Item description for The Bamboo Sword: And Other Samurai Tales by Shuhei Fujisawa & Gavin Frew...
The eight stories that comprise this collection were all written in the 1970s and 80s, yet vividly evoke early 17th-century Japan, when peace finally reigned after centuries of warfare. It was a period of upheaval and change as the rulers carved out their territories and clan politics were full of intrigue, rivalry and betrayals. The samurai were still valued for their swordsmanship, and were a cut above the peasants, artisans, and merchants in the social hierarchy. Without battles to fight, however, they struggled to retain their sense of pride and meaning in life as they devoted themselves to mundane jobs, marriage and family. The occasional flash of the sword and samurai discipline were tempered by the unexpected intrusion of human interaction. Sympathies, conspiracies, kindnesses, enmities-all kinds of odd relationships were formed and conflicts resolved in surprising ways. These tales are colorful, atmospheric, exciting, tender, violent and gently ironic. The Bamboo Sword and Other Samurai Tales is published as part of the Japanese Literature Publishing Project (JLPP), which is run by the Japanese Literature Publishing and Promotion Center (J-Lit Center) on behalf of the Agency for Cultural Affairs of Japan.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1" Width: 5.75" Height: 8" Weight: 0.75 lbs.
Release Date Feb 17, 2006
Publisher Kodansha International
ISBN 4770030053 ISBN13 9784770030054
Reviews - What do customers think about The Bamboo Sword: And Other Samurai Tales?
My son loved it Jul 24, 2008
Purchased as a gift for my son who is very interested in Japanese culture. He had nothing but praise for the content and author.
Lovely Peeks Into Another Time Jun 28, 2007
Fujiawa's collection of short stories "The Bamboo Sword and Other Samurai Tales" is a simply lovely book with lovely stories. Collected from a variety of other collections published in the Japanese, this present work forms a sort of introduction to Fujisawa.
The stories look at life during the Edo Period, (under the Tokugawa Shoguns), from a variety of angles, not only from the viewpoint of the samurai, (although they are certainly the main focus). The viewpoints include even a day in the life of a knife sharpener who moonlights as a burgular, (one of the more interesting stories for me).
Each of the stories is deeply human in its quality, taking in such elements as a samurai's problem with his wife and so on. They are touching windows on a domestic world often glossed over in other works and the movies. However, don't be fooled: there is plenty of action with swords and fighting in the book to satisfy the more martially oriented.
At only 253 pages, I found the book far too short and can only hope that more of Fujisawa's stories get translated into English. He is a gentle though energetic writer. This is onle of the best books I have read in some time.
An exciting and engaging collection of remarkable samurai stories May 3, 2006
The Bamboo Sword And Other Samurai Tales by Shuhei Fujisawa is a superb collection of eight intrinsically interesting and truly evocative stories inspired by two popular Japanese films: "The Twilight Samurai" and "The Hidden Blade". These tales of the samurai include: A Passing Shower; All For A Melon; Kozuru; Shinza, The Samurai; Out Of Luck; The Runaway Stallion; Dancing Hands; and the title piece, The Bamboo Sword. Shuhei Fujisawa has written an exciting and engaging collection of remarkable samurai stories. that will grasp and hold the readers total attention from beginning to end. The Bamboo Sword is very highly recommended to all readers intrigued by tales of the eastern regions and the orient in general, and those who enjoy Japanese samurai lore in particular.