With more than 450 million manga sold, the animated series awaited every week and also the best-selling widescreen anime film in history, it’s hard to argue if One Piece is one of the most popular works of all time. Despite being so popular, the figure of the creator of the One Piece manga, Eiichiro Oda very rarely appears in the public or the mass media. Information about Oda-sensei appears more frequently through the SBS column from the One Piece manga.
Eiichiro Oda or commonly called Oda-sensei was born on January 1, 1975. Born in Kumamoto City, Kumamoto Prefecture in Japan, young Eiichiro Oda has dreamed of becoming a mangaka from the age of four to avoid office work.
Oda Sensei’s ambition to become a mangaka gets stronger when reading the Dragon Ball manga by Akira Toriyama. While his interest in the theme of pirates emerged from the animated series Vicky The Viking which was popular in Japan.
Oda-sensei began his career as a mangaka at the age of 17 years (1992) with his short manga titled Wanted !. The manga took part in the Tezuka Manga Awards and won second place. Even though he only got runner-up position, this award event became a good step, because Oda-sensei got a lot of job offers as an assistant for the more famous mangaka.
With experience as an assistant for some well-known mangaka, at the age of 18, Oda created a new short manga titled Ikki Yako !. The manga won the 1994 Hop Step Award for the best new mangaka category. This success made his name famous and finally the One Piece manga began to be published by Weekly Shonen Jump in 1997.
Job as a mangaka in Japan is famous as a job that is not easy. With tight deadlines and pressure to satisfy fans, mangaka in Japan have very little time to rest or gather with family. The same thing happened to Eiichiro Oda.
Oda-sensei is famous because of his working hours that are quite crazy. Waking up at 5 am, Oda-sensei went straight to work until 2 am the next day. This means that he works 21 hours a day and only gets 3 hours of sleep.
If school children and office workers generally get 2 days off a week, Oda-sensei only has one day off to interact with his family. While in the remaining six days Oda had to struggle with the crazy work hours as already mentioned.
These unhealthy work hours are getting worse with Oda-sensei’s habit of smoking nonstop while working. Many believe that this bad habit is the result of the amount of pressure Oda-sensei faced when making the One Piece manga.
This unhealthy lifestyle combination made Oda fell ill and had to be hospitalized in 2013. This caused the One Piece comics to be absent from Weekly Shonen Jump for two weeks. Actually this time off could have been longer but Oda-sensei refused to stop drawing the new chapter One Piece even while he was on a hospital bed.
Eiichiro Oda is not a figure who is open to the public about his personal life so that very little information is circulating about him and his family. Although mysterious, Oda-sensei is known to have married a woman named Chiaki Inaba in 2004.
Oda and Inaba first met at the Jump Festastage event in 2012. Inaba, who was a former model and cosplayer, appeared on the stage to play Nami’s character. After marriage, the two couples were blessed with two daughters. There is almost no information about Oda’s two children with Inaba apart from news that the first child was born in 2006.
Because he wanted to focus more on working, Oda chose to live separately from his wife and two children. As mentioned above, Oda only has one day off a week to gather with family members.