Shimotsuki Kozaburo was a member of the Shimotsuki Family and a swordsmith who crafted the Great Grade Meito Wado Ichimonji and Enma. He was born in Wano Country, but illegally departed from there 55 years ago and eventually settled down in what became Shimotsuki Village in the East Blue. There, he fathered a son named Koushirou, making him the grandfather of Koushirou's deceased daughter Kuina.
The last time he was seen alive, Kozaburo was an old man with a large, thick unibrow that jutted to the sides of his face, a ponytail over a tuft of light hair and a beard framing his jawline. He had a scar on his left temple as well.
Kozaburo appeared to be adventurous in his past, as he departed from Wano to adventure despite that being illegal. He was a heroic man, seeing that he helped with protecting a village in the East Blue from bandits.
In his old age, Kozaburo was a grumpy, lonely man who spent his time fishing in the coasts near Shimotsuki Village. Despite not liking Zoro's company at first, he took interest in the boy and gave him real swords to help with his training, showing that he still held some sympathy for others. He was also very aware about the nature of named swords, showing particular pride for Enma, his masterpiece.
It is unknown what his attitude towards Koushirou and Kuina was while alive, but it is shown that he was loved by his son and grandaughter as they both mourned for him at his funeral.
Kozaburo met Zoro when the latter was just a boy. Zoro pestered him by asking him about his past and he responded by telling him to scram. However, when he saw Zoro's determination to best Kuina, he was kind enough to lend the boy two normal katana that he crafted himself, and offered him wisdom about the nature of a sword while mentioning his greatest creation. Despite all this, Zoro never bothered to learn Kozaburo's name and only learned that he was Kuina's grandfather when he died. However, he was able to realize the old man's true identity during his time on Onigashima when he had trouble wielding the greatest creation that Kozaburo mentioned; Enma.
Abilities and Powers
According to Hitetsu, Kozaburo was a legendary master swordsmith whose craftsmanship was known far and wide. His known masterpieces being two of the 21 Great Grade swords Wado Ichimonji and Enma, the latter of which has the supernatural ability to absorb the wielder's Busoshoku Haki. However, by his old age, Kozaburo's craftsmanship had declined, as he could no longer forge high-quality swords, instead only making low-grade blades suitable for practicing.
As a samurai of Wano, Kozaburo was a highly skilled in swordsmanship, having protected a village from bandits and then training the villagers in swordsmanship.
Even in his old age, Kozaburo still carried a sword on his person, although it is unknown how proficient he was with it at the time.
Back in his youth, Kozaburo forged the swords Wado Ichimonji and Enma, which were classified as Great Grade Meito. 55 years ago, he illegally set out to sea. He eventually ended up in a village in the East Blue and helped save it from bandits. He fell in love with a woman while training the villagers in swordsmanship, and decided to stay in the village. Four years later, he fathered a son named Koushirou.
He was still living in the village around a decade before the present day, as Roronoa Zoro once overheard him use the cry "Sunacchi" while training. Showing curiosity about the old man due to rumors he had heard from the village, Zoro was at first dismissed by Kozaburo and resumed his training. That is when Kozaburo took notice of Zoro's dedication and presented him with a pair of katana to help with his training. He also imparted some of his own swordsmanship wisdom to the kid by explaining the wills and dangers a sword may possess, as well as his creation of Enma in the past.
Between 11-13 years before the present day, Kozaburo passed away and was buried somewhere in the village.
The Wado Ichimonji was brought with him all the way from Wano and became the prized heirloom of the Shimotsuki Family. After his death, it was used by Kuina in her final duel with Zoro, who used the two ordinary katana that Kozaburo gave him. Then after Kuina's death, Zoro requested the blade from her father so that he could carry on their dream of becoming the world's greatest swordsman. He held the blade and the other two swords during his tenure as a bounty hunter and after he became a member of the now infamous Straw Hat Pirates, and it was the only sword to survive his first duel with Dracule Mihawk wheras the other two were destroyed.
Kozaburo's other sword, Enma was once owned by the famed Kozuki Oden alongside Ame no Habakiri since the age of eighteen. He wielded it while traveling across Wano and throughout his journey as a member of the Whitebeard Pirates and then the legendary Roger Pirates. With it, he was able to deal a permanent scar on the powerful emperor, Kaidou. After his demise, it was entrusted to the swordsmith, Tenguyama Hitetsu until he would pass it on to his daughter, Kozuki Hiyori. However, she then gave it to Zoro as a replacement for Shusui, and he then used it in the final battle against the Beasts Pirates, where he inflicted yet another scar on Kaidou.
- Kozaburo's name has the same structure as his son Koushirou's, as both names begin with Kou and end with rou, and contain a number in the middle: zabu meaning three and shi meaning four.
- Kozaburo's face bears a resemblance to an anthropomorphic version of Wado Ichimonji drawn by Eiichiro Oda in SBS Volume 92. This makes sense as Kozaburo is the swordsmith who crafted the blade in question.
- One Piece Manga — Vol. 102 Chapter 1033 (p. 11-15).
- One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 95 Chapter 955 (p. 16-17) and Episode 956, Hitetsu first mentions Kozaburo.
- SBS One Piece Manga — Vol. 96 (p. 80), Kozaburo's actions are explained in detail.
- One Piece Manga — Vol. 102 Chapter 1033 (p. 12).
- One Piece Manga — Vol. 102 Chapter 1033 (p. 11).
- One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 95 Chapter 955 (p. 9) and Episode 956, Zoro talks about Kozaburo.