Let’s start with several obvious clues:
1. Komurasaki is Kozuki Hiyori. Kyoshiro helped with Hiyori’s fake death.
2. Kawamatsu has left Hiyori for 13 years.
3. Toko is from Ebisu Town and is Tonoyasu’s daughter.
4. Tonoyasu is Shimotsuki Yasuie, the former daimyo of Hakumai. He maintained a close relationship with Oden.
5. Kyoshiro is a person who came to his fame during the recent 20 years of Orochi’s reign. The former godfather of Wano Kuni was Hyogoro.
6. Denjiro has never appeared as of the latest chapter (Ch.944).
And I’m going to ask 3 questions:
1. Why did Kyoshiro fake Hiyori/Komurasaki’s death?
2. Why did Tonoyasu sell his daughter Toko to a brothel as a kamuro?
3. Who on earth is Ushimitsu Kozo (the witching hour boy)?
Let’s deduce with all the known clues:
Kyoshiro faking Komurasaki/Hiyori’s death is equivalent to him protecting Hiyori, but for what?
Had Kyoshiro not known Komurasaki’s true identity (Kozuki Hiyori, Oden’s daughter), there would not be any reason for him to fake Komurasaki’s death, since Komurasaki’s fake death means that the Oiran Komurasaki would disappear from Wano Kuni from then on, thus not making any more money for Kyoshiro. To Kyoshiro, what is the significance of Komurasaki being alive? The only possibility is that Kyoshiro knows Komurasaki’s true identity, and it is his mission to protect Hiyori.
Why did Kyoshiro choose to fake Komurasaki’s death under such circumstances? Judging from the situation at the scene, it was impossible for Komurasaki to apologize to Orochi, and no one knew what Orochi would do, and no one could control Orochi’s punishment on Komurasaki.
As a result, the best choice for Kyoshiro at that time was to take the initiative and make Komurasaki’s “death”. When Kyoshiro asked Komurasaki if she was “prepared”, he was already hinting her.
Why did Shimotsuki Yasuie put his daughter Toko into an environment so complicated and apparently not safe for pre-teen kids as a brothel?
According to known facts from the latest chapters – Toko is Yasuie’s only child – from Yasuie’s perspective, sending Toko to Kyoshiro’s brothel to be Komurasaki’s kamuro is surely a move to protect her.
Since Yasuie is a just and selfless person, it is impossible for him to sell his daughter as a tool for making money. The only possibility is that there are some deeper reasons hidden in the dark.
Such a possibility needs to be built on the premise that Kyoshiro and Shimotsuki Yasuie know each other well and both cherish the same ideals. Based on our deduction that Kyoshiro knows Komurasaki’s true identity, it’s very reasonable for Yasuie to put his daughter into Kyoshiro’s protection.
We can say that Yasuie sacrificed his own life only when he was ensured about his daughter’s safety. The night before his execution, he must have contacted with Kyoshiro and left his words to him.
We can see from Kyoshiro’s attitude towards Komurasaki as well as every courtesan in his brothel that he respects their personality. This also reveals Kyoshiro’s own personality.
Also, in Kyoshiro’s introduction panel, his occupation was “money exchange shop” but there is a fair chance that he is actually a samurai. There must be another true-identity-introduction of him later on.
During these years of Komurasaki and Toko living in Kyoshiro’s brothel, he must have known that Komurasaki was always swindling money out of those bad people. Also, he must have been a crucial part of her scams: every time a bad guy lost all his possessions to Komurasaki, Kyoshiro would separate him from Komurasaki and shove him out of the brothel.
Taking another step, Kyoshiro must have known and acquiesced in Toko sending money to Ebisu Town. All the clues above point to the possibility that Kyoshiro is on the good side.
Who on earth is the Witching Hour Boy?
From my point of view, there are two options – Yasuie or Kyoshiro. We don’t need to rush to a conclusion. Let’s take a look at Yasuie’s moves of surrendering himself.
