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Just like the way there have been multiple Kage's over the centuries (in the Naruto-verse), have there also been yonko's for previous generations? What i'm trying to grasp is if the Yonko title started with the "Big 4" (Whitebeard, Kaido, Big Mom, shanks). If that were the case then Shanks would have been the youngest,and most likely the newest addition at that time.

Or Did Shanks replace a previous Yonko just like how

Blackbeard replaced Whitebeard?

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I don't think previous Yonko have ever been mentioned in One Piece. It would actually be quite odd if there were always exactly 4 strong pirate crews. Especially since they have already added Luffy to the bunch so it's technically not even Yonko anymore.

The title probably originated after Roger died and a few of the pirate crews dominated everyone else. But there isn't much to cite from the manga as Oda hasn't really revealed anything about Shanks' rise to the top.

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    Roger's death is what started the era of widespread piracy, fueled by the desire to find the One Piece. Whitebeard was definitely around during Roger's time, and we have recently seen mention of Rocks either the name of the captain or crew to which Kaido and Big Mom were both linked in some manner. So there were no 'Yonko' titles before, but people of that level were definitely present. – TheGamer007 Nov 7 '18 at 5:09
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    @TheGamer007 Well, yeah. I didn't mean to imply that there were no strong pirate crews before. Just that they were probably called something other than yonko. You can also add Shiki to the list of old school strong pirates. – merlyn Nov 7 '18 at 5:12
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    Yep. Your answer is on point, was just adding some other related info. – TheGamer007 Nov 7 '18 at 5:22

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