Cover image for Samurai legend
Samurai legend
Furuyama, Kan, 1943-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York, N.Y. : CPM Manga, [2003]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : illustrations ; 21 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Graphic Novel Central Library

On Order



The ultimate samurai story! From the pages of history comes the legend of the Samurai Jubei and the book he has pledged to protect. The book has been stolen, and Jubei must retrieve it before Japan descends into bloody civil war.

Author Notes

Jiro Taniguchi was born in Tottori, Japan on August 14, 1947. The manga artist had his first cartoon published in 1970. His works included The Times of Botchan, A Distant Neighbourhood, and The Walking Man. In 2011, the French government awarded him the Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters. He died on February 11, 2017 at the age of 69.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Furuyama and Taniguchi have produced a fictional work based on actual events that took place in Japan in 1649 and 1650. Yagyu Jubei is a legendary swordsman, still written about in novels and on television. The real Jubei was a martial artist loyal to the ruling Tokugawa house, and during the period covered here, the Tokugawas struggle for power against the retired emperor. The Yagyu family includes Jubei's father, Yagyu Munenori, a master sword fighting instructor and leader of a secret organization that supports the Tokugawa family and provides them with intelligence. Jubei's younger half brother, Lord Rokumaru, will later succeed their father as the organization's head. The story itself is set within a framing sequence, narrated in 1899 by Kaishu Katsu, an aged political leader who is another actual historical figure. While some critics call Katsu a traitor, Furuyama feels his actions helped save Japan from a bloody civil war and bases much of this graphic novel on the discussion and quotations of Katsu, who makes the point that if Japan had gone through this war it might very well have fallen prey to imperialistic European powers (as India and China did). Taniguchi makes Jubei look almost like a superhero, often taking on multiple opponents and defeating them. Many sequences consist of wordless combat scenes, and Taniguchi admits in his notes that his initial motive for working on the book was to draw fighting scenes. Indeed, violence may play too large a role here for mature readers. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

This historical samurai drama, a stand-alone book presented in the original right-to-left format, tells the story of Yagyu Jubei, a legendary 17th-century master swordsman. Jubei is the son of Yagyu Munenori, sword instructor to the Shogun and leader of the Shadow Yagyu, the Shogun's spy network. The Shadow Yagyu must protect the Shogun from the retired Emperor Gomino, who schemes to return control of the country to the imperial line; Jubei himself must battle the Emperor's swordsman Yashamaro to retrieve the stolen Yagyu Secret Chronicles, which will one day determine the fate of Japan. Taniguchi's art is realistic and accomplished, with care taken to reproduce period details accurately. The translation suffers from occasional awkwardness, but introductory material and footnotes explain terminology and background. Some explicit violence earns this a "16+" age rating from the publisher. Though not nearly as powerful as the classic samurai manga Lone Wolf and Cub, this book will appeal to many of that series' fans. Recommended for larger collections and appropriate for older teens and adults. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

Adult/High School-Written in the authentic Japanese format of right to left, this graphic novel is exciting, violent, and involving. A complex tale of theft, honor, ninjas, samurai, and feudal lords, it unfolds as a book called The Yagyu Secret Chronicles, which holds the fate of Japan, is stolen and Lord Mitsuyoshi, aka Yagyu Jubei, begins his campaign to retrieve it. Taniguchi's attention to detail is truly outstanding and the artist has captured that time period in Japanese history. The panels are easy to follow and the fight scenes are realistic. The who's who and introduction present the main characters and explain the historical basis for the story. Manga fans and reluctant readers will be drawn into the story by the artwork.-Kathleen A. Nester, Downingtown High Ninth Grade Center, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.