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Kodansha Int'l to Print Manga of Samurai's Hagakure Book

posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
Adapted by Scottish author in Japan, drawn by Japanese artist in London

Kodansha International is publishing an English-language manga version of Hagakure, a collection of tales and anecdotes by the real-life samurai Yamamoto Tsunetomo (1659-1719). Hagakure: The Code of the Samurai (The Manga Edition) is based on William Scott Wilson's English translation of the original book, which was compiled towards the end of Yamamoto's life.

Sean Michael Wilson (no relation to William Scott Wilson), the editor of the upcoming Ax: Alternative Manga collection, adapted the prose in Hagakure into manga form. The London-based Japanese artist Chie Kutsuwada (Manga Shakespeare: As You Like It) provided the illustrations. William Scott Wilson contributed an afterword for the manga.

According to Oxford University Press, Hagakure: The Code of the Samurai "is a collection of tales and anecdotes that offer instruction and insight into the philosophy and code of behavior that foster the true spirit of Bushido - the Way of the Warrior. A young, upcoming samurai seeks the advice of an older, seasoned warrior who has become a Zen monk. The ambitious young samurai humbly begs to learn from the old master, who consents."

The 145-page manga is slated for a January 2011 release and is listed for US$14.95.

Kodansha, the largest publisher in Japan, established Kodansha International in 1963 to release books overseas. Kodansha established a separate Kodansha USA Publishing company in 2008 to directly publish and sell manga in the United States under the Kodansha Comics imprint.

Thanks to Rachel for the news tip.

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