“He stands solitarily in a field bathed in sunrise. A sharp sword in his hand points to the ground and blood is dropping from its pointing tip. On the ground lays 70 bodies also covered in blood. The man’s face is expressionless; the massacre he has just committed is his profession.” This is the picture of Miyamoto Musashi I always have in mind. Have you ever heard of him? He was a famous Japanese swordman living his life in the rise of Samurai’s era. I’ve never thought that I pay much attention to Musashi’s story until the first volume of Vagabond, a comic book by Takehiko Inoue, was released.
Vagabond portrays a life of Musashi who struggled to become a well-known swordman. He failed time after time but he always kept going. A sword fight was like the air that he breathed; he couldn’t live without it. After years of praticing and fighting, he finally rose to fame that he almost traded it with his life.
I was introduced to the comic by my husband who is the big fan of Inoue. Now I’m more obsessed than he is. What strikes me at once is its magnificent drawings. They are painted with Japanese brushes yielding beautiful soft lines and a perfect combination of hue. It makes me look at it again and again to absorb the beauty of pictures as much as I can. I heard that Inoue carefully creates his art. He even draws muscles first before drawing clothes on them. W-O-W.
Takehiko Inoue is not only a genius artist, he is also a good story teller. Even though the main story is about the sword fights, bloodshed and fatal duels aren’t the only things that I’ve got. There’s also a lesson to be learnt. Apart from improving his swordsmanship, Musashi tried to find truth in his life too. He eventually realized that an obstacle prevented him from upgrading his abilities was himself. And it’s true to me as well. No obstacles can hold me back, only myself. It’s time to brake free from my ego.
Thanks for photo from www.gellery.minitokyo.net