Home Podcasts Japan Station A Chat with Stan Sakai, Creator of Usagi Yojimbo | Japan Station 23

A Chat with Stan Sakai, Creator of Usagi Yojimbo | Japan Station 23

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On This Episode of Japan Station

On this episode of the Japan Station podcast I sit down for a chat with the award-winning creator of the Usagi Yojimbo comic book series, Stan Sakai.

About Stan Sakai

Though born in Japan, Stan Sakai grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii, before moving to California to pursue a career in comics. Once in California Stan went on to work with some of the most legendary figures in the comics industry, including Stan Lee and Sergio Aragones. Stan is best known as the creator of the long-running comic book series, Usagi Yojimbo. The series, which dates back to 1984, has won Stan a long list of prestigious awards, including five Eisner Awards. The main character of Usagi Yojimbo, Miyamoto Usagi, has also appeared in numerous crossovers with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Usagi Yojimbo is currently be developed into an animated TV series.

Topics Discussed

  • Stan’s parents and why he was born in Japan
  • The difference between the manga industry in Japan and the American comic book industry
  • His work on the graphic novel adaptation of the story fo the 47 ronin (published by Dark Horse comics)
  • How Stan got into the comic book industry
  • The time the late-Stan Lee surprised Stan by calling him on the phone
  • Stan’s relationship with Sergio Aragones
  • Stan’s interest in Japanese history and culture
  • Stan’s wife Julie Fujii Sakai
  • The incredible cute-ness of Chibi Usagi
  • Usagi Yojimbo being developed into an animated TV series by Gaumont
  • Valuable advice for aspiring comic book creators
  • And much more!

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You can follow Stan Sakai on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Stan Sakai on Twitter

Stan Sakai on Instagram

Stan Sakai on Facebook

For more information on Stan Sakai or to purchase Usagi Yojimbo merchandise, you can check out Stan Sakai’s website.

Stan Sakai Website

If you would like to see more of Julie Fujii-Sakai’s work, you can check out the website for her brand, Chibi Time.

Chibi Time Website

Here is an image of a special Usagi Yojimbo #1 variant cover featuring artwork of Chibi Usagi by Julie Fujii Sakai (published by IDW). The issue in the image was signed by both Julie Fujii Sakai and Stan Sakai (see bottom of page). The comic was signed in September of 2019 at a comic and collectibles shop in Honolulu called Other Realms Ltd.

Variant Cover of Usai Yojimbo #1 featuring Chibi Usagi (artwork by Julie Fujii Sakai). This issue was published by IDW Publishing. It is an exclusive variant only sold at conventions and special events. The cover was signed by Stan Sakai and Julie Fujii Sakai at a signing event held in September of 2019 at Other Realms Ltd., a comic book and collectibles shop in Honolulu, Hawaii.

If you’d like to purchase The Hidden–the Usagi Yojimbo mini-series about Japan’s hidden Christians–you can do so via the Amazon link below.

If you would like to purchase 47 Ronin by Mike Richardson and Stan Sakai, a good place to visit would be the Dark Horse Comics website.

47 Ronin

Stan Sakai drew the artwork for the cover of the August-September 2019 issue of Wasabi magazine. Jason Nobriga did the coloring. To read the article that was based on the conversation featured on this episode of Japan Station, click here or or the cover below.

The cover of the August-September 2019 (Volume 2 Issue 3) issue of Wasabi magazine. Features original artwork of Miyamoto Usagi (Usagi Yojimbo) by Stan Sakai. Coloring by Jason Nobriga. Courtesy of Wasabi magazine (www.readwasabi.com).

To learn more about Stan Sakai, you can also check out this short documentary The Sword and the Pen by Kyle Wright below.

To learn more about Comic Con Honolulu, check out the link below.

Comic Con Honolulu

Special Thanks

Opening/Closing song: Oedo Controller (大江戸コントローラー) by Yunomi featuring Toriena (Used with permission from Yunomi)
To listen to more of Yunomi’s music, check out his Soundcloud page or YouTube channel.

Japan Station cover art: Provided by Erik R.

Featured image: Courtesy of Stan Sakai

Image of the Usagi Yojimbo Chibi Usagi variant cover: Japankyo

Image of Wasabi magazine: Courtesy of Wasabi magazine

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