Many things in the One Piece Universe are inspired by Buddhism. Like Luffy being based on the Monkey King, Zoro’s Asura transformation or Admirals being based on Chinese Zodiacs which is often combined with the Momotaro tale.
In this theory I want to focus on how the Yonkos are inspired by the 4 Symbols of Chinese Constellations and what conclusions we can draw from it.
Whitebeard and the White Tiger
I think it’s not really needed to talk about the color.
But I think it is interisting to know that the color is not the only thing that connects the White Tiger and Whitebeard. The White Tiger also symbolize protection, sounds familiar right? Yes also Whitebeard was known for protecting many Islands and Kingdoms like Sphinx or Ryugu.
Shanks and the Vermillion Bird
Again no need to talk about the color. The Vermilion is the symbol of good fortune and appears whenever a virtues ruler was born showing the beginning of a new era.
Kaido and the Azure Dragon
First, Kaido has eaten a Mythical Zoan-type Devil Fruit that allows him to transform into a massive, blue-scaled Eastern dragon.
But that’s not the only thing. The Dragon also stands for immortality, which also fits with Kaido’s description.
Big Mom and the Black Tortoise
This one is a bit tricky but it also fits! The Black Tortoise is known as the Warrior of the North. Big Mom is connected to Elbaf a contra referring to North Mythology. And she also fights like a “Warrior of the North”.
Another connection can be build up by the famous novel “Journey to the West”. The King representing the Black Tortoise is portrayed as someone who loves good from all over the World.
This also backs up the possession theory. The Black Tortoise is a Turtle entwinded together with a Snake. This way we can see Big Mom as someone consists of 2 beings: Linlin and Mother Carmel.
What does it tell us about One Piece?
The 4 symbols of Chinese constellations are the protectors of the Buddhism. Even if the Yonkos themeselves are after One Piece they can also be seen as last defense line for One Piece, because no one can reach the Last Island without dealing with the Yonkos.
Based on this 2 claims can be made:
- One Piece is inspired by Buddhahood. This is backed up by basic speculation that One Piece is no real treasure more an ideology based on the thought of anyone’s freedom.
- Pirate King being inspired by Buddha. This totally fits with Luffy being inspired by the Monkey King, who end up becoming a Buddha. This way I would say the first known who reached One Piece or maybe created One Piece was actually Joy Boy. He is potrayed to be similiar to Luffy and was portrayed as symbol of freedom.
The next question would be who is Marshall D. Teach? One for sure he definetly didn’t replaced Whitebeard as the next White Tiger/Protector.
Teach and the Mara
The Mara is a Demon in Buddhism who is also the symbol of death. He can be seen as the antagonist of Buddhism. A very important connection between Blackbeard and Mara is the number 3.
About Mara is said he has 3 daughters who representing the 3 poisons of attraction, aversion and delusion. Blackbeard’s connection to the number 3 can already be seen in his flag.
Based on this I think Teach will reach Laugh Tale, but will never understand what One Piece actually is.
*Theory by Nessos