Inoue News Archive


Staff member
The subject heading is a little misleading, but I hope to one day make it become a reality! :carcus:

Inoue gives us insights into his daily life, his troubles, his success stories, or just little comments on life. Not every mangaka goes out of their way to let their fans know how their lives are going in such detail (I'm looking at you Miura). Anyway I'd like to see these updates centralized, posted in one place to be read in sequence.

I know Inoue's site doesn't offer archives on it. But with the Internet Wayback Machine, I think it could be possible. Is anyone else interested in lending a hand in making this a reality?


With the streak of a tear, Like morning dew
Here's the wayback machine archive link for*/

And everything I was able to snag from there. I don't know how complete this is, considering it only goes from December 2007 to January 2008, with plenty of BIG holes in between what looks like daily updates, there's got to be a lot more to find out there.


Takehiko Inoue said:
Thanks to everybody that came out to the preview screening for "DRAW" the other day.
It sounds like the staff that created it were all nervous then.
I hope everybody who is waiting for the DVD is looking forward to it.

I'm still reading all your thoughts about Real Vol. 6, the Vagabond series and the illustration collections.
Thank you.
There's nothing that encourages me more.

I'm going to keep things rolling like this for the remaining 3 issues this

I feel sleepy everyday...

Time for some news.
"Shinpei's Everyday World of Wheelchair Basketball" is a new column starting this month. Shinpei Aikawa, a good friend of mine, as well as someone who I couldn't draw "Real" without, and a real wheelchair basketball player, has agreed to pen the column for us from the perspective of everyday life.

Experiencing the strengh of his words, his character, his warmth (it's hot!) and his love and passion for basketball led me to ask him to do a column for us.

I believe that everyone who reads Real will feel something from Chinpe-'s.. no, Shinpei's words.

We're planning on running it every other week!

Plan on it!

I'm happy that we found a good column to complement Mr. Kazuhiko Shimamoto's "Nan Tora".

I need to make sure that I don't let more than a month go by without a new Inoue News column myself...

Please look forward to it.

And also, 2 of my staff just won Kodansha's New Artist "Chiba" award.
This is great news.
They've made it to the starting line.

Please take care of yourselves everyone.
1 December 2006

Happy New Year.
I hope this will also be a good year for everybody.

It looks like I'll have a lot of things to do again this year.
Work on the Slam Dunk Scholarship has basically started, and there are several
things that I can't announce yet.
Of course there's always having everybody enjoy the continuation of Vagabond and Real.
Lost Oddysey is also close to being released.

Aside from work, there are personal things that I'd like to do, but haven't been able to that are piling up.

I fel that I got a lot accomplished last year.
I feel some sense of accomplishment for the large number of books, DVDs and other material results that I was able to turn out.

Nevertheless I don't want to rest on my laurels.

If you feel too much of a sense of accomplishment you develop a "mountain"

If you develop a "mountain" you'll also develop a "valley".

That's why I only feel "some" sense of accomplishment for last year.

Mentally, the theme for this year is:

"Lightly and Easily"

That will also be a challenge.

I hope for your support again this year.
7 January 2007

I'm in the middle of the manuscript for Real, but it's not proceeding very well so I thought I'd take a break and write some News.

I want to thank everyone for the number of well wishes I received for birthday in December.
I turned 40.
"At forty I had no more perplexities...." Hmm... I wonder if that's true for me...?

On the first day in the office this year, all the staff gathered together and wrote down their goals for the year.
These were placed in a sealed envelope.
Nobody will know what anybody else wrote until we open it at the end of the year party for this year.

I wonder if everyone will be able to meet their goals!

...... I wrote up until here on 1/13.

Now it's 1/17.

We're almost done with the 33 pages for Real 38th. All the human figures have been drawn.
The staff is just finishing the last bit of work on it.
I'm writing this in the bits of free time that crops up while doing that.

I had made one of my goals for this year to go "Lightly and Easily", but already with the work on Real 38th it's been neither "light" nor "easy"!
From working on the drafts to working on the final images, it has taken more time than expected.
This caused our schedule to become even tighter.
Because of that I've had more mental and physical stress and I spent a long time sitting and drawing.
It was very "heavy" work. This wasn't what I was hoping for....

Of course I'm going to put all my effort into doing what is in front of me.
But that being said, I don't want to do it too long.

In that way I want to keep things "light and easy", but I haven't been able to...
I hope that I can by the end of the year.

I was really happy to get a mug with a tea strainer on it so I've been drinking several cups of pu-erh tea and now I have a stomach ache.
I guess pu-erh teas is rather strong.
Maybe I shouldn't drink so many cups.
17 January 2007

Right now I'm on a trip to visit South Kent School.
This is the school that the recipient of the Slam Dunk scholarship will attend.

I just arrived in Boston via Chicago. Chicago was -12 degress and snowing.
Boston feels even colder than that.
I wonder how cold it is?
It will probably be even colder when I go out for dinner.

I wasn't able to sleep on the plane like I had intended, but watched 3 movies and read 2 magazines.
In between, I took notes about ideas I had for manga.
And I also thought about what I wanted to ask the head coach of South Kent's basketball team and their students.
This made the whole12 hour flight feel like it passed quickly.
Wow, it suddenly got dark outside.
It's 5:30 PM.
I'm really sleepy.
I'm glad I didn't schedule anything for today...

The Duke and Boston College game is on TV.
It's a heated game -- the specialty of college games.
They are even better than the pros at getting across their intensity and emotion.
You can say that one reason for the scholarship is to give players a chance at this stage.
The first step is to get the SD scholarship to play at South Kent.
Next, they can aim for getting a scholarship to a NCAA Division I school by playing well.

Tomorrow I'll be visiting Cushing Acadamy which is about an hour and a half away from Boston by car.
This is where they will study the language June through August while South Kent is on Summer vacation.

It looks like it will be cold tomorrow too.

Today I'm just going to eat, then go to sleep.
29 January 2007

I put on a down jacket and left to go outside for dinner, but after walking for 10 seconds I was chilled to the bone! I hurriedly went back inside, and went to a restaurant that I didn't have to go outside to get to instead.
The students who come here will need to figure out how to deal with the winter's cold.

Boston is a city known for it's seafood so the food won't be a problem for somebody Japanese.
You can have oysters, clam chowder, lobsters and other things that aren't too bad.

After coming back to my room and staring at my computer for a few minutes I've gotten slammed by an incredible drowsiness.
I'm just going tosurrender to it.
It's 9 PM.

Adding it all up, I've been awake for 27 hours straight, but I still "wake" up at 1 AM.
Then I stay half-awake, slipping in and out of sleep until I finally wake up for real at 5 AM. Eyes wide open.
This always happens right after I come to America.

It must be really hard on the International soccer players who come back to Japan to play in national games.

Well, I have to checkout at 9 AM today to go to Cushing.

I think I'll grab breakfast at Starbucks.

According to the weather report it's going to be colder today
30 January 2007

After driving for 2 and a half hours, I've arrived at a tiny hotel in the small town of Kent in Connecticut.
It's call the Starbuck Inn.
The owner came out to meet us, and he seemed to be called Starbuck, so it's probably his name.
It feels like I'm staying as a guest in somebody's house.
It feels cozy and at home.
But they have a LAN connection in such a small hotel in the country -- that's America.
I'm going to South Kent tomorrow so I'll be staying here for 2 nights.

I went to the Cushing Academy, a high school, today.
It's in a (very small) city called Ashburnham, an hour and a half out of Boston.
The collection of red brick buildings standing on the fabulous heights caught
my eye.
Shivering from the intense cold as we got of the car, the 3 of us 40 year old men were given a friendly greeting by one of the students.


The scholarship program is set up so that the 2 summer months (from the end of June to the end of August) will be spent here at Cushing Academy, not South Kent.
They'll live with other students in the dorm, study ESL (English for people whose native language is not English) in the morning, and go through their own training program at the gym.
Of course the number 1 purpose of having them go to summer school here instead of spending summer vacation at home in Japan is to improve their English.
The 2 months here will help build their communication skills for the new school year in September.

The person who met us was the head(?) of the summer session, Daniel.
He was a friendly gentleman who gave us a complete, detailed tour of the school.

In the end, I came away with the impression that it was a very well equipped institution.
I have never gone through an American school, so I consulted one of the people on the scholarship staff who had done an exchange in high school, Mr. Sasaki. I had wondered for a moment whether this was normal.
When I asked him, Mr. Sasaki said that they were very lucky.
It was completely different than when he went!

I was especially impressed with their art and exercise facilities.
Danielalso stressed that the art facility is one of the school's characteristics
that they are very proud of. Art?

They can choose from 3 different subjects for the afternoon classes -- art (fine art - drawing, ceramics, engraving, etc), performing arts (music, dance, theater, etc), or academics (science, math, etc).
Although it's not directly related to why they'll come here, I think it would be great if they took advantage of the great art and performing art facilities they
have here.
There were even a lot of high level pieces made by students.
I actually wanted to try those facilities out myself.

Since the exercise facilities were old compared to the art facilities, Daniel wasn't as proud of them.
He even eagerly said that if they were going to renovate, those facilities would be part of it.
But to my eyes, they more than enough compared to the normal high school facilities in Japan.
They have a gym specifically for basketball, a large locker room, and their weight training room has all the normal machines.
There's normally an exclusive trainer present, and they can take care of failures or small injuries that don't require a trip to the hospital right there.
In addition, there is a service where if you put your clothes in a box, they'll clean it and return it to you (for a fee).

