Using ~-san, ~-kun, ~-sama while addressing other people is common in Japanese culture.But Law uses ya as suffix while addressing people, like in the nicknames Strawhat-ya for Luffy and Blackleg-ya for Sanji, and in real names Zoro-ya, Nami-ya and Nico-ya.

Ya are translated as Mr. or Miss. in English. But in Japanese adding ya defines someone's profession. It is not that Law does not use ~-san at all, Like with Corazon and sarcastically with Vergo. As stated in this page.

So why does Law use ya rather then ~-san, ~-kun, etc. while addressing others?

  • 1
    Related: What is the significance of anime characters' catch phrases? Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 8:44
  • @PeterRaeves I thought 1st so , but here Law does not end his sentence with ya, only while addressing and not for all , he use san too as stated above Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 9:34
  • You might want to cite some instances (the sentence if you know some Japanese to type them out, or episode number and timestamp) so that we all can confirm whether it is an honorific, or just a sentence ending.
    – nhahtdh
    Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 10:43
  • 1
    @nhahtdh It is mentioned at wikia and SBS. He only uses it in the vocative case and not at the end of his sentences. Youtube 1 Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 12:48

3 Answers 3


From the SBS (質問を募集する, "I'm Taking Questions") question and answer column of volume 62, chapter 609, page 122:

D: Like "Mugiwara-ya", Law-san tends to call people with the "-ya" suffix, but in the case where the person's last name is "Tsuchiya", then does that become "Tsuchiya-ya"? Please tell me Law-san♡ P.N. HeartLoveWoman

O: Mr. Law—they're calling you --! ............. Aw he won't come-. Let me answer instead. A long time ago, around maybe the Edo period--. There was this thing called "Yagō". So if for instance, in the case where there were two Mr. commoners named "Tomekichi-san", things like "Dōgu-ya no Tomekichi" (Tomekichi of the Tool shop) or "Oke-ya no Tomekichi" (Tomekichi of the Bathtub maker); something with "~ya" would be used in place of a last name-. Like how you shout "Tamaya~" at the fireworks or "Nakamuraya" from Kabuki; have you heard of those? In other words, he just goes with the flow. Right, Law-san?

L: Yeah.

"D" denotes the reader (dokusha), "O" denotes Oda, the author, "L" denotes Law.

Essentially it's as as if Law is calling Luffy "Strawhatter" or "Strawhat guy." Like you would refer to a butcher (nikuya) or a baker (panya) by the shop they run. Note that no honorific is applied, so you cannot assume this to be polite. You could say it puts a bit if the distance between the speaker and the one they are speaking to. Much like in a MMO party where someone calls you by your class or your role instead of your character name.

  • Then how does the fact that he uses it on first names too fit in? Like Nico-ya or Nami-ya. Or would that be part of the "Law just goes with the flow" and has become creative in its usage? Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 12:52
  • It's assumed he goes by distinctive features, familiarity, or titles in his name. Zoro and Nami are Zoro-ya and Nami-ya, respectively. While Robin and Chopper are Nico-ya and Tony-ya, but Sanji is Black Leg-ya. Usopp, Franky, and Brooks aren't that well-known but have distinctive features, so they are Nose-ya, Robo-ya, and Bone-ya, respectively.
    – кяαzєя
    Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 13:05
  • While searching i found the SBS you posted ,as it say he In other words, he just goes with the flow, so this means he is just using ya to all because he used it to address luffy Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 15:08

や [ya] is the kansaiben flavor of the copula verb です [desu], OR だ [da]. Kansaiben is a language that isn't official in Japan. It is like a dialect. Therefore it could be that to emphasize his character it chooses to use that instead of the ~san, ~kun or any other honorific expressions.

  • 1
    While -ya is indeed equivalent to -desu in Kansaiben, I don't think it is comparable to -san, or -kun, since they serve different purposes.
    – nhahtdh
    Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 10:42

I understand why Law doesn't use other honorifics but -ya... It's because, like what I've read in one of the comments, it creates a bit of a distance between the speaker and the one they are speaking to. If you watched One Piece, Law never really admitted that he is friends with the Straw Hats. They are allies only because they have the same goals though he's the only one who thinks that way. LOL

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .