The character who stole the show completely after making their introduction in One Piece’s Wano Country arc is none other than Yamato. Yamato is a fantastic addition to the series, and characters like these only further our adoration for the anime. It’s been 100+ episodes and 120+ chapters since Yamato was introduced, but still, there is a heated debate about Yamato’s gender ongoing in the One Piece community. The recent anime episode 1078 and manga chapter 1084’s official cover art once again stirred the debate. So, let’s take a look at all the facts and hints to find the answer to Yamato’s gender identity.
Spoiler Warning: This article contains spoilers about Yamato and storylines in One Piece. So we recommend you watch the anime (up to Wano Country arc, one of the best One Piece arcs) or read the manga to avoid ruining your experience.
Is Yamato a Female or Male in One Piece?
Within a short period of time, Yamato has become one of the most popular characters in One Piece. Yamato is loved by the fans, but there has been constant debate regarding their gender. At first, we were told that Yamato is the daughter of Kaido. She was introduced as a female character initially. It was even confirmed that she was born as a female biologically in the Vivre Card (One Piece Visual Dictionary). That’s why she was called the Oni Princess by Kaido’s subordinates, but that was before she started calling herself Oden.
Even though Kaido had a daughter, he always acknowledged Yamato as his son in the story. It must be due to him wanting Yamato to be his heir and take the mantle. And right after this, Yamato started to idolize Kozuki Oden. Out of his overflowing admiration, Yamato identified as a man from that point and called himself Oden. And from that day, everyone in the Beast Pirates along with Kaido referred to Yamato as a man.
Conflicting Details for Yamato’s Gender Identity
As mentioned earlier, all the facts present at that time point toward Yamato identifying as a male in One Piece. Still, that didn’t put an end to the question or the debate. Several fans usually bring up the point that Yamato is a woman by heart and she acts the way she does in the story because she looks up to Oden. While another set of fans defend Yamato saying that he is a Trans-man.
But a final nail in the coffin, an answer, was delivered in manga chapter 1052. In that chapter, after the events of Raid on Onigashima, you will see everyone celebrating Luffy’s victory after the war.
In this instance, there is a shot of everyone enjoying their baths. Keep in mind that there are two different baths, one for men and the other for women. It is noted that Yamato joined the men’s bath with fellow male characters instead of going for the women’s bath. This put an end to the ongoing debate and controversies regarding his gender. Yamato was finally considered a Trans-man and accepted by the fans.
But, oh well, that peace didn’t last long when author Eiichiro Oda again sparked the debate in manga chapter 1084. In the said chapter, a color art cover featured all the popular and best female characters in One Piece. And for some reason, Oda decided to include Yamato in this color spread, and you can see her leading in the front. This stirred the pot, and the debate about Yamato’s identity once again came to light with this release. Recently, there have also been talks about Yamato might be Gender-Fluid, thanks to this cover art. Thus, we still don’t understand the author’s intentions and how he envisions Yamato in this pirate universe.
Merely four months later, the latest One Piece anime episode has stirred the debate pot once again. In episode 1078, you’ll see Nico Robin address Yamato as a boy. When Yamato says that he is going to join the Straw Hat Pirates on their adventures, Robin retorts — “What a funny boy,” as shown in the clip in the tweet below. Now, is it a hint that confirms Yamato’s true gender identity? Or, is it just a translation error on Crunchyroll’s part? We don’t know that.
Yamato’s Identity Debate Should Be Resolved by Oda
There are a few more facts and pieces of information that provide further context to this discrepancy. You must have noticed the demonic mask worn by Yamato during his introduction. It is called the Hannya mask, which is worn by Japanese theatre artists to portray a female demon. Furthermore, it is also mentioned that this mask depicts “the degree of jealousy, resentment, and anger of the female characters.” So, even though Yamato identifies as a man, this mask could have been a reference to Yamato’s female side.
But again, we received proof to confirm Yamato’s gender identity. The protagonist and the captain of Strawhat Pirates, Monkey D. Luffy has a nickname for Yamato, which ties in with his gender. Luffy calls Yamato “Yama-o” (ヤマ男), and the last part o ((男) is the Japanese kanji for “guy, man, or bro.” So you can consider Luffy Yama-bro similar to how he calls Trafalgar Law “Tra-o”.
This is proof enough that Luffy acknowledges Yamato’s gender identity as a man and respects it. Additionally, Yamato introduces himself with the first-person Japanese pronoun “Boku.” It’s to be noted that Boku is normally used by boys although there have been many cases where it’s used by females.
Moreover, major manga and anime platforms such as VIZ Media and Funimation all have decided to acknowledge Yamato as a man (trans-man) and address him with masculine pronouns. Oda has already confirmed the gender identity of another character, that is Kikunojo aka Kiku who was born a male and is a woman at heart. Therefore, confirming her character as a transwoman. In the case of Yamato, there are arguments and details that support both parties, so the onus lies on author Eiichiro Oda to address the issue and settle the debate once and for all.
As for now, we suggest you believe in what you want to believe like we acknowledge that Yamato identifies as a man. And if you don’t, that’s fine for now. I feel it is pointless to argue without knowing the creator’s intended vision for the character. There have been too many mixed signals to be able to reach a conclusion. What is your opinion on this topic? Do you recognize Yamato as a male or female in One Piece? Do share your opinion with us and let’s have a healthy discussion in the comments below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Well, the answer to this question can only be shared by One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda. But based on the information we have seen in the manga and anime, it is intended that Yamato is a Trans-male character.
From such a young age, Yamato greatly admired Kozuki Oden and wanted to be like him. Therefore, Yamato took an extra step and identified himself as Oden i.e. as a boy later on.
It is confirmed that Yamato was born as a female biologically. Yamato was even called the Oni Princess further to confirm that. But Kaido liked to address his daughter as a son so that Yamato could take over as his heir after him.
Yes! Yamato is now considered the unofficial member of the Straw Hat Pirates. Yamato will soon become an official member and board the ship.