The Samurai's Tale

( 45 )

Overview

In turbulent sixteenth-century Japan, orphaned Taro is taken in by a general who is serving the great warlord Takeda Shingen. Taro grows up to become a samurai fighting for the enemies of his dead family. "A riveting tale for teens who like adventure infused with an ancient historical flavor." -- Booklist

In turbulent sixteenth-century Japan, orphaned Taro is taken in by a general serving the great warlord Takeda Shingen and grows up to become a samurai fighting for ...

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Overview

In turbulent sixteenth-century Japan, orphaned Taro is taken in by a general who is serving the great warlord Takeda Shingen. Taro grows up to become a samurai fighting for the enemies of his dead family. "A riveting tale for teens who like adventure infused with an ancient historical flavor." -- Booklist

In turbulent sixteenth-century Japan, orphaned Taro is taken in by a general serving the great warlord Takeda Shingen and grows up to become a samurai fighting for the enemies of his dead family.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
In this ALA Notable Book, Haugaard immerses readers in the fascinating world of 16th century feudal Japan. After his parents are violently murdered, young Murakami is kidnapped and forced to become a slave. Now called Taro, he must work for a general who serves the warlord Takeda Shingen. Under the general's rule, Taro learns to become a samurai and eventually escapes so that he can avenge his family's death. This action-packed historical novel effectively interweaves authentic details of 16th century Japan with the gripping struggle of a young man to avenge his past. 2000 (orig. 1984), Houghton Mifflin, $7.95. Ages 10 up. Reviewer: Rebecca Joseph
From the Publisher
"A riveting tale for teens who like adventure infused with an ancient historical flavor." Booklist, ALA

“To enter THE SAMURAI'S TALE is to immerse oneself completely in sixteenth-century Japan, when powerful warlords struggled for supremacy. Seldom does a historical novel evoke the mood, color, and soul of an era as skillfully as this one does. . . .THE SAMURAI'S TALE, poetic yet unflinching, is excellent.” Boston Herald

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618615124
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 8/28/2005
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 119,214
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.13 (w) x 7.63 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Erik Haugaard was born in Denmark and has traveled extensively in the United States, Italy, Spain, and Japan. Called "a writer gifted in the art of the storyteller" by the BOSTON GLOBE, he is internationally known for his accomplishments as a playwright, poet, and translator. He has won critical acclaim for his books for young readers, including A BOY'S WILL, THE UNTOLD TALE, and CROMWELL'S BOY.

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Read an Excerpt

"I shall begin my tale on that day when I lost not only my father, but my mother and my two older brothers as well . . . In the morning of that day my name had been Murakami; I was a bushi, a knight’s son whom every woman in the village would fondle and spoil. Before the sun set I had been given the name Taro, a servant’s name, and I was of no more importance than that name implied."

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Table of Contents

List of characters ix
Acknowledgments xi
Preface xiii
1. In Blood We Are All Born 1
2. The Journey to Kofuchu 9
3. The "Dog" Taro 17
4. The Death of Togan 23
5. The Stable-boy Taro 32
6. A Night at Toko-ji Temple 40
7. Zazen 48
8. On the Road 57
9. Iida Castle 64
10. Yoshitoki 70
11. In the House of a Ghost 77
12. A Name, A Name! 84
13. Rumors of War 90
14. "Master of Rice" 95
15. The Thief 102
16. The Ronin Bandit 109
17. I Gain a Helmet 118
18. The Strategy of War 124
19. The Ninja 131
20. A Trap Is Laid 138
21. A Sortie of Death 145
22. Iwamura Is Ours 154
23. In Search of Supplies 161
24. Aki-hime 169
25. Lord Takeda Shingen 175
26. A Poem for Aki-hime 182
27. Lord Zakoji's Proposal 189
28. The Hunting Party 194
29. Lord Zakoji Becomes a Priest 202
30. The Siege of Iwamura Castle 207
31. I Leave Iwamura Castle 212
32. Takeda Katsuyori 217
33. The Ninja Again 223
34. The End of the Tale 230
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 45 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(23)

4 Star

(13)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 45 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 11, 2012

    Awesome book for readers of all ages.

    I first read this book when I was in middle school. I enjoyed the book because it not only provides a great story line and plot, but the story is saturated with a culture that engulfs you, making it truly difficult to put the book down. Since I first read this book, I have re-read it three times, and I'm now a junior in college. I just ordered my own copy. I recommend this book to anyone that is looking for a great read involving a tale of tragedy, life lessons, glory, and the possibilities that hard and perseverance can bring!

