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Steel, Anne.
New York : Rourke Enterprises Inc., 1988
IL 3-6, RL 4.9
ISBN: 0865921458
Click on the book to read Amazon reviews
Japan has always been ruled by an Emperor, but in the 12th Century, the Emperorâ€ôs army became so week he could no longer control his powerful Lords to obey him or pay taxes. Japan became filled with bands of robbers and rich landowners needed protection.

The rich landowners (Lords) hired men for their own armies. The men that served in these armies were called Samurai, which means â€úone who serves.â€? The Samurai pledged complete loyalty to their Lords. Even the Emperor had to use the Samurai instead of his army.

When these Samurai became so powerful, they formed clans an eventually fought wars against each other until 1180 to 1185, when the Minamoto clan, lead by their leader Yoritomo, was named Shogun which means â€úCommander-in-Chiefâ€? of all the Samurai warlords. The Shoguns ruled Japan for the next seven centuries although the Emperor was still officially in charge.

Explore the savagery of the Samurai; their life of training, dress, how they lived in the past, and how this ancient code of honor is still practiced (without the bloodshed) is a fascinating code of honor that lives on in Japan today.  (Theo H Willis,, college student)

SUBJECTS:    Samurai.
                        Japan -- Social life and customs -- 1600-1868.

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