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.
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.
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.
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.