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Usagi Yojimbo

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Usagi Yojimbo 1

Cover to Usagi Yojimbo #1

Usagi Yojimbo is published by Dark Horse Comics. The current price per issue is $3.99.

Publication DatesEdit

Last IssueEdit

Usagi Yojimbo #156: 20 Jul 2016

Current IssueEdit

Usagi Yojimbo #157: 24 Aug 2016

Next IssueEdit

Usagi Yojimbo #158: 19 Oct 2016

StatusEdit

Ongoing series, plus specials & mini-series.

Characters Edit

Main Character Edit

  • Miyamoto Usagi - A ronin (masterless samurai), Usagi wanders across 16th Century Japan taking on various odd jobs, but mostly just helping solve problems. Usagi is a firm supporter of the Shogun (military leader) and has made many enemies because of his loyalty. However, has also made many friends because of his kind heart and willingness to help anyone in trouble. Because of his peaceful nature, Usagi is sometimes mistaken for a coward, but, when provoked, Usagi can defend himself with nearly flawless sword work.

Minor Characters Edit

Allies Edit

  • Murakami Gennosuke (Gen) - Another ronin, Gen is a bounty hunter, seemingly only out for a fast buck. He is not above robbing corpses or leaving a friend with the bar tab. There are times, however, when Gen shows his worth: he is a loyal friend, regardless of his behavior otherwise.
  • Ame Tomoe - Tomoe is the personal bodyguard of Lord Noriyuki. She is fierce in a fight and steadfast in her duties. Tomoe is honorable and lives strictly by the bushido (way of the warrior) code.
  • Lord Noriyuki - Noriyuki is a just a boy, but he is also leader of the Geishu clan and fiercely loyal to the Shogunate. He inherited his position from his father, who died when Noriyuki was just a boy. In his years of leadership, Noriyuki has shown himself to be a capable leader. Noriyuki's life has been saved countless times by Usagi.
  • Motokazu - Motokazu is the son of General Ikeda, a man who led a failed rebellion against Lord Noriyuki's father. Years later, when Ikeda defended young Lord Noriyuki against attackers, going so far as to almost sacrifice his life, Noriyuki offered Motokazu a position with the Geishu clan. After his father's death, Motokazu accepted the offer and was recently promoted to full samurai
  • Kitsune - A street performer, and also a thief. Kitsune had a harsh early life and ended up on the streets in her teen years. She is an extremely skilled pickpocket, and uses her keen intellect to pull off larger heists. Despite her profession, Kitsune is a loyal, if not always dependable, friend to Usagi. She travels with a young girl named Kiyoko.
  • Sanshobo - Sanshobo is a buddhist priest who was once a samurai. Due to an unfortunate accident in his past, Sanshobo gave up his position, and his name, and joined the priesthood. He is smart, reliable, and wise, and has been a good friend to Usagi.
  • Katsuichi - Katsuichi is Usagi's old sensei, the only master of his personal fighting style. In his youth, Katsuichi rebelled against the eight traditional schools of sword fighting and formed his own school. Due to a lack of students, Katsuichi abandoned the school and went to live as a hermit. His first student was Usagi, who stubbornly forced his way into Katsuichi's life. Katsuichi is a calm and wisened old man, who is not yet past his time.
  • Kashira Chizu - Chizu was once head of the Neko Ninjas, a devious band of assassins closely aligned with Lord Hikiji. However, she has recently lost her position and is now on the run from her own people. Chizu has shown herself to be resourceful, but little else about her is reliable.
  • Kenichi - Kenichi was Usagi's childhood antagonist, but they eventually learned to work together to save their village, and the woman they both loved: Mariko. When Usagi went on to become a samurai, Kenichi stayed behind and became the leader of their village, eventually marrying Mariko and raising the child, Jotaro. Although relations between Kenichi and Usagi are cool, they have put their past behind them.
  • Mariko - Mariko was Usagi's first love. However, she eventually married Kenichi when Usagi chose to leave the village and become a samurai. It would be years later before Usagi learned the reason behind the marriage: Mariko was pregnant with Usagi's child, but did not want him to give up his position.
  • Jotaro - Jotaro is Usagi's son, raised by Mariko and Kenichi. Usagi wants to be a part of Jotaro's life, but doesn't dare destroy the bond between Kenichi and Jotaro. Little does Usagi know, that before Jotaro left his village to train with Katsuichi, Mariko told Jotaro the truth. For now, however, Usagi stays "Uncle Usagi." Jotaro is in his teens. He is impulsive and quick to action, and also very very curious . . . exactly like his father.

