Kawamatsu the Kappa is a Japanese puffer fish-man who is a yokozuna-ranked sumo wrestler. As a child, he was shipwrecked in Wano and orphaned soon afterwards. After Kozuki Oden rescued him from citizens ostracizing him, he went on to serve as one of Oden's Nine Red Scabbards until Oden's death 20 years ago.
After spending 7 years watching over Oden's daughter Hiyori, Kawamatsu was imprisoned by the Beasts Pirates for 13 years until he was ultimately freed by Monkey D. Luffy. He then reunited with the Nine Red Scabbards and joined their effort to fight Kurozumi Orochi and Kaidou and avenge Oden.
Kawamatsu is a large Japanese puffer fish-man whose appearance could be mistaken with that of a kappa. As such, he has webbed hands and light yellow-green skin. Being almost as tall as Raizo at 271 cm, he has a round body, two blush marks on his cheeks, a beak-like mouth and extremely long and wild orange hair. He wears a green kimono, a red cape, tan sandals, a yellow sash tied around his waist, and a large tan kasa with a dark diamond shape at its top.
Kawamatsu is an extremely kind and caring person, as shown by his care for Kozuki Hiyori and his efforts to make her laugh after the trauma she went through. When one of the Beasts Pirates attempted to attack Luffy, Kawamatsu silently aided him by attacking his attacker with a fishbone. His compassion is best shown when he encountered an impoverished Onimaru and fed him with his limited amount of food, despite there being barely enough for himself. Due to his mother insisting that he plays a kappa in order to protect himself from the Wano Country citizens, he takes the role quite seriously, never introducing himself as a fish-man but as a kappa.
Kawamatsu appeared to be very close to his mother, as she protected him from discrimination until one event led to her demise. In her dying moments, she told her son to act as a kappa for better survival. To honor his mother, Kawamatsu obediently heeded her last words for many years and has continued to refer to himself as a kappa in the present. He even named his personal swordsmanship style after it.
Nine Red Scabbards
Kawamatsu was extremely grateful to reunite with Raizo, shocked that he hadn't aged a day. Like the other Scabbards, he was shocked by Kanjuro's betrayal.
As a small child, Oden saved Kawamatsu from death by discriminatory humans and offered him freshly cooked food, which Kawamatsu was extremely grateful for. From then on, Kawamatsu became one of Oden's most loyal followers. His trust in Oden is such that he revealed his heritage as a fish-man to him despite his mother's dying words for him to hide it to protect himself from persecution. In turn, Oden entrusted Kawamatsu, along with the other retainers, with his dream to open the borders of Wano Country.
As Oden's retainer, Kawamatsu is also extremely loyal to his lord's children. He was the one who helped young Hiyori escape from their enemies at Oden Castle and took care of her for 7 years during her childhood, even endured long term starvation to ensure Hiyori had enough food, making Hiyori chose to ran away out of concern for him. When she ran away, Kawamatsu desperately searched for her and was filled with regret when he could not find her. After reuniting with Raizo after twenty years, the first thing he did was asking about Momonosuke's safety, showing his concern for Oden's son. Unlike Ashura Doji (who refused at first), Kawamatsu had been eager to join the Kozuki Family in the war against Orochi and Kaidou. When reuniting with Hiyori after many years, they were extremely overjoyed to see each other again. He also tried to rescue Momonosuke when the latter was captured by Kanjuro and he was enraged when Kanjuro declared that he will hunt down Hiyori.
In his youth, Kawamatsu tried to steal money from Yasuie along with the Nine Red Scabbards only to get caught. Yasuie held no grudge against him and his retainer comrades. Instead, he convinced them to behave as real retainers to support their lord Oden and Wano while freely giving them the money. When Orochi killed his benefactor, he grieved for his death as he watched his execution.
Kawamatsu first met Onimaru 13 years ago, who chased some members of the Beasts Pirates. Kawamatsu nursed the wounded komakitsune back to health. At first, Onimaru was hostile towards Kawamatsu, refusing to let the samurai collect the weapons of the buried in Ringo but he relented when Kawamatsu offered him his arm. He and Onimaru then worked together to protect the graves from robbers.
However, less than a year later, Kawamatsu was captured and Onimaru inherited the name "Gyukimaru". In the present day, when Kawamatsu interfered in "Gyukimaru" and Zoro's battle, Onimaru expresses with tears of joy upon learning that Kawamatsu is still alive. After the raid on Onigashima, Kawamatsu reunited with Onimaru.
