The Real Reason Takehiko Inoue’s Vagabond Manga Went On Hiatus

Elif Ozden

Penned by Takehiko Inoue, Vagabond has left fans across the globe in a state of suspense. In 2015, the manga abruptly took a break, leaving readers and critics alike wondering about the real reason behind this unexpected hiatus. Today, we are here to shed light on the circumstances surrounding this situation while also addressing speculations about the manga’s potential return.

Brief Information About Vagamond


Based on Eiji Yoshikawa’s novel ‘Musashi,’ Vagabond is a work of historical fiction. It follows the life and struggles of Miyamoto Musashi, a swordsman from Japan’s feudal era. With its nuanced character development, philosophical undertones, and Inoue’s handling of the visual narrative, Vagabond quickly won hearts worldwide.

The manga includes a detailed account of the Battle of Sekigahara, a real-life event that occurred in 1600s Japan. The protagonist Musashi begins his journey as a wild young brute named Shinmen Takezō and evolves into an enlightened samurai. The story also introduces Musashi’s love interest Otsu, his childhood friend Matahachi, and his most notable rival, Sasaki Kojiro.

The last published chapter before the hiatus was chapter 327, titled ‘The Man Named Tadaoki.’ The next chapter, if released, would be chapter 328 and is expected to complete the unfinished Hosokawa Arc.

Why The Hiatus?


Inoue cited health issues and the desire for an artistic break as primary reasons for the manga’s hiatus. The hiatus of Vagabond was, in part, because Inoue felt mentally drained from working on the manga.

Vagabond was on a weekly or bi-weekly schedule initially, which demanded rigorous effort and time from the author and his assistants. The manga went on hiatus several times, including in September 2010 and February 2014, with the current hiatus being the longest.

After consideration, Inoue eventually put Vagabond on hold to focus on his other project, the manga series ‘Real,‘ which he started in 1999. His return to his other manga, ‘Real,’ might signal a potential return to Vagabond.

Will Vagabond Return?


As of now, there’s no official word on when or if Vagabond will return. However, there are recent hints by Inoue that a new chapter might be underway.

The story is still incomplete, and the author confirmed his plans to continue the work. According to a tweet posted in December 2022, he revealed that he intends to continue working on Vagabond and not let the narrative end abruptly.

So, this announcement leaves room for a potential revival. It may take a while, given the artistic space Inoue currently seeks and the fact that he has other projects that also require his attention.

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