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Manga Info
Kago no Tori (SASAKI Ayumi)  
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A young Chinese boy, Lee-Ren is purchased from his poverty stricken mother by a Japanese official for sexual purposes in 1910.
Thus begins the 'owned' life of Lee-Ren in his master's household, where he is alternately sold out and used within.
Jin, the naive young son of the master, grows up with Lee-Ren. This is the story of their tumultuous relationship.


Related Series

Associated Names
Bird in a Cage
Bird in the Cage
Caged Bird (SASAKI Ayumi)
Kage no Tori
Kagonotori (SASAKI Ayumi)

Groups Scanlating

Latest Release(s)

in Country of Origin
1 Volume (Complete)

Completely Scanlated?

Anime Start/End Chapter

User Reviews


User Rating
Average: 7.8 / 10.0 (120 votes)
Bayesian Average: 7.54 / 10.0

Last Updated
September 19th 2012, 7:16am PST



Category Recommendations





Original Publisher

Serialized In (magazine)

Licensed (in English)

English Publisher

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #629 increased(+88)
Monthly Pos #1495 increased(+359)
3 Month Pos #3213 increased(+241)
6 Month Pos #3860 increased(+1120)
Year Pos #6134 increased(+1054)

List Stats
On 54 reading lists
On 93 wish lists
On 372 completed lists
On 7 unfinished lists
On 118 custom lists

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User Comments  [ Order by usefulness ]
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Painful to read  
by Akako
November 22nd, 2014, 9:34pm
Rating: 9.0 / 10.0
I was hoping for a happy ending, but as the end drew near and there were less and less pages I started to understand it won't be any. It made me sad to see how they couldn't talk about it and how their pure feelings altered. I feel like it was really love in the beginning, but at the end I can't tell if Jin is still in-love or just madly obsessed. Such a shame...
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yeah, i agree  
by sosise
August 10th, 2009, 1:27am
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
this is one of the ancient yaoi i ever read it was one of my first, and i know! i kept thinking about it once in a while. it is really believeable and somehow you just feel the pain in your chest--kinda. blame me for being so sentimental.
the art was gorgeous back in 1996 (while it is not now; but he is still pretty) but i love it. without much screentone... her art is just beautiful.
this is one of the best story to start your yaoi journey. i recommend this.
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Incredible Story!  
by Chira00
September 19th, 2008, 6:38pm
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
So many tragedies, more than the obvious one, Lee-Ran. So much human suffering. What we do to one another to replace loss, try to heal past hurts or simply to win over someone else. At what cost! We can break free, it we truly desire it. But, that is the hardest thing to do sometimes. It requires great strength and change. Sometimes it requires us to let go of what we desire/love the most or to let go of our most desired revenge. Such a tragic tale. I would recommend this to anyone, even Yaoi haters. It is one incredible story!!

... Last updated on September 19th, 2008, 6:39pm
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Depressing yet simply can't be missed  
by Yuenchi
July 22nd, 2008, 11:05pm
Rating: N/A
Actually if I have to rate this title based on whether I "liked" it or not, maybe I'll just give it a '5', since this is one tragic, depressing story. And I like happy and cute stuff. However, this is one of the finest BL manga every written and naturally it deserves a higher rating from me. I recommend to read it when you're in the mood for something more serious, or just want to complete your collection of fine manga.

@Yuri21: I think better understanding (or maybe acceptance) of the cultural and historical background of this manga and its characters would diminish your questions. It may not be acceptable for most modern people of modern society (rightfully, I would say), but for Lee-Ren even as a very young boy he realized and accepted the fact of him being sold to Jin's father as fate, something decided for him by his parent and for him to live with. He was Jin's father's possession. I don't think he'd been suffering any serious physical torture besides being a sex-servant, but that's not the point. The point is he didn't see himself as someone being treated unfairly. He was not a free man being held captive and forced into submission, he was never free to begin with. First as a boy by poverty and then by being sold to Jin's father. In fact he didn't see the treatments done to him as anything fundamentally wrong, until Jin told him that the act was disgusting. But even after that, with cultural background and personality that he had, he blamed no other but himself. Until the end he even saw Jin's father as someone he more or less respected, as someone in a much higher status than he was, not because of any strange abusive-emotional entanglement. He just never saw himself as an equal human being. Lee-Ren was not special in this case, as I'm sure the same tragic fate had befallen many other Lee-Rens through out history, as well as in our current world today. Well at least this is what I think, in other words this is just my opinion... For me the mangaka didn't fail at explaining or conveying anything, not at all.

