Oda is a genius when it comes to foreshadowing events that are going to take place in the future in One Piece. Thanks to that, avid readers do not even ignore the slightest instances that might stand out as clues to the future events of the series. And chapter 993 of One Piece has one such small detail that caught the attention of some readers.
This detail is about the statue/float balloon and the burning effigy in the flower capital that we see at the start of the chapter. The statue’s pose is very similar to Luffy in Gear 4 and the burning effigy could signify Kaido. If we were to take this as a hint, could this be pointing to Luffy defeating Kaido and liberating Wano?
Well the statue/float balloon is not of Luffy himself of course. In a previous SBS, Oda had confirmed that Luffy’s gear 4 was inspired by the Buddhist Guardian entity known as the Nio. The Nio are two wrathful and muscular guardians of the Buddha. Today, they stand guard at the entrance of many Buddhist temples in East Asian Buddhism in the form of frightening wrestler-like statues. The statue could be of a similar guardian from the One Piece universe.
Previously Hyogoro had stated that he found Luffy’s gear 4 to be similar to the Wisdom King. The fire festival is held in the flower capital for the residents of Wano to pay respect to the Wisdom King. The Nio statue also looks very similar to Acala, who is one of the 5 WIsdom kings in Vajrayana Buddhism.
So if we put this info into perspective (along with the burning Oni statue that we see, it is possible that Oda is slyly foreshadowing the defeat of Kaido at the hands of Luffy (which would then make him the Wisdom king).
Incidentally chapter 993 is also titled “ The Dream of Wano.”
But there are fans who also pointed out that this statue could be actually a float balloon designed on Kozuki Oden and that it signifies nothing more. Well, given how fans are looking for clues in even the smallest of details, it is highly possible that there is no foreshadowing of any sorts in the statue and the burning oni.
The current wisdom king of Wano is Kaido. Orochi and his subordinates had come to Onigashima to pay respects to Kaido as a part of the flower festival.