With the end of the Wano arc and Eichiro Oda preparing to go on break in order to begin the last saga of One Piece, Many fans are wondering how the arc will wrap up. There are still questions regarding who will be the new yonko, what happened to Kaidou and Big Mom, and many other plot points that will decide the future direction of the story. However, fans find it difficult to focus on those points because nothing has been more polarizing a topic, causing much-heated debate and discussion, than the discussion of Yamato’s gender.

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Yamato is a new character introduced in the Wano arc of One Piece and is believed by many fans to be the next pirate to join Luffy’s crew. The Oni Princess has stated their desire to do so on multiple occasions and is just waiting on approval from Luffy to join. Kaidou’s son also placed 11th in One Piece’s global popularity poll which ran before the character was even introduced in the anime. Adding to the self-proclaimed Kozuki Oden’s popularity is the fact they had a close bond with Ace, is the child of a yonko, bears a mythical zoan devil fruit, and was able to hold their own against their father for several chapters before Luffy awoke to finish the battle. It’s no surprise people love Yamato, whether it's Yamabro’s design, powers, or simply their emotional backstory fans quickly fell in love with them, which is why so many want to get their pronouns right.

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Why Does Yamato Have So Many Contradicting Aliases?

The fact Yamato has so many conflicting canonical pronouns is by far one of the most confusing things introduced in the Wano arc. They refer to themselves as a man, describing themselves as Kaidou’s son and even have the popular statement, "Oden was a man, wasn't he? So I chose to be a man too!". All other character’s reference Yamato in the manga and show through He/him pronouns and Luffy calls them “Yamabro” rather than “Yamasis”. So then why is there any debate? If the character himself says they are a man that should end the discussion?

The confusion begins on the same page where Yamato refers to himself as a man. The introduction box on that page refers to Yamato as “Kaidou’s daughter” even though she has only been called Kaidou’s son in the story. Additionally, the Vivre Card - One Piece Visual Dictionary lists Yamato's gender as a female in her card entry and then even goes on to refer to Yamato only using she/her pronouns. This is also where we see the nickname “Oni Princess” given to Yamato, princess of course being a title traditionally reserved for women and young girls. There really should not be this much confusion around a character so important to the story such as Kaidou, yet fans are given evidence from the author which contradicts the way the character is portrayed in the story.

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Debates on Twitter have been quite heated regarding this topic. If a fanart of Yamato is posted, there is sure to be an argument going on in the comments about whether it's “She’s hot” or “He’s Hot”. Trans characters are not even new to One piece as Kikunojo is stated to be trans by the author in the Vivre Card - One Piece Visual dictionary as well, so it’s not as simple as fans looking for representation where none exists or the fact Oda is not aware of these trans conversations happening.

Many have argued the Vivre Card is the accurate information and that Yamato is just identifying as a man because they love the previous shogun of Wano, Kozuki Oden, not because that is their gender identity. Similar to how a young child wants to emulate their opposite gender parent without wanting to become that parent’s gender. However, others have argued this information was presented this way so that Oda could reveal through the story how Yamato is a transman and then update the information later on. Nothing has been clearly given yet, however, the newest One Piece chapter does offer insight as to how Yamato perceives themself.

What Happens In Chapter 1052?

In chapter 1052, after Luffy and Zoro wake up, Nami invite Yamato to go bathe with the women in the bathhouse. Yamato agrees to bathe but must respectfully decline. The Oni Princess says “Sorry Nami, there’s no mixed bathing in the castle.” followed by Kikunojo stating “Do you mind… if this one joins you?”. The next page we then see Yamato bathing, but it's with the men in the men's bathhouse and Kikunojo doing the same with the women in the women’s bathhouse. Thus, fans are presented with a confirmed trans character bathing with those of their identified gender, yet Oda placed the character they stated as simply female with the men.

It's unclear what message Eichiro Oda is trying to present here, but it becomes clear Yamato perceives himself as a man. Nami’s confused expression as to why Yamato, who appears as a woman, would decline on the premise of no mixed bathing, but yet then proceeding to bathe with men indicates they do not see themselves as a woman. Yamato does not think about it being mixed bathing when they bathe with Luffy, Zoro, and the others and sees himself as a man no different from the others. It's only natural for a man to bathe in the men’s bathhouse with the other men after all.

Juxtaposing this imagery with the panel of Kikunojo does more to cement this as Kiku also states it to have been embarrassing bathing in the past with men. Of course, this will not confirm anything for all One Piece fans. Many will continue to refer to Yamato as she/her while others will simply wait for Oda to clarify what they are doing with this character’s gender identity. It would also be pretty cool if one of the characters introduced to rival a Yonko's power was a woman. There is a lot of contradicting information around the matter and while there won’t be any agreement on it until Oda clarifies it himself, it's certain that even if the reason is only because Yamato sees themself as Oden and Oden was a man, this Oni princess views himself as a man.

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