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  • Posted November 10, 2008

    Book Review on A Samurai¿s Tale

    Many people face challenges in their life. In the book A Samurai¿s Tale by Erik Christian Haugaard, Taro (Murakami Harutomo) is a character who faces challenges in this book. This fiction book takes place in 1400¿s and in Japan. The main character Taro (Murakami Harutomo), faces challenges because he wants to became a great samurai. I do recommend this book to anyone who would enjoy an action book. <BR/> There are many reasons why this is a interesting book. First the book has a lot of emotion. For example, this is what Taro is thinking: ¿Once left alone I grew frightened and all that had happened yesterday became real again¿ (Haugaard 10). Second, reason why this book has a lot of action in it. For example, ¿I jumped on top of him. I hit as hard as I could. Again and again I drove my fist into his face until I suddenly realized that he was crying and not defending himself at all.¿ (Haugaard 37 ). The third reason why you should read this book is that it teaches you about a different religion. For example, ¿He was a fervent Buddhist and practiced Zen, but never went to the temple ¿ (Haugaard 19). These are just some reason why readers should read A Samurai¿s Tale.<BR/> I recommend this book to people who are interested about learning about samurai or just want a book to read that has a lot of action in it.

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  • Posted November 10, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Taro's journey!

    Sierra Hagwood <BR/>Class10b/ 10-21-08<BR/>Humanities <BR/><BR/>A BOOK DESIGNED FOR READERS WHO ENJOY FRIENDSHIP AND TRAGEDY!<BR/><BR/> ¿I shall begin my tale on that day when I lost not only my father, but my mother and two bothers as well. A storm swept our land and when it had passed I was the only survivor of my family¿ (Haugaard xiv) The Samurai¿s Tale , a novel told by Erick Christian Haugaard, is about a young boy name Taro who lives in Japan during the last years of isolationism. In the beginning of this novel, Taro makes tough decisions and begins to live the legacy that was bestowed upon him. I recommend this novel to readers who are interested in exploring friendship and tragedy. <BR/><BR/> One strength of The Samurai¿s Tale is the conflict. It is filled with suspense, and the untold story of Taro¿s legacy that will leave you in awe. For example, Taro knows what path he needs to follow to begin his journey. The next sentence is, ¿I must tell my tale so simply that man whom I watch plowing and his little frightened daughter would understand it¿ (Haugaard xii). In other words Taro wants to tell his story so simple that even little children could comprehend it.<BR/> <BR/> The conflict is very interesting, but I also like the way the novel talks about friendship, and how being a samurai is a good way of showing leadership. Kenmotsu says, ¿A samurai¿s sword is never for sale¿ (Haugaard 128). This means that you can¿t buy your way into becoming a samurai; you must show discipline and integrity in order to become a strong and trust worthy samurai. <BR/><BR/> On the other hand, others might imply that this novel is not interesting and does not have detailed descriptions of the action. However I believe that even though this is not as descriptive and interesting as other novels. It still has such a very good message that you should take heed to.<BR/><BR/> In conclusion, I will still recommend this novel to readers who are interested in friendship, and tragedy novels. If you don¿t mind challenging yourself and putting things in perspective, then this is the book for you!

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  • Posted November 10, 2008

    Book review:The Samurai's Tale

    Antoinette Davis <BR/>September 23, 2008<BR/>Humanities 10A<BR/><BR/><BR/>Book Review <BR/><BR/><BR/><BR/><BR/>In The Samurai¿s Tale by Erik Christian Haugaard, Taro, one of the main characters, struggles to become a samurai. During his quest to become a samurai, he faces many obstacles. I would not recommend this book to readers because it is not contemporary and the conflict is not interesting. <BR/><BR/>One weakness in The Samurai¿s Tale is that it¿s not a contemporary story and many readers may not relate to it. This is because it takes place in a different time period and place than readers might be used to. The story takes place in Japan in the 1400s. Some readers might not find it interesting to learn about this time period. An example of this is when Taro describes how he uses to fight as a child. ¿When I was a stable boy we sometimes used to fight with bamboo swords¿ (Haugaard 121). This might be difficult for readers to relate to because they might not know what a bamboo sword is or what it¿s used for. <BR/><BR/>Another weakness of The Samurai¿s Tale is that the conflict in this book isn¿t interesting. This is because the events that are going on throughout this story aren¿t engaging. The main conflict of the story is Taro¿s struggle to become a samurai. In order to become a samurai, he has to go on a journey to Kofuchu that goes on for a long time. ¿On the forth day of our journey we entered Kofuchu¿..on the out-skirts of the town lived the poor, in houses that were hovels, meaner than any in our village¿ (Haugaard 13). This might not be interesting for readers because they might not care about Taro¿s journey to Kofuchu. <BR/><BR/>Some may argue that it is good to read historical fiction because it¿s educational. But, if you don¿t understand it, why read?<BR/><BR/>To conclude, I don¿t recommend The Samurai¿s Tale to readers because it is not contemporary and the conflict in the story isn¿t interesting.

