Hidesato is a manga short I had made for the FUNimation “Draw Your Own Manga Contest”, which won as a runner up. The manga is read from right-to-left in traditional Japanese format. The manga itself is a short story, consisting of 5 pages because those were the contest rules…
A young archer named Hidesato meets the Dragon King, Ryo-wo along his travels. Ryo-wo is desperate for help- the great centipede demon threatens to kill the Dragon King! It’s up to the overconfident Hidesato to slay the demon, but can he do it with a mere bow and arrow?
Hidesato– the main character of this story. He’s overconfident and doesn’t think things through, which leads him way over his head. He is a man of his word and doesn’t get easily discouraged regardless of the situation.
Ryo-wo– the Dragon King of Lake Biwa who asks for Hidesato’s help to slay his foe. He’s somewhat cowardly, being too frightend to stand up to fight. He is the king of the lake and lives in an underwater castle with Koi as servants.
Omukade– “Human Devouring Centipede”, the great demon centipede of Mt.Mikami. It had devoured Ryo-wo’s children and inhabitants of his kingdom.
The Original Folktale that Inspired the Manga
Hidesato is my version of the original Japanese folktale that has several varying titles: ”My Lord Bag of Rice” or “Lord of the Rice Bale”. There are two versions of the tale. In the first and oldest version, Hidesato helps Ryo-wo, the Dragon King. In the second version, Hidesato helps a woman who can transform into a dragon. The tale of how the hero Hidesato acquired the name Tawara Toda, by which he became to be known to prosperity, involves two ever-fasinating themes of Dragons and monster-slaying.
These are references that I used to create the manga.
Fujiwara no Hidesato (藤原 秀郷) was a kuge (court bureaucrat) of tenth century Heian Japan. He is famous for his military exploits and courage, and is regarded the common ancestor of the Ōshū branch of the Fujiwara clan, the Yūki, Oyama, and Shimokōbe families.
Hidesato served under Emperor Suzaku, and fought alongside Taira no Sadamori in 940 in suppressing the revolt of Taira no Masakado. His prayer for victory before this battle is commemorated in the Kachiya Festival. Hidesato was then appointed Chinjufu-shogun (Defender of the North) and Governor of Shimotsuke Province.
Lake Biwa -(琵琶湖, Biwa-ko), formerly known as Ōmi (淡海) Lake, is the largest freshwater lake in Japan, located in Shiga Prefecture (west-central Honshū), northeast of the former capital city of Kyoto. Because of its proximity to the ancient capital, references to Lake Biwa appear frequently in Japanese literature, particularly in poetry and in historical accounts of battles.
Ryo-wo -Ryūjin (Japanese 龍神 “dragon god”), also known as Rinjin and Owatatsumi) was the god of the sea in Japanese mythology. He was a dragon, symbolic of the power of the ocean, had a large mouth, and was able to transform into a human shape. Ryūjin lived in Ryūgū-jō, his palace under the sea built out of red and white coral, from where he controlled the tides with magical tide jewels. Sea turtles, fish and jellyfish are often depicted as Ryūjin’s servants.
Ryūjin was the father of the beautiful goddess Otohime who married the hunter prince Hoori. The first Emperor of Japan, Emperor Jimmu, is said to have been a grandson of Otohime and Hoori’s. Thus, Ryūjin is one of the ancestors of the Japanese imperial dynasty.
Someday I might re-draw the manga in an extended version…