For about 2 months, the recipient of the scholarship will be able to set their own training menu.
They have 7 basketball teams, but they mix players of different levels together (8-9 people per team), they don't play teams outside the school, and they mostly practice on a half court so I don't think it will be that challenging.
But they have full court pickup games on the weekends so I imagine that they'll have more fun and be more satisfied with those.

But they do have all the equipment to let you make your own training menu.

There's also soccer and baseball fields, tennis courts, an ice hockey
rink, footbal and field hockey fields, a lacrosse (very popular in New
England) field and an artificial field on campus.

The campus restaurant isn't just for the students but is also used daily by the teachers so it's probably very good. It is buffet style, like a hotel restaurant, and even Daniel said it was very good. But he did say that the coffee was bad.

The typical day will go something like this:
- Attend ESL class in the morning until lunch.
- Eat lunch, then go to either art or academic class.
- Dinner.
- Go through their training menu in the free time through the day up until
- After dinner from 8 PM to 10 PM, study English in their room.
- During this time they will be checked on. TV and the internet are off limits.
- After 30 minutes of free time, lights out at 10:30 PM.
- Sleep

Lights out at 10:30 may seem early to us, but given that they will be in a new environment, communicating in a language they're not used to, attending classes, and training, if they understand what the priorities are that they will need to focus on, then they will naturally fall asleep then.
From tiredness.
Daniel's recommendation is to make up for it by going out on the weekends.

Whether you have time to focus and work toward a goal in your youth makes a large impact on the rest of your life.

Even though they seem similar, there's a complete difference between doing
something you want to do and just going along with the flow.
We are so tired from the inundation of things and information that I think that it
might be nice to make our lives simpler.


It's 3 AM. I'm wide awake. Ahh....

I've given up on sleeping. It looks like the night's snow has built up.
Today I'm going to visit the main purpose of my trip, South Kent.
I'm going to see where the recipient of our scholarship will live and what type of people they'll be with.
I'll also watch a game, which I'm looking forward to. Yeah.

Somehow it's gotten light outside, and I can smell bacon frying.
I wonder what Starbuck's breakfast is like.
31 January 2007

Mr. Starbuck's breakfast was delicious...
I can't describe the goodness of what was served by the stern faced, solidly built man in an apron.
A dark brown labrador was sniffing around our legs.
She was a girl, named Madison.
I didn't ask how old she was.
I scratched her under the chin.

South Kent School's director, Richard came to get me at 10 AM.
He was small for an American and was a bright eyed gentleman.
For some reason all the people I'm meeting this time all seem like good people.
He was a graduate of South Kent.

One of our important scholarship staff members, Mr. Nakamura from Shueisha came here in April.
It looks totally different now.
Yes, this season is also beautiful in its own right.
I kept remarking on it's beauty as I walked through the snow-covered campus.

I had a different impression of it than Cushing Academy.
Each of the buildings were small and they felt like they were standing in the middle of nature.
They were built on a gentle slope.

They also had an art facility.
That seems to be characteristic of all the private high schools in this area.
Their ceramic facilities were very good.
They have several students who decide to go to art school afterwards.

I took a look at the dorm.
They had several rooms, from old to new, very dirty rooms, somewhat dirty rooms and slightly dirty rooms.
I guess that the rooms of young boys everywhere are the same.
The recipient of our scholarship will also be staying here.
In such a boarding school, all the teachers and staff also live on campus with their families.
You could even say that they play the role of parents for the students.
Compared to when I was in high school (in Kagoshima), there's much less distance between the students and their teachers...

Of course they also had a very good gym and training facilities.
Yesterday. Daniel wasn't satisifed with Cushing Acadamey's facilities, and compared to this, I can understand how he wouldn't be.
Now I get it.

One thing that I was jealous of was that the gym is always open.
All the boys live on campus, so they can come practice shooting or do weight
training when they have no class or in their free time.
Even during our tour, we saw student after student come out to shoot.
Their prep team will be playing a game against another school tonight.

I ate lunch and had a conversation with Japanese and Korean exchange students.
One of them told me that he wanted to become a car designer in the future.
Another one, a 15 year-old Japanese boy, said that he wanted to play basketball and that he came here because of a friend of his was already there.
He wasn't very tall, but you could look at his body and tell that he had undergone training.
He's currently playing on the varsity (second string) team, but he's still young so I suspect that he's dreaming of playing on the prep (first string) team and getting a scolarship to college.
Of course there's an even bigger dream after that, but regardless, he said that he wanted to make a living out of basketball.
He's promising.
Hang in there.
Thank you for telling me all of this.

This school and the makeup of their basketball team is different from Japan so I think I need to explain it here.


South Kent School has students in 10th, 11th and 12th grade (In Japan, it would be the second and third years of high school?) and post-gradute (PG, one year past the third year of high school in Japan) students.
Because they have the PG system, they are called a prep school.
80% of the students at the post-graduate level go on to play sports in college or aim to do so (I don't know if this percentage is only for this school or not).
There were many exchange students here regardless of their acadamic year.
That's is what I understood.
If I'm wrong, please let me know.

They have a third string basketball team.
The most elite team is the prep team, and they play in the area's Prep League and play in tournaments against comparable teams across America.

The prep team's members aren't all PG students.
It doesn't matter what year you're in, if you're good, then you can get on the prep team.
Currently, a 17 year old Korean athleate is on the team.
Dorell Wright, who was drafted in the first round by the Miami Heat, played 3 years here and made it onto the prep team as a 12th grader (third year high school in Japan).

Also, the teams are very international.
There are players from Korea, Senegal, Nigeria, England and Croatia.


In the afternoon I had a lengthy interview with head coach Chillius.
I asked him about his teams, exchange students, Dorell Wright -- one of his players that went to the NBA --, Japanese people, his philosophy as a head coach and more... There was a lot of material so I won't write it here, but I'll publish it in Shonen Jump and Business Jump and post it to the scholarship website soon, so please check it out if you're interested.

Then at night I watched a home game.
In order to make the 6 o'clock start, I ate a quick and early dinner with Richard.
I ate steak, which I don't eat often.
A very thick one.

Game time.
In all honesty their opponent's weren't that strong... South Kent's full court pressure in the first half prevented their opponents from moving the ball, resuling in 10 second violations.
The defense Was the deciding factor and quickly decided the result of the game.
The players ran a lot. But it was a game with a lot of flavor where both teams made a lot of mistakes.

I was imagining a Japanese athlete playing here while I was watching it.
Personally, I think that a good Japanese athlete has the power to compete here.
On the other hand they will need both physical and mental strength.

I gave my thanks to Ricahrd and took my leave.
The three of us had some casual beers before calling an end to a long day.

Tomorrow I'm driving 2 hours to New York and flying from JFK airport to
I'm going from the extremely cold Connecticut to the blazing hot (I've actually never been there so I'm just guessing) Florida.

I'm going to talk with South Kent School's prep team alumi Dorell.
1 February 2007

The people and atmosphere of New York all felt so brusuque.
My apologies for feeling that way to the people of New York.
I think my heart was unkowningly cleansed after spending only a few days in the cold and quiet New England countryside.
The waitress is staring at me like I'm her enemy (that's what it feels like).

I'm flying from JFK to Miami.
I stuffed my down jacket and muffler into my check-in lugage.
Packing for this trip was tough.


After my eyes were cleansed by spending several days in a place where you wouldn't be surprised to see a deer appear, the bright blue sky and the heat, the extravagant mansions and cruisers of the rich and famous, the vividly colored palm trees and the sky-rise buildings all seemed to me to be signs of a city obscenely deteriorating.

The biggest sporting event in America, the Super Bowl, will be held here in Miami this weekend so it's impossible to find a hotel (so I've heard).
I'm in a strange little hotel called Aqua. It's outside looks like something from the 1930's art deco period, and I'm not sure if it's that quaint or not.
I don't know if it was from the guest before me, but the room reeked of perfume which made my eyes water.
I left without taking a shower because it was getting close to the time for my interview.
Mr. Nakamura, who may have been tired because he was older or may not have
been feelinig well, complained that the shower didn't have hot water, but we ignored him since we didn't have much time.

We headed over to America West Arena where the Miami Heat met the Cleveland Cavs tonight.
I was to talk with the 21 year-old third-year graduate from South Kent, Dorell Wright, before the game.


I happened to run into Mr. Aoki, a sports writer living in Detroit, at the entrance to the areana.
We talked for a bit about basketball.
He had a worried look on his face as we discussed how Keijiro Matsui, known as KJ, was getting less playing time these days.
I guess every day is an unknown, and there's no telling what tomorrow brings for the young players battling on the front lines.


As I entered the locker room, I saw the name plate "6 JONES". The Heat had just impossibly signed a contract with Eddie Jones today.
The ex-Laker, one of my favorite players, Eddie, showed up shortly and all the media that were there crowded around him.
"1 WRIGHT" was next to that.

Dorell Wright appeared next with a big smile on his face, and hugged Eddie with a "My main ma-n!" Dorell is originally from LA, so I'm sure he was a fan of the Lakers' Eddie while growing up.
There's probably a lot that the 21 year-old Dorell can learn from the seasoned veteran.

