Hiroaki Sato Legends of the Samurai

ISBN 13: 9781590207307

Legends of the Samurai

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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.

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From the Back Cover:

In Legends of the Samurai, 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, Hiroaki Sato chronicles the changing ethos of the Japanese warrior from the samurai's historical origins to his rise to political power. For this purpose, Sato has chosen to translate, wherever possible, writings closest in time to the actual event. His translations are a testament to his mastery of the language for they flow with lively ease that one might not expect from accounts, many of which are ancient. Legends of the Samurai covers legends from mythological times to the early eighteenth century. Through this book Sato describes men accomplished in martial arts, warrior-commanders in battle, and samurai's own views of themselves. It ends with a famous modern retelling of a mass disembowelment in the mid-seventeenth century.

About the Author:

Hiroaki Sato is a poet, translator, and journalist, as well as an adjunct professor at UMASS Amherst. The winner of the PEN translation prize and the former president of the Haiku Society of America, he also translated The Sword and the Mind, published by Overlook. He lives in New York City.

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