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What is Zoro black blade?

Meet Zoro’s Favorite Sword, the Black Sword of Shusui

Meet Zoro’s Favorite Sword, the Black Sword of Shusui

One Piece may be a show about pirates in search of devil fruit, but its Japanese feudal influences mean the anime is packed with katana swords and a certain Roronoa Zoro to revolutionize the world of fighting sword styles. The swordsman is known for his three katana method in both the show and manga in which he uses a sword in his mouth and two hands to fight.

This unique way of fighting has made the Straw Hat pirate arguably the strongest swordsman in Wano country. That said, his favorite sword is said to not even be one of his three main swords, but the Black Sword of Shusui, a blade known for its black blade that made it supernaturally durable to the point that its previous owner claimed it could withstand being stepped on by a dinosaur.

Shusui Is One of the 21 Great Grade Swords

Shusui is a meito sword which in the world of One Piece, makes it a blade with legendary powers. These meito swords are further divided into grade classes, each one more powerful than the last. As one of the 21 Great Grade swords or O Wazamono, the Black Sword of Shusui is just a step down from the strongest possible swords you can get in One Piece which are the Supreme Grade Swords or Saijo O Wazamono.

Zoro with Shisui and other swords

Shusui Is Renowned for Its Black Blade

Among the meito swords, black bladed swords are especially prized due to their higher durability. The color of the blade indicates a higher carbon content which in turn means that the sword is harder and able to keep its edge longer, even after extended rough usage.

The special carbon-receptive method of bladesmithing used for samurai swords are part of what gives them their legendary sword status, making Shusui even more powerful and special in its world. Yoru, the sword of Dracule Mihawk, is another such sword with a black blade.

It Was Given to Zoro by Ryuma

Shimotsuki Ryuma

The Black Sword of Shusui once belonged to the so-called “God of the Blade”, Ryuma Shimotsuki who was the original wielder of the sword. He was said to have a strong moral code centered on justice and honor, though this would sometimes get him in trouble because he believed that if two swords touched scabbards, it was an invitation to a duel.

Ryuma believed strongly in the idea of a warrior’s spirit, so when he was bested by Zoro in a duel, he considered this a sign that his sword has to transfer owners because it would be happier serving under a stronger master.

The Black Sword of Shusui Is Still Weaker Than Enma

Shusui may be Zoro’s favorite sword, but it’s still weaker than his other sword Enma, this is due to Enma being a Great Grade Blade, putting it a class above Shusui. That said, it can keep up with Zoro’s other swords, Sandai Kitetsu, Yubashiri, and Wado Ichimonji.

Getting a Black Sword of Shusui Replica

zoro shusui replica

You don’t have to join Luffy on an adventure through the high seas just to get a cosplay-ready replica of the Black Sword of Shusui, but having a keen eye for treasure wouldn’t hurt. While most replica swords can be counted on for longevity and accuracy, some swords are more detailed and realistic than others because of its higher price point and therefore, manufacturing budget.

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Generally, you can expect to choose between swords of three different materials: plastic, wood, and stainless steel. Plastic swords are divided between ABS and PBS. While ABS plastic holds its color best, the surface tends to rub faster and develop an oily sheen versus PBS which doesn’t, though you trade this perk for fainter colors. Wood has equally good color retention and is cheaper, though paint chipping can occur during drastic temperature changes.

Of course, the best option overall is stainless steel, though it is the most expensive of the three and is generally unnecessary if you’re just cosplaying, not collecting.


The Black Sword of Shusui was once Zoro’s dream sword because he believed he needed to obtain it to become the best swordsman. After a long journey to Wano country, he realized it’s the skill, not the sword of the swordsman that makes them the best. You can hold a piece of Zoro’s aspirations with a replica of the Shusui sword which is available online, be it made of wood, plastic, or stainless steel depending on your budget.

(103 Articles Published)

20-something freelance writer who likes games and history maybe a little too much. When I’m not writing for the web, I write notes for a new Dungeons and Dragons campaign. Hyperfixations include Genshin Impact, color eyeliner, true crime, and Star Wars.

What is Zoro black blade?

