These eight compelling stories offer valuable insights into Japanese culture. Recounted by a distinguished scholar, they feature scenes from samurai life that embody the concept of Bushido, the "way of the warrior." Their portrayals of loyalty, romance, passion, and heroism offer a true reflection of the values of the Japanese knighthood.
Largely fact-based, these fables originated among the traditional storytellers of Japan and were later adapted into romances and historical dramas. Asataro Miyamori, a professor of English at the Oriental University in Tokyo, drew upon authentic sources in compiling this volume, which first appeared in 1920. In the preface, Miyamori observed, "It is true the samurai class has gone forever along with feudalism; but fortunately or unfortunately the Japanese at large are samurai in a sense. . . . European civilization has revolutionized Japanese society, both for better and for worse. . . . yet it may safely be said that the sentiments, motives and moral principles of the samurai in some measure remain in the bedrock of their character, in their subconsciousness, so to speak. The Japanese of today are intellectually cosmopolitan, but emotionally they are still samurai to no small degree."
Republication of the edition originally published by University Press of the Pacific, Honolulu, Hawaii, 2002.
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