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The Last Ino Story

The Return of Kitsune <-- --> Hebi

General Info

First Published: March 1993 by Fantagraphics Books

Comics Which Contain This Story

USAGI YOJIMBO Volume 1, Number 38

USAGI YOJIMBO Book Seven: Gen's Story
(Pages 157-187)

The SoftCover contains four black&white panets on pages 188-191 which show Usagi with a spear, wandering and laughing at the wind, after killing an attacker and as young cub.

Characters in This Story

Travelling a high mountain trail in the evening, Usagi and Gen begin to wish they had taken a less hazardous route. An owl - a bad omen - seems to be dogging their footsteps. As night falls, they are pinned under an outcropping of rock above which a group of bandits wait with bow and arrow.

Unable to go left, right or down, the pair decide the only option left is up. Reaching the top, they gain the element of surprise on the bandits who are all very soon joined with their ancestors. The owl - its omen of death seemingly fulfilled - perches nearby the corpses.

Several hours later, Usagi and Gen stuble across a seemingly deserted hut as it begins to rain. Upon opening the door, Gen is attacked by a young girl who mistakes the two for bandits. The misunderstanding is soon sorted out and the two of them discover that the girl is not alone. Her husband is wounded and lies comatose. Moving closer, they two samurai discover that the man is none other than Zato-Ino. He has a deep arrow wound with the arrow still embedded.

Gen has his blades heated and Usagi prepares to do some grisly work. Eventually, the arrow head is pried out of Zato-Ino's body and with the woud cauterised, Usagi and Gen retire outside for a time. Usagi questions Gen about Ino. He was supposed to be long dead. Gen reveals that Ino was badly wounded, but not dead. Now it seems it may not matter either way - neither of the two expect him to live to see the dawn.

Usagi returns inside as Gen spots the own and races after it. Inside, Ino worsens and Usagi does what he can. Gen returns somewhatwetter in time to hear about Ino and his wife's life. They were attacked by the same bandits that were slain earlier, however Ino was not so fortunate and sustained his wound. When the owl returns, Gen's obsession gets somewhat out of hand, although he does have the opportunity to add a decoration to his kimono.

As night falls, the three settle down to sleep, discovering at daybreak that Ino's fever has broken and that he will live. The two ronin leave, knowing that Ino and his wife will be alright. The owl,thwarted, flies off to meet its own destiny.

When Ino awakes, he immediately notices Usagis scent in the air but his wife tells him the story of the two mysterious samurai. It seems to them, and also to Usagi and Gen miles away, that is will be a nice day.

The Return of Kitsune <-- --> Hebi

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Usagi Yojimbo, including all prominent characters featured in the stories and the distinctive likenesses thereof are trademarks of Stan Sakai and Usagi Studios. Usagi Yojimbo is a registered trademark of Stan Sakai. Names, characters, places, and incidents featured in this publication either are the product of the authors imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons (living or dead), events, institutions, or locales, without satiric content, is coincidental.