I’m sure by now, most if not everyone’s heard of the Momotaro correlation with Wano, but I’ll go through it. Basically, Momotaro is about a boy who was born from a large peach, who then goes on to tame three animals: a dog, a monkey, and a pheasant with kibi dango. Together, they travel to the Island of Demons and kill the Oni(s).
In Wano, Momonosuke represents the peach boy, Yamato represents the dog since her devil fruit is the Makami, Luffy represents the monkey, Marco represents the pheasant, and Kaido represents the Oni. Additionally, Tama uses kibi dango to tame animals, pointing to another similarity with the legend.
In short, Luffy’s journey in Wano has aligned with the tale of Momotaro, and speculations about the final matchup of the arc can and have been pulled from that: Luffy, Yamato, Marco, and Momonosuke vs Kaido.
So that’s the Momotaro representation in the story, pretty clear right? Now we move in to Zoro’s story.
In Wano, I believe that the key characters that Zoro has interacted with (including himself) represent the Four Guardians. For anyone not familiar with the Four Guardians, they’re basically four animal symbols that protect their given area. There’s the Black Tortoise of the North, the Azure Dragon of the East, the Vermillion Bird of the South, and the White Tiger of the West.
So Azure Dragon? That’s a pretty easy comparison, it’s Kaido. After all, his devil fruit is literally the Azure Dragon (Uo Uo No Mi, Model: Seiryu). But how can he be both the Oni and the Dragon? His hybrid form, which is the literal fusion of what he symbolizes in this arc: the Oni and the Azure Dragon.
Additionally, the Dragon is the opposite of… the White Tiger! And who would that be? It’s Zoro himself! This comparison might feel a little corny, but hear me out: some things the tiger represents are the element of metal, the season of autumn, and also the virtue of righteousness. A little similar to the moss man no? The metal sword wielding, autumn loving, person who sticks to his high sense of morals no matter what.
From the start of the raid, Zoro’s been gunning for Kaido. Not for Orochi, not for King, but Kaido, the dragon. He wants to face the very heart of issues in Wano.