Monkey D. Luffy
Kawamatsu first saw Luffy when he was brought to Udon as a prisoner and protected the latter when a Beasts Pirate attempted to attack him for defiance. As Kawamatsu continued to observe Luffy, he was deeply impressed with Luffy not only in his courage to stand up against the Beasts Pirates but also in his compassion in helping Hyogoro. He even trusted Luffy to protect Hyogoro from being executed in Queen's execution games. After Luffy was freed and planned to start a rebellion, Kawamatsu encouraged Luffy to inspire fellow prisoners to rebel by announcing the Kozuki Family's revolution and happily joined Luffy in preparing to fight the Beasts Pirates.
Kawamatsu first encountered Zoro at Ohagi Bridge when the latter was fighting Gyukimaru to retrieve Shusui. When Hiyori offered her father's heirloom Enma to Zoro as a replacement for Shusui, Kawamatsu strongly protested and even considered Zoro delusional when he claimed to have fought Ryuma. Nevertheless, Kawamatsu relented when Hiyori decided to put her faith in Zoro. When Zoro confidently decided to accept Enma as his new sword despite how difficult it was to master, Kawamatsu expressed great praise for him.
During his 13 years of imprisonment at the prisoner mines, Kawamatsu refuses to submit to his enemies and defiantly stays in his cell chained up. After being freed, he wasted no time in attacking them with his reunited allies.
When meeting Raizo again after many years in Udon prison, Kawamatsu expressed eagerness in joining the cause to overthrow Orochi. Also, Orochi was the one who ordered the Beasts Pirates to feed him poisonous fish for the past thirteen years to kill him in a slow and painful way.
Originally, they were friends and comrades for years until Kanjuro's true colors were revealed. With Kanjuro confirmed to be an enemy, Kawamatsu attempted to attack him to rescue Momonosuke, but failed. It was during this encounter that Kanjuro showed his contempt for Kawamatsu, derogatorily calling him a "fish-man" instead of his name, and further enraging him by revealing his intention to find Hiyori and kill her.
Abilities and Powers
Kawamatsu possesses tremendous physical strength as he is stated to be the strongest sumo wrestler in Wano. Shortly after being released, Kawamatsu overpowered multiple members of the Beast Pirates with great ease. Alongside his fellow Scabbards, Kawamatsu managed to push Kaidou off his feet when ambushing him.
Kawamatsu possesses immense endurance as he has been fed poisoned fish every day for thirteen years by the Beasts Pirates without dying or even suffering any illness like Tama, a feat which has baffled his captors. However, it has been shown later on that Kawamatsu had to throw up once he was freed. He was also shown to go on providing for Hiyori while starving himself. He could withstand Onimaru violently biting his arm and survive the freezing cold winter climate of Ringo as well as days of hunger.
Kawamatsu is capable of spitting projectiles with great speed and precision, potentially turning them into deadly weapons if they are sharp enough. He was able to take out a guard by using a bone as a projectile that pierced his neck.
Kawamatsu is an extremely skilled and powerful swordsman. He wields a shirasaya named Soto Muso and prefers fighting using a reverse grip. Raizo states that his skill has not waned at all after thirteen years of imprisonment. He calls his personal style the Kappa-ryu (河童流 Kappa-ryū?), which is a Strong Blade swordsmanship incorporating his powerful fish-man strength and sumo skills to create rushing attacks that can overpower large numbers of opponents with sheer force.
Kawamatsu is a master of Busoshoku Haki, which is known as "Ryuo" in Wano. His skill is shown when he performed an attack named Yagura Ryuo (櫓流桜 Yagura Ryūō?, literally meaning "Tower Flowing Sakura") which repelled several Beasts Pirates charging toward him without direct contact.
In the anime when Kawamatsu uses advanced Busoshoku Haki, it is shown as a yellow and red colored flowing aura.
When Kawamatsu was a child, he and his mother drifted to Wano Country after their ship sank. When they tried to find help, the humans threw stones at them. Before dying, his mother told him that fish-men suffered discrimination and since then, Kawamatsu posed as a kappa.
33 years ago, Kawamatsu discovered Inuarashi and Nekomamushi at Kuri Beach after the two minks drifted to Wano. Afterwards, the three were caught and persecuted by some humans until Kozuki Oden came and rescued them. They then followed Oden back to Kuri and became his retainers.
When they were running low on funds, the retainers attempted to steal money from Shimotsuki 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. Following Yasuie's advice, they educated themselves and trained to become dignified warriors. 30 years ago, they visited the Flower Capital with Oden.
After Oden, Izou, Inuarashi, and Nekomamushi left Wano with the Whitebeard Pirates, Kawamatsu and his fellow remaining retainers protected Kuri. When Oden and the two minks returned to Wano with the Roger Pirates, the retainers greeted Oden, but before they could say anymore, Kozuki Toki stopped them from convincing Oden to stay in Wano so he could continue his journey with Gol D. Roger.
