One of the most original and popular characters in comic book history is celebrating his 40th anniversary and that character is Usagi Yojimbo.

Usagi Yojimbo or Rabbit Bodyguard as it translated was created by Stan Sakai and was first introduced to the world as a supporting character in the comic series The Adventures of Nilson Groundthumper and Hermy, a series that was set in the medieval ages. In 1984 Usagi had his first adventures published in the pages of Albedo Anthropomorphics and later in 1985 Fantagraphic Books published Critters and here Usagi was on more adventures until 1986. In 1986 Usagi was so popular that Fantagraphic Books gave him his own Summer special and in July of 1987 Usagi Yojimbo #1 was released to the world.

Over the years The Wandering Rabbit Roin has had many stories being told, including some with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, spinoff series, and more, has seen this series as a never-ending samurai film staring Toshiro Mifune and it was directed by Akira Kurosawa but in comic form. If you look at the artwork of the series, the tone, and storytelling, Stan Sakai gave the world a masterclass with it, and still to this day if you pick up any of the old stories, they still hold up very well and stand the test of time.

If you haven’t read any of Usagi’s story now would be a perfect time to do so.