“Who will betray whom? Who will join hands with whom?” – Donquixote Doflamingo
Since the beginning of the Yonko saga, Oda has continued to emphasize the role of traitors. Caesar betrayed Big Mom, Corazon betrayed Doflamingo, Pekoms betrayed Big Mom, Bege betrayed Big Mom, Apoo betrayed Kid, and the list goes on. In fact, there’s a popular theory among the fandom that there is a traitor amongst Oden’s Nine Red Scabbards.
I’m here today to tell you about another traitor. His name? Kyoshiro.
The evidence favors the possibility that Kyoshiro is none other than the missing scabbard, Denjiro:
- They have the exact same hairline. The ponytail that Denjiro grows could have been easily styled to resemble present-day Kyroshiro. Kyoshiro is also massive, which mirrors the tall stature of the other scabbards.
- They were both introduced showing their relationship with money. Both also seemingly have adept money-handling skills.
- The anime opening implied that Kyoshiro was Denjiro
- Narratively, it makes sense for Kyoshiro to be Denjiro. Kyoshiro is the only formidable samurai we’ve met outside of the Nine Red Scabbards. Of course, there will likely be other formidable samurai, but it’s telling that Kyoshiro is the only one that’s gotten the spotlight. If it wasn’t Kyoshiro, do we really think Oda will re-introduce Denjiro so late in the arc?
From here on out I’ll be moving forward with the assumption that Kyoshiro is Denjiro.
Kyoshiro and Hiyori
By far the biggest counter-argument to Kyoshiro being Denjiro is the fact that Hyori told Zoro that she didn’t know where Denjiro is. There are two possibilities here:
- She lied to Zoro – Unlikely. If she was to tell Zoro her true identity it follows logically that she would tell him she has met Denjro.
- She doesn’t know that Kyoshiro is Denjiro. This is possible, and I’ll explain why.
There’s no reason to assume that Kyoshiro knows that Komuraski is Hiyori. Yes, Denjiro seemingly helped Hiyori escape Orochi’s rampage, but that doesn’t mean he was protecting her because she is Hiyori. In fact, the earliest that Hiyori could have met with Kyoshiro was when she was 13, even though it was likely even later than yet. This means, Kyoshiro probably didn’t even recognize Hiyori.
So what is Kyoshiro’s goal then? Well, as I alluded to at the beginning of this post, he’s a traitor and he plans to betray Orochi. We recently got confirmation that Kyoshiro/Denjiro was one of Oden’s first two followers. If it wasn’t for the fact that Kinemon was older, it’s likely that Denjiro would have been considered the captain of the scabbards. It’s hard to envision that Denjiro would betray Oden for the same reasons it’s hard to imagine Kinemon betraying Oden.
In other words, Kyoshiro has been purposely sucking up to Orochi in public even though it’s clear he doesn’t respect him in private order to find the right time to strike. In fact, the evidence suggests that Kyoshiro doesn’t even know the Scabbards are alive. This could explain why he hasn’t told anyone his identity, because he truly believes all his old comrades are dead.
On top of that, notice how Kyoshiro is respected by his men and many of the samurai silently admire him. Kyoshiro has been slowly rallying the support of all those around him. On top of that, he’s been trying to keep the country afloat under the tyranny of Orochi by supporting the poor as the Withing Hour Boy.
Kyoshiro’s goal is to kill Orochi and become the new Shogun of Wano. It’s not a coincidence that he was left at the capital while the rest of Orochi’s men went off to Onigashima. This is where Kyoshiro’s coup will begin. Hopefully, he’ll ultimately realize his old comrades are alive.
The rest of this post is pure speculation but it’s a nice addition. There are three key pieces of information that are given to us when Kyoshiro/Denjiro was introduced:
- He’s an orphan
- He’s good with money
- He hates adults
We already talked about why #2 is important. #1 and #3 are tightly linked and I speculate Kyoshiro was abandoned by his parents. His father may be none other than Shimotsuki Kozaburo who illegally left Wano over 50 years ago. The story would have gone like this.
51 years ago Shimotsuki Kozaburo had twin boys. One was named Koshiro and the other was named Denjiro. Denjiro was born a few seconds after Koshiro hence the “jiro” vs “shiro” suffixes (jiro implies second son, while shiro implies third son). Kozaburo took his younger son with him to the East Blue, and left his older son behind after learning that Denjiro’s eyesight would hinder his ability to become a great swordsman.
Kozaburo founded the Shimotsuki Village in the East Blue and created a Dojo known as the Isshin Dojo. Kozaburo would later die, but his son, Koshiro would become the head of the dojo and have a daughter named Kuina. Zoro would ultimately stumble across the village and we know the story from there.
Meanwhile, Denjiro would live on as an orphan in the flower capital. He would meet Oden and become one of his two followers. 23 years ago, 3 years before the fall of Oden Castle, Denjiro fell in love with a woman and she gave birth to Tashigi.
3 years later, when Kaido and Orochi took over the country, Denjiro forced his wife and Tashigi to escape the country. He has not seen them since.
*Theory by Realness100