Cover Image: The Book of Bushido

The Book of Bushido

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Member Reviews

“The Book of Bushido” defines the title topic as “…the chivalric, moral and ethical system of ideas and correct behaviour developed by the Samurai class.” It has also been translated as “the way of the warrior” or “the say of the samurai.”

Author Antony Cummins sets out to embellish this definition, splitting the subject into clear categories. He begins by expelling various myths about Japanese chivalry and then explains the world of a samurai. Personal honor is tackled at length, and is split between military ,honor and how to act when at home. The book also talks about why the samurai fell out of favor.

The book was entertaining, as the author broke each chapter into subsets and then related stories which emphasized the current subject. While the book is well researched and plenty of examples were cited, at times I felt like I was reading a book of samurai anecdote after samurai anecdote.

I did like the final chapter, Balancing Bushido. The author acknowledges that history tends to warp our view from its future, offering the dramatic events that happen which provides a false view of all facets of the era (consider how you regard King Arthur or Alfred the Great and you’ll understand how we don’t place much focus on everyday life). This chapter brings the book’s teachings together by listing the characteristics and rules that samurai were expected to follow, condensing what you have learned from the previous stories.

Overall, a good book filled with cultural facts about the Japanese people, with a focus on samurai and the Bushido way of life. If you have never investigated this subject, “The Book of Bushido” is a good starting point and those interested in learning more will find other books listed. Four stars. 

My thanks to NetGalley and Watkins Publishing for a complimentary electronic copy of this book.
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A very engaging and informative book about bushido, looking at the known history of the samurai and seeing if their code of honour was as stringently followed as we might be led to believe. 

There is so much information here, and I really enjoyed reading it. My only slight criticism is the time period the author covers is vast, and because the book is written in chapters covering different aspects of samurai life, it often hops around different time periods. If you’re new to the history of the samurai, it can feel a little disjointed.
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Free ARC from Net Galley


Takes you into the historical fact of what Hollywood ruined and how real lives and MUCH death were influenced in the life a real warriors.  Interestingly enough it explains much of the thought or seemingly lack of it used by the Japanese solider/sailor in WW2.  A realistic update to Bushido: The Soul of Japan, published in 1905.

Great book for history and philosophy ;overs of the middle east.
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This is the go-to volume on bushido ("the way of the warrior"), drawing on a wide range of historical sources to paint a vivid picture of the samurai in action and separating the truth from the myth of samurai chivalry.
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