“An Illustrated Guide to Samurai History and Culture” Brings Warriors to Life in Color

In Japan and abroad, the samurai are often romanticized as a monolithic group who held to the high moral code of conduct known as Bushido (“the way of the warrior”). While this image holds true for some samurai, it wasn’t always the case, and journalist and author Gavin Blair offers a nuanced view of their history in his latest book, “An Illustrated Guide to History and Culture. samurai”.

One of the biggest misconceptions about samurai held by non-Japanese people is “that they were fiercely loyal swordsmen who always lived by the strict code of Bushido,” says Blair. Samurai were first and foremost human beings, and the author suggests that their rules were sometimes an ideal rather than a reality, with many variations depending on the time and region in which they lived.

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