He's a young man of good character, just like coach Chillius said yesterday.
That's how he looks. Compared to when talking about his team's situation with the Heat not able to improve very well, his face naturally lit up and relaxed when talking about South Kent, and especially coach Chillius.
You could say that his smile was still innocent.

I'll be publishing details of the interview in the Shonen Jump to be released soon, Business Jump, and this scholarship's web site, so check it out.

At the end, he hoped that if a Japanese player went to South Kent that they would enjoy the entire experience.
That message was from a graduated alum.

Now then... the game wasn't the main reason for coming, but of course I had to enjoy it. But, honestly, LeBron (Cavs) was coming off an injury and was far from 100% percent, the same for Shaq, and Wade wasn't his usual self -- not moving well and giving up turnover after turnover -- so we were in real danger of losing the battle against jet lag and sleep during the mediocre game.

But that was just the clever lead up to the start of the "Dwayne Wade Show".

It was the fourth quarter, and just as I had thought that the game was over, this aura -- like you can hear the electricity in the air -- sprang up around Wade, and he drove recklessly towards the basket.
Or so I thought, when he suddenly stopped and sunk a jump shot.
Then he drove in again impossibly quickly.
His opponents were obviously trying to stop him, and they had him covered so that it was impossible for him to do anything.
He sank another one.
He didn't even consider passing the ball for a second.

Is that what you call selfish?


It's that fact that he knows he can carry the tema and the confidence that he can win the game.
In spite of playing badly the first half, his extraordinary, stellar performance at the end awed me.
That genius, the level of effort to make his polished play moves my heart.

I don't have much of an opinion about the Miami Heat (I'm a Lakers fan after all), but even a critical observer such as I was almost moved to tears a few times.
It wasn't because I knew the players' backgrounds or I was watching a human drama unfolding, but just because of the exciting play of 1 man in front of me.

It has given me strength.
This is what you call being satisifed.

Back at the hotel.
The reek of perfume was still attacking my nose, but I fell asleep within a minute.
2 February 2007

I made a mistake in yesterday's News! The Heat's home arena isn't Amerca West, but American Airlines Arena! America West is Phoenix's. I'll fix that.


After spending 2 nights at the Aqua Hotel, it's beginning to grow on us.
I'm not as bothered by the lingering smell of perfume in the room, or the soggy cereal at breakfast.
And I'm not particularly concerned about the slippery wet floor tiles.
Mr. Nakamura's shower has hot water, and Mr. Sasaki is so used to the strange sounds in his rooms at night that he's thinking about recording them.
People just get used to things.
But when you do get used to something, it's time to move to the next town.

I took a shower before we leave.
It even had hot water.
My body is tired from more things than I can think of while traveling, so I'm grateful for the chance to take a shower.
But when I tried to hang the bath towel on the wall, the metal towel holder fell to the floor with a crash.

It was a great hotel.


I'm currently on the plane to Los Angeles.
It's a domestic flight, but it will take a little more than 5 hours.
What's up with that?
It's almost like travelling a bit internationally.
The climate is also very different depending on where you are, and there's a 3 hour time zone difference between the East and West Coast.
For us, that means we'll have a 27 hour day since we're flying from East to West today.

You have to be tough enough to withstand the stress of traveling and have the discipline to take care of yourself if you want to play sports for a living in America.
I had known about this before, but now I had truly experienced how difficult it is first hand.

I've watched a high school game at South Kent and a NBA game in Miami.
Tonight I'll watch a callege game in LA to wrap things up.
This will actually be the first time that I watch a college basketball game in person, so I'm really looking forward to it.
The next goal for the recipient of the scholarship to aim for is the NCAA Division I stage.

I'm going to watch the University of Portland and Loyola Marymount University game.

The University of Portland's starting PG is a Japanese freshman.
There's another brave person here.

I'll arrive at LAX in a little less than 2 hours.
There's still another 2 hours?!
3 February 2007

I'm wrapping up this trip with a visit to a college game.
It's been a very long time since I've been in Los Angeles, California.
Even in February, the sun shines down strongly, but it's cool in the shade.
At night it's a bit cold if you don't wear a jacket.

As soon as we got out of the airport, Mr. Nakamura was muttering to himself that the air hair suits him better and that he's more comfortable here.
It looks like he's feeling better now.

The suitcase that I had stuffed everything into died a tragic death so I'll have to buy a new one to replace it.


College facilities and gyms are on a different scale than high schools.
I came to see a game so I didn't directly see the training facilities, but I could tell that they were large from what I could see of their outsides.

The college I visited was LA's Loyola Marymount University (LMU).
They were playing the University of Portland tonight.
Both colleges are in the West Coast Conference.
Both LMU and Portland are in the bottom of their conference.
Gonzaga, which turned out John Stockton and Adam Morrison is at the top of the conference.

I bought popcorn and water and went in.
I passed on the beer.
I wasn't watching it as a reporter so it was ok, but for some reason...

Yoko Miyaji, a sports writer, was already there.
I had asked her for help with the scholarship early on, and she gave me a lot of advice.
It was on her advice that we set it up so that the recipient would be sent to a prep school.

I've gotten a lot of help from a lot of different people.
You all have my thanks.

I met Japanese person after Japanese person inside the arena.
People form the media, coaches who were there -- in America -- to observe, interns getting experience and the owner of the Bakersfield Jam, where Yuta Tabusa is playing.
I'm glad I wasn't holding a beer after all.
I wonder why...There was a lot of lively talk with Japanese who love basketball.

There was room to seat 3000, but it was only a third full even though it was a Saturday night.
I had imagined the stands would be full of students nosily cheering, like they show on television, so I was a bit surprised.
I wonder if it's because they aren't doing so well? Or is there a bit of a difference from colleges that are nationally ranked?
In any case, there were cheerleaders and a brass band, so it certainly was noisy.

"#5, Taishi Ito from Japan" was introduced amid the obligatory booing during the introduction of the away team.
Taishi Ito is a 20-year old point guard.
He's the reason why there were so many Japanese there.

It would be good if the booing got louder.
The larger his reputation, the louder the booing will be wherever he goes, which would be a sign of how well he plays.
Of course it would be the complete opposite at home.
I was excited just imagining that happening.

I had heard that the University of Portland had won the last game between them.
LMU was going to get their revenge tonight.
Their good shooting sealed it.
Portland's D (defense) may also have had some problems.

Aside from all that, the one player that stood out above everybody else trying to prove himself on the court tonight was Portland's small-statured Japanese player.
I don't think that I was playing favorites.
I think that if you asked an American, there wouldn't be many who would disagree.

He was very vocal from the start.
More so than any one else on the team.
He was clapping his hands, yelling, directing plays and communicating with his teammates trying to rouse the team from its struggles in the tough game.
He wasn't your typical "quiet Japanese".
I was able to see what he had learned in the 4 years after he had come to America as a high school freshman.

I can imagine the effort the put in.

He couldn't speak English at first.
He couldn't communicate his thoughts, but if he couldn't get them across, then it would be the same as if he wasn't there and the world would move around him and leave him behind.
It was the language that would allow him to make who he was known, and would
let him express himself.
He ventured ahead and got hurt, got depressed, and got over it.

There were probably days when things were uncertain when he couldn't answer whether he had chosen the right path.
It would have been easy to decide not to follow such a difficult path and then he wouldn't have so many stupid problems.
But the moment he decided to do so, the path would disappear.
So he kept moving ahead.
He fiercely held on.


After the game I had the chance to talk to him a bit.
What I got from it was that if there is a difference between Japanese and American basketball, and if the latter is the world standard, then it is really important to cross the ocean and accustom yourself to basketball in that country while you're young.
On top of that, the way to show how good a Japanese player you are is probably to "sell" yourself.
He didn't have a lot to say objectively about the differences between Japan and America.
Of course not.
That's because he's already become one with American basketball.
Because of that, he's already showing leadership as a freshman starter.

The first things he said where words of thanks for the trust his coaches and teammates have given him.
He won't forget his gratefulness to his parents for letting him go to America, and his brother who went to America first and opened his eyes.
That's the type of youth he was.

He is grateful for what he has, which gives him the courage to battle unafraid.
He knows the trials of battle, which deepens his gratefulness.

Which gives him the strength to venture forward again.


For me, the purpose of this trip was to go to where the recipient of the scholarship will go next year, to visit the school and the team, and to see what they are like with my own eyes so I can present them.
This is to give strength and encouragement to those who love basketball and who want to apply for the scholarship but who haven't taken a step to do so.

The bus won't come for those who just wait for it.
You have to raise your voice and call for it.

Have courage.

I'm waiting for you.
4 February 2007

In parallel.

I found out from a fan that he had seen an article that plans for a live action "SLAM DUNK" movie were moving forward in Taiwan or China.

I don't know if the article was for real, but if it was, then it troubles me that something like this could proceed without me knowing anything about it.

I wonder what's going on.

Of course I haven't given them permission for it.


On a brighter note, it's been a while since my report on my information gathering trip to America last time.
How are you all doing?

My eyes were feverish and heavy and my nose was runing last week.
For a day, I thought that it was the onset of allergies, but they cleared up right afterwards so it wasn't allergies.
It was something else. Hmm.

