Nonfiction / Japanese History
352 pages / 6478 KB
I believe I own, and have read, all of Mr. Man's books. This one was not a disappointment.
I did not realize, when I ordered the book, that it was about Saigo Takamori, but it would have made no difference, I would have ordered it anyway.
This is a well-written book on the history of the Samurai, how they came to be, and how they came to cease. Long interested in Bushido, the Way of the Warrior, I have read several books on the subject and this book was the most easily acceptable of them all.
When John Man uses footnotes, and he does, they are where they belong, at the bottom of the page, not somewhere in the back of the book. That alone earns him gold stars in my book!
Saigo Takamori, the last samurai, was a man of contradictions. When the Meiji period began, he did what he could to help it, even though it went against the Bushido he loved. He loved his Emperor above all else, and led a rebellion against him. A samurai to the bone, when the end came, he lost his head. He lost his battle. He became a hero to the people.
If you are at all interested in the history of Japan, the Tokugawa's (Shogun), Bushido, and Saigo Takamori, this is the book to read. Well researched, well-written, easily accessible by the non-scholar. And when you finish reading this book, leave your review, and then read his other books.