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Takemitsu Zamurai   
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Early on New Year's morning, the ronin Senou Souichirou appears in Edo's Katagi tenements. Initially, the inhabitants regard him with fear and suspicion: Kankichi, the carpenter's son, thinks he may not be human; the neighborhood cats remark that he reeks of blood. But soon Souichirou pawns his sword, and, with a bamboo replica at his waist, settles down to a quiet life as the neighborhood school-teacher. Months pass, and all appears to be well. But trouble will not leave the Katagi tenements alone.

Note: Won the Grand Prize at 15th Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize in 2011.


Related Series

Associated Names
Bamboo Samurai
Le samouraï bambou (French)
Samurai of the Bamboo Sword
Takemitsu Zamurai: El samurai que vendio su alma
죽도 사무라이

Groups Scanlating

Latest Release(s)
v.8 (end) by Hox over 12 years ago
v.7 c.70 by Hox over 12 years ago
v.7 c.69 by Hox over 12 years ago
Search for all releases of this series

in Country of Origin
8 Volumes (Complete)

Completely Scanlated?

Anime Start/End Chapter

User Reviews


User Rating
Average: 8.7 / 10.0 (207 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.41 / 10.0

Last Updated
August 20th 2021, 5:48am



Category Recommendations





Original Publisher

Serialized In (magazine)
Big Comic Spirits (Shogakukan)

Licensed (in English)

English Publisher

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #721 increased(+23)
Monthly Pos #1721 (No change)
3 Month Pos #2570 increased(+937)
6 Month Pos #4188 increased(+951)
Year Pos #6013 increased(+327)

List Stats
On 269 reading lists
On 708 wish lists
On 391 completed lists
On 27 unfinished lists
On 261 custom lists

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over 13 years ago

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User Comments  [ Order by usefulness ]
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Appropriate Art Style  
by resi_cat
August 26th, 2011, 9:06am
Rating: 10.0  / 10.0
I just wanted to comment on the art style of this manga. While others may have praised the quality and uniqueness of the art style and urged others to appreciate it more (or else!), I just want to chime in with why I personally enjoy the style.

I do not believe that this art style can be successful with just any story. However, in this Edo Period setting, the old art style fits perfectly, unsurprisingly. What was more astonishing to me was the extra flavor it brought to the story: an element of horror (since I associate this style with ghost/supernatural stories).

Throughout the series, I keep suspecting something terrible will happen just around the corner, interrupting the temporary tranquility of Souichirou's daily routines with the children. I believe that this is something that most other art styles would not be able to bring to the story.

Unrelated note: I did not know that octopuses squirt ink. I thought it was a mistake until I looked it up.
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A Classic  
by babel
May 20th, 2011, 5:55pm
Rating: 10.0  / 10.0
One of the very best Manga I have ever read. It takes a little while to become acclimatised to the artwork, but you soon realize that the artist is capable of portraying every nuance of the characters, from low cunning to bliss, kindness to pure ferocity. Some of the images from this work will stay with me for a long time. The story matches this amazing quality with the ability to transport you to a place which seems very real. I was left with the feeling of having seen an authentic view of life in Edo a few hundred years ago. This is peppered with the quirkiness of a narrative which gives as much weight to a conversation between cats as a life or death struggle between Samurai. The story is beautifully paced and absolutely compelling. I read this in one sitting: I couldn't put it down.

... Last updated on May 20th, 2011, 5:56pm
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Simply Amazing.  
by Gynok
January 17th, 2011, 11:40am
Rating: 10.0  / 10.0
I can't recommend this highly enough - a beauty from start to end. If all you see is an art style that due to your own immaturity you cannot appreciate, then this manga is wasted on you. For all others, read this, you won't regret it.
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by barbapapa
January 8th, 2011, 5:29pm
Rating: 10.0  / 10.0
Matsumoto has really outdone himself, with the help of a virtually unknown writer. The art, the story, the pace, the characters; they're all simply brilliant. It's not often that I want to pace myself when reading a manga, but find myself unable to read something else because it won't live up to this tale of Senou Souichirou.

... Last updated on January 8th, 2011, 6:20pm
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by McCamyTaylor
December 18th, 2010, 6:52pm
Rating: 10.0  / 10.0
Of course, I expected no less from the author of "Ping Pong." But still....

