Sunday Story Ratings #68: Usagi Yojimbo Book 3.5: The Tea Cup


Usagi Yojimbo Book 3: The Wanderer's Road: 5. The Tea Cup by Stan Sakai

Originally published September 1987?* Fantagraphics Books in Usagi Yojimbo Vol. 1 Issue 11; this edition August 2010

Fantagraphics Books

{*I think the 1987 on these two issues is an error. it goes back to 1988 for the next issue}


Parental Guidance recommended for audiences under 15 years of age

(V, D, T)

Violence {G)

Drug Use (PG) {Tea! Also sake}

Themes (G) {Poverty}




There is a girl child in this episode with a small speaking role, and reference made to a female samurai from a plot arc in the first book. Women in the background in town, and an innkeeper's wife is referred to.


A heterosexual marriage referred to.

Race & Ethnicity:

Characters are all anthropomorphic animals in a culturally Japanese (Edo period) setting.

Disability, Physical Diversity and Health:

No presence noted.


None found


Usagi meets up with bounty hunter and friend-of-sorts Gen, who showed up in two stories in the first book. Recurring theme of Gen being on a mission, soliciting Usagi's assistance, but then also tricking him about the precise nature of that assistance. The pattern concludes with the two sharing food and sake at an inn; in the first case Gen sticks Usagi with the bill, in the second Usagi turns the tables, and this time they simultaneously leave each other with the bill. So presumably that pattern is ended if they meet up again.

We also get to learn a bit of Gen's backstory, which seems to involve some tragic poverty, but overall the story feels like a return to light-hearted action adventure.

P.S. Seems to be a tendency for catfolk to show up as villains or minions to villains.