Eiichiro Oda

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Eiichiro Oda (Jap. 尾田 栄一郎 Oda Eiichirō) was born on January 1, 1975 in Kumamoto, capital of the prefecture of the same name in southern Japan, and is the author and cartoonist of the pirate manga One Piece.


Childhood days and the dream Mangaka

Oda had the dream of becoming a mangaka at an early age. While still in kindergarten (around the age of four), he set this career goal when he learned that there were people who made a living drawing manga. He always liked to draw and envied these people for their work, which in his eyes was not “real” at all. He associated this term with the idea of an employee who has to work in an office of some company and has to wear a suit.
Since that time he pursued his goal and since he was often praised for his drawings, he was also confident to make it later on.

School years and first successes

Surprisingly enough, contrary to many other Japanese who have the same desire but sooner or later abandon it due to fierce competition and poor prospects of success, Oda steadily pursued his goal.

At the age of 15, he began regularly submitting work to publishers, and not in vain. At the age of 17, while still a high school student at a private school in Kumamoto (the 東海大学付属第二高等学校 Tōkai Daigaku Fuzoku Daini Kōtō Gakkō), he made it to the final round of the biannual Tezuka Prize of manga giant Shueisha with his short story Wanted! Oda was still drawing under the pseudonym Tsuki Hi Mizu Ki Kon Dou (Jap. 月火水木金土, Eng. “Moon Fire Water Tree Metal Earth”) at the time. His entry ended up winning the second highest award.

A year later, he managed to cause a stir with more short stories. For one, his One shot Kami kara mirai no purezento (jap. 神から未来のプレゼント, roughly “God’s Future Gift” – published in this country under the title “God’s Book of Destiny”) was printed in JUMP Original magazine, a special issue of the old Monthly JUMP that came out every two months. And a few months later, he received top honors in the Hop Step Award (jap. ホップ☆ステップ賞, a monthly talent competition for up-and-coming cartoonists held by Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine. After several renaming, it is now titled JUMP Treasure Young Artist Manga Prize (jap. JUMPトレジャー新人漫画賞)) for his short story Ikki Yakō (jap. 一鬼夜行, roughly Nocturnal Ramble of a Devil.

Move to Tokyo and the residency

In the following year, Eiichiro Oda set a decisive course for his career as a draughtsman. He dropped out of his architecture studies after only his first year at university, as he felt it was a waste of time. And so he headed off to Tokyo, where he was able to work and learn as an assistant to some well-known mangaka at Shōnen JUMP magazine.

That’s how he first ended up with Shinobu Kaitani (known for titles like LIAR GAME (note: needs link) or ONE OUTS (note: needs link)), on whose manga Midoriyama Police Gang (jap. 翠山ポリスギャング) he collaborated. The series ran for issues #08 – #28 of 1994, but during this time Oda still found enough freedom to actively and creatively work on his own career going forward. This allowed him to land his short story Monsters in a fall special of Shueisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump (nowadays known as Akamaru JUMP ) that same year.

After the series met its end, Oda shifted to work alongside Masaya Tokuhiro. He would work under Tokuhiro for just under a year and a half, a time in which – by his own admission – he was able to learn a lot. For example how to draw the contour lines of figures or different forms/methods of expression and representation.

Oda worked on Tokurhiro’s series Jungle King Tar-chan (note: needs link) and Mizu no tomodachi Kappaman (jap. 水のともだちカッパーマン, Kappa (folklore)).
When those two series ended as well, the third stop on Oda’s path as an assistant followed, his time with Nobuhiro Watsuki and working on his hit manga Rurouni Kenshin.

Even though he only worked under Watsuki for about half a year, this period is undoubtedly one of the most important phases in Oda’s artistic career. From Watsuki he could learn a lot about the manga scene and manga as such and here he met colleagues he counts as his best friends today: Hiroyuki Takei or Mikio Itoh, among others.

