skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
[personal profile] skjam
You may have heard that there's going to be a "47 Ronin" movie starring Keanu Reeves as a mixed-race 48th ronin who got left out of the official records. This is perhaps the least of the film's liberties with the story, but still....

In the meantime, a much more faithful adaptation has been put out by Dark Horse Comics.



The tale of the forty-seven ronin is based on a real-life incident, and considered one of the classic examples of samurai honor and sacrifice. If you have not read or seen one of the adaptaions before, SPOILERS follow.

Two lords from the countryside were summoned up to visit the shogun's court in Edo in 1701. They were to work with an etiquette master, Lord Kira, to learn the proper behavior. Unfortunately, Kira was a jerk, and instead of teaching them, spent his time insulting and provoking the visitors. One lord's head retainer did some digging, found out Lord Kira was greedy, and successfully bribed him. But Lord Asano's head retainer was incompetent, so his abuse continued. Finally, Asano snapped and struck Kira.

Although this was not fatal, drawing a weapon at all in Edo Castle was a death penalty offense. Asano was ordered to commit ritual suicide, and his holdings were confiscated. His warriors were immediately made ronin (masterless samurai) and ordered by the shogun not to seek revenge.

Forty-seven of the ronin decided to seek revenge for their lord's death despite the order, led by a man named Oishi. Knowing that Kira would be expecting this, and that he had in fact requested extra bodyguards from a powerful relative, the ronin decided to lay low for a while. They went about their lives as though they had lost the will to fight back, and Oishi in particular managed to simulate a descent into shameful alcoholism.

A man from Satsuma went so far as to berate Oishi in the street and spit on him for conduct unbecoming a samurai. When Lord Kira heard that Oishi had just taken this abuse, he began to relax and sent back many of the bodyguards.

After a year, Oishi figured that Kira was off-guard, and summoned the rest of the ronin.

Four pages from the final issue )

The book giveaway at my blog ends tomorrow, 9/30/13! http://www.skjam.com

Your thoughts and comments?
SKJAM!
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
[personal profile] skjam
Yes, Usagi's back already, but it's a special moment. "Usagi Yojimbo" #141 is the 200th issue of comics starring Usagi. Pretty good for an independent comics character!



It's still rainy season in Shogunate-era Japan )

Your thoughts and comments?
SKJAM!
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
[personal profile] skjam
It's been a long while since we've had an Usagi Yojimbo post. Let's have one now.

For those just seeing him for the first time, Usagi is a ronin (masterless samurai) who wanders a funny animal version of feudal Japan, righting wrongs and perfecting his sword style.



This scene does not appear in the story.

Four pages from #140, the most recent issue.

Ishida means something like 'Stonefield' )

Your thoughts and comments?

SKJAM!
roytoys: (Roy Over Shoulder)
[personal profile] roytoys
Drivel and amusement behind this here link, ya'll! )

Suggested tags: Writer: JT Krul; char: Roy Harper,Red Arrow/Speedy/Arsenal; Publisher: DC Comics; Artist/Writer/inker/letterer/creator: Stan Sakai, char: Miyamoto Usagi; title: Usagi Yojimbo
foxhack: (Stare)
[personal profile] foxhack
Because this community simply does not have enough Usagi Yojimbo. One post? WE NEED MOAR.

I found this story in an issue of Critters #7, from January 1987. The book was a monthly anthology magazine which had a few stories in each issue. This one has three stories: Gnuff: Who Is Örva by Freddy Milton (which takes up most of the book, and I didn't like), Lizards in: "De Grand Wa-Zoo" by Sam Kieth (4 pages and it made no sense at all) and an early ten page Usagi Yojimbo story, "Blind Swords-Pig!". Written and drawn by Stan Sakai. I have done my best to keep the scans at less than 3.3 pages in total.

One does not just walk into town. )

Suggested tags: creator: stan sakai, series: usagi yojimbo, publisher: fantagraphics, char: miyamoto usagi

(Another request: Could a mod please rename the "char: usagi yojimbo" tag to "series: usagi yojimbo"? The character's name is Miyamoto Usagi, after all. ;p)

This story has been reprinted in the "Usagi Yojimbo Book 1: The Ronin" TPB, published by Fantagraphics Books.
sonicsora: (Psy: Lungfishovision/Enertained/derp her)
[personal profile] sonicsora
Since we have a clear lack of samurai rabbits here I decided to post up something from the past free comic book day since it's pretttty short. Thus only three pages, (The comic in total was six pages) but hey, at least its in full color? Derp, apparently Free comic book day scans are aokay to post. So I've posted the whole story under the cut.

For those not sure what I'm babbling about, let me clarify the best way I can: Usagi Yojimbo is a historical fiction comic, an epicaly awesome one that mixes history, talking animals and win all in one.

Uh, yeah, obviously I'm biased. But it really is worth a read, I've learned so much about that time period from just reading this comic, along with that it has honestly touching characters that feel real, react like they would in that time period and never jump on the usual cliches one associates with 16th century Japan.

Read more... )

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