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Oda-sensei's words (year 1)
[rika's footnotes and clarifications are in brackets.]

  # 46, 1996  

Oh, wow!! This is the real Jump! This is such a great feeling! On days like these, I want comments about my work!

  # 34, 1997  

When I was in junior high, I decided that I would draw a pirate manga in Jump. I will draw happy, fun pirates and ignore the cruel historical facts. Hey, it's the summer. But why does Jump use a pirate logo? Why?

  # 35, 1997  

The sunrise I can see from my workroom window is really beautiful!! I always think when I'm going to sleep how I want to see it right when I wake up.

  #36, 1997  

[Yuuko] Asami-sensei and her staffers, thank you for the flowers you gave me to celebrate my new series. Wild Half is drawn by such a wonderful person!

  #37/8, 1997  

A work from [Akitsugu] Minamoto, a comrade since when I started as a pro, will be on the next Akamaru Jump. Use this as an opportunity to draw serials together [in Jump]!

  #39, 1997  

Yeah! I went and saw Mononoke Hime! It was great!! Too awesome!! It's the talk of our workplace!

  #40, 1997  

I caused much trouble to both [Masaya] Tokuhiro-sensei and [Nobuhiro] Watsuki-sensei of Rurouni [Kenshin] as their assistant. I hope Tokuhiro-sensei can come back [to Jump] soon.

  #41, 1997  

I bought the LEGO pirate-ship set. It's a very fun product. I think it's wonderful of LEGO designers to never forget the spirit of young boys. But they recommend the toys for 5~12-year-olds... argh...

  #42, 1997  

Apparently, ONE PIECE is going to be in magazines in both Hong Kong and Taiwan. I look forward to what titles they will turn into. Guess they will be all kanji.

  #43, 1997  

Let's predict the title of the Hong Kong / Taiwanese version of ONE PIECE! "Stretchy Adventure Boy". "Straw Hat Pirate". "Girl's Clothes". I wonder.

  #44, 1997  

Recently, someone called a "toweler" has appeared in my home region of Kyushu. You have yet to learn... I have always been a "toweler" when I work.

  #45, 1997  

I've drawn more than 10 episodes, yet I still can't get the pacing for drawing a weekly series. Boy, all the professional artists are amazing!

  #46, 1997  

Thank you so much for so many fan letters every week. I think the only thing I can do now is to return turn all your cheers to you via the energy of my characters. I'll do it!

  #47, 1997  

This time, ONE PIECE is going to start running in Thailand. But apparently, they are flipping the art. I'm slightly worried that the perspective will be off.

  #48, 1997  

The second volume for Butsu-Zone, drawn my friend and neighborhood buddy Hiroyuki Takei, has come out. I bought it. I still think it really is an interesting work.

  #49, 1997  

[Akira] Toriyama-sensei's new series has begun!! I'm so happy!! I'm too ecstatic!! I will look forward to reading it every issue!!

  #50, 1997  

I remember feeling a bit of a culture-shock reading a book called Elmer and the Dragon. There are no imaginary creatures as familiar to people as a dragon. Who in the world came up with them? You are amazing!

  #51, 1997  

It's cold! I hate the cold!! Aah.... you know, times like this... I guess I'll be doing work in a "dandy" manner by drinking warm, bitter coffee.

  #52, 1997  

There was a "poko-poko [=plump-plump] sticker" in a mail from a reader. I've often seen them plastered about, but I didn't know that was how you used them.

  #1, 1998  

[Hajime] Kazu-sensei, Minamoto-sensei, congratulations on your new series! We used to go drinking a lot together, but now we are all comrades!!

  #2/3, 1998  

So, are you ready? It's coming, finally... ONE PIECE volume 1! It's going on sale on Christmas! There are special appendices, too!

  #4/5, 1998  

A wonderful occasion! The upcoming AKAMARU JUMP will feature two of my friends! Shinya [Suzuki]-cchi, Matsui-cchi, I'm rooting for you! Full force ahead!!

  #6, 1998  

Oh! It's already the new year! Happy New Year! I was really diligent last year. I'm saying it myself, so it's gotta be true. So, thinking of this year... yeah!! I'll be diligent!! So my best regards for this coming year.

  #7, 1998  

I've been using this stereo for six years. It was the first thing I bought with my part-time job pay when I was in high school. Recently, CD's started skipping. [I want the stereo to] Hang on!!