Poker for Romance Dawn and the beginning

During his time at Watsuki, Oda set about refining one of his old stories, the outline of which he had sketched while still in middle school. The story in question was Romance Dawn.
This was a story he had actually wanted to save for his time as a professional. It had been his great wish to be able to continue it one day, but between 1994 and 1996 he had had little success compared to the previous years and a lot of his manuscripts and ideas had been rejected.
For this reason, he decided to play his big trump card, which he had hidden up his sleeve, at this point. He put all his eggs in one basket:

I got to a point where I didn’t know what to do and thought “If this next story gets rejected, I’ll have to give up”. And during that time, I drew Romance Dawn. […]
It was like I wanted to tell people “Hey, I really want to draw a story like this!”

Eiichiro Oda

However, he should not have been forgiven for doing so. The first version of the One Shot was published in a 1996 summer special of the Shōnen JUMP. It was so well received by readers that a second version followed. This one made it into a regular issue of the magazine (#41/96) and was no less successful. From then on, it wasn’t a long way until Oda could finally make his debut as a professional artist with his own series.
In issue #34 of 1997, he was finally ready: One Piece celebrates its series launch with a wave of success that continues to this day…

Curriculum vitae – the most important data at a glance

1975Eiichiro Oda is born in Kumamoto on 1 January
1992“Wanted!” wins at the 44th Tezuka Prize.
1993“God’s Book of Destiny” will be reprinted in a special issue of Monthly Jump
“Ghosts in the Night” Wins Hop Step Award
1994Oda moves to Tokyo and starts as assistant of Shinobu Kaitani
After the end of “Midoriyama Police Gang” Oda changes to Masaya Tokuhiro, whom he assists from then on.
“Monsters” makes it into a special edition of Shounen Jump.
1996Eiichiro Oda becomes assistant to Nobuhiro Watsuki
Romance Dawn 1 and 2 celebrate great success
1997Summer of this year: Series start of One Piece
2004Oda marries Chiaki Inaba on November 7 of the year
2006The one-shot “Cross Epoch” (in collaboration with Akira Toriyama) will appear in Shounen Jump on 12/25.
2007One Piece celebrates 10th anniversary, manga scene congratulates Oda in special volume One Piece 10th Treasures
2015One Piece gets an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records for “most print issues published of a comic book series by a single creator
2017One Piece celebrates 20th anniversary, there will be a variety of promotions, sweepstakes, and releases
2018Oda receives the prefectural honorary award (県民栄誉賞) from his native Kumamoto for donating a lot of money to rebuilding efforts after the 2016 Kumamoto earthquakes; bronze statues of the Straw Hat Pirates are erected in the prefecture in gratitude


  • “Wanted!“ (1992)
  • “Romance Dawn” – Version 1 (1996)
  • “One Piece” (1997) [continuous]
  • Cross Epoch” (2006) [One Shot in collaboration with Akira Toriyama].
  • One Piece x Toriko – Fruit consumption! The Devil Fruit!!“(April 2011) One Shot in collaboration with Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro


The editor (jap. 編集者, henshuusha) of a manga is an integral part of the serialization process. An editor assists the mangaka by helping to ensure that the work is produced at a steady pace and that deadlines are met. He oversees the storyboard and layout of the manga panels to ensure that the manga meets the standards of their publishing house. As part of this, he also performs basic editing work, such as copyediting and making suggestions for content. An editor’s influence varies from manga to manga as well as from mangaka to mangaka and to what extent the publisher gives the author free rein. Generally, manga editors are a manga’s supervisors, overseeing most of the creation process and making sure everything goes smoothly.
Additionally, when a manga receives an anime adaptation or a computer game adaptation, they take on interface duties, such as overseeing character design, and control duties on behalf of the manga.
The comments seen on the first and last page of each chapter in the magazine, but which do not appear in the anthologies, are always written and typeset by the editor in question.
Oda’s first editor was Kaoru Kujimawho was placed alongside him after he won the Hop-Step Award withGhosts in theNight. The editors for One Piece are as follows:
Editors for the manga

