The Wano Country is a powerful, isolationist country in the New World that is not affiliated with the World Government. They are currently occupied by the Beasts Pirates, who are allied with the shogun, Kurozumi Orochi.
The country strictly follows a policy of isolationism, meaning that contact with outsiders such as pirates and other countries is prohibited. Leaving the country's borders is also considered a crime. The ritual of seppuku is a known form of punishment applied for criminals in the country. However, this strict administration rule has resulted in scarce information. This was shown as Tama and Tenguyama were not informed about Ace's death, despite the news being public before the timeskip.
The country's administration is corrupted due to the Shogun Kurozumi Orochi, whose officials are oppressive and harshly control the citizens. Their rule is further enforced by their allegiance to the Yonko Kaido, who supported them with the military force of the Beasts Pirates, making it almost impossible for the citizens to defy Orochi. Much of the country has been reduced to a wasteland due to Orochi's cruelty, with only his personal territory, the Flower Capital, remaining prosperous. Despite the prohibition of having contact with pirates and other outsiders, Orochi's alliance with Kaido (who in turn had many connections outside) shows that the top echelon of the country is hypocritically disregarding their own policies, leading to discontent among some of the civilians. Speaking ill of Orochi aloud, even in casual discussions, is considered to be rebellious and a capital crime.
There is extreme class discrimination and prejudice, as low-class citizens are strictly restricted to live in slums and wasteland such as Okobore Town an extremely poor town made of leftovers, and are only allowed to consumed leftovers food which lead to immense starvation and malnutrition for the low-class citizens while fresh food and water supplies are reserved only for the high-class citizens in the Flower Capital and members of the Beast Pirates in Bakura Town. While harshly discriminating on the low-class citizens, Orochi utilized manipulative propaganda to brainwash high-class citizens in the Flower Capital in order to further reinforce his rule and policies, idolizing himself as a great hero while villainizing the Kozuki Family, particularly Oden, claiming that they attempted to bring Wano to ruination by breaking the isolation policy and opening the borders of Wano to the outside world.
Some ranked officials also commit capital crimes for their own reasons and find a scapegoat to cover up their tracks, as a particular magistrate who committed crossroad killings attempted to blame it all on Zorojuro, without so much as giving him a trial to speak for himself.
Wano Country has its own warriors, the samurai (侍 samurai?), who are swordsmen so powerful that not even the Marines go near them. Anyone of samurai class is apparently of high social status. Ever since Orochi took over, samurai became the only ones legally allowed to carry katana swords. Ryuma's sword, the Shusui, is considered a national treasure of Wano Country.
Currently, under the Beasts Pirates' rule, some regions of Wano Country are ruled over by high ranking members and associates of the crew. As a result, those people's subordinates have jurisdiction over part of the region and have the authority to pass judgement over the residents.
Costume and Fashion
Women from Wano are expected to be modest and speak gracefully and quietly, though they are allowed to become samurai or ninja. Women are referred with the prefix honorific "O-" (お?). Social hierarchy dictates that high-class citizens are permitted to dominate over the lower-class, from ordering them around to outright killing them without legal repercussions.
As part of the burial process, a monumental stone pillar with the deceased person's name engraved on it is placed to signify the resting place of the deceased. Some families have a personal graveyard, where the family members are buried. Key items of the deceased might be buried with them, and the grave might be the target of theft for those objects, among others.
According to Kin'emon, there is a "Fire Festival" that is held at Wano Country. It is a yearly event dedicate for the Beasts Pirates for saving the nation from the supposed evil Kozuki Family, during which the the shogun, Kurozumi Orochi, and his entourage travel to Kaido's residents on Onigashima to offer their respects. However, in reality, it is a party held by the Beasts Pirates and their allies.
Wano used to have dojos for the teaching of swordsmanship and martial arts, such as kendo, judo and karate. As a way to prevent the rebel population from strengthening themselves, Orochi has outlawed those institutions from operating ever since he became Wano's shogun.
