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Book Review: The Story Of Buddha, A Graphic Biography

October 31, 2011

“The Story of Buddha: A Graphic Biography”
Written and Illustrated by Hisashi Ota
Published by Ichimannendo Publishing, Inc

Finally, someone has put together a manga (graphic novel) based on the history of Buddha. It’s been done for The Dalai LamaTibetan Master Je Tsongkhapa and author Stephan Asma wrote and illustrated a book called “Buddha, A Beginners Guide” which was comic like, but it was done in more of a humorous way than “The Story of Buddha: A Graphic Biography”, which is more true to the roots of this style of novel.

“The Story of Buddha: A Graphic Biography”, is much more of a traditional Japanese styled manga, meticulous, clean and quite moving. The illustrations are striking and express emotion without even needing to read the words, but it is important obviously that you do read them. The story line, which most of all know by now, puts a little more emphasis on his life in the palace and the struggles he goes through in understanding, or trying to understand, what life is truly about. His struggles were immense, but through rigorous training of the mind and body, the Buddha did achieve true happiness from suffering.

The novel is written well enough that intermediate readers to adult readers will not only enjoy, but devour in a timely fashion. I truly enjoyed reading “The Story of Buddha: A Graphic Biography” and would recommend it highly not only to those who are new to Buddhist thought and practice, but to those that already have a working knowledge of Buddhism. Hats off to Hisashi Ota for accepting the challenge to tackle such a project, and praise to him for being successful in doing so.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Jason Fleming permalink
    November 15, 2011 10:59 am

    I do believe my youngest daughter would really appreciate this….and the art is very cool….thank you, Nate!

  2. November 1, 2011 9:01 pm

    Great to see a new one, and thank you for the review, but……

    “Finally, someone has put together a manga (graphic novel) based on the history of Buddha.”

    Finally?! It most certainly has been done before! Lavishly in fact. In eight stupendous volumes. One of, if not THE, finest peaks of Japanese manga ever. (Not the most historically accurate, but great fun and very very beautiful).

  3. November 2, 2011 6:53 am

    I say Finally because I have yet to read the other’s. Until doing so, this is the first manga I read from this angle! :P

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