Kami's apprenticeship is ending and his journey to becoming a master samurai has begun, but he is about to undertake a great journey from Osaka castle out to the furthest reaches of the samurai lands. His enemies are numerous and deadly: from ninja clans to agents of the shogun, from samurai armies to hidden traitors. With only a few friends to aid him, Kami must face his greatest challenge yet: survival.
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5 Things They Never Told You About the Samurai
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Samurai's Apprentice by David Walters
Samurai were mere puppets of their lords, not allowed freedom of thought in matters and constantly expected to do what they were ordered to do. Fate is in Heaven, the armor is on the breast, success is with the legs. Go to the battlefield firmly confident of victory, and you will come home with no wounds whatever.
Engage in combat fully determined to die and you will be alive; wish to survive in the battle and you will surely meet death. When you leave the house determined not to see it again you will come home safely; when you have any thought of returning you will not return.
You may not be in the wrong to think that the world is always subject to change, but the warrior must not entertain this way of thinking, for his fate is always determined. Surrender was not an option for a samurai, fighting to the death or suicide were the only options.
Such loyalty led to numerous lives being wasted in battles through ineffective tactics that the samurai blindly followed. If a samurai, in the middle of a battle, found himself in a horribly losing situation and being of no use to the fight, the samurai would find a secluded place and commit seppuku. Seppuku, honorable and ritualistic suicide, involves the samurai taking his own life by means of opening his abdomen. Some means of seppuku involve a "second" to decapitate the samurai after his initial cut to curtail any unnecessary suffering. This practice was so common that, even on a battlefield, if a samurai committed seppuku, enemy soldiers within the area would cease their attack and one would take the job of "second" for the samurai.
When it comes to death, there is only the quick choice of death.
- Samurai - Wikipedia.
- Samurai's Apprentice Books 3 & 4: Shogun's Apprentice & Samurai Master (Samurai series).
- Which are the Origins of Japanese Samurai?;
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Children of samurai would be sent on arduous errands involving going through cemeteries or witnessing executions to purge them of fear of death. There is a way of bringing up the child of a samurai. From the time of infancy one should encourage bravery and avoid trivially frightening or teasing the child.
If a person is affected by cowardice as a child, it remains a lifetime scar. It is a mistake for parents to thoughtlessly make their children dread lightening, or to have them not go into dark places, or to tell them frightening things in order to stop them from crying. Furthermore, a child will become timid if he is scolded severely. Even as a child the samurai was molded into what their lord wanted them to be.