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Legends of the Samurai
Legends of the Samurai
Legends of the Samurai
Аудиокнига14 часов

Legends of the Samurai

Написано Hiroaki Sato

Озвучено Walter Dixon

Рейтинг: 3.5 из 5 звезд

3.5/5

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Over the decades the reputation of the samurai has grown to mythical proportions, owing to such films as Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai and Yojimbo as well as works such as James Clavell's epic Shogun.
In Legends of the Samurai, Hiroaki Sato confronts both the history and the legend of the samurai, untangling the two to present an authentic picture of these legendary warriors.
Through his masterful translations of original samurai tales, laws, dicta, reports, and arguments accompanied by insightful commentary, Sato chronicles the changing ethos of the Japanese warrior from the samurai's historical origins to his rise to political power.
A fascinating look at Japanese history as seen through the evolution of the samurai, Legends of the Samurai stands as the ultimate authority on its subject.
ЯзыкEnglish
ИздательAscent Audio
Дата выпуска1 сент. 2016 г.
ISBN9781469065441

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Рейтинг: 3.5 из 5 звезд
3.5/5

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  • Рейтинг: 4 из 5 звезд
    4/5
    This isn't a Japanese history text, but it could be a great supplement to one. It's a collection of Japanese legends and histories which feature samurai, presented chronologically but also divided into three parts: tales of individual heroics and other famed acts; tales of war that do verge on relating Japanese history; and a more philosophically themed section that mostly covers events of the Tokugawa period, featuring Musashi's Book of Five Elements and the revenge story of the Forty-Seven Samurai.The introduction is fantastic at briefly providing an overview of the different eras of Japan's history, and at establishing basic knowledge about samurai culture. I liked the presentation of the content that followed, which alternates between translations from the sources and the author's explanatory passages that establish setting and context. There are also substantial footnotes provided as aids. A straightforward translation of the sources without any of this support would have left me in the dark and much less appreciative. Hiroaki Sato uses sources that were recorded closest to the actual occurrence of events, to minimize the exaggeration in their retelling over the centuries. Even so, the earliest tales read like Greek mythology, but there is a clear progression in the objectivity with which these histories were recorded. The author/translator notes a bias whenever he feels one occurs, sometimes citing sources with opposing versions for contrast.Thanks to this work I'm now much more familiar with the 'greats' of samurai lore. I can't seem to readily retain most of these Japanese names, but I'll be keeping this book as reference and making connections as I read other works on the subject in hopes of making the names 'stick' eventually. I was surprised how frequently deception is lauded as a tactic in these tales (particularly the faking one's death, an oft-used ploy); I would have thought that ran contrary to the samurai honour code, so it goes to show how much I've yet to understand. I was also intrigued by the strong emphasis on art forms that balances or even overshadows the rigorous martial arts training a samurai required. Poetry is closely linked to the warrior way, as explained in the introduction, and it is featured in many of the tales. The author does a great job of explaining quoted poetic nuances through his asides or in the footnotes. The content here consists only of highlights from the selected sources, some of them very brief. You would have to look elsewhere to find the full source translations, but this is a great overview of select readings that provides a solid framework and goes a long way to introducing the legends of the samurai.

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