I don't do much in public when I'm on "break" from my serials, but I'm still working late into the night everyday because of various deadlines.
First, I finished the package illustration for Lost Odyssey, the Xbox 360 game due out this Fall.
I kept thinking that it would take more concentration and focus than normal while I worked on it, so I'm relieved that it's finished.
I think that it turned out pretty cool.

The first installment of Vagabond after my "break" will appear in the issue of Morning coming out on the 22nd.
You can find it by looking for a scary Musashi on the cover.
I've finished the cover and color pages and am working towards finishing the final manuscript.
It's tough to draw all 70 people of the Yoshioka school... nonetheless the deadline has come even faster because of holidays.

Vagabond Vol. 25 will also come out that day.
It will also have a scary looking Musashi on the cover... In keeping with the current state of Musashi, he has a tired look, but for some reason he's still scary.
Vol. 25.
It seems like time has gone by so fast and so long at the same time, to get here... And sometimes I feel ike I should change how I view this work.
But I still feel like it's a "major" piece of work for me.... (I wonder if I got the nuances across).

There's no doubt that it's a piece of work that makes me grow and mature.

And Real 39th is scheduled to appear in the Young Jump coming out on the 29th.
The daedline for this is exactly the same as for Vagabond, so I'm in the odd situtation of having to do two sets of drafts and manuscripts in parallel.
But I now know that I just can't do 2 of them at once... I'm going to work on Vagabond first.

That's how things are going.

My apologies to the overseas readers as this information is always for Japan.
Thank you for all your messages, I do read them.
I can't read the ones that aren't in English, but almost all of them are, which I am grateful for.
I've gotten an especially large amount of mail from Argentina this last month.
The reason why is that Slam Dunk Vol. 31 just came out and ended the series.
I always say this, but the readers' voices are the basis of my motivation.
Thank you!

There are many movies that I want to see.
And the number of books that I buy and leave unread is growing.
And it's almost the good season for going golfing.

But it doesn't look like I'll get to any of that.

Take care.
11 March 2007

A weekly serial

I'm currently working on Vagabond #228.
I'm running out of time -- the deadline is only a few hours away.
I'm putting all my strength into my arms and shoulders. Every once in a while I feel a powerful drowsiness try to overtake me.
I read all the feedback on Vagabond in the LOUNGE.
I want to thank everybody for all the feedback that I've received since Vol. 25 went on sale.
There were many people who deeply read it, for which I am grateful, regardless of how it was interpreted.
There's only a few pages left. I think I'm going to make it by the deadline!
It gets even better this week... he he he.
A weekly serial is tough, but it's good.
I've gotten help from a lot of people, which will help me make it all the way to the end.

That's it for this time!
6 Apr 2007

On a tangent.

In Eiji Yoshikawa's novel "Miyamoto Musashi", there is a scene of the decisive battle at Ichioji Sagarimatsu.
In this setting, the most prominent figure of the Yoshioka line is a child.
Considering Musashi's tactic of killing the most important figure in battle, he kills the child.

I've been thinking about what to do about this scene ever since I started
work on Vagabond using "Miyamoto Musashi" as a base.

There may even be those of you who have read the novel that are wondering the same thing.

From the very start of "Vagabond", I've wrestled with whether the novel is historically accurate, and even whether "history" itself is accurate.
I've been leaving that decision to my instincts and have been moving
forward with what feels "real" to me.
Because of that, most of it is different from history (although the history itself is vague) and it's very different from the novel.

So what about the battle of Ichioji Sagarimatsu?

In the society that we live in now, it is sad that news of children being
killed and put into danger is too numerous to count.

I draw manga for people living now (and for people to come).
I'm not drawing for people who lived 400 years ago or even 60 years ago.

In this world, is it meaningful, for me to draw a scene where the hero
kills a child?
Especially when so many children today are in such trouble?
Is that a reason itself to draw it?

Or, would it be meaningful for me to not draw such a scene?

If it is to raise awareness of the problem, I think that what can be done
already is more than enough.
Personally, I don't think that we are at that stage anymore.

I've come to believe that there is meaning in deciding not to draw it.

Even though it was tangential to the story, the author of "Miyamoto
Musashi" -- Eiji Yoshikawa -- probably decided to depict what he felt as "real" in the background of that era (to add more detail, Musashi regreted that he killed a child ever after that).
Hoever, I have decided on a different way to depict what I feel as "real".
This whole section has been on a tangent, but it's been running around in
my head lately, so I thought I would get it off my chest...


The NBA playoffs have started.
Spurs vs. Nuggets (the combination of Melo and AI heated up at end of the regular season), Suns vs. Lakers (just like last year, they've caught up to the Suns in the blink of an eye), Heat vs. Bulls, and Cavs vs. Wizards make up the starting round.
As for the Lakers, while Kobe has arguably had an MVP season, the rest of the team has been stalled since the All Star game.. I wonder if they'll be able to fulfull their dream or not.
22 Apr 2007

Japan Playoffs

For those of you who said you worked all GW, you're not alone...!

At this time, there's only 2 chapters left to finish for Vol. 26 of Vagabond.
Lately all I've been thinking about is how to "efficiently slay large groups of people".

It depends on the type of drawing and the number of pages, but it's very hard to finish a chapter for a weely serial without having assistants work on some parts of it.
As a general rule for my work, I basically draw all the people and leave the rest to my assistants.

The amount of "people" work in this volume that I couldn't leave to my assistants has been the most I've ever had, and I feel like I'm getting mired in it.

I want to try to work my way out of it coolly and lightly.


According to "Nan Tora", Mr. Shimamoto is going to the High School Noshiro Cup in Akita.
I also went to the Japan Wheelchair Basketball Championships in Sendagaya.
The first round of the NBA Playoffs has also ended (the Lakers were eliminated...).
There's no lack of basketball related material right now.

So... the Championships.

It was great!

Wheelchair basketball is similar to "normal" basketball in some ways, but there are also several interesting ways in which it differs.
"Real" hasn't yet shown some of these interesting things, and I realized again
that I'm just not familiar enough with them.

If you understand those things, then it becomes much more interesting to watch as a sport.
It may even be that it will appeal to people who don't really like sports.

I think I want to add what I've discovered so far into "Real".

I wonder if the tough play of Shinpei's (author of the "Everyday World of Wheelchair Basketball" column on our site) team, NO EXCUSE, in this tournament has blown new life into the world of wheelchair basketball.
I suspect that seeing how good of a fight such a new and powerful team put up has inspired other teams across the country.

On the other hand, the strengh of 3-time Consecutive Champion Chiba Hawks was the highlight.
All their starters were Japanese National Team level players.
It was easy to tell that each single player on their team felt that there was no way they could lose.
Just like a sumo tournament is interesting when a Yokozuna is at his best, the wheelchair basketball scene is currently interesting with Chiba standing firm as a rock, and NO EX, Miyagi MAX, Shimizu and World coming after them and challenging them hard.
I'm looking forward to seeing how these teams come back after coming so close to tasting victory this year.

I'm also looking forward to the next installment of "Everyday World of Wheelchair Basketball".

The Japan Men's National Team will be playing in the Asia/Oceania qualifiers in Australia (Women's is in June).
It will be a tournament for a slot in the Beijing Paralympics.
I can't look away.
7 May 2007


I think I've finally realized that it's impossible for me to continue to write every week. Hahaha...

A long time ago I wrote that "I started a diary. I'm going to keep writing in it..." , but I can't even remember how many days that lasted now.
I'm not writing it anymore of course.
I'm sorry.

I can't even respond to mail I've received in a timely manner.
I think I'll start by trying to update this column once every 2-3 weeks.


About a week ago I developed a fever and was out of commision for 4-5 days straight.

But the hostpial I normally go to happened to be closed, so I ended up spending time with myself -- moaning and nursing a high fever.

There's no question that I was thankful that I normally have good health.
I was thankful that I could normally do what I wanted, and since I couldn't eat anything, also thankful for my food.

I was also thankful for my family who watched over me while I was helpless.

I also couldn't work as I had planned to, and I'm thankful for the help of the editors who came to check up on me and everyone else's help.

When I stumbled outside, perhaps because my senses had become acute, the
landscape of the city looked different.
It was stressful.

I saw a parade of many things of the type that people don't need to see - things that aren't good for you.
It brings a shiver to my spine when I think about how I can blissfully live in the midst of all of that.

I wonder if you get more sensitive with a high fever.
It was problematic that I was quickly moved to tears by small passages of writing, songs, and even some small piece of Vagabond that I had come up with.
The worst thing was when I picked up the newest work by Kiyoshi Shigematsu in a bookstore and just reading the tag line on the book lining brought tears to my eyes.
Even though I hadn't opened it yet...

But those few days were a rich chance for me to experience what it is like to rise up from nothing.

Since I started with nothing, I feel like I'm working up the energy to go forward.

... which I can say now that I'm better ...


In other news, our website will also be availble in Korean starting in July.
I hope our Korean readers will look forward to it.
Annyeonghaseyo! Sojyujyuseyo.
19 June 2007

A famous Asian doctor, AKA "God Hand".

Precise, quick.

It feels like all the parts of my body that I had (unkowningly) locked up
and made tight are slowly loosening up one after another.

Without hestiation he promptly pinpoints the places that need attention.

As I lay flat on my back, It feels like air is returning to my body as he
works his magic.
I can breath deeply again.