First, Yasuie was aware that Kinemon’s message was leaked out and a large number of comrades still didn’t know anything about the secret message.
In order to help the Kozuki clan and to inform everyone in Wano Kuni about the revolution, Yasuie chose to go to town to steal and get caught.
Kyoshiro set up light-gram live streaming as fast as he could for Yasuie’s announcement to the entire country. He used Komurasaki’s funeral as an excuse: “to prevent panic and chaos.”
Although this was also an acceptable explanation, judging from Kyoshiro’s moves before – asking Queen to send assassins directly to Sanji et al – does he care much about “panic” or “chaos”?
In addition, the weapons of the citizens were already confiscated ages ago and they don’t have the ability to fight back. What “chaos” on earth was he worrying about?
My guess on that matter is as follows: Yasuie went and consulted with Kyoshiro for a solution after he knew that Kinemon’s message was leaked. Yasuie proposed an idea that needed Kyoshiro’s help: setting up the light-gram and announcing the news to the entire country.
This can turn people’s focus from Komurasaki’s “death” to Yasuie himself and also contributes to the revenge scheme of the Kozuki Clan.
Come to think of it, is Yasuie Ushimitsu Kozo or not?
Yasuie made two statements on the execution ground: 1. He is not Ushimitsu Kozo. 2. The reversed crescent moon message was his deeds.
Yasuie’s goal was to make people believe his second statement. If his first statement were proved to be a lie, it would, of course, discredit his second statement. Consequently, his first statement must be a vindicable fact.
Thus, his first statement (he is not Ushimitsu Kozo) will prove to be true in the near future by Ushimitsu Kozo appearing somewhere again after Yasuie’s death. However, can this prove that Yasuie is definitely not Ushimitsu Kozo? We can’t be too certain about that.
There are two possibilities:
1. Yasuie is not Ushimitsu Kozo. Kyoshiro is Ushimitsu Kozo. That’s why Yasuie showed up at his “crime scene” at around 11:30 (see Ch.942 pp.4). Kyoshiro will steal and give money to poor people again after Yasuie’s death to back up his words.
2. Yasuie is Ushimitsu Kozo, not Kyoshiro. Yasuie showed up at 11:30 on purpose so as to back up both his first and his second statement. Nevertheless, Kyoshiro knows that Yasuie is Ushimitsu Kozo and he will carry on using Ushimitsu Kozo’s identity after Yasuie’s death. Kyoshiro will convince people that both the two statements of Yasuie are true.
Personally, I prefer the option that Kyoshiro is Ushimitsu Kozo. According to Hiyori and Toko’s reaction, they are aware of Ushimitsu Kozo’s true identity. Toko’s lines here further indicated that Yasuie is not Ushimitsu Kozo.
On the other hand, Hiyori’s “separation” from Kawamatsu can’t be that simple. Kawamatsu’s mission was to protect Hiyori and to stay by her side.
Something must have happened 13 years ago so that Kawamatsu’s whereabouts were compromised. We need to take into consideration that Kawamatsu is a “monster” (kappa) and it would be rather easy to pick him out of a crowd.
Under such circumstances, Kawamatsu, Yasuie, and Kyoshiro should have all agreed on a certain scheme to ensure Hiyori’s safety.
That’s the reason for Kawamatsu first asking about Momonosuke’s status but not mentioning anything about Hiyori when he met Raizo in Udon’s jail. Plus, he didn’t express any agony/regret for him not being able to protect Hiyori all along the way – there is only one explanation for that: Kawamatsu knew that Hiyori would be all right.
Then, what exactly is the true identity of Kyoshiro? I guess that he is the last member of the nine Red Scabbards, Denjiro.
