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Usagi Yojimbo, Rabbit Samurai created by Stan Sakai

Usagi Yojimbo is the story of a ronin (masterless samurai) rabbit whose tales are published in a series of comic books and graphic novels. Created by Stan Sakai, the samurai, Usagi, roams a mythical,  medieval Japan ( the beginning of Edo period Feudal Japan - early 17th century ). Wandering the land as a shugyosha (student warrior on a pilgramage) and otherwise following the honor code that governs samurai, Usagi occasionally sells his services as a yojimbo (bodyguard). Hence the title "Usagi Yojimbo". There are great sword fights and  cool ninja, from every animal species as anthropomorphic animals replace humans in the drawing and stories.
 
Usagi Yojimbo is that rarity in the world of comics: A book conceived, written, lettered and wholly illustrated by one person - and produced not for just a few stories, but over an extended period. Tom Luth provides cover coloring but otherwise, the story, artwork, coloring and lettering are all done by Stan Sakai. And this has been going on since 1985, ever since the notion of the Samurai Rabbit occurred to him.  The character first appeared in the second issue of a limited-run comic called Albedo. The stories are marvelous and the artwork roams from compelling to zen-like.
 
The "Rabbit Bodyguard's"  full name is Usagi Miyamoto. This comic book character is  loosely based on the famous Japanese swordsman Miyamoto Musashi,  His adventures draw from Japanese myth, legend, history and popular culture. There are other fascinating character in the comic books, including  the female samurai, Tomoe Ame (an anthropomorphised cat) who is based on the woman warrior Tomoe Gozen.
 

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Usagi Yojimbo exhibits a strong moral code (and strong story writing). Usagi Yojimbo also often juggles storylines as it follows several distinct characters unwittingly meandering their way toward their ultimate convergences with one another - stories within stories... Usagi is often attacked by bandits and enemy ninja. These opponents frequently disguise themselves as harmless peasants, villagers or priests.
 
Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo began in 1985 and is still published regularly, currently by Dark Horse Publishing. Sakai said that Usagi had been optioned many times over the years and that it was currently optioned for both a film and TV series. However, the cartoonist cautioned fans that this meant nothing at all in Hollywood.
 
Sakai, a third-generation Japanese-American,  notes that he was born in Japan and grew up in Hawaii. His mother, much like his most famous creation, came from a family with a samurai tradition.
 
If you are looking to read  about and understand the world in which the Japanese Samurai lived, you will get a great glimpse in the comic books about Usagi Yojimbo. The books consist of short stories, with underlying larger plotlines which culminate into longer, extended story arcs. The stories include many references to Japanese history and Japanese folklore, and sometimes include mythical creatures. The architecture, clothes, weapons, and other objects are drawn with a faithfulness to the period's style. There are often stories whose purpose is to illustrate various elements of Japanese arts and crafts, such as the fashioning of kites, swords, and pottery.
 
There is beauty, widsom and lots of Samurai action when you read about the Adventures of the Rabbit Samurai, Usagi Yojimbo.

About the Author:  Scott Harker is the publisher of several websites including: Pin-up Artist, Battling Pests, Mesothelioma, and Spiritual Paths.

- Recommended Resource -

Usagi Yojimbo Books



A Wandering Ronin is Ambushed by Bandits - Dark Horse Comics: Usagi Yojimbo

Based on the Dark Horse comics series Usagi Yojimbo (http://www.darkhorse.com/Search/Browse/usagi/PpwNwkt8?page=1) Learn more at http://www.darkhorse.com/ CL...



Stan Sakai Related Items For Sale

BATMAN/TMNT SKETCHCOVER ORIGINAL ART SIGNED STAN SAKAI
Posted on Saturday September 23, 2017

$49.99 (1 Bid)
End Date: Saturday Sep-30-2017 11:20:02 PDT
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ORIGINAL STAN SAKAI USAGI YOJIMBO COMIC ART SKETCH
Posted on Monday September 11, 2017

$69.99
End Date: Wednesday Oct-11-2017 19:44:53 PDT
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Usagi Yojimbo Stan Sakai Original Art Sketch SDCC 2015
Posted on Wednesday September 20, 2017

$35.50 (13 Bids)
End Date: Wednesday Sep-27-2017 11:00:27 PDT
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Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo Action Figure Antarctic 1998 Sealed
Posted on Wednesday September 13, 2017

