Ringo has a heavy wintry climate and it is always snowy. It is said it is so cold that people buried there do not decompose, and their bodies are preserved, something known as Eternal Grave (常世の墓 Tokoyo no Haka?).
Layout and Locations
In the past, about 41 years ago, Ringo was shown to be stable, under the leadership of Shimotsuki Ushimaru, and despite the hard weather, was prosperous enough for living in. Thirteen years ago, Ringo was shown to not have any residents other the Onimaru, and the houses were covered by a much thicker layer of snow, giving it a deserted and run down appearance, making the majority of the region a wastelands. That situation lasts even in current times, as the houses are now completely covered under the snow and broken down.
So far, Ringo was seen to only have one village. It has sturdy houses, as they were still habitable despite being collapsed. At the back of the village, there is a large bridge with a castle on it. The bridge serves as a border between the village and the cemetery. By the time Kawamatsu arrived to Ringo thirteen years ago, the village was abandoned with the exception of Onimaru, few of the houses were still standing, half of the bridge was missing, and the castle was tilted.
In the village lies a underground chamber filled with weapons by Kawamatsu and Onimaru.
The Northern Cemetery (北の墓場 Kita no Hakaba?), is a graveyard, which is said to be haunted. Because of the cold, it follows Ringo's practice of the Eternal Grave, bodies can be preserved for hundreds of years with katanas they've carried since birth as grave markers. Some of them were famed meito attracting grave robbers.
Oihagi Bridge (おいはぎ橋 Oihagi-bashi?) is at the entrance to Ringo, leading to the Northern Cemetery.
|Shimotsuki Ryuma †||Shimotsuki Ushimaru †||Onimaru|
- †: the character is deceased.
- *: the character's status is unknown, or show additional information. Hovering the symbol may give further details.
- ≠: the character is non-canon.
- ‡: the character is no longer part of this group. Hovering the symbol may give further details.
After his death, Ryuma was laid to rest along with his meito, Shusui at the Northern Cemetery. 23 years ago, after the battle between the Beasts Pirates and the Gecko Pirates, in which the former decimated the much of the latter, Ryuma's corpse and sword were taken.
Thirteen years ago, Kawamatsu made his way to Ringo to commit seppuku after losing Kozuki Hiyori. He came across Onimaru chasing out grave robbers. The two formed a bond and collected weapons for the Kozuki Family's return under the guise "Gyukimaru" before Kawamatsu's capture.
Wano Country Arc
Later, Roronoa Zoro ended up in Ringo as he pursued the mysterious Gyukimaru, who had managed to somehow steal Shusui, a national treasure of Wano. After catching up to the thief at Oihagi Bridge, Zoro became interested not only in retrieving Shusui, but also the weapons Gyukimaru had in his person, wanting to take them as supplies for the Ninja-Pirate-Mink-Samurai Alliance. During the clash, Toko and Kozuki Hiyori were chased by Kamazo and begged for Zoro's help. While dodging strikes from Gyukimaru, Zoro fought Kamazo. After getting stabbed in the shoulder, Zoro took the scythe and defeated Kamazo.
After his victory, Zoro passed out from his injuries while Gyukimaru fled. Hiyori brought Zoro to the Northern Cemetery and tended to his wounds. Hiyori revealed her true identity and her search for her brother. After hearing that Zoro was working with Momonosuke, Hiyori explained what had happened to her after Oden Castle was burned down. Later, Brook came upon them while they were sleeping and told them about Tonoyasu's execution, leading to a mad dash back to the Flower Capital.
The next day, Zoro and Hiyori went back to Oihagi Bridge where he fought Gyukimaru again. During the clash, Kawamatsu intervened and reunited with Hiyori. Just then, victims of Gyukimaru thefts, armed with firearms, came for revenge only to be stopped by Zoro and Kawamatsu, letting Gyukimaru flee. While Zoro chased Gyukimaru to an abandoned town, Kawamatsu told Hiyori what happened after she left and about Ringo's history while making their way to Zoro. After finding the underground chamber, Kawamatsu made contact with Kin'emon while Hiyori pleaded Zoro to return Shusui in exchange for Enma. Seven days before the battle on Onigashima, Zoro accepted Hiyori's offer and made plans to visit Ryuma's grave.