Western scholars and educators are generally far less familiar with the samurai in his original-and, ostensibly, primary-role as warrior and masters of arms than in his other functions as landowner, feudal lord, literature, or philosopher. Yet, any attempt to comprehend fully the samurai without considering his military abilities and training (bugei) is futile. With verve and wit, Karl Friday combines the results of nearly two decades of fieldwork and archival research to examine samurai martial culture from a broad perspective: as a historical phenomenon, as a worldview, and as a system of physical, spiritual, and moral education.
About the Author
Karl Friday is associate professor of Japanese history at the University of Georgia.