Identifying a role for Yamato if they were to join the Straw Hat Pirate crew is a very curious task. Not only because barely anything has been revealed about a role required for the Straw Hat Pirates for the remainder of the journey but also because nothing concrete has been associated with Yamato in terms of what role they could perform. We also have to take into account the stage the story of One Piece is at because with the conclusion of One Piece in sight for Oda-sensei, they may not be much room left for adventuring reducing the need for traditional ship roles. Rather, if a character were to join the crew at this point in time, their main role within the crew would be story-driven. A secondary role performing task onboard the ship would arise as a byproduct from that story-driven role they primarily represent.
With that said, what role could Yamato serve while journeying with the Straw Hat Pirates? To find that out, we can look at the character whom inspires Yamato the most, Kozuki Oden. The log keeper role Oden performed may or may not have relevance to Yamato, but I feel the logbook/journal was primarily introduced as a story-driving device opposed to setting up a new role a character could perform going forward. The journal was needed for Yamato to become who they are and will become the indirect reason for Wano Kuni’s liberation. Beyond recording his adventure in the journal and being a Daimyo, Oden actually performed other roles through his life. He was a powerful Samurai AND had attained the rank of Chief Stonemason when he worked in the quarry when he was a prisoner.
I had mentioned before in a previous post that the journal Oden kept may have the teachings of the Oden Nitoryu Style recorded within it. But what about the Stonemasonry skills the Kozuki Clan were renowed for? If Oden believed the Oden Nitoryu Style and the art of Stonemasonry reflected the culture of the Kozuki Clan, would he not have attempted to keep its existence alive by making a record of it for his son and future generations? This would have been even more imperative for Oden to consider when taking into account the state Wano Kuni was in before Oden resolved to challenge Kaido.
The journal Yamato possesses which they expressed contains “very important things” could be the avenue in which the restoration of the Kozuki culture can progress. And if the techniques of the Kozuki crafting/stonemasonry are recorded within Oden’s journal, it becomes necessary to establish a role for a stonemason/crafter within the One Piece world. But when you really think about the journey the Straw Hat Pirates have been on (since Alabasta), a role for a Stonemason aboard the Thousand Sunny may have already been established.
What exactly does Robin believe her role to be? Way back during the Skypiea Arc, Robin mentions “I too have to guide the Poneglyph documents that I’ve read so far to the end of the Grand Line…to Laugh Tale.” In addition to performing that role, Robin is now also deciphering the Road Poneglyphs to lead the way to Laugh Tale.
But there is potentially something else of note that Robin mentions during the Skypiea Arc – “I’m sure that by connecting them and reading them they’ll become a document that fills in the “blank history” for the first time. Connecting them will complete a text, the real Poneglyph, which doesn’t yet exist. I’m certain that the Pirate King, Gol D. Roger, has delivered this document to its destination.“:
Notice a few compelling phrases that arouses intrigue? “First time”, “complete a text”, “REAL Poneglyph”, “doesn’t yet exist”. Curious statement, isn’t it?
For those that believe Robin is the Straw Hat version of Oden are only half right per se. Sure, Robin can decipher the Poneglyph text but there is a key skill that Oden possessed which Robin currently does not…and that would be the ability to record the ancient language on the Poneglyph stone. Robin does not possess those abilities and as far as the story goes, that skill potentially died with Oden. Unless of course, Oden managed to record the Kozuki stonemasonry techniques within his journal which Yamato now possesses (and has for the past twenty years). Oden’s journal is the only place I can see any knowledge Oden wished to pass on to his son and future Samurai to be recorded. Nothing else has been highlighted at this point and Oden was never shown directly teaching anyone either his Oden Nitoryu Style or the Kozuki stonemasonry techniques. Oden had always expected to pass on such knowledge to his children.
In all likelihood, Oden used his journal to record those “important things” so that a record was left for Momonosuke/Hiyori and Wano Kuni after he was gone. Oden understood the importance of opening up Wano Kuni’s borders which is why he tasked his retainers with such a responsibility as his final wish. Likewise, Oden understood the value of keeping the Kozuki culture alive. This is why I believe, when Oden became aware that he may not survive the battle against Kaido, he used his journal to record the teachings of both the Oden Nitoryu and Kozuki stonemasonry techniques (and any other information he wanted to pass on). If Yamato did end up learning stonemasonry, their role could be intimately tied to that of Robin’s.
