A happy new year to one and all! As we celebrate a new year today, fans all over the world also celebrate the birth of One Piece creator, Eiichiro Oda. Today marks the 45th birthday of Eiichiro Oda, one of the most prominent manga creators in Japan and throughout the world.

Eiichiro Oda was born on January 1, 1975, in Kumamoto City, Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan. Oda began his career as a mangaka at age 17. Since then he continued to climb up the heights of his career. Today, his masterpiece One Piece series ranks number one selling manga in Japan, giving him an estimated annual earning of 26 million dollars.

Oda’s history

Eiichiro Oda’s mother was a housewife, while his father worked as a salaryman who oil-painted as a hobby. Oda’s fascination with manga began at an early age. In his childhood, he would read many different mangas, which somehow inspired him to become what he is now.

The earliest manga series he recollects reading is The Monster Kid by Fujiko A. Fujio. He also read Captain Tsubasa which was the best-selling manga of Weekly Shonen Jump at the time. During this time, Weekly Shonen Jump began serializing Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball, which greatly influenced Oda in the years to come.

The beginning of Oda’s career

Oda started drawing and sketching manga ideas in high school. In 1992, the seventeen-year-old Oda created his first full-length manga titled Wanted. He then submitted this as an entry to Shueisha’s Tezuka Awards, a semi-annual event sponsored by Shueisha with the event of cultivating young manga artists.

Oda won Second Class and earned 500,000 yen. In 1993, Oda graduated high school and entered Kyushu Tokai University. During his first year, he continued to submit his works to Shueisha. His next published work was God’s Gift for the future which was published in the October 1993 issue of Monthly Shonen Jump Original.

During the same year, Oda’s entry to the Hop Step Awards, Ikki Yako, won first prize and was published in the Shonen Jump Spring Special in May of 1994. Later, he dropped out of Kyushu Tokai to pursue his career as a mangaka in Tokyo under Kaoru Kushima.

Oda’s professional career and works

Oda began his professional career as an assistant to several established professional manga creators. Shinobu Kitani’s Midoriyama Police Gang was Oda’s first assistant job. Later, he worked under Masaya Tukohiro and worked on Jungle King Tar-chan and later Kappaman.

During this time Oda continued to make drafts for his own manga, most of which were rejected. Then later, Oda’s one shot Monsters was allowed to be published in Shonen Jump’s Autumn Special.

In 1996, Oda worked for Nobuhiro Watsuki on Ruroni Kenshin. He still continued to submit his works with the hope of serializing his own manga but continued to receive a rejection. Then finally, as a last resort, Oda developed a pirate-based manga titled Romance Dawn which he conceptualized since high school. It was approved and published in Shonen Jump Summer Special. Later in May of 1997, his concept was approved for serialization and has since then been published in the Weekly Shonen Jump as One Piece.

NOTE: For more One Piece-related stories, readers may route here.
Image credits:Viz Media/ Funimation/ Onepiece.fandom

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Lambert Nathaniel
193 Posts

I am a university teacher who can't get enough of anime and manga. My class' group names are based on my favorite characters, especially from One Piece. I read manga or watch anime every chance I have. I started reading manga just a few years back and I was hooked the first day. I usually follow fan pages and am consistently given a Top Fan Badge. I also love baking and cake decorating and trying to make anime-themed cake designs.

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