoro has experience using two sword style before.
After losing 2000 times, Zoro finally challenged Kuina to a real sword fight on a moonlit night. This time, he was still using his Nitoryuu against the Itoryuu of Kuina. But alas, Zoro still lost.
Many years before the current timeline, we also learn of another Nitoryuu user in Wano in the person of Oden Kozuki. Zoro eventually received one of the swords used by Oden in replacement of his Shusui.
Ryuma Shimotsuki is the oldest known member of the Shimotsuki Clan and is famous for defeating a dragon with his black blade Shusui. His corpse rested in Ringo region before Gecko Moria arrived in Wano and fought with Kaido two years after Oden’s return from Laugh Tale.
Apart from Ryuma, another well known figure is Kozaburo Shimotsuki who forged ENMA and Wado Ichimonji. Enma was left in Wano as a gift to the heir of the Kozuki Clan, Oden. 59 years ago, Oden was born to Sukiyaki Kozuki. Four years later, Kozaburo left Wano and broke the laws of the land and eventually settled in a small island in East Blue to establish the Shimotsuki Village or “Frost Moon Village“. Eventually, Oden followed suit and also left Wano carrying Enma and Ame no Habakiri.
Four years after leaving Wano Kuni, his son Koushirou Shimotsuki was born. Koushirou is now 51 years old and manages Isshin Dojo.
Twenty three years ago, Koushiro became a father to Kuina Shimotsuki. By the age of 11 she has fought with Roronoa Zoro 2001 times never losing a single battle. However, twelve years ago, an unfortunate event happened and it was reported that Kuina died after falling the stairs.
However, it appears that 12 years ago, Monkey D Dragon was also in the island and got some supplies from a small Dojo which happens to be the same Dojo where Zoro and Kuina trained. It is possible that either 1) Kuina left with Dragon and changed her sexuality to a man as she has previously wished via Emporio Ivankov’s power or 2) The revolutionaries caused the death of Kuina.
Note also that despite the kids shouting about the huge ship, Zoro was turning his back and not looking at it.
After Kuina’s untimely “death“, Zoro inherited Wado Ichimonji, the sword Kozaburo Shimotsuki made. A few years later, Zoro received a cursed sword, Sandai Kitetsu, in Loguetown. The sword was crafted by Tenguyama Hitetsu who also made Ame no Habakiri. It is also note worthy that Monkey D Dragon was also in Loguetown at this time.
Both Enma and Ame No Habakiri were swords used by Oden in his adventures and eventually in his fight against Kaido. Zoro also previously inherited Shusui after defeating Ryuma in thriller bark but was returned to Ringo after Hiyori promised to give Zoro her father’s sword Enma. Shusui was also the sword the legendary Ryuma Shimotsuki used to defeat the Dragon in the capital.
If you take a closer look, the three swords – Wado Ichimonji, Enma and Shisui – that Zoro wields are descended from the Shimotsuki clan. Are the swords choosing their weilder or was it some sort of fate that these eventually led to the hands of Roronoa Zoro?
Hakumai and Ringo
Before Oden was defeated 20 years ago, the Shimotsuki clan were in charge of two regions namely Hakumai and Ringo. Yasuie Shimotsuki also known as Tonoyasu was the Daimyo of Hakumai and Ushimaru Shimotsuki was the Daimyo of Ringo. 2 years after Oden returned from Laugh Tale, A battle broke out between Gecko Moria and Kaido and the grave of Ryuma Shimotsuki was ransacked taking the corpse and Shishui.
However, Oden’s defeat also caused the collapse of the other families. Kawamatsu narrated that Onimaru has been guarding the graves of Ringo for 5 years after its downfall and there were still thirteen years before the great war will take place. This supposes that Ushimaru died two years after Oden’s death. Meanwhile, Yasuie survived and changed his name to Tonoyasu of Ebisu
Twenty years ago, after Oden died, Orochi came to us, the four remaining Daimyo with a question. Would we serve Kurozumi or fight? A Laughable Query!! You owed Oden for everything you had!! But you stole the Shogun’s throne through deceit and Chicanery! Who would serve you?The Daimyo and people of each land immediately took up arms but we failed to overcome the monster that is Kaido and Wano was razed to the ground!! But to my disappointment, I survived the battle and took to living in Ebisu town in disguise but I would be ashamed to die of Old Age!! ( Chapter 942)Yasuie Shimotsuki
In One Piece Chapter 1023, Kawamatsu told Hyogoro that he did not protest much during the time Hiyori offered Enma to Roronoa Zoro. Hyogoro agreed and that Zoro reminds him of Ushimaru Shimotsuki despite being a foreign pirate and that their sword style were similar. It was also revealed that Ushimaru is a direct descendant of Ryuma.