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  • Posted November 9, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    The Samurai's Tale

    This book is a story about a boy named Taro who later changes his name to Murakami Harutomo when he grows up. This book is written in a 1st person narrator who is Taro. He is tells the story about how he grows up and becomes a samurai. Taro tells us that when he was little, that the soldiers had gone in his house, killed his mom and took him and the rice. I really recommend this book. <BR/><BR/> A reason why I recommend The Samurai¿s Tale is because he tells us how he got taken away by the soldiers and how they killed his mom. The soldiers went into Taro¿s house and killed his mom. They took the rice with them and they also took Taro with them. Before the soldiers broke into their house, his mom tried hiding him, but the soldiers still found him and the rice. His mon tried hidding them in the storage room. "But somehow the sound of the hammer hitting the lock made me realize that what was happening was terribly, terribly serious" (Haugaard 4). <BR/><BR/> Another reason why I recommend this book is because of the action. There are several fights that happen in the book. For example, when Taro was fighting with a boy named Jiro; a boy who helped taking care of the lord's horses. Taro started fighting with Jiro because they were trying to catch the horses so they could ride them. When Taro finally caught it, Jiro hit the horse, then the horse went running again so Taro got mad and began to fight with Jiro. "Again and again I drove my fist into his face until I suddenly realized that he was crying and not defending himself" (Haugaard 37). <BR/><BR/> On the contrary, some may say that they don¿t recommend The Samurai's Tale because they think the coves is misleading because it looks like it's about someone's journey. However, it is worthy reading this book because even though the whole book is not about a journey it's somewhat like a journey because it tells us how Taro grows up and becomes a samurai. <BR/><BR/> I really recommend reading this book because its an interesting book. It's interesting because it tells us about how Taro grew up and how he became a samurai. It's also good because there is some fighting that happens in the book. I like books with action because it makes the book more interesting and thats what makes this book interesting to me.

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  • Posted November 7, 2008

    THE SAMURAI'S TALE

    10/22/2008<BR/>Book Review for The Samurais Tale<BR/>¿Life is either a great adventure or nothing.¿(Helen Keller) In The Samurais Tale, there were a lot of action, drama, and good styles in this story. This book was written by Erik Christian Haugaard written in 2005. This book is about a person that goes thought many challenges to become a samurai. Well I would recommend this book to any person to read because it has too much action and drama.<BR/> <BR/>One strength of The Samurais Tale, is that they have conflicts that involve many characters. This story has lots of conflicts between Taro and the other characters. Taro and Jiro were fighting in the barn. Taro said ¿I jumped on top of him. I hit him as hard as I could. Again and again I drove my fist into his face until I realized that he was crying and not defending himself at all (Haugaard, 37). I would recommend this book.<BR/> <BR/>Although the historical context was pretty good the writer¿s (Erik Christian Haugaard) style is better. He used words that sounded cool but spoke/spelled really weird. On page 46 they said that Yoshinobu killed himself it said ¿the youngster¿s eyes were shining with excitement.¿ It¿s true! He killed himself at Toko-ji temple. He committed seppuku this morning¿ (Haugaard 46). Lords Shingen¿s son committed Hara-Kiri which means suicide. I would recommend this book for all its good writing style.<BR/> <BR/>For the last thing to recommend this book to other people is for its characterization. All of their characters have a very good background of a life. For example Taros life was a round (means mixed good and bad) life. For example when he said that they were going to kill him with Yone (which is his fake sister that the mother said) in the beginning of this book they said ¿They will kill us¿ and he said ¿I don¿t want to die¿. (Haugaard, 4)

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  • Posted November 5, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    A Book for Poetic Readers

