Writer and Artist: Stan Sakai
Cover Artist: Stan Sakai
Usagi Yojimbo #10 wants to talk about an interesting part of Japanese culture: the kamon or family crest.
As many things, this distinctive feature would represent a family tree and was first and foremost used by nobility.
Now, as we know, Lord Hikiji defeated Usagi’s Lord Mifune, and has taken control of the Northern Province. Usagi, now a ronin, is seen in this issue traveling through this very province, and trouble is not far ahead.
He has distinctive clothing, and on it, he will always wear the mon of his former lord. However, there are those who still remember the Great Wars with bitterness, and when they see Usagi, they will want to take revenge on their own hands.
If you want to see how truly the western movies spawned from the original Japanese stories, this one is a great issue for it. The tension, betrayal and ability to rise against difficult odds are all great trademarks of this comic.
Geeky fact: the mon symbols were used by nobility during the close of the Henian period. They were designed to be attractive and had an affixed size and places where they should be visible in clothing.
Sashiko, an embroidery technique that was used to give sturdiness to cotton clothing, was specifically designed to be smaller than mon symbols, to make them more easily recognizable. These contrasting patterns are a beautiful testimony of Japanese aesthetic.
Also, Usagi’s mon was inspired by a rabbits footprint in the snow.
AVAILABLE: July 2020
PAGE COUNT: 32
Featured image by Stan Sakai, all images belong to IDW Comics