  1. Takanori Asada(1997 – April 2001)
  2. Takahiro Habuta(April 2001 – February 2005)
  3. Daisuke Watanabe(February 2005 – October 2006)
  4. Naoki Kawashima(October 2006 – November 2007)
  5. Kouhei Onishi(November 2007 – June 2008)
  6. Akira Jean-Baptiste Hattori(June 2008 – December 2010)
  7. Takeru Isaka(December 2010 – June 2014)
  8. Suguru Sugita(June 2014 – January 2017)
  9. Takuma Naito(January 2017 – March 2019)
  10. Takano Ken(March 2019 – June 2020)
  11. Yuuji Iwasaki (since June 2020)

Since June 2008, Oda has been assisted by a second editor responsible for media design. In June 2020, Oda stated in his author’s note that there were as many as three media editors supervising him at that time.
Media editor

  1. Kouhei Onishi(June 2008 – December 2010)
  2. Akira Jean-Baptiste Hattori(December 2010 – February 2013)
  3. Kouhei Onishi(February 2013 – June 2014)
  4. Naoki Kawashima(June 2014 – January 2017)
  5. Suguru Sugita(January 2017 – March 2019)
  6. Takuma Naito (since March 2019)
  7. Takano Ken (since June 2020)
  8. ? (since June 2020) *

Interviews & Comments

  • Oda after winning the Hop-Step Award(Short dossier Eiichiro Oda about his career as a mangaka) [1994].
  • Oda on Nobuhiro Watsuki(Oda’s commentary from the Kenshin Artbook on his time as Nobuhiro Watsuki’s assistant) [1999].
  • Professionals are admirable!(Oda’s comment from anthology 122 of the series “Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari Kōen Mae Hashutsujo”.) [2000].
  • Monochrome Talk: Akira Toriyama vs. Eiichiro Oda(Interview with Akira Toriyama and Eiichiro Oda from the artbook One Piece Color Walk) [2001].
  • Tell me, Oda-sensei!!!(Interview from the One Piece Blue special volume) [2002].
  • US Shonen Jump interview with E. Oda(US Shonen Jump interview with Eiichiro Oda) [2003].
  • Meet the TRUE King of Pirates(Further interview with US Shonen Jump) [2007].
  • Manga no Chikara – with Eiichiro Oda-sensei(Multi-part interview with the Japanese homepage Manga no Hi) [2007].
  • STRONG WORLD(Eiichiro Oda’s commentary from the special volume of the same name for the 10th motion picture of the same title) [2009].
  • CROSS TALK with Yasutaka Nakata(interview with Yasutaka Nakata from the official companion booklet “Memories – Eternal Log” to One Piece-ten) [2012].
  • Jump Festa 2018(Interview as part of Jump Festa 2018) [2018].
  • Eiichiro Oda × SHONEN JUMP(interview on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Weekly Shōnen Jump) [2018].
  • OVER 100 Miracle Talk Interview – Part 1 (Weekly Shōnen Jump #34/2022) + Part 2 (Weekly Shōnen Sunday #35/2022) (ConanNews.org)
    (Interview between Eiichiro Oda and Gosho Aoyama, as both have passed the 100 published manga volumes mark.) [2022].


  • In a comment from the 30th anniversary issue of Shueisha Shōnen Jump, Oda states that Yudetamago’s Kinnikuman (note: needs link) was his favorite series from the magazine. Second place would go to Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball. However, Oda has expressed otherwise several times over the years, stating Dragon Ball as his undefeated favorite in other interviews. So let it be noted that these two series excited and influenced him the most.
  • He has been married to Chiaki Inaba, who plays the character of Nami on the One Piece stage program at JUMP Festa, since November 7, 2004. The two have two children together.
  • Eiichiro Oda has often received a variety of reader votes in character polls. In the most recent poll, he landed in 31st place with 174 votes. A fascinating feat considering he didn’t actually make an appearance in the series.
  • Oda’s trademark sound effect “DON” is incredibly versatile.
  • He got the idea early on to draw a manga with a pirate theme, but always had the principle to ignore the historical events and to stage the pirates as he would like to see them.
  • His 2010 income was more than two billion yen (US$24 million).

See Also:

  • Oda’s inspirations
  • Oda’s mistake

Category pages of: Eiichiro Oda