Grief-stricken over Oden's execution 20 years ago, Denjiro changed his appearance and started going under the name Kyoshiro. With that new identity, he became a yakuza boss and recruited followers to form the Kyoshiro Family. Eventually, he started working for Oden's usurper, shogun Kurozumi Orochi, as his money changer and bodyguard — successfully, he would keep secret his true allegiance to the Kozuki Family and bide his time, until the day would come of the Scabbards reuniting for the final battle to take down Orochi and Kaido.
Apart from his Kyoshiro identity, Denjiro would disguise himself at night to rob the rich Flower Capital citizens and give to the poor living outside, earning him the moniker "Ushimitsu Kozo". He also took care of Oden's daughter Kozuki Hiyori for the past 13 years, raising her to become the oiran Komurasaki.
Until Oden's execution, Denjiro was a slim yet muscular man about the same height as Kin'emon, being 306 cm tall. He used to have big, round eyes and dark hair that was always kept in a long ponytail. He was always seen wearing a pair of sunglasses. When he was young, he wore a dark kimono with a four-leaf clover pattern; his face was also much rounder compared to its more pointed edges as an adult. As an adult, he wore a dark kimono with a small crescent moon on the left side of the chest.
Because of his grudge to Orochi, Denjiro's appearance changed sometime in the last 20 years. His eyes became slanted, he no longer wears sunglasses, he grew large sideburns, and his hair color changed to light blue. Eventually, he also started hiding his ponytail in a massive faux-pompadour. He wears a dark blue kimono with circles and target patterns on it, as well as a blue, high-collared cape. During the raid on Onigashima, he took off his faux-pompadour when revealing his identity.
When going out as Ushimitsu Kozo, Denjiro puts a hokkamuri bandana over his head to hide his hair.
From a very young age, Denjiro was extremely clever, a skill that he would use to trick and swindle other people for his own gain. taking pride in his abilities to manipulate people and get what he wants. He has extended knowledge regarding the politics of the Flower Capital yakuza. He was a fan of Kozuki Oden even before becoming his retainer, and held him in high regard for his bold actions. Denjiro held Oden in extremely high regard, to the point that his death was so traumatic that the very process of grieving caused Denjiro's facial structure to be altered. Denjiro's loyalty and strength of will cannot be understated. An unspecified time after Oden's execution, Denjiro (as Kyoshiro) became a subordinate to Kurozumi Orochi and spent the better part of the past 20 years earning his trust in order to find a chance to overthrow him and restore the Kozuki Family to power. Denjiro has shown great emotional control, despite his immense hatred for Orochi. He is able to perfectly restrain himself from expressing it and even bowed to the latter as well as protecting him from Zoro in order to not jeopordize the Kozuki revolution on the Fire Festival.
After becoming Oden's retainer, he and the rest of the Scabbards worked to aid him in any way, until they were caught by Shimotsuki Yasuie during their attempt to steal his money. After being lectured by Yasuie, Denjiro and the rest of the Scabbards became noble and educated samurai. Denjiro, being the more knowledgeable one, was the one who would take some of the teaching onto himself. Denjiro served as the voice of reason for Oden, especially when it came to Kuri's finances. Denjiro attempted to advise Oden against making foolish decisions like giving Orochi money and leaving Wano, though Oden was rarely persuaded. Denjiro has also shown to be very kind, as after becoming Kyoshiro, he works hard in secret to give money to the citizens left impoverished by Orochi's tyranny, and he also took the responsibility of caring for Hiyori after she was separated from Kawamatsu.
As Kyoshiro, Denjiro acts as a cheerful man who loves to drink. While intoxicated, he was unafraid of speaking bluntly about the shogun Orochi despite the potential danger, and he mocked the shogun for believing a prophecy from Kozuki Toki about his downfall. In this state, he is prone to experiencing rapid mood swings, ranging from laughter to intensity to falling asleep. He falls asleep in public frequently due to being up in the middle of the night as Ushimitsu Kozo.