There is something that was bugging me about Zoro’s swords for a long time and now, the Wano arc helped put thoughts in proper perspective. Namely four out of five named katanas used by Roronoa are, in fact, a heirlooms; a burden of someone’s else dreams or ambition or honor that Zoro (consciously or not) carry on while Sandai Kitetsu is the only one sword truly and just his. Because the same as the sword was chosen by Zoro, Zoro himself was chosen by Kitetsu,

The best known Roronoa’s sword, Wado Ichimonji in fact belonged to Kuina who died the night after she and Zoro made a promise that one of them must become the world’s best swordsman. He begged Kuina’s father to gift him with her sword and to honor Kuina’s dream, he created an unique fighting style — Santoryu.


Zoro could just replace one of his swords with Wado and yet Zoro’s fighting style is a fusion of his two-sword style trained since childhood and one-sword style used by Kuina. Which is his way to stay faithful to a promise made between them and maybe a promise between him and Kuina’s father too. That way Kuina — represented by Wado — gets stronger with each of Zoro’s fights and with him, one day will become the best swordmaster. Zoro has carried on her dream since childhood and in fact, their shared promise is both a great motivation AND burden. What was noted by Mihawk (What burdens you so?) and something Zoro himself was well aware (“I may only have three swords, but the weight of our swords are completely different!“).

Wado is as much a memento of his deceased friend as much a burden to carry on alone. It’s Zoro’s most precious sword and at the same I think it will never truly belong to him. Wado was and always will be Kuina’s. He was not chosen by the great katana — he begged for that sword and it was given to him by Kuina’s father. Because Zoro cared so much for their vow, when Koushirou dismissed Kuina’s dream when she was still alive. Koushirou granted the precious katana to a determined boy, so his daughter’s dream (and which it, a part of Kuina) could live on.

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Wado is Zoro’s most precious possession, but it is a “borrowed” katana that never truly was meant for him. It was Kuina who should carry on the white katana. Zoro only carried it in place of her, because she never had truly a chance to spread her wings. Thus, Wado is a memento, a shared dream, a burden and second chance (for Kuina, and maybe for Koushiro too).

Then we have YUBASHIRI, given to Zoro by Ipponmatsu in Loguetown


Ipponmatsu freely gave Zoro this katana as an apology for looking down on him, once Roronoa proved how well skilled and strong willed swordsman he was by testing his luck against cursed blade. The given sword served him well, up until Enies Lobby, where Yubashiri was destroyed by marine captain Su, a man with devil fruit power of rusting.

Ipponmatsu did not tell Zoro that Yubashiri was in fact his own family heirloom — something pointed out by shop owner’s wife:


but once questioned about the decision, Ipponmatsu asked back “what is wrong with a man entrusting his dream to another man?!”


what implies that Yubashiri, like Wado, carried inside someone’s else unfulfilled dream of greatness.

In Thriller Bark, Yubashiri was buried alongside remains of Brook’s first nakama while its place was taken by SHUSUI.

Shusui was a black sword that belonged to legendary samurai, Ryuma. In Thriller Bark it was wielded by Ryuma’s zombie (with Brook’s shadow) and once Zoro saw the blade, he wanted it for himself, to replace destroyed Yubashiri and was willing to take it from the enemy’s dead body. Though the fight was relatively short, Zoro’s skills were acknowledged by Ryuma and in result, Shusui was given to pirate.


Zoro honored his opponent by taking sword and being willing to pretend the match never happened.


Similar to Sandai Kitetsu, Zoro both chose a sword and was chosen (accepted) by the blade. But unlike Kitetsu, Shusui, as the most precious treasure of Wano country, couldn’t truly belong to him. The katana served its master well and Roronoa appreciated it very much, but since Dressrosa arc, he was constantly nagged by people of Wano to give it back. He didn’t care for their complaints and did not plan to do so, yet once asked by Kozuki Hiyori to return it to its rightful place, Zoro finally agreed. Because in the end he respected the dead swordmaster and how much the black sword meant to people of Wano. It was a sacred symbol, a heirloom of legendary samurai Ryuma while he was an outsider. Although Zoro proved his worth to Ryuma zombie, the sword (and Ryuma’s body) was stolen in the first place and Hiyori was willing to give up memento of her late father (personal treasure) for Shusui (a national relic). Such sacrifice proved how much Ryuma’s sword meant to people of Wano and Zoro, despite his claim, returned the black blade to where it belonged — asking only to let him visit Ryuma’s grave once the battle is over.

