Shimotsuki Zoro – How He Ended Up in the East Blue!


In light of the recent reveal of Zoro being identical to Shimotsuki Ushimaru, I’ve decided to make a post, sketching out Zoro’s backstory in regards to the canonical timeline, manga and sbs facts, under the assumption that Zoro is Ushimaru’s son.


Some disclaimers before we begin:

  1. The notion of Zoro challenging dojos is an anime only addition, and is NOT CANON. In the manga, Zoro’s backstory starts off with him laying on the ground, after being defeated by Kuina;
  2. This sequence of events is based on the fact that Zoro is born in the East Blue, as revealed in an sbs:

To start of the timeline, Shimotsuki Kozaburo founded the Shimotsuki Village (where Zoro grew up) 55 years ago, after illegally escaping Wano. He is the father of Zoro’s teacher, Shimotsuki Koushiro, and grandfather of Kuina. The important conclusion here, is that Kuina is also a Shimotsuki.


I’d also like to clarify that the scene where Zoro “blushes” when Kuina talks about her chest, is anime only as well. I mean, she talks about her chest maturing in the manga as well, but Zoro doesn’t blush.

The next thing to note is the location of Shimotsuki Village. It can be assumed to be near Goa Kingdom(where Luffy grew up). This can be concluded from a scene in the post war arc, where we see Dragon rendezvousing with the Revolutionary Army in Shimotsuki Village after saving Sabo in Goa. The important take away from here, is that Foosha Village is part of the Goa Kingdom.


This is relevant due to an extremely important SBS. In this SBS, we see Oda addressing an uncanny resemblance between a carpenter who was fixing the door of Makino’s bar, and Franky’s boss in Wano.

It is revealed that they are brothers, and the one in Foosha Village left Wano illegally a few DECADES ago.

And of course there’s the most important line, “One of the descendants of someone on that ship is a person everyone is familiar with…”

To me it seems like this line refers to Zoro’s mother, back when she was pregnant. For Zoro to be Ushimaru’s son, and be born in the East Blue, there is no other possible way for the story to meet both criteria. This scenario actually makes sense, given the sentence “one of the descendants of someone on that ship”. A synonym for descendent is offspring, so it could easily be referring to his mother.

Now here’s where the question arises, what was Zoro’s mother doing on that ship? To answer, I’ll give you a brief summary of Wano’s timeline.

Before that, you should know that Zoro’s supposed father, Shimotsuki Ushimaru, was the daimyo of Ringo.

28 years ago, Orochi took control of Wano. 25 years ago, Oden returned from his voyage. And 20 years ago, Oden dies.

Since Zoro was born 21 years ago, it’s safe to assume his mother left Wano 21-23 years back.

During that time period, Oden had been dancing. And interestingly, 23 years ago, Kaido fought Moria in Ringo, and Ryuma’s grave was robbed.

With Oden not doing anything to help the situation as far as the citizens knew, and the recent battle in their district, Ushimaru must’ve decided that residing in Wano was no longer safe, and sent his wife aboard the illegal escapee ship.

Considering the carpenter’s residence in Foosha Village, I think it’s safe to assume that the ship stopped by a nearby location, aka Shimotsuki Village, where Zoro’s mother got off, and went to her brother in law(aka Koushiro)’s dojo for protection.

Anyway, back to the main story, 20 years ago Oden decides to fight Kaido, and dies the same year. That very year, Orochi asks the other daimyos to submit to his leadership, but they refuse and start a rebellion, which is soon crushed by Kaido. Ushimaru dies here.

Considering Orochi’s paranoid nature, I think it’s fair to assume that he sent people after Ushimaru’s family, to make sure they don’t come back for revenge. He learns that Zoro’s mother was pregnant and insists on the child being killed.

Now, back to Shimotsuki Village, where Zoro is born and lives with his mother in his uncle’s dojo. Zoro’s mother tells Koushiro to keep Zoro’s real identity a secret from Zoro, so that he doesn’t reveal himself to Orochi by mistake. He takes up the name Roronoa instead of Shimotsuki, like Ace took up Portgas instead of Gol.

I actually have reason to believe that Zoro’s mother told him stories about Wano, without revealing his lineage, which I will explain after I finish the theory.

So anyway, I speculate Zoro’s mother dies (since I have no leads to go off how it happens, I cannot theorise further than that, but let’s just assume it’s an illness that causes it), before Orochi’s men can find her.

Now remember how I mentioned that Kuina is a Shimotsuki? What if, Orochi sent his men to go kill Zoro, but since he wasn’t the one using the name Shimotsuki, they killed the wrong child instead? Koushiro, knowing Zoro would blame himself and seek revenge, decided to cover up the incident as an accident.

And with that, we come to the end of my theory on how Zoro’s backstory plays out.

  • Ushimaru and Yasuie were daimyo at the same time of different regions but of the same clan. As we know, Yasuie had no family of note and O-Toko was confirmed not to be his actual daughter in Vivre Cards;
  • Realizing this, Yasuie and Ushimaru might have devised a plan to send his wife away to preserve the family line;
  • Yasuie was the daimyo of the only “proper port in all of Wano” we see this in the flashback with Oden just prior to his death, he took great pride in that job. I bet that even after Orochi’s take over he knew the ins and outs and could have successfully got a ship out;
  • When Zoro arrives in Wano Yasuie was immediately attached to him and Zoro also was shown to really care for him. Yasuie could have recognized Zoro or had a feeling about him, esepecially given the resemblance we’ve seen to his family member, Ushimaru.

I actually have reason to believe that Zoro’s mother told him stories about Wano, without revealing his lineage, which I will explain after I finish the theory.

Now to explain this statement. The real purpose of a backstory would not be fulfilled, unless it explains some aspects of Zoro’s character. This is a pretty short segment, I promise this long post is almost over.

First, let’s delve into Zoro’s ambition: becoming the world’s greatest swordsman. As of now, we do not know how this ambition was planted in him, but what if it was stories about the masterful swordsmen of a certain clan? In Thriller Bark, when Zoro meets Ryuma, he already seems to know all about him and his legends, and claims he always wanted to meet him. I don’t think it’s far-fetched to assume his mother told him all about Ryuma, and maybe even his own father.

The next thing to note, is one of the aspects of Zoro’s personality. Loyalty. It’s pretty well known how far Zoro will go to express his loyalty, and it’s highly reminiscent of how the other daimyos like Yasuie believed in Oden to the very end, and stayed loyal to him, even if it meant dying. I’d also like to highlight a particular line from Zoro’s speech in Water 7. “A crew which does not respect its captain, is bound to fall apart”. This reminds me of the entirety of Wano booing Oden, their saviour, and the fate the country finally met.

Those are 2 comparisons I found, and with that I come to the end of this segment as well.

*Theory by ashuraichibugin

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