One Piece explained why Oden Kozuki wanted to open Wano's borders in the newest episode of the series! The Wano Country arc has reached the final moments of its major flashback arc exploring the life and adventures of Oden Kozuki, and with it fans have been given a much clearer depiction of the legendary figure that's so important to Wano's past. While we had already been made known about his desires to leave the country and see the rest of the world, his final moments in the newest episode revealed why he wanted Wano opened so badly for everyone else.
The next episode of the series carries out the final minutes of Oden's Legendary Hour as he attempts to keep himself and his retainers alive in boiling oil for an hour, and Oden bid his retainers an emotional goodbye with the final orders being to open Wano in his stead. As for why, he reveals that it's due to something he learned on his journey with Gol D. Roger, and that Wano needs to be open to cooperate with someone very important coming to their country someday.
Episode 974 of the series continues to see Oden struggling in the oil, and he starts to tell the Akazaya Nine about how he wants to open the country should he survive. Oden confirms that the Kozuki Clan indeed close off Wano all those years ago, but it was to protect the country from an "enormous force." He then elaborates by saying Wano, along with the rest of the world, is waiting on a "certain figure."
He doesn't explain further, but Oden says that when that figure arrives in 800 years, Wano must be welcoming and cooperative. Oden sadly admits that he'll be killed that day by Orochi and Kaido, so he wants his retainers to live on and carry that spirit towards a brighter future for Wano overall. The Akazaya Nine accepts Oden's plea, and following the end of the hour, they part ways with Oden forever.
It's clear that Oden's spirit indeed continues to the present day conflict, and now we have a better idea of what was driving Oden to open Wano's borders so much. But now there's an even bigger mystery surrounding who this legendary figure could be. What do you think? Do you think this mystery is tied to Laugh Tale somehow? Who will this mystery figure be? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or you can even reach out to me directly about all things animated and other cool stuff @Valdezology on Twitter!