Check Out the Creative Traditional Japanese Portrayal of Captain America and Iron Man!

  • OTAKU
  • CULTURE
  • With the recent hype around the Hollywood movie, Captain America: Civil War, a Japanese Twitter user, @takumitoxin, recently created a beautiful illustration creatively capturing the fight between Captain America and Iron Man. What stood out especially is that the illustration was created in a way that resembles the traditional Japanese art style, ukiyo-e!

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    Captain America: Civil War is a 2016 movie produced by Marvel Studios. In the movie, two of the main characters, Captain America and Iron Man, are at odds which each other due to a major disagreement. The other superheroes also took their stand and supported either Captain America or Iron Man, resulting in a prominent battle between the superheroes.

    Inspiration

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    According to Takumi, his artwork was inspired by a renowned ukiyo-e woodblock print by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi. The print in question was created in 1881, and it depicts the battle between Ushiwaka and Benkei at Gojo bridge, Kyoto. Musashibo Benkei is a Japanese warrior monk who is known for his loyalty and honor and is a popular figure in Japanese folklore. Ushiwaka is also known as Minamoto no Yoshitsune and is a skillful swordsman who is considered an intellect in offensive warfare.

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    As the story goes, it is said that Benkei was collecting swords for the Buddha, and attempted to take a sword from the young Ushiwaka. However, Ushiwaka proved to be more skillful so Benkei lost to Ushiwaka and from then on, served Ushiwaka as his right-hand man. Benkei was so loyal that in the end, he died while defending Ushiwaka.

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    In Takumi’s rendition, Captain America is depicted as Benkei while Iron Man takes the position of Ushiwaka. Since Ushikawa is stronger than Benkei, does the illustration actually imply that Iron Man is stronger than Captain America? If that’s the case, then Takumi must be more of an Iron Man fan! Which is your favorite and what do you think of this ukiyo-e rendition?

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