Samurai by John Man Read ☆ 108

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Ing samurai still inspires us today In John Man's new book we discover the truth behind the legendFrom his birth in the shadow of the great volcano Sakurajima to his glorious death by ritual suicide and disembowelment Saigo Takamori was the ultimate Samurai leader His fall brought about the end of hundreds of years of Samurai tradition. As others have indicated the title of this book is a little deceptive Though the author does give some general background on samurai and their culture the book is mostly about Saigo and his role in a period of rapid change in Japan in the late 1800 s The author does a good job of explaining the complex politics and interplay of the daimyos samurai shogun foreigners and emperor I ve been interested in the medieval period of the daimyos and shoguns and this book showed me the denouement of that time period The author also does a good job characterizing Saigo s personal traits of loyalty and honor and how that led him to his final resistance to the new centralized government The last chapters of the book are the best as they describe Saigo s final military actionsStill if you re looking for a history and detailed description of the samurai this isn t the book for you Also the style of the book is a little jumpy moving confusedly from descriptions of episodes in Saigo s life to general details about samurai culture to modern day scenes as the author travels Japan

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Samurai by John Man

And in many ways marks the birth of modern Japan Saigo was a man trapped by paradox a faithful servant to the emperor and yet a leader of rebel troops a mighty Samurai warrior and also a master of Chinese poetry His life and ultimately his death offer a window into the hundreds of years of culture and tradition that defined the samurai.. I learnt a lot from this book Even after a decade in Japan there were a great deal of new discoveries John Man is an excellent writer and storyteller He tells history and adds some picturesue descriptions of Japan which blend the real with the folklore I was so happy to read about the real Saigo Sama after that Tom Cruise nonsenseI shall be reading from this author A new favourite Clear concise and punchy to read

Summary Samurai by John Man

The name 'Samurai' is synonymous with the ultimate warrior With their elaborate armour fierce swordsmanship and code of honour the samurai have become iconic figures whose influence can still be felt today From Kurosawa's epic Seven Samurai to the figure of Darth Vader in Star Wars to Manga comics and video games the figure of the fight. The Last Warrior is the sub title of the book it s around 50% of the book which is solely dedicated to Saigo Takemori who was the last Samurai who was finally defeated in 1877 with the failure of the Satsuma rebellionIt reads like a novel rather than a history text in the opening chapters as the author injects his brand of humour within the narrative which is mostly sound in his attempt to be down with the kids you ll see what I mean should you pick this up The first half gives a fair bit of pre amble which relay modern day scenarios to the way of the samurai chapters are brief give some insight into what makes a samurai or components of their way of life We have a chapter on training a young mind a section on the religion Shinto an all too small chapter on the samurai sword Seppuku early origins creation history of Japan America s invasion of Japan Bushido code However every chapter jus touches on the subject matter Its not deeply detailed giving the reader jus enough insight to see the machinations of a Samurai It also covers western influence on its culture especially an American forced trade agreement which ended nearly 250yrs 1600 1850 of isolation of Japan from the outside world bar a few Dutch traders This chapter helps to set up the reasoning of the revolt how Saigo became it s leaderAbout Saigo himself there are plenty of anecdotes written accounts in the narrative the author certainly has does his homework but I must admit I would have liked some counter from the other side to balance out the tale turn it into a story as at times it reads purely like a homage to the man which for me wasn t that appealing come the endSome part entertaining other parts monotonous a so it s 25pts rounded upto a three as at times it s an alright account


10 thoughts on “Samurai by John Man

  1. says:

    The preface identifies that this book is three stories intertwined Primarily it is the story of Saigo Takamori known as the Last Samurai Although this immediately conjures the movie of the same name staring the midget scientologist put that from your mind It is far from fact and should be disregardedFor the most part the book is a biography The second story referred to is the story of Japanese history from their isolation to th

  2. says:

    The Last Warrior is the sub title of the book it’s around 50% of the book which is solely dedicated to Saigo Ta

  3. says:

    An excellent biography of Saigo the true last samurai Really unsure why Hollywood chose to replace him with a Westerner i

  4. says:

    I didn't read the backcover before I bought this book; I just saw the title 'SAMURAI' went my brain and thought that it w

  5. says:

    As others have indicated the title of this book is a little deceptive Though the author does give some general background on samurai and their culture the book is mostly about Saigo and his role in a period of rapid change

  6. says:

    Interesting and a fast read about Saigo Takamori The Last Samurai who led the Satsuma Rebellion against the Meiji government of Japan in 1877 I

  7. says:

    Interesting informative reasonably detailed although in truth this book really should have been retitled Saigo the Last Samurai Warrior Otherwise by the title Samurai the Last Warrior A History the reader is actually under the impression that this book is about a history of the samurai Other samurais are in the background of this book and the history period is not as long therefore as one thinks Apart from a

  8. says:

    I learnt a lot from this book Even after a decade in Japan there were a great deal of new discoveries John Man is an excellent writer and storyteller He tells history and adds some picturesue descriptions of Japan which blend the real with the folklore I was so happy to read about the real Saigo Sama after that Tom Cruise nonsenseI shall be reading from this author A new favourite Clear concise and punchy to read

  9. says:

    I'm usually a fan of History but this book was rough I expected a relatively short recap of Samurai culminating in some details about their final years of relevance Instead the author is crushing on the man considered the last rele

  10. says:

    As usual John Man does a splendid job with his subject The only problem I have is with one of the photographs used The caption says the photo is of Toshiro Mifune which it is not and that in the movie the Seven Samurai his character leads the samurai against bandits attacking a village Now if John Man had actuall

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