One Piece: The Five Elders and their Real-Life Inspirations

All of the Elders are based on real-life “liberators”

Five Elders from One Piece
One Piece anime

The Five Elders have been quite the ominous group as they are directly responsible for the World Government’s biggest atrocities. The Buster Call at Ohara and the disappearance of Lulusia are some of the most recent examples.

Yet, their real-life counterparts stand in stark contrast to their fictional selves. Despite the Five Elders being the pinnacle of oppression, their inspirations are all people who brought change to their societies, often abolishing the old systems in place.

Whether this was just Oda being ironic with his writing or hinting at a potential backstory is hard to tell. But what we can know is who each of the Five Elders is based on.

St. Jaygarcia Saturn – Karl Marx

Starting off with the most relevant elder at the moment, Saint Saturn!

As the elder who is at the forefront of the Egghead Island assault, he bears a resemblance to Karl Marx.

Karl Marx was a philosopher, economist, and political theorist who co-authored “The Communist Manifesto” and advocated for socialism and communism.

His ideas influenced many of the socialist movements at the time and laid the foundation for modern communism.

Karl Marx

St. Marcus Mars – Itagaki Taisuke

The Godhead of Environment, Saint Marcus Mars is based on the Japanese politician Itagaki Taisuke.

Itagaki Taisuke was a Japanese statesman and founder of the Freedom and People’s Rights Movement, advocating for democratic reforms.

Itagaki Taisuke

St. Topman Warcury – Mikhail Gorbachev

Topman Warcury is based on the final president of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev.

He was the one who brought many reforms which eventually led to the Union’s dissolution.

Mikhail Gorbachev

St. Ethan Baron V. Nasjuro – Mahatma Gandhi

Most fans have already drawn the connections as they are both bald monks with glasses. Mahatma Gandhi is the inspiration behind Saint Ethan.

Mahatma Gandhi was an Indian independence leader who advocated nonviolent civil disobedience and played a pivotal role in India’s freedom struggle.

Mahatma Gandhi

St. Shepherd Ju Peter – Abraham Lincoln

The one who inspired the final Elder is none other than Abraham Lincoln.

Abraham Lincoln was the 16th U.S. President, known for leading the country during the Civil War and abolishing slavery.

Abraham Lincoln

Narrative implications

Each and every one of the Elders is based on real-life liberators. Those who brought change and abolished old systems.

The point that Oda could be trying to get across is that they all started as people similar to Luffy.

But for some reason became the very thing they opposed.

Or it could be highlighting how they still believe they are doing the right thing. Despite going through with atrocities, they do not seem to be completely apathetic.

Whatever the reason may be, those were the inspirations for all of the Five Elders.