The Otaku Armoury

The Otaku Armoury: Wolverine’s Muramasa Blade

The Otaku Armoury showcases intriguing Japan-inspired weapons that are found throughout popular culture. Many weapons can trace their roots back to legends and mythical figures, such as Sengo Muramasa. An infamous Japanese sword maker, Muramasa’s blades were said to be cursed and caused their wielders to go mad with blood lust. It’s the kind of reputation that makes an engrossing story.

 So, it’s no wonder that Muramasa swords have found their way into mediums like comics. For example, the Marvel superhero Wolverine has wielded a sword that Muramasa created especially for him. Continue reading “The Otaku Armoury: Wolverine’s Muramasa Blade”

Women Warriors

Women Warriors: Mariko Yashida

Women Warriors is an ongoing series that celebrates the lives of inspirational Japanese women throughout history. And while historical figures like Empress Jingū laid the groundwork for what can be accomplished, it’s worth looking into fictional characters as well to appreciate how Japanese women are represented in popular culture.

Mariko Yashida is a great example of a badass female warrior who broke away from traditional Japanese societal norms. A love interest of Wolverine, Mariko is by no means a damsel in distress. Continue reading “Women Warriors: Mariko Yashida”

Pop Culture and Japan

The Pursuit Of Peace: The Story Of Wolverine And Itsu

In recent years, Japanese culture has found its way into the mainstream western comic industry through Marvel and DC. Marvel has done an excellent job of presenting the nuances of the Japanese way of life in characters such as Silver Samurai and Sunfire. And much of this influence is attributed to the work of Chris Claremont and Frank Miller in the 1980s, with their revamp of Wolverine into a failed samurai looking to reclaim his honour.

Wolverine’s connection to Japan is essential to understanding who he is, and his appreciation for the country has manifested through the women he’s loved. One of Logan’s greatest loves was Itsu, a character who shaped a significant portion of his life.

Continue reading “The Pursuit Of Peace: The Story Of Wolverine And Itsu”

Pop Culture and Japan

Wolverine Review: A Defining Story Of Honour, Loyalty And The Soul Of Japan

It’s been established that Wolverine is one of Marvel’s most famous characters and a lot of that can be credited to Chris Claremont and Frank Miller. The pair are responsible for creating Wolverine’s original solo series, which redefined the character. Claremont and Miller introduced Japan as a major part of Logan’s backstory and here’s my review of the graphic novel. Continue reading “Wolverine Review: A Defining Story Of Honour, Loyalty And The Soul Of Japan”

Pop Culture and Japan

The Physical Power Of Memory: Armour And The Value Of Family

In Japanese culture, family is an important part of daily ritual. Japanese families are considered multigenerational, linked by a respect for ancestors. Ancestry is a powerful force within society and a comic character that highlights the importance of family is Armour. A member of the X-Men, Hisako Ichiki has the power to create a shield made out of memory. Through Armour, I’m going to explore the concept of memory and how it can hold families together.

Continue reading “The Physical Power Of Memory: Armour And The Value Of Family”