Enemies Edit

  • Lord Hikiji - Hikiji is sometimes called the dark lord because he is a shadowy personage that works behind the scenes attempting to bring down the Shogunate. There is much bad blood between Hikiji and Usagi as Hikiji was responsible for the death of Usagi's Lord and Usagi's father, and was the man who gave Usagi his scar. Hikiji rules the lands bordering the Geishu provience, and Hikiji's power mongering have been responsible for several assassination attempts against the young Lord Noriyuki. In recent years, Hikiji has been fairly quiet with little active participation in the political landscape. Some worry that he is merely gathering his forces.
  • Lord Hebi - Hebi is Hikiji's right hand man. Most of the time when any move is being made by the dark lord, Hebi issues the instructions. Hebi is a lethal and dangerous man.
  • Kagemaru - Kagemaru recently usurped control of the Neko Ninja clan from Chizu through skillful manipulation of Lord Hebi and many others. With his new found power, Kagemaru's natural inclination towards manipulation and deceit are all the more dangerous.
  • Jei - Little is known about Jei. He has pure white eyes and a "voice like death." He claims to be the "Blade of the Gods," sent down to earth to punish the evil. Many who meet him think him a madman. It isn't clear which one, if either, is true. Jei has seemingly died and returned several times, lending credence to his claim of divine origin. In recent years, Jei has begun to travel with a young girl named keiko, who he calls his "little innocent." She seems to be the only one immune from his judgment of evil. To Jei, chief among the symbols of evil in the world is Usagi. Jei appears to think that when he slays Usagi, his mission on earth will be finished. Recently, during the Grasscutter incident, Jei was seemingly killed permenantly, but his spirit may have taken refuge somewhere else . . . .
  • Inazuma - Until recently, Inazuma was just another swordsman, unique only because of her gender. She saved Usagi's life and ran afoul of Gen (she has a bounty on her head). Overall, she has appeared to be a good person trapped in bad circumstances. That all seems to have changed. Inazuma was struck down during the Grasscutter incident and, although she survived, she has not been the same since. She now has pure white eyes and a "voice like death." She travels with a young girl named Keiko.

Other Characters/Places/Things/ Edit

  • Neko Ninja - A ninja clan allied with Hikiji. For a time it appeared that the Neko might move away from Hikiji's control, but a recent coup within the ranks overthrew the leader, Chizu, and moved the Neko alliances back towards Hikiji
  • Komori Ninja - The Komori Ninja are a ninja clan in direct competition with the Neko ninja clan for Lord Hikiji's favor. For the time, it appears that the Neko Ninja will remain the favored clan, but meanwhile Hikiji controls two formidable groups of ninja.
  • Koroshi League of Assassins - There is little that can be added to the very name of this organization. The League always hits its mark.
  • Edo - The southern capital. When the Shogun unified Japan in 1603, through military power, he moved the capital to Edo to mark the beginning of a new era.
  • Geishu Province - The area of land over which Lord Noriyuki rules.

Current Storyline Edit

Usagi Yojimbo #157Edit

This is the current issue, and therefore no story information will be posted about this issue. Please check your local comic shop for copies of this issue.

Usagi Yojimbo #156Edit

Past Storylines Edit

Usagi Yojimbo #92Edit

  • "The Thief and the Lotus Scroll" Kitsune pays a visit to the Geishu province . . . a valuable religious scroll goes missing at the same time. But it is not Kitsune who stole the scroll--it's Kiyoko, her young ward. This time, however, they have bitten off more than they can chew--a crime boss wants the scroll and he's willing to take it off the bodies of some thieves. Luckily, Tomoe and Usagi interfer and the scroll belongs back in the right hands, while Kitsune and Kiyoko go free.