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Shusui was another heirloom, a sword burdened by past and its meaning. It served Zoro well, but it couldn’t truly belong to him.

For returning Wano’s national treasure, Hiyori promised Zoro no less great katana — ENMA.


A legendary sword given to Hiyori by her late father, Kozuki Oden that is said to be the only blade that even injured Kaido. A wonderful gift, but the same as previous swords, it is someone else’s heirloom passed to Zoro. Another memento of a dead person. Another burden to carry on.

While Zoro trained with his new sword, Tenguyama Hitetsu (the creator of Sandai Kitetsu) told him the story behind Enma — Oden’s sword and Kuina’s Wado were birthed by the same man, Shimotsuki Kozaburo. Who, ironically, is Kuina’s grandfather according to SBS. What Zoro may have known now, since he did met Kozaburo as a child.


Anyway, Hitetsu assumed that Hiyori perhaps recognized Wado and because of that offered Zoro her heirloom as a replacement for Shusui. I personally think the reason was more selfish than that. Once Zoro saved her, Hiyori said there was a prophecy that “in time of the resurgence of the Kozuki line, strong, kind samurai from across the seas would come to our aid” and Zoro fits perfectly. Even more, since Zoro’s hometown, the Shimotsuki Village is in fact strongly connected to Wano by Kozaburo no less.


Hiyori, as Oden’s daughter, wants Wano to be a free, safe country again but for this to happen, Kaido must be defeated first. Zoro already proved to be a reliable ally. He came To Wano with her missing brother and Kinemon. He saved her and Toko from Orochi’s assassin and later, from enemy attack once the fight broke out after Yasuie’s death. He is strong (something she saw for herself) and to some degree has the samurai feeling about himself.

Above everything else, Zoro will fight in the upcoming war against Kaido for the Kozuki clan even though he (like all Straw Hats) has no real obligation to her family. Whether she believed in prophecy or not, by passing to Zoro her family heirloom, Hiyori burdened him with her hopes and dreams for victory and justice for her murdered parents and for Wano country as a whole. She gave an outsider Oden’s precious sword that can injure Kaido and by that, placed faith in Zoro. She can’t use the sword, she can’t fight in battle, but Zoro will carry on Oden’s (and her) wish to protect Wano into battle.

Was Zoro aware of such a possible burden? Who knows. Still, he accepted the blade despite its dangerous nature — and any eventual burden (someone else’s unfilled dreams and hopes) to carry on.

Frankly, Enma and Sandai Kitetsu have a lot in common. Both are dangerous blades that drive weak swordsmen into madness and/or ultimately lead to their death. Both need to be tamed. And Zoro likes them very much, despite warnings of other people. Even manga presents their “introduction” as accepted and appreciated swords by Roronoa in similar way:

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Yet there are two major differences between Kitetsu and Enma, what also are true for the three previous swords too.

First, already mentioned and explained the matter of heirloom and connected to that “burden” Zoro carries on alongside. In the case of Enma, once the battle is over and Wano saved, all the faith and hopes put in Zoro by Kozuki Hiyori through the Enma should not burden him anymore. Yet since Hiyori entrusted him the memento of her father, Roronoa will need to make sure to never bring shame to her (and by extension, the Kozuki clan) in later adventures & fights he will face one day. But frankly, this is the same with all of his swords bestowed to him by people who were important to him or which he shared mutual respect. It is strictly connected at core to sword fighting philosophy; to be worth of great blade.