It seems that some tightness in my spine (above my lower back) was
affecting my heart.
My neck bones, shoulder blades and hip joints were misaligned.
And my tired eyes have a bad effect on my body.

I feel wordlessly happy as my body loosens up.
I don't know if I can describe it as a feeling.

Basically, I could tell that I was really happy because there was a smile on face before I realized it.

It felt like I couldn't help smiling and being thankful even if I didn't
want to be.

Humans don't actually "have" anything.
Except for one thing that they are given.
It doesn't matter what country, what environment a person was born
in, but the one thing that all humans are given is a body.

While bodies are not all created equal, there are no exceptions to the
fact that every human has one.

Not only how you feel physically, but how you feel emotionally --

the answer is in your body.

I'm convinced of that now.

I had fallen into a situation while I was working, without a break, on
Real 41st and Vagabond #234 where I couldn't get up without it taking a
lot of time.
It was at that time that I was introduced to the famous doctor.

I'm thankful for the timely meeting.


Vagabond Vol. 26 is now on sale.
It has the climax of the Yoshioka sotryline.
Once again, I welcome your thoughts on it.


Japan, Korea, Argentina, Indonesia, Chile, China, Spain, Brazil, Norway,
America, France, Germany...

I'm sorry if I left one out.
When I checked my mail this month, this was the list of countries that they were from.
I really want to thank you for sending me your thoughts.
I'd like to visit all of the countries if I get a chance.
Please forgive me for not being able to answer each one individually.

There are 4 countries in that list that I haven't been to.
I couldn't imagine that my work would be read by people in so many countries when I first started drawing.
I'm thankful that I've already had more success than I had hoped for.
The current state of Japanese Manga is undeniably a baton that has been passed from our predecessors, who made it what it is through their hard work and dedication.


The first manga I ever bought was Dokaben, Vol. 13, and I read many of
Mizushima's baseball manga over and over again.
This year marks the 50th year that Shinji Mizushima has worked in the manga industry, and I was asked to write a congratulary piece for him in Shonen Champion.

50 years... that's a great achievement that I can't even imagine.

I'm happy that the Tonoma that I drew this time will appear in the same
magizine, Champion, that I had enjoyed reading every week in primary

I was suprised when I realized that I am now at the same place in my
career that Mr. Mizushima was when I first read his work.
And it's been 30 years since then... I simply can't imagine it.
I just drop my head in wonder.


And just one week later, I drew a small piece to celebrate the 10th year
that One Piece has been serialized.
One Piece started right around the time when I ended Slam Dunk and was absorbed in watching basketball games in America.
I remember reading the first few chapters and thinking to myself that it would be a hit.
Even though that's what I thought, I haven't actually read any more of it.
It's already been 10 years... When I have the time, I plan to read them all at once.


Did you know that an Olympic qualifier for the Beijing Olympics will be
held in Tokushima starting on the 28th?

China is already qualified, so this is a golden opportunity for you to see
them compete locally!
Those of you who will go the games and help make the most out of the home advantage -- please add my support as you voice yours as loudly as you can!
For the players!
22 July 2007

I am currently in America.

I'll be in Hawaii for 3 days for an interview and photo shoot for November's issue of SWITCH (with the special on Lost Odyssey).

After that I'll be in San Francisco... I'm going to pass on a planned meeting and lock myself in a hotel room to work on my manuscript for Real.
I still have another (planned) 17 pages of edits to make for the continuation of Real 42nd which was published the other day.

It's cold. I only brought light clothes with me, so I bought a jacket and a knit cap at the Barney's next to the hotel.

The turkey sandwich I bought for lunch was so bad that I feel strange after eating it...

I'm flying to New York tomorrow, then going to South Kent, Connecticut the next day. I'm going to visit the school where the recipient of the Slam Dunk Scholarship will be going again. This time I'll be bringing the player with me and he will participate in some practices. The selection process was done via applications and DVDs, so this will be the first time that I (only me) has met him. But the fact that he applied makes me feel as though he's my own son...

I'm just a manga artist, but I feel that I should put more weight into work like this.

I was in so much of a hurry when I left Japan that I forgot my watch. But it's something that I can live without.


Looking at the last Inoue News, I discovered that it was 7/22!

Looking at my notes, I found that I've built up a collection of things that I just jotted down or that I couldn't pull together and forgot about.
Since I'm already here (?) I'll try to write them up, like a diary.



I received a postcard from a reader with a drawing of the Yoshioka brothers. The two that are now dead.

It was a drawing that showed them smiling and looking like brothers.

Suddenly, I mean really suddenly, I got a scratchy feeling in the back of my through. I almost cried.

I don't know if it was tears for the fact that a reader had imagined and drawn a side of the characters that had not been shown in the manga

or if it was for the story of the brothers themselves. I don't know myself.


Lately, in sports, I've seen that the Japanese representatives have been suffering naive defeats. There may have been some that could have been avoided if they had better skills and strategy, but I'll leave those for the examination of experts. I'm talking about a problem with the heart and spirit during a competition.

You can consider that the weaknesses of these players who represent us Japanese aren't just limited to themselves, but are also present, on average, in each and everyone of us.

This is a self criticism, but I took a look to see if there's something missing:

Our ability to sense danger, the ability to sense when you're on the edge of danger and to quickly quell the feeling. The ability to sense when you're opponent is on the edge themselves and to realize that that is the moment to attack, and to do so.

Whether you can see that even though there is risk to yourself, there is equal risk to your opponent. Whether you can audaciously flaunt that and put on the face of a winner.

Putting away a match without being afraid of the consequences when the chance presents itself.

Being strong and confident, and keeping your cool when moving in to finish things. Being aware that if you fail, you will be giving them the chance to come back. It's not reckless courage, but not letting cowardice and strength interfere with each other.

Understanding that competition has a certain flow, a certain momentum.
Things will not continue to flow the same way the whole time. If you don't take advantage when the chance arises, you're letting the momentum move away from you, thus inviting defeat.

Understanding that danger will not be present forever, and that you can take it and you can overcome it.


Somehow, we've lost sight of these things or forgotten them somewhere along the way.

There are many ways to look at things, and "competition" is related to only a small number of them. Something that appears short term from one perspective may be long term from another.

But in the world of competition, I've never seen a person whose goal was to lose.


Wow, this has gotten long. I'll cut things off here.
5 October 2007


With the streak of a tear, Like morning dew
Takehiko Inoue said:
Continuing where I left off in my notes file....


I don't want to make an excuse for the slow pace. Really, I don't.

The process of putting energy into making a good product gives me the motivation to move forward no matter how much energy I've spent on it.
This is a good cycle that doesn't break.

I'd like to have my serializations follow a cycle like that, but this type of work also comes with deadlines. Whether it's my sketches or my drawings, sometimes a week is too short to make a good product. Even as I agonize over it, time slips away minute by minute.

When I try to make a deadline that's too close, the energy needed for that not only takes a lot out of me physically, but I don't get motivated to continue on. In fact my motivation goes down.

It's not like the beer commercial where everybody is toasting the fact that they just barely finished before the deadline. At times like that I can't even taste the beer. It's like my tongue loses all sensation.

The one thing that always stays with me at the end is the desire to turn out a good product.

I wonder if anything exists that would make it worthwile to continue working until even that desire is taken away from me.

I wonder what the best pace I should work at is.


I just ran into a wall with some sketches that were going relatively well so I thought I'd work on my News for a change of pace. Hmm...? I just noticed that it's been a month since I've updated it...!

I don't have anything to write...


I've only lived in Fukuoka a little bit, the last time right before I debuted when I was 20. At the time I was living in Ogusu, and the nearest station was Nishitetsu's Takamiya station and I worked by Yakuin station.


There's a bunch of stuff piled up... (and some I haven't been able to get out)

... well then...

Work is a part of my life, but it's not all of it.

I think I'm getting to the age where it's about time for me to say something like that, but I don't think that my readers want to hear that from the one doing the drawing. That's no surprise. An author and his readers are connected only by his work, so it goes without saying that his work is everything for them.

I noticed my shallow breaths, so it's time for deep breaths. Well, time to start concentrating.

By the way, some people may feel reassured becaue they feel that I'm still giving my all into drawing even though I say that it's a part (only a part) of my life, but that's different. I'm doing it because I like it.
I'm just saying that there's only so much that can be done in a limited amount of time. But that's besides the point.


I was suprised to hear of the death of Asic's Chairman, Kihachiro Onitsuka, the other day. The reason I was surprised is that up until recently he was the president of the Japan Baseball Association and I just thought that he was doing well. I'm still surprised that the association would ask the 87 year-old (at the time I think) Onitsuka to take on such a large responsibility.

I had the opportunity to meet him at Asics headquarters when I worked on the design for the "High Time" shoes. I was just in my 20s and I'm sure I was nervous. I had probably over reached myself a bit. It was as if he treated everyone he talked to this way, but I still remember the warmth that he radiated and his unique openness and frankness for people who had built something from scratch.

I only met him that one time, and I'm sure he didn't remember me. But I think that he has had an influence on all the mature and experienced characters in my manga.

I will pray for Mr. Onitsuka with all my heart.


It's still quite lively outside even though it's the middle of the night...

I leave for New York tomorrow morning.
5 October 2007

"New York"


I'm on the plane now.
I'm watching the white aurora out the window as I listen to same guy snoring some where in the plane.

