Author Topic: Osamu Tezuka's "Buddha"  (Read 2738 times)

Offline WonderlandAlli

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Osamu Tezuka's "Buddha"
« on: November 30, 2009, 10:38:19 pm »

Being a comics nerd, I read this whole series years ago just as a manga and loved it. I kidnapped the hardcover novels from my friend's bedroom and returned them slowly one at a time. (He let me "kidnap" them knowing it'd get me hooked more on graphic novels.) It's fun to think back on it now and see what I recognize from stories about Buddha that I've read since then. Tezuka created a lot of fictional characters and events for the series, but its important to remember its not meant as a spiritual teachings book but an epic story based on and around Buddha. For example, the first book opens with a traditional story about a previous life of Buddha as a rabbit who throws himself on a fire to feed a hungry man, because he was too small to be able to find and bring back any other food for the man. Then it goes into a fictional story of a man trying to change his caste.

I think Tatta was my favorite fictional character in the series. From Wiki
"Tatta: A fictional thief of the 'Pariah', making his status even lower than that of the slave caste. As a child, Tatta is very close to nature and has the unique ability to possess animals, which the Brahmin Naradatta takes great advantage of. In volume 1, after befriending the slave Chapra, his mother and sister are murdered by the rampaging armies of Kosala. After Kosala's soldiers execute Chapra and 'Moms', Tatta vows revenge upon the kingdom of Kosala. As he grows up, Tatta becomes a bandit and reveals his plan of vengeance is to show the outside world to the sheltered child, Siddhartha, in hopes of persuading him to vanquish Kosala when he becomes king. In book three, he agrees to stop being a bandit. In book five, he becomes a lay disciple to Buddha, unwilling to become a monk because it would mean cutting his hair. Despite Buddha's attempts to convince him otherwise, Tatta is unable to forgive the Kosalans for killing those close to him and joins a renegade Shakyan army who sought revenge for the atrocities inflicted on them by Crystal Prince. He dies in the last book fighting the Kosalan army."

So Tatta is very up and down in the story. He starts of trying wanting to set up Prince Siddhartha to see the bad in the world (which he was destined to do without Tatta's help anyway) out of vengeance against a nation for the death of his family. Later he makes some positive changes in lifestyle, but refuses to go all the way and become a monk, he's still too attached to his anger and sadness over his family's death, and his pride. There's a sad tragedy in his death, that this attachment continued to spur on violence in his life and it led ultimately to his death. Poor little guy... (Also he can possess animals and that's just cool.)

Also fictional is where Siddhartha falls in love with a girl, who's eyes are burnt out by guards so that she can never look on him again. And she's not some chaste virgin, she's a saucy bandit girl. When she can no longer be around Siddartha, she marries the grown Tatta and has a family with him.

So obviously this is not meant to represent the real story of Buddha, if you undertake to read the manga view it as a sort of loosely-historical fictional drama, and you'll do just fine. As a fictional story its great, and I plan to purchase the set for myself sometime. I live a little too far from my old friend to steal his copies again for re-reading. :)
sÄ«la ♥ samādhi  ♥ paññā

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Offline e

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Re: Osamu Tezuka's "Buddha"
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2017, 07:20:12 pm »
I've read this series. It was fantastic! Some beautiful artwork.


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