Here’s a fun tie of two characters who may be more involved in each other’s pasts than we thought. Maybe its been brought up before since the chapter came out, but I haven’t seen it.
With the confirmed reveal that Kuma was a slave, the thing that comes to mind for me is how he was actually introduced into the story and how long Oda actually planned the outline of his backstory. Kuma is introduced at the same time as Doflamingo, directly tying a Celestial Dragon and a slave of the Celestials together.
This connection between the two of them with hindsight sticks out as very noteworthy. But it also begs the question; how did Kuma go from being beaten by fellow slaves to return home to becoming King of an entire nation in Sorbet Kingdom. That’s a pretty incredible rise to power.
What if Kuma and Doffy have closer ties than we thought? What if Kuma was actually a slave of the Donquixote family? And the reason Kuma was no longer a slave is because Homing freed all of his slaves when he left the Holy Land. Kuma would have been 14 at this point and Doflamingo would have been 8.
So again, how did Kuma become King of a nation from life as a slave? Well what if he didn’t join a nation. What if he created one?
Oda has given us a drawing of Kuma (and all the Shichibukai) as children. Kuma is in tattered clothes carrying wood and a book that says Ninokin.
Ninokin in all likelihood refers to Ninomiya Sontoku, or Ninomiya Kinjiro. Stop me if this sounds like it might mean something with context to One Piece and Kuma.
Ninomiya Sontoku was born to a poor peasant family with a name of Kinjiro in Kayama (栢山), Ashigarakami-gun, Sagami province. His father died when he was 14 and his mother died two years later. He was then placed in his uncle’s household.
While working on his uncle’s land, Sontoku studied on his own. He later obtained abandoned land on his own and transformed it into agricultural land, eventually restoring his household on his own at the age of 20. He achieved considerable wealth as a landlord while in his 20s. He was then recruited to run a small feudal district which was facing considerable financial difficulty. He achieved this by reviving the local economy, particularly through agricultural development. The daimyō, hearing of his achievement, eventually recruited Sontoku to run Odawara Domain then Sagami Province.
It is said that during his administration a famine struck Odawara. Sontoku proposed opening up the public granaries to feed the starving populace. He was opposed by his fellow bureaucrats who reminded him that permission had to be granted by the shōgun for commoners to have access to the rice stores. In that case, Sontoku replied, no one, including the bureaucrats, could eat the public rice before getting the shōgun’s approval. They quickly changed their minds and decided that, since it was an emergency, the people should be fed immediately. He was eventually entrusted with one of the shogunate’s estates, which was a great honor for someone of his low origin.
So put it all together and tie it back to One Piece.
- Kuma was a Donquixote slave that was released at 14 when Homing left the Holy Land
- He built up Sorbet Kingdom, named after the ingredients which would be the agricultural land Kuma founded
- Maybe Kuma refused to pay the Heavenly Tribute, needing that money to support the land through a famine
- The World Government turned that refusal into an explanation for why the country was in a famine, pinning the entire thing on Kuma
And just to tie it all back to Doflamingo, how did Doflamingo become a Warlord? By attacking Heavenly Tribute ships 10 years ago.
I could be missing on some details here, but I really think there’s some substance to this and how Kuma could have gone from being a slave to being a King. Let me know what you think.
*Theory by HokageEzio