Vagabond (バガボンド , Bagabondo) is a manga written and illustrated by Takehiko Inoue. The manga has been serialized in Kodansha's seinen Weekly Morning magazine since 1998 in Japan, with translations to English by VIZ Media. As of September 2009, 31 volumes of tankoubon has been released, with 29 of them translated for the United States.
Growing up in the late 15th century Sengoku era Japan, Shinmen Takezo is shunned by the local villagers as a devil child due to his wild and violent nature. Running away from home with a fellow boy at age 17, Takezo joins the Toyotomi army to fight the Tokugawa clan at the battle of Sekigahara. However, the Tokugawa win a crushing victory, leading to nearly three hundred years of Shogunate rule. Takezo and his friend manage to survive the battle, and afterward, swear to do great things with their lives. But after their paths separate, Takezo becomes a wanted criminal, and must change his name and his nature in order to escape an ignoble death. Based on the book "Musashi" by Eiji Yoshikawa, Vagabond is a fictional retelling of the life of Miyamoto Musashi, often referred to as the "Sword Saint" - perhaps the most famous and successful of Japan's sword fighters.