The Samurai and the Sacred: The Path of the Warrior

The Samurai and the Sacred: The Path of the Warrior

by Stephen Turnbull
     
 

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The fierce loyalty and self-sacrificing attitude of the Samurai have made them both a legend and a cult. Yet although their military prowess and skills in the martial arts have been studied exhaustively, an understanding of their belief system still eludes many. This original and exciting work examines the spiritual world of the samurai, from their attachment to

Overview

The fierce loyalty and self-sacrificing attitude of the Samurai have made them both a legend and a cult. Yet although their military prowess and skills in the martial arts have been studied exhaustively, an understanding of their belief system still eludes many. This original and exciting work examines the spiritual world of the samurai, from their attachment to Japan's mainstream religions of Shinto and Buddhism, to their involvement in Confucianism, Christianity and Folk Religion. Samurai expert Stephen Turnbull examines important topics such as Zen and the martial arts, modern militarism, the cult of the sword, revenge and suicide, hara kiri and the kamikaze pilots - the suicide bombers of their day. He also looks at the fascinating issue of Japanese religious terrorism, as well as the growing cult status of the Samurai both in Japan and in the West.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Both spirituality and military history collections -- as well as those strong in Japanese history in particular -- will welcome The Samurai and the Sacred, a fine study examining the spiritual world of the samurai from their involvement in Japanese mainstream religions to their feature in Christianity and folk religions. Samurai expert Stephen Turnbull offers a detailed look at Japanese religion and religious terrorism in a powerful study suitable for any serious Japanese spirituality buff.” —The California Bookwatch (September 2009)

“A lively and compelling study of the samurai, the warrior elite of old Japan. Stephen Turnbull blends real scholarship with a flair for story telling to create a gripping account. It is good to see illustrations that rise to the high quality of the text to produce a book wholly worthy of the remarkable characters it describes.” —Professor Richard Holmes

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781849089944
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
08/20/2011
Series:
General Military
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
224
File size:
23 MB
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This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Stephen Turnbull took his first degree at Cambridge University, and received a PhD from Leeds University for his work on Japanese religious history. He has travelled extensively in Europe and the Far East and also runs a well-used picture library. His work has been recognised by the awarding of the Canon Prize of the British Association for Japanese Studies and a Japan Festival Literary Award. He currently divides his time between lecturing in Japanese Religion at the University of Leeds and writing.
Stephen Turnbull is the world's leading authority on samurai culture. He took his first degree at Cambridge and has two MAs (in Theology and Military History) from Leeds University. In 1996 he received a PhD from Leeds for his thesis on Japan's Kakure Kirishitan. In its published form the work won the Japan Festival Literary Award in 1998. Having lectured in East Asian Studies and Theology he is now retired and is an Honorary Lecturer at Leeds, a Research Associate at SOAS and Visiting Professor of Japanese Studies at Akita International University. He has published 73 books and many journal articles. His expertise was also put to use in helping design the award-winning computer strategy game Shogun Total War, and in 2010 he acted as Historical Adviser to Universal Pictures for the movie 47 Ronin. He is currently working on a major project tracing the historical evolution of the ninja as a cultural phenomenon.

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