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Fearless BooksHere is an incredible look at a time when men lived and died by the sword. Like the samurai, this book hits hard and fast and makes no apologies for it. Hillsborough paints a vivid picture of the downfall of the famed and honorable samurai through a series of short stories that detail how isolationist Japan was riddled with violence and political upheaval. He chronicles an age when one's word was one's bond, and though it may have been a brutal era, it makes one long for those days when people actually had convictions they acted upon - even if that sometimes meant suicide.
Samurai Sketches, much like the haiku, is simple and poetic, and it is one of the few books to give a realistic feel of what the explosive final years of the samurai were like. Hillsborough may have only been trying to present a picture of a time past, but he also shows his readers just where humanity has gone wrong in losing its sense of self. There is a Japanese saying at the beginning of the book that reads, "The sword is in the man." That sword is also in Samurai Sketches.