It's a man's, man's, man's Meiji era

Baron Yoshimoto's legendary manga 『柔侠伝』 is being republished in convenience store phone book format. I'm not sure how to pronounce this -- Juukanden? Juukyouden? or exactly what it means (my best guess is "Tales of a Judo Guy") but I do know one thing: it rules, and I'm going to do my part to remedy the lack of information about it available online.

Let me start with a lesson in Meiji mixed-bathing etiquette, as demonstrated by our hero YANAGI Kankurou. What do we do when we unexpectedly run into a lady of our acquaintance, suitably accompanied by her brother of course, while we are wearing only a fundoshi?


Let's see that again in close-up SCAN-O-VISION!

Seriously, this is an awesome work, with just the right mix of cheesy fisticuffs and period detail. A lot of the introductory panels for scenes are obviously photo-referenced, and they look fantastic. But that isn't to say that Yoshimoto can't draw up a storm even without a reference. As a special bonus, here's the title page for the chapter in which the above scene takes place.

Popularity factor: 3


For what it's worth, in Chinese that character is pronounced xia2 and means knight or adventurer or something like that. The translation for Batman, for example, is the characters for "bat" plus that.

Based on the Chinese, I would put my money on "kyou" for the J-yomikata here.


So "The Adventures of Judoman" might be a good rendering.

yeah, kyou seems to be the standard reading in Japanese too... there are some weird outliers though, like using it for "otoko" (similarly to 漢, I presume)


Ah, ateji... Did I say Japanese makes sense? I take it back. But that's the fun of it, isnt it?

"Adventures of Judoman" sounds awesome.

The only manga I ever purchased in Japan was a history of Japan, and it was all full of nari and tari and nu and stuff like that. I should ppick it up again now that I have some CJ under my belt.

Comment season is closed.