Activity: Participating in or organising an event types › Participation in conference
‘Child of Sorrow’: Child as Symbol of the Poisoned Future in Adaptations of the Kozure Okami (Lone Wolf and Cub) Manga
In the "Kozure Okami" ("Lone Wolf and Cub") manga and its adaptations, Ogami Itto and his infant son Daigoro are the only survivors of a family slaughtered by a power-seeking rival. Itto is presented as the ideal of the samurai who seeks to pass these qualities on to his son. The relationship between father and son serves to set the Lone Wolf and Cub narrative apart from the many other stories of vengeance-seeking ronin, but it also acts to underline the theme of the manga, which condemns the lingering effects of feudal society upon modern Japan. The portrayal of Daigoro is the main means of transmission of this concept, as he is shown to have the form of samurai society, but also the capacity for violence, without any understanding. This paper will examine Japanese film and television adaptations of the manga in relation to their portrayal of Daigoro. It will consider the particular demands and effects of transforming the acts of a three year-old child from drawn form to actual performance. Comparison will be made with the change in the child's age and the role played by the son in Max Allan Collins' graphic novel "Road to Perdition", identified as an homage to "Lone Wolf and Cub", and its 2002 film version.