One Piece’s Most Legendary Item’s History & Significance

Luffy's Straw Hat is easily the most iconic item in the world of One Piece. The Straw Hat has been owned by three different generations of legendary pirates who each wore it throughout their epic journeys to achieving greatness. It has a long history that even Luffy isn't aware of. It's been passed down from the King of the Pirates to an Emperor of the Sea and finally, to the most notorious member of the Worst Generation.

The Straw Hat has been with Luffy since he was a child and has become a symbol of who he is. It's gotten to the point where most people outside of his crew don't even call him by his name, they only refer to him as Straw Hat. It's the name of his crew and it's the symbol used on their Jolly Roger to identify them. The Straw Hat's importance to Luffy's character and the show as a whole cannot be overstated so here's a look back at its history and most iconic moments.

Gol D. Roger is the earliest of the three known owners of the Straw Hat. It's unclear whether anyone owned it before him or if he was the initial owner. He was first seen wearing the hat when he first met Rayleigh and the two decided to start their legendary journey together. In the flashback to Oden's past which included his time as a Roger pirate, the former Pirate King had already given the hat to Shanks who was a child at the time. Shanks continued wearing the hat as he led the Red-Haired Pirates to legendary status, up until the moment he gave it to Luffy.

It's not known how much the hat meant to Roger but it would make sense if it was hardly more than a simple hat to him as the first owner. For Shanks, however, it's a keepsake of his former captain, the man who became the Pirate King. Roger was a huge part of Shanks' life growing up and undoubtedly inspired the way he lives. He may have been the closest thing Shanks had to a father while he was an apprentice on Roger's ship.

Shanks gave the Straw Hat to Luffy as a symbol of how much he believed in him. He made Luffy promise to give the hat back to him once he becomes a great pirate. Luffy, of course, is now a famous pirate with a bounty of over one billion berries (an incredibly rare feat) but he and Shanks have not seen each other since the day they made that promise. Shanks was Luffy's idol and his main inspiration for becoming a pirate, which is why the Straw Hat has always been so important to him.

Luffy during Onigashima raid in One Piece

There have been several symbolic and memorable moments throughout the series involving the Straw Hat as well. The most important was obviously when Luffy received it from Shanks, which was akin to passing the torch from one generation to the next. Another key moment involving the hat was when Luffy put it on Nami's head after she tearfully asked for his help during the "Arlong Park" arc. That moment symbolized their friendship and the fact that Luffy considered her a member of the Straw Hats.

Interestingly, the Straw Hat Pirates weren't called that until much later. The crew's iconic name didn't actually become official until the "Alabasta" arc. It was Smoker who first referred to them as the Straw Hat Pirates to the government while chasing them. They were subsequently named as such in the news and since then that's what they've been known as.

Another memorable moment involving the Straw Hat was when it was reunited with its old owner, Shanks, after over 10 years during the "Marineford" arc. It had fallen off Luffy while he was being carried by Jimbei, who was attacked by Akainu. Shanks made sure the hat was returned to Luffy, a moment which could be seen as him showing that he's still waiting for their promise to be fulfilled.

The Straw Hat is the single most legendary item anyone owns, even if only a few characters realize it. Considering how symbolic it is of Luffy's journey as a pirate and the fact that it represents his crew as a whole, it's unlikely that Shanks will actually take it back. After all, he's Straw Hat Luffy, captain of the Straw Hat Pirates. It would be odd for anyone else to own it at this point unless Luffy passes it down to the next generation. In which case, its legend would continue to grow.

Tanjiro vs Enmu in the Demon Slayer movie poster
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