Weather and Wild Life
The waters around Wano are always suffering from terrible weather, with strong, unusual winds that cause the clouds and ocean's waves to take a swirling shape, resembling their usual depiction in ukiyo-e paintings. Those dangerous conditions give Wano a natural barrier that makes it hard to enter or leave the country.
The waterflow of Wano's ocean is unique in that the sea currents are clear like that of a mountain river's, yet they act in reverse to one, pulling sea water closer to the land (in a way similar to Reverse Mountain). Despite this, fresh water still flows out of the land and into the sea through waterfalls, and atop those, there are clashing currents that lead to the formation of whirlpools.
Gigantic koi are known to live in those seas, despite being freshwater fish, and a human-sized octopus also lives in these waters and can summon these giant carp by making noises normally associated with kabuki plays. Giant creatures such as a katana-wielding baboon and komainu also live in Wano.
Wano Country is split into an unknown number of areas that are ruled by daimyo.
Kuri was formerly ruled by Kozuki Oden. About a year ago, under the Beasts Pirates rule, most of the country became a wasteland, polluted by the weapons factory that poisoned the fresh water rivers. The Amigasa Village (編笠村 Amigasa-mura?) was located there before it was destroyed by the Beasts Pirates headliner, X Drake. Okobore Town (おこぼれ町 Okobore-chō?) is also located in Kuri. It is located on the other side of a large Torii, opposite to Bakura Town. It is a poor town as everything there is made from leftovers from the capital. Bakura Town (博羅町 Bakura-chō?) is where the Beasts Pirates reside. It is located at the foot of the mountain where Oden's castle used to be, and it has a large Torii at its entrance.
Udon (兎丼 Udon?) is an industrialized region of weapon factories where the lower-class are forced to work to exhaustion and death. There are also prison cells inside such factories to torture rebels until their wills break and pledge allegiance to Kaido.
Somewhere in the country, there is a port called the Habu Port (刃武港 (ハブみなと) Habu Minato?) that is symbolized by the Habu Pit Viper to natives. It is where the Ninja-Pirate-Mink-Samurai Alliance plan to meet their allies before engaging in the battle to take down Kaido.
Onigashima (鬼ヶ島 Onigashima?) is an island near Wano and is considered part of it. It is where Kaido resides, and where his underlings go to report to him. Once a year, during the Fire Festival, Kurozumi Orochi and his men travel there to celebrate with their allies the take over of Wano Country, under the ruse of paying their respects to the country's protector.
Concludes non-canon section.
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23 years ago, someone managed to infiltrate the Wano Country and robbed Ryuma's grave, making off with Ryuma's corpse as well as his sword, Shusui. This incident was considered a disaster that brought the country to its knees. When Kin'emon saw that Zoro had Shusui, he thought Zoro was the culprit.
About 20 years ago, the ruling Kozuki Family were dethroned.
The Beasts Pirates occupied Wano Country and had taken over most of the country's regions. One of the country's daimyo, Kozuki Oden, was executed by Kaido and the resident shogun for refusing to give out information about the "True History" that he found out in his time as a member of the Roger Pirates. This caused Oden's son, Kozuki Momonosuke, and three of his retainers, Kin'emon, Kanjuro, and Raizo to flee the country towards Zou, where they could meet with two other retainers of the Mink Tribe, Inuarashi and Nekomamushi. For safety reasons, Momonosuke was instructed by Kin'emon to pretend to be his own son. Under the rule of the corrupt shogun and Kaido, the majority of Wano turned into a desolate wasteland, with the water and food supply poisoned by the weapons factory. Only the Flower Capital remained prosperous.
According to Kin'emon, several warriors from Wano Country who opposed the rule of Kaido and the shogun had been gathering together in order to form a rebellion. Kin'emon also claimed that Kozuki Oden's last words before leaving his retainers was to open the borders of Wano.