Back to the statement regarding the text of the Poneglyph. It seems heavily directed toward a complete text of the Poneglyph being created for the FIRST time once all the information has been collected by Robin. But considering there is no one on the crew able to record such information on a certain indestructible stone, doesn’t that open a potential window for a certain someone who may have learned such skills from a certain journal that had contained “very important things”? Could Yamato be the person able to record the information Robin has accumulated over her journey onto a Poneglyph that “doesn’t yet exist”? As Robin had stated in the past, the “REAL Poneglyph”. Something to ponder on.
But didn’t the Roger Pirates already learn the entire truth of the world such as the secrets of the void century, what the people of the D are, what the ancient weapons are, and Wano’s role in history? Yes, they did. So why is it necessary for Robin to collect that information again herself and for a record to be left, you ask? Well my friends, this is where Robin fans liberated by patience all around the world can take a deep breathe and let out a cry of profound ecstasy that shakes the mortal realm and echoes through the heavens. Robin may not be able to record the ancient language on a Poneglyph but what she can do is something ONLY she can do. That being, to understand the MEANING behind the words the ancient civilisation had left for the world. The Roger Pirates may have collected the relevant Poneglyph information/documents and learned the entire truth of the world, but did they truly understand what it meant?
Rayleigh cautions Robin about rushing to the end and advises her to take her time in her journey. One step at a time. Knowledge itself was meaningless without the ability to act on it. Rayleigh believed Robin’s journey with the Straw Hat Pirates could lead her, someone who studied alongside Clover and the Ohara scholars, to an answer that was different than the one the Roger Pirates arrived at. Through the conversation Rayleigh had with Robin, it certainly does appear the Rogers Pirates hadn’t fully grasped the will of the Ancient Civilisation. They had acquired the knowledge but not the meaning behind it and/or the means to act on what knowledge they had understood (ancient weapons).
This is where Robin sets herself apart from ANY other character in One Piece. She is unique. She is the key to One Piece. She is integral in understanding the will of the Ancient Civilisation. She is without exaggeration, the most IMPORTANT character in the One Piece story. The Last Scholar of Ohara. The Hope of Truth. The Liberator of Deceit. The Agent of Change. The Light of Revolution.
And for Robin to perform her role, I believe she requires someone with the ability to record her interpretation of the knowledge she acquired on a Poneglyph stone that will become the REAL Poneglyph. A complete text that does not yet exist. Such a record will be the force needed to cast the Tenryuubito and the World Government from their undeserved place as leaders and abusers of the World. With the inclusion of Momonosuke as a competing force against Im, a new world order will be created under the Wano Kuni faction that nations will begin to ally with against the World Government. Wano Dragon VS Celestial Dragon.
In addition to reviving the Oden Nitoryu Style which Yamato will expose to the world as they travel with the Straw Hat Pirates, they will also revive the Kozuki clan’s stonemasonry teachings. After Yamato journeys with the Straw Hat Pirates to the end of the Grand Line, they will return back home to Wano Kuni and pass on that knowledge to Momonosuke and Hiyori (once the Oden Nitoryu Style and Kozuki Stonemasonry techniques are mastered during Yamato’s journey).
Finally on a side note, with a Stonemason joining the crew, Luffy may end up finally getting the [Bronze] Statue he longed for:
Considering how iconic statues have become in One Piece. Wouldn’t it be cool if Luffy was finally able to sate such a wish of attaining a statue of his own? Nami won’t be spending any money on acquiring one but if a stonemason were to join, that dream of getting a statue may manifest into reality. *Yamato crafts a statue of Ace on the Thousand Sunny. Luffy wakes up every morning crying at such a sight. Jinbe sighs every morning at having to console Luffy.
Narratively, there is just so much going for Yamato. Their potential is immense and my excitement for them is only growing the more Oda-sensei focuses on her. To know we have more on their past (mother), trauma, darkness, relations (Marco and Kaido), attack style (they will wield a sword/swords), transformation and dream (adventure, dawn, freedom) to look forward to, how marvelously exhilarating.