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Cover image for Buddha
Uniform Title:
Budda. English















1st American ed.
Publication Information:
New York, N.Y. : Vertical, ©2003-<c2007>
Physical Description:
volumes <1-5, 8> : chiefly illustrations, maps ; 21 cm
1. Kapilavastu -- 2. The four encounters -- 3. Devadatta -- 4. The forest of Uruvela -- v. 5. Deer Park -- v. 6. Ananda. -- v. 7. Prince Ajatasattu -- v. 8 Jetavana.
Recounts Siddhartha's spiritual journey on the path to enlightenment and becoming the Buddha.


Call Number

On Order



Weaves the story of the Buddha's birth with those of the slave Chapra, pretending to be a general s son, his long-suffering mother, the pariah Tatta who talks to animals, and the monk Naradatta trying to interpret the omens of the Buddha s birth.

Author Notes

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.

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Tezuka, the master of Japanese comics, mixes his own characters with history as deftly as he transfers the most profound, complex emotions onto extremely cartoony characters, and his work defies easy categorization. In Buddha, originally serialized in the 1970s and one of his last works, he lavishly retells the life of Siddhartha, who isn't even born until page 268. Instead, Tezuka introduces Chapra, a slave who attempts to escape his fate by posing as the son of a general; Tatta, a crazed wild child pariah who communes with animals; Chapra's slave mother, who stands by him no matter what; and Naradatta, a monk attempting to discover the meaning of strange portents of the Buddha's birth. Throughout the book, the characters engage in fresh and unexpected adventures, escapes and reverses, as they play out Tezuka's philosophical concern with overcoming fate and the uselessness of violence. Despite episodes of extreme brutality and broad humor, the core of the story revolves around various set pieces, as when Tatta sacrifices himself to a snake to save Naradatta and Chapra's mom. After a moment of intense emotion, the scene is upended by the arrival of a bandit who mocks their attempts at keeping their karmic slates clean. "Why were you all fussing over some stupid trade? Why not just kill the snake and eat it?" The answer unfolds over succeeding volumes. Heavily influenced by Walt Disney, Tezuka's often cute characters may take some getting used to, but his storytelling is strong and clean. Appearing in handsome packages designed by Chip Kidd, this is a stunning achievement. (Oct. 2003) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Booklist Review

Japanese comics pioneer Tezuka's monumental account of the life of the Buddha continues. Little is known about the life of the sixth-century-B.C.E. spiritual leader, so Tezuka devotes much of the narrative to characters he created as well as figures from early Buddhist lore, through them portraying the violent society and cruel caste system that the Buddha challenged. Deer Park0 opens with a meeting between the fictional swordsman Tatta and the historical Devadatta, both of whose lives would be transformed by the Buddha. Tatta pledges his life to the Buddha after the voice of his bandit lover, Migaila, is miraculously restored; but Devadatta goes on to become the Buddha's greatest enemy. Deer Park0 also includes a key event in the Buddha's story: the delivery of his first sermon in a field in which deer and other wild beasts gather. Those expecting a solemn treatment of Buddhist foundations may be taken aback by Tezuka's approach, which encompasses humor and, indeed, broad slapstick and lowbrow, anachronistic jokes that frequently break the fourth wall, as when Tatta removes his helmet in battle, saying, "Tezuka says it's hard to draw anyway." Others may object to the frequent violence or the casual nudity. Those who approach the work open-mindedly can't but be impressed by Tezuka's compassionate humanism--a quality distinguishing his work throughout his long career--and masterful storytelling. --Gordon Flagg Copyright 2005 Booklist

Library Journal Review

This excellent book begins an eight-volume hardcover presentation of one of manga master Tezuka's mature works: an epic historical fiction GN based on the life of Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha. In this volume, Tezuka weaves the story of the Buddha's portentous birth with the stories of the slave Chapra, rising in the world but separated from his loving mother, and the pariah Tattva (even lower in the Indian caste system than a slave), who has the power to possess the bodies of animals. Any reader expecting a dry biography is in for a surprise: the story is full of action and laced with Tezuka's trademark goofy humor. Tezuka shares nuggets of Buddhist philosophy while also showing a more humanist compassion for the suffering and the downtrodden. Tezuka's figures are cartoony in the style familiar from Astro Boy, but he shows his range as an artist with the book's many realistic and detailed landscapes. There's a good deal of nudity here, all in non-titillating contexts. Appropriate for older teens but probably of more interest to adults; recommended for all collections. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.