Dracule Mihawk is, of course, the best swordsman in the world and he is known as the most dangerous sword wielder in the world of One Piece. Although he would probably be equally dangerous with a wooden toothpick, Mihawk takes pride in his powerful sword, Yoru, which is one of the strongest swords in the series. But due to its black color, it is also one of the most remarkable ones. In this article, we are going to tell you how Mihawk managed to turn his blade black in the series.
How exactly Mihawk turned Yoru into a Black Sword (Kokuto) is unknown. A theory suggests that the sword was forged like that, i.e., that it was black from the beginning, but this is not overly probable, as the process of transforming a blade into a Kokuto is known. That is why it is more likely that Mihawk simply blackened his blade via constant fighting and the fact that he learned how to imbue his blade with Armament Haki, which is a very complex process but can directly lead to a blade becoming a Black Sword. This hasn’t been officially confirmed in the series, but it is the most likely explanation.
The rest of this article will be about Mihawk’s blade, Yoru, and its color. We will tell you about the blade and explain, based on the known facts and popular theories, why it is black in color, as it is not a very common and usual blade color. Now, the official story hasn’t really revealed the reasons behind this, but we are going to try and combine what we know with what we can deduce to form a meaningful theory about the color of Mihawk’s blade, as it is an exceptionally important question.
Sadly, the manga has not explained why Yoru is black, but we can form quite a plausible theory
Before we actually get to the theory, let us first tell you a bit about Yoru. Yoru is not only Mihawk’s main weapon, but it is also one of the most famous swords in the whole series, seeing how it is both powerful and notorious.
Sure, as we’ve said, Mihawk is equally dangerous with a toothpick and a common pocket knife. Still, with Yotu, he can defeat anyone in a swordfight, and all of that without any additional powers save for his Haki. So, let us see what we can tell you about Yoru.
Yoru is the Black Sword of Dracule Mihawk and one of the twelve Saijo O Wazamono grade swords. The sword has a handle wrapped in white fabric with an emerald pommel and a very wide golden cross hilt, which advances for a stretch in the flat part of the blade, finely decorated with reliefs and gems.
The blade is black with a strong sheen and curved towards the end like the Kriegsmesser. It has an “irregular double-clove pattern” templine, though not very visible. It does not have a sheath, as Mihawk prefers to hang it behind his back using simple laces. The sword is very large, the blade alone almost as long as Mihawk himself, who stands just under two meters tall.
Its owner defines it as the most powerful sword in the world, and being one of the twelve Saijo O Wazamono, it is an unparalleled sword in terms of value and power. In the hands of the most skilled swordsman in the world, the Yoru becomes an incomparable weapon: Mihawk manages to create powerful flying slashes capable of cutting ships and mountains of ice at a considerable distance but also deflecting projectiles with a slight movement of the sword.
Mihawk claims that his weapon has never even been dented, thanks to Armament Haki, with which he imbues it in battle.
It is unknown how long Dracule Mihawk has owned the Yoru. However, it was not yet in his hands at the time of Gol D. Roger’s execution. During his journey across the Eastern Sea, Mihawk faces and defeats Roronoa Zoro in a duel but urges him to continue improving until he can overcome him and his sword. Mihawk uses his sword to unleash powerful slashing blows against the Whitebeard Pirates, also managing to slice through a mountain of ice. He then engages in a duel with Luffy and later with Vista.
If you’ve observed the series properly, you’ll have noticed that Yoru is black, which actually makes a lot of sense since the word “yoru” (夜) means “night” in Japanese, and night is black so… yes. But, while it might seem that it is just a symbolic thing, there is an in-universe explanation related to why Yoru is black. Although we haven’t seen it in the manga, based on what we know, we can formulate two theories about the blade’s color.
The first theory is very simple and stipulates that Yoru was a Black Sword from the beginning, i.e., that it was black when Mihawk received it. A Black Sword is usually not forged, as far as we know, but actually achieved, so this could mean that Mihawk received his sword after it had already been transformed into a Black Sword, but to be honest, it’s not that we cannot imagine a legendary-tier forger in One Piece who could immediately forge a Black Sword. This theory, though, doesn’t seem to be plausible, as there is a better and more lore-friendly one that accounts for everything.
Of course, the theories that Mihawk is a fraud who simply painted over his sword are absolutely ridiculous, so if you come across them on the Internet (and you probably will, as they are present), you can immediately disregard them.
So, now that we’ve gone through this, let us explain the main theory, which, in our opinion, is probably true and accounts for every aspect of Yoru’s history, including its color and Mihawk’s status in the series.
Namely, if you know about Armament Haki, you’ll also know about the fact that its hardening effect can be imbued onto weapons or other objects to make them stronger and firmer as hardening produces a black layer, the weapons imbued with Armament Haki also become black, which is how weapons become black as well.
Now, if you do that for a long time and in many battles, we assume that your blade would become constantly black after a long exposure, and this theory really does account for everything. It really does.
Now, we know that Dracule Mihawk is a strong advocator of constantly imbuing one’s blade with Armament Haki, and when Zoro trained with him during the time skip, he taught him how to master that technique. So, we assume that Mihawk simply kept imbuing Yoru with Armament Haki until the blade became black and remained as such, even when it was not imbued with Armament Haki.