Around six months before Oden finished his voyage, the retainers were furious at Kurozumi Orochi for abusing his position as shogun. Kawamatsu and Inuarashi stayed behind at Oden Castle while the others marched to the Flower Capital to confront Orochi. A group of Beasts Pirates attacked Oden Castle, but Kawamatsu and Inuarashi repelled them. When Oden returned to Wano after finishing his journey, the retainers (except Denjiro and Ashura Doji, who were elsewhere at the time) welcomed him back and told him about Wano's situation. Oden then ordered his retainers to protect his family and Kuri before charging to the capital by himself.
After Oden failed to kill Orochi, 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 Kaidou. The retainers eagerly followed him and marched with him to Onigashima. On the way to Onigashima, the group was confronted by Kaidou and his crew in the Udon region. In the ensuing battle, the samurai were joined by Shinobu. Unfortunately, the samurai were overwhelmed in the end. Oden and the Nine Red 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 Kaidou. 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.
The retainers ran back to Kuri with an army of pursuers chasing after them. Inuarashi and Nekomamushi were caught while Denjiro and Ashura split from the group to fight their enemies. The remaining retainers discovered Oden Castle set on fire by the Beasts Pirates, but they found Oden's wife and children inside. Toki sent Kin'emon, Kanjuro, Raizo, and Kikunojo 20 years into the future with Momonosuke while Kawamatsu stayed with the 6-year old Hiyori as a precaution to ensure that the Kozuki Family blood survived in case their plan failed. As the castle was surrounded by enemies, Kawamatsu dove into a water channel so the pair could escape unnoticed. Taking care of Hiyori, he always tried to cheer her up and would let himself go hungry so she had enough to eat. While Hiyori was initially mute, over time he was able to make her laugh.
After seven years of taking care of Hiyori, she wrote a letter for him and left. When Kawamatsu found and read it, he cried and unsuccessfully searched across Wano for her. To find another purpose in life, he ventured into Ringo's graveyard to collect the swords from the graves in order to arm the rebels for the day Momonosuke and his retainers return. Despite the initial resistance of the fox Onimaru who guarded the graveyard from grave robbers, he managed to convince the fox to help him with his cause while at the same time joining forces together to protect the cemetery. As the swords in the cemetery were not enough, Kawamatsu forced the grave robbers to surrender their weapons every time he chased them out. Kawamatsu also invented the name "Gyukimaru" to mask his identity.
He was later caught when he was stealing abura-age in the Flower Capital. He was then imprisoned in Udon and kept chained in a cell, where he was fed only poisonous bone-less fish on Kurozumi Orochi's orders. From eating fish over the course of 13 years, his insides turned over and over each day, though the experience paled in comparison to his regret of being unable to help Oden.
Wano Country Arc
After Monkey D. Luffy was brought to Udon, Kawamatsu spat a fishbone at one of the guards when the guard attempted to attack Luffy. He later witnessed Dobon's confrontation with Luffy and Eustass Kid.
When Luffy and Hyogoro were brought before Queen, Kawamatsu called out to Raizo while the ninja was in front of his cell. After revealing himself, he asked if Momonosuke was okay. He then asked Raizo to help him escape so he could join the decisive battle against the Beasts Pirates during the Fire Festival. Raizo was spotted and forced to disappear in a smokescreen. Kawamatsu then noticed how Luffy had been causing a commotion and prayed that he would not let Hyogoro die.
Sometime during the Sumo Inferno, Kawamatsu commented that he wanted to try a sumo match as well. On the next day, Kawamatsu watched the broadcast of Yasuie's execution with tears in his eyes.
During a fight between Queen and Big Mom, Kawamatsu's cell was damaged. When Babanuki turned the prisoners against Luffy, Kawamatsu got everyone's attention by shouting out to Luffy. After Babanuki revealed Kawamatsu's identity, some guards attempted to kill him, but Kawamatsu kept them at bay by spitting fishbones until Raizo tossed him Soto Muso and the key to his handcuffs. After freeing himself, Kawamatsu repelled several more guards and went into the clearing, where he joined Raizo, Kikunojo, Hyogoro, Tony Tony Chopper, and Luffy against the Beasts Pirates.
Kawamatsu and his allies fought against the Beasts Pirates, but they were soon cornered by prisoners who were infected with the Mummy virus. As Luffy swayed the prisoners, Kawamatsu noticed that Babanuki was preparing to fire something. He was then impressed when Luffy defeated Babanuki.