    ¿It¿s is surprising what a man can do when he has to, and how little most men will do when they don¿t have to.¿ (Linn, Walter) The Samurai¿s Tale by Erik Christian Haugaard is about a young samurai named Taro (Murakami Harutomo), who lives in Kai Domain , Japan during the early 1400s. At a very young age, Taro witnesses his family being taken from him when Lord Akiyama and his army kill Taro¿s family. Taro lucky to have Lord Akiyama spare his life and make Taro his servant. While being Lord Akiyama¿s servant, Taro learns all the qualities required to become a great samurai. I recommend this novel to readers that love to read books that have adventure, and a lot of action. <BR/><BR/> One strength of The Samurai¿s Tale is how much action it brings to the table. It is a very poetic book that keeps the reader leaning in their seat wondering what¿s going to happen next, in which shows how creative this book really is. For example, Taro likes this girl named Aki-hima, both Taro and Aki-hima send poems back and forth to one another to so that they do like each other. In one poem he states: ¿The buds on the plum tree contain the hope of spring. Born in the winter and alone, I long to see them unfurled¿ (Hargaard 185). This is the first poem Taro sends to Aki-hima.<BR/><BR/> Although the writing style is very creative, the greatest strength of The Samurai¿s Tale is its conflict. Although the book was written in the early 1400s, great conflict goes on throughout the book. My favorite was in the very beginning, when Taro and his family were hiding from the soldiers. His mother orders him to stay put until soldiers are gone, and to make his way to Arai the next morning. ¿Stay where I put you until morning; then, if the soldiers have gone, make your way to Arai¿ (Hargaard 3).<BR/><BR/> Some may argue that although The Samurai¿s Tale is a very poetic book, the language is very difficult or confusing to read. But sometimes reading a difficult book is fun; just reading a book that is easy isn¿t all that exciting because for one you don¿t learn anything. Sometimes reading a poetic is easier to read, because you can sit down and thinks about what the poem really means; also, reading this type of book exposes the reader to a different type of writing style. The most poetic parts of the book are included in Taro¿s letters to Zakoji Aki-hime. In one he says, ¿When the storm comes it will break the boughs. And scatter the petals of the flower wide. I shall gather them and keep them in my sleeve¿ (Hargaard 186). This is an example of the thought provoking language of the story.<BR/><BR/> In conclusion, reading The Samurai Tale would be a great book to read because it has its own unique style of writing. Also since it is a very poetic book, it is challenging as well as an exciting book to read. Although this book had its down falls it is still a good book to read. If you read The Samurai¿s Tale you¿ll understand why I want to recommend this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2008

    The Samurai's Tale

    I bought this for Alice, a 6-grader because she needs it for her homework. It turns out to be a very good and fascinating novel and Alice loves to read it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2007

    Taro's Transformation

    ¿They will kill us,¿ Yone whispered in my ear and sniffed in an effort to control her tears¿. The Samurai¿s Tale by Erik Christian Haugaard, the main character in this book is Taro. He is the son of a samurai, but he was the only one in his family that survived. Taro¿s mother tried to hide him and his servant, Yone so they wouldn¿t find them, but they did. He was taken away to be a cook for Lord Akiyama. That¿s when he met Togan. Togan was also a cook but he was a cook for the workers of Lord Akiyama. They became best friends until one day that changed everything: Togan was killed. Taro was alone until he was trusted by Lord Akiyama. Akiyama took good care of Taro until a tragic thing happened to Lord Akiyama. The story takes place in Edo, Japan in the year 1550, before the Edo period. The language in this book is often very descriptive and very detailed. For example, when Taro went back to the village, it described what he saw and what he had to do. ¿I made my way to the hillock that had been Oda Nobutada¿s headquarters. I did not want to see my master Lord Akiyama¿s crucified body and hoped that it had been removed. It had not! Four crosses had been erected one of them leaned as if it were about to fall,¿ said Taro. This shows that the book is very detailed. A weakness of the book is that the language at times is confusing. The readers could get lost and they wouldn¿t be able to visualize it in their heads. For example, ¿Taro was stunned to what he discovered when he came back.¿ This example isn¿t from the book. This book was really great and very exciting. But the readers should beware to expect a disappointing ending. Taro went through many rites of passages so that he could finally become a man. There is a lot of violence too, and a lot of graphic things too. This book would be great for anyone who likes stories about samurais, violence, and a lot of graphic scenes.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2007