Usagi Yojimbo #91Edit

  • "The Ghost in the Well - Part Two" Another assassination attempt takes place and this time the true culprits are revealed--the Neko Ninja! Although their plans are foiled, Usagi and Tomoe are left to wonder if Lord Hikiji may by plotting a new scheme to overthrow the Shogun. Meanwhile, the secondary purpose of the Kojima clan's visit is revealed--to begin negotiations of a marriage between Tomoe and the Kojima Lord.

Usagi Yojimbo #90Edit

  • "The Ghost in the Well - Part One" While Usagi relaxes after his last ordeal, delegates from the Kojima clan are visiting Lord Noriyuki to conduct trade negotiations. Everything is going smoothly until a Kojima guard turns up dead, with no clue as to who the murderer could be. That is, no clues except for the story of a ghost.

Usagi Yojimbo #89Edit

  • "The Treasure of the Mother of Mountains - Chapter Seven" Noriko appears to make a daring near-death escape from the collapsed gold mine . . . but it turns out to be only a nightmare for Tomoe. Motokazu is promoted to samurai.

Usagi Yojimbo #88Edit

  • "The Treasure of the Mother of Mountains - Chapter Six" Usagi, Tomoe, and Motokazu continue their escape with the enslaved villagers, but they are spotted. Tomoe and Noriko face off as one villager decides to take care of the mine by blowing it to pieces. Noriko, surrounded by Tomoe, Motokazu, and Usagi decides to run for it and finds her only path leads to the mine. Before she can be stopped, she dives inside and is (seemingly) killed in the ensuing explosion.

Usagi Yojimbo #87Edit

  • "The Treasure of the Mother of Mountains - Chapter Five" Usagi and Tomoe discover gold and with it Noriko's plan. The gold will be covered up, the laborers killed, and a land dispute created over a seemingly worthless piece of land. But the night before the workers are to be killed, Motokazu arrives and helps stage an escape. Usagi and Tomoe are free in the enemy camp!

Usagi Yojimbo #86Edit

  • "The Treasure of the Mother of Mountains - Chapter Four" Tomoe reveals herself just in time to save Usagi from losing his hand. As a result, Noriko captures them both and forces them to labor with the slaves. Later, after sending a fake messenger to Noriyuki's guards explaining that the plague is still spreading, Noriko confronts Tomoe and reveals that she is actually Tomoe's half-sister . . . and that she killed their father in cold blood.

Usagi Yojimbo #85Edit

  • "The Treasure of the Mother of Mountains - Chapter Three" Usagi and Tomoe fight a, literally, downhill battle against their attackers, but while Tomoe escapes, Usagi is knocked unconscious and taken captive. He awakes to find himself before Noriko, with a threat hanging above his head: Noriko thinks Tomoe is still lurking in the forest, and if she doesn't reveal herself, Noriko will start cutting pieces off of Usagi. When there is no answer, Noriko raises her kantana. Meanwhile, Lord Noriyuki's page, Motokazu, is worried about Noriyuki's apparent lack of concern over Tomoe's silence, and sets off on his own to find Tomoe.

Usagi Yojimbo #84 Edit

  • "The Treasure of the Mother of Mountains - Chapter Two" Usagi stumbles across a dying Geishu samurai and rushes to Tomoe's rescue. The two then set off to find out what is going on, and find a secret mining operation lorded over by Tomoe's vicious cousin, Noriko. As Tomoe and Usagi try to escape to warn Lord Noriyuki, they head straight for an ambush.

Usagi Yojimbo #83 Edit

  • "The Treasure of the Mother of Mountains - Chapter One" Tomoe is sent to a quarantined section of the Geishu province to see if a plague has run its course. Once there, Tomoe discovers that the plague was a fake, caused by poisoned drinking water. Before she can report, however, her group is attacked and she soon finds herself the only survivor . . . surrounded by a mass of angry foes.

"Samurai" Edit

  • Usagi recounts how be became a samurai, and then a ronin. Collected in UY Book 2: Samurai.

"The Dragon Bellows Conspiracy" Edit

  • A power hungry lord plots to overthrow the Shogun with the help of gunpowder and flintlock guns. Collected in UY Book 4: The Dragon Bellows Conspiracy.

