Reflections on the Tragedies in Japan

March 19, 2011

I’ve been waiting a bit before writing something about the tragic events now unfolding in Japan. I have of course been horrified by the damage and destruction, but also inspired by the poise, resilience, and compassion of the proud Japanese people. They are truly an inspiration to us all. Things will not get better quickly, but, thanks to the indomitable spirit and commitment inherent in Japanese culture, things will get better eventually.

In the book, HAGAKURE, it is written:

Lord Soma’s family genealogy, called the Chiken Marokashi, was the best in Japan. One year when his mansion caught fire and was burning to the ground, Lord Soma said: “I feel no regret about losing the house and all its furnishings, even if they burn to the very last piece, because they are things that can be replaced later on. I only regret that I was unable to take out the genealogy, which is my family’s most precious treasure.”

There was one samurai among those attending him who said: “I will go in and take it out.” Lord Soma and all the others laughed and said: “The house is already engulfed in flames. How are you going to take it out?”

Now this man had never been loquacious, not had he been particularly useful, but being a man who did things from beginning to end, he was hired as an attendant. At this point he said: I have never been of use to my master because I am so careless, but I have lived resolved that one day my life would be useful to him. This seems to be that time.” And he leapt into the flames.

After the fire had been extinguished, Lord Soma said: “What a pity! Look for the remains.” Looking everywhere, they found his burnt corpse in the garden adjacent to the living quarters. When they turned it over, blood flowed out of his stomach. The man had cut open his stomach, put the genealogy inside, and it was not damaged at all.

For a people who treasure their past, there is always a future. For a people who understand the power of sacrifice, there is always hope. Japan will rise again, strong as it ever was.

-Owen

Welcome to the World of SAMURAI’S BLOOD!

February 24, 2011

Hello, and welcome to the world of SAMURAI’S BLOOD. Honor, betrayal, and epic vengeance are the bywords of this world, and they will define the struggle of the Sanjo Clan, former lords of Dewa Province, as they endeavor to reclaim their domain.

My name is Owen Wiseman, and I’m the writer and co-creator of SAMURAI’S BLOOD. I grew up on the films of Akira Kurosawa and, later, Yoji Yamada, and started studying Japanese culture and history in middle school. Many years later, after I became a writer, my friend Mike Benaroya suggested an idea for a story about three young samurai seeking vengeance. The story bloomed in my mind, and I started working on SAMURAI’S BLOOD that very day.

Stay tuned to this blog, where we’ll be posting updates about the forthcoming graphic novel. We’ll also have previews of the series art from the brilliant Nam Kim, stories and supporting material that I’ll be writing to build the world, and discussions of various aspects of samurai and ninja philosophy. Stay tuned, and welcome!

-Owen