I'm going to paint a painting of Vagabond on the inside walls of the newly opened Kinokuniya in New York.

After I took a short nap, I've been working on the proofs for Vagabond chapter #243.
I brought the 10 pages that I couldn't finish before I left.
I don't have any slack before the deadline. Even at this hour, the staff back in Tokyo should be working on penning the background on the pages that were left them, right this minute.

I'm only drinking water.
This is a good time for me to focus on my work in the middle of such a hectic schedule.
It's made me think that long flights might not be so bad after all.

I saw a ray of light on the horizon break through the darkness.
I wached as it widen and expand as it slowly cascaded through the color spectrum from navy to blue, to green, to yellow-orange and to a dark red-purple.
All my trifles and trivialites unknowingly melted away while I watched such a beautiful sight.
I felt like something within had been reset.
I was left with a feeling of thankfulness.

*  *  *

Well, I was going to ride my momentum and finish my News segment and then
post a piece about the wall painting in Kinokuiya, but...! I was also working on the Vagabond manuscript in parallel and I didn't have the luxury.
That was too bad.

And so, I made it back to Japan and submitted the Vagabond manuscript ok.

The person in charge of it arrived in New York a day after me.
He said that he needed to return with 6 of the 10 pages I had brought with me in order to make the deadline.
I finished inking the people in the 6 pages and wrote more careful and detailed instructions than normal for my stuff and hand delivered the 6 pages to him at dawn.
He was only in New York for 15 hours before he left to go back.
He wasn't able to watch me work on the wall painting.
But it looks like he was able to enjoy himself a bit and visit a jazz club and some other (?) places.
The energy of youth...

Work on the painting went at the pace I had planned and didn't turn out too badly.

I used a black paint from Turner's line of Neo Color paints (they are like water color paint, but when they dry they become water resistant).
I had also used it when I worked on the "uno" commercial for Shiseido.
I also prepared white paint just in case I made a mistake but ended up not
needing it.

I had prepared 15 brushes of different sizes and thicknesses, but ended up only using 3 of them.
The 5 cm wide brush turned out to be very useful.
I think I improved my skill with thick brushes this time. I discovered several things about working with large paintings.

It was a white wall so I wanted to use the contrast with black by emphasizing the shadows in a close up of Musashi.
And with a full body painting of Kojiro. It was a normal wall so they were large.
The most difficult part of it was to get everything to balance.
I didn't just treat them as larger versions of normal drawings, but took the time to view them from a distance to see the overall balance.
That was one difference between this and a normal drawing for manga.
That, and having people watch me as I drew it.
But that didn't really bother me when I got into it.
A drawing is a drawing.

That was fun.

I think I've had more work this year than any before, but the act of painting a large painting on a wall mentally refreshed me.

It was the third day after I started painting.
The painting was about 90% done when I had an interview with 5 local media companies and took part in a reception afterwards.

To be perfectly honest, I just wanted to be an anonymous employee going earnestly about his painting.


There were many things that I couldn't fully elaborate on in the short time we had for the interview.
One of them was my thoughts regarding whether sports manga like Slam Dunk and Real could be hits in America.

I just found out this time, but it seems like the general view is that sports manga can't be successful.

... I like to be in situations where I'm the underdog, but I don't think that's the case this time.

What is it about basketball, or any sport, that catches at the heart of people?
Besides survival, what do people consider important?

Where you were born and raised or what color your skin is makes no difference to what is in the depths of your heart.

When I used basketball as my subject in 1990, it was unpopular in Japan and people said that it wouldn't sell.

I thought that people said that because they didn't know anything about basketball.

All I needed to do was draw why I liked basketball.
I drew it thinking that if I just drew basketball as it was, then people would read it.

Basketball as is. Soccer as is. If you draw a sport as is, the manga will draw people together, just as sports do.

I'm looking forward to that.

I'm thankful to the people from the media for welcoming me, for truly learning about Japanese manga and for directly asking me sincere questions.


That was how my short stay in New York went.

If you have plans to go, or if you live there, please drop by the new Kinokuniya Bookstore across from Bryant Park.
Musashi is glaring out within it.
25 November 2007


It's been a month since Real and Vagabond came out on 11/29.
There's only a little bit of 2007 left.

Thanks for all the feedback on both books.
I probably say this all the time, but I get energy from all my readers' thoughts.

Even though I think that there are things that I'm not sure if I'm making clear, I'm really happy when it the drawing does make it clear.
I myself am moved in turn by letters from my readers' who tell me they are moved.
What goes around comes around.

Manga is great, isn't it?

Thanks to you, I made my goals for 2007 - 3 volumes of Vagabond (25, 26 and 27) and 1 volume of Real (7). Yes!

Oh, yes. I can't elaborate on the "Last Manga Exhibit" flyer that was included with the books (I'm thinking hard about it), but FLOWER's site will be updated in the coming days.

* * *

I watched high school basketball (the Winter Cup) for a few days in a row.
Partly because I'm inolved with the Slam Dunk Scholarship.

Fukuoka Daiichi, the school that Narito Namizato -- the first recipient of the scholarship -- goes to, lost in the finals to Rakunan and came in second. Watching the finals, I realized how hard the balance is between playing yourself and helping other people play. That's an important subject for a highly talented PG.

I had thought that Rakunan would come in second, but they had put together an extremely high quality team.
They had a lot of good players.
Am I the only one who has felt that Rakunan's teams have had a good "vibe" for a long time?
I want to send them my heartful congratulations at achieving the difficult task of winning the the WC in consecutive seasons.

On the other hand, Daiichi had a very compelling team even though they didn't win the national championship.
They had a very good offense.
Maybe they can learn from their defeat today.
Life goes on, basketball goes on.

On a personal note, it felt strange to go to a high school basketball game.
I felt like I shouldn't be where I was, and that I should just be a normal observer sitting in the second floor bleachers.
That's how I felt.

I'm probably thinking too much, and it wouldn't be work otherwise, and it's probably a case of respecting it too much, but I wasn't able to put that much into the basketball world which is probably why I feel that I can't climb over the wall between the court and a spectator.

It's been a couple decades since I got my material for SD, but I still feel the same.
It makes me a bit sad....

Basketball is great, isn't it?

* * *

Well, to wrap up this year, I regret that I wasn't able to keep things "Light and Easy".
Thinking things through is important, but taking too long is the same as not doing anything. I need to do things right away.
All the e-mail I haven't answered, all the phone calls I haven't returned, all that I can't anymore because I'm too ashamed too. (Upon serious self reflection.)
I need to deal with things right away.

I need to be more diligent with my proofs. Right away.

I need to be more diligent with Inoue News. Right away.

I'd like to take the time here to give my apologies to everybody I've imposed upon this year.



I hope that 2008 will be a great year for everyone.

Let's do it...
29 December 2007

It's the new year

Happy 2008.

When I think about it, I felt sick in December, but it wasn't a constant feeling so I just ignored it.
But now it's turned into a fever and I can't work, so I finally gave in to the cold and went to the doctor.

My throat is weak, so I always find myself in a pattern of coughing, getting swollen tonsils, then a fever.
According to my medical records, I've had to go to the doctor for the exact same thing each year for the past 3 years around this time.

This year is the year after my "bad luck" year.
Since the year before my "bad luck" year I've been to the doctor at the beginning of each year.
"Bad luck" years are scary...

* * *

Well, thanks to an IV drip and sticking a suppository in as far as the first knuckle on my index finger, my fever has dropped.
So I think I'll write my New Year's Resolution here.

"Do things right away."

That's it.

I think I wrote that last time too. Oh well.
It may be part of the nature of my work, but when I'm worried about something I tend to get stuck and run around in circles.
It has been taking me too much time to get back to the real issue.

That process is important sometimes, but this is the year for me to push past that and take things in a new direction.
For some reason that's how I feel.

Similar to how you aren't supposed to stay in one place in martial arts, I want to go forward by taking care of things quickly and not spending too much time on one thing.

* * *

Speaking of which, I had an incredible dream last night.
It felt so real, so different from a normal dream that I wondered whether it wasn't a dream.

I was in something like a high rise apartment when I looked out the window and saw something flying.
It was a brass, almost yellow-gold UFO.
I kept seeing more and more.
They were pretty small.
They came really close to the window, then suddenly lined up.
They came to attention without any confusion and filled the air as far as I could see.
They stayed there looking at us.
It felt like they were juding us.
My family and other (imaginary) residents of the apartment building were there too.
When somebody was found guilty of something, something flew out at them.
I was also found guilty of something, and I felt like I got covered in something, but I can't remember anything after that...

Those UFO's were living, sentient beings.
They were like a cross between a plate and a ball, kind of like Saturn.
They were about as big as a volleyball.
I wonder what they were.

* * *

I cried when I read the interview between the high school golfer Ryo Ishikawa, who is currently making headlines, and pro golfer Mr. Sakata of the Sakata Juku that appeared in the magazine "Par-Golf".

I cried when I watched the new Exile DVD that I received.
I cried while I was eating my bento box.

I cried when I found something I really loved, or that was truly beautiful.

I hope that 2008 will be a good year.

I'd like to keep that hope alive throughout the year.

I look forward to your continuing support this year.
8 January 2007


Tokyo was kinda warm today.
I wore a down jacket while I was prowling around outside today working on my drafts and it was a bit hot.
But the cold will probably crowd back in tonight.
That's ok.
It's winter so it should be cold enough to be numb.