Secondly, Wado Ichimonji, Yubashiri, Shusui and Enma, all those swords are desired and appreciated by swordsmen all over the world while Kitetsu, as a cursed blade, was not wanted. Kitetsu was feared by people, put in barrels between low quality swords in hopes to get rid of it. Even sword maniac like Tashigi, once learning the truth about the katana, did not want that blade despite its high grade and low price on it. She was even sorry for insisting previously Zoro should take it. Kitetsu drove previous owners into horrible deaths to the point “you will not find a swordsmen who’d dare to use a Kitetsu these days”:


Zoro felt that the sword was cursed, before Ipponmatsu had a chance to explain why Kitetsu had such a low price on it. And after learning the horrible truth, he decided to take the blade. The unwanted, bloodthirsty, cursed blade that brings madness and death because no one else would dare to use it. Zoro liked the challenge. Oh, he liked it so much he decided to test his luck (fate) against the curse of Kitetsu, putting his swordmaster future at stake.


The same as Zoro chose Kitetsu, the sword chose him. Like Ipponmatsu said, the sword chooses its owner. And yes, Zoro wanted to have Wado and Shusui but these blades were heirlooms burdened with someone’s dreams and greatness while Kitetsu was the unwanted, dangerous blade with a horrible past that Zoro faced only with his own strong will. No hidden promises to carry on, no ambitions or honor or hopes passed on him by previous owners. No legendary status to live up. Like Wado. Like Shusui. Like Yubashiri. Like Enma.

Sandai Kitetsu is this wild, bloodthirsty sword that was challenged by Zoro and decided to spare this insane man who looked at it, felt the cursed nature and did not throw it away but appreciated it. Something that, I imagine, didn’t happen in years. And there is very strong bond between Roronoa and Kitetsu, because Zoro always can tell apart the cursed blade from other swords


and he kept Kitetsu usually in left (dominant) hand during fight. All those little details give the impression Kitetsu is much more spiritually connected to Zoro’s core than Wado.

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In short, Sandai Kitetsu was the only masterless sword Zoro picked solely by and for himself that did not burden him with sentiments, past promises or hopes. And though the sword was “problematic child”, its demonic nature seems to suit Zoro’s own very well.

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How exactly Black Blades are forged | The Next One Is Enma

Let’s go to the very beginning of Wano, when we first learned Black Blades need to be forged by the user. You might assume that a person can forge black blades by fighting with it more and more using strong Armament/Conqueror’s haki.

But we have characters like Roger and Shanks who don’t have any devil fruit, heavily rely on their swords and have ridiculously strong Conqueror’s haki, but were still not able to forge their blades black.

Mihawk stated that any sword can be turned black, so it’s not about the quality of the sword either.

Every sword has it own unique will

In Wano, we had a huge focus on swords. Each Blade is like a unique personality and a swordsman is the one who bends it to their will. A Sword is said to inherit the will of their previous owner.

The footnotes at bottom right implies that by taking the sword Zoro has inherited Oden’s will through Enma.

Kaido senses Oden’s presence in Enma, in some translations presence was translated as will.


A sword turns black when it’s will has been fulfilled by its user.

Now let’s go through each sword one-by-one.

Wado Ichimonji:

Wado inherited Kuina’s will of becoming the strongest swordsman. By taking the sword Zoro inherited Kuina’s will through Wado. And Zoro can turn it black by becoming the strongest swordsmen (fulfilling the sword’s will).

Wado might turn black during the end of Mihawk fight, at the moment he surpasses Mihawk. This is also a good timing as many believe Wado would be the last to turn black, as it is Zoro’s most important sword.

Sandai Kitetsu:

Not much is known about the history or will of this sword other than it being a cursed sword, but Oda seems like he is planning something in the future about this Kitetsu line up, as he introduced Nidai Kitetsu in Wano.


Enma inherited Oden’s will. Oden’s will is to liberate Wano from Kaido and open Wano borders. What exactly needs to be done to fulfill Enma’s will is difficult to say. There are many possible cases, for example beheading Kaido might turn it black, but hey! Who knows? It is beyond the scope of this theory.

Enma has had a huge focus throughout Wano. So I think it’s highly likely that Enma will turn black in Wano arc itself, as all the other plotlines associated with Enma will end after Wano. So get ready Boys, we might be witnessing black blade soon.

Theory by average_zkk_enjoyer (

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