    The Samurai's Tale

    ¿Freedom, although it has brought independence and rationality, has made him isolated and thereby, anxious and powerless.¿(Erick From) In the book The Samurai¿s Tale by Erik Christian, The main character Taro had lost his family at the age of four. They were a very high class family, who was well respected by others and who had lots of power. Until, one day when Lord Takeda Shingen had made an order to have taro¿s father killed. So that lord Shingen could have all of the power that taro father had after that had happen taro had then lost all his respect and power. This, all took place in Japan in the early 1500¿s right before the closed country edict. Taro is very interesting because he had been through so much with the deaths that had taken place and with him having to adjust with a new family. I thought he had so much strength because taro still mange to go on with life even through, at one point in time he was ready to give up. But he stuck it out and he even got him a new job as a stable boy and that was good because he loved horses. So slowly, through out the book taro found out that the lord that he had been living with was the one who had his family killed. This is another reason why I said taro had strength because after he had found out that information he didn¿t go all crazy and stuff he just played it cool until, he was old enough to be on his own. The biggest change, to me was when Taro got his name change. To me that was a sign of him becoming a man. It also, showed how much he has matured as a person through out the book. I know that because people are starting to pay him more attention and giving him more respect. He is becoming well known to many lords and people in Japan. This is strength to me because it¿s like he got, a new identity and adjusted to it so quickly and just started over as a new person. Do I recommend this book to other people? Yes because it is very interesting, if you want to know more about Japan, or how many privileges the samurai¿s have or how much power they had. They also get lots of respect and to be a true samurai you must never sell your sword to any body no matter what. I also learned that even though you are very high class you still are humans and will still go through many struggles in life and still some people mange to achieve in life and many don¿t.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2007

    good book

    THE SAMURAI¿S TALE What if your family was completely killed and the village where you lived was destroyed? What if some people decided to change your name and the way you lived, but you were only 4 years old? Well, if you want to know who that young boy is then you should read The Samurai¿s Tale by Erik Christian Haguaard. The young boy was Taro from a village called KAI. His father was a famous samurai but he was killed and that had meant bad news for Taro and his family. His family was rich but when his family was killed he went to the bottom of the class system. This book takes place in Japan during the 1600s during the time of the close country edict. Two characters from the book, Lord Takeda Shigen and Lord Oda Nobunaga, were real people in history, but Taro is not a real person he is a made up character .The author tells how it probably was for a young boy during isolationism. This was a tragic time for taro when one of the samurai¿s said ¿I shall call him Taro.¿ (Haguaard pg.4).After the samurai had changed Taro¿s life and destroyed his village and killed his family. When I read this book, it got me more interested into the book and it is hard to get my attention into a book. Then I found out why and who had sent these people to destroy the village and murder everybody but then I got the thinking why did they spare this young boy¿s life. I started to read the book more and then I had found out why they spared his life. This is a great book if you like action and suspense. If you like action and suspense and you like how it was back in the day in Japan or you are into Japan or not this is still a good book. I advise anybody who likes action to read this book and it also has love when he falls in love with his master¿s daughter and at the end they might end up together or not I can¿t tell you because I don¿t want to give away the ending. I recommend this book to anybody, especially teenagers. Pay attention to how the author changes Taro¿s name. You should read it this book will catch your attention from the second page on and you will be glued to the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2007

    Cool book

    Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a samurai? You seen samurais on the television, newspapers, commercials, and, even on posters, but have you ever stopped and thought what makes them a samurai? The book ¿THE SAMURAI¿S TALE¿ by Erik Christian Haugaard, takes place in Japan in the late 1500s. A boy name Taro who lost his family by Lord Takeda Shingen¿s men when he was a young boy. Taro was taken to a lord named Lord Akiyama, who took care of him, gave him a new name and a new life. He had to start every little bit of his life again and earn his people¿s respect. One strength of the book is its positive theme. The lesson of reading this book is how easy it is to develop strong feelings for a new people when they show you love and respect. After Taro¿s family died, he was surrounded by strangers who he didn¿t know. but because He made a friend name Yoshitoki who showed him honesty, and they became very close. ¿ I think you are destined to live and I to die,¿ said Yoshitoki. This shows how Yoshitoki really cares for Taro and how friendship can take another person of willing to ending their own life. Another strength is its language. The language in which the characters speak is very high class the book shows how Japanese people are respectful to each other. Whenever Taro talked to Lord Akiyama, he would talk to him with a respectful way and by greeting him with a bow. ¿I was sitting across from my lord, when he waved to me, indicating that he wanted me join him. I rose immediately and took a seat next to him. Can you remember Taro, when you first saw me? He asked. How could I forget that, sir? You spared my life¿. This shows how a samurai has to answer to his lord with formal language. A samurai can never show disrespect in anyway, no matter what situation it is. I strongly recommend ¿THE SAMURAI¿S TALE¿ to people who are interested in Japan and those who like samurais. There¿s a big lesson in this book that will teach you something about the Chinese culture and yourself.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2007