The art is sublime! It has the feel of old Japanese woodblock prints but with a modern emphasis on character. The hero is like Kenshin, brave, kind hearted and conflicted but without the excessive cuteness. So glad it is getting translated again. Can not imagine why it has not been picked up by an American publisher, since Japanese historical themed anime and manga do so well over here.
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by calstine
December 16th, 2010, 9:44am
Rating: 9.5  / 10.0
As many people have noted before me, Takemitsu-Zamurai has one of the most splendidly-written and skilfully-executed plot-lines I have ever seen. Though I do not profess to be an expert on the subject, this manga seems almost completely accurate in its depictions of the lifestyles, battle-techniques, weapons, clothing and other details of life in Edo-era Japan.

Each character, no matter how trivial his or her role in the story, is portrayed in a realistic and believable fashion. The protagonist, Souichirou, manages to charm the reader just as effectively as he does his fellow villagers; and though his past is revealed soon enough, the enigma and mystery that shrouds his personality remains intact throughout the eight volumes.

What is most commendable, however, is Eifuku Issei's ability to paint a portrait of Souichirou's day-to-day adventures in Edo within our minds, while still maintaining a more serious and action-oriented subplot in the background. This manga effectively shatters the established cliches of both 'action' and 'slice-of-life' genres by presenting a brilliant combination of both.

The art is excellent. As usual, Matsumoto Taiyou does not fail to impress with his unique and skillful illustrations; this time utilizing a drawing-style highly reminiscent of age-old Japanese watercolour paintings. Needless to say, this is a fitting style of art for a manga set in the bygone days of Japan.

In short, anyone who yearns to break free of the quagmire of cliches that is prevalent in today's manga, should do themselves a favour by reading this intriguing and original series.

... Last updated on January 16th, 2011, 2:53pm
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by monkey-boy
December 27th, 2009, 6:39pm
Rating: 10.0  / 10.0
Takemitsu Zamurai is the best manga I've read in at least a couple of years. Story development is suspenseful and light by turns --- the handling both of Senou's cheerful adjustment to Edo, and of his slow drawing out by malevolent forces around him, is exceptional.

Note too that the art is outstanding. To those who don't like it, I'll grant that Matsumoto is trying something new and difficult, and seems to need a few chapters to work out the kinks; but it's not long before he has it down under flawless control. As zzoha said below: this is style. Raise your game and appreciate it.

Finally, a word of thanks to Hox for discovering and translating this gem. Hox, apparently, is like Mangascreener back in the day ... if he/she/they spent time on it, you can be assured it's worth reading, and Takemitsu Zamurai is the best proof of that to date. Kudos.

... Last updated on April 18th, 2010, 9:34pm
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by zzoha
December 5th, 2009, 9:38am
Rating: 9.0  / 10.0
Those who claim that art sucks here obviously read to much sweet shoujo and never put a finger on pencil and draw XD
The art here is awesome!!!!Its the matter of style people! To draw like this you have to be very skilled.
the story goes slowly for now.i think this is not manga for everyone, but i love the drawing style so much uuuh i cannot wait for the next chapters.
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Love the Art!  
by XGatsu
October 27th, 2009, 4:44pm
Rating: 8.0  / 10.0
This might sound weird but I love the art. The art style perfectly fits and accentuates the samurai story. It definitely has that traditional samurai Ukiyo-e flavor to it which, as stated above, is perfect for a samurai story. The story itself has a very peaceful, light and episodic feel right now but foreshadows a very dark future plot which I can't wait to see unfold. And the characters themselves are what really makes this a great manga. Souchirou is so weird, enigmatic, dark, and charming, basically just a really complex character who would really be interesting to see develop. So Takemitsu has a unique art style with very interesting characters and a promising, possible dark, plot. And that's a 10 in my book at least for now smile
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Don't let the art put you off  
by Accipiter
October 18th, 2009, 11:40am
Rating: 9.0  / 10.0
This isn't a lack of artistic skill that's on display here, it's an intentional style that Matsumoto Taiyo is employing in this Manga. If you are willing to step outside your normal notions of what Manga should look like then you will find a very intriguing story inside.
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