Buddha, Volume 1: Kapilavastu

Buddha, Volume 1: Kapilavastu


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Osamu Tezuka’s vaunted storytelling genius, consummate skill at visual expression, and warm humanity blossom fully in his eight-volume epic of Siddhartha’s life and times. Tezuka evidences his profound grasp of the subject by contextualizing the Buddha’s ideas; the emphasis is on movement, action, emotion, and conflict as the prince Siddhartha runs away from home, travels across India, and questions Hindu practices such as ascetic self-mutilation and caste oppression. Rather than recommend resignation and impassivity, Tezuka’s Buddha predicates enlightenment upon recognizing the interconnectedness of life, having compassion for the suffering, and ordering one’s life sensibly. Philosophical segments are threaded into interpersonal situations with ground-breaking visual dynamism by an artist who makes sure never to lose his readers’ attention.

Tezuka himself was a humanist rather than a Buddhist, and his magnum opus is not an attempt at propaganda. Hermann Hesse’s novel or Bertolucci’s film is comparable in this regard; in fact, Tezuka’s approach is slightly irreverent in that it incorporates something that Western commentators often eschew, namely, humor.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781932234565
Publisher: Kodansha USA
Publication date: 05/02/2006
Series: Buddha Series , #1
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 222,226
Product dimensions: 5.99(w) x 7.98(h) x 1.26(d)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author

Osamu Tezuka (1928-89) is the godfather of Japanese manga comics. He originally intended to become a doctor and earned his degree before turning to what was then a medium for children. His many early masterpieces include the series known in the U.S. as Astro Boy. With his sweeping vision, deftly interwined plots, feel for the workings of power, and indefatigable commitment to human dignity, Tezuka elevated manga to an art form. The later Tezuka, when he authored Buddha, often had in mind the mature readership that manga gained in the sixties and that had only grown ever since. The Kurosawa of Japanese pop culture, Osamu Tezuka is a twentieth century classic.

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Buddha, Volume 1: Kapilavastu 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
HeikeM on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This review is meant for the whole series.Buddha is not at all what I expected. It is a hugely enjoyable biography of Buddha, yes, but it is also a fun ride through countries, adventures, wars, romances, landscapes and anything else life could possibly include. Even though it is quite a serious theme the book never stops being funny in a warm and human way. Little sparkles now and then, for example when a character in connection with werewolves mentions movies (I am sure they didn't have them in Buddha's time), bring the book into our century. It is not a deeply religious book, it doesn't really matter if you are or not, it is just a brilliant retelling of a age-old story. The art of course is absolutely wonderful, Tezuka is not called the *Godfather of Manga* in vain - beautiful landscapes and although slightly *cartoony* the figures are very real. This first volume brings us up to the birth of Buddha, but as becomes clear in the following books, the story lines of other characters are just as important. I love this series, a lot of the content is known to me but it is wonderful to read it all from this amazing writer and artist's point of view.
TillieChan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This entire series is great. Osamu Tezuka makes learning fun by adding his own witty characters to the heart felt traditional story of Buddha and how Buddhism began. His beautiful drawings give you a vivid look at the story and make you just want to cry. Every book in the series is as great and there all equal.
martyr13 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fun book, but I don't really like the anachronistic humor.
dmcolon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Reading through some of the other reviews of Osamu Tezuka's Buddha, it's clear that there's no real consensus on this series. As history, I have no doubt that Tezuka has taken some liberties with the narrative of the Buddha's life. But as a piece of writing, however, this is an excellent retelling of the life of the Buddha. In the first volume, the reader is given a general overview of some of the main characters and the background story. The Buddha himself only makes an appearance late in the book and even then, he's a baby. There are several narrative paths all of which converge by the end. The narrative flows smoothly and Tezuka does a great job creating between the reader and the several characters and even manages to make some of the more unappealing people rather nuanced and sympathetic.There will be some people for whom the historical inaccuracies will get in the way of their enjoyment of the book. I would remind those people, however, that some of the most beloved works of literature are themselves gross distortions of history. Shakespeare's "history" plays border on fabrication, Mallory's Mort Darthur isn't exactly accurate and in fact literary representations of historical events have always taken a good deal of license with their subject matter. Yet somehow, there are a group of literary snobs who won't accept contemporary historical fiction and turn up their noses at all contemporary retellings of history. They have no apparent problem with their beloved cannon doing the same, but if contemporary authors do it, it's an outrage. Buddha is a literary retelling of the life of the Buddha and as such, it is most definitively not sold as nor intended to be a historical retelling of his life. It's an enjoyable introduction to this topic and has undoubtedly inspired lots of people to learn more about the life of its subject.
Arctic-Stranger on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
You know this series is going places beyond the conventional when the Buddha does not even show up until the end of the first volume. this is not your conventional religious biography ... not by a long shot. Tezuka brings out the best of Manga to tell the story, with great leisure, of enlightenment. If you are looking for a "Buddha for Beginners" book, this is not the place to start, but if you want good manga, and a great story, dive in!
stephmo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The first in Osamu Tezuka's epic eight-volume manga series.First things first, this is not a historic reproduction done in comic form. If one is looking for a serious study of Buddhism, this is probably not the place to start. That being said, if one wants to complain about the lack of on-point theological exactness in a manga depiction of the Buddha's life, one should get familiar with the terms "broad strokes" and "chill." Ostensibly, this is the first volume of the story of Shiddhartha, the Gautama Buddha. Seeing as how he's not even born until page 250/400 and probably appears on about 5 pages worth of those 400, we don't get a huge introduction outside of knowing that Shiddhartha is destined for great things.Volume one concentrates mostly on the story of Chapra and Tatta - a slave and pariah. Chapra desperately wants to break free of his slave caste and Tatta is able to possess animals. They live outside of Kapilavastu, which today is considered a Holy site for Buddhists (its exact location is under some dispute). While the Buddha does not figure prominently into the first book, certain truths are skillfully woven throughout this volume. If nothing, this is a searing indictment on the evils of the caste system put in pace thousands of years ago. Even more brilliantly done is the enduring theme that all life is sacred no matter how insignificant it may seem as it is part of a larger design. Tezuka's drawings run the gambit. There's definitely the "traditional" manga feel in the black and white drawings. At the same time, the artistry in some of the epic panels is undeniable; the locust scenes are well-worth a pause.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Easy to read, and understand. I have read 7 others in this same series since I purchased and read this one and find Osamu Tezuka to be very educational and funny. If you are interested in learning and understanding Buddhism in a interesting and comical sense a must read.
Orindae More than 1 year ago
I first found this book at a library while looking for anything that caught my eye, and wow what a book it turned out to be, the art alone is worth buying it, let alone the story, which is up there with the best of them.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is an excellent semi-historical account of the Buddha's life by the legendary Osama Tezuka. I'm a bit biased since I've been a huge fan of his for over 30 years, but this work is excellent and I can NOT wait for the rest of this series to be printed in English (I've had it in Japanese for over 10 years and the translation is really helping me out !)
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is seriously the best manga I've seen translated and published in American-English ever. It doesn't forget manga-master Tezuka, and the classic Japanese look he created, but the design is informed by the savvy American comix market. Also, as a part-time Buddhist =), I have to say that the messages in this book will resound well to others like me. I cannot wait for the next volumes!