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"Sword for Hire, Son for Hire": Performances of Warrior Fatherhood in Film and Television Adaptations of the Kozure Okami (Lone Wolf and Cub) Manga
This paper will examine the performances and characterisation of the central character in three adaptations of Kazuo Koike and Goseki Kojima's manga Kozure Okami (Lone Wolf and Cub) to show how these different interpretations represent a coherent but nuanced idea of the warrior father. This idea stretches across different media adaptations, from manga to film and television, with the first two case studies under consideration being the 1971-1974 film series starring Tomisaburo Wakayama and the 1973-1976 television series starring Kinnosuke Yorozuya. But this idea also extends across cultures, as the central relationship between father and son in the manga is the acknowledged inspiration for Max Allan Collins' graphic novel Road to Perdition. Tom Hanks' performance in the 2002 film adaptation of this version forms the third case study in this paper. The nuances of these three different performances and characterisations, particularly in the differences in the relationship between father and son, illustrate the shifts between cultures and media brought about by these adaptations and form the focus of the paper.