    taro com's of age

    Can you imagine your parents getting killed when you were just a baby? Well, in the book The Samurai¿s Tale by Erik Christian Haggard, this happens to the main character, Taro. Lord Akiyama, a powerful daimyo, murders Taro¿s parents and makes him a stable boy and later Taro becomes a samurai. As Taro grows up, Taro tries to redefine who he is as a man. Readers should read The Samurai¿s Tale because it has a lot of historical facts, and the book tells readers about what was happening in Japan during the of 1500s. For example, the reader learns about how a person becomes of age and his name is changed in Japan. This book is perfect for any teenager that¿s trying to find their place in the world. The book is really exciting. The pace of the book is fast. Taro finds his place in the world by becoming a soldier, learning new things, and meeting new people.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2007

    boring book

    Jonathan Ruiz Humanities 10/4/07 The Samurai¿s Tale In the novel The Samurai¿s Tale by Erik Christian Haugaard, a boy named Taro loses all his loved ones by a man who is a samurai and very powerful. Taro has to avenge his family by going through a rite of passage to becoming a man and a samurai. The Samurai¿s Tale is a good book because it has a lot of historical facts about Japan in the 1500¿s. At this time the samurais ruled Edo.The Samurai¿s Tale had some great vocabulary. For example, one word that was interesting in The Samurai¿s Tale was the word ¿hara-kiri¿. This word means to commit suicide, which is a respectful way to die in Japan. A weakness of The Samurai¿s Tale is that it has no point. It is pathetic because Taro is going through his rite of passage to becoming a samurai, but all the things he has to go through is for nothing for example in the story Taro had to go spy on a samurai named lord Oda to see what his plan was, so Taro and his soldiers could counter attack. Even though Taro knew what Oda was going to do, Taro¿s group still lost, because of that Taro is still alone and cannot avenge his family. The Samurai¿s Tale is not recommended because the book is pathetic the ending is shocking, and Taros life is a mess. The only good thing about this book is that it has good vocabulary.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2007

    A Brave Heart Story

    It¿s interesting how reading a book can change your whole perspectives on what took place in Japan. I viewed Japan the way the book The Samurai¿s Tale, by Erik Christian Haugaard, described the story mainly to me as book of what Samaria¿s went through even though they were on top of the class system.. Even though it is a fictional story, some of the characters were based on historical figures. Like when the other Samaria¿s killed his parents, because his father was dead The Samurai¿s Tale is a book about a boy named Taro whose family died when he was a child. As Taro matured, he transformed into a better rounded, ambitious young man, whose life was at times unstable. As a young servant cook, Taro felt like he was nothing, equating himself to the mangy dog he encountered in the street, but we see his character develop as he slowly starts achieving his goals. I would recommend this book to any one who has gone through changes, or teenagers who want to be in the army. One strength of the book is that Taro learned how to love who he is no matter his life experiences. That was one thing Taro learned to do with the help of Togan. Taro was very angry because he thought since he was a servant cook then he was just like this mangy dog. Togan said to Taro ¿ you are a healthy little puppy¿ and Taro Said ¿ He `s not like that mangy dog he met in the street.¿ He also said, ¿ The dog Taro was strong and healthy but not content with being a dog.¿ (P.17) Another strength of the book was the characters. Togan was one of the characters I connected with in the story. Togan died, and when he died I felt very sad because he was a father figure to Taro. Also, he was one of the only people that Taro felt close to since the maid disappeared, and along with her departure, the last link to his family. Toro was really hurt and the only thing he could think of that death is the only thing that seems to evolve around him, and that that¿s life. These are a few words Taro had to say about Togan after his death. ¿ I saw the blade glitter twice in the sun. The second time it was stained with blood and Togan had fallen to the ground¿ (P.26) I felt disappointed that every one that Taro ever loved, cared, about ,or was close to him had died. I also feel that Taro is a curse character as well because every person he ever met, meant a lot to him, and they all seem to die, like his best friend Yoshitoki, his master Lord Akiyama, and exc. I felt like every one in life shouldn¿t have died, he should at least have one person left with him. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes war novels, or is thinking about joining the army. I also feel this is a touching story, and is relatable to the circumstances of any war.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2007

    Read Me!

