Samurai: A Concise History

The sword-wielding samurai, beholden to a strict ethical code and trained
in deadly martial arts, dominates popular conceptions of the samurai. As early as the
late 17th century, they were featured in literature, art, theater, and even comedy, from the Tale of the Heike to the Kabuki retellings of the 47 Ronin. This legacy remains with us today in legendary Akira Kurosawa films, the shoguns of HBO's "Westworld," and countless renditions of samurai history in anime, manga, and
video games. Acknowledging these depictions in popular culture, this book gives readers access to the real samurai as they lived, fought, and served.

Much as they capture the modern imagination, the samurai commanded influence
over the politics, arts, philosophy, and religion of their own time, and ultimately
controlled Japan from the 14th century until their demise in the mid-19th
century. On and off the battlefield, whether charging an enemy on horseback or
currying favor at the imperial court, their story is one of adventures and intrigues,
heroics and misdeeds, unlikely victories and devastating defeats.This book traces the
samurai throughout this history, exploring their roles in watershed events such as
Japan's invasions of Korea at the close of the 16th century and the Satsuma
Rebellion of 1877. The samurai, both famed and ordinary, who shaped Japanese history come alive in these accounts.

  • Author: Michael Wert
  • Hardcover
  • 128 pages
  • Approx. 6 X 8 1/2 inches