Friday, March 12, 2010

Osamu Tezuka's Buddha 1-3

The series who originaly ran from september 1972 til desember 1983 has been revived in the west by Vertical inc.'s publishing in 2003-2005 - winning the prestigious 2004&2005 Eisner (comic industry) award for best foreign (not US) comic. (An award that has been won by Norwegian Jason for the last 3 years running...)

4 of 8 books have now been published in Norwegian by publishing mastodont Gyldendal; and having finnished the first 3 volumes I eagerly await the rest. The translation by Bjarne Robberstad Johnsen seems close to perfect - although it is quite unclear wether he's using the english translation or he is going to the japanese roots of the thing.

It is always difficult, it seems, to print from japanese left-to-right and into the western right-to-left and there are a few (2-3 that I found) printing errors. As I am assuming Gyldendal has based their publication on the Vertical inc. version - thats simply not good enough. But it does'nt destroy the reading experience - it only marrs the perfection of the thing.

Osamu Tezuka was originaly a medical doctor who devoted himself to the art of manga; and is (until now) perhaps more reknown for the manga superhits Astroboy and Phoenix. His vision of the Buddhas life is a fantastic mix of the holy and the profane, and he uses his skill as a comic writer/artist with great success. It is an amazingly easy read; and you will feel as a better person for the experience.

It might not be the best piece of litterature to study the life of the Buddha or the path to enlightenment - but to instill curiosity in the Buddha and to nurture the universal longing for the well-beeing of others we all carry... Osamu Tezuka's Buddha is the perfect gift for children 10+ and all adults.

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