    The Samurais Tale If you have a goal, fight for what you want, and what you want to accomplish! In The Samurais Tale, by Eric Christian Hauggard, that¿s what the protagonist, Taro, does. When his parents are murdered, Taro becomes a servant in lord Akiyama¿s palace. When his family legacy is stolen from him, he fights to become a samurai, and redeem his family name. I would recommend the novel to people The Samurais Tale has suspense, adventure, and excitement One strength of the novel, The Samurais Tale is the way it is written. The novel has a lot of figurative language and snapshots. The words in this novel, how the author describes what something or someone looks like, are so vivid, that it lets you picture what is going on. When Taro, and his best friend, Yoshitoki enter the ¿house of a ghost,¿ the next sentence is: ¿The hut was small and the door so slow that even I had to bow my head to enter. In the center of the room stood a small iron grate¿¿(pg.77) This is a good example of snapshot. When Jiro is sworn to secrecy about the revolt, the next sentence is: ¿It seemed to me that he swelled visibly during those weeks, like a frog about to lay eggs.¿(Pg.33) This is an example of figurative language because it¿s showing how Jiro wanted to explode and tell everyone the secret he was sworn to. Another strength of this novel is it teaches you things about Japan. From this book, I learned what the monks in Japan study and why. They practice zazen.¿When you practice zazen you sit immobile, as if you were a statue of Buddha. You must attempt to empty your mind of all thoughts, of all the vanities of this world.¿(pg.50) ¿This is supposed to keep your mind from wondering.¿ (Pg. 51) This is a good example of different cultural aspects in Japan. The only weakness in my novel is the lack of interest in the middle of the novel. The beginning the novel is like a little rollercoaster, it gets you excited but not so much to make you scream. The middle the novel is like an even smaller rollercoaster it does not get you scared you just want to scream from the boredom. Then towards the end the novel is like a brand new even bigger rollercoaster it gets you screaming more than the other two rollercoaster¿s you tried. I do recommend this novel to people, the story has ¿ancient historical flavor.¿ This novel may seem like a type of book you wouldn¿t want to read, but once you start reading it you¿ll want to read more and more of it!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2007

    Journey of a Lifetime

    The Samurai¿s Tale You should never underestimate anyone because you never know what he or she can achieve in life? , In the book, The Samurai¿s Tale, the protagonist, Taro is affected by his mother¿s death because he saw her dying when he was younger. People underestimate taro in the story but over time he made many changes through the story. The book is a fictional novel written by Erik Christian Haggard. The novel is about a boy named Taro who struggles to find himself after his losses his mother and father. Having no one there for him while he is growing up,. Lord Akiyama takes Taro under his wing caring for him like a son. The Samurai¿s Tale is a novel about adventure and tragedy. I recommend this book because it is very interesting and I enjoyed reading about Taro¿s life¿s journey. One strength of The Samurai¿s Tale is the way the book is written. It has plenty of snapshots and you can picture them while reading. ¿That¿s better. Now down on your knees! You too, boy! `¿ ordered `¿ I recalled what a soldier had soldier had said of this man! He wasp in autumn. He stings without reason.¿¿ (p. 26) One weakness of The Samurai¿s Tale is the author¿s choice of descriptive language. The book gives too much information about the people dying, and has plenty of disturbing pictures in your head like when a tragedy happens they explained it in a vivid description. For example, when Togan was attacked after the wrestling match the situation is vividly described. ¿But he was up in a moment and drawing a dagger from his sash, he attacked.¿ Even though there were some weaknesses in the story the strengths outweigh the weakness. I think everyone should read the book because it is very suspenseful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2007

    samurai's Tale

    Donald Earl Humanities 1/12/07 The Samurai¿s Tale Book Review I enjoy going on long adventures, and learning new things, and when there are times when I can¿t do these things I read The Samurai¿s Tale by Erik Christian Haugaard. In this action/adventure novel, a young boy name Taro sets out to seek wisdom to become a samurai. Among his journey he is faced with many of obstacles, but it was nothing that ever down him and stopped him from completing his mission. I highly recommend this book, especially if you love challenging novels. My book had many of strengths one is that the novel is written in first person. This is strength because it gives me a chance to see through the eyes of the narrator. Also, by using first person it made the book more interesting, and kept me focused. For example,. ¿Stand still, my child.¿ ¿My mother¿s voice was harsh as she tried to hide its trembling.¿ The way that the book starts is what made it interesting. My novel also has many of weakness too. One of the weaknesses is that sometimes the story may switch to a different topic in the middle of the story and that causes confusion and it could throw off my interest, and that also cause me to not focus. Another weakness is that the book was very complex. It was really difficult to know what was going on in the story at times. Also some of the names that were presented in this book was also difficult to pronounce, and that caused me to give the book lack of attention. . I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys trying new things, and reading action and adventure novels. This book is also a novel that causes the reader to focus on more then one thing at once, and if you enjoy things like that then this is the prefect book for you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2007