Due to his self-indulgence, Denjiro does not appear to bother with his obligations as the boss of his family. This was seen when he ordered his subordinate to contact Queen himself for an assassin to eliminate an individual who refused to comply with their extortion. However, he still cares about his family and will do what he needs to have them defended or avenged, regardless of how low-ranking they are. Ultimately, he is quite diligent when he feels like it, as he was able to raise Komurasaki to become Wano's top-ranking oiran. He even protected Orochi as the loyal guard dog from Zoro's attack against the shogun. However, his efforts to help Orochi are all a ruse to help the Kozuki Family on the day of the final battle.
Denjiro eagerly awaits Kin'emon's return for the past 20 years while using his Kyoshiro alias to get close to Orochi in order to find an opportunity to exploit Orochi's trust to his advantage, eventually liberating the imprisoned samurai in the Rasetsu District as well as having his own yakuza family to support Kin'emon in his raid on Onigashima. During the raid, Denjiro revealed himself to his old friend while reminiscing how he had caused the Mountain God incident which led to Kin'emon being deeply shocked yet overjoyed as he correctly identified Denjiro despite his changed appearance.
Even before becoming his retainer, Denjiro has immense respect for Oden, believing him to be different from other adults that he considers foolish and that respect increased after witnessing him defeat the Mountain God. Because of his admiration for Oden, Denjiro quickly decided to become his follower after his exile from the Flower Capital.
Although he greatly respected him, Denjiro did sometimes tend to tell Oden off when he kept giving money away to other people so easily, without considering how it would affect their region. In fact, when Orochi became the shogun due to Oden's absence, he made it his job to make sure Kuri was well-funded in Oden's stead by borrowing and lending money.
When he found Hiyori after she was separated from Kawamatsu, he was moved to tears on seeing her alive and well and revealed his true identity to her. After learning about what happened with Kawamatsu, he took on the role as her second protector and raised her using his wealth and resources to groom her to become the highest ranking courtesan. He also he instructed her to adopt the alias "Komurasaki" to keep herself safe from Orochi and the Beasts Pirates. During Orochi's banquet at the Flower Capital, Hiyori angered the shogun and Denjiro had to fake her death in what looks like a samurai's mercy, which also stopped Orochi from marrying her.
As the boss of the Kyoshiro Family, he appears to care greatly about his subordinates. Thus, if any of them are wronged, he will take the necessary steps to target those who wronged them. He will not interfere with his own plans to help his subordinates in this regard, but he still ensures they are helped by telling them to contact the Beasts Pirates. It seems that his followers are loyal enough to join him in becoming enemies of Orochi and the Beasts Pirates.
Due to Orochi being one of the two masterminds behind Oden's death, Denjiro held immense rage and hatred for Orochi. Thus, he feigned unwavering loyalty and allegiance towards the latter, having diligently worked for 20 years to gain his trust until the right time comes to overthrow him and restore the Kozuki Family to power. He also denied Orochi's chance to marry Komurasaki (in actuality Hiyori) by faking her death.
While in Orochi's presence under his Kyoshiro persona, Denjiro acts submissive and with extreme reverence, being inclined to spout phrases and ideas that the shogun will agree with, and Orochi compliments Kyoshiro when he voices these ideas. He has even referred to himself as the shogun's "lap dog".
Unlike most of Orochi's associates, Denjiro acted derisive of the shogun's paranoia over the return of the Kozuki Family and openly mocked Orochi as a coward while intoxicated on alcohol, albeit not within Orochi's earshot.
In reality, Denjiro also agreed with Orochi's beliefs in the comeback of the Kozuki Family as Denjiro fully intended to betray Orochi by eventually rejoining the Nine Red Scabbards to avenge Oden's death which he did by using the authority Orochi gave him to liberate the one thousand Kozuki samurai loyalists imprisoned in the Rasetsu district to join Kinemon in the raid on Onigashima.
Abilities and PowersEdit
As a member of the Nine Red Scabbards, Denjiro is a formidable and powerful samurai, whom Kin'emon states is worth 100 men in battle. Along with the other Scabbards and Oden, he engaged in a long battle with the Beasts Pirates, and at one point fought Kaido with Ashura Doji and survived.
As the boss of the Kyoshiro Family and one of the highest ranking subordinates of the Kurozumi Family, Denjiro is one of the wealthiest and most influential citzens of the Flower Capital, able to hire high-ranking geisha dancers performing for him. He had enough wealth to sponsor and groom Hiyori into the highest ranking oiran in Wano. As a yakuza boss, Denjiro commands strong henchmen who can extort businesses for money. Thanks to his connections within Wano's government, Denjiro is able to strengthen his group further by requesting assistance from his allies, particularly the Yonko-led Beasts Pirates, who appear to treat him quite respectfully, as Page One referred to him as "Boss Kyoshiro" (狂死郎親分 Kyōshirō Oyabun?).
