In a time of war and strife, a samurai fought on the battlefield of Adachigahara. Then in one fell swoop, Miyamoto Usagi lost everything he cared about: his master, his clan, and his station. Now a samurai without a master, a ronin, Usagi wanders the lands of ancient Japan as a vagabond and sell-sword haunted by his past moving forward into an unknown future.
He is also a rabbit.
Created by Stan Sakai in 1987, Usagi Yojimbo is one of the longest running independent serialized comic books in history spanning 38 volumes in over 30 years. The series includes several spin offs, and a few crossovers with a familiar group of teenage turtles.
My journey with Miyamoto Usagi, (whose name is a play on the name of historical swordsman Miyamoto Musashi), began when I was in middle school. I spotted an old volume 22 at a swap meet in Fresno with my grandmother. I opened the old cover, and I was transported back in time to a world full of greedy bandits, maniacal warlords, honorable warriors, and foul yokai spirits. It sparked a passion in me with every meticulously detail and vibrant character, a passion that persisted well into my time with JANM. Now there’s a dedicated shelf with all 38 volumes sitting proudly above my desk with an Usagi Yojimbo action figure watching over it all.
As the Year of the Rabbit comes to an end, why not pick up a volume of Usagi Yojimbo: Origins. The latest re-launch of the Origins series is Volume 4: Lone Goat and Kid. Start the epic tale of Miyamoto Usagi, perfect for readers new and old, now in full color for the first time in paperback and available through the JANM store!
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