The story starts in 1600, in the aftermath of the decisive Battle of Sekigahara. Two 17-year-old teenagers who joined the losing side, Takezō Shinmen and Matahachi Hon'iden, lie wounded in the battlefield and pursued by survivor hunters. They manage to escape and swear to become Invincible Under The Heavens (天下無双, Tenka Musō). They find housing with two women, but are soon attacked by the Tsujikaze gang, and in the confusion of the fight their paths separate: Takezō decides to become a vagabond and wander the world challenging strong opponents, and Matahachi chooses to stay with the women. Takezō returns to his hometown, the Miyamoto village, to tell Matahachi's mother, Osugi Hon'iden, that her son is alive. However, Osugi reacts hostile because the village detests Takezō for his extremely violent and antisocial tendencies, and because the future of the Hon'iden gentry family is compromised now that their heir Matahachi is missing. Osugi pulls strings to accuse Takezō of being a criminal. Takezō fights his pursuers but is eventually caught by the monk Takuan Sōhō, who makes him reconsider his purpose in life. Takuan frees him and, to make him start his life anew, renames him Musashi Miyamoto. Thus begins a story that will show how the legend of the acclaimed sword master Musashi Miyamoto was forged.
Vagabond won the Grand Prize for manga at the 4th Japan Media Arts Festival in 2000. The following is an excerpt from the speech congratulating Takehiko Inoue: "From Toyotomi to Tokugawa. Musashi Miyamoto grew up amidst the turn of two great eras. Mr. Inoue has taken the powerful Musashi who was sometimes called a 'beast' and drawn him as a vagabond. The artist brags about boldly challenging the national literary work of Eiji Yoshikawa, even so, the sense of speed that he creates is impressive. I send my applause to the artist for creating a new image of Musashi". The same year, the series won the 24th Kodansha Manga Award in the general category. Vagabond also received the Grand Prize of the 6th Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize in 2002, and the North American version earned Inoue a nomination for the 2003 Eisner Award in the Best Writer/Artist category.
c. 1400, earlier wagabund (in a criminal indictment from 1311); see vagabond (adj.). Despite the earliest use, in Middle English often merely "one who is without a settled home, a vagrant" but not necessarily in a bad sense. Notion of "idle, disreputable person" predominated from 17c.
We can try to exist outside of our systems, but the way those work makes it unfeasible. There are these people out there and many of them find a way, but it's an existence fraught with instability even if it's not impossible: vagabonds continually drift in-and-out, in both places and in our memories. 041b061a72