  #8, 1998  

I went to the reception for the two big awards [awards reception for the Tezuka and Akatsuka awards]. It's been a while since I last sang and was this roudy. I feel free now. It is sometimes important to feel refreshed.

  #9, 1998  

Thank you for the super-numerous postcards with ideas for the splash pages that we asked for last year. Choosing them can make you think so hard!

  #10, 1998  

It's great! I'm watching [SEXY COMMANDO GAIDEN: SUGOIYO!!] MASARU-SAN on TV right now. It's scary how much that anime is making me laugh.

  #11, 1998  

I went to the [WJ] New Year's reception, and was able to meet Toriyama-sensei. And I even got to play rock-paper-scissors with him!! And I lost!! He truly is a great one.

  #12, 1998  

The winners of splash-art contest is finally getting announced. I love drawing illustrations, so I will be putting a lot of effort in the next six weeks!! Of course, [a lot of effort will go into] the actual manga, too.

  #13, 1998  

This isn't good. I feel something uncomfortable in my molars. I wonder if stopping my dentist visits last year had something to do with my loss [against cavities]!?

  #14, 1998  

What a blunder!! I went to sleep and when I woke up, it was the same time. I was asleep for 24 hours!! It looks like this week's manuscript will be quite a mess.

  #15, 1998  

I am deeply moved by the Olympics which will be over by the time this issue is out. Sports are so wonderful.

  #16, 1998  

I received all the Valentine's Day chocolates! Thank you very much!! I will eat them all with my staff. I love chocolate.

  #17, 1998  

I mentioned feeling discomfort in my molars in the comment for #13, but when I brushed my teeth with Apaguard [a japanese tooth polish brand] all the bumps and ridges were gone. Is this for real!?

  #18, 1998  

On April 3rd, ONE PIECE volume 2 will be out!!! Look forward to all the silliness of Buggy's group. There will be a construction project in the appendix.

  #19, 1998  

Did you all know that when you put kappa-ebisen [the shrimp-flavored snack from kalbee, available at your local japanese supermarket] on top of soy-sauce-based ramen, it's really delicious!! But be careful of how much you put on top.

  #20, 1998  

Thank you for sending me all sorts of cosplay photos of ONE PIECE costumes. If I were to [cosplay], I think I would be Nami o/~ Gyaa!

  #21, 1998  

I had received a DVD player at the New Year's reception. I wasn't all too interested, but I recently hooked it up. Yeah, it's gotta be DVD now!!!

  #22/3, 1998  

Golden Week is coming. Three friends from my newbie days will be on AKAMARU JUMP. Fukushige-san, Shinya-ppo, Yamakawa-san, good luck!

  #24, 1998  

It's finally here, this warm season. The ease of being able to spend a whole day in one T-shirt is wonderful for lazy people like me.

  #25, 1998  

I've been reading up all the manga that I was previously engrossed in. It's weird how I can also remember how I was living back then when I do.

  #26, 1998  

I went around the huge bookstores for the first time in a year for reference materials. I thought I could get a lot of it done in three hours, but was I wrong! I must go to Jimbocho again.

  #27, 1998  

I got a new stereo during Golden Week. You know those captioned programs? Those WMD's? They're awesome!

  #28, 1998  

I was freaked out when I saw the May 17th episode of SAZAE-SAN! The voice actor for Katsuo had changed!! What in the world is going on...?!

  #29, 1998  

I visited the voice audition for the ONE PIECE animation [OVA}. I dunno what to say. The fervor from voice actors in real life is really something. I really want to see Luffy and company speaking soon.

  #30, 1998  

No matter what people say, the yo-yo is the in thing at our workplace. Even if you say we're behind the times, it's the in thing. I'm currently practicing "Loop the loop". I'm putting a lot of effort into it.

  #31, 1998  

The world is talking about the World Cup!! I want to see it, I want to see it so badly it gets in the way of work! I don't care if it gets in the way, go for it Japan!!

  #32, 1998  

I'm Swedish, but recently I've been drifting away from Swedish music and been listening to Irish music. It's very relaxed.

  #33, 1998  

What is "fashionable?" Right now, I think Sachiko Kobayashi [enka singer, known for her outrageous costumes during the battle-of-the-sexes sing-a-thon on new year's eve] is fashionable. I also think the late Yoshie Utsumi was fashionable, too.

  extra: akamaru jump summer '98  
  [featuring the short story WANTED!]  

There are plans to release a collection of my short stories around November. I would love it if you could read my other short stories as well.

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