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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 ( Learn more at CL...

Stan Sakai Related Items For Sale

Usagi Yojimbo Sketch (Signed by Stan Sakai from San Diego Comic-Con 2005)
Posted on Tuesday March 14, 2017

End Date: Thursday Apr-13-2017 17:54:18 PDT
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SIGNED & NUMBERED KIM JUNG GI limited edition USAGI YOJIMBO art print stan sakai
Posted on Tuesday March 21, 2017

End Date: Thursday Apr-20-2017 1:43:44 PDT
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Stan Sakai USAGI YOJIMBO 2003 Calendar signed with sketch
Posted on Tuesday March 14, 2017

End Date: Thursday Apr-13-2017 17:56:24 PDT
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USAGI YOJIMBO Signed ART PRINT Stan Sakai SDCC 2010 Lithograph MIYAMOTO Ronin
Posted on Tuesday November 29, 2016

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Usagi Yojimbo Signed Stan Sakai Sketch Book #4 w/ Original Art / Drawing
Posted on Monday March 20, 2017

End Date: Wednesday Apr-19-2017 5:01:56 PDT
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Usagi Yojimbo Original Samurai Art By Stan Sakai Tomoe
Posted on Friday March 17, 2017

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Original Stan Sakai Usagi Yojimbo Artwork & Ninja Turtle Playmates Action Figure
Posted on Friday March 17, 2017

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Stan Sakai orig. artwork - Chizu on the attack
Posted on Thursday March 23, 2017

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News About the Samurai Comics

A.V. Club

Samurai Jack is back, and honestly he is having a pretty rough time
A.V. Club
It's a big change from the original flavor of Samurai Jack, where Aku was frequently treated more as comic relief than as a terrifying, unspeakable villain. (I, for the record, love both versions of the character.) Here, Aku is so far nowhere to be ...
Everything Samurai Jack's Past Reveals About His Sword & Season 5 FutureThrillist
Genndy Tartakovsky on reviving Samurai Jack: 'I was out of shape for working this hard again'The Verge
More Than a Decade Later, the Beloved Samurai Jack Gets the Ending It DeservesPaste Magazine
The Ringer (blog) -KPBS -NPR
all 34 news articles »

Nathan Fillion coming to Denver Comic Con
Phil LaMarr, known for his roles in Mad TV and Pulp Fiction and a litany of voice-over work in animated series, including Justice League, Young Justice, Static Shock and the titular character on Samurai Jack, which he reprised in its recent revival ...

Bravo (blog)

Meet Samurai Gourmet, Your Next Netflix-and-Chill Obsession
Bravo (blog)
A live action version of a fictional Japanese manga (comic) called Manga Nobushi-no-Gourmet, the series centers on Takeshi Kasumi (played by Naoto Takenaka), a recently retired businessman who discovers that the quest for amazing food not only makes ...


Here's how the cast of 'Iron Fist' looks compared to their comic-book counterparts
When Wing is first introduced in the comics, she looked more like a damsel in distress, but she evolved into a skilled martial artist. After the death of her mother, her grandfather taught her to become a great samurai. In the comics, she eventually ...
Iron Fist's Big Casting Controversy: A Post-MortemScreen Rant
The Mushy, Pseudo-Mystical World of Marvel's Iron FistLion's Roar
'Iron Fist' Creator: Whitewashing Controversy "Righteous Indignation"Inverse
all 72 news articles »


IDW At Oak City Comic Con!
We at Epicstream had a hard time keeping our hands off a glossy collected edition of IDW's Samurai Jack comic adaptation! One of the first events of the convention was the History of IDW panel. Publisher Ted Adams told the crowd about how IDW went from ...

UNM Daily Lobo

Review: Long awaited return of "Samurai Jack" doesn't disappoint
UNM Daily Lobo
While the series does take influence from comic books, like many sci-fi productions, ā€œSamurai Jack'sā€ use of shots with visual illustrations of the show's sound effects almost made the episode comical, though Tartakovsky said that the reboot would be a ...

and more »

Toledo Blade

Rossford artist brings ray of light to annual comic convention
Toledo Blade
The one-off comic sold well at comic cons and, more importantly, drew the attention of publisher Aw Yeah Comics, which hired McMahon as an artist and writer for other series including SAMI the Samurai Squirrel. He later rewrote The Mighty Super Kingz ...

and more »

Samurai Jack creator on returning 12 years later with a 'darker' season 5
More than 12 years ago, the vivid cartoon series about a noble time-displaced samurai warrior and his fight with the shapeshifting demon Aku abruptly capped four seasons with an open-ended finale. ā€œI didn't know if I should finish it,ā€ Tartakovsky ...
Samurai Jack Creator Says Season 5 Will End The

all 9 news articles »

A.V. Club

Samurai Jack will get a proper finale at the end of season 5
A.V. Club
Elsewhere in the interview, Tartakovsky confirmed that the Samurai Jack comic book series published by IDW from 2013 to 2015 is not canon, and though he knows that the book had fans, he thinks the only proper way to conclude Jack's story is with a TV ...
'Samurai Jack' Season 5 Will be the Cartoon's Definitive EndOuter Places
Samurai Jack Is Definitely EndingCinema Blend
'Samurai Jack' season 5 release date, spoilers: Series returns after 12 years to conclude Samurai Jack's storyEcumenical News
all 9 news articles »

FOX 61

Cartoons meet culture at Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles exhibit
FOX 61
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- At the Springfield Museums, the most famed names in the art world hang on the walls; Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Raphael. Of course we're talking about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! One of the museum's newest ...

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