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  • Mangaka Eiichiro Oda’s Debut Pen-name was Quite the Tongue-twister!

    Mention the name “Eiichiro Oda” and any serious manga/anime fans will be able to associate said name with the hit popular manga series “One Piece” serialising in the Weekly Shonen Jump magazine from major publisher Shueisha that has seen the sales of over 300 million copies since its very first compiled tankoubon volume was first published more than 10 years ago. The famed manga series was also translated into numerous foreign languages to be distributed for authorised sales outside of Japan; and has have countless other multi-media adaptations into anime series/ animated movies, games and even kabuki stage plays.

    © Eiichiro Oda / Shueisha

    What may be not quite as well-known to fans is the fun/interesting fact that when “One Piece”‘s managka Eiichiro Oda first officially debut in his professional manga artist career years ago in 1992 when he was still pursuing his high-school education, he actually drew manga under a pen-name. And not just any ol’ common ‘Tom/Dick/Harry’ (well the Japanese equivalents of which) pen-names, but one that turned out to be quite a mouthful of tongue-twister!

    According to Pash+ Online, Eiichiro Oda’s debut pen-name back in ’92 was the above – a string of six Japanese kanjis that seemingly looked like the six days of a week Monday to Saturday – Monday being read ‘Getsu‘ (月) / Tuesday is ‘Ka’ (火) / Wednesday is ‘Sui‘ (水) / Thursday is ‘Moku‘ (木) / Friday is ‘Kin‘ (金) / and Saturday is ‘Doh‘ (土 ).

    Well the above in itself is not exactly wrong, but since it’s the infamous “One Piece” series’ mastermind here, one must think out of the box and apply “One Piece” logic when reading this pen-name.

    Turns out Oda’s debut pen-name – which he used to enter his short manga entry to the Jump newbie manga contest back then (and of which subsequently netted his work the First Runner-up Prize in the prestigious Tezuka Manga Award that kick-started his pro-mangaka career) – was actually read:

    “Tsukihi Mizuki Gondou”

    There really was no special meaning to the pen-name, according to the mangaka. He only chose it because his personal whimsical eccentricities and love of ‘dajare‘ (i.e. Japanese word play/puns) made him do it.

     



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