Did you ever wonder how samurai commuted to work and what did they do while commuting? No? Okay then…

These days most people here in the Japanese city where I live just drive their cars. I usually walk although not too long ago I had to do that then take a city bus. It used to take an hour there and an hour back. Not bad on lovely spring days like we’re having now. Not so fun in winter or during typhoons.

In places like Tokyo and Osaka people take the trains. You’ve probably seen those videos where platform workers pack people into the cars on the Yamanote Line there in Tokyo. While I’ve never experienced that (fortunately) I did once have to go cross-town from a Shinjuku hotel to a Chiyoda medical clinic at peak morning rush via subway.

Uniformed station attendants held ropes to keep us at the top of the stairs while the latest train emptied and all those passengers stomped up into the station. When the human congestion cleared the attendants stepped aside and we were on our way.

I was practicing mindful breathing the entire time.

I’m pretty sure I’d have preferred commuting like a samurai, however they did it. On foot? Horses? Only in their day the samurai didn’t have audio books. Not that we know of, anyway. Workday warriors now at least have that option to help tune out the crowds while coming and going.

Now that we’re thinking of samurai with earbuds sprouting from the sides of their head here’s what Yen Audio has for your own commute (or leisure time hanging around the house, too) this month.

NEW YORK, NY (5/2/23)— Yen Audio will be releasing two new audiobook adaptations of Yen On novels: The Samurai and the Prisoner and Ishura.

The Samurai and the Prisoner

The winter of 1578, four years prior to the Honno-ji Incident. Araki Murashige has betrayed his ally Oda Nobunaga and holed himself up in Arioka Castle—but a string of unsettling incidents within the castle walls has him at his wit’s end. The desperate warlord’s only hope for solving these mysteries is imprisoned in the castle’s dungeon: a man named Kuroda Kanbei, one of Oda’s most gifted strategists. When all the conflict and intrigue come to a close, what will these two men have gained…and lost? Award-winning author Honobu Yonezawa’s English-language debut is a page-turning blend of historical and detective fiction.

The Samurai and the Prisoner is the latest novel by prolific mystery writer Honobu Yonezawa and his first work to be translated into English. Throughout his two decades in publication, Honobu Yonezawa has received numerous awards, such as the Yamamoto Shūgorō Prize for his short story collection Mangan and the Mystery Writers of Japan Award for Best Novel for his book Oreta Ryūkotsu. The Samurai and the Prisoner has earned Honbu Yonezawa two more prestigious awards to add to his list of accolades:the Yamada Fūtarō Prize and the Naoki Prize. The English edition of the novel will be released in June 2023.



In a world where the Demon King has died, a host of demigods capable of felling him have inherited the world. A master fencer who can figure out how to take out their opponents with a single glance; a lancer so swift they can break the sound barrier; a wyvern rogue who fights with three legendary weapons at once; an all-powerful wizard who can speak thoughts into being; an angelic assassin who deals instant death. Eager to attain the title of “True Hero,” these champions each pursue challenges against formidable foes and spark conflicts among themselves. The battle to determine the mightiest of the mighty begins.

In the 2021 edition of Takarajimasha’s This Light Novel Is Amazing! (Kono Light Novel ga Sugoi!) guidebook, Ishura topped the tankōbon, novel, and new title categories with the most votes recorded in its history. Earlier this year, it was announced that this popular fantasy novel would be receiving an anime adaptation to be streamed worldwide exclusively on Disney+. Ishura, Vol. 4 is set to release July 2023.

In addition to light novels, Yen On is quickly becoming the home for critically acclaimed works of literary and genre fiction, and the immense popularity of its titles has led to highly anticipated audiobook adaptations produced by Yen Audio, such as the March 2023 release of the Even If This Love Disappears Tonight audiobook and the May 2023 release of the Tezcatlipoca audiobook.

The Samurai and the Prisoner audiobook is scheduled to debut September 2023, and the Ishura audiobook is scheduled to debut October 2023. Voice actors will be announced at a later date.

About Yen Press, LLC

Yen Press, LLC is a joint venture between Kadokawa Corporation and Hachette Book Group. Founded in 2006, Yen Press has quickly risen to become one of the largest and most prolific publishers of manga and original graphic novels in the North American marketplace and a driving force in the introduction of light novels and Japanese literature to new readers through its Yen On and Yen Audio imprints. For more information, visit www.yenpress.com.