As the Wano Kuni Arc has marched on to its No.30-something chapter, most important characters, either good or bad, have already made their debuts. Kaido, Three Disasters, Orochi, Momonosuke et al and other key figures inside Wano Kuni have all appeared. Although Kawamatsu hasn’t shown his face yet, his silhouettes have already told us about his status.
Denjiro is merely one member of the nine Red Scabbards. Exactly how important could he be so that after so many weeks have passed, we still don’t know anything about him? In the sense of storytelling, it’s just not very reasonable from my perspective.
My guess: it is very possible that Denjiro has already made his debut using another name/identity, just as Hiyori did.
But why didn’t the others recognize him?
We don’t know what Kyoshiro is capable of doing. It might be shape-shifting or an illusion he made. In a word, he did something to pretend to be another person.
This can also explain why did Komurasaki’s fake death appear to be so convincing. He could use such technique to easily set up a disguised murder scene and a fake funeral.
And why does Orochi trust Kyoshiro so much? Maybe, 20 years ago, Kaido attempted to recruit Denjiro and Ashura Doji after he fought with them. Ashura Doji refused but Denjiro accepted this offer as an opportunity to be an undercover.
Later, Denjiro/Kyoshiro might have reached an agreement with Kawamatsu – he helped Kaido arrest Kawamatsu in order to earn Kaido’s trust and secretly took Hiyori into his own protection.
From Ashura Doji’s point of view, Denjiro/Kyoshiro’s choice must have been entirely unreasonable. Perhaps it is the reason for Ashura Doji/Shutenmaru not to believe in any of those “Kozuki Clan’s revenge schemes”.
And we will need to rely on Kawamatsu himself to resolve Shutenmaru’s disappointment.
The Witching Hour Boy/Ushimitsu Kozo, Denjiro, and “the guy who claimed himself to be from Kuri and had his face hidden and stole the mansion’s blueprints” are probably the same person – Kyoshiro.
Where is the new rendezvous point which Yasuie thought of before his execution? I guess that it’s in the graveyard of the north (Ringo area). Gyukimaru is friendly. He has gathered (aka robbed) a lot of weapons and has kept them somewhere close by.
The help whom Hiyori and Toko were going to find might actually be Gyukimaru. Of course, there is another possibility that it was Kyoshiro who asked Hiyori and Toko to head that way because he had already made arrangements there. Or Hiyori and Toko were going to find Shinobi et al since Shinobi and Robin and the others appeared in the same hut in Chapter 934.
Gyukimaru stole Zoro’s sword in Ebisu Town. He stayed on the bridge and waited for Zoro to arrive. This might also be a request from Yasuie for Gyukimaru to make Zoro a protector of Hiyori and Toko. Yasuie had witnessed Zoro’s technique and his sense of justice and he felt secure for Zoro to protect the girls.
Conclusively: Yasuie asked Gyukimaru to draw Zoro to the graveyard in Ringo area, and Kyoshiro told Hiyori and Toko to go to the same graveyard. They rendezvoused there and everything makes sense.
Of course, another possible identity of Kyoshiro is one of Hyogoro’s henchmen or his son. He negotiated with Kawamatsu for the latter to go to jail and protect his father; in exchange, Kyoshiro stays in the Flower Capital and becomes Hiyori’s guardian.
The “godfather” position of Kyoshiro cannot be pure “black” since Shinobu has also emphasized that “Yakuza”(mafia) should be friendly to citizens, should be “allies of the masses”. The Yakuza in Wano Kuni nowadays might have all forgotten about who they are, but that does not include Kyoshiro.
Kyoshiro has always been thoughtful and caring. He definitely cannot neglect all these abnormalities during the 20 years of Orochi’s reign over Wano Kuni. He only pretended to be neglecting.
His true wish is to reassemble the Nine Red Scabbards, but he still needs to oppress that seed of hope in his heart and pretend to be indifferent so as to deceive everyone including Orochi. He spent the past 20 years of life as an undercover and it’s his final goal to join the endgame.
*Theory by Masasoite