"Circles" Edit

  • Usagi returns to his home village only to find it under siege from bandits. Collected in UY Book 6: Circles.

"Grasscutter" Edit

  • Many powers compete to gain possession of the legendary sword Grasscutter. Whomever controls the sword will rule Japan. Usagi finds himself in a precarious position when he stumbles across a very special sword . . . . Collected in UY Book 12: Grasscutter, and continued in UY Book 15: Grasscutter II.

Collections Edit

UY Book 1: Ronin - WorldCat

UY Book 2: Samurai - Amazon - Mars Import - WorldCat

UY Book 3: The Wanderer's Road - WorldCat

UY Book 4: The Dragon Bellow Conspiracy - WorldCat

UY Book 5: Lone Goat and Kid - WorldCat

UY Book 6: Circles - WorldCat

UY Book 7: Gen's Story - WorldCat

UY Book 8: Shades of Death - WorldCat

UY Book 9: Daisho - WorldCat

UY Book 10: The Brink of Life and Death - WorldCat

UY Book 11: Seasons - WorldCat

UY Book 12: Grasscutter - WorldCat

UY Book 13: Grey Shadows - WorldCat

UY Book 14: Demon Mask - WorldCat

UY Book 15: Grasscutter II - WorldCat

UY Book 16: The Shrouded Moon - WorldCat

UY Book 17: Duel at Kitanoji - WorldCat

UY Book 18: Travels with Jotaro - WorldCat

UY Book 19: Fathers and Sons - WorldCat

UY Book 20: Glimpses of Death - WorldCat

UY Book 21: The Mother of Mountains - WorldCat

UY Book 22: Tomoe's Story - WorldCat

  • Usagi Yojimbo, book 23: Bridge of Tears - Collects vol. 3 #94-102. "The wandering life of a ronin is often a lonely one, and Usagi has been on that path a long time. A temporary peace, staying with the merchant Endo and his daughter Hanaka, is interrupted by the deadly League of Assassins, setting Usagi back on the road, but with the uncomfortable sensation that he is being followed." - WorldCat - ISBN 1595822984
  • Usagi Yojimbo, book 24: Return of the Black Soul - Collects vol. 3 #??? "For years, as Miyamoto Usagi has wandered the countryside, an unseen, malevolent entity has been tracing his steps. Thought dead since the events of Grasscutter, the demon Jei-the Black Soul-has been inhabiting the body of the swordswoman Inazuma, intent on destroying the evil he claims to see in Usagi! Meanwhile, Boss Bakuchi, shamed by his inability to avenge his son's death, doubles the bounty on the killer-Inazuma. The money brings out scores of bounty hunters, unaware that they are merely a flock of sparrows intent on bringing down an eagle. The hunt for Inazuma also draws Usagi, hunters Gen and Stray Dog, and a mysterious stranger named Isamu, each with his own motive. As the threat of the Black Soul reemerges, this epic storyline reveals at last the true origin of Jei!" - WorldCat - ISBN 1595824723
  • Usagi Yojimbo, book 25: Fox Hunt - Collects vol. 3 #110-116 "The warrior’s path is fraught with peril as Miyamoto Usagi takes to the road with his bounty-hunter friend Gen. Traveling the countryside, the samurai odd couple must put bickering over money and shortcuts aside as they encounter a series of dangers, including trickster foxes, a gambler who is master of the bullwhip, and several factions of treacherous ninja. The stakes are raised even higher when the pair go their separate ways, as Usagi falls in with a clan on a suicide mission and Gen pursues a killer who isn’t what he appears, in adventures that will test each friend’s honor—and bravery!" - WorldCat - ISBN 1595827269
  • Usagi Yojimbo, book 26: Traitors of the Earth - Collects vol. 3 #117-123 "The rabbit ronin faces a horde of the undead when a harmless-looking but powerful charm brings a betrayed army back to life. With hundreds of zombies and an evil wizard to contend with, Usagi finds himself far out of his depth!" - WorldCat - ISBN 1595829105
  • Usagi Yojimbo, book 27: A Town Called Hell - Collects vol. 3 #124-131 "The rabbit ronin's wanderings find him caught between competing gang lords fighting for control of A Town Called Hell. With the help of master swordsman Kato, Usagi takes on one gangster, while the other stirs up even more trouble! Now, with Kato is on his trail, Uasgi continues his travels, confronting a nukekubi - a flying, cannibal head - aiding a disgraced samurai seeking redemption, and even crossing paths with the demon Jei! All the while, Kato awaits a rematch and a return to Hell!" - WorldCat - ISBN 1595829709
  • Usagi Yojimbo, book 28: Red Scorpion - Collects vol. 3 #132-138. "The Red Scorpion Gang has been terrorizing the countryside for months, with evidence of their ill deeds appearing everywhere the rabbit ronin turns! Usagi first crosses swords with the Scorpions as the gang extorts protection money from poor farmers, then must defend a temple from their attacks. But when Usagi is accused of being a member of the gang, he has no choice but to take the fight to the Red Scorpion himself!" - WorldCat - ISBN 1616553987
  • Usagi Yojimbo, book 29: Two Hundred Jizo - Collects vol. 3 #139-144. "Usagi teams up with fan favorite Inspector Ishida, helps an allied clan protect its honor, discovers how deadly the soy sauce business can be, and more." - WorldCat - ISBN 9781616558406
  • Usagi Yojimbo: Senso - Collects Senso #1-6. "Twenty years in his future, Miyamoto Usagi faces a menace from Mars! It will take all the considerable fortitude, ingenuity, and heroism that Usagi and his loved ones can muster to combat the fearsome extraterrestrial war machines and halt the alien invasion. In the end, not everyone will survive to tell the tale." - WorldCat - ISBN 9781616557096
  • Usagi Yojimbo, book 30: Thieves and Spies - Collects #145-151. "Miyamoto Usagi joins forces with a thief and a samurai to thwart a black-market ginseng trade, meets a ronin who lost his arm in a duel yet still has a trick up his sleeve, and more!" - WorldCat - ISBN 9781506700489


