So, this theory only started out with my simple opinion: from a design standpoint, it’s kind of weird and counter-intuitive if a sword that was designed to be white turned into a black blade. But I tried to draw from what I’ve seen in the series so far (and my own personal headcanon) to make a better case for this, so hear me out.
First off, Shimotsuki Kozaburo states on Chapter 1033 that Enma is the sword he considers as his magnum opus. And yet, he left it behind in Wano and brought Wado Ichimonji instead when he left the country 50+ years ago. Did Enma have a worthy wielder in Wano during that time? Maybe Enma better suited the fierce warrior spirit of Wano from that era, and Wado Ichimonji didn’t? Did Kozaburo personally wield Wado during his younger years? We probably won’t know the answer to these questions until later down the line, but the point is that there had to have been a reason why Kozaburo specifically brought this sword, and not his most lethal creation, out to sea (and the weakest one at that).
Second, Wado Ichimonji seems to contradict Kozaburo’s philosophy for what constitutes a good sword. (Which further adds to the question, why is this the sword he brought out to sea, and if he personally wielded it, why wield a sword that doesn’t represent your own beliefs?) He believes that swords are made to take as many lives as possible, and that famed blades are temperamental because they have the will to fulfill that purpose.
And yet Wado has shown zero temperament throughout the entire series; so much so that even children like Kuina and Zoro could wield it, and Kuina was meant to be its future wielder despite the family believing that her gender made her weak (and a “weak” swordsman would have been vulnerable to a “cursed blade”). A famed sword, made by a person who believed swords were made for murder, ended up being passed down to Koshirou, whose philosophy about swordsmanship is the complete opposite of his father’s, and became his family’s heirloom. That had to have been a deliberate choice by Oda.
Third, we haven’t seen any hint of what Wado’s personality is like yet despite it being with Zoro the longest, but the one meaningful moment in the series Zoro has had with Wado is when he first used Shishi Sonson; when Zoro was on the brink of death and in a state of absolute tranquility (so much so that he unconsciously used Observation Haki and Ryuo). That moment of tranquility is when Zoro was finally able to understand and practice Koshirou’s philosophy on swordsmanship (“protect what you need to protect, cut only what you need to cut”), and he specifically used Wado Ichimonji to perform what he’s learned. We’ve seen later on in the series that Zoro also uses Shishi Sonson with Sandai Kitetsu, yet for this very important character-defining moment, Zoro used Wado, a white sword passed down to him by the person who taught him true swordsmanship. That seems like a deliberate choice, and a good foundation to develop upon if Oda intends to further explore Wado’s personality (meaning he’s also been deliberately hiding Wado’s personality to save it for the finale of Zoro’s character arc).
I know that this conclusion will sound very headcanon-y, but to me, these three points seem to paint Wado Ichimonji as the polar opposite of Enma: a sword of gracefulness and tranquility, brought to sea by Kozaburo because he needed to find someone with the right philosophy to be its rightful wielder; a sword whose only meaningful moment in the series so far was during a moment of inner peace. I almost feel like Wado is the true counterpart to Enma, not Ame no Habakiri. If my speculation about Wado’s personality is correct, then Zoro’s current lineup of swords would be a perfect reflection of his journey as a swordsman.
Zoro has learned to have a relationship of trust and respect with his blades through Kitetsu, and he’s currently learning how to always fight all-out (even at the risk of sacrificing your own life) through Enma. I suspect that his final challenge as a swordsman will be with Wado Ichimonji: re-learning Koshirou’s philosophy of calming his heart, being in control of when to cut, and using the will to protect (and not bloodlust) as his motivation to win. A perfect character arc to have when fighting the world’s greatest swordsman… or a cunning invisible murderer who requires inner peace in order to defeat.
I just think that when that time comes, and Wado’s personality finally awakens to choose Zoro as its worthy wielder, Wado becoming infused with white Haki instead of a black one would be a beautiful symbolism of Zoro’s inner balance and completion as a swordsman, as well as the purity of his promise to Kuina and finally fulfilling it. And it would be something that Mihawk had never achieved, the ultimate proof that Zoro had finally surpassed him.
*Theory by EddieShing