    The Saamurai's tales

    The Review of the Young Samurai and his Hopes If you like action, adventure, and suspenseful books that make you want to read more about it, I dare you to read The Samurai¿s Tale. . The novel, written by Erik Christian Haugaard, takes place before the Meiji restoration (1603-1635) in Japan. Taro, an orphan whose mother had been killed by the samurai army, is the protagonist of the story. He becomes very fond of his noble lord who spared his life as young child. Taro life takes a new direction willing to become a samurai and to redeem his family legacy that has been stolen as a young child. This novel is recommendable to teens, adults, and to anyone who is into action, adventure, and suspense. The author¿s use of snapshots made The Samurai¿s Tale strong. The snapshots are effortlessly imaginable because of the way they are written, For example, this snapshot caught my mind, ¿The four bodies were naked they been place up side down on crosses in the same manner as criminals were crucified. Lord Akiyama was the first next to him was the body of Lord Zakojii. Somehow the corpses looked more like grotesque dolls than bodies that once contained souls.¿ (p 251) It is loaded with pictures that you can easily imagine. Although the sight is easy to imagine,, the realistic of the novel is the sensory detail. Once you are reading the story you could sense it putting an image in your mind, you could feel ones position. The one event that I could feel being in his shoes was talking to an old man about the future. Then the next day they went back to where they met the old man and they realized he was a ghost because of the shrill he could feel in his body, sensing a ghost presence and a villager told them. ¿The first house we came to and inquired about the old man who lived in the past. We were told as we had expected. That an old man lived here once, but then he had died a long time ago. His grave they told us was at the back of the hut besides a large boulder. We looked at each other, smiled, for it is not granted everyone to be able to say that they have been fed and have slept in the house of a ghost.¿(p 82-83) The only weakness in the book would have to be the names of the characters. At one point in the story the names of Lord Shingen sons been mentioned in the story and it is hard to keep up with their names, especially when they are foreign. ¿For the kaishaku-nin is always a friend of the man who commits seppuku, not his rival besides he is usually older, and Katsuyori was much younger than his half brother Yoshinobu.¿(p 47). Also the names of Lord Akiyama and Lord General Akiyama were confusing too because they have been pronounced both as Lord Akiyama. Once you have read the character identification at the beginning, you will understand it Lord Akiyama Nobutomo a general and the son of Lord Akiyama Nobutora, who is the Lord of Kofuchu. Other than the names of the characters, this novel is recommendable. It is full of suspense that makes you keep on reading, wanting to know what will happen next. This novel is so good that once you finish reading each good chapter your mouth is going to fall open and a fly will flutter from your mouth.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2007

    A great story

    If you have a dream to become whatever you want, you should accomplish your goals. In the book, The Samurai¿s Tale, by Erik Christian Haugaard, the conflict is about power and freedom. Taro, a poor samurai, wants freedom from Lord Akiyama¿s rules and to become a samurai. The novel takes place in Japan during the Meiji Restoration. I would recommend the novel to anyone who has a dream in life. One strength of The Samurai¿s Tale is the way it is written. The novel has figurative language, so you can tell what is going on in the story and, as you read, you can picture what is happening. I think the author¿s style is unique. He includes some poems in the story. It makes the story rich because you can feel the emotions of Taro and others characters. For example, ¿Yone who looked as pale and frightened as if she had seen a ghost.¿(p.1) You can feel when other characters describe others. Another strength is that the vocabulary is sophisticated. It can be helpful for people who are learning English. The conflict is person versus society. Taro is the Protagonist and Lord Akiyama is the antagonist. Taro is a flat character because he does everything perfectly. ¿Lord Akiyama had ordered me to saddle two horses. Though I preferred to ride bareback, I was pleased, for I was aware that it was an honor.¿(p.41) One weakness that I found is that the end of the book is not clearly stated. I think the ending should have been more specific. ¿ The tale of the parentless child and the young samurai has been told. What happened later may also be worth the telling, for honor demanded that I attempt to avenge my master.¿(p.234) If you can see, it doesn¿t tell if Taro gets married to the person he loves. However, the strengths of The Samurai¿s Tale outnumber the weaknesses. I strongly recommend the novel because I enjoyed reading it and it helps to improve your vocabulary.

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