One Piece x Kyoto
Toratsugu served as a teacher of flower arrangement for the Hitaki Family, the family of the daimyo of the Yo district in Wano Country. Since childhood, he was friends with the princess Kikuhime, and the two gradually came to love each other. They got engaged, but a few days later, Toratsugu witnessed prince Lark murdering the daimyo. Lark pinned the murder on Toratsugu and imprisoned him, with the prince next in line to become daimyo. However, Toratsugu managed to escape his imprisonment the night before his public execution, and came to a beach. Starving, he ate a Devil Fruit, which turned out to be a Mythical Zoan that allows him to transformed into the yokai nue, and he took residence in a mountain temple.
Not too long afterwards, Kikuhime and Lark got engaged, and Toratsugu broke into the mansion where their wedding ceremony was held. He kidnapped Kikuhime, with Lark being unable to take him down, and took his past love to his mountain temple. Lark then approached the Straw Hat Pirates, asking them to go and take down Toratsugu in return for a considerable reward.
Shortly afterward, the Straw Hat Pirates reached the temple at the behest of Lark, and Toratsugu battled their captain Monkey D. Luffy. After a brief battle, Toratsugu fell down a ravine, where he transformed back into a human and sustained injuries. He was healed by Chopper, and revealed his past to the Straw Hats. They sympathized with him and agreed to go take down Lark, and Toratsugu took them to him in his nue form despite his injuries.
As the Straw Hats went off, Lark barricaded himself in an encampment and swore to kill Toratsugu as he revealed to Kikuhime that he killed her father. No longer having a use for Kikuhime, Lark pushed her off a balcony, but she was suddenly saved by Luffy as he flew in on Toratsugu. Luffy then defeated Lark with a punch to the face. A banquet was held afterward, and Toratsugu and Kikuhime bid farewell to the Straw Hats as they resumed their life together.
Concludes non-canon section.
Wano Country Arc
After parting ways with the Sanji Retrieval Team, the remaining Straw Hats went with Kin'emon and his allies and infiltrated Wano. To ensure that they would not be detected by the current shogun's forces, Kin'emon suggested that everyone go undercover and assume civilian identities until he and his comrades could assemble an army to combat the shogun and his forces.
After getting back Sanji, Luffy and his group were able to infiltrate Wano despite the obscene weather conditions (while being accompanied by a strange octopus), but Luffy got separated from everyone else.
Luffy then encountered a girl named Tama who was being taken by the Beasts Pirates, and rescued her. Tama then took Luffy back to her home and gave him a bowl of rice. While he ate, Tama's master, Tenguyama Hitetsu, found Luffy in their house and attacked him. Tama came to explain everything but collapsed from drinking poisoned river water, polluted by Kaido's weapons factory. Luffy then borrowed some clothes from Hitetsu, who told him about their meeting with Ace and his crew. Luffy took Tama to seek medical help and went with Tama's pet komainu, Komachiyo. On their way, Tama refused to believe Luffy when he revealed Ace's death. The two came across a wasteland and encountered Zoro and Basil Hawkins, a headliner of the Beasts Pirates.
After a brief fight, Komachiyo took Luffy and Zoro away, as well as a stowaway Tsuru, whom Zoro rescued from the Beasts Pirates earlier. Tsuru identified Tama and directed the group toward her tea house. Meanwhile, the Heart Pirates noticed Luffy's arrival to Wano and planned to report it to Law. After Tsuru gave Tama a herbal tea, she recovered and received a meal from Tsuru while her worker Kiku treated Zoro's wounds. Afterwords, as Tama rested, Tsuru told Luffy and Zoro about the history of Wano Country before and after the shogun, Kurozumi Orochi, rein. However, talking about the shogun made Tsuru a target for the Beasts Pirates, and while one gifter attacked her, another took Tama and ran toward Bakura Town, with Kiku, Luffy, and Zoro chasing after them on the back of Komachiyo.
At Bakura Town, Tama was being forced by Holdem to use her abilities, which she denied. Meanwhile, Luffy's group entered the town and witnessed a sumo wrestling tournament where Urashima, a wrestler who kept trying to get Kiku to marry him, belittling the town's people and tried to force Kiku to become his wife. Enraged by his attitude, Kiku cut his chonmage. Shocked and furious, Urashima tried to attack Kiku only to be stopped by Luffy, who engaged him in a sumo match. Easily beaten, Urashima was sent flying across town and destroyed several houses in his path, including Holdem's. Recognizing Zoro as a wanted criminal, the residents attacked the group, and despite being beaten, rejoiced at the arrival of Holdem at the scene. Luffy then saw Tama with Holdem and demanded her being released, to which Holdem refused. Meanwhile, Law and Hawkins' groups approached Bakura Town as well.