As noted by numerous bystanders, Denjiro has extraordinary intelligence, being eloquent and persuasive enough to manipulate people into giving him what he wants. When he was young, he used this skill to swindle shopkeepers by confusing them about getting a large bowl in exchange for a small bowl and refund. He was able to correctly deduce the Kurokoma's intention for issuing a bounty for a white boar in order to oust Hyogoro by using the Mountain God. He also learned faster than his fellow Nine Red Scabbards during their self education to guide and teach them himself. During his years as Kyoshiro, Denjiro showed great cunning, having not only founded his own yakuza family but also was quickly able to get into Orochi's service, becoming one of his highest ranking subordinates and gain enough influence to have connections with the Beasts Pirates while perfectly hiding his allegiances to the Kozuki Family. He was able to earn the trust of the extremely cunning and cautious Orochi to be placed in charge of the Flower Capital during the Fire Festival. Denjiro is a masterful thief both because of his charisma as well as his ability to sneak into other people's homes and steal money. For at least 13 years, he has robbed homes in the Flower Capital at night without anyone realizing his identity.
After Orochi fell in love with Komurasaki, Denjiro came up with a clever idea to separate her from Orochi and told Hiyori to carry fake blood so he could fake her death when necessary.
Denjiro's intellect makes him an outstanding tactician. Denjiro chose to take full advantage of his changed appearance to live under a different identity, putting on a front of submitting to Orochi and becoming one of his most loyal subordinates in order to amass both wealth and influence that allow him to further his cause in supporting the Kozuki Family such as raising and protecting Kozuki Hiyori for thirteen years after she ran away from Kawamatsu. He has shown incredible caution as he advised Hiyori to live under an alias to protect herself from Orochi and the Beasts Pirates, and came up with a plan of faking her death that allows her to escape Orochi's wrath when she stood up against him to protect Toko. He also instructed Hiyori to keep his identity a secret from even their allies, which would prove crucial as Kanjuro, a fellow member of the Nine Red Scabbards, was revealed to be a spy for Orochi. Denjiro was opportunistic enough to exploit the trust of Orochi and the Beast Pirates, using his temporary authority over the Flower Capital to liberate the one thousand prisoners of Rasetsu District to join him in the Kozuki Revolution as well as sinking a Beasts Pirates ship when they let their guard down in his presence.
Denjiro possesses immense physical strength, being able to clash with Roronoa Zoro in terms of physical power. When he first walked into the Flower Capital as Kyoshiro, he easily beat aside two men who confronted him, and his display of strength impressed other men to become his followers.
Denjiro is extremely agile, as shown when he is able to run and leap across rooftops when robbing houses at night as Ushimitsu Kozo.
Denjiro is an extremely skilled and powerful samurai. His skill was shown when he deflected a powerful flying slash from Roronoa Zoro with ease and proceeded to evenly clash with Zoro's Nitoryu with only one sword for a brief time, preventing him from going after Orochi. He is masterful enough to have been able to cut Hiyori with the appearance of killing her, without actually harming her so she could run away the next day. Denjiro is also able to cleanly cut through a large Beasts Pirates ship with a flying slash.
Retainer of the Kozuki FamilyEdit
Denjiro was an orphan living in the Flower Capital. At one time 41 years ago, he swindled a pot merchant. He met up with Kin'emon, who showed him a white boar. Denjiro then informed Kin'emon that the boar was an offspring of the Mountain God, which began attacking the capital. The two were approached by Kozuki Oden, who asked them to give the boar to him.
As Oden tried to take the boar from Kin'emon, Denjiro expressed his admiration for Oden. He then panicked when Kin'emon tried to attack the Mountain God but was awestruck to witness Oden striking down the beast. As Oden left the capital in exile, Denjiro decided to become his follower. He and Kin'emon then followed Oden to Shimotsuki Yasuie's residence at Hakumai. They later followed Oden on his journey to Kuri. After Oden became daimyo of Kuri, Denjiro became one of his retainers.
