November and Shimotsuki
Shimotsuki (霜月, “month of frost”) is the traditional name of the month of November in the Japanese calendar.
There is a Japanese phrase which goes “nishi muku samurai”. It’s used to remember months that don’t have 31 days (February, April, June, September and November). The literal meaning is “a samurai that faces the West”, and can be divided into “ni”, “shi”, “mu”, “ku” and “samurai”.
“Ni” means 2, which stands for February. “Shi” means 4, which stands for April. “Mu” means 6, which stands for June and “ku” means 9 and stands for September. “Samurai” implies 11, and it stands for November. The reason is because of the Japanese spelling/writing, and you can also read it in detail in the explanation by @sandman. It means that Shimotsuki Village can also be called the “Samurai Village”. Oda loves to have multiple meanings and symbolic elements, so Zoro’s birthday being November 11 can’t be a coincidence, right? Ryuma’s birthday is on November 6.
A random fun fact
Kozuki Sukiyaki and Tenguyama Hitetsu share the same voice actor, and are both fans of kokeshi dolls. They’re voiced by Ryuuzaburou Ootomo, and Hitetsu is around the same age as Sukiyaki would be if he were alive (81). We never saw him in Oden’s flashbacks, but he was entrusted Oden’s swords. He also said he’d been waiting for 2 decades to return the swords to Hiyori and Momonosuke, introducing himself as a swordsmith from Wano. We never really saw Sukiyaki’s death. If not the same person, the two might just be related somehow. It’s worth noting that it doesn’t have to mean that the same voice actor also means the same character. For example, the same voice actor also voices Crocodile, though he’s not in the same Arc and doesn’t have history with the above. Other voice actors have voiced completely unrelated characters as well.
So, Is Zoro a Shimotsuki?
While there are so many parallels and hints towards it, it’s all up in the air until Oda actually confirms it. Zoro might just be some random samurai’s child who for some reason looks like Ushimaru and is a one-eyed samurai cause Oda thinks it’s cool. However, knowing about the previous symbolic meanings and Oda’s foreshadowing, it seems likely that Zoro is closely linked to the Shimotsuki Family. We also know other Straw Hats also have some strong backgrounds. Luffy is the son of Dragon, Sanji is the son of Judge, Usopp is the son of Yasopp… Having Zoro, the unofficial Vice-Captain, also have a strong lineage wouldn’t seem surprising at this point.
Do you think any of that makes sense? If I missed some obvious fact that disproves something or if there’s some more hints, feel free to let me know! It’s amazing how there’s so many ways to theorize One Piece, and we have to appreciate Oda for providing such an elaborate world and setting!
Celebration of One Piece
One Piece is commemorating the 100th volume and upcoming 1000th anime episode with several projects. The recent “WE ARE ONE” video collection was one. It featured 5 episodes of mixed live-action and animated segments. You can check them all out:
- Zoro and Sanji in Davy Back Fight
- Powerful women characters of One Piece
- Law, Corazon and Doflamingo backstory
- Straw Hats farewell to Vivi
- Straw Hats joining the crew moments
Where to watch and read One Piece
You can watch One Piece on either Funimation or Crunchyroll. Yamato voiced by Hayami Saori has made her debut, and episode 991 will premiere next week on September 12. You can also catch up to the One Piece manga for free on either VIZ website or MANGA Plus. The new chapter (1024) comes out today as well, September 5.
Source: One Piece manga and anime, SBSs, @sandman on Twitter
All images via Crunchyroll
©Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha/Toei Animation