Nanso Satomi Hakkenden
Nanso Satomi Hakkenden is a Japanese 106 volume epic novel by Kyokutei Bakin. It was written and published over a period of nearly thirty years (1814 to 1842). Bakin had gone blind before finishing the tale, and he dictated the final parts to his daughter-in-law Michi. It is translated as The Eight Dog Chronicles, Tale of Eight Dogs, or Biographies of Eight Dogs.
Set in the tumultuous Sengoku-era (350 years before Bakin lived), Hakkenden is the story of eight samurai half-brothers - all of them descended from a dog and bearing the word "dog" in their surnames - and their adventures, with themes of loyalty and family honor, as well as Confucianism, bushido and Buddhist philosophy. An earlier serial novel by Bakin, Chinsetsu Yumiharizuki (Strange Tales of the Crescent Moon) had been illustrated by the famous ukiyo-e artist Katsushika Hokusai, but the two did not work well together. For Hakkenden, Hokusai's son-in-law, Yanagawa Shigenobu was employed as illustrator instead.
A complete reprinting in ten volumes is available, as well as various modern Japanese translations, most of them abridged. Only a few chapters are available translated into English, one by Donald Keene and several by Chris Drake.
Film, TV and theatrical adaptations
Though hugely popular at the time of publication and into the early twentieth century, Bakin's work lost favour after the Meiji Restoration, it came back into fashion later in the 20th century. There are numerous film adaptions, the first in 1938, then a series in the 1950s, an influential TV series Shin Hakkenden during the early 1970s, the 1983 Satomi Hakkenden, the 1999 anime TV series Shin Hakkenden (with a different kanji spelling), and the most recent: a made-for-TV two-part mini-series in early 2006. Perhaps the best known screen version in the west is the 1990s AIC two sequence OVA The Hakkenden.
* Sorcerer's Orb (1954)
* There is also a Kabuki adaptation of the novel
* In August 2006, the Kabukiza put on the play.
* In 1959, the TOEI motion picture company made "Satomi Hakkenden."
There are manga versions of the story by Aomata Pink, Yoshimura Natsuki and Miyazoe Ikuo, and elements and themes from Hakkenden can be found in a wide range of other work.