$40.00
End Date: Friday Oct-13-2017 8:35:23 PDT
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Stan Sakai Usagi Yojimbo signed book with sketch Nice!
Posted on Sunday September 17, 2017

$10.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Sep-24-2017 8:58:31 PDT
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USAGI YOJIMBO SKETCHBOOK #9 SIGNED STAN SAKAI / NEW SDCC 2012 includes sketch!
Posted on Sunday May 22, 2016

$24.99
End Date: Saturday Oct-14-2017 19:12:07 PDT
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Stan Sakai Usagi Yojimbo 2 Original Sketches on Comic Boards Art Framed
Posted on Sunday September 17, 2017

$99.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Sep-24-2017 17:03:41 PDT
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Stan Sakai Usagi Yojimbo Sketchbook Sketch Original Comic Book Art
Posted on Tuesday September 12, 2017

$91.87
End Date: Thursday Oct-12-2017 15:01:25 PDT
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News About the Samurai Comics

Quantum Jack comics team explore the many dimensions of Samurai Jack - SYFY WIRE (blog)
Posted on Tuesday September 19, 2017


SYFY WIRE (blog)

Quantum Jack comics team explore the many dimensions of Samurai Jack
SYFY WIRE (blog)
You know how the theme song goes: "Gotta get back, back to the past. Samurai Jack." But what if getting back to the past wasn't the problem? What if Jack wasn't even in the right dimension anymore? That's the premise of the new comic book series ...
'Samurai Jack' Is Headed To Movie TheatersComicbook.com

all 3 news articles »

Top Comics to Buy This Week: September 20, 2017 - IGN
Posted on Monday September 18, 2017


IGN

Top Comics to Buy This Week: September 20, 2017
IGN
With the Wonder Woman movie premiering this year and cleaning up at the box office, there's little wonder (ha) why DC Comics is putting out more comics featuring the character. DC has been ... Keep reading for Venom, Samurai Jack and more. Continues.

Samurai Jack: Quantum Jack #1 - IGN
Posted on Wednesday September 20, 2017


IGN

Samurai Jack: Quantum Jack #1
IGN
By Jesse Schedeen One of my pet peeves involves comics where you get a better idea of the plot from following promotional interviews than you do actually reading the first issue. Samurai Jack: Quantum Jack is one such case. The premise behind this new ...

Comic Book Reviews for September 20, 2017 - IGN
Posted on Thursday September 21, 2017


IGN

Comic Book Reviews for September 20, 2017
IGN
By Jesse Schedeen, Blair Marnell and Tara Giovannini It was another big week of comics. DC rolled out more tie-ins to the Dark Nights: Metal event while also kicking off an epic team-up between Wonder Woman and Conan. Marvel continued their buildup to ...

Samurai Slasher Returns With Special Limited Edition Orbital Comics Launch - Bleeding Cool News
Posted on Saturday September 02, 2017


Bleeding Cool News

Samurai Slasher Returns With Special Limited Edition Orbital Comics Launch
Bleeding Cool News
Mike Garley et al.'s Samurai Slasher has been around the UK indie comics scene for a while. It feels sometimes you can't go a single show here in the UK without seeing Samurai Slasher, Garley and many of the artists and collaborators who have helped ...

Watch: Top Aussie comic in hilarious ride-along with West Midlands Police officers - Birmingham Mail
Posted on Saturday September 23, 2017


Birmingham Mail

Watch: Top Aussie comic in hilarious ride-along with West Midlands Police officers
Birmingham Mail
... with 104 murders in 2016. Jefferies seems baffled at the scale of violent incidents that officers will deal with without the need for weapons. “If they have a samurai sword for example, we might deploy firearm officers to that,” explains Sergeant ...

Comic Con Palm Springs: Phil LaMarr talks 'Pulp Fiction' and Chris Rock impressions - The Desert Sun
Posted on Friday August 25, 2017


The Desert Sun

Comic Con Palm Springs: Phil LaMarr talks 'Pulp Fiction' and Chris Rock impressions
The Desert Sun
In addition to voicing “Samurai Jack,” LaMarr is known as an actor, impressionist and improv comic who was an original cast member of “MADtv.” He has guest starred in countless TV shows and movies and had a short but memorable role in 1994's “Pulp ...


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