By Jiro Taniguchi. Published by Fanfare Ponent Mon.
Softcover, 288 pages, B&W, 2019 (originally published in Japanese in 2002)
Exiled from Japan during the Boshin War in 1868 as the new Meiji government took hold, two defeated samurai, Hikosaburô and Manzô, eventually settle in Crow territory in North America.
One day out hunting, Hikosaburô encounters a young native female who has just given birth hidden in the scrub. Called Running Deer, she tells of how she escaped from white traders who had ‘bought’ her. They soon come looking for their possession!
Saved from the murderous deceit of the traders by the chief of the Oglalas, Crazy Horse, they soon form a profound friendship and respect for each other’s cultures to the extent of Hikosaburô and Manzô being renamed ‘Sky Hawk’ and ‘Winds Wolf’ and fighting alongside their new brothers in their struggle against the invaders.
Taniguchi gives an accurate portrayal of the Indian Wars of the period culminating in the infamous Little Bighorn encounter.