  • Usagi Yojimbo: The Special Edition - Collects vol. 1 #1-38, plus Usagi Yojimbo Summer Special & stories from Albedo #2-4, The Doomsday Squad #3, Critters #1, 3, 6-7, 10-11, 14, 38, 50. - WorldCat - ISBN 160699154X

History Edit

Background Edit

Miyamoto Usagi was born in Japan in the late 15th Century to the magistrate of a small village. At the appropriate age, Usagi left home to train as a swordsman. However, because of his impulsiveness, Usagi ended up training, not at a large school, but with a hermit named Katsuichi. Katsuichi proved to be an able teacher, and Usagi an able student. In his first tournament, Usagi bested all challengers and caught the attention of the lord of the province, Lord Mifune. It wasn't long before Usagi was asked to become a samurai in the employ of Lord Mifune, where he quickly rose in rank until he became the personal bodyguard of the Lord. All of this came to a tragic end, however, when a band of ninja's slaughtered Mifune's family. Mifune declared war against the man responsible, neighboring lord, Hikiji. It was in the final battle of this war that Usagi's life was changed forever. Mifune was cut down and his army defeated. Usagi became a ronin.

Leftover Useful Information Edit

Stan Sakai is also the creator of Space Usagi, the story of a distant relation of Usagi in a space opera setting. Sakai has described this project as his sandbox where he can do anything he wants. The three miniseries and two short stories have been collected in one volume by Dark Horse Comics.

Publishing HistoryEdit

  • Volume 1: #1-38, 1987-1993 (Fantagraphics)
  • Volume 2: #1-16, 1993-1995 (Mirage)
  • Volume 3: #1- , 1996-present (Dark Horse)

Plus various mini-series.

Future Publication DatesEdit

Dates subject to change at the whims of the publisher or distributor. Please see the Diamond Shipping Lists for current information.

Usagi Yojimbo #158: 19 Oct 2016
Usagi Yojimbo #159: 23 Nov 2016
Usagi Yojimbo #160: 21 Dec 2016

News & FeaturesEdit

Links Edit

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