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Best Samurai Books You Should Read

Looking for the best Samurai books? Browse our list to find excellent book recommendations on the subject.

Training the Samurai Mind: A Bushido Sourcebook (2009)

 Best Samurai Books You Should ReadThrough the ages, the samurai have been associated with honor, fearlessness, calm, decisive action, strategic thinking, and martial prowess. Their ethos is known as bushido, the Way of the Warrior-Knight. Here, premier translator Thomas Cleary presents a rich collection of writings on bushido by warriors, scholars, political advisors, and educators from the fifteenth century through the nineteenth century that provide a comprehensive, historically rich view of samurai life and philosophy.
Author(s): Thomas Cleary

The Compassionate Samurai: Being Extraordinary in an Ordinary World (2009)

 Best Samurai Books You Should ReadBecome an extraordinary results-producing champion for humanity and yourself! In life there are two types of people. The first are those who are nice, good-hearted, and compassionate but can’t make much happen. The other kind can make everything happen—they’re the creators, the go-getters, and the aggressive producers in society—however, they’re often self-centered, greedy, and unethical.
Author(s): Brian Klemmer

The Last Samurai (2016)

 Best Samurai Books You Should ReadCalled “remarkable” (The Wall Street Journal) and “an ambitious, colossal debut novel” (Publishers Weekly), Helen DeWitt’s The Last Samurai is back in print at lastHelen DeWitt’s 2000 debut, The Last Samurai, was “destined to become a cult classic” (Miramax).
Author(s): Helen DeWitt

Samurai!: The Autobiography of Japan’s World War Two Flying Ace (Uncommon Valor) (2015)

 Best Samurai Books You Should Read, first published in 1957, is the war-time account of Saburo Sakai, the leading Japanese fighter ace to survive the Second World War. Sakai, born in 1916, hoped to escape the poverty of life in his rural village by enlisting in the Imperial Japanese Navy at age 16. In 1937, he graduated at the top of his pilot-training class, and soon saw combat in China.
Author(s): Saburo Sakai, Martin Caidin, et al.

Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune (2018)

 Best Samurai Books You Should ReadStirring narrative nonfiction recounts the rise of Minamoto Yoshitsune from seemingly doomed infant to immortal warrior-hero (and one of the most famous samurai in Japanese history). Acclaimed author Pamela S. Turner delivers all the drama, romance, and tragedy of the original story–with delightfully dry wit and a healthy dose of modern perspective. Gorgeous ink paintings by celebrated graphic-novelist Gareth Hinds complete this irresistible package.
Author(s): Pamela S. Turner, Gareth Hinds

Heart of a Samurai (2012)

 Best Samurai Books You Should ReadIn 1841 a Japanese fishing vessel sinks. Its crew is forced to swim to a small, unknown island, where they are rescued by a passing American ship. Japan’s borders remain closed to all Western nations, so the crew sets off to America, learning English on the way.Manjiro, a 14-year-old boy, is curious and eager to learn everything he can about this new culture. Eventually the captain adopts Manjiro and takes him to his home in New England.
Author(s): Margi Preus

Samurai and Ninja: The Real Story Behind the Japanese Warrior Myth that Shatters the Bushido Mystique (2015)

 Best Samurai Books You Should ReadSamurai and Ninja expert Antony Cummins shatters the myths and exposes the true nature of these genuine—and very lethal—medieval Japanese warriors. The Samurai and Ninja were, in fact, brutal killing machines trained in torture and soaked in machismo. Many were skilled horsemen and sword-fighting specialists, while others were masters of deception and sabotage. Some fought for loyalty, others for personal gain.
Author(s): Antony Cummins

The Samurai’s Tale (2005)

 Best Samurai Books You Should ReadWhen the powerful Lord Takeda’s soldiers sweep across the countryside, killing and plundering, they spare the boy Taro’s life and take him along with them. Taro becomes a servant in the household of the noble Lord Akiyama, where he meets Togan, a cook, who teaches Taro and makes his new life bearable. But when Togan is murdered, Taro’s life takes a new direction: He will become a samurai, and redeem the family legacy that has been stolen from him.
Author(s): Erik C. Haugaard

Daughters of the Samurai: A Journey from East to West and Back (2016)

 Best Samurai Books You Should Read“Nimura paints history in cinematic strokes and brings a forgotten story to vivid, unforgettable life.” ―Arthur Golden, author of Memoirs of a GeishaIn 1871, five young girls were sent by the Japanese government to the United States.
Author(s): Janice P. Nimura

The Samurai (New Directions Classics) (2018)

 Best Samurai Books You Should ReadOne of the finest novels, from “a masterly historical writer” (David Mitchell)  In 1613, four low-ranking Japanese samurai, accompanied by a Spanish priest, set sail for Mexico to bargain for trading rights with the West in exchange for a Catholic crusade through Japan.
Author(s): Shusaku Endo, Van C. Gessel

The 47th Samurai (Bob Lee Swagger Novels) (2008)

 Best Samurai Books You Should ReadIn The 47th Samurai, Bob Lee Swagger, the gritty hero of Stephen Hunter’s bestselling novels Point of Impact and Time to Hunt, returns in Hunter’s most intense and exotic thriller to date. Bob Lee Swagger and Philip Yano are bound together by a single moment at Iwo Jima, 1945, when their fathers, two brave fighters on opposite sides, met in the bloody and chaotic battle for the island. Only Earl Swagger survived.
Author(s): Stephen Hunter

Samurai! (2018)

 Best Samurai Books You Should ReadOf all Japan’s aces, Saburo Sakai is the only pilot who never lost a wingman in combat.For a man who engaged in more than two hundred aerial combats, this was an incredible achievement.His remarkable book Samurai! written by Martin Caiden but with the assistance of Sakai and Fred Saito is a brilliant account of life as a Japanese pilot in the Second World War.Samurai!
Author(s): Martin Caidin

The Pocket Samurai (Shambhala Pocket Classics) (2015)

 Best Samurai Books You Should ReadThe samurai of Japan, who were the country’s military elite from medieval times to the end of the nineteenth century, were synonmous with valor, honor, and martial arts prowess. Their strict adherence to the code of bushido (“the way of the warrior”), chivalry, and honor in fighting to the death continues to capture the imagination of people today, inspiring authors, filmmakers, and artists.
Author(s): William Scott Wilson

Best Samurai Books You Should Read

We highly recommend you to buy all paper or e-books in a legal way, for example, on Amazon. But sometimes it might be a need to dig deeper beyond the shiny book cover. Before making a purchase, you can visit resources like Library Genesis and download some samurai books mentioned below at your own risk. Once again, we do not host any illegal or copyrighted files, but simply give our visitors a choice and hope they will make a wise decision.

The Samurai Castle Master: Warlord Todo Takatora

Author(s): Chris Glenn
ID: 3622170, Publisher: Frontline Books, Year: 2023, Size: 5 Mb, Format: epub

The Book of Bushido: The Complete Guide to Real Samurai Chivalry

Author(s): Antony Cummins
ID: 3216363, Publisher: Watkins Media, Year: 2022, Size: 816 Kb, Format: epub

An Illustrated Guide to Samurai History and Culture: From the Age of Musashi to Contemporary Pop Culture

Author(s): Gavin Blair
ID: 3252772, Publisher: Tuttle Publishing, Year: 2022, Size: 110 Mb, Format: epub

Please note that this booklist is not final. Some books are truly hot items according to Los Angeles Times, others are composed by unknown authors. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant links you could recommend? Drop a comment if you have any feedback on the list.

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