Bloody Stumps Samurai

Retrofit Comics/Big Planet Comics
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"Bloody Stumps Samurai" by Hiroshi Hirata


Idolized by creators across the arts, from Akira's Otomo Katsuhiro to novelist Mishima Yukio, Hirata Hiroshi (b. 1937) is widely considered one of the most talented and influential artists of the comics medium in Japan. Known to English readers through such titles as Satsuma Gishiden (Dark Horse Comics), Hirata has been killing the samurai genre since the late 1950s with manga of jaw-dropping draftsmanship and heart-stopping cruelty. His work is essential, unforgettable, unparalleled - and in the case of Bloody Stumps Samurai (1962), too radical for its own good. With this book, Hirata set out to draw a passionate critique of discrimination against the Japanese outcaste community, known as the burakumin, around the character of Gennosuke, a young buraku whose mission to avenge and uplift his people through the sword goes horribly and gorily wrong. Though clearly intended as an anti-discrimination broadside, Bloody Stumps Samurai rubbed the Buraku Liberation League the wrong way, leading to copies being confiscated and burned and Hirata temporarily blacklisted. With essays explaining the history and politics of the work by critic Kure Tomofusa and translator Ryan Holmberg, this edition will blow your mind and turn your stomach. It is essential reading for anyone interested in the history of Japanese society, popular culture, or comics censorship.

Hiroshi Hirata (born 1937) is one of the early creators of gekiga style comics in Japan, especially military and samurai comics. He is a major influence on later generations, and his works are some of the top selling samurai manga around the world. His other works in English include Satsuma Geshiden, published by Dark Horse Comics.

Bloody Stumps Samurai is translated from the original Japanese by Ryan Holmberg, an art and comics historian whose many translations include Yuichi Yokoyama's World Map Room, Osamu Tezuka's Mysterious Underground Men, and Tsuge Tadao's Trash Market.

More writing by Ryan Holmberg:

Published by Retrofit Comics / Big Planet Comics

5.75" x 8.25", 184 pages. $20
Full-color covers with b+w interior (with some color pages). Perfect-bound GN