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Creation

Hikiji is a human character, one of the very few to appear in the Usagi universe. He is based on the real life Daimyo Date Masamune, who lived from 1566-1636 A.D., and aspired to become Shogun, the military ruler of Feudal Japan. Stan Sakai originally intended Lord Hikiji to be a minor character in his Nilson Groundthumper Saga. However, he fell in love with his Samurai Rabit, and Usagi's story became his focus. As a result, Lord Hikiji became the central nemesis behind the Usagi storyline. The character was originally intended to be more of a shadow meanance, always there but never seen. However, Stan did show him in the last panel of "Lone Rabbit and Child II". Stan has said he regrets doing so, but wont change this panel. Hikiji has appeared two other times, but his face is not clear in either of these appearances.

Character Attributes

  • Caste: Samurai
  • Profession: Daimyo
  • Anthropomorphic Identity: Human

Major Story Arcs

Lord Hikiji is the main nemesis behind many of the tragic events in Usagi Yojimbo's life story. Hikiji's presence is often felt, but he is rarely seen. He is the Lord of the Mutsu Province, but aspires to be Shogun for all of Japan. The province is in the northeast of the main island of Honshu. Notable landmarks include the Adachigahara Plain, the city of Sendai, and Usagi's home village.

Lord Hikiji first touched Usagi's life when he murdered Usagi's father, Magistrate Miyamoto, for defying him and remaining loyal to Lord Mifune. When Usagi later became a bodyguard for Lord Mifune, Lord Hikiji was behind an assanation attempt. His agents failed to kill Mifune in his sleep, but they did execute both Mifune's wife and son. Hikiji orchestrated the betrayal of Mifune by his trusted General Buichi Toda, resulting in Mifune's defeat and death at the great battle of Adachigahara. Lord Mifune had the upper hand in that battle prior to his betrayal.

Hikiji giving Usagi his scar

Usagi came face to face with Lord Hikiji at the battle of Adachigahara. During this encounter Hikiji strikes Usagi, giving him his distinctive forehead scar. This story was told as a flashback in "Return to Adachi Plain", a watercolor painted story. The rare color version of story has only been printed in Fantagraphic's hard cover version of "Usagi Yojimbo TPB #4: The Dragon Bellow Conspiracy", and Darkhorse Comic's "The Art of Usagi Yojimbo" (both editions). A black and white version of this story, based on the original pencils, was inked by Sergio Aragonés, and appeared in Usagi Yojimbo V3 #10 and Usagi Yojimbo TPB #11.

Stories where Hikiji actually appears (as opposed to just mentioned)

  • Lone Rabbit and Child - Part II (Plot Summary)
  • Homecoming Part 1
  • Return to Adachi Plain

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