After the prison takeover was completed, Kawamatsu decided to temporarily leave Luffy's group to take care of some business. He promised to rejoin them before the Fire Festival. Later, at the Oihagi Bridge, Kawamatsu interrupted the fight between Roronoa Zoro and Gyukimaru and Hiyori reunited with him. However, the reunion was interrupted when some Beasts Pirates arrived seeking revenge on Gyukimaru for stealing their weapons. Kawamatsu and Zoro fought the Beasts Pirates as Gyukimaru fled.
After the Beasts Pirates were defeated, Kawamatsu got reacquainted with Hiyori and told her of his ordeals after they separated. He told her of the story of Shimotsuki Ushimaru and his fox companion Onimaru. They caught up with Zoro at a passageway leading to an underground chamber where Kawamatsu kept a stash of weapons. Kawamatsu entered the secret room alone and spoke to Kin'emon via Smart Tanishi and informed him of the weapon stash.
He later went back outside and objected to Hiyori offering Enma to Zoro in exchange for Shusui's return. He was also skeptical of Zoro's claim of fighting Ryuma's corpse. Hiyori then told Kawamatsu and Zoro that she would not be joining them in meeting their allies as she did not want to distract them from their preparations for war. After leaving Hiyori in a safe place, Kawamatsu and Zoro joined a meeting with Kin'emon at Amigasa Village.
They then told the group at Amigasa Village that Hiyori is alive. After Tenguyama Hitetsu gave Enma to Zoro, Kawamatsu was impressed to see Zoro taming Enma. On the day for the raid on Onigashima, Kawamatsu marched to the rebel meeting place with Momonosuke, Kin'emon, Kanjuro, Raizo, Ashura, Inuarashi, Shinobu, and Kikunojo. The group eventually arrived at the meeting place, but found none of their ships and allies. In spite of this major setback, the Scabbards were still determined to go through with the raid, knowing that they would not get another chance.
The Scabbards set sail and left Momonosuke at the port. As Kin'emon wondered about the possibility of a traitor among them, Kanjuro then revealed that he was the mole, leaving the other Scabbards stunned at this revelation. After Kanjuro explained what he did, Kin'emon angrily beheaded him, only to learn that it was a copy and the real Kanjuro remained on the coast and that he had captured Momonosuke to bring him to Onigashima. As this was happening, the Scabbards' boat was confronted by three Beasts Pirates ships, but the ships were suddenly attacked by the Straw Hats, Heart Pirates, and Kid Pirates. The Scabbards' boat was then lifted by Law's submarine.
When Kyoshiro arrived, the Scabbards were confused to see him attacking one of the Beasts Pirates ships. They were then shocked when Kyoshiro revealed himself to be Denjiro and that he freed the prisoners in the Flower Capital and the rebels gathered at Port Habu. To their relief, the Ninja-Pirate-Mink-Samurai Alliance allies arrived at Port Tokage on a massive fleet to commence the raid on Onigashima.
With the Scabbards' hopes renewed, Kawamatsu swam back to the coast and attacked Kanjuro, but the latter conjured a crane and escaped with Momonosuke in tow. Having failed to retrieve Momonosuke, Kawamatsu rejoined the Scabbards on the Polar Tang. As the alliance was attacked by a Beasts Pirates ship with long ranged cannons, the rebels were aided by Jinbe.
After Shishilian and Hyogoro boarded the Polar Tang, the Scabbards discussed with Law about the plan to enter Onigashima. After the Straw Hats defeated the guards at the torii gates, the Heart Pirates and the Scabbards (except Kin'emon and Denjiro) traversed to the back of Onigashima inside the Polar Tang. Along the way, they were contacted by Nekomamushi, who just arrived and was planning to meet them at Onigashima. When the submarine got close enough, Law teleported himself and the Scabbards with him to Onigashima's back entrance, where they were joined up by Marco, Nekomamushi, and Izou. After Marco left to check on a shadow he saw at sea, the group was confronted by Kanjuro and an army of Beasts Pirates. While Kikunojo clashed against Kanjuro, the rest fought the other enemies.
Kanjuro and the Beasts Pirates with him were defeated, and Kawamatsu's group were soon rejoined by Kin'emon and Denjiro. They then entered Kaidou's castle, fought their way to the Performance Stage, and launched an all-out attack on Kaidou. While falling to the lower floor, the Scabbards managed to inflict wounds on Kaidou. As the alliance revealed themselves and attacked the Beasts Pirates, Kaidou transformed into his dragon form and flew to the roof of the Skull Dome, with the Scabbards grabbing onto him. On the roof, the Scabbards prepared to fight Kaidou with the Mink Tribe's help.