After Inuarashi, Nekomamushi, and Kawamatsu joined Oden, they were running low on funds. Therefore, he and the other retainers attempted to steal money from Yasuie, but they were caught. Instead of punishing them, Yasuie allowed them to take the money and encouraged them to use it to become better people for the sake of Oden and Wano Country. Following Yasuie's advice, they educated themselves and trained to become dignified warriors. 30 years ago, they visited the Flower Capital with Oden.
After meeting the Whitebeard Pirates, Oden and his retainers were having a feast with them. Oden said that he wanted to join the crew, but Denjiro, Kanjuro, Kin'emon, and Raizo voiced out against it. After the Whitebeard Pirates left Wano two weeks later, the retainers discovered Oden, Izo, Inuarashi, and Nekomamushi to be missing.
While Oden was away, Denjiro went all over Wano, borrowing money.
After Oden failed to kill Orochi 25 years ago, the retainers remained loyal to him for the next five years despite Oden acting like a fool and losing the respect of most of Wano's people. 20 years ago, Oden finally had enough and decided to take down Kaido. The retainers eagerly followed him and marched with him to Onigashima.
On the way to Onigashima, the group was confronted by Kaido and his crew in the Udon region. Shinobu joined the samurai and in the ensuing battle, Denjiro and Kanjuro fought Queen. Unfortunately, the samurai were overwhelmed in the end. Oden and the Scabbards were then imprisoned in the Flower Capital and sentenced to be boiled alive in three days.
All ten prisoners were later brought to the execution site, at which point Oden made a deal with Kaido. After Oden stepped into the pot of boiling oil, the retainers were about to join him, but Oden grabbed a plank and ordered them to stand on it as he held them over the pot. As Oden endured the hour, he explained to his retainers the reason Wano Country was isolated and requested them to open Wano's borders for him. Oden successfully survived the hour, but Orochi summoned a firing squad to execute Oden and his retainers. Oden once again told his retainers to open Wano's borders before throwing them far away from the pot. The Scabbards fled with tears as Oden met his demise. With an army of pursuers chasing them, Denjiro and Ashura Doji split from the group to fight their enemies. At some point, Denjiro and Ashura battled Kaido together.
Denjiro escaped and went to a hut atop a hill, where he was consumed by rage over Oden's death. After a long period of time, Denjiro emerged from the hut, no longer wearing glasses and with his hair having changed color. He came to the Flower Capital, where he was confronted over his rough appearance. Denjiro quickly beat his foes to the ground, resulting in other men wanting to become his followers. When they asked for his name, Denjiro called himself Kyoshiro.
Denjiro gathered a large number of followers, and with his newfound power, he offered to serve Orochi as his bodyguard and supply the shogun with more riches. Orochi agreed, and Denjiro thus rose to power as the top yakuza boss, with him and his followers becoming known as the Kyoshiro Family. At night, Denjiro would disguise himself and steal from the homes of rich Flower Capital citizens and give the money to impoverished villages outside the capital. The people who spotted him committing these robberies would call him Ushimitsu Kozo. Seven years after Oden's death, Kozuki Hiyori was brought outside Denjiro's residence after being found on the streets of the Flower Capital. Denjiro brought Hiyori in and revealed his true identity to her. He then raised her for the next 13 years and made her into an oiran named Komurasaki. Denjiro was seen with Hiyori as an adult when she swindled a man named Bingo of all his money. Due to Orochi falling in love with Komurasaki, Denjiro advised Hiyori to carry fake blood under her kimono so he could fake her death if the situation requires it.
Wano Country ArcEdit
As he was drinking alcohol, Denjiro began to mock Kurozumi Orochi for living in fear of the prophecy stated by Oden's wife Toki, which was that the Kozuki Family would avenge themselves after 20 years. They were now at the 20th year, and Denjiro stated that he could not believe that this would happen since the entire family had supposedly died.
After he was invited to Orochi's banquet, Denjiro heard from a subordinate that a soba shop owner beat up some of his henchmen. Since he would be attending the banquet, he ordered the subordinate to contact Queen to send assassins. He later went to the banquet hall at Orochi's palace.