When the Headliner Speed arrived with a cart of food, Luffy rescued Tama while Zoro seized the cart. Luffy easily defeated Holdem and his group fled with the cart and Tama tamed Speed as they made their getaway. Law and Hawkins had a brief fight, but their confrontation was interrupted when Luffy's group passed by and picked up Law. Once they arrived at Okobore Town, Luffy's group delivered the food to the citizens.
After parting ways with Tama and Speed, Law took Luffy to the ruins of Oden Castle where he was reunited with Kin'emon, Momonosuke, ad the group that sailed with him on the Sunny. Inside the ruins, Kin'emon explained about Wano's past and their planned decisive battle. Back in Okobore Town, Jack was searching for Luffy but encountered the thief Shutenmaru. They clashed until a drunk Kaido arrived in dragon form. Luffy rushed towards Kaido with Law following him while Kin'emon and Kiku rushed to Okobore Town to check on Tsuru. After Kaido destroyed the remains of Oden Castle, Luffy attacked him. When he came across an injured Speed, Luffy learned about what happened to Tama and tried to defeat Kaido only to be defeated with one blow. Law tried to retrieve Luffy, but he was forced to flee by Hawkins. Luffy was then taken by the Beasts Pirates and sent to a prison at Udon. At the ruins of Oden's Castle, Sanji saved the ladies from Kaido's attack and the males were saved by Shinobu's Devil Fruit abilities. Meanwhile, Inuarashi and the Musketeers discovered the injured Tama and headed into the forest to treat her. The news about Luffy and Kaido's fight circulated through Wano, and it reached the rest of Luffy's companions.
Back at Tama's village, Tama made a full recovery thanks to Chopper and the mink doctors. On Mt. Atama, Inuarashi and Shutenmaru briefly sparred before Kin'emon ended the fight. Shutenmaru refused to rejoin the Kozuki Family, but Kin'emon was determined to make him an ally.
Translation and Dub Issues
The name is a pun, as "Wa no Kuni (和の国? literally meaning "Country of Harmony")" is used as a name for Japan. The kanji for "Wa" appears when Brook mentions the country in the Punk Hazard Arc, but the country's name is written in katakana (ワノ国), where "no" is a part of the name rather than being a possessive article.
- Wano Country is clearly inspired by Feudal Japan. Its people, dialect, architecture, culture and general atmosphere heavily support this.
- The fact that the swordsmen in this country are called "samurai", the local's expectations of women and its closed-door policy are also references to Japan in their Feudal era.
- The weather condition surrounding Wano is based on the Kamikaze legend in the Japanese folklore as the Kamikaze (Divine Wind) helped the Japanese to repel the invasion of the Mongol Empire.
- The teacher who teaches the children about Wano Country's isolation and closing borders has the ability to stretch her neck similar to the Japanese Yokai Rokurokubi.
- So far, when a character native to Wano Country has been introduced in the present manga, their information has been seen on a Japanese scroll rather than the regular information box. The country itself was introduced in this way.
- Momonosuke's fake introduction was an exception (perhaps hinting that the introduction was duplicitous), but when his real identity was given, he also had a scroll.
- Ryuma was introduced in a different manner, as he predated One Piece and originally first appeared in the oneshot Monsters, and upon reappearing in One Piece, it was not really him, but his reanimated body.
- When a character is introduced in Wano Country, it has a concave corners rectangle information box.
- Wano is the first, and so far only, canon location that was first visited during a non-canon story.
- Instead of the usual "do-don" onomatopoeia Oda uses to introduce new locations or characters, when introducing the Wano Country it is replaced with "be-ben", which represents the strum of a shamisen, a traditional Japanese string instrument.