Kawamatsu the Kappa is a yokozuna-ranked sumo wrestler, as well as a samurai of Wano Country who once served as one of Kozuki Oden's Nine Red Scabbards until Oden's death 20 years ago. He was a prisoner of the Beasts Pirates in Udon's Prisoner Mine until he was freed by Raizo.
Kawamatsu is a large kappa or kappa-like being who is close to the same size as Raizo and has webbed hands. He has a round body, two blush marks on his cheeks, a beak-like mouth and he has extremely long and wild light hair. He wears a dark kimono, a light cape, sandals, and a large 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 fish bone. His compassion is best shown when he encountered an improverished Onimaru and fed the latter with his limited amount of food, despite there was barely enough for himself.
As Oden's retainer, Kawamatsu is extremely loyal to the Kozuki Family. He was the one who helped young Hiyori escape from their enemies at Oden Castle and took care of her for 5 years during her childhood. 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, Kawamatsu is eager to join the Kozuki Family in the war against Orochi and Kaido. When reuniting with Hiyori after many years, they were overjoyed to see each other again.
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 tears of joys upon learning that Kawamatsu is still alive.
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.
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.
Abilities and Powers
As a Yokozuna, Kawamatsu possesses tremendous physical power as he is stated to be the strongest sumo wrestlers in Wano. Shortly after being released, Kawamatsu overpowered multiple members of the Beast Pirates with great ease.
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. He was also shown to go on while starving himself while providing for Hiyori. He could withstand Onimaru violently biting his arm and survive the freezing cold winter climate of Ringo as well as days of hunger.
- Further information: Kappa-ryu
As one of the most powerful samurai in Wano, Kawamatsu is an extremely skilled swordsman and wields a shirasaya named Soto Muso. Raizo states that his skill has not waned at all even after thirteen years of imprisonment. He calls his style the Kappa-ryu (河童流 Kappa-ryū?), which appears to combine his swordsmanship and sumo physicality to create rushing attacks that overpower opponents.
Kawamatsu is capable of spitting projectiles with great speed and precision, potentially turning them into deadly weapons if they are sharp enough. Thus, his guards are ordered to remove the bones of the fish they feed him. When they failed to do this, he was able to take out a guard by spitting the bone as a projectile that pierced his neck.
- Further information: Haki
Kawamatsu possesses the ability to use Busoshoku Haki, which is called "Ryuo" in Wano. As 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.
Sometime after the Nine Red Scabbards were assembled, Shimotsuki Yasuie caught them stealing money from him. 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 Kozuki Oden and Wano Country.
Kawamatsu served under Oden until the latter was executed 20 years ago. After Kozuki Momonosuke and some of Oden's retainers were sent to the future by Toki, Kawamatsu helped Hiyori escape the destruction of Oden Castle and took care of her until they were separated five years later.
Kawamatsu tried in vain to find Hiyori and eventually gave up. 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 cemetary.
As the swords in the cemetary were not enough, Kawamatsu forced the grave robbers to surrender their weapons everytime he chased them out. Kawamatsu also invented the name "Gyukimaru" to mask his identity.
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.
- 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)
- 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.
- Like Kanjuro, Kawamatsu had a different initial design, featuring a rounded head.
- He is the second kappa-like character introduced in the story, the first being the non-canon character DJ Gappa.
- Kawamatsu's hat is identical to the one worn by the individual from the cover of Chapter 631.