While at the banquet, Denjiro was praised for raising Komurasaki, whom Orochi was courting, as well as for his response to the attack on his subordinates. Orochi commended Denjiro's use of excessive force and took the opportunity to talk about Toki's prophecy. Komurasaki's kamuro Toko ended up laughing at Orochi, and chaos started breaking out as an altercation between the three of them started. Denjiro pulled out his sword, saying a bloodbath was about to occur.
Orochi went berserk in his multi-headed dragon form and one of his heads grabbed Komurasaki. When she ended up being freed from his grasp, Denjiro slashed her with the appearance of killing her. Believing Komurasaki to be dead, Orochi was shocked and furious at his actions, but Denjiro reminded him of her crime. He then found a card containing Kin'emon's secret message in her hand.
Denjiro returned to the Red-Light District and was informed that Komurasaki's wake was cancelled. One of Denjiro's cohorts warned him about those who bear a grudge against him, but Denjiro bluntly replied that there was nothing else he could have done and he had already suffered the biggest loss from Komurasaki's "death". Denjiro also stated that Orochi was very enraged because of Kin'emon's secret message card.
He later returned to the palace. After Orochi was informed of the capture of Yasuie, Denjiro explained that the Picture Tanishi was prepared. At Rasetsu Town, when Zoro attempted to attack Orochi with an air slash, Denjiro blocked the attack before engaging Zoro in battle. His clash with Zoro was interrupted when one of the Orochi Oniwabanshu intervened.
Later, Denjiro freed the 1,000 samurai that were imprisoned in Rasetsu Town, and together with the Kyoshiro Family, they went to where the confrontation between the Beasts Pirates and the samurai alliance was. There, Denjiro attacked one of the Beasts Pirates ships, revealed his true identity as Denjiro, and he then revealed that Yasuie's altered message actually instructed the Kozuki allies to meet at the wharf by Port Habu. Thus, their allies had been able to reach the wharf before Orochi destroyed the bridges. As he revealed this, the alliance, now numbering 5400, arrived at Port Tokage on a massive fleet. Denjiro commended Kin'emon for cleverly misinforming the other Scabbards to mislead the spy Kanjuro, unaware that Kin'emon had actually misunderstood the message.
Kanjuro then fled the scene with Momonosuke in tow on a drawn crane and briefly attacked the alliance with an ink cloud that rained down ink arrows. Momonosuke ordered the alliance to press forward to Onigashima without worrying about him. As the alliance was attacked by a Beasts Pirates ship with long ranged cannons, Jinbe came to aid the rebels.
- Kozuki Oden, the Nine Red Scabbards, and Shinobu vs. the Beasts Pirates
- Denjiro and Ashura Doji vs. Kaido
- Denjiro (as Kyoshiro) vs. Roronoa Zoro
- Kyoshiro Family, Kid Pirates, and Ninja-Pirate-Mink-Samurai Alliance vs. Beasts Pirates
- One Piece Treasure Cruise (as Kyoshiro)
- Denjiro's design resembles the initial silhouette of Kanjuro that was shown in the magazine release of Chapter 725.
- Kyoshiro being Denjiro was first hinted at in the anime opening OVER THE TOP, in which he was shown in a shot with Ashura Doji in a shot montage of the Nine Red Scabbards. The opening debuted eight months before Kyoshiro was revealed to be Denjiro in the manga.
- Ushimitsu Kozo is very likely based off of Nezumi Kozō, a Japanese thief. After he was executed, he was made into a folk hero who stole from the rich and gave to the poor, like the English legendary bandit Robin Hood. Nezumi Kozō is a nickname meaning "rat boy", just as Ushimitsu Kozō means "witching hour boy".
- Nico Robin claimed that she was Ushimitsu Kozo when confronted by the Orochi Oniwabanshu, but Fukurokuju exposed her lie immediately because the timing was not correct.
- Shimotsuki Yasuie impersonated Ushimitsu Kozo in order to be given a public execution, allowing him to use his platform to deceive Orochi's forces. When he revealed that him being Ushimitsu Kozo was a lie, the guards realized that they caught him stealing from the Flower Capital an hour before Ushimitsu Kozo actually committed thefts.
- Denjiro's favorite food is beef tendon. Fittingly enough, beef tendon is one of the main ingredients in oden, just as Denjiro was one of Kozuki Oden's main retainers.