@MightyMaeve: I don't like that guy in the first chapter >_<.

Rating: 8.8/10

... Last updated on July 22nd, 2008, 11:22pm
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Commendable but not that perfect...  
by VampireBanana
June 29th, 2008, 4:56am
Rating: 7.5 / 10.0
Yes, it's certainly commendable to base a story on such complex themes and at least, the mangaka managed to get it right when dealing with the relations between Jin and Lee-Ren.

However, the reasons why a victim of sex abuse and child rape(what else could it be when a man purchases a child slave?) would choose to bind himself to his abuser(s) are never fully explored nor explained clearly. Was there a reason for Lee-Ren's loyalty(supposed fear that the father would try to harm his family or Jin) or did the years of abuse give birth to a craving for pain and unhealthy desires? Or did he simply try to tell himself that he deserved it or even try to explain away the abuse?

And in a long-term relationship of abuse, the victim often becomes the abuser and there's usually a power play between the victim and the aggressor or a third or fourth party. Did Lee-Ren pave this road or did he simply remain the victim, choosing never to heap abuse on others?

CJ Michalski at least gets this right in Kowarekake no Omocha but in this story, everything is a bit too one-sided and though the plot was good, there're too many assumptions made. The mangaka almost hits the spot in defining how abuse could shape one's relations with others(like how some tend to misinterpret that the victim wants to be saved, without any proper discussion) but there're a few misses.

Update To Yeunchi: You might be right but the thing is: did the mangaka at any time point that out? Well, much of it is left to the reader to assume and to supposedly draw his/her observations from various historical accounts.

To me, if one aims to tackle such topics, you need to tightly restrict your storytelling devices to steer people to the exact topic. Otherwise, the writer risks having more than 20 versions inferred from the story, with many missing the point while some get it. You see, you get all of it while all of my friends didn’t. And we’re supposed to study tons of history just to see from the author’s viewpoints? You’ve got to be kidding, right? bigrazz

... Last updated on April 26th, 2009, 5:40am
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a very heartwarming story!  
by ichigotvxq
May 9th, 2008, 11:37pm
Rating: N/A
For me, its the best manga i've ever read. I'm not really into drama yaoi but this one is definitely catched my attention. I agree with the two reviewers below me. It's really a good manga which tell a true-to-life story. I've read it only last week but it still hunting me. I feel sorry for Lee Ren who's been a victim since from the start. Though I knew its only a manga, but I feel hatred toward to the guys who made Lee Ren suffered, which include Jin.

This story really made me goosebump yet I feel I want to cry for Lee Ren. >< How I wish I could be the girl who can save him ^^ (will snatch him from Jin and marry him hehehe)
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heart wrenching  
by grumble_cakes
May 9th, 2008, 1:48pm
Rating: 9.5 / 10.0
much like the first reviewer, I read this a few years ago and I find myself thinking of this story every now and then. It's just one of those stories that haunt you for a long time. The artwork is very 1996 which I don't like but the story overcomes all of that. I really recommend it!
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Oh. MY. I've Been Knocked Over - Repeatedly  
by MightyMaeve
March 28th, 2008, 11:25am
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
I read this one over a year ago, but I keep going back to reread it. It simply stunned me. Right now, I'm getting teary-eyed simply thinking about the story and art. Gah! I need a minute. . .
**unclenching stomach muscles and trying to regain composure**
I. did. not. realize. that. it. was. based. on. true. history. Makes it even more powerful.
Mostly it was women ('comfort women') that were forced to service the Japanese army. Why not boys too? I'm sure it happened.
The potency fell around the son's struggle within himself: Is he like his father or not? He abhors what his father has done (once he finally clues in) but in the end, will his personal desires vastly overwhelm what is 'right' and 'wrong' in his mind? He becomes so frustrated when his love does not choose or even feel how he thinks he should. Although the love is just as real as anybody else's, frustration can cause us to be tragically cruel.
It's tragic: Enormously sad, but incredibly thought-provoking.
The art is good, but not breathtakingly outstanding; where this story shines is in the emotional content and believable dialgouge and personalities.
The apparent lose thread of the unknown man from the first chapter (not first chronilogically in plotting) intially was my only complaint about this manga, but I think it does play in as an offering of that ephimerial emotion -hope- for the reader.
This mangaka's works are largely unknown and older; therefore, very hard to come by, so bravo to GOOC! Thank you.

... Last updated on June 29th, 2009, 11:43am
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