Yasuie was 71 years old when he died. Kozaburo Shimotsuki forged ENMA and Wado Ichimonji more than 59 years ago and left Wano 55 years ago which means Yasuie was only 16 years old back then. There are no details yet on the birth and date of Ushimaru. There are two possibilities that Yasuie and Ushimaru are brothers OR sons of Kozaburo as the two were present during the death of Sukiyaki and the sword Kozaburo made was gifted to the heir of the Shogun.
It was also revealed by Oda in his SBS that 55 years ago, Kozaburo set out to sea and the samurai of Wano had a grand adventure!! This would mean that Kozaburo was not alone when he left.
39 years ago, God Valley incident happened. After this, one of its members, Kaido found his way to Wano. Another person by the name of Kurozumi Higurashi also returned and was seen imitating Shiki, another member of the Rocks Pirates.When Higurashi introduced herself to Orochi Kurozumi, she told her that she was out of the country.
It can also be noted that Zoro learned Sunacchi (Snatch) from a geezer (old guy) in his village.
Yasuie Shimotsuki and Zoro
In Chapter 929, Zoro and Tonoyasu first met in a gambling house in Kibi near Ebisu where Yasu paid for the food of Zoro. Yasu noted that he had a BOLT OF INSPIRATION out of the blue after Zoro defeated the Kyoshiro’s men. It was later on revealed that Ushimitsu Kozo, the thief, was indeed Kyoshiro but Yasu took his stead to protect the secret of the raid by changing the meet up point in the pamphlet.
Notice that Yasu did not have any reaction upon seeing Zoro’s swords. Coming from a family of swordsmith and Samurai, he should have noticed immediately two of Zoro’s swords – Wado Ichimonji crafted by Kozaburo and Shushui, the missing legendary sword.
Compare this to the time that Kin’emon and Onimaru reacted angrily upon seeing Zoro carrying Shusui.
It can be said that Yasu is a silent spectator who doesn’t reveal too much to others but works secretly for others.
- When the scabbards stole money from Yasu, he gave them money and told them to train and study to become the support of the shogun.
- Yasu was silently working with Hiyori and Kyoshiro in providing the needs of the people of Ebisu.
- When he discovered the pamphlet and saw that the Akazaya nine were at risk of getting exposed, he sacrificed himself.
And when Zoro’s Shusui went missing, Yasu only exclaimed that he went out chasing or how far.
And soon thereafter, we found out that the “person” who took Zoro’s sword was none other than Onimaru, the Kitsune and companion of Ushimaru Shimotsuki. But how did a Kitsune who was guarding bandit’s bridge in Ringo arrive in Ebisu and how did he know that Shusui was there? The missing connection? Its Shimotsuki Yasuie.
Onimaru explained that the moment Shusui was taken from the grave, bad things happened to Wano and it’s rightful for the Shimotsuki Clan to regain possession of the national treasure.
Zoro’s Sword style and Isshin Dojo
The crest worn by Koushiro ensembles a cross sword. Oden is the first character in Wano that was shown to also use Nitoryuu or two sword style and was later on followed by his retainers during their fight with Kaido.
And during Yasuie’s execution in chapter 942, a brief flashback was shown that Hakumai was the only proper port in Wano and he explains that there are “SOME VISITORS” that mean them well while the others mean them harm. The samurais were wearing the same two sword symbol in their yukata.
Roronoa Zoro is Ushimaru Shimotsuki’s Son
There has been a lot of foreshadowing that Zoro indeed is a Shimotsuki but the question is how can this be possible. Let me lay out all the clues and present that Zoro is Ushimaru Shimotsuki’s son.
In Yasu’s flashback, he described that Hakumai has the only proper port in Wano.
Two years after Oden’s Downfall, Yasu explained that they fought Kaido but eventually lost.
And Kawamatsu explained that Onimaru was left off to himself for five years but we don’t see a grave stone of Ushimaru
It is possible that Ushimaru is still alive and left Wano via Hakumai Port of Yasuie. During this time, Zoro is already three years old. It is also possible that the Shimotsuki from outside Wano had communication with Yasu and Ushimaru and their ultimate goal is to reach East Blue.
Eventually, the young Roronoa Zoro arrived in Shimotsuki Village after challenging all the Dojo because as we know, the Samurais of Wano are of a different caliber.
Ushimaru Shimotsuki is Admiral Green Bull
So where is Ushimaru Shimotsuki? There are two things to carefully consider. 1. Ushi means bull (male cow) in Japanese. 2. Ushimaru has been seen wearing a bull Kimono. And there is one Admiral that had been foreshadowed before the start of Wano – Admiral GREEN BULL.
It is also known that Ushimaru had green long hair similar to Roronoa Zoro. His physique is also bigger that the normal human which is a characteristic of people from Wano.
So, what do you think? Let’s try to find more clue in finding Zoro’s past. Check out my other One Piece Theories