In a significant reveal for One Piece enthusiasts, author Eiichiro Oda has at last provided answers to a long-standing question about Zoro’s origins, a topic that has sparked countless fan theories. Through the Q&A section known as SBS in One Piece’s volume #105, Oda confirmed a pivotal detail: Zoro is indeed a descendant of Wano’s Samurai lineage.
Oda’s clarification, sourced from volume #105’s SBS and interpreted by various online outlets, including Artur from the Library of Ohara, settles Zoro’s heritage once and for all. He is revealed to be a descendant of the Shimotsuki clan from Wano. This lineage traces back to Shimotsuki Kouzaburo, the legendary swordsmith behind Oden’s sword, Enma. Departing Wano with a group 55 years before the current storyline, Kouzaburo’s clan settled in East Blue. Among them, Shimotsuki Furiko, sister of Shimotsuki Ushimaru who eventually became Daimyo of Ringo, made a new life there. She married Roronoa Pinzoro, also from Wano, and their lineage led to Zoro’s father.
Hints of this connection had brewed among fans, especially after Yamato’s flashback spotlighted Shimotsuki Ushimaru, whose resemblance to Zoro stoked speculations. The revelation that Kouzaburo lived in Zoro’s village and gifted him his initial swords further fueled theories. Yet, Oda admitted that while Zoro’s backstory certainly exists, he wasn’t likely to delve into it within the manga.
Despite fan disappointments surrounding the unexplored mysteries of Zoro’s ties to Ushimaru and the legendary samurai Ryuma (known as “the god of the blade”), Oda’s decision is understandable. One Piece is progressing through its final saga with a web of unresolved plots and a multitude of characters. Zoro’s orphaned childhood and resolute personality likely indicate his lack of awareness about his heritage. Nonetheless, One Piece’s theme of destiny intervenes, enabling Zoro to encounter his storied ancestor, Ryuma, and play a role in liberating Wano from Kaido’s tyranny. This realization adds depth to Zoro, who is not just the great-nephew of Wano’s former Daimyo but also a direct descendant of Ryuma and a distant relative of his childhood friend Kuina, whose tragic death spurred him to become the world’s mightiest swordsman.
Oda’s storytelling choice to sideline Zoro’s ancestral history is a pragmatic one, given the narrative’s complexity and the ongoing finale. Nevertheless, Zoro’s journey showcases how fate, a prevalent theme in One Piece, intertwines with lineage and duty to create a compelling narrative arc.