Chapter 1025 included some details that gave us a lot more insight in the way Kaido’s thinking. I believe these were the final pieces of the Wano puzzle we needed to make sense of what the story is going to be about.
This theory depends on another well-established widely-accepted theory that Wano is artificially built on top of a natural fortress with the work of the continent puller race. To go over quickly, it’s known that Oars was part of a race that can manipulate continents and islands, and in Vivre Cards it was confirmed that the country Oars made still exists to this day. If the fact that Wano looks exceedingly artificial and patched up didn’t prove this country being Wano, the huge skull of an unthinkably huge creature residing in Onigashima practically did.
Purpose of Wano
Previously I shared another theory based on the Purpose of Wano’s creation, and how that relates to Zunesha’s punishment and curse. To quickly quote the important parts:
With other clues surrounding the isolationist nature of Wano, World Government’s lack of influence around the region, and the geographical structure of the place being in a huge lake elevated on top of a steep mountain gives me the impression that this act of creation was a protective one in nature. Wano is made to withstand until the dawn arrives. It’s a haven for the relics, people, areas of the world that need to be present in the dawn to come. We know that the characters more in the know of what’s going on like Toki and Oden display overprotective behaviour about Wano and its people’s survival. No matter how much they lost personally, like people they loved, their reputation, their titles and finally their lives, they almost display a sort of calm acceptance with the knowledge of what’s at stake. We feel like all regions in Wano and its people hold some sort of importance and they are meant to be protected until the dawn of the world, until the day a new Joy Boy arrives.
If this is indeed true, and this creation process wasn’t just because of a whim of the continent puller itself or didn’t have some malicious intent behind it, it’s reasonable to assume the only person that can give such an order at the time was the fallen sovereign of the world, the Joy Boy of his time.
The Oni Legacy
Kaido’s obsession with the oni legacy was pretty much established. His renaming of the island to Onigashima, the way he names his plan for supremacy also based on Onigashima already proved his interest in the subject. But Kaido berating Yamato and talking about what it means to be an Oni and how an Oni should behave really nailed the point home. His choice of words referring to a past where either himself or his kind was seemingly betrayed as a result of people’s fear of perceived strength was also telling.
Kaido sees humankind as his inferiors, so I don’t think he is happy with the part that his ancestors’ played and their eventual fate. I think the way his ancestors went out marked their whole legacy and that legacy was shameful. So, I don’t think Kaido’s obsession with the importance of how you die started with Rocks as many claimed. It started with his people’s history.
In that case, what’s the relationship this has with the nation of Wano? Why is upholding that legacy something that can only be done there? And more importantly how did Kaido come to know how special Wano is?
Villains of Wano
All villains in One Piece really stand for an idea. What they represent clashes with Luffy’s values, and through that conflict Oda makes whatever point he wants to make in the grander scheme of things. As things stand now, Wano seems to have two different villains with two separate back stories and possibly constructing different themes. But that’s not how One Piece works usually. As arcs come to a close, all of the separate ideas going about before that point elegantly come together.