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Japanese Fighting Heroes (Hardback)

Warriors, Samurai and Ronins

Military P&S History > Social History

By Jamie Ryder
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 224
Illustrations: 30 mono illustrations
ISBN: 9781399057066
Published: 21st February 2024


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Japanese mythology is filled with stories of larger-than-life characters that shaped the landscape of Japan. They are the folk heroes who slayed monsters, fought in epic battles and reflected the most complicated emotions of the people who created them. Through a mix of essays, short stories and anecdotes, Japanese Fighting Heroes follows the lives of samurai, warriors, outliers and iconoclasts who forged their own paths.

Legendary fighters like the demon-killing Minamoto no Yorimitsu, philosophising samurai Miyamoto Musashi, and the One-Eyed Dragon Date Masamune. Creative heroes like the father of Japanese short stories Ryunosuke Akutagawa, the immortal poet Ono no Komachi, the hilarious Sei Shonagon and her insight into human nature. Trailblazers who broke down barriers like the feminist Hiratsuka Raicho, the statesman Fukuzawa Yukichi, the photographic genius Hiroshi Hamaya.

These Japanese folk heroes led fascinating lives that provide insight into our own through the principles and practices they lived by. They struggled with universal ideals of honour, duty, courage and kindness, helping them transcend their culture.

Whether you’re looking to learn about Japanese history, fall down a philosophy rabbit hole or pick up new mental health habits, these heroes can teach us timeless lessons. Japanese Fighting Heroes captures the essence of what it means to be human in any culture.

For the reader with a general interest, [Jamie Ryder] has managed to unwrap a little an intriguing, complex and fascinating culture and quite obviously relishes the subject matter to the extent that the chapters feel like delightfully prepared beckoning treats which may potentially open a gateway to a further, more in-depth, exploration.

Read the full review here.

Trevor Skingle - The Japan Society

About Jamie Ryder

Jamie Ryder is an author from Manchester, England. He has an interest in philosophy and mental health and uses both in his work as a copywriter.
He also has an interest in Japanese culture and is the founder of Yamato Magazine. His previous work Japanese Fighting Heroes is available through Pen and Sword books.

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