Let's use the difficulty of my drafts as an example.
This would be about right if we were heading for spring.

There will come a day when I fondly recall the the time when I was scrambling my thoughts working on my manga like this every week.

And those won't be bad memories.

I should be thankful for days like this.
30 January 2008


Staff member
:isidro: :isidro: :isidro:

I never expected to get such amazing results so quickly! I know how Im spending the next hour of my work time :carcus:

Thanks for all the hard work Griff. I'll keep my eyes peeled for any earlier entries, but this is already way more than I expected we'd get.


With the streak of a tear, Like morning dew
We really should be doing more to keep up with this current after retrieving what we could. It still bothers me that IT Planning itself doesn't archive all this stuff. Imagine having Inoue's little thoughts concerning literally hundreds of Vagabond episodes just lost! :beast:

It's what stops me from cataloging the official English translations even now. So much has been lost already. :judo:

His entry for 281 anyway:

"My staff is out for a break during work, eating pork bone ramen at 2-3 in the morning.
And they're getting seconds!
Having passed 40 2 years ago, I can't do random stuff like that anymore.
I shouldn't...!"

Inoue News, 21 October 2009:

"You are not alone"

I like "Billy Jean" and "Thriller", but I think that is the song I left best from Michael.

I learned about Kazuhiko Kato's death much later than most of the public.

I wasn't a particularly devoted listener, but my heart has been buzzing
ever since I heard the news.

I'm sure that there are people who are buried in their work alone tonight
who won't have found an answer by morning.

As someone who works to "produce" something, if I were to send a message
to other people doing the same thing, it would be:

"You are not alone"

There is nothing better to say.

May he rest in peace.
21 October 2009


With the streak of a tear, Like morning dew
Interesting take... on the lighter side, I thought Inoue's blurb on his eating habits in his latest REAL update from this summer was amusing:

I think we're all in agreement that you don't really want to work in the summer if you can help it.

When it gets hot I end up eating ice cream. I know that it's not good to chill your body, but I can't break this habit. I remember when I was younger, I would always look forward to taking 2 100 yen coins and buying a copy of Shonen Champion (150 yen) and a 50 yen ice cream. And so it's very difficult for me to graduate from ice cream.

But I never imagined that I'd still be eating Gari Gari Kun at 42.

Especially coupled with his most recent update from Vagabond 284:

The amount of Red Bull consumed at the office has gone up.
It's mostly me drinking it.
I wonder what's in it?
He's getting worse. :troll:
Museum of Contemporary Art

I've finished painting it!

Aside from sleeping, I spent every minute holed up in the museum drawing
(including putting up a tent). During that time the NBA season started as
well as the MLB World Series.

I had no exprience with a 7m x 5m sized canvas.

With something this large, I think you would normally draw a sketch on a
smaller sized canvas that had a grid on it first. Then you would put the
same grid on the larger canvas and use the smaller one as a reference.
But that style doesn't fit me, so I didn't do that.

Besides, the schedule didn't allow me the time for that.
I started at midnight on the 27th, and had to finish it by the morning of
the 30th.

It was a very large panel of washi, so we placed... no, spread it out on
the floor. I felt myself at a loss for what to do as I stood in the
middle of that white washi area.

Then I laughed.
I thought that it was ridiculous.
I just had to buckle down and do it.

I think people who draw will understand, but drawing without being able to
see the entire piece is like drawing with your eyes closed. It was
worrying. I couldn't tell if I had it balanced right, etc.

I was able to get a feel for it by looking at it on a monitor that showed
an image of it taken from a camera placed 7 meters above it. But it
wasn't very clear and it was distorted so I couldn't be confident in what
it showed.

But when I upped my concentration, I found that the mix of drawing
something so ridiculously large was fun and I really got into it.

As I worked along, I used the finished parts next to me as a hint to get a
vague impression of the overall balance.

However, because I was working on the floor, my back quickly became sore
due to my posture.

I finished the sketching at 4 AM.

I knew that the next day would be difficult if I didn't have a soak in the
tub, but I didn't make it and went to bed instead.

It had been a while since I'd slept in a bed, so I couldn't fight it.

The next day, the 28th, just as I had known, my entire back was so sore
form the top to the bottom that it brought back memories of the day after
I had first gone surfing...

The washi I used this time was kochima paper. It's very tough and really
nice. It was a switch from the normal paper used for ink painting and
calligraphy at school to something a bit more professional(?). The
difference comes out when you paint on it lightly... probably

I decided to start on the lighter parts by using a large brush.

I carefully stretched before I moved onto the washi panel.

I felt that it would be good progress for the day if I finished the core
of the mist on both sides.

For lunch, I had a tasty neighborhood set lunch. I hadn't really been
around the area (Kiba) before. The small alleys were enjoyable as they
had the Shitamachi atmosphere. It was surprisingly warm for the end of

I worked to paint a very abstract mist.

It was so big that sometimes I wasn't sure if I was drawing or cleaning

As I was drawing, I thought that I should focus more on the mist and make
it sharper to bring it in sync with the painting. Or that I would find
myself in a sitution where I was fatigued and running of time. But my
heart was surprisingly calm about it. I wonder why?

Only my body became really tired.

I had inari and rolls for dinner. It was delicious.

I'm sure that those who helped around the washi, those who took pictures,
those who provided materials and everyone else were very tired. Thank

I drank Red Bull. I wonder what's in it. It works. It's probably bad
for me.

I left a little bit of the bottom, and I finished the core of the right
and left. My body had reached it's limit for the day. It was midnight
and there was only 1 day left so I should have finished more, but I
stopped there. I went home to sleep for the next day. I was able to soak
in the tub that night.

I started again at 8 AM on the morning of the 29th. As I had thought, I
wasn't half as sore as I was the day before. Baths are great.

I began in the white center of the canvas, painting Musashi over the lines
I had sketched before.

I wanted to paint Musashi in more detail compared to the mist on the right
and left. So I had to be careful, but if I took it too far, the sheer
size would make the detailed effort bring my progress to a halt. I had to
be cautious and take risks at the same time.

I forcefully made up my mind and boldly began to draw. I felt everybody
watching around me stiffen for a moment. Freshly applied ink looks very
dark, so it looked like something had fallen onto it by mistake. It faded
as it dried, and everybody breathed easier.

That night we ate oden, outside in the moonlight. I was very grateful.
It was delicious. I had many bowls of it.


I found myself asking for what I couldn't have... just another 10 days
to work on it.

If you had all the space in the world, would you be able to make something
to equal all that space? Just as you would have more hurdles to face
then, if you had all the time you wanted, your obstacles would increase.
And so, things were fine the way they are. What I haven't learned about
drawing can be a help or a hinderance depending on how it constrains me.

But I think I'd like to really taste the enjoyment from just the act of
drawing itself. If I could only go a bit farther.

As I started to work on the details, I found the path to the end suddenly
looming ahead. The goal that I had thought was so far away was really
just around the corner.

Actually, to be more accurate, there were several goals, but that was the
one that I had found myself at.

I finished the rest of the mist. As there wasn't a defined shape, I
enjoyed just pushing my brush around without thought. On the other hand,
Musashi is a human manga character, so this was a purposeful combination.

The existence of both, and the fact of me drawing them felt so strangely
paradoxical and in reverse that it was very interesting.

Drawing the mist, because it was mist, was very freeing and enjoyable.

I called it good at 3 AM.

The big challenge of standing it up against the wall and the final review
was left for the next morning.

It would be the first time I'd be able to look at the entire drawing from
a distance, so I was rather nervous.

I was a bit hungry and wanted to go out for some ramen, but my fatigue and
sleepiness handily won, and I went to bed.

The 30th had good weather too. It looked different when viewed in the
morning light. It's at the entrance and not part of the exhibition space.
So I can't use any type of lighting effects. It's just placed there as
is. It will look different depending on the daylight.

As expected, standing up a 7m x 5m (I don't know the exact measurements)
painting was no easy task. With the help of a machine and many, many
hands, we finally got it stood up. It really went all the way up to the
ceiling. I was surprised.

It was my first time to see the painting that I had stood and drawn upon.

It was a wonderful feeling.

Because I wasn't able to to see everything as I was sketching it, I was
sure that there would be spots that I needed to fix (and there was one on
his head), but after standing it up, I felt like I should not touch it

It felt like it was no longer mine.

Thinking back on it, I realized that I hadn't gotten very worked up about
it while I was painting it.

It's strange, but after finishing it, I did not really have a sense that
it was my accomplishment.

Thank you for letting me have such an important experience again.

You can find more information about the Tokyo Museum of Contemporary Art

5th of November

Proabably the coolest blog post he made, and it's only available in English. I wonder if they translated that exhibit blog's post because Griffith asked them to! :magni:


With the streak of a tear, Like morning dew
Wow, that is one of the coolest updates I've read from Inoue, what insight into his thinking and work. Though this also highlights my frustration with his site, the fact that his varies blogs and series diaries aren't all readily archived for viewing, and my big fear, and the only reason I haven't already inquired... what if they aren't saving them at all!?

