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EIICHIRO ODA was born January 1, 1975 in the city of Kumamoto (in the prefecture of Kumamoto). He decided to pursue a career as a a manga artist at the age of 4 (because they didn't have to work in companies as adults). Unlike many youth who give up this dream, he kept nurturing it as he grew up; and at age 17, he received a Silver Honors ("jun-nyuusen"), the second highest honor available (that's why I translitersated "jun", which usually means "sub", as "silver") from the 44th semi-annual Tezuka Awards (a "story" manga artist scouting contest co-hosted by the editorial staffs of Weekly Jump and Monthly Jump, this is the contest that many other familiar Weekly Jump faces, such as Yoshihiro Togashi, Hiroyuki Takei, Daisuke Higuchi, Takeshi Obata, Masanori Morita, Ryu Fujisaki, and even Masakazu Katsura got their big breaks) with his short story, WANTED!. (His pen-name back then was "Getsu ka sui moku kin do", i.e. "Moon Fire Water Wood Gold Earth", or more commonly, "Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat".)
His first work as a pro was Kami Kara Mirai no Present (A Gift of the Future from God), published in the October 1993 issue of Jump Original (Monthly Jump's bimonthly spinoff). His talent was further noticed by the Weekly Jump staff when he got Gold Honors ("nyuusen", i.e. the top honors much like a gold medal, which explains the transliteration once again) in the Hop-Step Awards (WJ's monthly talent scout contest, now called the Tenkaichi Manga Awards) in 1993 with his work Ikki Yakou (One Devil's Night Trip).
In 1994, he decided to leave college after the end of his freshman year to head out to Tokyo, and there, he studied as an assistant for three Jump authors: Shinobu Kaitani (Midoriyama Police Gang), Masaya Tokuhiro (Jungle no Ouja Tar-chan and Mizu no Tomodachi Kapparman), and Nobuhiro Watsuki (Rurouni Kenshin).
During his apprenticehood, Mr. Oda published two short stories: Monsters in the 1994 Autumn Special (the seasonal spinoff magazine created by the Weekly Jump staff, now called Akamaru Jump) and the first of the two versions of Romance Dawn in the 1996 Summer Special. A few months later, he broke into the pages of Weekly Jump with the second incarnation of Romance Dawn, published in issue #41 of 1996. And as with any other short story that does well in Jump, the series ONE PIECE (yeah, the one that you're reading this website for) started in #34 of 1997... and the rest is history. =)

 More Statistics (slightly old ^^;) 

Blood type:

Favorite things:
Nice afternoons, Swedish music, good coffee, PuyoPuyo, Legos, movies.

Things he dislikes:
Cockroaches. (Spiders as well, but they are okay because they eat cockroaches.)

Favorite manga artist:
Akira Toriyama.

If you are interested in reading his short stories, every story except the first version of Romance Dawn is available in his short story collection WANTED!... He has said in this volume that this elusive first version of Romance Dawn will someday be included in the back of a ONE PIECE volume; that promise came to life when the first version was included - though, not in an actual OP volume but as a part of the special character book RED: Grand Characters.


Ordering information:
Jump Comics, Shueisha
Paperback w/color dustjacket
205 b/w pages
ISBN4-08-872631-6 C9979
¥ 390 plus tax
First print: November 9, 1998

To further get an idea of what Oda-sensei is like, follow these links...

* WEEKLY JUMP Table of Contents comments (1 year's worth per link)
   1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

* Interview for a television station back in Kumamoto prefecture

* Dossier from when he received the Hop-Step Awards with Ikki Yakou

* Comment in KochiKame volume 122

* Interview in COMICKERS, October 1998 issue

* Cross-talk with Akira Toriyama in his artbook COLOR WALK 1

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