弱虫兵蔵 “Cowardly Soldier” by Shibata Renzaburo – 1995
Title: 弱虫兵蔵 (よわむし へいぞう)
Romaji: Yowamushi Heizou
Translated Title: Cowardly Soldier
Author: 柴田錬三郎 – しばた れんざぶろう
Renzaburo Shibata was a Japanese novelist, non-fiction writer, and scholar of Chinese literature whose work sparked a swordsman boom and brought a new style to historical novels. Despite being the eldest son of a swordsmanship instructor, Hyozo, who was despised for being clumsy by nature and being only able to play Go, suddenly disappeared for a year and returned after mastering the sword. What awaited Hyozo was a bloody fate as a strategist. A fantastic depiction of sword masters standing up to help the people in need due to hunger. The final volume of the Shibarenkenki series.