Jack and a platoon arrived at the roof to assist Kaidou, and the Scabbards watched as the Sulong minks engaged the enemy. After Jack and his forces were rendered unable to battle thanks to the minks' efforts, the Scabbards resumed their confrontation with Kaidou. Kaidou roared lightning at them, but they dodged around it and each struck him in turn. After suffering several injuries, Kaidou then retaliated with a roar that created wind scythes aimed at the Scabbards.
Continuing the battle in human form, Kaidou began overwhelming the Scabbards and later incapacitated them. Big Mom, Kid, Killer, Zoro, Luffy, and Law later arrived at the roof. Upon Luffy's request, Law teleported the Scabbards to a safe place. They were placed in the treasure room on the second floor, where a mysterious person was tending to them. The Scabbards later recovered and regained consciousness, but the mysterious figure already had left. Before they left the treasure room, they saw who appeared to be Oden. Many of the Scabbards believed it was him; however, "Oden" was quickly exposed to be a drawing made by Kanjuro, who was still alive and heading for Momonosuke. The Oden drawing then lit a large quantity of dynamite under its garment, but Ashura Doji tackled it out of the room before it exploded, sacrificing himself to save his comrades.
The Scabbards immediately headed out to find Kanjuro, but were then confronted by Beasts Pirates All-Star Jack; Inuarashi stayed behind to battle him. As they raced through the fortress, they encountered Orochi and Fukurokuju. Orochi transformed into the Yamata no Orochi to take on the Scabbards, but they responded by swiftly decapitating his multiple heads at once. They continued on, with Raizo staying behind to fight Fukurokuju. Kawamatsu and Izou later separated from the other Scabbards and ran into Sanji carrying an incapacitated Roronoa Zoro, and the four headed to the Live Floor together. The group arrived at the Live Floor to hear the announcement of Luffy's defeat, which Kawamatsu noted were unverifiable events. He would then prevent some Beasts Pirates from shooting at Zoro by slicing them up. Later, after he witnessed Zoro fighting King on the Live Floor, Kawamatsu discussed the similarities between Zoro and Shimotsuki Ushimaru as well as Shisui being returned to Wano when Zoro traded it for Enma with Hyogoro, to which both concluded it must have been fate that the Straw Hats came to Wano. Kawamatsu later ordered the samurai to find a way to escape the castle as they could not put out the fire, seeing no honor in being burned alive.
- Kozuki Oden, the Nine Red Scabbards, and Shinobu vs. Beasts Pirates
- Kawamatsu and Onimaru vs. grave robbers (multiple times)
- Kawamatsu, Monkey D. Luffy, Tony Tony Chopper, Hyogoro, Kikunojo, and Raizo vs. Beasts Pirates (Udon Prisoner Mines)
- Kawamatsu and Roronoa Zoro vs. Beasts Pirates (Oihagi Bridge)
- Kawamatsu vs. Kurozumi Kanjuro
- The Nine Red Scabbards (minus Kanjuro, Kin'emon, and Denjiro) and Izou vs. Kurozumi Kanjuro and Beasts Pirates Gifters (unseen)
- The Nine Red Scabbards (minus Kanjuro) and Izou vs. Kaidou
- The Nine Red Scabbards (minus Kanjuro) and Izou vs. Kanjuro (Kozuki Oden drawing)
- The Nine Red Scabbards (minus Kanjuro, Ashura and Inuarashi) and Izou vs. Kurozumi Orochi
- Kawamatsu possibly had a different initial design, featuring a rounded head. However, that could also have been a silhouette of his hat while at an angle, as he is seen sitting slightly upwards, which allows for the possibility of him tilting his head up and hat down, creating the illusion of a rounded head.
- The name Kawamatsu (河松?) literally translates to "river pine", while the term kappa (河童?) means "river-child".
- Kawamatsu's Haki technique Yagura Ryuo refers to yagura tower structures in Japanese castles. Sumo competitions have a tradition of taiko drumming from atop a yagura (yagura-daiko), which fits into Kawamatsu's profession as a sumo wrestler.
- Kawamatsu is the second kappa-like character introduced in the story, the first being the non-canon character DJ Gappa.
- Kawamatsu's favorite food is eggs. Fittingly enough, eggs are one the main ingredients in oden, just as Kawamatsu was one of Kozuki Oden's main retainers.
- Kawamatsu's ability to survive on a diet of poisoned fish for 13 years may be a nod to the abilities of the fish species he is based off of, which build up a poison known as tetrodotoxin by consuming food which contains it in bacteria.