Discovery: Mujin

Mujin_1I read mostly manga and I am particularly interested in historical manga. Every now and then I discover a new one. Earlier this week, Imagine-nation — a TV show airing on NHK World and dedicated to Japanese pop culture — talked about the manga series Mujin by Tetuzoh Okadaya. The show first aired on Monday December 11 and will be available for streaming until December 19.

Tetuzoh Okadaya is a former doujin writer who publish regularly in Hakusensha‘s Hanamaru. She seems to specialize in boys love manga but has also dabbled in period drama. Her first manga, Tango no Otoko, has been translated in English (available as The Man of Tango from SuBLime, a yaoi / boys love publisher formed by the partnership between Viz and Animate). You can find more details about her on Baka Updates, Goodreads, Wikipedia and her official web page.

Mujin_v4p6Mujin (無尽 / むじん / lit. “ending” or “expiring”) is a historical manga set in the Bakumatsu period (late Edo period). It tells the story of real-life swordsman Hachiro Iba (1844-1869). He was a bakushin (Shogun’s personal guard) who lost his left arm in the Boshin war and became later the head of the “Yugekitai” (guerilla corps). He was a master of the Shingyōtō-ryū style and died at the battle of Hakodate. Not much is known about him (although he was famously illustrated by Yoshitoshi) so it leaves Tetuzoh Okadaya some freedom to develop her fictitious story around the character. Many manga are set in this fascinating period (Blade of the immortal, Hidamari no ki, Lone wolf and cub, Nobunaga Concerto, Nobunaga no chef, Ooku: The inner chamber, Rurouni Kenshin, Shigurui, Vagabond, etc.) but, unfortunately, this one is not available in English. Nonetheless, it seems quite interesting. (You can find more details on the manga on the Google-translated version of Wikipedia).

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