Eluvei said:
Proabably the coolest blog post he made, and it's only available in English. I wonder if they translated that exhibit blog's post because Griffith asked them to! :magni:
Nah, it's available in the other languages on the site too. So much for my influence. :ganishka:
グリフィス said:
Wow, that is one of the coolest updates I've read from Inoue, what insight into his thinking and work. Though this also highlighta my frustration with his site, the fact that his varies blogs and series diaries aren't all readily archived for viewing, and my big fear, and the only reason I haven't already inquired... what if they aren't saving them at all!?

Yeah, that would be such a big loss. Maybe we should email them a request for the older news.

グリフィス said:
Nah, it's available in the other languages on the site too. So much for my influence. :ganishka:

Oh, you're right. I missed it thanks to so many other stuff highlighted there now. :casca:


With the streak of a tear, Like morning dew
Eluvei said:
Yeah, that would be such a big loss. Maybe we should email them a request for the older news.

Definitely, it's something I've wanted to do for a while, but like I said, I'm almost afraid to know if it has all been lost.
I really wasn't sure where to post this, since what he says concerns a lot of threads we made, but I think this is the most appropriate place for it.

This wraps up Vol. 32 which goes on sale 1/15. Unfortunately, there were a couple breaks during this series, as I had other work such as Real and the Museum of Contemporary Art. I wasn't able to meet the expectations of all the readers who follow me every week. I'm sorry. I'd love to have everybody continue reading every week, but I only have one body and it can only do so much. It's frustrating.

I had to make the most edits in a graphic novel ever for this one. It could be that the weekly issues aren't showing what the final version will be. In other words I haven't "completed" them in time. I feel that I may be nearing the end of my life as a serialized manga artist (although to be honest, I think I've been heading in that direction for a while now...).
Or if I want to continue, I have to change something.

3 December 2009

This is pretty shocking to me. That last bit got me seriously worried. I wish he would be more positive, there's just too much stuff going on in his life right now.

It appears he'll change a lot of things on the episodes for the volume release (I wonder if it's just the art?), which probably explains why the next episode will only show up in late January.


Staff member

If he's feeling so constricted by the release schedule, maybe he should just change publications? Maybe something monthly or biweekly? Miura isn't confined to a strict release schedule, and takes breaks when necessary in order to polish and plan everything. It's a little frustrating for readers in the short term, but the end result cannot be argued with.
Yeah, I personally wouldn't mind if he started releasing the episodes monthly. When I reached Berserk's Chapter of Falconia in 2004, I almost had a heart attack of course, but now I got used to waiting.

He was always mentioning that he could barely make the deadlines, with little comments on the sketches between episodes or the interviews. It has always been a big deal to him, and now that he has two series, it's probably gotten worse. Watch that NHK special and you'll see how stressful his life can be.

I think Inoue kinda allowed himself to be treated like a celebrity in Japan and, for this reason, is always in contact with the media and his fans, which should be very stressful too. Although I didn't notice a drop of quality, he keeps apologizing and hoping we understand his situation, as if he's too insecure about his work...
And it's actually funny that this is happening to him while in Vagabond we're in a part of the story where Ito's finally around, kicking ass and being awesome, and Musashi's learning a lot about himself and the world... I never would have guessed Inoue was feeling like this.


Staff member
That's a good point about him being somewhat of a celebrity among mangaka. Not everyone organizes museum displays of their work, and fewer still draw an entire series of art strictly FOR the museum (The Last manga exhibition).

It seems to me like all his myriad projects have caught up with him in his personal life. Just thinking off the top of my head, I can name about four different projects he's dabbled in over the past 5 years on TOP of his regular series (Slam Dunk: 8 Days Later, Lost Odyssey character designs, The Last manga exhibition, Buzzer Beater seasons 1-2). And I'm sure I'm missing some as well...

Maybe it'd be best if he took a year-long break to rethink how he approaches and prioritizes things instead of considering quitting his profession.
Walter said:
Maybe it'd be best if he took a year-long break to rethink how he approaches and prioritizes things instead of considering quitting his profession.

Well, maybe he was just being overly dramatic because it's the end of a stressful year or something. It has been two years since he started these exhibitions, and they seem to take a lot of what would be his free time. I don't know how his publishers would deal with a year-long break, the way he talks about deadlines makes it seem like he's got no privileges at all.

I hope Young Animal has a place for him! :guts:


With the streak of a tear, Like morning dew
I'm actually not too worried about this. To put it in terms Inoue would understand, I'm taking his possible retirement announcement about as seriously as Allen Iverson's. It's also hard for me to believe anyone is pressuring Inoue more than himself; at this stage of his career, whatever his contract, he can probably do what he wants (he already took a year off from Vagabond to recharge once), and most of this pressure on him probably comes from within. I don't think anyone that self-motivated is just going to stop either, for a while a maybe, but Inoue's work almost seems like a compulsion. In a sick selfish way, I'm kind of looking forward to how he will channel these feelings into Vagabond going forward (as he's already been doing). Best case scenario, his work becomes that much more personal, unpredictable, and inspired... worst case, he detaches himself and just starts grinding it out. I don't think that could happen though, even if he tried.
You're probably right, the pressure most likely comes from himself. He probably feels that way for not spending as much time as before on Vagabond because of so many new things, and like everyone that pushes himself to the limit, he's feeling unsatisfied. And oh well, just imagine how many fans are sending him letters and emails and whatever because of that journal entry. He'll feel better in no time!


With the streak of a tear, Like morning dew
Eluvei said:
He'll feel better in no time!

Yeah, I hope so, it's hard to imagine how this Musashi is going to genuinely come to an enlightened contentment when his author isn't. Smile more, Inoue. :SK:
For some reason this didn't get translated. Google will have to do, I guess: said:
Osaka finally

SD is that traveling to America on a scholarship. ,, Was. I'm writing back on board now.
(Sausukentorepoto this here.)

Vagabond Vol 32-minute work is over all year 〆 minute cartoon series of the cutting work was fulfilled. The best shot. All happy and satisfied not to say Dearimasu. Thank you very much and everyone this year.

Well, early in the new year is "the last manga exhibition / Osaka Edition" is held. So the work goes down then immediately draw back. Arrived from Osaka, so there is not time to draw coherent not be crowded, they will all draw in the studio in Tokyo. Facing the normal height from 3 to the size of Massive meters, draw a picture of the first version introduced in Osaka.

Was first to draw paper Ueno Tokino panel of three meters at the time, bigger! And I would like to feel like they were confronted with Semmy Schilt on the ring, drawing even have anything that size, the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo recently got used much, so I struggled with m 7. Is not any longer be carried Gongon Bibiru large panel studio, "Hey, come" like that. ,,, Is a lie. Also protect your E! I think.
Or is it like to get used to this size?

So New Year will be ready in Osaka. Just bothers the staff is so very luck to have a break and give up your valuable unique to Osaka, I "cartoon exhibition" By building an takes only reward I can feel the joy . One is very よろしく you!

"Cartoon Exhibition / Osaka Edition" is 1 / 2 is held at the Suntory Museum from Tempozan.
Please come around so please just to warm a cold gusty wind from the sea.

Takehiko Inoue

In the beginning, he tells us about the Slam Dunk Scholarship program. He was with some students in New York because of this (you can read more in that first link he mentions, also in Japanese) and just returned to Japan, apparently. I hope we get a decent translation.

He seems happy with volume 32, which is great news!


With the streak of a tear, Like morning dew
Eluvei said:
For some reason this didn't get translated. Google will have to do, I guess:

Hopefully it'll come up later, sometimes they're woefully behind on translating these updates.

Eluvei said:
He seems happy with volume 32, which is great news!
Yeah, it's nice to hear something positive from Inoue on his work for a change. :guts:
Although the discussion will probably happen on the Vagabond's End thread, I've decided to post the whole news here, for archiving purposes.

Year of the Tiger.

It's 2010. Happy New Year everyone!

I'm writing this while hidden alone in the staff room at the Suntory
Museum in Tempozan, Osaka. Thanks to everybody, the "Last Manga
Exhibition (Osaka Chapter)" opened on time today. We had been preparing
for the exhibit ever since the last half of December. I'm extremely
thankful to the staff, who gave up their valuable New Year's vacation,
including New Year's itself. I'm very thankful that our support group
came out from Ueno and from Kumamoto. It gave us confidence. Atonsu,

The space is different, and there are also drawings exclusive to Osaka
(take a look to see which ones they are), so I think that the atmosphere
here is different from both Ueno and Kumamoto. I finally completed
everything at 5 AM the morning that it opened! (It happened again...) I'm
nervous and excited to see what all the
visitors think.

I watched the opening, and I'm going to fix some things tonight that we
discovered then (there already are some of things to fix -- a Manga
Exhibit is really a living thing), then return home. I'll take a short
break, then start working on the chapters that will come out in magazine
issues at the end of January.

2010 is Real's 10th Anniversary and its 10th volume. Vagabond is hitting
its 12th Anniversary, and it will probably be its last year... It should
be. It will be. The Chinese zodiac has come full circle (it's been a
long time), which is a good place to stop. The manga exhibit that
started in Ueno in 2008, which is now showing the "Osaka Chapter", will
have it's "Sendai Chapter" in May. And that's a good stopping point.

It will certainly be a very busy year on many levels. But I don't want to
treat it any differently. I hope to have your continued support for the
coming year.

I pray that it will be a good year for everyone.
2 January 2010
Top Bottom